Building backlinks is not a magic thing. In this article, I’ll show you easy (and less easy) ways to professionally create a good backlink profile for your website.
Before we start, a quick note on what backlinks are and why we should get backlinks.
Backlinks are links that point to your website from other websites. And the more high-quality backlinks lead to your website, the greater your chances of ranking well in the search engines.
The idea behind it is simple: Google needs proof that your article is “good”. After all, Google wants to provide its users with the best possible search results. An article seems to be good if it is recommended by readers. And this recommendation is made via a link (reference) to the article.
As a result, backlinks play a huge role in search engine ranking. The big advantage for Google is that backlinks are quite difficult to manipulate and thus show comparatively reliably whether the content of an article is good enough to be recommended by others.
Most SEO experts therefore agree: For a good ranking you have to build backlinks.
However, one must also note that the ranking factor “backlink” has suffered somewhat in recent years. Basically, the idea that a link would be a positive indicator of a good internet presence was a great thing. But now the quality and popularity of a website cannot be measured solely by the quantity of backlinks.
That may have been true in the early days of Google. But organic link building takes a long time – and has become almost impossible in some industries. This is why most SEO experts have gradually started looking for artificial ways to get backlinks. As a result, the quantity of backlinks is no longer decisive, but rather the quality of the backlinks has a positive effect on the ranking.
Note: You can find all details about backlinks, anchor texts and link quality in my post: “ What is a backlink? “.
The search engines are constantly adapting the algorithms in order to better evaluate links and to punish “unnatural” link building. But don’t worry: it is our job to ensure the best possible “natural” link building. Then nothing can happen to us! And that’s exactly what this article is about.
Now let’s look at how you can build good backlinks “naturally” – without being penalized by Google.
1. Backlinks from friends and partners
Everyone wants to get backlinks. Clear. The easiest way to the coveted little links is to ask your friends or business partners for a backlink. This is a good start to a new website. However, this strategy is not really expandable, after all, everyone should donate a maximum of one link and usually ask for a counterlink. In this case we end up in the realm of link exchange, so that Google negates the links in the end.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to generate one or the other link in this way to get you started.
2. Content Marketing
The best way to get backlinks is through “good content”. Write quality articles that will delight and encourage your reader to backlink your article with a recommendation to read.
I’ve written it many times before, only good content will prevail in the long term. This affects your SEO strategy, your satisfied readership and also your link building. Because nobody links to bad posts.
Always try to write so well that you would recommend the article yourself. This is time-consuming and the creation may take a few days. A good article ranks for years – and only needs to be adapted / updated selectively in the long term.
Also, be better than the others! Before you create a post, search for your topic on Google and analyze the TOP results: What is good, what is missing?
Now write a longer, better article on your topic! Complete the article in the pictures, videos, recommendations. If your article turns out really perfect, you are sure to get backlinks to your article.
Tip: Link within your posts to other relevant articles from your industry, ideally to websites with high authority. Many webmasters watch their backlink profile and then see your link. With a little luck, the webmaster will return the favor or you can ask him for a guest article.
3. Backlinks from guest articles
Guest articles on renowned blogs not only ensure recognition and more traffic, but can also be the source of a TOP backlink to your site. The biggest advantage is that you can determine the positioning and anchor text of the link yourself. You not only get a new backlink, but you can also expand your target group. Sounds good right? It is!
The nice thing is that you don’t even have to be an authority in your niche. As long as you appear serious and have a professional website, you will be able to get most potential partners to work with valuable content.
To write good guest articles, do the following things
In the first step, see which link partner could be interested in linking to you.
I run a shop that sells baby products. In my blog, I write accordingly about baby items, parenting tips and the like.
Using a simple Google search for my primary keyword “baby items”, I mainly find competing websites or articles from Ebay and Amazon. All of these pages will hardly create a link to my site, so they are of no interest for our research.
Since shops are failing as partners, we prefer to concentrate on other topic blogs in our niche. In this case, I would first use the content of my blog as a guide. These blogs could link my posts and maybe even to my shop. Keywords such as “baby”, “baby article” or similar would be suitable.
Before we refine our research, think about who might be specifically interested in linking your web content. This could be product tester blogs or blogs for new mothers and fathers. Here, too, it is important to find the relevant keywords for possible partner sites.
Tip: Use the Google Keyword Planner, for example. At this point in the keyword research we are not interested in the search volume of the search terms.
After we have found good terms for our niche, we start looking for partner sites that allow guest articles.
We refine the search queries accordingly in order to only find those pages that allow a guest post. The following search operations are usually very suitable:
- “Baby article guest contribution”
- “Baby articles guest articles”
- “Publish baby article post”
- “Baby articles guest articles”
- “Baby article review”
- “Baby article test”
- “Baby article recommendation”
- “Baby article tips”
If we get too many results that do not match our goal, we can use the following additional operators to further refine the search results.
First of all, we want to get links that Google actually follows, that is, we have to exclude links with the “nofollow” attribute. Simply add the operator “-nofollow” to the end of your search phrase.
If the search result contains a large number of shops or competing sites, you can also filter these out from the search. Either you exclude the URL (-inurl: “address of the url”) or by name of the website (-intitle: “title of the competition page”). Make sure that there is no space between the colon and the following term (or the quotation marks).
Tip: You can use this to filter all pages that contain the word in the title or the URL, or just those pages that contain the exact phrase (several words) in the title or the URL. In the latter case, you need to put the phrase in quotation marks).
If you found a good blog, contact the webmaster and ask if you can write a guest article on your expert topic. If you offer good content, a backlink is actually always possible.
As a rule, you have to pay in advance. Write a tailor-made, good, exclusive article and offer this article to your potential partner.
(If you already have a strong blog or good references, you can save yourself this step if necessary).
For the first contact, the article does not have to be finished in detail. Introduce your concept and show the added value you bring to the host’s readers. You might find a whole new topic that readers might find excited, or you might find an older post that you could update.
4. Build backlinks with reviews
References and customer testimonials are a popular marketing tool. Companies like to show that they are being talked about (well) as this builds trust.
But it is quite time-consuming to get these brief evaluations. And this is where you come in: Offer great products with good websites a rating as a testimonial and ask for a backlink to your website in return.
Make sure, however, to start with reviews of products from smaller manufacturers. Brands that are still developing are happy to receive feedback and support. If your articles have risen in the ranking and you have experience in dealing with manufacturers, you can acquire better-known manufacturers.
Tip: always stay authentic! You don’t have to gloss over everything in your article. If criticism is appropriate, you should also express constructive suggestions for improvement. Above all, you owe your obligations to your readers!
5. Interviews as a backlink source
Everyone feels flattered when asked for an interview. So look for the experts in your niche and offer to interview them and publish it on your website.
In 99% of the cases, the expert will link to the interview and probably also link on the social web so that his fans can read the interview. Tataa: And again you generated some links to your site. Oh yes, by the way, you also created great, unique content for your website.
The only disadvantage: For interviews, you have to offer an attractive website or be (halfway) an authority in your niche.
Tip: At the beginning of every interview, you should always give the interviewee the opportunity to briefly introduce themselves. Prepare yourself well for the interview. In addition, find out about your interview partner in advance and select 2 to 3 TOP topics for the interview. If you have 3 questions each on 3 topics, you can ask 9 questions. Typically, each answer will take 3 to 5 minutes to complete, so you can use 30 to 45 minutes in length.
And another tip: Experts in particular are usually asked the same questions. Surprise your interview partner with one or the other question that your partner “enjoys”.
6. Backlinks from “existing” articles
Here and there your articles, your products or your services are recommended by third parties. You may also be blogged about your company or mentioned in a press release. Unfortunately, many forget to link your website in the context of the posts.
So look for posts about you or your company and politely ask if the author can add a link to your website.
Tip: Create a Google alert that will inform you as soon as your brand is mentioned somewhere.
7. Create backlinks yourself: web directories
Link building using quality content is unfortunately quite time-consuming. But you can also generate some links yourself, namely via web directories. There are web directories in different quality levels. Some are free and other web directories require a backlink or you have to pay for the entry.
Basically, backlinks from web directories are not of very high quality. But in the light of a natural link profile, one or the other link from directories can be quite useful.
6. Press portals
Another possibility are so-called press portals. Here you can, for example, post news about your industry via via press portals and refer to your website. Just a few years ago, this was a great opportunity to seriously generate hundreds of backlinks. Well . “was” is the important word here. Google is not stupid either and hardly or not at all evaluates links from press portals. But well: it’s worth a try …
9. Social Media & Social Signals
Links from Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Co. are a nice thing: they are easy to get. In principle, you only need to share your articles across your social profiles.
While links from social media sites are usually nofollow links, they drive good traffic and come from websites with high authority. In the absence of “DoFollow”, your website does not inherit any of the link popularity, but thanks to the links, Google’s trust in your posts increases. This “social trust” helps your link profile.
10. Build backlinks from (forums / blog) comments
Blog comments are the classic among backlinks. Basically, you’re looking for relevant blog posts and then leaving high-quality comments that complement the topic.
In this way you can further build up your backlink profile and at the same time establish valuable contacts with other readers (and the webmasters).
The prerequisite, however, is that you comment on the articles really well (and not overwhelm other blogs with spam). So read each post carefully and then write your opinion or experience or add a meaningful addition to the topic.
Tip: With good comments you draw attention to yourself and your work. If someone replies to your comments, you should – if necessary – respond to follow-up comments. In addition, do not set more than 1 backlink per forum / blog post.
In the long term, you increase the chance of good cooperation or a guest article.
11. YouTube videos
Everyone knows YouTube. Yet only a few use the opportunity to generate backlinks from YouTube videos.
So you can add a description to each of your videos. Use this opportunity to create very good backlinks from the video description and your channel.
By the way, you can also post comments on YouTube. Follow the rules above and you will also be able to build good backlinks from the YouTube platform.
12. Answer questions in question portals
Question portals such as Yahoo Answers or Quora are always looking for qualified advisors on a wide variety of topics. Check these portals regularly to see if you can help with advice here or there.
Then write helpful answers. Complete your answer with a link to a further article on your website. It is only important that your direct answer already answers the question. Otherwise your strategy will quickly run into displeasure and your profile will be closed for spamming.
But if you provide good help and then link to further information, that is fine for most users.
13. Broken links
One way of building backlinks is so-called “broken link building”. Here one searches the network specifically for broken links that display a 404 error because the target page has been deleted or moved in the meantime. Now you write a suitable article on the topic (or already have an article in stock) and ask the webmaster whether he or she replaces the broken link with a link to your website.
14. Attention: link purchase
Anyone looking for a quick way to build links will be tempted and just want to buy links.
There is only one catch: Buying backlinks is a fundamental violation of Google guidelines (see http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=de&answer=66356 ).
But despite all warnings and avoidance tactics from Google, the backlinks business is still booming. Prices start at around $ 5 (for example via Fiverr.com) up to several hundred euros for quality backlinks.
In view of the fact that with good backlinks in small numbers the risk of being penalized by Google is quite low, these offers are certainly tempting. For example, 100 backlinks are attractive for a few euros … compared to the laborious process of building them up by hand.
But be careful: On the one hand, there is of course always the risk of damaging your link profile with bad links. In addition, you usually get a lot of backlinks, but mostly consistently bad links from link farms, bad comments or spam sites.
Incidentally, even Google allows you to buy links in exceptional cases. Some directory entries have to be bought (e.g. for some directories such as “Who delivers what?”).
There is also a gray area: some providers (directories or blogs) offer advertising for a fee and set a link in return. Links are sold on other marketplaces, which are then delivered from blog posts.
So you can build high quality backlinks through a purchase model. However, this can get quite expensive, at least more expensive than the tempting 5, 10 or 50 EUR.
15. Attention: Link exchange
The “link exchange” is a little less dangerous. Here links are simply exchanged between two pages.
Google also doesn’t like the link exchange. In the simplest case, links directly exchanged between two websites are simply wiped out in value. In the worst case, there could be a penalty.
To prevent this, links are not exchanged directly, but in the form of a triangle link exchange (1 to 3, 4 to 2). It is also best to set links with a time delay.
Ideally, a win-win situation arises. However, you should carefully check with whom you are exchanging links. Only look for link partners with thematically related websites and with websites that have good authority. Above all, the position of the backlinks should also be determined. A link should always be created from the content. A footer link is of little use to you, as these have hardly any link value.
The anchor text should also be exchanged fairly. But be careful: you shouldn’t both use your primary keywords as this will be more noticeable. It is wiser to use a neutral anchor text or the website name.
Those who are already familiar with building links through collaborations with other website operators are sure to know the forms for a backlink exchange. These forms are now to be viewed with a bit of skepticism, since the respective webmasters are obviously engaged in massive backlink exchanges. But it still can’t hurt to take a closer look at the website.
On the one hand, these forms are a great opportunity to generate a backlink with a minimum of effort. On the other hand, we can take a closer look at the website before we create a partner link.
A form usually contains the following queries:
Name of your website (the anchor text)?
- The url from your website
- The description of your website
- The location on your website where you added your connection.
Okay, since this is an easy way to get links for your website, especially if you are just starting out, I’ll show you a few tips on how to find websites for your link building.
Note: If you “only want to create a link from another website, you can also search specifically for link partners:”
- “Baby article link partner”
Again, you will get a huge list of websites from Google. Please note, however, that with a “simple link” (i.e. without context from a guest article) you will usually only create links that are of very low quality. But at least How many backlinks do I need?
There is no hard and fast rule here. The decisive factor is how competitive the respective search term is. I have TOP10 rankings with articles that only have 1 or 2 backlinks. And then I have websites with several hundred backlinks that still do not slip into the TOP10.
Basically, you don’t need tons of backlinks. Rather, make sure you get links from good websites. In most cases, 5 to 10 backlinks are sufficient.
Also note that backlinks are a building block of SEO work. You also need good SEO content, a good internal link structure, etc.
In addition, the backlink building should take place regularly. Try to get 3-4 good backlinks a month rather than 100 bad, bought backlinks overnight. As a rule, Google doesn’t like it when you suddenly get hundreds of backlinks out of nowhere. Start with a maximum of a handful of backlinks per day. The bigger your internet presence, the more backlinks your websites can handle.
But as I said: it doesn’t depend on the quantity! Even if many backlinks favor a good position in the search results, the quality of the backlinks is of crucial importance.
So take a close look at the referring websites. Check the domain authority of the pages. The bottom line is that 1 backlinks from a good website will help you more than dozens of links from forums or blog comments.
You will see that this way you will quickly leave most of the niche sites behind you.
Which tools are helpful?
There are several tools that can help you build backlinks. No software can do the work for you (well, except maybe not allowed backlink generators), but the tools make your work much easier.
I like to use ahrefs myself. However, this tool is quite expensive. The advantage of this solution, however, is that you get a lot of data delivered at the push of a button.
A very good alternative is the SEO Spyglass software. This tool costs only a fraction and is part of Linkassistant’s SEO suite anyway.
With SEO Spyglass you can keep an eye on your own backlink profile, but you can also “spy on” foreign websites in order to find good sources for backlinks.
With MOZ you get a good first impression of your link profile. The “Link Explorer” service is free, but limited to 10 requests per month.
Unfortunately, if you want to build good backlinks, you have to plan some time. Link building doesn’t happen overnight! It is better to focus on serious link building instead of going the quick route via a link purchase. Anyone who takes the effort to create high-quality articles will be rewarded with satisfied readers and Google with good rankings and qualified traffic.
One final request: I also need backlinks for this website! If you liked this article, please link it on your website or recommend it on Facebook & Co. Thank you!