High quality backlinks pointing to a website are one of the most important search ranking factors. When other high quality websites link to a website, it sends positive signals to search engine crawlers, telling them the linked-to website is valuable, useful, and a result searchers would be happy to find. All of these factors help improve the linked-to website’s search rankings.
There is no simple, quick trick to get links back to your website. But there are a variety of strategies that, when used in conjunction with each other, will help your site earn high quality backlinks and improve your search visibility.
21 Strategies to Build High Quality Backlinks
The content on your site has a big influence on your website’s ability to attract backlinks. Here are a few tactics and link building strategies you can implement to gain links to your on-site content.
No. 1) Publish High Quality Content on Your Entire Site
First things first. All of the content on your website should be high value and high quality if you want to attract links.
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Your content helps other sites determine whether they want to link to you. It is a reflection of your brand and organization as a whole. If your website pages look low quality, or lack valuable information, other sites will not see you as an authoritative brand worth linking to. Use these content writing tips to create high quality content that looks professional and can earn you links for a long time.
No. 2) Publish Original Research
One type of content you can publish on your website to attract high quality backlinks is original research. Conduct surveys, use your business data, produce case studies, and create other content that is focused on original research that can’t be found on other sites. When you publish original stats and data, other sites will be likely to link back to your fresh and new information.
No. 3) Create Comprehensive Resources
Another way to use content to catch the attention of other publishers and build high quality backlinks is by producing comprehensive, in-depth resources. Create detailed, high-value guides, checklists, and glossaries that other websites will see as a source worth linking to. An example of a comprehensive resource is our recently published Complete Guide to Marketing Research.
No. 4) Publish Your Content as a List
Audiences love posts that are published as lists. The scannability and bite-size chunks of information make this format easy to read on both desktops and hand-held devices. Tap into this audience interest by formatting your large resources or top blog posts as lists to catch more attention and lead to more links.
No. 5) Create Visually Driven Content
When creating content to get high quality backlinks, don’t focus solely on copy and text. Content that is visually driven also can attract links. In fact, media such as charts, infographics, and videos are even more effective at attracting linkings from other sites. So don’t just create copy-based content. Add graphics to your posts, and create stunning, informative graphics that can stand on their own.
No. 6) Build a Library of Evergreen Content
Websites often link to web pages that offer timeless information that will be relevant over a long period. This type of evergreen content is often linked to, as other publishers know it will provide long-term value and is less likely to expire or become irrelevant. Build these type of evergreen resources and pages on your site to encourage more links back to your website.
No. 7) Tap Into News and Trending Topics
While evergreen content will build links and provide value over time, it can also be beneficial to publish time-sensitive content on your site to build high quality backlinks. Content on trending or newsworthy topics can often lead to links from news sites and other fast-moving media outlets. This type of content may not provide the lasting linking value of evergreen content, but it can help gain quick, relevant links. Use our annual content calendar to take advantage of seasonal events. We outline the best times to plan, publish, and promote trending content for the most traffic and shares.
No. 8) Make It Easy to Link to Your Content
Creating high-value, high quality content will improve your chances of getting other sites to link back to your pages. You can improve these odds by making it easy for other publishers to link back to your site. Use HTML ready snippets that other publishers can copy and paste on their site and link to you. And use tools that insert a link back to your site when users copy and paste content from your site.
Creating awesome, high quality content helps you organically earn links from publishers who value and appreciate your work. But to get even more links, you will also need to reach out to other blogs and websites to help them find your content and choose to link to you.
No. 9) Know How to Identify High Quality Links
Not all links have the same value. Links that come from authoritative sites will improve your search rankings more than links from low-quality sites. So as you conduct your link building outreach efforts, know which sites are worth pursuing, and only reach out to qualified sites worth your time and effort. A quick benchmark: look for a strong Alexa Rank. The Alexa Rank shows how authoritative a site is online. The lower the number, the higher the authority of the site and the more valuable the link back from the site is. Check a site’s Alexa Rank before reaching out to them using Alexa’s free Site Overview Tool.
To learn more about the types of backlinks that are best for your site, read this post: 14 Types of Backlinks: the Good, the Bad, and the Best
No. 10) Reach Out to Sites That Link to Competitors
To identify sites that are likely to link back to your website, first look at the sites that link back to your competitors. Use Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker and enter up to 10 sites, including your own. The tool provides a high quality backlinks list, as it shows all of the sites that are already linking to your competitors. Use the backlink gaps filter to show gaps for your site, where competitors are getting links but you aren’t.
You can safely assume that if the sites link to your competitors, you have a chance of getting a link from the site as well. Click on any backlinks website to get the exact URL that links to the competitor. View the type of content that links to your competitor and then send a request to the publisher to publish a link to your website in the same capacity. For example, if your competitor is included in a roundup list of businesses in your industry, reach out to let them know about your product or service. Give them a compelling reason that adding your business to the list will improve their readers’ experience.
No. 11) Reach Out to Sites Where Your Competitors Guest Post
Another way to to find high quality backlinks relates to guest blogging sites. Using the Alexa Competitor Backlink Checker report, you can run a competitor analysis to see which sites have accepted guest posts from your competitors. View the pages that link to your competitors by clicking on the linking site in the report. Then visit the page that includes the link. When you find linking pages that are guest posts, you can assume that the site is a great guest blogging opportunity for your brand as well.
Related Reading: Guest Posting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started
No. 12) Request Links With Your Brand Mentions
If you’re producing quality content and actively engaged in outreach efforts, you will start to receive mentions of your brand on other sites. This is great, but it’s better if each mention of your brand includes a link back to your site. Sometimes websites will mention your brand without including a link or sometimes even linking to the wrong site. Set up a Google Alert for your brand name and regularly search for your branded terms to find mentions of your brand. If the mention doesn’t include a link back to your site, reach out the publisher and request it.
No. 13) Rebuild Broken Links
Just as some website publishers don’t always link when they should, they might also include links that are broken or incorrect. Keep an eye out and search for these types of broken links, as they provide an opportunity for you to gain high quality backlinks. When you see a broken link on a website (that is relevant to your brand or industry), contact the publisher, notify them of the error, and provide a link back to your site that would be a good replacement.
For more information on broken link building, read this post: A Guide to Broken Link Building: Tips for Finding and Replacing Broken Links
No. 14) Reclaim Image Links
Images embedded in websites often include a link to their source. Sometimes, these links are not pointing to the appropriate site, or they are broken. Keep an eye out for these opportunities as well, especially if a website has linked to one of your graphics. Ensure that all of your graphics used on other sites appropriately link back to your site.
Outreach is a type of relationship building that helps you get high quality backlinks. But it’s not the only way you can leverage your connections to earn links. You can also use following tactics to leverage your partnerships and contacts to grow your backlink profile.
No. 15) Link Out to Related Sites
The best relationships are the ones where both sides gain something through the connection. So as you engage in link building activities, spread the benefit to both sides. Link to other sites to improve your chances of getting links back to your website. Linking to another site can help you get on their radar. So when you reach out to request to guest post or to be added to their roundup, etc., they will be more receptive to your request. To find similar sites worth linking to, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter up to 10 sites to receive a list of sites that have a similar audience and probably publish content relevant to your own.
No. 16) Feature Other Brands
One of the best ways to link back to another site is by featuring them on your site. This helps you start the relationship, but it also increases your chances that the site you link to will return the favor. When you feature a brand on your website, the brand is likely to mention the post (and might link back to it) on their website. The brand is also likely to share the post through their media distribution and social networks, which provides even more benefits and exposure.
No. 17) Give an Interview and Contribute to Roundup Posts
Another way to get high quality backlinks is by offering to give an interview or contribute to roundup posts. When blogs publish features on a person or brand or create a list of marketing quotes, best practices, or examples from a group of people, they typically link back to the featured person.
No. 18) Write Testimonials
You can also get your name and link back on websites by offering to write testimonials or leave a review about another brand. Choose the top tools or brands you work with and contact them to offer to write a review about your experience. Brands are usually eager to feature testimonials on their site and often link back reviewers in the credit line.
No. 19) Host an Event or Sponsor a Meet-up
You can build high quality backlinks by making connections offline. Host an event or sponsor a meetup or conference. When you host the event, you can gain links from event listing sites, and you typically get a link on the event page when you sponsor a meetup or conference. Plus, you get an added bonus of additional exposure for your brand.
No. 20) Have a Strong Social Sharing Strategy
While the debate is still up in the air if social shares send signals to search engines and improve a website’s rankings, there is still a lot of value in having a strong social strategy for improving SEO. A strong social strategy helps drive traffic to your content and increase your exposure, which is great for your brand and also your link building efforts. As sharable content gets spread around the internet and more people see it, the odds that other websites will link to the page also goes up. So sharing your content, making it easy for others to share your content, and helping your posts get maximum exposure on social networks can and will improve your site’s SEO.
No. 21) Set Up Digital Business Profiles
To increase your brand’s footprint online and build high quality backlinks, build profiles for your business on all relevant business directory sites. Business profiles typically include a link back to your website, which helps you build your link portfolio. So look for social networks and high quality directories that are related to your industry or audience, and create profiles on those sites to gain both links and exposure.
Link building strategies don’t end here. There are numerous other creative ways to gain links (just check out our post You Probably Haven’t Tried These Ways to Find Backlinks).
Build High Quality Backlinks With Alexa Tools
If you want your site to be competitive in search, you must find backlinks that are high quality and secure them with a thoughtful outreach strategy. This process works best when you use organic and authentic strategies, like those listed in this post, to build your backlink profile.
If you choose to buy quality backlinks or use black hat methods to grow your link portfolio, you won’t reap the same rewards as you would using white hat tactics. Organic and natural link building will create a genuine link profile that won’t lead to search penalties. Instead, you’ll be rewarded with long-term SEO benefits, more traffic, and better performance in search.
Build high quality backlinks the right way by using the tips in this post, and get extra help by using Alexa tools. Sign up for a free trial of the Advanced Plan to get access to the tools mentioned in this post, plus other competitive research and link analysis tools to help you build and grow your site’s link portfolio and search visibility.