Backlinks are a vital part of every SEO strategy.
When you have many high-ranking websites linking back to your site, you have a high chance of ranking your website.
This is because the websites linking to your site endorses you to search engines.
Not all backlinks are valuable; low-quality backlinks can have adverse effects on your website. High-quality backlinks are what you need.
However, it can be challenging to earn high-quality backlinks. Most times, webmasters pay these high-ranking websites to link back to theirs.
Is it possible to get high-quality backlinks for free? Without paying? Yes, it is, and I’ll show you the 10 best ways to do that in this post.
Best Ways To Get High-Quality Backlinks For Free
1. Create High-Quality Content
Aside from the fact that they are popular, the reason why most websites link to renowned websites in their niche is because of the quality content they publish.
When you have high-quality content on your website, other websites will be interested in referencing your site as a valuable source of information.
In no time, you’ll become an authoritative website.
That begs the question, what is high-quality content?
High-quality content should be unique, original, and actionable. Ideally, the content should be somewhat lengthy so there’s much for readers to digest; it doesn’t matter if it’s short-form or long-form.
Furthermore, create content that provides answers. When people search Google or other search engines, they do so to find answers.
The content should be easy to understand as readers would want to extract the information as fast as possible.
Create high-quality content out of news and trending topics in your niche.
That way, you’ll be among the few possible sources for other sites in your niche to link to.
While creating your content, your citations and sources should be reliable.
There are specific content types that give you a higher chance of getting a backlink from authoritative sites.
For example, infographics, guides, FAQs, checklists, etc.
Creating quality content is not just about one post. All posts on your website should be high quality.
Always update them from time to time.
2. Build Relationships
One reason why new blogs find it challenging to get backlinks is that they are unknown.
Therefore, one way to build high-quality backlinks for free is by building relationships.
This has to do with having a strong social media presence – that’s where digital public relations happen.
You can choose to stick with a highly engaging social media platform like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.
Be active on these social media accounts and post highly informative and engaging stuff.
Try to publish posts that reflect your personality to build followership.
It takes time, but once you’re active on social media, you build a strong presence in your niche.
That way, you can easily link up to other top accounts in your niche, resulting in a collaboration.
Also, followers who find your content informative will always reference your source (your website), giving you a high chance of being linked.
Therefore, always include your website link in your bio and strategically in your posts.
Similarly, you can submit your website to online business directories or portfolio websites.
While this is up to get you noticed by prospective visitors/customers, you automatically get a backlink.
3. Request For Guest Posting
Guest posting is a popular method of obtaining backlinks and still one of the best.
It’s just like creating high-quality content, except that you’ll create the content for a different blog.
Instead of paying top websites for backlinks, you can pay them with content.
First, identify the top websites in your niche and select the ones that accept guest posting or guest writing.
Reach out and request to guest post; present your article topic and if accepted, go ahead to prepare it.
You can also present an already written article.
However, it’s ideal that it’s not posted on your website to avoid plagiarism.
There are two possible ways of linking your website to a guest post.
You can input your website link as a hyperlink within the article or add it to your author bio at the end of the article.
Likewise, ensure to add a relevant hyperlink to the guest post.
Don’t just link any random page on your website, or it could be removed. Also, you can link to your homepage from the author bio.
However, a con for guest posting is that huge websites hardly allow guest posting.
They only accept promotional content that is paid.
As a result, locating high-authority sites to publish your guest posts can be somewhat difficult.
4. Link To Others
Often, webmasters go through their backlink profile.
They check their backlinks to identify the sites linking to them.
That way, you can get noticed by other sites after you have linked out to them. While this helps boost their SEO, it boosts yours too.
Linking to other websites is all about building brand awareness.
As discussed in #2, building relationships is essential.
When other sites see you link to them, they’ll want to check out your site too, and if any of your content is appealing to their audience, they might return the favor.
If not immediately, sometime in the future.
Ideally, you should reach out to websites that you link to and inform them. Keep things simple – state how informative you find their article and that you referenced them on your website.
That way, they’ll be prompted to check out your website.
The hard work here is knowing which sites to link to.
You must link to sites that are related to yours else, you won’t get an audience.
It doesn’t matter if the site you’re linking to is a competitor website; if they have much more authority than you, it’s ideal to link to them.
If you’ve been linking to other sites before now, check your backlink profile using a backlink checker and download a list of your backlinks.
Sort through each one and reach out to the site owners.
5. Drop Quality Comments On Other Blogs
Commenting is one of the best ways to get high-quality backlinks for free.
However, if you want to build high-quality backlinks via commenting, you must drop quality comments on other blogs.
Don’t make the mistake of simply dropping their website URL in comment boxes.
Most top sites that can give high-quality backlinks review their comments before approval; in fact, they also feature anti-spam bots that will block spam comments when detected.
Simply dropping your website URL is spam-like.
Even if your plan is solely to get backlinks, go through the entire article if you have the time.
That way, you’ll have something worthwhile to comment on.
You can flatter the author’s writing skills, point out facts, point out corrections, drop observations, contributions, etc.
These are genuine ways to comment and get approved.
If you can include your website link as a hyperlink to a related word, that’ll be great.
Otherwise, simply enter your URL in the provided space, usually after your name and email address.
To notice the effect of backlinks via comments, you have to comment on many blogs; 50 to 100 blogs.
However, you should do this strategically. First of all, come up with lists of ideal blogs you can link to, then, drop comments on about 10 of them per day.
The majority of the websites you comment on will give you nofollow backlinks rather than dofollow.
Nevertheless, nofollow backlinks also help.
6. Spy On Your Competitors
The work you’re about to do – get high-quality backlinks for free – has already been done by most of your competitors.
They have done the research to identify ideal guest posting sites, commenting blogs, etc.
You can save yourself some stress by simply spying on them.
Simply utilize a reliable backlink checker (I recommend the Ahrefs backlink checker) and enter your competitor’s URL.
The backlink checker tool you use is important so that you can locate all possible backlinks your competitor has acquired.
Interestingly, Ahrefs has one of the largest backlink indexes with up to 25 trillion backlinks.
On these pages, scan to see how their site was linked.
Was it via a hyperlink, author bio, comment, image, or video?
Next, try to replicate the backlinks if you can.
By reading their backlink techniques, you’ll be able to source more backlinks on your own.
However, spying and recreating competitor’s backlinks is not a very easy thing to do.
This is because most top players, who rank highly on Google, have hundreds and even thousands of backlinks.
You should focus on your competitors’ backlink profile: the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) of the linking website.
This is ideal as you’ll be able to locate which backlinks are giving your competitors the most boost.
7. Write Testimonials And Reviews
Top online websites love getting testimonials and reviews from their visitors.
It provides comprehensive insights regarding their website.
Building backlinks via testimonials and reviews is simple and effective.
However, not many website owners utilize it, most especially building links via testimonials.
It is just like commenting.
When you write reviews and testimonials, there’s a provision to include your website URL.
To go about this, you need to identify top sites in your niche that accept testimonials and reviews.
Mainly, these are sites that offer products and services. While writing your testimonials and reviews, ensure that the content is genuine.
For websites that publish reviews and testimonials but no entry space on the website, you can submit them via mail.
Do well to include your website name and URL to get a backlink. Similarly, you can drop testimonials and reviews on review sites like Yelp, UrbanSpoon, Foursquare, Angie’s List, etc.
You can also publish testimonials and reviews about other websites on your site and then reach out to them.
If they find your review interesting, they are likely to link back to your post.
Even if they don’t link back to your website, they’re sure to mention your business name if they publish your testimonial.
Such unlinked mentions are also beneficial.
This will be most effective for new businesses and companies who need all the positive reviews they can get.
In the end, you’ll also be building strong relations that will be beneficial in the long run.
8. Leverage On Broken Links
Have you heard of Link Rot? It has to do with hyperlinks that no longer point to their original pages.
It’s either the pages have been deleted or the URL to these pages has been modified.
In simple terms, you can call these broken links.
Typically, all broken links should redirect to a 404 page if the original website still exists.
You can take advantage of broken links to build high-quality backlinks to your website.
For example, if you noticed a broken link on a high domain website, you can write a similar piece to the article or post that was originally linked.
Then, reach out to the website owners and request that they update their broken link.
Thankfully, there are lots of broken/dead link checker tools you can access for free.
Again, I recommend the Ahrefs Broken Link Checker – they have one of the largest backlink databases.
Simply enter the URL of pages from top websites in your niche you would like to get a backlink from.
You’ll locate broken links that redirect to 404 pages or any other error.
For a higher chance of locating broken links, scan the URL of old posts pages – over 3 years old.
Before scanning with the broken link checker, go through the page to ensure there are lots of hyperlinks.
9. Do Interviews
An interview is a great backlink opportunity. If you are a popular webmaster and someone hits you up for an interview, your website URL will indeed be included when the interview is published.
Consequently, you’ll be enticed to share the interview URL on your website so your audience can read it.
It works as a link exchange. Ideally, the interview should be a written one.
Even if it’s a video or audio interview, publish it as a transcript and maybe add the media file afterward.
To go about this, you’re not just looking for top websites but their owners and founders. Reach out to them for an interview.
The website must be related to yours as these CEOs will mainly grant interviews that’ll help increase their audience and popularity.
Furthermore, don’t ask tough questions. You can search for related past interview questions on Google to get ideas on what type of questions to ask.
An alternative to interviewing website owners is interviewing influencers.
Influencer marketing is very influential. Big businesses partner with top influencers to get their brand noticed.
It works the same. When you interview a niche influencer, he/she is likely to share your URL on their social pages, and from there, it could end up on other websites that the influencers work with.
10. Publish On Online Forums
Forums can help you to get high-quality backlinks for free. At the same time, it’s one of the riskiest forms of backlink building. If you’re going to build backlinks from forums, keep it minimal.
Google will penalize your website for a forum backlink if it appears spammy. So, don’t just rush and post your website’s URL on all online forums you can lay your hands on. Focus on 8 to 10 legit online forums, not dysfunctional ones.
When signing up on these forums, don’t add your URL to your signature; you can add your link later, after being active for a few weeks. Engage in the forums for a few weeks before posting. When posting on these forums, write something of value.
You can post a complete article and include your website’s URL as a hyperlink. You should post on forums that offer dofollow backlinks and those with high DA and PA for the most value. Also, post on relevant online forums.
To quickly locate forums related to your industry on Google; simply search for “niche keyword” + inurl:forum.
These are the 10 best ways to get high-quality backlinks for free.
Earning backlinks can be difficult. Nevertheless, you can make light of the task when you know the right thing to do. Hence, you don’t need to spend huge bucks on obtaining high-quality backlinks.
Vibhav is the Co-founder of Outreach Crayon and CBO at Ebizon. He plays a key role in empowering retail clients to catalyze Digital Marketing, Mobile Commerce & other Futuristic technologies as their #1 competitive advantage.