10 ways to build quality backlinks for any website

10 ways to build quality backlinks for any website

10 ways to build quality backlinks for any website

One of my biggest challenges with designing link building campaigns is that a successful strategy for one website may not work on another.

For instance, the technique for an information-heavy affiliate marketing site may yield a different number of links for an ecommerce product page or localized service pages.

The techniques below can be used for almost any situation, with varying degrees of scale depending on many factors.

But before we get into the strategies, you need to ensure you are using the right one for your company’s situation.

Every website and situation is slightly more unique than the last. These variables can be due to the company structure, overall marketing strategy, or the website’s niche.

Several factors can make one website harder to build links than others.

Below is a list of top questions to help you understand which technique to use and scale based on the website’s current situation.

A litmus test for link strategy

  • How many topics are there to discuss in your niche?
  • What type of website will get the links? 
  • Are specific link building techniques easier or harder to do in your niche?
  • Is your website in a “Your Money or Your Life” niche (YMYL)?
  • How competitive are your keywords?
  • What type of content is currently available? Or what are your content capabilities?
  • Which pages do you want to rank?
  • What are your prospecting and outreach capabilities? Do you have an in-house team, or are you outsourcing to a link building agency?
  • Do you have a following? Will anyone share your content naturally?
  • Are you focused locally, nationally or internationally?
  • Do you have the time and resources to perform the link building strategy?

Asking yourself these questions is the first step before selecting a link building strategy. By understanding these variables, the strategy may yield more links or links to the target website pages.

Out of all these questions, the type of website has the most significant impact on which technique is used. Let’s look more into how to select pages for link building.

Different websites can produce wildly different types of content or need different pages to rank.

Some sites may produce little informational content, like many ecommerce sites, while others build their entire marketing program around informational content production, like educational affiliate sites.

The list of website types below has the most common types of websites.

Affiliate websites

These sites can come in many forms, including blogs, coupon sites, product listicles, product directories, review sites, shopping comparisons and more. Typically, these sites need links to the articles or brand listing pages.

Almost any technique below can be used for affiliate websites but guest posting, resource page links, and competitor link building will be very effective in most niches.

Marketplace or directories

These sites connect buyers and sellers, usually facilitating transactions. Some examples include Etsy, Upwork and Themeforest.

Building links directly to the listing pages or informational articles is possible with the strategies below.


An ecommerce site will want links to brand, product or category pages to improve ranking. These are one of the most challenging pages to get links for. 

Guest posting, competitor link building, resource pages, image link building, and product samples can build links to almost any page when done correctly. 

But my favorite technique is finding unlinked brand mentions of the site’s products. For example, if an ecommerce site sells Nike shoes, find articles mentioning Nike Shoes and ask for a link. 

However, a direct-to-consumer CPG ecommerce site may have a lot of informational content that can be used for link building.

Consider the skyscraper technique and create content that is designed for link building.

Online training and certificates

These websites can improve enrollment page rankings with links to enrollment pages. These links are difficult to secure, but they use similar techniques to ecommerce.


Both online and brick-and-mortar universities likely have a lot of authoritative content, some of which professors can write. 

Blogs like to cite reputable sources, a unique angle universities can leverage to secure links. These sites will often have a blog but need links to the program pages.

I’ve found that building links to informational pages and internally linking to the program pages can yield a lot of natural links.

Direct-to-consumer CPG

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) that sell directly to consumers via the website tend to produce content heavily and have an ecommerce section. 

Additionally, they tend to spend a lot of time building brand awareness. 

Strategies like guest posting, unlinked brand mentions, image link building, product samples, and even blogger roundups can yield many links for these brands. 

Informational articles or ecommerce pages are ideal targets for links.

I highly recommend leveraging HARO with a CPG brand.

National with a local focus

A company with a national presence but targets local keywords has unique link building challenges. These sites typically have a page for each location, which is ideal for building links.  

I’ve found great success with travel or even local bloggers finding links to a location page.

However, consider creating long-form content to rank for national keywords and not just focus on local. This will ensure you develop a diverse and natural link profile.

SaaS and tech (B2B or B2C)

A large technology company or startup can find links directly to informational articles, solutions pages, industry pages or informational articles.

Competitor link building, guest posting and resource page links can yield a lot of links to these types of pages. A resource link may go directly to a product or homepage, but they are still excellent links.

Local services

Local businesses tend to have fewer resources to produce content, but a primary focus will mostly be the home, location or service pages

Local sites that attend local events are good sources for a few “low-hanging fruit” links.

Still, digital PR, competitor link building and roundup articles for local businesses can secure links for the local market

Travel bloggers listing the business’s city on their site can make sense to link to your website on pages about your city.

The strategies below can work for any of the website types listed. However, if the site runs an active content marketing program, specific strategies will work better than others. 

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1. Distribute content through established blogger relationships

Since opening my business in 2018, I started building relationships with bloggers.

This approach is focused on email outreach to bloggers, authors, or publishers and then securing links through those relationships. 

An email to someone you know tends to receive a much higher response rate than a cold email, which may receive 1-5% successful response rate.

Successful ways to engage a publisher or author include:

  • Meeting at events.
  • Performing a free broken link analysis of their site.
  • Sponsoring or advertising on the website.
  • Contributing to their community.
  • Sharing an exciting story.
  • Sending free product samples.

A guest post is a technique that can either focus on finding guest posting opportunities for team members or building relationships with existing contributors to a site. 

However, it's easy to waste time writing articles for low-quality blogs, so ensure you use your time wisely and contribute to high-quality sites.

The easiest way to find guest posting opportunities is to go to Google with the search operator {keyword} intitle: "write for us"/"guest author"/"contributor." Then go down the list and begin pitching article topics.

Sites that link to competitors but not your site have been one of my go-to strategies for securing links in any niche.

Tools like Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, and Semrush all have large databases of links. 

Each tool has features that make it easy to enter one or many competitors to get a list of referring domains and links. 

Using one of the tools above, enter a competitor domain, find a list of unique referring domains, use a tool like PitchBox or Buzzstream to find a list of emails, then begin outreach.

Popularized by Brian Dean, this technique involves:

  • Analyzing top-ranking sites for a given keyword.
  • Building content that creates unique value compared to the top-ranking articles.
  • Reaching out to the sites linking to those articles.
  • Asking them to update their link with yours.

First, identify a popular topic, research the best content available, and then create a more comprehensive, up-to-date version.

Finally, connect with bloggers and influencers in your niche to ask for backlinks to your content.

5. Journalist pitching with HARO or #journorequest

Finding journalists and bloggers searching for sources, data, or information for upcoming articles can increase response rates from these campaigns.

Use pitch request lists like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or #journorequest hashtag on Twitter, develop a pitch deck for a specific subject matter expert at the company, and identify relevant requests. 

After that, you can contact them by email in HARO, comment on the #journorequest tag thread, or reach out directly on Twitter to the writer making the #journorequest.

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This approach leverages existing resource pages that list websites, articles, products, or other assets to provide valuable resources for readers.

A simple way to get started is to research using Google, Ahrefs or BuzzStream. 

Use the search operators below, upload to Ahrefs Batch Analysis tool, export the list, filter out low Domain Rating (DR) domains, then upload to BuzzStream to get emails and outreach.

  • "keyword" + inurl:resources
  • "keyword" + intitle:resources
  • "keyword" + intitle:links
  • "keyword" + "useful resources"
  • "keyword" + "useful links" 

Replace "keyword" with your target keyword(s) or niche-related terms.

This strategy is used to create backlinks to a website that already uses imagery from your website but needs to be cited correctly. 

After identifying these images, outreach and request proper citation and a link. This approach works well when a site has a lot of unique images, ideally that are custom created.

Start by doing a reverse image search in Google Images or TinEye and clicking on the image to find the source URL.

Then, upload the site list to BuzzStream to begin outreach or use the forms directly on the site.

8. Universal unlinked mention

Traditionally, the term was "unlinked brand mentions" to explain a process of finding unlinked mentions of the main company's brand. 

However, I use a broad definition to explain "unlinked mentions" and consider it to be any mention of the company, products/services, competitors' names, or even topically relevant articles.

Because this modification to the unlinked brand mentions strategy includes many more keywords, almost every website affiliate website, ecommerce selling brands, CPG, Saas, and startups using PR, to name a few.

Having articles with unique statistics will make link building outreach much more effective, but they can also earn links by ranking for keywords with "statistics" or "study" in them. 

Bloggers and journalists are always searching for sources and data to include in upcoming articles, and many start by googling terms like "SEO statistics." These can secure links without a single email being sent. 

For example, an Ahrefs article about 78 SEO Statistics for 2023 ranks in Google at position 1 for "seo statistics" and has almost 2,000 referring domain links.

Start by keyword brainstorming to create a list of keywords that look like [keyword] + "statistics" or "study." Then google the keyword and see what type of studies are showing up. 

Analyze the top-ranking articles and either create a roundup of statistics online or perform a new study.

Podcasting is becoming very prevalent, but not all have a website. Find podcasts with websites where they promote or reuse the content in written form. 

Podcasts are great for increasing brand awareness, but the objective is to secure a website link that will drive ranking improvement.

In your selected niche, Google [keyword]+podcasts to find a podcast website, then visit the website to ensure they summarize the podcast episodes in an article. 

From this list, listen to each podcast to understand their angle on the topic. 

Finally, engage with the hosts or other guests on social media and prepare to pitch.

Link building remains essential to a successful SEO strategy for websites in various niches. 

Understand the unique aspects of your website and niche so you can tailor your approach to secure the most effective links. 

The strategies above can be applied to diverse website types, including affiliate websites, ecommerce platforms, universities, and local businesses. 

When you ask the right questions and select the appropriate technique for your website, you can dramatically improve rankings or traffic.

The post 10 ways to build quality backlinks for any website appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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