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Start With These Essential Link Building Strategies in 2023

Are you ready to take your website and search engine ranking to the next level by implementing effective link building strategies? Link building is one of SEO's most important yet most challenging aspects. When you put the right strategies in place, however, you can get tangible results that propel your brand into a position of prominence in its industry.

This article provides 12 link building strategies to evaluate your linking needs in 2023. We'll also share how to get started, monitor, and review competitors' links. From understanding how they work to developing content that attracts high-quality links – we've got everything covered that you need to know.

So let's dive deep into unlocking the full power of creating strong incoming links to ensure your business is ready for success online.

What is link building?

What is link building graphic - seo, webpage, back links

Backlink building is a powerful SEO technique that involves acquiring links from other websites to your own site. It's like an endorsement – when a reputable website links back to your content, search engine algorithms view it as a signal that your content has value and relevance.

This conveyed trust can boost your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more organic traffic to your site. However, not all backlinks are created equal. In fact, some can even have a negative impact on your SEO if they come from low-quality or spammy sites.

That's why it's important to focus on building high-quality, authoritative backlinks by leveraging tactics such as guest blogging, creating shareable infographics or visual content, and reaching out to sites with broken links that you can help fix.

By developing an effective strategy for building quality backlinks over time, you'll be able to improve your brand's online visibility and overall credibility in the eyes of potential customers.

Ultimately, successful backlink building requires consistency and patience. It may take time to see tangible results from your efforts, but staying committed will pay off in the long run as those who endorse you increase peoples’ trust in what you’re offering them.

The benefits of link building

Backlink building is essential to an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. There are many tangible benefits to increasing your site's authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines like Google.

Some of the biggest and most well-known benefits include higher rankings, increased traffic, better visibility, brand awareness, and more conversions. Who would want those, oooh gross!

However, building quality backlinks can be time-consuming and requires patience and dedication. That said, the rewards are worth it!

Not only do high-quality backlinks improve your SEO, but they also position you as an expert in your industry by giving you legitimacy within your niche.

With a clear understanding of how backlinks work, crafting top-notch content people want to link to and networking with reputable sources who will value your content and help it earn links becomes a little less daunting.

How to start building backlinks

How to start building backlinks Gray Typewriter with White Paper, backlinks typed out

Starting the backlink building process depends on the type or types of backlink building you intend to take on. The best and most productive strategy for long-term success is creating high-quality content that other websites want to reference or share with their audience. This could be anything from research papers, infographics, videos, or blog posts.

Your link building strategy may vary from someone else's based on multiple factors, such as competition level within the given sector/niche, etc. There are many ways to build backlinks, some more successful than others.

Getting started is sometimes the most difficult aspect, as everything is uphill, but once you build up some momentum and see a little success, you can start to find the system that works for you, and soon you'll start to see the results from your hard work.

There are several different types of backlinks that you want to build over time. Each type offers a difference in overall value as it pertains to your domain rank or domain authority.

Domain rank or DR (terminology used by Ahrefs) and domain authority or DA (terminology used by Moz) is how most other SEO tools and the SEO community at large refer to the link value a website has received.

The higher the domain authority or rank, the better the backlink portfolio is and the more value the website has. This is important to remember throughout your link building efforts, as these two domain value systems can be manipulated to be artificially inflated.

That is why it is also important to check the traffic coming to a website. High authority sites with no traffic are a red flag in your link building strategy.

Types of backlinks

Backlinks are critical for improving your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts because they signal to Google that your site is a reliable source of information. When it comes to backlink building, there are several types of links that you should know, as each has a different value.

Editorial backlinks. These are links acquired through content creation or outreach campaigns designed explicitly for generating high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites in your industry niche. These are some of the most relevant links to your website you can earn and are of high value in your link building strategy.

Guest post links. Guest post links involve creating content and posting it on other websites with related themes or industries using their domain authority and author bio section as an opportunity to earn relevant traffic by linking to your website.

Guess post opportunities exist across the entire spectrum of websites, high DR/DA, low DR/DA, every niche, high profile sites like HubSpot or HuffPost, to obscure sites that not many have heard of.

Web 2.0 links. These are sites you can create a profile and content on and then link back to your website a single time or multiple times. The one thing most web 2.0 sites have in common is a high DR, which makes their use to build links very appealing.

Examples of these types of sites are WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, Blogger.com, Livejournal, Medium, etc.

Directory links. These are sometimes referred to as web 2.0 links, but they are slightly different. A directory is a site that lists businesses or websites in an ordered manner based typically on the category of products, services, or other classifications.

Sites that fall into this category are Yelp, Yellow Pages, Trip Advisor, Best of the Web, Google Business Places, Bing Places, etc.

Social media profile links. Setting up your social accounts and grabbing the handles that match your brand, website name, or company name is critical when you launch a business. The buildout of these profiles also allows you to gain a backlink, although it doesn't show up in most SEO tools as it is treated differently than other backlink types.

Social media platforms you should sign up for include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and any that are niche specific.

Forum links. When you participate in an online forum or message board, sometimes you may add a link to a piece of highly-related content on your site, like a free asset or resource page. This is sometimes allowed when you establish a good rapport within the forum, as long as it is not done in a spammy way and is to provide value to the group.

Forums are specific to your niche, but some well-known forums are Reddit, Quora, and Stack Overflow.

Comment links. There are a number of websites that have open comments or moderated comments sections that also allow links to be added. This is often exploited by link spammers, so most systems are not closed commenting or moderated, which is how it should be, but many bloggers who have abandoned their blogs have left this unchecked. Note, This type of link building is typically low-value and not recommended.

Link building strategies

As mentioned, building a link building strategy that encapsulates what you are trying to accomplish with your links is essential to monitor the success of your efforts. Building out a process and set of operating procedures will keep you on track.

This can be as simple as a Google sheet to track your efforts or as complex as using link outreach software like Ninja Outreach or BuzzSumo. Both will allow you to “automate” aspects of the link building outreach process and streamline communications.

These systems don't come cheap as Ninja Outreach starts at $155/month for the Flex plan, which covers the basics but doesn't quite get you to where you need to be, and BuzzSumo, whose Basic plan starts at $119/month but has limitations that really don't make it worth the cost. To be where you need to be, either of these platforms will cost you over $400/month.

You will also need to employ link monitoring software like Majestic, Ahrefs, or SEMrush. These will help you stay on top of your link building strategies and see if your efforts are working to build links to your website.

New platforms are being launched all the time if you prefer not to cobble together your link building strategy documentation and tracking. We don't blame you, considering how important backlinks are as a ranking factor.

Regardless of the tools you choose and the process you employ to manage your efforts, ensuring the strategy and tactics you employ is most important to get results. Let's dive deeper into each type of backlink and the steps to take once you start.

1. Editorial links: creating quality content

1. Editorial links: creating quality content - website, rating, content

Creating quality content is the cornerstone of any successful link building strategy. It is essential for attracting high-quality links from other sites that can improve your search engine ranking and increase traffic.

If you want to build high-value links to your website, building content that most site owners will reference can help you obtain links. Create content of the following types:

Statistics compilations – Sites are always looking to reference statistics for their own content, so if you do the work, chances are you'll earn more editorial links to your site.

Original research – When you take the time to conduct a study or compile original research, your published article will earn links and likely from websites relevant to your niche.

Free software – Anything that is labeled as free that is truly free is a great way to land links back to your site. Free or paid-for software is well-known in terms of the ability to generate links.

Guides – When you see the words ultimate guide, it should indicate a piece of content that is thorough, complete, valuable, or helpful. This is not always the case, as many people use this title as clickbait.

Infographics and images – Visual assets in the form of infographics will encourage others to link to your site. Offering free images on your site will also help build external links, as will icons, graphics, backgrounds, and other creative visual content.

Complete tool lists – Providing a complete list of something that can get the job done takes a lot of work but can be a great link building tactic to earn some decent links to the content.

Case studies – Case studies that appeal to a larger audience and are highly authoritative can help in building links.

To create quality content, you need to understand your target audience and their needs so that you can provide them with the valuable information they are looking for.

One way to approach this is by conducting thorough research on the topic or subject matter and providing readers with in-depth insights that they might not be able to find elsewhere.

Additionally, incorporating multimedia elements, such as images, videos, infographics, etc., into your content helps make it more engaging and readable. Finally, formatting your content correctly with headlines and bullet points will help organize each piece better.

Ultimately creating quality content boils down to putting yourself in the shoes of a reader. Creating informative yet entertaining content with a clear structure so people may quickly navigate through it is something both users & search engines appreciate.

Constantly producing relevant material at regular intervals ensures visitors return frequently and helps build momentum towards better positioning in the SERPs.

2. Blogging link building strategies

2. Blogging link building strategies - cms, wordpress, content management system

Blogging for backlinks is a highly effective technique businesses use to increase their website's search engine ranking. Companies can attract high-quality links from other websites by creating informative and engaging blog posts on relevant topics in their industry.

A blog post can earn more links over time than many other types of website content. Therefore, blogging is one of the top link building strategies many adopt from the outset. A blog can drive more traffic to your site and improve your domain authority – an essential factor in Google's ranking algorithm.

To start blogging for backlinks, you first need to identify the right topics and keywords that are unique and valuable to your audience. Conduct keyword research, analyze competitor blogs, and keep up with the latest industry news to find content ideas that add value for your readers.

Once you have identified the topic, craft a well-written blog post with original insights backed by credible sources of information. Improve your internal links by including relevant links to other blog posts within your site that are also resourceful and topically relevant.

Overall, blogging for backlinks can be a crucial part of any company's SEO strategy if done right. It requires effort, consistency, and creativity but eventually pays off by driving more qualified traffic toward your business.

3. Guest posting link building strategies

3. Guest posting link building strategies - Old fashioned golden service bell and reception sign placed on wooden counter of hotel with retro interior

Guest posting is an excellent way to build high-quality backlinks for your website. By reaching out to other reputable websites within your niche and offering to write a guest blog post, you can earn valuable links that will enhance your site's authority.

The key here is finding relevant websites and blogs that align with the interests of your target audience and offer unique perspectives on topics related to what you do.

By contributing thoughtful, authoritative content in the form of guest posts, you're likely to gain recognition from readers in your industry – who may be willing to visit your site or link back to it.

When contacting a site owner regarding a guest posting opportunity, make sure you personalize your message and correlate it to adding value to their website or niche. You don't want them to have to do work. Your inquiry should provide them with everything they need to say yes. Otherwise, you likely will not receive a response.

Building quality backlinks requires time and effort; it requires consistency, patience, and creativity while staying true to ethical practices. You may have to follow up a few times to gain someone's attention, but earning the link is valuable and worthwhile.

One major benefit of guest posting is that it creates opportunities for collaboration between brands looking to reach similar audiences. As both parties share their knowledge or views on relevant matters within their fields through engaging blog posts, they help each other grow in terms of visibility online while also building solid relationships over time.

When done correctly with natural anchor text and quality content value, these links can have significant SEO benefits, such as increased domain authority and higher search engine rankings, resulting in more website traffic.

4. Web 2.0 link building strategies

4. Web 2.0 link building strategies - whatsapp, instant messenger, chat

Web 2.0 backlinks are valuable assets in the backlink building efforts of any website owner or digital marketer. These backlinks are created on web 2.0 platforms that allow user-generated content, such as blogs, social media sites, and wikis.

By creating high-quality content on these platforms and linking back to your website, you can boost your website's search engine ranking and increase traffic to your site.

While the value of web 2.0 backlinks may have diminished somewhat over the years, they still play an important role in a well-rounded backlink building strategy. When building web 2.0 backlinks, it's important to focus on creating high-quality content that is engaging and shareable, as this will help to improve the overall value of your backlink profile.

Additionally, it's important to monitor your backlinks regularly to ensure they are still functioning properly and are not negatively impacting your website's overall performance. These backlinks take time to boost your website from any meaningful traffic perspective but are still an essential backlink type to acquire when building your online presence.

5. Directory listing link building strategies

5. Directory listing link building strategies - folder, network, file

Directory listings can play a valuable role in link building. By listing your website in relevant directories, you can increase its visibility, improve its online reputation, and enhance its search engine rankings. Directory listings provide a specific set of benefits that are unique to this type of link building strategy.

They can provide targeted referral traffic to your site, thereby increasing the chances of generating leads and conversions. Directory listings can improve your website's domain authority by providing it with high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites.

Finally, they can help establish your business as a trusted source of information in your industry, further enhancing your online reputation. 

When you submit your website to a directory, it is listed under relevant categories, which in turn drives targeted traffic to your site. The key to successful directory listings is selecting quality directories with strong domain authority and relevancy to your industry niche.

Submitting irrelevant links might lead to penalties from search engines, thereby damaging SEO efforts rather than boosting them. Furthermore, ensure that all data provided during submission is accurate, consistent across various platforms, and matches the information presented on your website.

6. Leveraging social media for backlinks

6. Leveraging social media for backlinks

Social media platforms have become essential for digital marketers to leverage in their link building strategy. These platforms offer businesses a unique opportunity to share their content, engage with customers and influencers, and ultimately drive traffic back to their websites.

By creating valuable content that resonates with your audience and providing social proof through engagement, such as likes, shares, comments, or even social mentions, you can effectively boost your brand's credibility while attracting high-quality links.

To truly make an impact using social media as a link building strategy, it's important to identify potential linking opportunities by monitoring conversations around your industry niche or target keywords on various platforms.

Research the blogs or relevant sites in your niche that are frequently shared within these discussions and build relationships with key influencers or authoritative figures whose endorsement could lead to valuable backlinks.

When used correctly, social media platforms can play a significant role in helping businesses achieve success with link building campaigns. It takes creativity coupled with persistence and staying up-to-date monthly with analytics to measure results so you can pivot if needed.

7.Forum link building strategies

7.Forum link building strategies - forum, group, chat

Participating in online forums can be an effective strategy for obtaining backlinks to your website. By engaging in discussions related to your industry and providing valuable insights and information, you can establish yourself as an authority figure and attract links from other forum members.

When participating in forums, it's important to follow the rules of each community and avoid spamming or self-promotion. Instead, focus on adding value through thoughtful comments and sharing relevant content that could benefit others.

To maximize the benefits of forum participation for link building, consider targeting niche communities that are highly relevant to your brand or product offerings. Look for forums where other experts or influencers within your industry also participate, as this will increase the credibility of any links obtained through these platforms.

Finally, make sure to track your results by monitoring referral traffic generated from forum posts, so you can adjust your strategy if needed. Successful backlink building through forum participation is achievable with consistent effort and a genuine desire to add value to online conversations within your field of expertise.

8.Using outreach to earn backlinks

8.Using outreach to earn backlinks link building, link outreach

Outreach is a powerful tool when it comes to earning backlinks for your website. By reaching out to other websites and offering them valuable content or resources, you can establish relationships with other site owners that can result in high-quality links pointing back to your site.

One way to approach outreach is by identifying websites that are similar in theme or topic to your own and then reaching out with an offer of guest posting or contributing a resource such as an infographic or ebook.

When crafting an outreach pitch, it's important to be personal and friendly while demonstrating expertise in the subject matter. You should clearly explain why your content would be valuable for their audience and highlight any relevant experience or credentials you may have. It's also helpful to include specific examples of the type of content you're proposing so they can get a clear sense of what it will look like on their site.

Another method to leverage for outreach is broken link building. With a broken link building strategy, you find websites that currently have an external link to an asset on another site that resolves to a 404 page not found error. Once you have found this, you can contact them and offer your resource as a new link to replace the broken link.

Building links using a broken link building strategy can take serious effort, but it can pay off if your content fits the gap they have in their content.

Using outreach as a link building strategy requires persistence and a willingness to put yourself out there. With consistent effort and some savvy tactics, you can achieve impressive results that improve your search engine ranking while also establishing connections within your industry that can lead to even more opportunities.

Less common link building strategies

9. Link Reclamation

Link reclamation is a powerful technique that can help you recover valuable backlinks that may have been lost due to technical issues or content changes. Essentially, this strategy involves identifying broken links on other websites that used to point to your pages and contacting the site owners to request an update.

By reclaiming these links, you regain any SEO value they previously provided and strengthen your relationship with the referring sites. To get started with link reclamation, use tools like Ahrefs or Moz to identify broken links pointing at your website.

Reach out to the webmasters of those sites in a friendly and professional manner, explaining why their link no longer works and offering updated content if necessary. With persistence and negotiation skills, link reclamation can effectively boost your organic search rankings without creating new content from scratch.

While it's not a quick fix for all link building woes, incorporating this approach as part of a broader backlink acquisition strategy can help diversify your inbound traffic sources and lead to sustained growth over time.

10. Backlink Persuasion

Backlink persuasion is not just about getting as many links as possible, but rather, it’s about creating content that inspires others to link back to your website. The key lies in producing high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can include anything from insightful blog posts, how-to guides, or even videos that provide value to viewers.

To persuade others to link back to your website, you must also understand the importance of building relationships. Establishing strong connections within your industry can lead to opportunities for guest posting on other websites or collaborating on joint projects with influencers in your niche. These partnerships are invaluable for increasing domain authority and gaining exposure among a broader audience.

Backlink persuasion can also be an attempt to win a backlink by presenting your resource as a better version than the one they are currently linking to. Sometimes this type of backlink building is frowned upon, but if you are scrambling to gain some visibility and find that everyone always links to the resources within the top search results, it may be the only way to gain some traction.

Ultimately, the success of backlink persuasion comes down to persistence and perseverance. It takes time and effort to create valuable content and build meaningful relationships – but once you start seeing those high-quality links rolling in, the payoff is well worth it.

11. Direct Link Exchanges

We do not recommend engaging in direct link exchanges under most circumstances, but many sites do, and in some cases, a peer-to-peer link, which is a direct link, is still a good link as long as it is done within the context of providing value to the reader in the form of an additional external resource.

Direct link exchanges are not as valuable for backlink building as they were in the past. Google has long discouraged direct link exchanges between websites as a way to manipulate search engine rankings.

According to their Webmaster Guidelines, websites found to be engaged in link exchanges or other link schemes may face penalties, which can ultimately lead to a decrease in their search engine rankings. 

Direct link exchanges involve partnering with another website and agreeing to link to each other's sites. It is important to ensure that the websites you are linking with are reputable and relevant to your industry or niche. Engaging in direct link exchanges with low-quality or spammy websites can actually harm your website's SEO and reputation.

It's also important to diversify your backlink portfolio, incorporating a mix of link types and sources in order to build a strong and sustainable link profile. Overall, direct link exchanges can be useful for your backlink-building efforts but should be utilized carefully and strategically.

12. ABC Link Exchanges

ABC Link Exchanges are a type of backlink strategy where websites collaborate to exchange links with each other in order to improve their search engine ranking.

The basic principle of the ABC model involves three websites: A, B, and C. Website A links to website B, website B links to website C, and website C links back to website A. By doing this, each website gains a backlink from one website and provides a backlink to another website.

The effectiveness of ABC link exchanges as a link building strategy is debatable. While it can help increase the number of backlinks a website has, search engines like Google pay more attention to the quality of the backlinks rather than the quantity.

Excessive link exchanges can be harmful if seen as manipulative by search engines. As a result, it is important to use link exchanges to supplement other backlink strategies.

How to monitor your backlinks

Ahrefs homepage

Once you've started building links for your website, monitoring them regularly is important. Monitoring your backlinks provides insights into the quality and quantity of links pointing toward your site. It enables you to identify potential issues early on and take corrective actions where necessary.

To start monitoring your link building efforts, use a reliable tool to track all links targeting your website. Check out tools such as Ahrefs or Moz, which are great for tracking link profiles, including new links and broken ones that need fixing.

Next, focus on analyzing who is linking to your site. Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Are they high-quality websites?
  2. Do they have domain authority?
  3. Do you trust the link from them?
  4. Is it a website that you would visit?
  5. Is it a website that gets traffic?

Ensure that each inbound link is from a reputable source with minimal spam metrics. Curating high-quality links only ensures a higher trust factor from search engines when ranking content.

Lastly, check if any of the backlinks coming into the site are broken links – a broken link can hurt user experience and search engine rankings over time, especially if there are quite a few. Consider redirecting users to other resource pages instead or reaching out directly to fix any broken URLs found through manual review or with software like XENU Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog.

Monitoring your backlink performance allows you to keep your finger on the pulse regarding how external sites perceive your content, expertise, and website as a whole.

Analyzing your competitors’ backlinks

One of the critical elements in developing a successful backlink building strategy is analyzing your competitors' backlinks. By doing this, you can understand how and where they are obtaining their links and use these insights to develop your own link building tactics.

Various tools in the market allow you to analyze your competitor's link profile and identify potential opportunities for linking. Take some time to research who your main competitors are in your industry.

Once you've identified them, collect their website URLs and use any of the link analysis tools (such as Ahrefs, Majestic, SpyFu, or SEMRush) to get an overview of their link profile. This will provide a detailed list of websites that point back to theirs, allowing you to see which sites could be worth targeting for link acquisition.

Analyzing your competitor's backlinks also allows you to identify gaps in your content marketing strategy. You'll quickly learn what types of content perform well within the industry and what keywords or topics resonate with publishers most effectively – ultimately translating into more quality links pointing towards yours if followed properly.

Best practices for link building

When it comes to link building, there are some best practices you should keep in mind.

1) First and foremost, focus on quality over quantity. It's better to have a few high-quality links from reputable sources than dozens of low-quality ones from spammy websites.

2) To attract high-value links, ensure your content is helpful and relevant to the target audience. That means thoroughly researching the topics your audience cares about and creating content that provides unique insights or solutions.

3) Another important factor in successful link building is outreach. You can't just sit back and wait for people to link to your content – you need to actively reach out to potential linking partners and build relationships with them. Be patient but persistent – building relationships takes time but pays off in the long run.

4) Finally, don't underestimate the power of social media when it comes to backlinks. Share your content on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook so that others can discover it and potentially link to it on their own sites or social profiles. Use hashtags strategically so that relevant audiences can find your posts easily.

With these best practices in mind, you'll be well on your way toward building a strong network of high-quality backlinks that boost your website's search engine ranking and overall visibility online.

Are you ready to get started with link building strategies?

Are you ready to step up your game and improve your website's search engine ranking? Then it's time to implement a powerful link building strategy. Backlinks are key components of any successful SEO campaign, as they help search engines determine the relevance and authority of your website. However, building quality links is not always easy – it takes effort, creativity, and patience.

The good news is that with the right approach, you can create a strong backlink profile that boosts your online presence and drives traffic to your site. With consistent effort over time – including outreach efforts and social media promotion – you can establish yourself as an industry leader with valuable resources for others to reference.

At the end of the day, effective link building comes down to perseverance and commitment. While it may take some trial and error before you find the best tactics for your brand, staying dedicated will pay off in terms of increased visibility, credibility, and conversions.

Do you have a strategy you use that knocks your link building efforts out of the park? If you want to share it with our readers, please add it in the comments or get in touch.

Start With These Essential Link Building Strategies in 2023

Ben Adams

Ben Adams is an online entrepreneur with over 20 years of digital marketing experience in SEO, content marketing, analytics, email marketing, e-commerce, and other strategies. He enjoys consulting and helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed by using technology and tools to power their online presence and growth. He also enjoys writing, photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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