After my article about on-page SEO, it goes without saying that a “how to get backlinks” article should be next. Don’t get me wrong, on-page SEO is a must. But things really start to fly when you get your backlinks. Some SEO experts say that there is no “white hat backlink strategy” because backlinks need to arrive naturally. And you also might find examples where somebody was able to rank a keyword to first position without almost any backlinks.
I agree with that advice, however, in some cases, we don’t have so much time, and we want to take a more proactive approach. That doesn’t mean we want to go all blackhat and generate pages, content, and backlinks artificially. This is like a time bomb, and that’s not something I will discuss in this article. I am talking about a genuine approach that will get you backlinks. What’s the downside? Well, it’s hard work, or you have to pay someone to do the hard work for you.
Are you going to offer me SEO services?
I know this sounds like I will offer you SEO services in the next paragraph, but I will absolutely not offer you SEO services. Webmaster.Ninja is about making the web a better place through website and domain monitoring, tools and advice. This post is the advice part. So what makes me the authority on backlinks? Well, first time I tried to get backlinks was back in 1999 when I was a teenager. I submitted the freeware games me and my friends developed to many game portals. Yes, that’s nearly 20 years ago (depending on when you are reading this).
Then for a few years, I was doing a little bit of SEO for my clients since we provided them including with a complete solution before I sold that company. Today I only do SEO for my projects. I am becoming one of those guys you see traveling around the world, and working as an Internet entrepreneur. And also, once upon a time, a single backlink brought me 22,786 hits in a day.
Besides, this is a free article with just some common sense advice that all major SEO experts are proposing. It is really up to you to implement them, and get ahead of the game, or hire someone to check industry specific steps and get the backlinks you need. As you will see in this blog post there are certain things that you can do to encourage backlinks. It is important that these actions don’t seem artificial. What do I mean by artificial? Well if you use a software that generates 10,000 backlinks in a day that’s not natural.
On the other hand, if you reach out to fifty professionals and their network and you manage to get 10 backlinks, in my opinion, that’s perfectly natural. Furthermore, you will see in this “how to get backlinks” post that by creating interesting content you may be able to invoke backlinks from other websites. These include infographic, research, presentations, video and other interesting content.
How can I get backlinks?
So let’s get this post underway. Are you aware why white hat backlinking is important? Let’s start by understanding why backlinks are important and several excellent strategies for getting them. With this, you can expect to get basic knowledge on how you can build your links from other websites.
In the context of SEO, a backlink is an important factor in determining how well your page performs on search engine pages. Backlinks are votes from other fellow website owners. According to digital marketing experts, they are among top factors for improving search engine rankings. They are also a part of Google’s ranking algorithm.
1. Relevancy and quality beats quantity
The more relevant, high-quality backlinks you have pointing to your website, the better you will rank in searches for your targeted keywords. In the end, they will increase your traffic, purchases, and conversions. Remember, they should be natural; this means you should not use non-ethical or automatic ways to create them for your website. The quality is far more important than the quantity.
Here’s an example. One backlink from a reputable magazine like Forbes, Wired or Wall Street Journal. will outrank 10,000 backlinks from single unknown forum or website. Why is that? Well, try getting a backlink from those publications and you will realize how hard it is.
2. Recognize your talent and prioritize effectively
Do you have the expertise to work on backlinks? Or do you need to hire a professional? Consider your options and find out what options are best for you because every tactic may not be for you. It is not just about hiring an SEO expert. Maybe you need someone to help you with creating compelling content. Or, you have exceptional content, but don’t have enough time to do the outreach. There could also be a situation where you are great at both, and all you need is a tool, a software, to help you automate the process.
Know what you are great at, delegate the rest and find tools that can help you with both sections of your business.
3. Monitor your keyword ranking
You should create a baseline for strategic keywords so that you can monitor them how they improve (or don’t) after your backlinking efforts. Make sure you create the list based on the new content you promote. You cannot start to monitor everything, so, track the most relevant keyword phrases.
I’ll finish this advice by letting Peter Drucker explain why monitoring keywords is a good idea.
“What gets measured gets managed.”
— Peter Drucker
4. List your website in reliable directories
List your website in a directory that gives you a chance to post a link to your website and also provides useful relevant information for your potential customers. It will help you get easily indexed in the major search engines and help visitors find you online.
I know, I know. This one is about two decades old and it doesn’t work like it used to. But, if you find 10 good directories, with great traffic, and they are relevant to your business niche it can definitely pay off. For example, if you are a plumber, and you see a directory of plumbing companies, go for it! Enlist your business in Yelp, Google maps, Foursquare, and find other directories that might bring you targeted traffic.
5. Start a blog or help someone improve theirs
It does not make any sense if you have a blog with one post and one backlink. If you are doing so, you are wasting your time and also creating another risky link for yourself. If you have a blog, you should update it regularly. While creating your content, ensure you focus on your industry information and your customer’s needs. At the same time, you need to ensure your content is unique, useful and well-structured.
This is an excellent way to ensure the visitors will want to link, share or bookmark your content again and again. This is a great way to obtain good backlinks. If you don’t have time to do that, improve someone else’s blog. Leave smart and insightful comments. Offer valuable guest posts. Find a dead link, and offer yours in return.
6. Giving a testimonial
According to digital marketing experts, testimonials create win-win situations for link building. Many companies will give you an opportunity to say a few words about using their products and services. It is a great way for them to build customer trust. On the other hand, you also have a good opportunity to get a backlink and high-quality traffic from that website. And it has been found that it will have much higher approval rate than your basic link request e-mails.
Hopefully, I don’t have to say that this works only with companies with which you have a genuine business connection. I don’t expect you to spam website owners to leave a testimonial on their website.
7. Consider link building tools
Use good link building tools as they help you find, sort and manage potential link sources including competition research and influencer. Some of the link building tools you should consider are SEMrush, BuzzStream, SoloSEO, Majestic, Moz Pro, and Ahrefs.
Do not mistake this with automatic link building tools. These tools will help you find link building opportunities! Unfortunately, I would go off-topic by explaining how exactly you can master these tools in order to get backlinks. If you need that, please leave a comment and we may post that in the future.
8. Become a curator
If you invest time to make a useful collection of great content by publishing them, they can attract links. Think of this as a “TOP 10” article. You don’t have to make the content yourself, but you just have to find it and act as a curator.
By doing the hard work of finding the needle in a haystack, readers will be grateful and share your content. Sharing is just another form of getting backlinks. And remember, a curator doesn’t wonder how to get backlinks, he makes them out of thin air.
9. Go the natural way
Remember, you will get good results if you go the natural way allowing countless websites to link to yours because of your great content. Though they may not always be high profile places, search engines will value the various sources and the diverse ways they link.
In the future, I will probably write a blog post specific to this topic. Creating great content is very important for getting backlinks, and we could all use more than a few good ideas.
10. Build and nurture relationships
For white hat backlinking, it is good to build as well as foster relationships. There are many opportunities to build contacts. You can start with your industry related communities like forums, blogs or social groups. You can start contributing with interesting and relevant posts, comments, offering appropriate value to each discussion. Active participation in these communities will not only help you in gaining good backlinks but will also have latest updates and news in your industry. You will be able to connect with interesting people that share your passion.
This also includes writing guest posts. For maximum impact, find a tool that measures domain authority. That way, you only reach out to websites with higher domain authority than your own. I know this might sound a bit technical, but hopefully, you weren’t expecting this to be the easiest thing to master in your life. There is a learning curve, even if you only want to know how to get backlinks.
11. Use anchor text wisely
When you request links or place links on the directories, you should diversify the anchor text. Make sure you are not using the same keywords and link to a company, product name, or more variation of a keyword phrase you have used.
It is obvious, great content will attract links but the measure of your visibility will depend mostly on your link building efforts. Before devising and implanting any white hat backlinking strategy, make sure it will work for you.
12. Brush up on your SEO knowledge
I already mentioned “domain authority” and how building backlinks can quickly become technical. Well, such is life. There are important lessons like the difference between a nofollow and dofollow link. And you also need to know which tools to use to track when someone removes the backlink.
Don’t forget that you need to understand when Google algorithm changes, and what backlinking moves might get you into trouble. If that’s too much to handle for you, then it’s probably better to delegate to an expert or at least ask for help.
13. To be revealed
Some consider the number 13 unlucky, some consider it lucky. I’ll let you decide. If this post gets more than 100 shares or 10,000 visits, I will disclose my favorite tactic to get a backlink from a very high authority site. I’ve never seen anyone mention this tactic so as far as I know, I am the only one using it.
That is why I am hesitant to share it for free in a blog post. So, keep sharing this post, and eventually, I may disclose this tactic here.
In summary – how to get backlinks
I could go on and on, but this is more than enough to get you started with your backlinking strategy. To be honest, there’s more work here than a small team can manage. Sometimes, just 1 quality backlink can take a month to execute.
You have to understand, a backlink shouldn’t be the primary concern. Think “providing value”, and the backlinks will follow. But also, have a clear strategy how exactly these backlinks will happen. Will readers share this on social media? Will visitors bookmark this page because of the “calculator” or other free tools? Or will media pick up on this news because it’s a blockbuster?
I remember one time, it took us a week to come up with an idea and execute research that lead to over 30,000 hits in the first month (screenshot above) after publishing. It went viral on Reddit, and later Slate.com picked up the news. I wish you many days like that so that you don’t wonder how to get backlinks.