Backlinks or inbound links are hyperlinks that point from one website to another.
For example, if any website provides a link to a piece of content from your website, it’s a backlink for you.
The quality and quantity of backlinks can help you increase your domain rating (DR) and rank higher on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Your backlinks are an indicator of how popular, relevant, and authentic your website is among users.
Google treats backlinks as a vote of trust or recommendation of a webpage and simultaneously increases its rankings on the search results page.
Backlinks are an essential part of every SEO strategy as they can help a website gain more exposure, organic traffic, and leads from the search results page.
Knowing how to gain backlinks is important for your SEO efforts. Google also gives credibility to websites that earn backlinks from multiple sources.
Every backlink does not add the same value to your website.
Therefore, you must earn backlinks from authoritative websites in your niche and less-known websites.
Diversity in your website’s linking structure is key.
You can follow these 13 proven link-building techniques to collect high-quality backlinks from different sources.
1. Create Linkable Content
Creating high-quality content which can drive organic backlinks and shares is one of the most effective link-building techniques.
You should create content that other websites and bloggers in your niche can use to enhance their content.
There are several link-worthy content types that you can consider for getting backlinks:
A comprehensive guide about a particular topic has the potential to generate several backlinks because other sites can use your ultimate guide to complement their content.
These guides can be as long as 10,000 words or as short as 2,000 words, depending on your niche.
You can either conduct research or create a fact-driven statistic report that other writers and websites can use to support their arguments when writing for a similar niche.
For example, if you are a fashion blogger, you can publish research about the most popular brand among millennials. You can collect online data and publish your research, which other bloggers can use in their blogs.
A case study about a particular topic offers unique data and insights and can attract several backlinks.
You can reconstruct old studies, which are not updated on popular websites or conduct a new case study.
For example, if you are a fitness blogger, a case study on ‘how many days does it takes to lose 5kg’ can help your readers and other industry experts to back their statements.
Linkable content is durable and helps you get backlinks for a long time. Thus, you can start your link-building strategy with linkable content.
2. Build Free Tools
Free tools are the best linkable assets a website can have.
Here are a few free tools that you can build for backlinks:
People love reading visually appealing content, and infographics can help an audience understand the content better and boost the aesthetics of a webpage. You can reach out to a website that can use your infographics to improve its content presentation.
You can create an online tool to help your audience.
For example, a fitness blogger can create a diet-tracking chart. You can also share your tool with other websites which talk about the problems your tool can solve.
This tool might not be useful for every website, but it is still a good source for backlinks.
Financial websites can provide tax or income calculators, whereas fitness sites can create fat or carb calculators for their audience. Share it with other websites in your niche to boost your backlinks.
With a free tool, you can expect a backlink from potentially top-ranking sites in your niche.
3. Find Broken Links
Broken link building is where you can locate websites with dead backlinks, create a replacement page on that topic and ask others linking to the broken link to link to your page instead.
You can use online backlink explorer tools to find broken links on any website.
For example, the ‘check my links’ chrome extension can help you find all the dead links on a webpage.
You can see here the link analysis of a webpage based on its SEO statistics.
Another handful of resources is available in the SEM Rush backlink analytics feature.
You can simply enter a keyword into Google and find top-ranking pages similar to yours. Enter the webpage link into the backlinks analyzer and see all the broken links on a page.
You can recreate dead content and pitch the website admin to use your link instead.
Dead links can affect rankings on SERPs. Hence, a page would like to replace its dead links. This can be your chance to get a backlink.
4. Guest Blogging
Writing guest blogs is a win-win situation for both websites.
You can write a free and valuable blog for a high authority website and ask them for a backlink.
To find sites that offer guest post opportunities, run a Google search using the following:
- ‘’Target keyword + write for us’’
- ‘’Target keyword + guest post’’
- ‘’Target keyword + contribute’’
- ‘’Target keyword + now accepting guest post’’
For example, you can see the writing opportunities for the keyword ‘Travel’.
After finding websites accepting guest posts, check their website authority. Try to write for websites with at least 50+ domain ratings to leverage backlinks.
Backlinks from authentic sources can increase your domain rating.
It’s beneficial to get backlinks from a mix of both low-authority and high-authority websites.
5. The Skyscraper Technique
Publishing a complete list or guide about a specific topic is called the skyscraper technique.
To write a skyscraper post, find a well-ranking keyword in your niche and write a 10X better guide than the ones ranking on the 1st page of the SERP.
For example, imagine a travel blogger who wants to write about winter destinations in the USA.
They will look at the top-ranking pages on the SERP for the keyword string ‘winter destinations in the USA’ and create a complete guide for the same keyword.
If the top-ranking pages mention 30-50 locations, the new guide can be a comprehensive winter destination travel guide for the USA.
Similarly, you can write a complete guide about a trending topic and promote your content for backlinks.
The ‘winter destination guide’ can be distributed to local travel guides and popular travel websites for more backlinks.
Skyscraper content creates opportunities for high-quality backlinks from popular websites.
6. Get Backlinks Through Listicles
Several listicle guides on Google publish resource pages for a particular keyword.
For example, the best websites to learn coding, the best blogs to learn writing, or the best marketing blogs on the internet.
Let’s imagine your website provides online yoga training.
You can search on Google for websites for online yoga classes.
The first search result shows the 15 best online yoga websites. You can pitch them to include your website in their listicle guide.
Give a genuine reason to link your website. Don’t pitch directly but invite their admin to attend one of your online yoga classes.
Inviting them to attend a free class instead of asking for backlinks directly can make them think that you want to add value to their content and not just randomly acquire backlinks from them.
In the future, they might even refer customers to your website.
Thus, check such guides online and determine where to place your website backlink.
All in all, pitch the website admin well to get a backlink.
7. Analyze Your Competitors
Analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles and identifying their top-performing content and traffic sources can help create backlink opportunities for your website.
You can run a link gap analysis to find which websites link to your competitors.
If a website provides backlinks for more than one of your competitions, they might even give you a backlink if there’s relevant content on your site.
To analyze your competitors:
- Perform a link gap analysis using Ahrefs site explorer or any other backlink analysis tool.
- Search for their ‘Do Follow’ links in the back profile section.
- Identify authoritative sources within your niche which are linked to your competitors.
Reach out to these websites for backlinks or write a guest post for them to earn a backlink.
8. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
HARO, or help a reporter out, is a platform for connecting you with journalists and media sites who need information or a report about a topic.
You can enlist as a resource on the HARO website and choose a free or paid plan. You will get emails about information requests from reporters and news media sites.
The news website will provide you a backlink if you can give them actionable tips or noteworthy information.
9. Join Discussion Forums
Q/A discussion forum websites like Quora and Reddit are significant sources of social backlinks.
You can sign up with these discussion forums and answer questions relevant to your niche.
Many people use these forums to solve their queries online. Thus, it also allows you to reach your target audience.
If you can find questions relevant to your blogs and articles, attach a backlink to such content webpages from your website.
10. Write Testimonials And Reviews
More than 90% of customers read reviews before purchasing a product.
Write a review guide or testimonial for a product or tool you genuinely use. After writing the review, let the company or website admin know about it.
Also, you can add your review link to the product review page to help customers gain deeper insights about a product.
Typically, businesses use these reviews as social proof to gain more customers.
If your testimonial is convincing, they might give a backlink to your website on their customer success stories or reviews page.
For example, many content-creating websites use Grammarly.com to generate content, and many of them have published a Grammarly review guide on their website, which can earn them a backlink from Grammarly.
11. Utilize Business Directories or Alumni Pages
If you run a business through your website, get it listed on your local business directory for a backlink.
You can simply sign up with the directory website and apply for a business listing by providing basic details of your business.
Sometimes your college website or previous employer’s sites have an alumni page that contains information about previous students or employees in the case of a company.
Check the alumni pages of your college and companies and if your information is there, attach your website link in the ‘contact me’ section for a backlink.
12. Social Signals
If you are a social media influencer with a decent number of followers on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you can leverage your social media status for backlinks.
You can promote your content among your followers. Google might rank your guest blogs better, considering your social media vitals.
Build a social media brand and leverage that to gain backlinks and more traffic for your website.
13. Use Branding Strategies
Brands often coin new terminologies to attract more methods.
For example, when you hear about the ‘Think Different’ slogan, Apple products might come to your mind.
If you search for this slogan, you can find several websites analysing it on their website.
Another example is ‘The Skyscraper Technique’, which was coined by an SEO expert, Brain Dean, to highlight the importance of comprehensive guides for backlinks.
Find a new method to solve your audience problem and research a creative name for that method. Or else, start branding your website to create a unique image.
This is a long-term strategy, but it can give you more backlinks once people start talking about your brand.
Backlinks are the backbone of every SEO strategy.
They can boost your website authority and help it rank higher on SERPs.
However, ensure that every backlink you get is a ‘do follow’ backlink.
Google only crawls ‘do follow’ backlinks, and ‘no follow’ backlinks like those on the Wikipedia pages do not add authority to any website, making them practically useless.