Link building is a great way to build your domain authority and boost rankings. Let’s look at how to get backlinks to your blog
If you have looked into ways to build domain authority, you’ll know the value of backlinking. Building backlinks can not only improve your DA, it can drive relevant traffic to your website and gain you new followers.
I’ve been in digital marketing since 2016, and since my first day on the job, I’ve been responsible for building backlinks. It was quite a learning curve, and my team and I are still learning new things every day. As with most things SEO-related, the rules are constantly changing and we want to make sure everything we do is white-hat. We don’t want to risk annoying Google — after all, it’s our clients who will suffer, which would reflect terribly on us.
While there are less desirable (and ultimately detrimental) methods of obtaining backlinks, building backlinks to your website is still a wise move. And there are highly effective ways of doing so that won’t end up costing you a great deal of money — or any money at all.
Here are nine strategies detailing how to get backlinks to your blog.
While you’re here, check out these amazing, free SEO tools for bloggers!
Pitch to Publications
Pitching might sound intimidating at first, but don’t worry — 90% of the editors I deal with are lovely people. If you contact them, give them an interesting angle and offer to write up an article for them, the worst they could possibly do is say no. And all you lose is a bit of time. More often than not, if they’re not keen, they simply won’t reply.
Let me fill you in on a couple of things before you start pitching, to prepare you, mentally. First, pitching is hard. It takes time to craft a pitch tailored to each publication and to come up with an angle that would appeal to that particular editor. But if you persevere, it’s definitely worth it. Second, you should expect a low response rate. A pitch rate of 10% wouldn’t be out of the ordinary — over time, this rate should get better. You’ll get more confident, you’ll make more of a name for yourself and your content will become more appealing. Everything is harder when you first start out.
Through pitching, I’ve landed my clients in some great publications, like Entrepreneur and Glassdoor. The secret is a tailored pitch, coupled with real value. You should be giving them a reason to accept your content — it needs to be a unique angle. Most publications aren’t interested in generic content — and the ones that are probably aren’t worth a backlink.
Work With Other Bloggers
If you’ve engaged in blogging communities, you’ll know how supportive, friendly and encouraging fellow bloggers can be. Almost everyone seems to want to help each other. There are a lot of Facebook groups with thriving blogging communities. If you get involved, you’ll be amazed at the backlink opportunities. Offer to write a guest post and keep an eye out for anyone looking for opinions and insights — they’ll often include your name and blog in their post, along with a link. Just be sure to return the favour at some point — help out where you can.
Respond to HAROs and Journo Requests
I love monitoring requests from journalists on Twitter and HARO. Responding to these requests is never going to guarantee you a backlink, but when they pan out, you stand to benefit greatly from five-or-ten-minutes’ work.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a service that connects bloggers and journalists to sources. So, for example, if a journalist is writing an article on unusual birth stories, you can reply with a brief and detailed pitch. If your story is used, more often than not, the journalist will link to your blog. They benefit from a story, and you benefit with a backlink — everyone wins.
You should also keep an eye out for Journo Requests on Twitter, which work in the same way. Not only can you gain backlinks, you might also begin to network and build valuable relationships.
Backlinks are great, but they’re not everything! Explore how internal links can help SEO
Get Your Blog Listed in Directories
One free, simple (but, admittedly, time-consuming) way to gain backlinks is by getting your blog listed in directories.
Directory submission is a hugely popular off-site SEO technique. Simply submit your blog to blog directories and, over time, you’ll notice an improvement in your rankings and authority. I would never recommend this as your sole way of obtaining backlinks, but it is a straightforward method and one you can begin working on today.
There are lots of resources you can use, including this one from Blogging Lift, which outline blog directories for you to submit your blogs.
We can’t discuss how to get backlinks to your blog without discussing infographics. People are obsessed with infographics — we love to see data represented clearly and simply in an image. What’s more, they’re highly shareable. They can also be used to gain you backlinks.
Once you have a topic, you’ve created your infographic and written up your accompanying blog, you can go about submitting your infographic to directories. To get you started, here are more than a hundred websites that accept infographic submissions.
Distribute a Press Release
This is a technique we use for clients when we want to spread the word about a new service, tool or product. We get all the information we need and draft a press release (of no more than one page) and then use a press release distribution service to send the release out to journalists and publications. Inevitably, a press release gains hundreds of backlinks — but it’s best to wait until you have something news-worthy.
Many reliable press release distribution services let you distribute your first press release for free. On top of that, there are services like Star One PR, with incredibly reasonable packages.
Unlinked mentions are exactly what they sound like — when someone mentions your blog, but they haven’t linked back to you. The good news is, they clearly like the content you have written, or they like your brand. The bad news is, they forgot to link to you. But that’s okay — it’s worth sending over an email and asking them to insert a link. As I mentioned before, bloggers are usually kind and fair-minded, and won’t mind inserting the link — particularly if they think they’ll get some social shares and engagement out of it!
Broken Link Building
I love this technique — it’s entirely free, although it is somewhat time-intensive. However, by using this technique, you can really get ahead of the game.
You know all those annoying broken links that pop up on your website from time to time? Sometimes websites take down certain articles, or entire domains die, and when that happens, you’re left with a dead link. But you can use this to your advantage.
What you can do is use the Wayback Machine (an internet archive) to discover exactly what that article covered. Then you can create similar (but better, obviously) content. Once you have penned that material and you have it live, you need to source a list of websites that link to the dead material. To do this, you can use a free backlink checker tool.
Once you have that list, you can set about contacting the owners of those websites. Let them know they have a dead link on their website, and at the same time, provide them with a link to your material — which is essentially an updated version of the same topic. Website owners are generally inclined to link to you when this happens, because you’ve done them a favour by reporting the broken link, and you’ve also given them a solution.
Create Great Content
As a content creator, the very best thing you can do to gain quality backlinks over time is to create great content. If you produce relevant, interesting material that people want to read and share, it will get shared. This is particularly the case if you are the most authoritative source discussing this issue. The good news is, the higher up the ranks you climb, the more likely it is that your content will be shared and linked to. But the best way for your content to get found is to target specific keywords and to regularly produce quality content — a content calendar can be a lot of help here.
A technique we use in digital marketing is known as the ‘Skyscraper’ technique. This involves settling on a topic — for example, parenting books to read this year, and beating the competition. You do this by consulting the search engine results. Check out the highest-ranking results. Look at all the information they provide. Your aim is to provide all the information these sources provide, and then more. You want to give Google every reason to favour your material over theirs — and you do this by making your content more useful, more encompassing, and more valuable. The more legendary, detailed and comprehensive your content is, the more likely it is to rank, and the higher it ranks, the more likely it is that people will link to your content. It’s not an easy strategy — it takes a lot of time and effort, but thankfully as bloggers we love to write.
I hope this has been helpful! Let me know which techniques you’ve tried in the past and which ones you’re interested to try — and if there are any methods I’ve missed off the list!