Did you know that high quality backlinks from authority sites are crucial search ranking factors?
Getting plenty of authority sites linking to yours sends a message to search engines that your website content is valuable, informative and useful to readers.
And that improves your website’s search engine rankings.
Unfortunately, attracting the best backlinks is not an easy task.
If you want to rank on the first page of Google, you must put in place powerful strategies to get quality backlinks for your website.
You must conduct deep research and use proven techniques to build links.
In this article, we are going to talk about how to build superior backlinks.
Note that when you take advantage of the strategies we are going to share here, you will get high-quality backlinks FAST.
There is no shortcut and quick hacks to get websites linking to you. But implementing these strategies will see your website earning awesome backlinks.
The best part?
There are plenty of link building tools to help you get started QUICKLY.
A backlink, also called “inbound link” or “incoming link, is a link from an external website pointing to a page on your website.
For instance, website A has a external link to website B, so website B has a backlink from website A. When readers click that link, they land on that website B.
72 percent of SEOs say that backlinks are a crucial ranking factor (Source: link building survey)
Learning how to get quality backlinks is good for your SEO strategy. Links directing users to your site tell Google that your site is worthy of search rankings.
The more quality links a URL gets the higher the chances of ranking better in the search results.
But you must make sure you don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. For instance, getting links from a site with a higher domain authority (DA) is worth more than links from a site with lower domain authority.
Moreover, to generate backlinks, you need to publish quality pieces of content on your site- we will talk about this later in this post.
Backlinks can either be in the form of an image or text- you must have seen how Amazon affiliated sites link to the site when promoting products.
Some few years back building backlinks was easy and fast. 2019 has brought about new things as Google’s algorithm continues to get complicated. As such, you need to be creative, persistence, and consistent.
Once you put in place the right strategies for building backlinks, you will generate quality backlinks from authority sites.
Read our ultimate guide to SEO for beginners.
Why You Should Read This Post to the End?
It’s not easy to build backlinks from authority sites; it requires a bit of hard work and the right strategies. We will make the process easy for you by sharing with you ten smart ways to get high quality backlinks fast. We will also show you what you shouldn’t do when building backlinks.
But before that, let take a look at some of the terminology you will come across when it comes to building backlinks.
Internal Links –
These are links within your site- from one post/webpage to another post within the site. Sometimes people call this interlinking or internal linking. Internal linking is good when the content is relevant.
Inbound Links –
Also known as incoming links or backlinks, these are links coming from other relevant webpages or websites. They are the links content marketers, bloggers, and website owners are dying for.
Referral Links –
These are links to websites which you include in emails or documents- PDFs, Microsoft Word doc, etc.
External Links –
Also known as outbound links, these are links to a page on other different websites. For instance, if we link this blog post to a relevant blog post in Forbes, then that’s an external link.
Anchor Text Links –
These are links from one section on one page to a different section of the same page. You can use these links when creating a table of contents in a blog post or long-form articles. Readers that do not want to read everything on an article can just click to jump to the section they want.
Quality backlinks are links placed on the body copy of content from high authority sites that are relevant to your content and drive visitors to a page on your website. A keyword is placed as the anchor text of the links.
As said above, backlinks are still crucial when it comes to optimizing websites for search engine rankings. However, unlike in the past when quantity was a major factor to get your site showing up to the first pages of search results, these days, it’s different.
The value passed by those incoming links has become an essential off-page SEO ranking factor. Besides, the way links affect Google rankings has also changed.
Google keeps on improving their search algorithms. This has made it difficult for people who use blackhat SEO techniques to trick the system to rank better. The release of the Penguin update has put more emphasis on quality over quantity when it comes to building backlinks.
As such it has become more important than ever to evaluate the quality and value of a backlink to your SEO.
You need to evaluate domain usefulness before you can get them linking to your site.
Thanks to SEMrush through their backlinks authority score, there is no more guesswork. This feature will evaluate the quality of a domain and the backlinks.
Check how the SEMrush authority score works in the GIF below.
That being said…
Backlink quality is essential since it determines the value or link juice it passes to your content or webpage.
Google used to consider the number of links pointing to a page or website when deciding what pages to rank at the top of search results.
People started to “game” the system with unscrupulous SEO techniques such as buying links, hiding links in widgets, etc.
To counter this, the search giant released the Penguin update that penalizes sites with low-quality links.
Backlinks are still a powerful Google ranking factor but the search engine is putting more emphasis on quality over quantity.
Google keeps rolling out new algorithm changes each new day. As a result, content marketing professionals are always alert to see that these changes do not affect their sites.
Many sites have had a huge drop in organic traffic due to frequent Google updates and penalties.
As a result, you want high quality backlinks, nothing less nothing more to survive these regular changes.
To evaluate backlink quality, there are few things to consider which include:
- Anchor text relevance
- Source page content relevance and quality
- Source domain quality and relevance
- Link position
Let’s take a look at each one of these factors.
Anchor Text Relevance
Anchor text is the clickable text that is placed somewhere along with the content of a blog post.
Depending on the settings of a website, this can either be underlined or appear in a particular color.
The anchor text and content of the source page and the destination page must be relevant. Usually, people use the target keywords of the destination page as the anchor text- in a natural way.
For instance, our article is about smart new strategies to get high quality backlinks. If a site would link to our post, then the ideal anchor text would include “build quality backlinks”, “link building”, “generate links”, “build amazing links”, etc.
Any anchor text that’s not relevant to our content would be a low-quality backlink.
It’s also worth noting that even though keyword-rich anchor texts are valuable links, your link profile shouldn’t be based solely on keyword anchor text since this will hurt your link building effort.
A good rule of thumb is to have a link profile with a combination of anchor texts. In this case, keyword-rich anchors, general terms such as “go here”, “click this link”, “read more”, or just your brand or company name.
Usually, check the anchor text a site uses and the content surrounding it to examine the quality of a backlink.
Source Page, Domain Relevance and Quality
Well, this is a huge topic but we will cover it briefly here. Here, the page authority (PA) is also essential when determining backlink quality.
If you generate links from high-authority pages with relevant content to your page, you will pass more value than when the page contains unrelated content and is lower quality.
The good thing is that there are plenty of tools you can use to evaluate the quality of a linking page such as SEMrush, Moz, etc.
Let’s take a look at how you can examine the quality of a linking page using SEMrush. For this case, we are going to check websites that link to our website www.woblogger.com.
Note that the higher the score the better the domain authority. If a site linking back to your site has a domain and page authority of higher than 50 it means it will generate a quality backlink.
As you can see, only two linking sites have a higher domain authority of higher than 50. The others are less than the required authority when it comes to quality backlinks.
Check for these signs to evaluate domain authority (DA) or page authority (PA) of a linking site:
Is the Overall Content of the Page Relevant to the Niche of the Website?
Some websites are niche-specific and others are general. Just make your judgment.
Avoid Excessively Monetized Websites
Although monetization is important, if a website is aggressively monetized, it won’t help you. Avoid backlinks coming from websites with content that’s full of affiliate links.
Check for Quality Content
Although the site owner has to earn money from his sweat, they should try to help users. As such, the linking website should have content that provides value to its readers.
Check IP Addresses of the Linking Sites
It doesn’t hurt to have backlinks from a single IP address, but Google hates backlinks from multiple domains with similar IP addresses. Also try to evaluate IP addresses from spam-heavy regions such as Russia, Ukraine, India, China, etc. if your business isn’t located in either of them.
The link position can make or break your SEO purposes.
Usually, a webpage will have a header, body content, right sidebar and left sidebar, and then the footer.
Links placed in all these sections can pass link juice to their destination pages. But links placed within the body copy of a page pass more link juice and aren’t affected by Google algorithm changes in most cases.
Besides, the higher the links are placed on a page, the more useful and valuable they are to the destination page and the reader- they will pass more link juice than those that are placed at the bottom of the article.
However, if the linking page has more links, then it will pass less link juice than one with fewer links. Even if the link appears in the first paragraph of a linking page, it will not benefit your site more than a link that appears at the bottom of a page with fewer links. You get it?
Also, links from a page with tons of external links could harm your SEO because Google thinks that the site is designed to sell links.
Again, other links on the linking page can also impact your site’s SEO value. For instance, a link to your page that is surrounded by links to high authority sites is more valuable than one that is surrounded by links to lower quality sites.
Does the site have a higher engagement? How much traffic does the site have? If there are no visitors to a linking site, a backlink won’t serve its purpose.
To evaluate a site’s engagement, check the bounce rate, daily page views and the time users spend on the site.
That being said, let’s get into the meat of this article.
Now, let’s turn to 10 smart new strategies you can earn high quality backlinks without coming off as spammy.
1. Guest Posting
You win by getting a high quality link back to your site, the site owner wins by getting free content to share with their readers.
Guest posting is the activity of writing for other website or blogs for free to get links back to your site.
Usually, the site owner will ask you to include a link in your author bio at the end of the article or within the body copy of the article.
Those who have been in the industry know that guest posting has been a powerful Off-page SEO tactic for a long time now.
Unluckily, some site owners misuse this link building practice by contributing low-quality, scraped, and unhelpful content to generate backlinks.
And that’s why Google made some changes concerning guest posts.
As such if you are using guest posting as your primary link building practice, you need to be careful.
The Latest Google Updates
In the past, two types of links used to matter a lot. …And these are:
But Google has introduced two more link attributes which are:
- Sponsored content
- UGC (User Generated Content)
Currently, Google considers guest posts as user-generated content. As such, you should use the “rel=“ugc” in all your guest posts.
But the way Google treats links with UGC isn’t clear. Of course, you should expect more changes from Google.
The nofollow link was introduced by Google to counter comment spam in 2005. Since then the search engine has been using this attribute to flag sponsored, advertising related or purchased links.
For that reason, when guest posting use:
rel=“nofollow” to prevent Google crawlers from transferring link juice to the destination page. In the past, this link attribute was placed on links in sponsored posts.
rel=“ugc” on links within comments or forums. UGC is User Generated Content
rel=“sponsored” if you are paid for articles published on your site for the purpose of generating backlinks to other sites. In the past, we used the nofollowlink attribute. This link attribute was introduced for advertisement, sponsored content or content published on sites in exchange for backlinks and money or other compensation.
Note that while Google has introduced these changes, you do not need to change all your previous guest posts since the nofollowlink attribute is still valid. However, any new guest posts you contribute, make sure you follow the recent Google updates.
The Guest Posting Process
If you want to build quality backlinks from authority sites, you must write guest posts that provide value to the site’s visitors.
First, you need to search for sites you can contribute content.
Although it’s highly advised to guest post on sites within your niche that accept guest submissions, you can also consider general sites that have pages with content related to yours.
Here are a few search strings we use to identify sites that accept submission of articles.
You can also spy on your competitors’ guest posts.
Automatically, if a site has accepted guest posts from your business rivalry, your guest post has higher odds of being accepted when you follow the process correctly.
Let’s take Brian Dean for an example. In this case, you will need to narrow down your search so that you can only get his results on the search query.
So because we want to find the sites Brian has published posts, we will have to make sure his site does not appear in the search but only the sites he’s contributed.
You can use the search string “Brian Dean” +“guest post” – backlinko.com.
You can also use SEMrush to find websites that accept guest posts.
Reach Out to the Site Owner
Finding sites that accept guest posts is one thing and getting them to accept your article is another.
Once you have gathered a few sites you want to contribute to, go through their pitch requirements carefully. This way, you will increase the odds of acceptance.
Once done, submit a mouthwatering pitch to the editor and when accepted, create content that’s helpful and valuable to their visitors.
Websites will always adjust, move or change webpages and content. As such, links to those sites will break or even hit a dead end.
If you have ever clicked a link on a webpage only to get a 404 error page not found, chances are that the link is broken or the page does not exist. This hurts the user experience of that site and search engines become unable to craw and index such webpages.
That’s where the broken link building technique comes in.
As a powerful link building exercise, you can use broken link building to earn valuable links back to your site.
You identify broken links on other websites related to your industry.
Research the content they were linking to. Create 2x quality content than the site. Reach out to the site owner/webmaster and ask them to replace the broken links by linking to your content.
The best part about this technique is that it’s a win-win situation. You win by getting high-value links, and the site owner wins by eliminating broken links, bearing in mind that broken links are bad for SEO.
To some extent, this technique is similar to guest post, although this one does not involve too much effort. You can even use existing content to generate quality backlinks through broken link building instead of crafting new articles.
Besides, there are plenty of broken link building tools out there such as Ahrefs broken link checker tool, and many others.
3. Use the “Seduction” Technique
You can seduce other site owners by linking to them, then reaching out to them to let them know you’ve enjoyed their article and shared it on your website.
From the face of it, it appears as a fruitless move. After all, you’ve helped them by improving their SEO.
But look, you are also trying to improve your SEO indirectly.
Once you link to their website, you create a relationship with them and they get to know your brand. And since you valued their article by linking to them, there are high odds; they will return the favor by linking back to you in your other posts.
It’s simple, just give them a backlink and then shoot them a message like:
As you can see, this message is not only meant to congratulate the site owner for their good work but is also meant to build a relationship with them. It is a step toward building a healthy link building rapport. And chances are the site owner will return the favor.
Oftentimes, you generate backlinks using blog posts and informational content. That means you come up with your ideas of the topics and generate quality and original content from scratch.
But you can also use other people’s work to earn links to your site.
Well, we are not talking about copying other people’s content.
Here, you gather research and other information related to your niche that helps your target audience.
Your aim here is to compile valuable information and then make it available to other site owners for free.
The content can be survey data and statistics.
Take a look at the number of backlinks this article (about guest blogging statistics) has earned so far- 41 Total backlinks.
When people use the statistics you’ve compiled in your blog posts, they will cite your site as the source of the data or survey and that’s how you earn the best backlinks.
5. Build Amazing Links with Infographics
People are attracted to visual content than text. Information presented in the form of visuals is easily absorbed than text. As such, people love to read visual content and that’s where content marketers can win backlinks using infographics.
After all, when you create an infographic on a trending topic in your niche, other site owners will want to share it on their websites and they will link to your website in return.
You can also create infographics, submit them to authority sites, and still get backlinks.
There are plenty of free infographic submission sites and platforms you can use to create infographics out there as well.
6. Write Quality Content
When it comes to building valuable backlinks, content is still king.
When you write great content, people will like, comment, share, and some will link to your post.
But crafting quality content isn’t a walk in the park. There is so much that goes into crafting mouthwatering content. For instance, you will want to include high-quality images and screenshot or images, and without an effective content strategy, developing awesome content can be tough.
For that reason, in your effort to earn quality links from other sites, you must have a powerful content strategy that allows you to create content in your niche that outshines your competitors’.
You can manually analyze the competition by going to Google and entering the topic you want to create content on then look for these factors:
- Total images the blog post has
- The length
- How the title is crafted
- Their featured image
- The site’s Meta description, etc.
Once you have examined the competitor’s site for all these factors, research and come up with an article that:
- 3x more informative, useful, and helpful to your readers
- Has more high-quality and relevant images than your competitor’s
- Longer than your competitors-
A study by HubSpot suggeststhat long-form blog posts more than 2,500 words attract more backlinks than shorter posts.
- Create a compelling title
- Include an attractive featured image
- Include a meta description that’s worth clicking
Your aim is to examine your competitor’s content and then coming up with yours that’s 3x better.
7. Promote Your Content
Writing high quality content isn’t enough if you don’t make it known to the public. For that reason, once you write a blog post, you should promote it. This way, people will know of your articles, they will like, comment, share, and finally link back to you.
There are plenty of avenues you can promote your content.
- You can either send your published posts to your email subscribers through email
- Share on social media; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
- Share it as a presentation on SlideShare
- Convert your blog posts into video and share it on YouTube and many other platforms.
As long as your content is great, other websites will want to link back to you.
Check out this ultimate guide to traffic generation.
8. Create Skyscraper Content
The skyscraper technique is the process of identifying content that’s already viral and then improving it more.
This is a concept that was introduced by Brian Dean and in his confession; it helped him generate truckloads of quality backlinks in his blog post about SEO Tools. He has earned backlinks from high authority sites such as GoDaddy, HubSpot, and Entrepreneur.com.
It’s not easy to succeed with this technique, but here is how you can do it successfully:
- Identify pieces of content you’ve already published that’s doing well on the internet.
- You can do a simple Google search using your target keyword and see what content appears on the top pages of search results. Since backlinks are one of the Google ranking factors, if one or several of your blog posts are ranking at the top pages, then it means they have been linked to severally.
- Improve the pieces of content 10x better than the way they are. For instance, if you had not included images, you can add more eye-catching images, and videos, and if possible add an infographic.
- Once you have improved the content, promote it.
There are many ways to promote your skyscraper content. For instance, if you mentioned any renowned content marketer or tool, let that person or the creator of that tool know that you featured it in your content.
This way, you will increase the number of likes, shares, comments and ultimately backlinks ten times.
As we have said earlier, if a site can link to your competitors, then it can also link to you as well, you just need to know how to go about the whole process of identifying sites that link to a particular domain and then reach out to them to ask them to link to your content as well.
The good thing is that there are plenty of tools out there you can find the sources of your competitors’ backlinks. Some of the backlink analysis tools you can use include SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Alerts, etc.
In our case, we will use SEMrush to check sources of backlinks for Neilpatel.com
As you can see from the results above neilpatel.com has more than 3 million backlinks in total. Dofollow links are more than 1 million and Nofollow links are 1.9 million. This is a good backlink profile.
Below are the referring domains.
As you can see, Neil Patel has tens of thousands of referring domains. Most of these domains originate from the United States of America. The screenshot shows a few but there are many.
As such, you are pretty much sure that when you approach the site owners who are linking to Neil Patel, they are likely to link to your content, as long as it is worthy to link to.
Neil Patel Competitors
Below are Neil Patel competitors who you can also try to reach out to for backlinks.
You can also try to reach out to these sites and see whether they offer guest post opportunities as well.
Then, you can look for opportunities to contribute to these sites in the form of guest posts or replacement for broken links.
Note that this process is long and tiresome but the results are worth it.
10. Claim Your Brand Mention
As you might have seen in our ultimate guide to link building we have mentioned people who are brands in their industry. These are people who have made their name by creating high-quality content.
You can see that in most of our mentions we have linked back to their sites. Chances are that people will mention your brand but will never link back to your site. In such situations, you can reach out to them and request them to add your website whenever they mention your brand name.
Brand mentions are easy to change them into backlinks.
See how we got a link back to our site when the owner of seanburrows.com mentioned our blog in their email list building tips.
Already, the owner of the site has mentioned you. That shows they like and value your work.
Up to here, the process is simple; you just need to reach out to them in a friendly way.
An example of an email you can send is:
It’s that easy.
Once you have sent such a friendly email, it’s up to them to decide whether to link back to your site or not. After all, you want their visitors to explore the topic the site owner has mentioned you in on a detailed basis which you have expounded on it already.
There are powerful tools to use to monitor your brand’s mention such as Google alerts and many others.
Bonus Strategy #1: Get Featured on Other Websites through Interviews
If you have a skill that’s in high demand; for instance, you are an expert in link building, you can get interviewed and get your name out there.
Well, it’s not easy to get an invitation for interviews for a beginner, but it’s possible.
Start by identifying websites that interview industry experts. Once you have a list of them, reach out to them to see whether they can allow you to share your knowledge with them.
They can then publish the interview in their websites including a link back to your site.
Bonus Strategy #2: Write Reviews or Testimonials for Other Websites
Many people may think that writing testimonials and reviews is promoting other people’s businesses. But this is a good backlinking technique and great for your SEO.
When you review products for a certain site, the site owner will appreciate you by linking back to your site and that’s how you can generate backlinks.
Check, for instance, the author of cyberchimps.com featured us on their list of WordPress blogs accepting guest authors.
Well, you are boosting leads and conversions for the other site to some extent but you are also improving your search engine rankings.
Over to Your
Learning how to build high quality backlinks is a good idea, given that Google uses quality backlinks as one of their ranking factors.
Besides, building quality backlinks is still a powerful way to attract more target traffic to your site.
So there you have it: ten smart strategies to get high quality backlinks in 2019.
Remember, these strategies are tried, tested, and proven to work.
Let us know which strategy you are going to use to build the best backlinks for your site in the comment section.
Happy backlinks building!!