Is Backlink Building Impossible, or Just Merely Difficult?

The answer is yes. All SEO professionals know that backlink building is a Sisyphean task, and if you don’t think so, then you haven’t been doing SEO very long.

Nevertheless, building backlinks for your clients (and, for in-house marketing teams, your own company), is an incredibly important part of a successful SEO strategy. So we asked some of the best SEO and digital marketing professionals: What are some tools and/or strategies you’ve used with success to build backlinks for your clients? Any insight as to why they were successful, when (and if) other methods were not?

Here is what 7 thought leaders have to say.

  • Offer Guest Posts on High-Traffic Blogs
  • Utilize Pre-Existing Relationships
  • Exchange Content for Backlinks
  • Customize Manual Outreach Efforts
  • Combine Quality Content with Targeted Outreach
  • Analyze Competitors for Link-Building Opportunities
  • Disseminate High-Quality, Original Content

backlink building for SEO

Offer Guest Posts on High-Traffic Blogs

One powerful tool for backlink building is to reach out to high-traffic blogs and offer to write guest posts. It’s a win-win: they get quality content, and we get a quality backlink.

Another strategy is to leverage broken-link building. Find relevant, broken links on industry websites and suggest our content as a replacement. It’s about being helpful while building our link profile.

Also, we use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush, which are essential for identifying backlink opportunities. They provide insights into competitors’ backlink strategies, allowing us to adapt and tailor our approach accordingly.

Why success? It’s about value and relationships. We’re not just asking for a link; we’re providing value to the other party. That’s the key differentiator.

When other methods fail, it’s often due to a lack of personal touch. Mass emails and generic pitches don’t work. Personalized outreach does.

Casey Jones, Founder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

Utilize Pre-Existing Relationships To Build Backlinks

As an SEO strategist working with clients in a range of industries from e-commerce to software to service-based businesses, I’ve seen success with the following.

Reaching out to partners or parent companies has been a successful approach. Utilizing pre-existing connections often results in high-quality backlinks, as trust and rapport already exist between the parties.

For clients with a local presence, focusing on relevant local directories and citation sites can enhance local SEO and generate valuable backlinks. This strategy is particularly effective for businesses targeting a specific geographic area.

On the other hand, blanket outreach with generic templates typically proves ineffective. Quality, relationship-focused approaches consistently outperform generic strategies.

Celeste Routh, SEO Strategist, The Elegance Edit

Exchange Content for Backlinks

One of the best ways to build backlinks most likely already exists within your inbox. When you publish lots of content, people will reach out to you for link insertions or guest posts. Ask them if they have any websites where you could potentially receive a link, and many will respond with yes. Then make the exchange, and you have a unique link at no cost.

Jason Vaught, President, 805 SEO

Customize Manual Backlink Building Outreach Efforts

Manual outreach is my best method for acquiring high-quality, relevant backlinks for our clients. The key to success using this method is to have fantastic content that people would want to link to in the first place. I start by researching using SEMrush and creating a list of relevant, high-authority websites with high organic traffic. I then send customized emails to the list, ensuring I customize each email just enough so it doesn’t appear spammy. This method needs to be done manually. Sending spam emails to a list of 1,000 people, hoping a few will reply, does not work in 2024. Thousands of people are sending these emails around, and most end up in spam folders anyway.

Milad Hashemi, Co-Founder, Pineapple SEO Inc.

Combine Quality Content with Targeted Outreach

From my observation, the method of building backlinks that has proven to be effective has been to use high-quality content in combination with outreach. This strategy commences with developing content that is informative, engaging, and of value, which in turn attracts backlinks in a natural way. This can be deep tutorials, insightful research, infographics, or case studies, which bring different perspectives or data. Once the content is published, I start a targeted outreach campaign, reaching out to related websites, bloggers, and influencers in the niche, proposing that they can benefit from this content with their audience. A specific successful story was creating a comprehensive industry report based on our own research and insight. Following the release, we communicated with the major influencers and websites within the industry, offering them a sneak peek along with the privilege to share it with their audience. The informational value of the piece was so impressive, and its appeal so unique, that it attracted a notable number of backlinks, including some from very high-authority sites. The success of this strategy is because it was different from other methods such as cold emailing for link exchanges or buying links (which I do not do, mainly for ethical reasons and because Google prohibits it). The emphasis here is on giving value. We provided a valuable offering which in turn resulted in natural interest and sharing, and this ultimately resulted in quality backlinks. This method not only improved our client’s SEO but also gave their brand a boost in visibility and credibility in their niche.

Anup Kayastha, Founder, Serpnest

Analyze Competitors for Link-Building Opportunities

You can use strategies such as competitor analysis, content marketing, guest blogging, and relationship building to build backlinks successfully for clients.

We focus on competitor analysis as our major strategy. Doing this can help us find new link-building opportunities and identify industry trends.

To make this strategy a success, we have incorporated tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to boost off-page SEO. The tools help us identify industry niches and irrelevant backlinks to stay ahead of the competition.

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy Australia

Disseminate High-Quality, Original Content

In my experience, especially in the context of promoting JetLevel Aviation’s online presence, a successful strategy for building backlinks has been to create and disseminate high-quality, original content that genuinely adds value to the reader. This includes detailed market analyses, insights into the private jet industry, and tips for consumers. Why has this been successful? Because authoritative sites are more likely to link to content that enhances their own credibility and provides their audience with valuable information. Additionally, we’ve found success in guest posting on reputable industry blogs and participating in relevant online forums. These methods outperform others because they are not just about seeking links; they’re about establishing authority and engaging with the community, which naturally leads to high-quality backlinks.

Fahd Khan, Director of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation

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