If you want your website to rank on SERPs, you need quality backlinks

Google and other search engines see backlinks as ‘votes’ of confidence from other websites. They are a critical in achieving higher search engine rankings and driving more organic traffic to your web pages.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

Backlinks help you establish credibility, as they indicate that other websites trust your content enough to link to it themselves. 

The more quality backlinks you have, the higher the chances that your site will rank in search engine results pages.

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That’s why backlinks are a vital component if you want to build a solid SEO strategy

Since I started my website, I’ve worked tirelessly on building a rich and diverse portfolio of backlinks. 

Currently, my website has 200K+ backlinks from over 12.7K referring domains.

shanebarker.com backlink profile semrush screenshot
Image via Semrush

I’ve built it from scratch, so I know what it takes to build a solid backlink profile. 

In this post, I’ll give you a quick overview of different types of backlinks and how you can gain

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links from one web page to another. They are also referred to as “inbound links” or “incoming links”. Backlinks can come from many sources, including blogs, social media posts, and other websites. 

Here is an example of a backlink I received from Forbes:

example - backlink received for shanebarker.com from forbes
Image via Forbes

When you click on this link on the Forbes website, the link redirects to my website's home page

Backlinks are important for search engine optimization (SEO) because they indicate that a web page is popular and trustworthy. 

When search engines crawl the web, they take into account the content of a page and the number and quality of backlinks pointing to that page. 

If a website has more backlinks than other websites with similar content, it is likely to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

This can lead to more website traffic and, ultimately, more success for the website.

To earn backlinks, you can reach out to other reputable websites in your industry and request them to share your content and link back to your website.

What’s the Difference Between a Link and a Backlink?

When it comes to SEO and web development, link and backlink are often used interchangeably. 

Technically, these two terms are different and understanding the difference between them is essential for creating an effective online presence.

A link on a website is simply a connection from one page or document to another. 

For example, if a website includes a link to another page within the same site, this is referred to as an internal link. 

Backlinks, on the other hand, point back to your website from another external source.

what is backlink shanebarker

Search engines use these links to determine the credibility of a site and its content. 

For example, if a website has many high-quality backlinks, search engine algorithms will consider this site to be more authoritative and trustworthy than one with fewer links.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks are important because they indicate to search engines that your site is reliable. When other sites find your content valuable enough to link back to it, Google views your page as an important resource. As a result, it acquires authority and can rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

The more high domain authority (DA) websites and pages linking to a particular page, the higher its authority within that network. But that’s not all. 

Here are some of the other benefits you can gain from earning quality backlinks:

  • Get more referral traffic: A well-placed backlink on a website that is relevant to your niche can get you more traffic on your site. 
  • Build authority and trust: Backlinks are like endorsements from other websites. If you can get backlinks from authoritative websites, it increases your 
  • Build relationships: Link building campaigns can help you build relationships with clients or other businesses in your niche. These relationships can also lead to 
  • Boost brand recognition: With branded anchor texts, your backlinks can make your brand more recognizable. 

Link building offers benefits beyond just boosting your search visibility. Take it from me: They are the foundation of building a solid website.

Types of Backlinks

When search engines were in their nascent stage, marketers would spam or pay to get the top rankings. To counter this practice, Google introduced a system to differentiate genuine links from spammy ones. 

Google separates backlinks into two types: Dofollow Links and Nofollow Links. Here is how they differ in terms of value and how they affect your website:

1. Dofollow Links

Dofollow backlinks are the type of links that pass the authority and value of one webpage to another. These are the links that search engines look at as votes of confidence in your website. 

what are dofollow links shanebarker

When you get a dofollow link, the PageRank value of your webpage increases. If you want to rank higher on Google, you should aim to get dofollow links for your website. 

However, not all dofollow links are considered healthy. 

If a dofollow link comes from a suspicious website or if you get it by breaching the search terms of service, you’re likely to get in trouble. 

Google may penalize you or, in serious cases, de-index your website.

2. Nofollow Links

Nofollow links may not always pass value (also called link juice) or authority from one webpage to another. 

They contain a “nofollow” attribute that tells search engines that it is a nofollow link. If you’re focused on link building, you do no want want to get nofollow links.

what are nofollow links?

However, you can use the nofollow attribute when you want to tell Google not to associate with your website or crawl the linked page from your site. 

Here is a code sample for a nofollow link:

<a rel=”nofollow” href=”https://cheese.example.com/Appenzeller_cheese“>Appenzeller</a>

Along with the nofollow attribute, Google announced two new attributes in 2019 to identify sponsored links and user-generated content. 

Here is how the new link attributes on Google work:

  • rel=”sponsored”: Google crawlers use this attribute to identify links that are created for sponsorships, advertisements, and other compensation agreements.
  • rel=”ugc”: Google crawlers identify links with the “ugc” attribute as user-generated content. You can add them to forum posts and comments. 

Google treats all three link attributes — sponsored, ugc, and nofollow — as hints that indicate which links they should exclude or consider within their Search options. 

In addition to these hints, they also use other signals to understand how they can analyze links and use them within their system. 

How to Check Your Dofollow and Nofollow Links

Considering how important backlinks are for SEO, I make it a point to periodically check the ratio of my dofollow and nofollow links. 

It helps me figure out if all my outbound links are qualified correctly. 

If you’ve got a small website with just a few web pages, you might be able to keep an eye on it manually. But with a bigger website like mine, you need an automated solution. 

I like to use Semrush’s Backlink Analysis tool to get a quick breakdown of my link attributes.

Here is my current dofollow vs. nofollow link ratio:

If you want to check your own backlinks on Semrush, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1: Go to Semrush’s Backlink Analysis Tool and enter your domain name. I am going to enter “shanebarker.com” in the search tab.

Step 2: Go to the Backlinks tab. 
Step 3: Check your link attributes there.

link attributes - shanebarker.com
Image via Semrush

You can check link attributes for 10 domains for free per day on Semrush. 

What Makes a Good Backlink?

Not all backlinks are good ones. Some of them are more valuable than others. If you want to build a good backlink portfolio, you need high-quality backlinks.

which factors affect the quality of a backlink

Here are the main attributes that contribute to the overall backlink quality:

1. Relevance

Google places a strong value on the relevance of backlinks. This is because users are more likely to click on links connected to the content they are reading. 

Let’s say, I add two links on my page – one about bats and the other about SEO. Google is going to look at the latter as more valuable. 

I have over 25 years of experience in the SEO industry. Regularly, I publish posts on SEO on my blog. That’s why Google considers my links related to SEO as more relevant. 

Even the readers on my website are more likely to click on content that is related to SEO rather than something I write about bats. 

Links from websites that aren’t relevant aren’t likely to harm your website. But relevant links from websites in the same or related niches carry value. 

2. Domain Authority or Domain Rating

If you get a backlink from a strong web page, you’re likely to get more authority transferred than you would get from weak ones. 

To ascertain if a web page is strong for Google, you should look at two metrics: Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). 

Moz has introduced these two SEO metrics, not Google. However, they give you a fair understanding of how well a website can rank on the Google SERPs. 

Here is a quick overview of what DA and PA mean for a website: 

Domain Authority or DA is an important SEO metric that shows how trustworthy a site is. This metric assigns a score between 0 to 100 to all websites. The higher the score, the higher its trustworthiness. 

Trustworthy websites that have large number of quality backlinks have a DA of 100. Here is the DA score for YouTube.com:

domain authority - moz report for youtubecom
Image via Moz

On the other hand, smaller websites that have fewer quality backlinks will have a lower DA score.

Generally, a DA score between 50 to 60 is considered good. If a website has a DA score above 60, that is excellent. 

However, keep in mind that DA is a metric that is relative. There is nothing absolutely good or bad. The scores are evaluated on a comparative basis within a competitive landscape. 

If you have a new website, your DA score will begin from 0. As you gain authoritative backlinks over time, your DA score is likely to increase. 

How to Determine the Domain Authority of Any Website 

If you want to check the Domain Authority (DA) of your website or your competitors, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1: Go to Moz’s Free Domain Authority Checker tool and enter the domain name for which you’d like to check the Domain Authority. 

For this example, I want to check the DA of a very popular site, “buzzfeed.com”

moz free domain authority checker
Image via Moz

Step 2: When you click on, “Check Authority,” you’ll get a quick overview of the Domain Authority, Linking Root Domains, Ranking Keywords, and Spam Score.

moz free domain authority checker results for buzzfeed-com
Image via Moz

Step 3: Scroll down to find the sections on “Top Pages by Links” or “Top Linking Domains.” From this list, you can also check the Domain Authority of your top linking domains.

moz free domain authority checker - top pages by links and top linking domains
Image via Moz

Step 4: Check the new and the lost linking domains over the past 60 days at the end of the report. Since Buzzfeed is a popular website, there is a lot of activity in the graph for linking domains.

discovered and lost linking domains - moz free domain authority checker
Image via Moz

In addition to DA, you should look at the Page Authority (PA) of a web page to determine its strength. It is assigned on a scale of 0 to 100.

It works like DA, except it is for only one web page instead of the entire site. 

Page Authority is calculated based on more than 40 factors. All the data needed to calculate the PA of a web page comes from the Mozscape web index. 

Among these factors, Moz does not look at keyword density or content optimization. 

To calculate the PA of web page, Moz uses a machine learning model to find which algorithm best correlates with the thousands of SERPs that they predict against. 

Based on that specific calculation, Moz assigns a PA value to a web page.

Page Authority is a logarithmic scale. This means that it is easier for you to grow your PA from 25 to 35. However, it is much more difficult to grow your PA from 75 to 85. 

How to Check the Page Authority of Any Web Page

To check the Page Authority of any web page, you can go to the Link Explorer on Moz. Then, follow the steps given below:
Step 1: In the search box, enter the URL for which you’d like to check the Page Authority. Then, click on “Get Free Link Data.”

moz link explorer-check page authority
Image via Moz

Step 2: Enter the required information to create a free account on Moz. 

Step 3: Finish the verification process for your Moz account. Once you are done, Moz will show you the report.

Step 4: Check the Link Explorer overview to get the PA along with the DA of any web page.

moz link explorer-page authority report
Image via Moz

Step 5: Scroll down to check how the Page Authority of a web page has changed over time. If a page has gone viral, you’ll see a sudden spike in the PA of a web page.

moz link explorer-changes in page authority over time
Image via Moz

Step 6: Check the break down of the follow vs nofollow links on a particular web page. You can also find the top followed links along with their page authority.

check dofollow vs nofollow links-moz link explorer
Image via Moz

Step 7: Check the top anchor text and the linking domains with their DA at the bottom of the report.

moz link explorer-check anchor text and linking domains by da
Image via Moz

You can also download the details related to the Page Authority of any web page in the CSV format. If you want to save the PA and DA data for later use, this option is really helpful. 

Because they are both very important metrics, I would recommend you to check out the DA or PA for your website or web page. 

It’ll help you figure out where you stand in the competitive SEO landscape. 

3. Quality of Other Links

The link value that you get from a backlink also depends on the quality of other backlinks on the website. While it may seem unfair, Google understands that any website that may have a lot of spammy links isn’t very trustworthy. 

If a website links to spam sites or get links from spammy websites, it devalues all the other links that it has. 

Keep this in mind when you evaluate the quality of backlinks that you are getting. 

Even if you are reaching out to another website to get a backlink, check other links on their site first. You want to make sure they are discerning when adding links and only link back to trustworthy sites.

4. Placement of the Link

Where a web page places a link also impacts how much authority it passes to another web page. That’s because users are more likely to click on links that are prominently placed on web pages.

I would recommend you to get backlinks wherever they are easily visible and fit the context of the topic. A well-placed backlink lands users to relevant resources.

To highlight the link, sometimes websites use a color or font that makes the text stand out. The goal is bring readers’ attention to your backlink.

When you are pursuing links on other websites, make sure you are clear about the placement that you’d like. After all, you don’t want your backlink to end up in the footer where very few users will notice it. 

5. DoFollow vs. Nofollow Links

As we already discussed, dofollow links pass on value and authority from one web page to another. If website owners do not tweak the HTML for any given link, it is a dofollow link by default. 

On the other hand, nofollow links still take a user from one website to the other. 

But they might not have much SEO value. Websites add them only if they are adding a link to a low-domain authority website that may hurt their own rankings. 

Google does not allow you to pay for links, so some websites might also use them for sponsored posts. 

When you reach out to other sites for backlinks, make sure you ask specifically for dofollow links if you want to improve your rankings.

6. Anchor Text

Anchor text is the underlined, clickable text that leads you to another link. If you get a backlink where the anchor text is closely linked to the page content, Google assigns it more value. 

In fact, Google mentions anchor text as an influencing factor in rankings in their original patent

The reason behind propagating anchor text to the page it links to is – It helps them search for non-text information. 

Plus, it also expands their overall search coverage for documents with fewer downloads.

If you reach out to other websites to gain backlinks, you may not always have control over the anchor text they will use. However, you should make sure that the anchor text is related to your content. 

The idea is to give Google crawlers some context on what page the link leads to. 

For example, given below are the backlinks I’ve received for my post on social media marketing tools. As you can see, the anchor text for the backlinks acquired is partially or directly related to the main keyword, “social media marketing tools.”

semrush backlinks-result for post on social media marketing tools
Image via Semrush

Google considers all of the above mentioned factors while assessing the quality of a backlink. Remember, getting backlinks isn’t just a numbers game. It’s all about the quality of your backlinks portfolio. 

How to Analyze Your Backlinks Using Different Backlink Analysis Tools

There are multiple free backlink analysis tools available that you can use to analyze the backlink profile of any website. 

Using these tools, you can even audit your own backlink portfolio and find out if you have any toxic links. 

Here are the best backlink analysis tools you should check out:

1. Semrush – Most Popular Tool

Semrush’s all-in-one SEO toolkit has four robust tools for backlinks: Backlink Analytics, Backlink Audit, Link Building Tool, and Bulk Analysis. 

With over 43 billion backlinks, it has one of the largest backlink database available out there. 

Using these tools, you can discover new backlinks and spot deleted backlinks easily. You can also get insights into your competitors’ most authoritative backlinks via their Backlink Analytics tool. 

If you want to keep a tab on multiple competitors, you can do that easily using the Bulk Analysis tool. It allows you to enter 200 domains at once. 

After you’ve analyzed their backlinks, you can export the results to CSV or XLSX documents. 

How to Analyze Your Backlinks Using Semrush

I’ve been using Semrush for a while now, and I recommend it to everyone who wants a comprehensive backlink report. The best part is that it’s super easy to use. Here is how you can analyze backlinks for any domain on Semrush:

Step 1: Go to the Semrush Backlink Analysis Tool and enter your domain name.

semrush backlink analytics tool

Step 2: Go to the Backlinks Tab to get an in-depth look at your backlink profile. 

Check your referring domains, monthly visits, outbound domains, keywords, and total backlinks at a glance on the dashboard.

backlink analysis for shanebarker-com in semrush

Step 3: Here you’ll get a breakdown of your backlink types. As you can see from the screenshot below, most of my backlinks come from the text. And some of them come from images.

backlink analysis for shanebarker-com in semrush

Step 4: To check your website’s top linking phrases, you can go to the “Anchors” Tab. 

Here you will see a detailed breakdown of all anchor texts in use. From the given chart, you’ll also be able to check quickly if there are any unusual spikes across a single non-branded anchor text.

semrush backlinks anchor text.png

Step 5: Go to the Referring Domains Tab to check the domains that link back to your website. You will also be able to see the country and authority score for each domain.

semrush referring domains tab

Step 6: If you want to check which web pages on your site are most linked to, you should check the “Indexed Pages” tab. By finding these pages, you can gain insights into what kind of content is working for you.

semrush referring domains tab

I would recommend you to sort the results by domains so that you can easily find the posts that have gained links from unique websites.

Step 7: You can compare how your backlinks stack up against your competitors. At once, you can compare your profile to five competitors using the Backlink Gap tool.

backlink gap on semrush

I have covered the basics of what you can do with the Semrush Backlinks Analytics tool here. But it has rich functionality and you can use it to really dig deep into your or any domain’s backlink data.

For more details, you can read the Semrush review post on my blog.

2. Serpstat – Best Value For Money

Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform that is one of the most popular growth hacking tools for SEO out there. 

When it comes to Serpstat’s backlink analysis, the features as well as the interface are similar to Semrush. If you want to find which domains would be great for link building, you can check the Trust Rank and Page Rank on Serpstat. 

The good thing about Serpstat is that it has five different pricing plans that are designed keeping the needs of freelancers, SMBs, and big marketing agencies in mind. 

Their paid pricing plans range from $55 per month to $399 per month

How to Analyze Your Backlinks Using Serpstat

Once you’ve signed up for any of the paid plans for Serpstat, you can analyze your backlink data in just a few minutes. Here are the steps you can follow to analyze your backlinks on Serpstat:

Step 1: Enter the domain name for which you want to analyze the backlinks. Choose the location from the drop-down list. You can choose any country or even google.com from this list.

homepage serpstat
Image via Serpstat

Step 2: Sign up for Serpstat for their free or paid pricing plan. 

Step 3: Select the “Backlink Analysis” option from the toolbar on the left. Serpstat will give you a quick overview of how a particular URL is performing. 

Check the overview sanction to get a quick look at how well your backlink profile is performing.

serpstat backlink analysis report
Image via Serpstat

Step 3:  The Overview section is quite detailed. You can check SDR distribution, top anchor backlinks by popularity, distribution by type of backlinks, and new and lost backlinks.

serpstat backlink analysis overview
Image via Serpstat

Step 4:  At the end of the overview, you can also see the TLD map. In it, you can check the total number of domain zones and the overall ratio of zones by region.

serpstat backlink analysis tld distribution
Image via Serpstat

Step 5: For websites with very large backlink profiles, Serpstat doesn’t show information related to top pages, anchors, and links intersecting. 

However, the same information is available for smaller websites.

serpstat backlinks anchors
Image via Serpstat

Pro Tip: Use the Serpstat Website SEO Checker Chrome Extension to find out the key SEO metrics for any website quickly.

3. Linkody – Best For Beginners

Linkody is an online SEO tool that has a free backlink checker. While the free tool doesn’t provide in-depth data, it is great for SEO beginners. Using Linkody, you can easily check the total number of backlinks and referring domains for free.

In addition to it, you can also check the domain authority, target URL, anchor text, hosting country, source URL, and relationship type. 

If you want access to more features and a complete overview of your backlink profile, you should sign up for their paid plans. 

It also enables you to access the quality of each backlink properly. 

How to Analyze Backlinks Using Linkody

In this section, I am going to show you the link data that you can get for free from Linkody. If you want to analyze your backlink profile using Linkody, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1: Go to Linkody’s free backlink checker tool and enter the domain you want to analyze.

linkody backlink checker
Image via Linkody

Step 2: Check the main metrics including DR, backlinks, referring domains, and unique IP. 

What’s unique about Linkody’s backlink report is that they also show the number of educational and government websites linking back to the domain. 

This is important data because backlinks from websites that have domain extensions .org, .edu, or .gov tend to give stronger backlinks. That’s because these websites are likely to be more credible and trustworthy. 

Of course, that isn’t the case always. But it does help to keep track of these backlinks in your portfolio.

linkody backlink checker-report for forbes
Image via Linkody

Step 3: Check the top referring pages along with anchor text and the target page. 

In the list, you can also check the strength of the backlink profile of the referring domain. The last column shows if it's a dofollow link or nofollow link.

You can export this report to CSV format and use it later.

linkody backlink checker-forbes backlink analysis
Image via Linkody

If you want the basic metrics, Linkody’s free version is good. 

However, if you want access to more metrics and in-depth data, you’ll need to use the paid version. Before you commit, you can try it for 30 days for free. 

I’ve picked these three backlink analysis tools such that they cover the needs of amateur and experienced marketers. 
If you want to check out more options and learn about their features, check out my post on the best backlink analysis tools.

How to Gain High-Quality Backlinks: 7 Ways You Should Try Out

Building a rich backlink portfolio is important for any website, but that doesn’t mean you should opt for low-quality links to fill your portfolio. 

Google's PageRank algorithm emphasizes more on the quality of backlinks to a website when determining its SERP ranking. 

John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate, clearly states that one high-quality link from a trustworthy source is more valuable than millions of low-quality links. 

“Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link. I don’t know, maybe from like a big news site’s home page, for example. So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant.”

  • John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate

To understand how Google assesses backlinks, you can check out Mueller’s full interview here:

High-quality backlinks are links from websites that come from websites with a high Domain Authority (DA). Typically, it is a website that is well-established within a niche and trusted by users as well as search engines. 

Multiple quality backlinks can help a website achieve higher SERP rankings better than just one or two links. The ideal scenario is to get as many high-quality backlinks as possible. And how can you achieve that? 

Here are some strategies you can use to gain high-quality backlinks for your website:

1. Write Guest Posts

One of the best ways to earn quality backlinks is to write a guest post for another website. 

Wherever it is relevant, you can insert links to your case studies, posts, infographics, or other resources. Additionally, you’ll also get attribution and more brand visibility.

Typically, big websites welcome content from guest authors as it gives them fresh content. 

Without putting in much time and effort, they get new content to publish on their website.

And you get a backlink in return. 

It’s a win-win situation.

How to Find Websites For Guest Blogging

When you are looking for guest blogging opportunities, look for websites in your niche with a similar target audience. Your content should be interesting and relevant to the readers of the site that you want to write for.

Regardless of the industry or niche you’re in, here are some ways to find websites that have guest blogging opportunities:

1. Use Advanced Search Operators in Google

If you want Google to find you the exact match keyword for any phrase, you can add it between quotes. To find guest posting opportunities, you can use the following search terms:

  • [Add your niche] + “Submit post”
  • [Add your niche] + “Write for us”
  • [Add your niche] + “Guest post guidelines”
  • [Add your niche] + “Contribute an article”
  • [Add your niche] + “Contribute guest post”
  • [Add your niche] + “This is a guest post”
  • [Add your niche] + “Guest column”

For example, let’s say you’re a business owner in the pet food industry. If I type, “Pet food + “Write for us,” these are the SERP results you get:

how to use advanced search operators in google to find guest posting opportunities - example
Image via Google

With this technique, you’ll be able to find sites that are popular and indexable in your niche. Once you find a list of relevant websites for guest posting, make a list, and check their Domain Authority and monthly traffic.

Look for sites with high DA and high traffic. Your backlink profile will have more mileage if you’re able to get links from such sites. 

2. Find Influencers in Your Niche Who Write Guest Posts

If you already know influencers or top bloggers in your niche who write guest posts often, you can follow in their footsteps. 

Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Find a reputed influencer in your industry or niche who writes guest posts often. For this, you can use the Advanced Search Operators in Google. 

    Let’s say you want to find guest posts that I’ve written. You can search for, “guest post” + “shane barker.” In the SERPs, you’ll be able to see some marketing guest blogging sites.
how to find influencers in your niche who write guest posts - example
Image via Google
  • Make a list of websites they write for.
  • Reach out to those websites.

If you search for the most popular influencers, you will likely find trusted and high-authority websites. However, some of those sites may only accept submissions from websites that have an established online presence with good domain authority.

Before you reach out, it’s a good idea to check these websites and read their guest post guidelines or requirements. 

3. Find Your Competitors’ Backlinks

By checking your competitors’ backlinks, you can find great guest post opportunities for your website. All you need to do is go to any backlink analysis tool and find your competitors' backlinks. 

From the list, you’ll be able to find some guest posting opportunities. You can also filter out all the results such that you can only see active, dofollow links.

For instance, if you look up backlinks for “shanebarker.com,” you can check the source URL in the results you get. 

If it’s a website relevant to your niche, you can add it to your list and reach out to them.

how to find your competitors’ backlinks-example
Image via Semrush

This method is great if you find guest opportunities from small to medium-sized websites. A large website will have a long list of backlinks which makes it difficult to analyze them and find relevant results.

Using the above three methods, make a list of sites you find worth checking out. Next, filter your guest blogging target websites based on the following metrics:

  • Domain Authority or Domain Rating
  • Referring domains
  • Content relevance and quality
  • Profiles of other guest authors
  • Placement of guest author, bio, and link
  • Engagement of other guest posts

After evaluating all the sites on your list, I would recommend you to segregate them into different categories: High-Authority Websites, Mid-Tier Websites, and Low-Tier Websites.

You should remove websites that publish spammy content or have very low Domain Authority (Below 30). 

When you look for content ideas, keep in mind the category of website that you are writing for. 

High-authority websites will demand fresh, original, and relevant content ideas. They will also require more research as they are likely to accept only high-quality content. 

However, because their backlinks provide more value, high-authority sites should be your first priority.  

Mid-tier websites won’t require as much work. If you want to build many backlinks quickly, your focus should be on getting backlinks from this category of websites.

The last category should be at the end of your priority list. Avoid getting backlinks from low-tier websites. You risk your reputation when low-tier websites associate themselves with you. 

2. Appear on Podcasts

If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know I am a big fan of podcasts. And if you’re new here, you should check out the Marketing Growth podcast that I host. 

I love hosting podcasts because I get to interact with other experts in the industry and expand my knowledge on a wide range of subjects. 

But what’s in it for the guests?

More brand visibility and awareness. 

Whenever a guest appears on my podcast, I add a link to their social media profiles on my website along with their bio.

In the resources section on the podcast page, I also add a link to their website.

getting backlinks from podcasts-example

When you give a podcast interview, you’re almost guaranteed a backlink on their site. 

To use this strategy, begin by finding podcasts in your industry through a quick Google search. You should be able to find many listicles. 

A quick Google search will give you listicles that mention the top podcasters in your industry and even country. Reach out to them and tell them why you’d like to get featured in their podcast. 

Once the conversation moves forward, you can pitch ideas for your podcast episode. Ideally, you should pitch topics that you’d like backlinks for. 

And, of course, the topic should be relevant to the podcast audience as well.

3. Sign Up on HARO

HARO or Help a Reporter Out is a free service that offers an easy way to earn backlinks from credible sources. It connects journalists to sources across a wide variety of fields around the world for free.

Journalists are always looking for trusted sources to verify the information and add quotes to their stories. When they can send queries, subject matter experts can answer them on the platform itself.

getting backlinks from haro - homepage screenshot
Image via Help A Reporter

To begin receiving queries, you can sign up for free on the platform. The HARO sign up process requires basic information. It’ll take just a couple of minutes.

haro registration
Image via HARO

Once you’re registered, you can get more online visibility and give your PR strategy a good boost.

I’ve received queries from noteworthy publications like the New York Times and the Business Insider on HARO.

But here’s the thing:

You might receive dozens of queries that have nothing to do with your niche or industry. Your inbox can get really cluttered with such irrelevant emails.

To ensure that I only check useful queries, I’ve set up a filter on Gmail. Here’s what I’ve do:

  • Go to the Search Options filter.
  • In the “From field, add “[email protected].”
  • In the “Subject” field, add “[HARO]”
  • In the option for, “Has the words,” add all the keywords you’d like to monitor. To add multiple keywords, you can add the OR operator.
  • Set the time frame for which you want to check the results.
  • Click on search and check the results to ensure all the displayed results are relevant. 
  • If the results seem fine, click on “Create filter” in the search options.

Here’s what your search options should look like:

how to use haro to find backlinking opportunities
Image via HARO

Once you set up this filter, you’re going to see only relevant queries.

While this strategy can get you good backlinks, don’t expect that all journalists will link and cite you. Many of them may be talking to multiple experts, so they may pick a different source to quote. 

If you want to increase the chances of getting featured, make sure you choose only relevant areas of expertise while creating your profile

You’ll get a wide range of options to choose from. But don’t get swayed – keep your preferences focused on your field.

haro preferences
Image via HARO

Once it’s set up, you should only respond to queries where you have enough experience and knowledge. 

Pitching routinely beyond your main areas of expertise can put you at risk of being removed from HARO. 

Also, make sure your responses are original and unique. If the HARO editors find your content plagiarized, they can remove your account from the platform. 

4. Write Reviews and Testimonials

Write sincere reviews or provide testimonials for tools or services you genuinely use. This way, you can provide valuable information to your readers, and build your backlink portfolio. 

Once you’ve written a review or added testimonials on your website, reach out to the company that you’ve written about.

Do some digging to find the most relevant point of contact at the organization. Sometimes you can directly find the contact details of people in the marketing department on their website.

If you can’t find that information, write to them at any given email address or DM on any social media platform. 

Craft a short message that highlights how their service or tool helped you and ask them if they share your testimonial or review. 

Most companies are likely to welcome your offer to feature you on their site because it helps them build trust. 

When they post your review or testimonials on their website, they are likely to link back to your web page. Using this strategy, you can even get featured on the Success Stories page. And if you write an in-depth review with solid data, you could even make it to the Case Studies page. 

Here’s an example of how the Comedy Club got featured on Aweber’s Success Stories page.

using testimonials to get backlinks - aweber example
Image via Aweber

When you click on their story, you get details on how Eastville Comedy Club used Aweber and what their favorite feature is. 

At the end of the Success Stories page, they’ve added a link to the Eastville Comedy Club’s homepage.

using testimonials to get backlinks-aweber and eastville comedy club example
Image via Aweber

5. Find Broken Links

Broken links offer a great opportunity to get high-quality backlinks from other websites in your niche. The idea is simple: Find broken links and show a way to fix them. 

To get started with this strategy, first, you need to find:

  • Websites that have changed their name or shut down
  • Links moved to a new URL
  • Websites that don’t offer a mentioned service anymore
  • Links that haven’t updated their resources
  • Pages that give a 404 error

To find such pages and websites, you can use any backlink audit tool and look for indexed pages and errors for any target URL

You’ll get a list of web pages with links that can’t be crawled.

indexed pages-semrush-find broken links
Image via Semrush

You can even enter your competitors’ URLs to get a solid list of backlinking opportunities. Once you have a list, it’s time to identify content that is worth linking to. 

Look for broken links that you’d like to land yourself. Next, find content on your website that can replace a broken link. 

If you don’t have any published content that is related, write fresh content around the topic.

Make sure you create a post that is comparatively better than the one that is linked to. If you need tips, you should check my post on how to write great content.

Reach out to the site owner and ask them if they would like to replace the broken link on their site with your content. 

To find the contact address, you can check out the About Us or Contact Us section on a page. 

If you still can’t find it, you can send a specialized platform like Hunter.io to find their email address.

hunter.io homepage
Image via Hunter.io

Once you’ve got the contact details, it’s time to draft an email. 

Here is a sample outreach template that you can use for link building through this strategy:

Hello [Name],

I read your post on [Enter Topic] when I was researching on [Enter Related Topic]. I found it very engaging and would love to promote it in my newsletter. Currently, I have [Add number] subscribers. 

There’s only one issue: A link in the post takes you to the error page. Here’s the broken link: [Add URL]. 

It would be great if you could fix the broken link, so we can include the post in the newsletter.

We have a post on a similar topic on our blog. Please feel free to use that link in your post: [Add URL] Please let me know what you think about it.

Thank you,

[Add name]

In my experience, it may take a couple of email exchanges before you get a backlink. So, be patient if you don’t get backlinks right away.

6. Create More Infographics

This strategy is a personal favorite. I love creating infographics for three reasons: 

  • You can break down complex ideas into an easily digestible form.
  • They are more engaging than simple text.
  • They are shareable, linkable assets.

When you create an infographic, you can add value to your content while also creating a linking opportunity. It’s a great way to boost your visual marketing and SEO game at once.

Here’s how you can use infographics to get backlinks:

To design an infographic that has the potential to go viral, pick a topic that is engaging and relevant. Next, spend some time on research so you can add well-researched statistics to your content. 

You can use free design tools like Canva or Visme to create your own infographics. Or, if you want professionally designed infographics, you can also hire a graphic designer. 

Once your infographic is ready, it’s time to reach out to other sites that write similar content. 

Tell them that you’ve got an infographic that complements their blog topic and share it with them. Don’t be pushy, just ask them to check it out and link it if they’d like. 

I’ve used this strategy too, and managed to gain some backlinks organically. Here’s an infographic I created for my post on AI chatbots and challenges:

infographic on ai chatbots - backlinking opportunities

For this post, I received 8% of the backlinks in the form of images. I know it’s not a huge number. But I want to tell you that it’s possible to gain backlinks from infographics.

getting backlinks from infographics

If you want to increase your reach, you can also post them to infographic submission websites. Some of them are free, while others might charge a nominal fee to promote your infographic. 

7.  Find Resource or Pillar Pages

Resource pages or pillar pages are dedicated to providing in-depth information about a particular topic. Typically, they include a list of related links and resources. 

For instance, on my website, I have a resources page on SEO tools. In the post, I’ve mentioned the best tools for backlink analysis, keyword research tools, content optimization, and more.

find pillar content to find guest posting opportunities

Let’s say, you have a related post on any sub-headings. If you’d like to get a backlink, you can send me an email and ask me if I’d like to add a link to your post.

Here’s a sample email:

Hi Shane, 

I stumbled across your post on SEO tools, and I thought it was a great read. I noticed that there is a section on [Add topic heading] in the post. 

Recently, I published a massive guide on the same topic on my blog. Please check it out, it might be worth adding to your web page: [Add link].

Best,

[Your Name]

This is a quick way to get a backlink from resource pages in any industry. To find such pillar pages or resource pages in your niche, you can use the following search terms on Google:

  • “Useful resources” + Keyword
  • “Additional resources” + Keyword

Websites create resource and pillar pages so that they can provide consolidated information to the readers and link to other web pages. 

That’s why, it’s easier to get backlinks from these pages.

Are You Ready to Get More High-Quality Backlinks For Your Website?

Link building requires a lot of time, patience, and effort. Getting backlinks is important to show search crawlers that you have credibility. But remember, there are no shortcuts to link building. 

Don’t buy low-quality links just to inflate your backlink numbers. 

Remember: Quality is everything, not the quantity. Use the strategies mentioned in this post to get high-quality backlinks and boost your search rankings.

Do you have any questions related to backlinks? Please feel free to mention them in the comments section. I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments section for you.

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