One of the best search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to rank higher on Google is to get backlinks from high-authority sites. This leads to higher domain authority for your site, increased rankings, and more web traffic, which ultimately boosts sales and brand awareness. To gain these sought-after links, you need to first have high-quality online content, but there are additional tactics you can use to earn backlinks, which we’ll cover in the strategies below.
1. Start by Creating a High-quality Website
Regardless of which methods you use to get backlinks from high authority sites, none of it matters if you don’t have a quality website to link back to. Lackluster design, outdated content with broken links, and inaccurate or incomplete information doesn’t look professional and may turn people away from your brand.
The good news is that you don’t have to do the design yourself or pay a high price to get a great-looking website. To design a site yourself with minimal effort on your part, use Wix. It’s one of the best website builders for SEO thanks to its advanced tools. You can easily publish pages and unlimited blog posts and optimize your site for search.
For example, Wix is a top website builder for blogging. It’s simple to add image alt tags, proper page titles, and integrate your social media and search engine tools, and secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption is included. Plus, Wix has industry-specific templates so you can quickly build a great-looking website with quality content that any other site would be happy to link back to.
For more guidance, check out our step-by-step guide to learn how to make a small business website. Also, if you find that you need graphic elements for your site like icons, a logo, and royalty-free images, use VistaCreate or Canva to source quality images and graphics for your website at no cost.
2. Publish Backlink-worthy Content on a Blog
One of the best ways to get backlinks from high-authority sites (as well as to generate web traffic among your target audience) is to publish high-quality content on your blog. Topic bloggers and brand websites that use content marketing to drive traffic always need fresh content, so when you have something that’s relevant for them to write about, they’ll be happy to link to it.
Start with keyword research to ensure you’re using keywords in your online content that targets the type of search traffic you want to attract. Then write content that makes sense for your brand, website, and audience. You can then create and send pitches asking for an SEO backlink (i.e., not a “nofollow” link) via email to other websites that might have an interest in your content.
Not sure what types of content you should create and publish? Try coming up with keyword-rich content that inspires emotion, such as:
Emotion is powerful because it taps into a more instinctive part of the brain. In other words, it doesn’t generally require cognitive function for someone to understand the messaging. A study featured in the book Brand Immortality found that emotional content is twice as effective. So, rather than simply writing about your product or service, try to tap into how your product or service makes a person feel.
There are many content marketing and local SEO tools to help you find and manage keywords, SEO tactics, and other website optimization methods. For example, try Semrush’s free keyword research tool to target location-specific keywords, and upgrade to get full access to competitor insights and content ideas.
If you are looking for more than help finding keywords, you can find affordably priced professional SEO content writers on Fiverr who know how to earn backlinks for your website. While it might take time to find a freelance writer who can write for your brand or industry, it could be the most time and cost-efficient way to add backlink-worthy content to your website on an ongoing basis.
3. Add Your Website to Online Directories
Submitting your website to online directories is an effective way to get your site noticed by search engines and potential customers. When you submit your site to a directory, you are essentially telling the directory’s editors that your site exists and that it is relevant to their audience. Learn which are the best online business directories to list your company in.
Listings help your site get more traffic and visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Many of these directories have high authority with Google, so the backlinks earned also help your SEO, in turn improving your website’s search engine ranking. In addition, submitting your site to relevant directories can also help build brand’s online presence and credibility.
If you’re looking for a way to get your site noticed and improve your chances of ranking well in the search engines, submitting your site to online directories is a great place to start. However, it’s just one of many easy website marketing strategies you can use to get more website traffic.
4. Publish Customer Success Stories & Case Studies
Many businesses feature customer success stories in the portfolio section of their websites to inspire trust in a product, service, or brand. It’s a common practice for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies to request testimonials to include when writing a case study about a client.
These types of stories usually include links to the clients’ websites, which also gives them a boost in web traffic and SEO. Additionally, featured customers may write something about your business on their website, giving you a quality backlink to help your site’s authority with Google.
Aside from the possibility of getting backlinks from high authority sites, customer success stories should be search-optimized with strategic keywords so you also benefit from organic web traffic. The information in the customer’s success story helps prospects see the practical value of your offering and brand.
5. Publish an E-book
Publishing e-books is an effective way to build backlinks. By creating an e-book and making it available for free on your website, you encourage other high-quality websites to link to your e-book as a resource. The backlinks and additional traffic both help to improve your website’s search engine ranking and visibility.
Plus, since e-books are usually published as PDFs, they are easy to link to and can be shared quickly and easily via social media and email marketing. In addition, your e-book can link to other content on your website, driving additional traffic to your content and boosting your site’s SEO and rankings.
E-books can be produced for any stage of the sales pipeline, but are often used to generate subscription lists and qualified leads. Typically, e-books can potentially be created for a wide range of content needs. For example, you could publish an ebook with a top 10 tip list, trends, or statistics. You can also repurpose content, such as turning a series of articles into a downloadable e-book guide.
Ideally, you will use multiple methods to bring attention to your e-book. For example, you could create and distribute a book press release to get the word out, send an email to your contact list, and share a link on your social networks.
6. Get High-quality Backlinks From Social Media
Even if all you do is create a Facebook business page and include your website URL in the “about” section, that’s a backlink (albeit a “nofollow” one) from one of the top sites in the world. You should do this for Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and any other social media site you join. Plus, there are other ways to drive traffic to your site and get more backlink opportunities if you use social media effectively.
Share the content from your site in social media marketing posts. When any of your followers like it or share your posts, your business has a greater chance of being discovered by new customers. There’s also a chance that a follower or influencer may like it and choose to give your content a backlink from their own sites and social media.
To optimize your social media efforts, post on a regular basis and engage with your audience to build loyalty and trust. Don’t forget to add your link to any video you upload to YouTube, one of the most-watched and linked-to sites ever.
7. Write Guest Posts With SEO Backlinks
Guest blogging is an excellent way to build backlinks, bring traffic to your website, and introduce new audiences and potential customers to your business. Keep in mind that it’s important for your guest posts to be published on high-authority websites. Otherwise, you run the same risks of penalization with Google as you would with other methods that generate backlinks from spammy sites.
To get started guest blogging as a way to get backlinks from high-authority sites, create a content marketing plan:
- Create goals for your guest posts: Ask yourself what your post should do beyond acquiring a backlink from a high authority website (e.g., brand awareness, attract new site visitors, add subscribers, etc.).
- Find like-minded blogs or sites: Make a list of the top-quality ones. Use tools like Semrush to see a website’s domain authority and who they link to when deciding if it’s a good fit for your content.
- Reach out to site owners: It’s time to build relationships. Find a common denominator between your business’ content and theirs. Share their content and tag them on social media—show them you’re interested in their business or blog.
- Send a guest post pitch: Once you’ve established a connection with a blogger or site owner, create and send your pitch to see whether they will let you write a guest post for their blog. If the answer is yes, go on and write your guest post.
- Create the content for your guest post: Do this yourself, or hire a freelance writer from a platform like Fiverr to ghost-write the piece for you. Make sure to include your bio and a link to your website. Many times you’ll be able to include a link in the content and in your bio, giving your website two quality backlinks to improve SEO.
- Promote your post: Promote the post to your own audience on social networks, in email marketing, or even in links as part of new content on your site to drive traffic to your guest post. It’s good for both of you and solidifies your relationship, so you could get more guest post opportunities in the future.
Pro Tip: Use Semrush’s SEO Content Template to get a list of suggestions for the best websites to earn backlinks from based on your target keywords.
8. Find Broken Links on Other Websites
You’ll find websites in your industry or audience niche with blog articles that contain a significant number of links to other websites such as statistic articles and listicles. Not every site does diligent site maintenance, however, and over time many end up with content that has broken links. These broken links can be a valuable way to get high-quality SEO backlinks.
Researching broken links takes quite a bit of time and effort, but the return on this investment can be well worth it. A piece of content that has even just one broken link (taking people who click on it to a 404 error page) could have multiple other sites linking back to that same tidbit. By giving the site owner an unbroken new link for the anchor text, your site could be the recipient of a lot of new traffic and backlinks.
To obtain backlinks from broken links, identify websites that have high domain authority and content with lots of links. You can use Semrush’s site auditing tools to check a site’s domain authority and to identify broken links on the websites you would most like to earn a backlink from.
If you have relevant content for one of these broken links, reach out to the site through email or an email contact form suggesting they replace the broken link with a link to your content. If you don’t already have content, add a new article to your blog and then reach out suggesting the link replacement.
Broken links on a website negatively impact user experience, which in turn hurts SEO. So it’s beneficial for the site you want a backlink from if you’re able to suggest an easy fix for a broken link.
If the site won’t replace the broken link with your content, they might be open to letting you write a guest post on a topic relevant to their article. Aside from Semrush, try out some of the other top SEO audit tools you can use to make your site rank higher in Google search results.
9. Comment on Blog Posts & Forum Websites
The process of how to get backlinks from high authority websites from blog comments is like relationship-building. You won’t get far by just posting your link in every related industry blog or forum (you’ll probably just be marked as a spammer). To make blog or forum commenting work as a backlink strategy, make sure every comment you post is conversational and valuable, and not overly promotional.
First, find blogs, forums, and Facebook groups that make sense for you to follow or belong to, and then join in the conversations. Don’t try to include a link in every post or response you give. You’re commenting to offer valuable knowledge or help with a pain point.
People are quick to spot low-value comments and spam, so always post with authenticity and real value, although this may be quick and easy or time-consuming and challenging. If adding a link to content on your site makes sense, go for it. Otherwise, wait for someone to ask what your business provides.
If you have the time to devote to commenting yourself, go for it. If you can’t devote time to commenting on blogs and forums, you may need to hire someone to do so on behalf of your business. If you do want to outsource, you can find virtual assistants on Fiverr to help find opportunities and post comments for you.
10. Send Out Press Releases
When you have a newsworthy event like a new product or service, support for a charity or community event, or a high-profile new hire, publish a press release. It’s a great way to offer content to journalists who write about your industry or location, like local newspapers, magazines, and TV stations. In return, you’re likely to get backlinks when articles about your event or piece of news get published online.
Your press release’s copy should include targeted (search optimized) keywords, a link to your homepage, and your business info. Send your press releases to a variety of journalists and bloggers, so long as your press release is relevant to what they write.
Alternatively, consider using a professional press release distribution service to target journalists and publications by audience and location to increase your odds of getting published and landing more coverage. The more outlets that publish your content, the more inbound links you can get. Here are some of the top press release distribution services:
- Newswire: Best press release distribution for maximum exposure within a specific location, such as a city, state, or region
- eReleases: Best service for professional press release writing, and for reaching a targeted audience
- Fiverr: Most affordable press release writing & distribution–combo plans starting around $40
11. Find Unlinked Mentions To Build Backlinks
Unless your business is brand-new, there’s a chance that someone on the internet has heard of your company and mentioned your brand, product, or service—without linking to your website. This is a huge opportunity to reach out to those advocates and request that they link to your site, so you can get a free SEO backlink.
Finding unlinked mentions to build backlinks from high authority sites can be as easy as searching Google to find mentions of your business’ name. Then create an outreach campaign to ask for a link, which should be easy enough—after all, they’re already mentioning you in their content. You can simply use a Google search to find mentions, or use the BrandMentions app, which makes it easy to find mentions of your business across the internet.
Keep track of those you contact and any new backlinks you get as a result. One of the best tools for tracking all your search optimization efforts, including SEO backlinks is BrightLocal. It includes a citations builder, backlink checker, and reputation manager all in one place.
12. Write Testimonials for Other Sites
Unlike requesting a testimonial from customers or clients, writing a testimonial for other sites is much easier. They’re quick to write, plus, what business doesn’t want to receive positive feedback about their product or brand? You don’t even have to be a good writer to write a testimonial that’s effective—just be honest and straightforward.
Research your industry to find like-minded organizations, or start with the businesses your company already buys from. Then write your testimonial and submit it, along with a photo of yourself or your business logo, and include a short bio with a link to your site. If the website publishes your testimonial, you’ll have a long-lasting backlink that could improve your SEO.
13. Use HARO To Get Backlinks From High Authority Sites
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a public relations tool used by businesses, professionals, site owners, bloggers, and journalists. Using HARO, media professionals and marketers request submissions for specific story ideas, new products or services, industries, and so on.
HARO email subscribers then have the opportunity to identify queries they have the expertise to answer and submit a response. Essentially, it’s a network that connects those who need topical content with those who can provide it.
Creating an account on HARO is free and it’s easy to use. As an expert, you simply respond to queries for topics and industries you’re an authority on. Each day you’ll get emails with new queries you can respond to with a quote, a short bio reflecting your expertise and qualifications, and a link to your website.
When relying on your response or expertise, bloggers and reporters will usually include a backlink to your site to help prove your authority and their fact-checking. It’s a win-win where they get the information needed to write their content and you get the potential to build backlinks from high domain authority sites.
14. Guest Star on Podcasts
Podcasts are a very popular medium businesses use to promote products and services. There are so many out there that you’re sure to find more than one in your industry. Most podcasters also have a website with extra text-based content such as footnotes, and information about each episode. It’s a great place to get a backlink.
Just as you would with bloggers, journalists, and other site owners, research podcasts to find those whose target audiences align with that of your business. Strike up a conversation with the podcaster and build a relationship.
Once you have a rapport, send your pitch and you may be the next featured guest on their podcast. Be sure to provide a bio that includes a link to your website, or ask for the backlink to be added to the podcast’s description or credits.
15. Invite Bloggers To Do Reviews
Sending bloggers free products or free trials to services is fairly easy to do and many businesses find success with this method of influencer marketing. It will usually mean a guaranteed backlink for your website if the blogger or influencer agrees to review the product or service free as content for their followers.
Follow the same method as when building relationships—create a connection before asking for a review. For top bloggers, YouTube reviewers, and Instagram influencers, getting your product free may not be enough. Consider how you can sweeten the deal, like offering their audience an exclusive discount or paying the influencer for their effort (and access to their valuable audience).
16. Build Relationships & Ask for Links
Sometimes the process of knowing how to build backlinks for SEO can be as simple as asking. For example, there are bloggers and influencers looking for brands to suggest to their followers and yours might be just the right thing. There are also sites out there that publish roundup articles, listicles, and directories of the best businesses in the industry.
Your products may speak for themselves, but it’s still a good backlink strategy to reach out and build relationships personally with those who run sites from which you want a backlink. Get started by finding websites that are relevant to your industry. For example, a jeweler who designs unique wedding bands could search online for blogs and sites that offer wedding, bride, and groom-related products, services, and content.
Reach out to blog owners to strike up a conversation about your shared industry and mention a piece of their content you liked. Once you build rapport, you could suggest a content idea that could work for their blog that combines your shared interests, such as floral design on wedding bands to match the couple’s floral arrangements (if you’re reaching out to a florist).
You can use customer relationship management (CRM) software like HubSpot for free to organize and maintain relationships with clients, but it’s also useful for contacts like bloggers and writers who can help you build backlinks. Keep and refer to notes about each relationship to make it easy for you to reach out regularly and continue building relationships.
17. Outsource Link Building
Rather than devoting the time and effort it takes to build backlinks yourself, you can outsource link building to a freelance professional or a link-building business. Consider a top digital marketing agency like Hibu to get a good link profile for your website. Hibu offers a variety of services to help improve your SEO from affordable smart site development to link-building, citations, listings, and website SEO.
SEO Backlink Building Statistics & ROI
Backlinks (a link from one website to another) are a top ranking factor with search engines like Google. The more high quality backlinks a website has, the higher it will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). In turn, this leads to more website traffic and more business. Backlinks can also help improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and boost your domain authority.
There are many benefits of getting backlinks from high authority sites, and some of them include:
- Higher search rankings
- Increased website traffic
- Improved brand awareness
- More visibility in online search
- Higher domain authority
Here are some backlink statistics to keep in mind regarding the return on investment (ROI) of an effective SEO link-building strategy:
- “What Posts,” “Why Posts” and infographics receive 25.8% more links compared to videos and “How-to” posts.
- Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links compared to short articles. Articles longer than 3000 words are the most ideal for backlink building.
- Companies that engage in blogging receive 97% more backlinks to their site.
- The No. 1 ranking pages in search results get an additional 5% to 14.5% more dofollow backlinks from new websites each month.
- More than 66% of pages on the internet have zero backlinks pointing to them and another 26% have links from three websites or less.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are backlinks in SEO?
Backlinks are simply links to your website from other sites. They can help or hurt your website’s SEO. Backlinks from high-quality websites (websites with high “domain authority” with Google) help your site rank higher in online search. Conversely, backlinks from low-domain authority websites (e.g., spammy websites or sites using SEO tactics that Google disapproves of, like keyword stuffing or paid link farming) can cause your site to rank lower.
What types of backlinks have the most SEO benefit?
When a website that has high domain authority links to your site without adding a “nofollow” tag, its authority is passed on to your site. This is a “dofollow” or “follow” link, and these types of links provide the most SEO benefit for your site.
If a “nofollow” tag is added in the link’s HTML code, authority isn’t passed to your site, but the link may still have SEO benefit by promoting traffic to your website. Link-building is important, but it’s just one way to improve your website’s SEO. Learn more in our overview of search engine marketing (SEM).
Can I rank on Google without backlinks?
It is possible to rank on Google without backlinks but you have to employ other game plans. As with any sound SEO strategy, start by publishing quality content on your website. Target long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for, get customer reviews on your Google Business Profile, and make sure your citations and business listings are accurate across the internet. Those are just a few ways to rank higher in Google (even if you don’t have a lot of high authority backlinks).
Getting quality SEO backlinks can be time-consuming and challenging. It involves forging partnerships and relationships, performing outreach, and publishing link-worthy content on your website. However, when increased web traffic from links and organic search produce new leads and customers for your business it’s well worth the investment.
If you need help, companies like Hibu that specialize in link building can help you build backlinks to help your site land at the top of search results affordably. Get a free consultation to find out what Hibu can do to help improve your site’s SEO to drive more traffic and sales.