14 Proven Tactics to Get More Backlinks
By Rachael Kunes
Backlink building may be complicated, but it isn’t exactly rocket science. Anyone can learn how to build links, and a good place to start is by using some tried-and-true tactics. For best results, pick one or two of them, learn how they work, and keep going from there. With that introduction, let’s discuss 15 different methods to get more backlinks.
- Internal backlinks
This tactic is often neglected by SEOs, which is a pretty big oversight. When you link from other pages from within the website, this can boost the “authority” of certain pages that should be getting more traffic. Plus, in contrast to external backlinks, this also gives you full control over the links.
To find out which pages need a boost, find the ones that are in positions #2 to #4 for the target keyword; this way you can make sure you’re targeting the pages with the most potential for additional traffic. If you’re using Ahrefs, this can be done through the Organic Keywords Report in their Site Explorer. Filter by position, view the project in Site Audit, and open the Link Opportunities report. Then all that’s left to do is enter the page’s URL in the search field, and switch to “target page” in the dropdown. This lets you view the relevant pages on your website where internal links can be added.
- Pitch link roundups
A link roundup is a curated list of the last week’s or month’s worth of new content within a certain industry. If your content would make a good addition to one of these posts, all you have to do is find authors who will feature your content in an upcoming link roundup.
To find this type of post, enter your topic into Google, followed by: intitle:2022 intitle:”roundup” OR intitle:”round up”. Make sure you filter for results that are from the last three months. Sift through the search results, and pitch whichever roundups seem relevant.
- Use existing memberships
This is arguably one of the easiest ways to build backlinks; if you’re part of a club, community, or organization, the chances are good that they’ll gladly give you a mention – and more importantly, a link on their advisory board or team pages – if you just ask them to.
To identify these opportunities, write down any and all clubs, communities, or organizations you’re a member of. It could be a law association, a local charity, or a school parent advisory board. If there’s a relevant page on their website, you’ll be able to find it with this Google search: site:theirwebsite.com intitle:team OR advisory. If having a link on their website would bring more of your target audience to your site, don’t be shy about requesting a link.
- Pursue link gaps
Performing a link gap analysis will uncover websites that link to your competitors without linking to you. These links are easily replicated, since sites that link to your competitors will probably be willing to link to you as well.
For a link gap analysis, plug the URL of your homepage into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (using “Exact URL” mode), open the Link Intersect report, and fill in the additional fields with competing homepage URLs (using the same mode). The results should give you some links to potentially replicate.
As an example of how this works, you could find a podcast that’s interviewed a couple of your competitors, but not you. Since you’re relevant to the theme of their podcast, they could be interested in interviewing you as well.
- Unlinked mentions
Here’s another case of low-hanging fruit: unlinked mentions are found in websites that have already mentioned your brand (or a topic that’s related to your brand) without including a link to your site. Since they’re clearly already comfortable talking about your brand, half the work is done for you; all that’s left to do is get in touch and ask about adding a link.
To locate unlinked mentions, use Ahrefs’ Content Explorer to search for your brand; don’t forget to include -site:yourwebsite.com in the search so the results won’t all be from your own site.
Next, their “highlight unlinked domains” feature can show you the pages from websites that haven’t yet linked to your site; you can then export these results to an Excel or Google Sheets document (ticking the “only pages with highlighted domains” option).
- Podcast interviews
The interview itself will probably take about an hour, but being a guest on a podcast isn’t the point; the host should also include links to your site and social media profiles.
In order to find the right podcasts to pitch, simply search on Google for the most popular industry podcasts. Listicle articles are a good resource, and Google should provide a carousel of podcasts above the rest of the search results as well.
Since you’re really after getting a backlink, don’t pitch any podcasts that don’t consistently link back to their guests. The truly prolific interviewees may be able to guide you to the best podcasts; if you keep seeing someone’s name popping up as a podcast guest, find their homepage, paste it into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, select “Exact URL” search mode, and open the Backlinks report. The results can be filtered with “episode” in the referring page title, and that should give you a list of relevant results to sift through.
- Guest blogging
If you pick the right websites, writing a guest blog post for them (along with adequate attribution, of course) can result in a link that directs readers to your site.
Ahrefs’ Content Explorer can help you find sites that may be open to accepting guest posts. Simply enter any keyword that’s related to your area of expertise, and set the dropdown to “In title” to find matching content.
Filters can be applied to the search to refine the results, which will make it easier to find the best sites to pitch. Here are some of the filters that might help:
- A Domain Rating of 30 or more
- Website traffic of 5,000 or more
- Published within the last 90 days
Also, make sure you check the “one page per domain” box, so you don’t accidentally contact the same site more than once.
- HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
HARO is a way for journalists to connect directly to sources, and vice versa. It’s possible to get high-quality backlinks with this service, since the journalists are actually the ones soliciting responses, not you.
If you sign up to be a source, you’ll start getting emails from various journalists, including ones from big-name sites such as The New York Times and Business Insider. However, the majority of these queries won’t be relevant; that’s why you should spare yourself the bother and set up a Gmail filter. In the “search options” filter, enter “[email protected]” in the “From” field, and “[HARO]” in the “Subject” field. In the “Has the words” field, set it to include only the keywords you’re interested in.
- Pitch “Best X in Y” listicles
“Best X in Y” listicles function as a way to identify the businesses that are leaders in their industries or areas. If you can find listicles that don’t include you, those are opportunities to get added to those lists if your pitches are successful.
The Google search Best BUSINESS TYPE in LOCATION -“YOUR BUSINESS NAME” will get you started with relevant lists. You should contact the authors to see about getting your brand added to the list, but don’t pitch in the initial email; simply invite them to get to know your brand better. Once you have a working relationship going, then you can make the pitch.
- 301 redirect link building
If you can pitch suitable replacements for people who link to irrelevant 301 redirects, this tends to be a pretty easy sell for anyone who doesn’t want to send site visitors to essentially dead pages.
To find these irrelevant 301 redirects, use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer with the mode set to “https”. Type in a niche site, open the “Best by links” report, then add the filter “301 moved permanently”. The irrelevant redirects should be pretty obvious just by looking at the results, but you can view the pages to confirm this. Some of these redirects could have quite a few referring domains, so that’s a great place to start with this strategy.
- Broken link building
Similar to the previous strategy, broken link building is beneficial for both you and the websites who are using dead links. If you can locate these links, create a page on the same topic, and pitch that page to the sites using dead links, this gives them an easy way to improve their sites’ quality while also giving you backlinks.
Ahrefs’ Content Explorer lets you search for a topic, filter to find broken pages, and filter again to find dead pages with at least 10 backlinks from other websites (use the referring domains filter for this). The Backlinks report will show you which pages and sites link back to the dead page; these are where you can pitch the replacement link to once the content is live.
- Resource page link building
If you can find pages that offer curated resources on specific topics, they may be willing to add your website to their lists. Since these pages exist to direct visitors to relevant resources, getting backlinks from them could be as simple as bringing your site to their attention.
To locate resource pages, run one of the following searches in Google, along with a phrase that’s related to the topic:
- intitle:resources inurl:links.html
- intitle:resources inurl:resources.html
Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar can be used to export your results, while their SEO metrics will let you sort by estimated search traffic and Domain Rating (DR). Once that’s done, you just have to verify that the results are actually resource pages that link to external sources, find the relevant contact information, and then pitch your own resource.
- The Reverse Skyscraper Technique
Here’s how this technique works: you identify a top-notch piece of content on your own site, locate similar (but lower-quality) content with a ton of backlinks, and then contact the sites linking to the lower-quality content to see if they’d like to link to your page instead.
To identify opportunities for the Reverse Skyscraper Technique, enter some keywords relating to some of your own industry-leading content into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer; the results should be sorted from high to low by Keyword Difficulty (KD). Clicking the SERP button will show you similar pages that have loads of backlinks. If you can come up with a compelling argument as to why your content is superior to theirs, that could make a convincing pitch for the people who are linking to the other page.
- The Skyscraper Technique
This is similar to the Reverse Skyscraper Technique, but instead of using content you already have, you’ll be creating it to use for this specific purpose. To make a convincing pitch, your content should accomplish one or more of the following:
- Explaining something more clearly
- Covering the topic in greater depth
- Correcting misleading or inaccurate claims
Search for related phrases using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, setting the “referring domains” filter to 50 at minimum. This will display pages that have backlinks from 50 or more sites, which should be plenty to get you started.
Link building can take a while to learn, let alone to accomplish for your website. With the right strategies and some hard work, though, you’ll be on the path to success.