How to get backlinks to your site

How to get backlinks to your site

No matter what Google does to its algorithms, quality one way backlinks will always be helpful. Backlinks help increase your pagerank and get free traffic to your website. After quality content they are the most important aspect of SEO. Want to learn how to get backlinks to your site? Read on!
While not every strategy listed below may work for your business, all of them are evergreen linkbuilding strategies. They’re timeless (at least as timeless as anything can be on the internet). Some of the strategies will be expanded on in future posts as well.

Why are backlinks valuable?

Backlinks help a website in 2 ways: 1) free traffic; 2) increased Pagerank. When a website links out to another site, it shares a tiny bit of it Pagerank too (this known informally as link juice).

Pagerank is a Google measurement of how important a website is – pretty much based on how many backlinks it has. It’s an exponential scale going from 1 to 10 (sites like, and are 10s). The higher Pagerank a site has, the more value a backlink from them is.
Caveat: some site use nofollow links. That means they link out but do not share any of their Pagerank. They are not nearly as valuable as a backlink that has link juice but they still provide potential traffic.

Start with your own website first

As the classic  internet adage goes, Content is king. Without great content – without something valuable to someone else – no one will be interested in linking to your site. So your first priority is to create deep, worthwhile content.
Your second priority is to link keywords in your site to your own content. Google loves interlinks on websites because they consider it helpful to site visitors. For example, a service oriented business can have links to each of their service areas on their home page.

Scout for your competitors’ links

Learning from someone else’s success is a smart move. Scouting your competitors’ links is easy with a tool like Ahref‘s Site Explorer. With Site Explorer you can export all the backlinks you find on a competitor’s site (though you will need a paid account to see more than 5). Not all links may be immediately useful but you may find some overlooked sites that are perfect for linkbuilding.

Get profile links

You’re familiar with this technique if you’ve ever signed up for social media. When you become a member of a website, you get to add some personal links to your profile page. These count as backlinks! As a bonus, a lot of niche websites have forums so you may even be able to find more targeted traffic this way.
Keep in mind that some websites only allow nofollow links (prime example: Facebook). That means that while it will send traffic to your site, it will not share its Pagerank with you.

Inviting people to link to you

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is just ask Hey – would you mind linking to my site? Put the idea into someone else’s head by simple asking. This could be at the bottom of a blog post (like Please share if you found this helpful) or when communicating with someone directly.

Don’t be afraid of linking out

Give and ye shall receive – and it applies to linking out too. Not only can you be helpful to your visitors but Google expects it too. In most cases, webmasters will notice when they get a new backlink. I always look more kindly on people who link to me and spend the time to get to know them – and often link back to them too.

Write content that’s actually readable

Readability is important. Like newspapers, writing for the web should be simple and to the point. Schools tend to reward verbose, flowery writin. Many of us (myself included) need to unlearn what we have learned.
My absolute favorite tool for making my writing readable is the Hemingway Editor. It points out everything that is unnecessary, in brutal fashion. Following its recommendations is guaranteed to make your content readable. (And yes, I ran this blog post through it before publishing :))

Reaching out in person

Hustling is the classic business strategy and never goes out of style. Reach out to webmasters and offer to create content for them, in exchange for a link back to your site.
You can also reach out to websites or bloggers. Let them know you are willing to get interviewed or trade guest blog posts. This will be a good way to promote your brand to a new audience. It also establishes your website as an authority in your niche.

Contribute to Q & A sessions

This is a great way of reaching out to a potential user base. You can choose to entertain questions either by Yahoo!,, Quora or even a Reddit AMA.

Post on forums

If your website targets a niche industry, then this method can work really, really well. It allows you establish credibility when you post useful topics or answers. And many forums allow posts to have signatures, where you can have a link back to your site. Forums may be old school but they can be incredibly effective.

Positioning yourself as an authority

Becoming an authority in one’s niche is a most coveted position by any blogger. Becoming an authority means your name is the one people trust. Your website or blog can set the benchmark on content related to your niche.
Getting interviewed by another website or blog is a good way of establishing authority. If no one is reaching out to you, take action yourself. Create well-written and well-researched content like research papers, whitepapers, and the like. Then reach out (as described above) to websites whose audiences would benefit from your content.
Sponsoring a webinar can also let everyone know that you can hold informative talks. Holding webinars for free can be a gateway to widening your influence.
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to become an authority for the whole internet. You can focus on becoming a local authority if that is the best approach for your business. There’s nothing wrong with being the big fish in a small pond!

Comment on blogs

Commenting on other blogs is a way to get noticed while contributing something of value to another site. Just don’t comment for the sake of commenting (that’s called spam) – add to the discussion. Most commenting systems usually offer a backlink option as well. Commenting can be a true win-win.

Tap an authority in your niche

Getting a guest post from an authority can give you a major credibility boost. It’s even better if you can get quality links from them in return.

Create and publicize a press release

Article directories – like Squidoo or HubPages – were once a great way of link building. Now they are practically worthless as Google has wised up to them. Their reach has also reduced in the face of social media sharing.
There are some smart alternatives – like PRWeb. It’s a service that publishes press releases, resulting in publicity and measurable results. It may be worth the money depending on what your business is.

Submit to podcast directories

If you’ve got a podcast, submitting to a podcast directory is an easy way to get a quick link. Another example is iTunes – for many people a podcast doesn’t exist unless it’s available on iTunes. (And keep in mind that everyone who uses iTunes has a credit card they use for online purchases ;))

Submit to webcam directories

Got a webcam for your brick-and-mortar business? Then you’re in luck – you can submit your website to a webcam directory like The presence of a real-life place supporting your online presence should bolster your credibility too.

Submit to theme directories

Do you create themes for content management systems like WordPress or Drupal? There are more theme and template directories than you can shake a stick at. Just remember that you’ll need to include links in your themes/templates back to the directories too.

Submit to user-rating review directories

What better way to earn people’s trust than by actually showing you’re trustworthy? This is where user-rating review directories come in. This list shows where you can start submitting.

Submit to paid directories

There are a few select paid directories worth submitting to. Yahoo! Directory, the Better Business Bureau and are the only ones I would recommend.

Submit to document directories

If you can create whitepapers, then this can be useful. “Documents” can also extend to presentations, PDFs, spreadsheets, or even a simple text document. Check out directories like SlideShareScribd, and Issuu for this purpose.

Submit to mobile app directories

Created a mobile app? Consider submitting your app to Appolicious or other app directories.

Submitting to infographic directories

Yep, directories for infographics exist now. is tops but there are plenty of others as well.

Submitting to ebook directories

If you’ve written an ebook, great. If not you can create one by repurposing blog posts into an ebook. Check this out if you’re interested in submitting an ebook to a directory.

Submit to CSS directories

If you’re a designer you don’t have to create themes or templates to benefit from you skills. There are a ton of CSS (as well as HTML5) directories out there. For $20 the CSS Gallery List will manually submit your site to 100 such directories.

Submit to company directories

You may not have a company yet but all you need is a website to count. Make sure that the directory is relevant to you, either due to location or targeting a relevant field of business. If you want to start somewhere, try HotFrog or Manta.

Submit to 1-800 directories

If you’ve got an 800 number, there’s a directory out there for you. Google for 800 directory or toll free directory and you’ll see. If you don’t have an 800 number you can get one easily through a service like Grasshopper.

Write a testimonial

Think about products or services you’ve bought. Check out their websites and see if you can submit a testimonial – while getting a link back in return. This should work for mom and pops more than large corporations.

Guest blogging

Yes, guest blogging lives. It’s not the hot thing these days but it’s still a great idea. It allows you to infuse fresh content on your website. You can return the favor to other websites as well. It can be a win-win for both parties.

Have a regular column

A sense of “permanency” is useful if you want regular traffic for  your website. That is why having a regular column can work well for driving traffic to your site. It can be useful even if that column is only updated once a month.

Create images for others to use

Websites use other people’s images all the time. So if you’ve got, say, awesome Florida beach pictures or pictures from a convention that others may be interested in, you can make a gallery of them on your site.
You can start by implementing a media gallery for any images you have put up on your website. Just remember writing in basic SEO keywords for each image. It makes it easy to track who else is using your image without credit. If that’s the case, then you can just ask the webmasters for attribution.

  • Draw an infographic

Infographics is one of the more popular tools to getting links these days. It can be embedded to just about any website these days. You can choose to promote your website through the use of anchor links.

  • Create an infoanimation

Creating infoanimation is a good way of attracting links to your website. If you don’t have the talent for it, then just outsource it.

  • Create an interactive graphic

People like seeing pictures online. They also want to be asked to “take part” in some nifty gimmicks. You can be able to combine the two. If you do so, then you can create a killer interactive graphic that will net you a lot of links.

  • Make a drawing

You don’t even need to come up with anything fancy for your graphics. This is the reason why Pinterest still exists. A well-thought drawing can still get you links.

  • Create an icon set

Bloggers like to use icon sets. You can give one away for free in exchange for a link back to your website. It’s another way of attributing your work.

  • Award a badge

Bloggers like to get recognized even for the most minimal of achievements. Take advantage of that by “awarding” a badge to a website or two.  It can give them some proper recognition. Of course, that makes them obliged to link back to you because of it.

  • Take part in crowdsourced posts

Having a crowdsourced post is an easy way of fashioning a story with little effort. If you are aiming to contribute, then this is an easy way of getting a link back to your website. Just offer your views, and voila, instant word-of-mouth for your business.

  • Crowdfund projects

Taking part in crowdfunding can also raise the profile of your website. It allows you to leave a link to their page, after all.

  • Appeal to industry leaders

Many of the “top 50” lists are not based on any solid criteria at all, . Rather, this appeals to the subjects’ sense of ego. Paint them in a positive light, and maybe they’d consider giving you a link in return.

  • Going green

Everyone’s going green nowadays, and it’s not just a fad anymore. You can always write content that will take of everyone’s “green” tendencies. Come up with an infographic that will tie up with your business, if that’s the case.

  • Take part in a blog carnival

A “blog carnival” can get the word out for your site. It is a localized event where invited bloggers contribute to a single topic. It also gets you involved in the local blogging community, too. It’s also a fun way of meeting new people.

  • Write a white paper or case study

Writing a white paper or a case study for your website entails a lot of work. Finishing one means that you’re positioning yourself as an authority on the subject. If your article can be “cited” by a major website, then that should count as a coup for you.

  • Craft a chart or graph

If you have some important data lying around, present it in chart form instead. At the least, it will make your data much more “digestible”.

  • Write a print-ready guide

If you want your white papers to get shared, then make it printer-friendly. If you are trying to establish “authority”, then this is one of the best ways to do it.

  • Write an academic curriculum

Getting to be an academic website would boost your credibility. You can also leave links on their website if you choose to do so.

  • Tap student bloggers

You can tap active student writers to contribute to anything. If you can be able to tap a group of them, then you can leave links on their student blogs.

  • Sponsor scholarships

There are reasons to get involved in academics. A surefire way to do is to award a scholarship or two to motivate students. It can also prove to be a good PR tool for your purpose.

  • Open an internship program

There are other ways to take advantage of your links to the academe. You can offer internship programs to qualified students, for one. It can get your website inside the coveted .edu space.

  • Hire fresh graduates

Yes, you can send out links by hiring fresh blood. Again, it’s because you can leave links on the school’s .edu website.

  • Feature notable school alumni

This achieves the purpose of making your website into an alumni directory. The value of getting a .edu link for it is still priceless.

  • Make a “free” online tool

An “online tool” also accounts the apps you may have developed for your website. People will check out your website if you can offer them something useful. Having an honest-to-goodness online tool offered for free can count as “useful”.

  • Write a “controversial” post

The reasoning behind this is simple. You write an inflammatory post, and people get to comment on it. Watch then as traffic soars. Of course, that is just a short-term goal for getting true links, though. Prepare to back your piece if you’re going to write something controversial, .

  • Be a “mythbuster”

You can act as the truth teller to counter a popular “myth” going around your niche. It’s a great way of starting relevant discussions. It can also add authority to your brand, too.

  • Write content according to “seasons”

Is Christmas Day coming up? Write about something “festive” that you can tie in with the whole event. The same should go with every holiday or event that will happen in your area or niche. Give your audience something to look forward to by posting content like this.

  • Solicits bloggers and webmasters for surveys

This method is quite like “crowdfunding”. The difference is you can use the survey results to create a mini-study of your own. You can create something that will spread online if you add visuals or graphics.

  • Writing an anecdote

Everyone loves a good story. Every “viral” article you see on the internet has a good story behind it. It would make sense for you if you can create an interesting spin of your own on your website or blog.

  • Offer to do reviews

Reviews are chances for publicity. It doesn’t matter whether you have anything good or bad to say about a product. You can have your website linked by the creators by analyzing their product.

  • Do a product/service comparison

This method is also like doing reviews. The difference is that you are actually comparing a product against its “competitor”. Be reasonable about the comparison you’ll be doing. You can get back links from authoritative bloggers, in return

  • Pay for a review

This is a recommended method for getting your links out. Be sure the reviewer you’re going to pay for a review can do so write “objectively”.

  • Make a fun quiz or test

BuzzFeed is a prime innovator in this kind of linkbait tactic. You can also follow this formula by applying it on the niche you are operating in. Allow the users to share their results online if you are planning to put it in place.

  • Start a list

Making a post in listicle form is a great way of presenting your ideas. People like to read articles presented in bullet points, after all.

  • Start a petition

You may have started a website or a blog because of a cause you’re passionate in. By starting an online petition, you can also find like-minded people on the internet. It’s also a good way of sharing links with each other online. Do check out, one of the best platforms for this purpose.

  • Write a newsworthy op-ed

It can be hard to cover the news first if you’re not used to the daily news cycle. Instead, you use the news to your advantage instead by writing an analysis of it. Op-eds can spread online. Write something that can be both controversial and thought-provoking.

  • Use humor in your content

Come up with something funny if you can’t create something outrageous. A “satirical” take on recent news is a good example for this purpose.

  • Create a microsite

A microsite is a great way of creating something fun out of your “boring” niche topics. Install a light and fun visual design for it. You can promote it as a tool for attracting links to your traditional website.

  • Make a tutorial

The great thing about making tutorials is that it can be  either in written or video form. As long as you can make it concise and easy to read, then you’re good.

  • Make an in-house glossary

You can still attract a broad audience if you’re in a technical niche. Make it easier for them by creating your own glossary of terms for your website or blog. They’ll appreciate your for it.

  • Create your own “guide”

You believe you have tons of knowledge on Twitter. If that’s the case, maybe you would like to try your hand at creating your own guide to it. Better yet, draw up from something you’re good at. You can then make a comprehensive guide with your own flavor.

  • Take advantage of Google Maps

Any upcoming events in your calendar can be  “mapped” out through Google Maps. This specific example from Mashable can give you an idea of how you can install it.

  • Offer to update “old” content

Many published content on the web are evergreen. Unfortunately, some of them contain outdated references. If you spot a mistake, don’t hesitate to offer help for that site or blog’s webmaster. You can trade links for your gesture. You can start with this outdated content finder to know where you can find them.

  • Offer to translate content to your “local” language

Google, for all intents and purposes, is still tailored to an English-speaking audience. You can use it to your advantage if you happen to be good at your foreign languages subject. Reach out to a webmaster if you think he or she needs help translating the website.

  • Improve grammar and spelling

Even a blogger speaking native English may find it difficult constructing cohesive sentences. You can offer editing help for them in exchange for links.

  • Transcribe video or podcast to text

There is value to transcribing video or audio content to text. It means you’re accounting audiences who are hard of hearing. Webmasters will appreciate the help you will offer to them. You’ll have your hard work rewarded with links.

  • Offer to do graphics or visuals

Not all webmasters are pros at designing. If you see a decent website which needs some help with its logo or visuals, then offer help if you can. It’s a great way of boosting your visual portfolio, too.

  • Provide hosting

Yes, this technique can work for link-building. Make sure your bandwidth is steady enough to support extra content.

  • Point out malware or viruses

The webmasters thank you if you can point out any malware affecting their websites. Asking a linkback in return would prove to be a nice reward for your efforts.

  • Look for dead links

Dead links can be harmful to a website’s credibility. If you happen to spot one, don’t hesitate to alert the webmaster of a page. If you want to check for the validity of a link, using a free tool like Ahrefs can prove to be helpful.

  • Start a social media page

There’s more than just Facebook and Twitter out there now. Find out what is relevant to your niche.

  • Use Twitter to plug your links

You can do so through your Twitter account’s profile page. Do remember that characters are also limited on the profile description blurb.

  • Download the info of your Twitter followers

You can even be subtle about it. Just use apps like Simply Measured. You can start planning your link building campaign from that point.

  • Use social bookmarking

Social bookmarking still has a place in today’s social media landscape. Delicious, Digg, and Pinterest are just three of the most popular services for this.

  • Buy traffic from StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a good source for social bookmarking. Webmasters can discover your website if you get the Paid Discovery traffic.

  • Share on Google Plus

There are only a select set of people using Google Plus. This platform still has a lot of reach. It’s because it’s tied to Google’s system. So, it should only make sense for you to share your links through the platform.

  • Make a toolbar

If you have the technical skills for it, then do so. It’s a method that you can place on your website. If you want tips on how to do so, then visit this link.

  • Use a plugin

If your website is on WordPress, then this will prove to be to your advantage. You can get links in return from the websites where your plugins originated from.

  • Create a CMS theme

You can insert links through CMS themes. You can do so through the anchor text. Make sure the theme you’re going to design  is one that is relevant to your niche.

  • Create or sponsor your own events

Webinars are good, but they lack in one essential factor: human connection. Forging a face-to-face link with actual people is beneficial. That means they should pay attention to you, and whatever you do matters to them.
One of the more effective ways to “human linking” is by scheduling regular meetups. You can do it even with select fellows in your industry. A simple meeting of the minds inside a coffee shop can be a good way of holding talks.
You can also choose to sponsor an event related to your niche for a significant sum. The event you’ll be sponsoring will provide you with links back to your website.

  • Sponsor an organization or club

You can always sponsor one of the clubs or organizations from your school. Be sure to choose the most “general” one if you want wider reach.

  • Support charities and nonprofits

Many donors’ pages offer the option of leaving your website’s name as its “signature”. This should prove to be a good way of getting the word out for your website.

  • Support an animal shelter

Do it even if your niche has nothing to do with animals. Going by this route will still give good PR to your website. It can also be cheap to sponsor one, too.

  • Offer dedicated discount programs

This can be relevant if you’re running an ecommerce store or a brick-and-mortar shop. Choose to have the “discounted” group be the most relevant to your niche.

  • Get content

Some content will always be evergreen. The webmasters hosting those may not care for much, though. If that’s the case, you can ask for him or her to redirect the content to your webpage instead. If you have to pay for it, then do so. Just make sure it’s worth it.

  • Make a toolbar

If you have the technical skills for it, then do so. It’s a method that you can place on your website. If you want tips on how to do so, then visit this link.

  • Buy used, but relevant, domains

There are some domains with valuable names that are not in use. If you think it has value to your niche, then get them.

  • Reclaim 404 links

You may have seen a past link to a website or blog that is not working now. You can request the webmaster to redirect the link to your homepage instead.

  • Find out who linked back to you

You can know about that by using apps like Linkstant. Leave a short “thank you” message. Propose a link exchange scheme if he or she is amenable to it.

  • Track direct quotes from your website

If someone lifted a quote from your website, you can track it by using apps like It pastes a URL to the quote copied from your website.

  • Track mentions of your website or brand

Set up a web alert for the name of your website or business. It allows you to scout for link building opportunities in the near-future.

  • Ask for links from customers

Do so if you’re confident that those are loyal customers you’re asking from. If a certain customer is an “influencer”, then the more you have to pursue him or her.

  • Make a “new” word

This should be easy if you’re used to writing already. The challenge is to track the bloggers who are using your new term. Set up a web alert for that specific word so you can contact any bloggers using it.

  • Look for your specific “terms” online

By “terms”, we mean the set of words you usually use when you’re writing. There’s a danger to seeing your “phrase” online used without attribution. If so, then you can just contact the webmaster to discuss the terms for link building.

  • Offer dedicated discount programs

This can be relevant if you’re running an ecommerce store or a brick-and-mortar shop. Choose to have the “discounted” group be the most relevant to your niche.

  • Do liveblogging

It’s recommended if you’re at a “live” event. It can be either an event you’re attending or from one streamed live.

  • Write recaps

This is useful when you’re attending a conference with lots of influential people. Writing about it can boost your brand when the right people view it.

  • Get included in newsletters

Newsletters are still relevant in today. Those with a high subscription rate have a solid community behind them. Getting your link in even one of those issues can be a coup for you.

  • Creating an email signature

This should work if you’re active through emails. Inserting a link in your signature can help in putting the word out for your website.

  • List your website on Wikipedia

Make sure that it doesn’t come off as “press release” material, though. Hire an outside writer to make the Wikipedia entry for you, just to be safe.

  • Make a wiki

This can prove to be an effective way of building links. It allows you to reach out to your fellow webmasters for collaboration. This is where the community aspect of the whole thing comes in.

  • Ask for a listing in a local shopping center

It should be one where you can get your website listed with the mall. Its online directory should make it all possible.

  • Send out a press release

Local newspapers like to carry press releases from local websites or business. for that purpose, include a complete link to your website on the article.

  • Get included in the library

Libraries’ websites have respectable online authorities. Find a chance to get included on them.

  • Join local business groups

Getting to join your local business bureaus can give you authority. They can also give you the reach for your website.

  • Partner with an eCommerce service

This would prove helpful if you are running a business. Partner with businesses that have a “vertical” relation with yours. You can share the profits with them, and you also get free advertising for your link, too.

  • Embed online videos

If you’re producing videos, you can actually have your link embedded in them. It can be easy to do so once you publish your vides through YouTube.

  • Get interviewed for a news story

You may get interviewed for a story that is not about your website. It can still get mentioned along your name though, even if it’s in a contextual manner.
Do you have any other evergreen link building tips you want to share? Please share it with us in the comments section below!