Where can I get backlinks to improve SEO?
While you cannot directly control your off-page SEO, getting backlinks can be a stumbling block for many small business owners. In this article, we’ll look at six simple backlink sources and six other ways to get quality backlinks to your content.
6 sources of easy backlinks
There are six sources of low hanging backlinks. While they may not be the highest quality links, it all helps, especially when you’re just starting out.
1- Link from another site you own
If you own more than one domain, be sure to get backlinks from each site you own to the other sites you own.
2- Backlinks from your friends on social networks
Get backlinks from friends and family on social media. Even though the social media links are no follow linksthe traffic you generate can improve your site traffic and could produce indirect benefits that will create follow-up links later.
3- Message exchanges
Find other bloggers in your niche and see if you can exchange messages with them with attribution of course. It’s always best if links appear at the top of the page, which is why some of my guest bloggers get acknowledged before they dive into the content of the post.
Some SEO experts will warn you that search engines don’t like duplicate content. While duplicate content can be a problem, it really isn’t always that bad. After all, how many product descriptions have you seen on Amazon that are exactly the same? Sometimes you can also have the same content but with different cities mentioned. In this example, 99% of the content is exactly the same, only the city and maybe an image are different. Additionally, press releases and articles may frequently appear on various news sites.
There is a canonical tag to identify the source of the content. However, this is not mandatory. In the absence of this tag, a search engine like Google will identify the best version or URL. If another site uses your content, you’ll want to include it so Google knows you’re the author and gives you credit.
4- Submit URL to directories
Submit your website URL to directories specific to your niche. Directory backlinks aren’t highly valued by search engines, so I would only focus on directories that don’t charge you to get listed.
5- Supplier and customer links
Contact your suppliers and customers in your value chain and ask them for a link to their website.
6- Links with professional associations
Join a trade association and be listed on their website.
Solicit links from other sites
In addition to the six simpler backlink sources above, you can perform a link analysis of your completion to see where their links are coming from. There are many tools that can help you find a competitor’s backlinks such as Majestic, Moz, SEMRush, Ahres and many more.
Majestic would have the largest database. In fact, a free account allows you to analyze your own site for backlinks. However, the free account provides little useful information and you have to subscribe to their paid account to get a deeper analysis.
Personally, I like to use Moz Link Explorer because they offer a pretty good free version. Their free version will give you 10 free searches per month, and allow you to export a large majority of the top ranking links to a CSV file. Of course, the free version of Moz Link Explorer is not intended for SEO professionals, as they prefer the more robust tools. However, for the small business owner on a budget trying to find sites he could go to for links, for the price of free, Moz gets my vote
Brian Dean of Backlinko.com is a recognized expert in obtaining backlinks. In a recent link building video, he provided eleven ideas for generating backlinks. What follows is a summary of seven of his ideas that you can do without subscribing to expensive SEO tools.
7- Mine Link Roundups for backlinks
Many sites organize articles for an industry and publish periodic articles that summarize content from other sources and provide a link to the original article.
My Monday #PickOfTheWeek article reviews the top four articles I’ve read in the past week, related to my side business and lifestyle niche.
On the other hand, a site like Paper.li who has great domain authority and page authority feature many of my posts on their site as part of their roundup.
You can find review sites by using a keyword describing your niche and adding “Roundup”, “Best of”, “Pick of” from “This week”.
When you find a site that is in your niche, you can often send the owner an email like this:
Hi [site owner],
I just discovered your [roundup name] today. Pretty cool stuff. I am contacting you because I recently published an article on [topic of post] it could be a good choice [URL to your content]. Keep up your wonderful work!
8- Report broken links for reciprocity and a backlink
Find a website with a resource page or list content that you would like a backlink from.
Go through a few pages with links and look for broken links. To find broken links, you will need to enter a domain or landing page into a broken link checker. You can find them with a Google search for “Broken Link Checker”, or add the “CheckMyLinks” extension to a Chrome browser.
If you find a broken link, send the owner an email like:
Hi [site owner]
I was looking for [fill in the blank] and I came across your checklist. Pretty cool stuff. I loved [fill in the blank] However I found a broken link. Do you want me to share?
When they respond, return a response:
Hi [site owner]
Like I said, the post is pretty cool. I wouldn’t change anything [or add a recommendation] except the broken link [provide title and the URL to broken link]. It would be great if you would consider mentioning my [fill in the blank] in your message [provide URL to the page with the broken link]. It could be a good addition to the [fill in the blank] section.
9- Create backlinks from podcast appearances
Many podcasters are looking for guests who have some type of domain experience. You can search for “Podcasts” followed by your niche keyword to find lists of podcasters you can contact and let them know you’re available as a guest.
You can also go to popular podcast sites like iTunes and Stitcher and search for a podcast in your niche.
PodcastGuest is a free site that connects podcasters with guests.
10- Create Branding Strategies and Methods for Backlinks
Tools and how-to content are great ways to get backlinks. To make the game better, don’t just write a post, create a tool or process, and hope people find it. give it a name and create a logo for that too. Then, in an article that you can post on an external site, say something like:
Hi [site owner]
I have a tool that I called [insert the name you gave it] or I have a process that I called [insert name of process] your readers may find interesting.
For example, I have a model that I call the Viable customer model and discuss it in a video. Creating a tool or process and giving it a name is called link baitand it does wonders for getting backlinks.
11- Become a source for journalists and bloggers
Journalists are always on the lookout for experts to quote in their stories. Help a journalist get out or HARO is a website that connects journalists with expert resources. Being a HARO source takes work and you need to respond to a request fairly quickly. However, you can get quality backlinks from news sites with very high domain authority if they provide a tracking link citing you as the source.
Although they include a no follow link, your link is placed in front of their audience. If you register as a HARO source, you will receive three emails per day. Respond to them with your pitch and if accepted, the journalist will cite you as a contributor.
I discussed ways to help locate journalists using HARO, along with three other similar sites in our Crowdfunding influencer research article.
12- Linking to college/university resource page
College and university backlinks are well ranked by search engines. Most .edu sites have a resource page for their students. Additionally, many also have clubs that list local resources. Search operators are ways of telling a search engine like Google to narrow the scope of a query. Using a search operator, you can find colleges and universities by using the search operator “Site:” followed by “.edu” to limit the search to only sites with the .edu extension. Then you can add your keyword for your niche. For example:
Site: .edu “veteran services”
Follow the links to these college and university sites to see if any of them would benefit from linking to some of your content. If you have content, send the person managing the page an email that says something like:
Hi [site owner]
I was doing an internet search about [fill in the blank] and came across your resources page. I want to say that the page helped me a lot. I would never have found [resource link] without this.
Ironically, I recently published an article on [fill in the blank] recently. This [provide a brief description]. In case you want to check it out, here’s the [provide URL to your content].
Also, after reviewing the resources on your page, my article might be a nice addition to your page. Anyway, thanks for listing the resources.
In reality, only 1 in 20 will add your link, but the value is very good from just one link.
Which of the 12 backlink strategies will you implement to improve your SEO?