Backlinks play a pivotal role in any SEO approach, but they don’t offer a set-and-forget victory. Backlinks can vanish, turn toxic, or lose relevance over time. Therefore, it’s essential to continuously identify fresh backlink prospects to maintain a high search ranking.
I dedicate all my working hours to deliberating SEO and aiding individuals in enhancing theirs. Consequently, I’ve accumulated an array of inventive tactics for acquiring backlinks. Here are the seven I most strongly advocate:
1. Emulate your rivals’ SEO backlinks
Determining who links to your competitors represents a significant triumph. These competitor backlinks typically reside on sites pertinent to your niche, ensuring their quality for SEO.
While this might be an extensive manual endeavor, various tools, both free and paid, can aid in analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles. As an example, I’ll demonstrate using my free tool, the Online Backlink Checker from Link-Assistant.com. Nevertheless, the process is fairly analogous with other software.
Just open the tool, input your competitor’s URL, and click “Check backlinks.” The tool will scrutinize the domain and generate a backlink profile, encompassing factors like the quantity of backlinks, the proportion of dofollow backlinks, and historical data.
Scroll down, and you’ll encounter the actual roster of backlinks. To unearth the most potent opportunities, filter the outcomes based on Page InLink Rank and Dofollow.
Peruse these backlink pages, pinpoint the most robust prospects, and then make contact with these sites to gauge their willingness to link to your website. But here’s a crucial point: before reaching out, confirm whether you already possess a backlink from these providers. If you do, acknowledge it before requesting another.
2. Employ broken link building technique
Broken link building entails locating backlinks leading to 404 pages on other sites, reaching out to these sites, and proposing that they substitute the 404 link with one directing to a similar page on your site. This approach not only secures backlinks but also offers value to the site offering the backlink.
There exist two primary avenues to discover these broken backlinks:
a. Identify broken backlinks from your rivals
You can employ a backlink analysis tool (mine is called SEO SpyGlass) for this analysis. You can filter the results to uncover high-authority dofollow backlinks triggering a 404 error.
b. Scrutinize the website you desire backlinks from
If there’s a specific site from which you want backlinks, scrutinize it to identify any relevant broken links. In my tool, WebSite Auditor, this information appears in the Site Structure > Site Audit > Links > Broken links section.
Yet again, if you possess a pertinent replacement, proffer it to the site owner. If it genuinely fits, they might embrace your link to resolve the 404 issue without seeking an alternative.
Always maintain transparency with the individuals you contact. Avoid disguising your intentions as pure assistance. Be forthright that you’re suggesting the use of a link from your website and explain why it’s relevant. Hiding your true intentions is unlikely to fool the decision-makers, who are real humans capable of discerning your motives.
3. Endeavor to recover lost backlinks
In addition to procuring new backlinks, it’s valuable to invest time in identifying any previous backlinks that are now broken or missing. In SEO SpyGlass, navigate to Backlink Profile > Backlinks and update the Backlink Page Info for your site.
The tool will re-evaluate the selected pages and inform you if any links have vanished.
Various reasons could account for your links disappearing:
– The link may have been replaced by the site owner.
– The backlink page may no longer exist.
– The website may be temporarily down.
– The page could be excluded from indexing.
To reinstate a lost backlink, reach out to the site owners and request their assistance. Depending on the issue, you might ask them to place your link on another page if the previous one was removed, reinstate the backlink if it was deleted, or remove the noindex directives from their pages.
4. Forge links with images
Images capture attention and occupy space, making them more likely to attract clicks. Consequently, creating images (infographics, graphics, product photos, comics, etc.) and promoting them is a sensible strategy for gaining backlinks.
However, if you employ images as backlinks, ensure that the link directs users to the broader page hosting the image, not just the image directory. Image directory links (ending in .gif, .png, .jpg, etc.) are dead ends, wasting all the traffic they attract.
You can determine if any of your backlinks lead to image directories by setting up filters in your SEO tool to search for URLs containing image formats.
If you identify such links, request the site owner to replace them with links leading to the page featuring the image. If you allow them to embed your image on their site, they should be open to linking it correctly.
You can also perform a Google Images search to check if anyone is using your images. If it’s a reputable site and you consent, you can request them to include a link. However, if it’s a dubious site, consider asking them to remove it.
5. Craft guest posts
Guest posting not only enhances your credibility and exposes your brand to a new audience but also serves as a beneficial SEO tactic if you can incorporate a link to your website within the content. Refer to a dedicated article on guest posting for SEO for comprehensive guidance on locating suitable opportunities and getting your guest posts published.
6. Secure spots on “best of” lists
Being featured on “best of” lists serves as validation for your product or service and also provides a link to your site from a relevant, authoritative source.
To identify lists where your business could be a fit, employ a tool like the Online Backlink Checker to assess a competitor’s website. Pay particular attention to dofollow backlinks containing phrases like “best” and “top.”
Contact the author or site owner and inquire about the inclusion process. It may involve payment or editorial discretion, but by providing a persuasive description, they might consider adding you to maintain their content’s freshness.
7. Network with fellow industry experts
Engaging with peers in your industry through events, social media, or other networking avenues can boost your site’s exposure, potentially leading to backlinks from those connections.
For example, consider joining relevant Facebook Groups and participating in discussions while sharing pertinent links. Be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive promotion may appear spammy. The aim is to share valuable information within the community, leaving it to individuals to decide whether to link to your content.
If you become part of an online community, pay attention to what other members post. If someone announces their intention to write a blog post related to your business, offer to collaborate with them and explore potential link opportunities.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to dominate your backlink profile. Experiment with these options to diversify, legitimize, and enhance the trustworthiness of your profile.