Truly great SEO is a dizzyingly multifaceted effort – but well worth it for anyone looking to max out the visibility of their brand, content, and all the value they have to share with the world.

Which is precisely why you can’t do it all on your own.

Even the most pristine website with the most up-to-date content has its limits, and this is where backlinks come into play.

In this article, I’m going to explain exactly how to build backlinks while keeping your website safe from penalties.

What is a backlink?

A backlink refers to a link found on another website that leads to yours.

Backlinks are essentially a big thumbs-up for your webpage. Think of them like having someone in your corner promoting you – or, ideally, a lot of someones! As many as possible… within reason.

If there are a lot of websites linking to a specific page on your site, it shows search engines that the page is important. So, having a significant number of high-quality backlinks has the potential to solidify much higher rankings for that page, and hopefully, the rest of the website (with a proper internal linking strategy).

As you begin to plan out your backlinking strategy, aim for reputable sites with strong content and a wide reader base of their own. The better the quality of the site that links back to you, the higher the benefit.

So what makes a high-quality backlink?

Since Google plays their algorithm specifications so close to the chest, there’s no way of knowing EXACTLY how they gauge quality links. However, there are a lot of things we do know through experience and testing. The factors that appear to have the most impact on backlinks are:

  • High page relevancy
  • High domain authority/page authority
  • Follow vs. nofollow
  • Editorial links
  • Anchor text usage
  • Sends traffic to your website
  • From a trustworthy website
  • Unique, difficult to get
How high quality backlinks help

In order to provide the most impact possible to your website, we are going to be focused on the best link opportunities for your business while taking the top needle-movers into account.

Why does link building matter?

Much of what we do as SEO consultants is about convincing Google (or your search engine of choice) that the content our site offers is valuable, relevant, and, of course, not spammy.

When others weigh in to vouch for the quality of our content, it’s like injecting rocket fuel into our ranking status.

Currently, much of the focus in SEO efforts these days is put on things like keywords for our content and resolving technical issues, which are both important. Though building backlinks is by no means an unknown, it seems to have taken a step out of the spotlight in favor of faster, presumably easier ranking factors.

That said, however, Google’s original search engine algorithm, then called PageRank, relied heavily on backlinks. Of course, the factors used to determine search engine ranking have evolved over the years, but building backlinks has remained a cornerstone of great SEO strategy, and link building is still touted by Google as one of the top 3 ranking factors in play.

This is a big part of the reason backlinks are worth paying attention to.

The Google algorithm changes all the time, and when a ranking factor has that kind of staying power, it’s time to sit up, pay attention, and go to work.

google checking links

So, what can we do to create a stellar backlink profile?

You’re about to find out.

Whichever approach you end up using, you’ll want to get LinkAssistant or a similar program to run link building and outreach campaigns.

It can be a tremendously useful tool for reaching out to webmasters, editors, or owners of the websites and their use is applicable to all of the methods found in this post. It is incredibly handy and takes some of the legwork out of acquiring quality backlinks.

Linkable Assets

You’ve got to give your prospective backlink sites something to work with. This means creating what’s called a Linkable Asset – well, more than one, but you get the idea. In fact, “the more, the merrier,” applies here.

Linkable assets tend to be high-quality, engaging, and interesting pieces of content. Essentially, you want to create articles, infographics, or tools that invoke a desire for others to link to your page.

linkable assets webpages

If you’re seasoned in content marketing, you have an advantage – you’ve probably got a lot of great assets to work with already and won’t have to build much more.

This can be the fun part.

If you’re a highly creative person with an amazing business and you have a lot to say, creating quality assets to distribute for link building is CandyLand.

Diversify your topics as much as you can so you can send your work far and wide. Having a piece of content for numerous parts of your niche is the easiest, no-brainer way to give yourself lots to work with in terms of who and where your content can find a productive home.

It’s also worth noting that keeping things current on this front is imperative, especially if you have to ask around to build links.

As a site owner receiving a pitch for a piece of content, would you rather lend your reputation to a dry, outdated, frankly sagging blog post, or a fresh, vital, informative piece that you know your readers will love?

Pitch to Link Roundups and Resource Pages

Fortunately, there are plenty of sites out there that focus specifically on giving out groups of backlinks to other web pages and content that fit the purpose of their post. These are often called “Link Roundups” or “resource pages.” It may take a little research to find some of these sites, but it’s an excellent place to get your feet wet and start building links.

Note: In order to save time, heartache, and effort, make sure you’re targeting the sites that are in or close to your specific niche.

To locate them, you’ll want to use search operators in your browser’s address bar like the ones below. I recommend trying them all and building a list of relevant sites out of what you find.

  • “keyword” + intitle:roundup
  • “keyword” + inurl:roundup
  • “keyword” + “roundup”
  • “keyword” + “link roundup”
  • “keyword” + inurl:resources
  • “keyword” + intitle:links
  • “keyword” + “helpful resources”
  • “keyword” + “useful resources”
search operators

You get the idea.

But this also means that you’re going to have to convince the owners of those sites that your content is worth giving you a backlink to your site.

This will involve a little finesse and some simple sales strategy.

First, you’re going to need to find a way to reach out. Most sites will have an email on the site or a Contact Us page, and if not, well we live in the age of social media. Most website owners are out there somewhere creating more content on their social media platform of choice, you just have to locate them.

You can also use Hunter which will help you find email addresses quicker and easier on the websites.

Once you’ve located the emails, you’ll want to start easy with them.

Most people who run backlink-heavy sites get a ton of requests and pitches each day, and if you go full speed ahead and beg them to link to your website, you’re likely to end up on the back burner or banished among their deleted mail. So the first step is creating an email that doesn’t directly ask for anything.

In the email, you can focus instead on the content that the website has published. Mention a blog post of theirs, and counterpoint by mentioning that you’ve made similar content with a slightly different take, and offer to send it along. Let the site owner you’re speaking to know that you respect their work and would simply like their opinion.

outreach email template

As with all exchanges of value, the party you’re pitching to is going to want to know that they’re getting some benefit from the interaction. And once you’ve broken the ice, so to speak, they will be much more receptive to the idea of helping you out in return – let’s say, with a high-quality backlink.

Broken Link Building

Another approach to acquiring links is broken link building, or what Brian Dean of Backlinko calls “The Moving Man Method”. Basically, this is useful when the website you’re hoping to get a link from has linked to another website that is no longer functional. Often the site in question will be old, outdated, or has moved domain names, resulting in a broken link.

You can send an email to the site owner saying something to the effect of, “I noticed this broken link. I post very similar content, may I suggest you link to this piece I published instead?” Be sure to attach a screenshot with your message that demonstrates the broken link to take the burden off of the person you’re emailing and move things along.

There are several tools out there that can help you find broken links and should make the process a bit easier, such as the Check My Links Chrome extension. It will automatically check every link on a page and highlight any broken ones in red.

Note: It can be helpful to combine this method with the link roundup method.

Once you’ve located a broken link, you can bet there are other websites with that very same link.

Yes, there is a way to find them.

If you pop the link into any link analysis tools, such as SEMrush, you’ll end up with a list of every webpage with the same dead link. Then you just repeat the process of outreach, only this time you shouldn’t have to use the Check My Links Chrome extension to find and screenshot it.

Guest Posting

It’s not just the content on your website that contributes to your backlinks. Guest posting is a popular link building option for those who love to write great content (or you can outsource it).

The gist of it is that you write and publish an article on someone else’s website or blog and you get a link back to your own site. Most people who run a website or a blog will jump at the chance to switch up their own offerings with someone else’s voice and perspective.

Writing guest post ideas

This is also a great way to provide value and reap a benefit for yourself, especially if you’re just starting out and need to build up some credibility.

In the ideal scenario, the editor of a high-profile website would recognize your expertise, contact you, and ask you to write a guest post for them.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath for that.

More frequently, you will need to pitch your idea in an email to an editor or owner – once the idea is accepted, you write the post and submit it.

Make sure to look for blogs or online magazines with great reputations who accept guest posts. Follow any guidelines they may have and when you make your pitch, explain who you are, what your company does, and your qualifications.

Again, you’re going to want to stick to your niche as closely as possible, not only because relevant backlinks are good backlinks, but because you want to be the expert on whatever topic it is you’re talking about.

Authority is the name of the game, and Google pays a lot of attention to symmetry on topics. You don’t want to look spammy or desperate by writing up a piece too far out of your playing field.

Do some good research on other authors who frequently dabble in guest posting in your niche, figure out where they’ve been, and start looking into those guest posts, sites or publications yourself. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel as long as you’re focused on quality, both from yourself and the sites you associate with.

This is also something you can do with increasing frequency as your name gets around for quality guest posts. Then they will start contacting you.

Give Out Testimonials

So much of a good link building strategy involves win-win solutions.

If there is a product or service you love, offer to talk it up in a testimonial on their website! Most site owners love to have whatever they’re offering given a glowing review by a fan, and you can generally translate your testimonial into getting links to your own website through your name or company name in the testimonial. This is usually done to prove that you are a real person, as opposed to a bot or paid reviewer.

Depending on the product or service, of course, you could end up with a homepage link to your site from a high quality, reputable name. This, of course, can only help your search engine status.

Connect with Bloggers for Product Reviews

The reverse of the above strategy is also a fairly ingenious way to get quality backlinks across the internet. All you need to do is offer your product or service to bloggers and influencers in your niche for free. As you look for the perfect place to enact this strategy, stick to blogs only. Avoid news sites and “how-to” websites. A quick search should help you find the right site for you and your product. Then it’s just a matter of reaching out and asking them for the review.

Warning: In your email, avoid language that implies you are sending your product/service in exchange for backlinks to your site or reviews. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines prohibit this.

With that said, focus on emphasizing the quality of the thing you’re offering and let the other person choose to give it a try and give you a chance to get backlinks.

Score Some Interviews

Although it may seem a little unconventional, interviews on blogs or podcasts are a great way to rack up link building opportunities (a different kind of guest post, if you will). When you appear on someone else’s content, general practice dictates that your host provides links to your website, or social media, or both. You will also have ample opportunity to speak to your area of expertise and grow your authority in the eyes of the audience and the interviewer, as well.

Interviewing as a way to get backlinks also frequently comes with a very satisfying snowball effect. The more authority you gain, the more interviews and even guest posts you will be invited to do, and the more chances to build backlinks you’ll get.

Classic tactics are all well and good, but which link building strategies look super promising in 2021?

Make Friends with Reporters (HARO)

There has emerged a smart new trend among the link building superstars of the SEO world, and it has everything to do with good, old-fashioned journalism. Reporters are always looking for credible sources, and you’re looking for prominent mentions. This is the foundation for an excellent symbiotic relationship, and that relationship could get you links from top-notch news sites.

Currently, the best way to  go about collaborating with source-hungry journalists is through a service called “HARO,” or, “Help a Reporter Out.”

All you’ll need to do is sign up with HARO as a source. You’ll start receiving emails, around three a day, from journalists looking for help.

Once you see a request come in that you can speak to with authority as an expert in your niche, respond with your own fabulous insight and a few credentials to establish that you know what you’re talking about.

Each email will be packed full of subjects you can respond to. Here is an example of what you may get:

HARO email example

But you’ll want to respond as quickly as possible to make sure someone doesn’t beat you to the punch.

If the reporter you helped out uses your quote, they’ll need to cite the source, and that’s that. You’ve got a backlink, potentially from a site it might take you longer to access if you tried pitching your content on your own.

Branded Techniques

Now let’s talk about the expertise you’re working with.

What is it you do that makes you stand out? Do you have a secret formula for making magic within your niche? If so, let people know about it. Start cultivating a brand around that high quality, dynamite technique that’s brought you great results.

Really, this is often as simple as giving your special technique a catchy name (remember Brian Dean’s Moving Man Method?).

branded secret formula to build links

 Again, this is about establishing authority, so you’re going to need to back up that catchy slogan. What data do you have that supports your method? If you use it to serve clients, now is a great time to build up a case study to refer back to as you grow a brand.

And once you’ve got the credibility piece down, it’s time to get visible. Start posting to social media using the name you came up with for your technique. Create content on said social media to send readers back to on your site, and bring it up often.

If you happen to guest post somewhere, and the technique you’re showing off is relevant and helpful to your guest content, mention it there as well.

Eventually, if you’ve done these things well, your method will start to get attention from other professionals, and it will find its way into their content as well. Typically, this means more links for you.

Unlinked Brand Mentions

Now, occasionally you may be mentioned but not linked to – this is called an “Unlinked Brand Mention.” If this happens, not to worry. The author of that post drew on your expertise because they like, trust, and respect you. 

What you’ll want to do is just reach out to the author or site owner who dropped your name or the name of your technique. Send them a friendly email asking if they would be willing to add a link to you in the piece of content they published. Let them know that this will make it easy for their readers to find the strategy referenced in the content and everyone wins.

Locating these unlinked mentions can be easy with the right tool. You can use SEMrush’s Brand Monitoring Tool and add every form of your business name (including common misspellings or mistakes) to track mentions.

As a free option, you can set up Google Alerts for the keywords related to your brand. It’s not perfect and you will get some useless emails, but when it does work, it can be a valuable way to gain a few extra quality backlinks as you go.

“Skyscraper Content”

Of course, sometimes the best way to make great content that gets lots of backlinks is to build on what’s already there. This involves yet another Brian Dean special called, “Skyscraper Content.”

Skyscraper content means taking a great piece (or multiple pieces) of content and making them bigger and better. The caveat here is that you really need to know what you’re talking about in order to improve on greatness. But it can be done.

Start out by picking a super-impactful topic that you know and care a lot about within your industry and niche. Then go looking for the content that’s already out there. A quick Google search will help – just take a look at the content ranking at the top of the page for the thing you’re interested in. Do some analysis.

How could it be better? Did they leave anything out? Is their research or data old or irrelevant?

Also, make sure to check out the sites that published those exceptional pieces of content, and figure out the keywords they’re ranking for. Again, SEMrush has a great tool for getting this kind of info, and you’ll also be able to track how much organic traffic and backlinks your competitor sites are getting.

Once you’ve got some of that data locked down, let’s think about how you can improve upon what’s already there.

The principle of Occam’s Razor states that the obvious answer is often the correct answer. For our purposes, that just means…

Make your stuff longer.

It sounds plenty oversimplified, and the common objection to this idea is the old, “But people’s attention spans are smaller than ever!” Nevertheless, the data overwhelmingly suggests, from SEMRush to Neil Patel and experts all over the Internet, that long-form remains the best and most effective content marketing strategy by and large.

What do we mean by long-form?

Well, the term gathers a wide range of word counts, and there is not necessarily a definite upper or lower limit. Think about the difference between an article the length of a handful of tweets and a longer, more nuanced piece. The latter gets you thinking and on the road towards solving a problem or learning something important, useful, and actionable.

So then, why exactly does long-form remain the superior format?

There are a few reasons behind this:

First, long-form content suggests credibility. Anyone can drag 300 words of nonsense out of their brains, but someone who is willing to do the research and put together enough knowledge to fill 3,000+ words of quality writing is more likely to know what they’re talking about.

Due to the typically useful, credible, and well-researched nature of long-form blog posts and content, these pieces also tend to stand the test of time and remain evergreen (and ever-valuable) to readers years after their creation.

So, length of content is a key factor in your Skyscraper masterpiece, but you’ll also need some rock-solid research to put it ahead of the pack.

Luckily, you’ve already been engaged in some thorough research of content that’s already working and the strategies your competitors are using. While you’re at it, pay attention to where they get their data. Who seems to be the most reliable source? Get a decent sample size of studies, statistics, etc. to back up your content or just give you a starting point of where to look for your own references.

Also, remember that current research is really going to help your case. Find the most recent data gatherings out there on your topic, and double-check that the sources are credible and the results are supported by other findings and the rarest of virtues: common sense.

And as always, make sure you balance out all that dry data by engaging your readers from start to finish. How will what you have to bring to the table help them? What new wisdom have you unearthed that’s going to send their work through the roof? Don’t skimp on exciting insights and colorful wording just because we’re presenting lots of very well-informed content.

So, all this talk about creating legendary Skyscraper content may seem like a departure from the topic of building backlinks, but let’s bring it back around.

Once you’ve got your piece made, it’s time to put it out there as efficiently as you can.

Figure out who the influencers and thought leaders are in your niche. Which blogs perform the best? Get a few names under your belt and go present your incredible new article to them for a backlink. If they’ve referenced the specific piece(s) you based your content on, so much the better. Let them know how and why you’ve one-upped the previous content and why what you’ve written provides a new angle or better research.

You’re bringing something revolutionary to the table, and everyone stands to get something from it.

Structure Your Blog Posts Accordingly

On the subject of building mind-blowing content, not every piece has to be of the long, labor-intensive Skyscraper type. A lot can be said for knowing how best to structure the things you have to say, whether they are long and data-heavy or shorter and punchy.

Check out the types of content that are performing exceptionally well at the moment, in search results, and organic traffic – this would be a great time to pull out some of those tools mentioned earlier to look into the competition’s content.

That said, though, there are formats that have consistently performed well and stood the test of time. These include posts that answer a “Why” question, “How-to” articles, quizzes, and posts centered around video content.

It helps to consider what you, as a content consumer, spend time on when you’re not researching or creating content. What holds your attention while you browse? Which format do you get the most utility out of?

At the end of the day, besides pleasing the almighty Google algorithms, SEO is about orienting your blog posts and web pages to be user-friendly, engaging, helpful, and intuitive from a search standpoint.

But who could start a discussion on content formatting without mentioning one of the best formats, from both a performance and a prevalence standpoint – the “Ultimate Guide”?

You’ve likely run into these before. An Ultimate Guide is any post that seeks to give you all the information you could possibly need on a subject, hearkening back to the points about the effectiveness of well-researched, long-form content.

These are, and generally always have been, the most advantageous forms of content out there. This is mostly because they serve as a sort of “hub” for useful information, making the learning process easy by keeping you on one page or a small subset of linked-out sites to reference as needed.

And you may be wondering once again, what does this have to do with backlinks? To review, the way you structure and create your content has everything to do with who is willing to vouch for it and how it gets promoted at higher and higher levels to bring you max readership.

Put the time in to create exemplary content and you will see the rewards from the influencers whose attention you grab and the way Google prioritizes your content once you have your backlinks.


This is slightly more of a nod to the classics than a fresh, up-to-date take on creating content, but infographics are another great way to create with your readers in mind.

Think about it this way: not everyone learns the same way, right? For every person who is excited to dig into several thousand words of prime knowledge-building, there is one who gets overwhelmed by a page full of words and little else. These people are a great reason to switch up the content you send out for backlinks and show off your versatility.

Not only that, but a great infographic brings with it the advantage of compiling a lot of information into a fun and easily-digestible format, which may bring you some much-needed brownie points as you start to pitch your content to people who don’t know you and may be unsure about giving a backlink another long, wordy article.

Things to Consider as You Build Backlinks

While your first instinct after reading all of this might be to run out onto the Internet and snatch up every site that will give your content the time of day, slow up. This is going to be a quality-over-quantity issue.

johnny bravo analogy domain authority

Domain Authority

Domain authority hearkens back to the “rocket fuel” for your website or content mentioned earlier.

The idea behind domain authority is simply that a well-respected and widely-viewed site beloved by Google has much more clout behind its endorsements (links) than that seedy site with ripped-off content, broken links, and approximately 5 new visitors every month.

Not to mention, there is a term that gets used frequently among those who do a lot of SEO, and that term is “link juice“. Essentially, the ranking profile of one site helps that of the others it associates with, which is something to keep in mind when choosing your backlink partners.

So, as you start to think about sites that could give you high-quality backlinks, think about the places you go when you need information (related to your industry of course).

Do you like reading sites like Forbes or Entrepreneur, and do you trust the information they put out? TechCrunch is another popular choice for excellent backlinks.

Another thing to consider when doing your research is that you likely will not score a backlink from Forbes 6 months after you start optimizing your website and working on your link building strategy.

That is not to discourage you, but to give you a realistic starting point and plan for moving forward so that you don’t hit a dead-end right away and decide the whole thing might just not be worth it.

As with anything else, it takes time and effort and some smaller wins before you can start trying for your major-league backlinking sites.

Anchor Text Ratios

The ins and outs of anchor text, best practices on ratios, and its importance as a search engine ranking factor are all hotly debated among SEOs. While that debate probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, let’s lay down the foundation for anchor text ratios and why they matter for link building.

Types of anchor text can be broken up into a few categories:

  • Exact-Match – This means your anchor text directly matches the keyword you want to rank for. This one retains huge value, but can get you penalized if overused.
  • Phrase Match – The text contains the keyphrase.
  • Partial Match – All parts of the keyphrase are in the text, but not together or in sequence
  • Branded – The anchor text is just the name of the brand being linked to
  • Naked URL – Just the webpage URL itself with no text covering it
  • Random – The anchor text is a word or phrase unrelated to the keyphrase (this encompasses a lot of call-to-action anchor texts)

One of the best ways to navigate which type of anchor text is most appropriate to use is to consider the content of the link itself. After all, relevance is, as we’ve seen, a very high priority in how Google orders its search results.

But wait!

We’re talking about white hat link building here – that naturally means that you’re only going to have so much control (read: not very much at all) over how other sites choose to structure the anchor text that links to you.

So, what can you do?

Well, if you’re doing the outreach to obtain the links there’s probably up to 10% of links you may have some control over. Sometimes you can ask the link prospects for a specific anchor text or hint around about it, but it doesn’t get you too far and you don’t want to do it before a strong relationship has been established.

You could also lead by example. See, internet professionals love to spy on each other. There are a million and one tools out there on the web that allow us to see exactly what our competition is up to and how they’re doing it. This most certainly includes link texts. The best thing you can do, therefore, is to figure out and tighten up your own anchor text ratio and let the people providing your backlinks follow suit.

Not that the anchor texts being used to link to your site have to be a complete mystery, by the way. Spying goes both ways. In fact, SEMRush makes a very useful tool (more on that shortly) where you can look through your backlinks profile and see how others craft their links to your site.

The good news is, if you have strong and self-explanatory branding on your products, services, or content, the anchor text another website uses to link to you will likely be of the “branded name + keyword phrase” variety. This is a great strategy to follow.

for stronger natural linking profiles
example 2 for stronger natural linking profiles

While it’s no fun to say that there is no perfect way to balance your anchor text ratios, that’s gospel. If you search the web for a concrete answer, you’re likely to find about 15,000 of them. And that’s okay, because a big part of SEO, and backlinks, is figuring out exactly what’s going to work for you, your business, its website, and ranking profile – not someone else’s.

As you get started, it’s always best to stick to common sense and keep relevance in mind. When you put links on your pages and in your content, keep in mind what it is you’re linking to.

The golden rule? Don’t overdo it on the keywords.

The law of keyword stuffing definitely applies to anchor texts, so keep it specific to the topic at hand. The general rule of thumb dictates that you should limit Exact Match anchor text to 10% or less across your site and/or content.

Phrase Match text is a better option, and you can use long-tail variations on your keywords of choice to stay relevant to the topic without looking spammy. Across the pages of your site, around 50% of your text can fall into Phrase Match territory as long as you switch it up – but on your homepage, limit these to 10-15%.

Which brings us to Branded and Naked URL anchor texts. These can be used much more liberally, around 80% on your homepage (and your social media) and 45% on internal pages and content.

Again, common sense will lead many other sites linking to yours to use Branded anchor text to refer to you, and that’s far from detrimental. Having your brand substantially referred to helps Google recognize and trust it, which will help boost your credibility and, ultimately, your search engine ranking.

With all that said, you will want to stay on top of monitoring your backlink profile and the way you’re being referred to by others.

Get the Right Tools on Hand

You cannot create a guide on how to build backlinks without touching on the tools that will make the entire link building process a lot more convenient. And although some of these tools have been mentioned here, it’s worth taking a deeper dive on some of the types you’re going to need and how they can help you keep track as you build backlinks.

Note: While the vast majority of the strategies we have covered are free ways to boost your link building strategy, many of the tools and types of services we will cover in this section come with a cost. Feel free to take or leave any of these options based on where you are, what kind of help you’re looking for, and what level of investment you’re comfortable with.

So, without further ado:

Reaching out to website owners/bloggers:

If you’re devoting lots of time to aggressively pursuing link building opportunities for guest posting, interviews or more straightforward backlink requests, you’re going to need an easy way to keep track of who you have reached out to and where you are in the process with that person or site. LinkAssistant is a great option for this piece. The software will help you reach out to people who can get you closer to a superior backlink profile, and you can filter your searches based on Domain Authority, trust,  and traffic. 

Tracking down accurate contact information:

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to scour the rabbit hole of webpages, social media accounts and the like for the email address or profile name of the person you’ve singled out for backlinks. Services like will quickly track that information for you so all you have to do is actually reach out and make contact.

Checking out the competition:

Lots of tools exist for breaking down and analyzing the backlink profiles of other sites, but SEMRush have particularly wonderful options with far-reaching databases so you’re way more likely to find exactly what you need.

Finding resource pages to pitch to:

SEO Spyglass is another crowd favorite for those prowling the web to find just the right page to pitch for backlink. This cuts down on wasted time and guesswork as you try to locate sites that match up to your content and market.

When all else fails:

If you’re new to building a backlink strategy, a simple Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet really will do the job, and it comes with less uncertainty than investing in a new tool you’re not sure you actually want to use.

The only drawback will be the limits of how much organizing you want to do. But if you’re motivated enough, you can find all the information you need yourself and make a spreadsheet of sites you’d like to contact, ways to do so, the individual parts of your pitch, broken links to point out and anything else you’ll need.


Backlinks are a vital, sometimes-overlooked feature of top-tier SEO. And, frankly, many site owners tend to shy away and focus on low-hanging fruit like keywords and up-to-date blog posts because it seems easier that way. And in many ways, it is, which is why relying on these things for a majority of your SEO strategy probably won’t yield the kind of fruit you’re looking for.

But getting links for your site doesn’t have to be intimidating or overly complicated. Most of what it takes to build quality backlinks for your site and content to bring in all the organic traffic you can handle comes down to diligence and some well-placed strategy, which, if you truly want to rank high on that Google search page, is a small price to pay.

I would love to hear your feedback.

Which strategy from this post will you use first? 

Link Roundups? HARO?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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About Chris Cudmore

An SEO consultant and internet marketing coach dedicated to teaching the craft to business owners and beginner to advanced SEOs. Growing businesses is his #1 passion.  Learn more…

Disclosure: I will occasionally place affiliate links on my blog posts, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.




Claim. Your. Crown.


  1. Joanna

    Hi Chris, excellent article, I enjoyed the backlinking strategy based on a technique that is unique to a professional who gives a name to that like “The Moving Man” technique of Brian Dean.

    Last 1,5 years, I have been using HARO and I have built a very decent press/media page and improved my brand’s awareness globally.

    I recommend it, though it is very time consuming so a very decent time investment is required. Hard fact.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Stay safe,🙏.

    Joanna Vaiou

    • Chris Cudmore

      Hi Joanna!

      Yes, the branding technique can be very useful if you can get the name to catch on.

      HARO does take some time, but definitely worth it.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

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