40+ Link Building Tips for 2020
There are hundreds of ways to get backlinks to your site.
I will try to list all possible ways to build good quality backlinks to your site here. And will explain, what worked for me.
Why do you need backlinks?
First of all, why should you care? Why just don’t post blogs and hope, that Google will “figure it out”.
Because, without backlinks, it will take ages for Google.
Here is a very simplified overview of Google ranking factors. As you can see Backlinks is the most important ranking factor.
In my view, for Google, links to your site are even more important than content.
This is an effect of link building on one of my projects with over 100K sessions per month. It took more than a year and a half to reach 100K sessions mark, but now it gets over 4K sessions per day, with over 80% coming from Google – due to an effective link building.
Overall, link building is one of the most expensive and complicated parts of SEO, blogging, and publishing.
Along with great content, it’s the key to success in SEO.
Bottom line: high quality link building -> better SEO -> increase in customer acquisition.
Are all backlinks equal?
There isn’t such rule, as you need 25 links to a certain page and it will rank on the first position. And if someone else gets 26 backlinks – you will outrank the site with 25. With link-building, you should always focus on high quality.
Create only those links, which people can actually click. There are different metrics of how you can track the “quality” of a link: domain authority, relevancy, anchor text, dofollow-nofollow, acquirability, paid for, etc?
In my experience, 3-5 high-quality backlinks are much better than thousands of crappy links (not only these don’t work, they can also harm your site).
Without further ado, here is an ultimate list of link building tactics.
Let’s go….. 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
1. Buy links
For a lot of people, link building is the hardest part of SEO and blogging. That’s one of the reasons, why bloggers give up.
So, to not complicate things from a start, let’s begin with an easiest (but, not most efficient) way – just buying your links.
It is possible to get some middle-low quality referring domains this way for a very reasonable price, which will not hurt your site in Google and can bring some growth.
Especially if you are just starting out with SEO, and it can take you months for figuring out link building.
If you are serious about your blog, even with a modest budget ($50-$500 per month) you can afford some link building.
NOTE: Do cheap link building at your own risk. You should be very careful with bought links, especially cheap ones. Try to be very detailed about those $5 Fiverr offers – buy only if it’s a proven gig. Offers like “150,000 cheap PBN links” can ruin your business. Buy cheap links only in limited amounts.
Where to buy backlinks?
Link building tools
Type in Google – buy backlinks, etc.
As you can see, there are more than 5000 offers for “backlinks” in Fiverr, ranging from $5 to $500+
Some advice when buying these types of links.
- Do not buy more than 50 links at once.
- Try to get more expensive and higher quality gigs.
- Focus on high DA, PA, DR, Trust Flow (TF) offers.
- Only proven gigs with a high number of reviews and high seller level.
- Be extremely careful, if you see your rankings tank – immediately stop.
Here is what you should avoid when buying backlinks.
If a new site gets 2K referring domains in a few days – it doesn’t look good for Google.
It’s even worse when these 2K backlinks are lost in the next few days. This is an example, what might happen, if you buy “10K backlinks for $15” on Fiverr, without double-checking the gig.
Therefore, never make cheap, bought links the main source of your backlinks. And never order them in thousands or even hundreds.
2. Link building tools
Also, there is a number of link building tools and agencies, which you can use.
They are more expensive and higher quality.
I personally recommend:
For $100 you can get e.g. 3-4 backlinks with DA 20-30.
Here is an example pricing from Rhinorank:
Here is an example pricing from TheHoth.
For $500 per month, they offer Hoth X package, where basic link building and content is done for you.
Again, it’s good to try some of these tools and agencies, but in my experience the highest value is from backlinks created by yourself and naturally.
Let’s move on.
3. Send a press-release
Another easy way to get some backlinks to your site, especially when you just started, is to send a press release.
Of course, press-releases doesn’t nearly have that value for search engines, as 8 years ago, but still, I have seen some positive results – if you do it on a regular basis and use good services.
Average press-release costs from $40 to $150, more advanced options start from $200.
Startups and bigger companies can easily pay $1000+ for one press release.
Some relatively cheap and ok quality press release services are:
PRWeb (from $99 per release)
Pressreleasejet (from $75)
EReleases (from $299)
Pressrelease.com (from $69)
24-7 pressrelease (from $49)
PRpocket.com (from $10)
PRleap.com (from $135)
Semjar (from $49)
Try some of these and track your rankings and traffic – if it has a positive effect – great.
Press releases are not that meaningful for SEO nowadays, but still there can be some results.
Let’s move on.
For some of the services below, you can also find Virtual Assistant or fiverr gig.
4. Submit your site to directories
Ok, another old-school technique, again it brings some results, especially for new sites.
There are plenty of online directories for every niche – basically listings of websites.
You can use fiverr or upwork for that. Here is a proven Fiverr gig to help you.
5. Local citations and listings
There is a number of directories, related to your location.
If you are listed in this kind of sites, your local rankings in Google will improve.
6. Submit site to main social media sites
List your blog on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Google+.
Create a profile and add your site. LInks from these sites are nofollow, but social media activity is an important factor in Google rankings.
Remember to post something on Google+ from time to time – Google values its own network.
7. Secondary social media sites
List your site on Quora, Reddit, Mix.com and other less known sites.
Add your site there – these would be additional backlinks.
8. All other social media sites
Did you know, that there are hundreds of others social media sites, apart from Facebook and Instagram?
They have much less users, but some niche network still can bring a lot of targeted traffic to your site.
You can create profiles for them as well. You can do it manually or use service like Knowem or find someone on fiverr or Upwork.
9. Submit PDFs to document-sharing sites
There is a number of websites, which publish pdf documents. For example, slideshare.net Create a free account there and publish your PDFs with link to your site. Recommended Fiverr gig.
10. Submit your video to video-sharing sites
Create an engaging explanatory video and submit it to video sharing sites. With a link to your website.
11. Submit an image to photo sharing sites
Design an impressive image with a short description of your biz and share to relevant sites.
12. Presentation to slide-sharing sites
Create 10-15 slides, while tell how to solve a problem in your area.
Put it on e.g. SlideShare and number of other slide-sharing sites.
You can also use
13. RSS submission / Content curation sites
There are many content curation sites, where you can put RSS feed of your site and excerpts of your new blogs will be included in their feeds, e.g. paper.li and others.
You not only create backlinks from these sites, but also it gives you more exposure and someone can link to your blog by finding it on the curation site.
NOTE: you need to be careful with this option, as curation sites should only post excerpts of your blogs. And they should clearly identify your site as an original source.
14. Submit audio to podcast websites
Create a short podcast, based on your blog – to simplify it – just read your blog. And then submit it to sites like SoundCloud.
15. Bookmark sites
Share your blog post on bookmark sites, such as Pocket.
16. Web 2.0 sites and blogs
Create accounts on relevant web 2.0 sites and blogs.
Now, let’s take a look at more high-quality links.
17. Do a link exchange (link swap)
The simplest way to get more backlinks to your site is link exchange.
Find similar bloggers in your niche and ask to put them link to your site and you will link back to their site.
This is completely another topic, how to find influencers in your niche: using software (Buzzsumo, Buzzstream, Ninjaoutreach, etc), email lists, facebook groups, twitter, linkedin, etc.
Note: you need to be careful with this, as link exchange (link swap, link for link) is not officially endorsed by Google, especially if you link back to a same page, from which there is a backlink to you.
But, in my experience, it works in small amounts – e.g. 5-10 new backlinks using this method in a month.
18. 3-way link exchange or link swap
This is an upgraded version of the previous method and it’s safer with Google.
Basically, you need 3 sites for this – your site and 2 others.
This is how it works: Person 1 links to Person 2 links to Person 3 links to Person 1.
This way everyone gets a link, but there are no direct link swaps when you just exchange links. Which (if you do it a lot) can harm your site in Google.
There are a lot of facebook groups or open google sheets in different niches for 3-way link swaps. For example, here is a google sheet for a travel niche.
Outreach is the king of link-building.
Most of the high-quality links come as a result of an outreach.
This one is more complicated because your aim is to get a backlink and not link back to that site.
This is exactly, what matters in the Google ranking algorithm.
When other sites mention/link to your content (without link back from you) – in Google’s eyes it’s a sign of a great quality content, which it should show to more people in search results.
In my experience, this is one of the MOST EFFECTIVE techniques. And it’s really tedious work as well.
So, create a few great blogs (you can look on competitors ideas in Ahrefs).
Then reach out to bloggers with similar articles (just Google them or use Ahrefs) or check blogs linking to your competitors – and ask them to LINK YOUR BLOG – because it’s SUPER COOL.
Something like this:
Subject: Great job on SEO hacks blog!
Just found your blog about SEO hacks in 2018 (URL here), great job! 👍
I recently put a similar article about top 10 SEO tips in 2019 – (URL here).
It’s getting a lot of exposure and traffic!
If you find it useful or interesting to your audience, could you please mention it somewhere on your site or at least social media?
I would appreciate it sooo much! 🙌
E.g. this is one of my emails.
Always, add 2-4 follow-ups – follow-ups do the work.
In my experience, very rarely you will get a response from first email. Most replies from linkbuilding outreach come after 2nd or 3rd email.
Second follow-up (4-7 days from the previous email, if there is no reply).
Just following up here,
Did you take a look at my previous email?
Is this something interesting for your site?
And a third follow-up (10 days from the previous email):
sorry to disturb you,
any update on my previous email?
Would that be interesting?
But, don’t be too pushy and don’t spam people.
Try to keep an informal tone – hey, you just suggesting a great piece of content, from which can benefit his/her audience.
Test and perfect your pitch – wording and style can vary for different niches and techniques.
Buzzstream has sequences feature and Mailshake offers follow-ups too – it’s much easier when follow-ups are automated.
In overall, sometimes, outreach can look like a malicious spamming.
Focus not on link building, but on building long-term relationships with other blogs and influencers in your niche.
Think like this: you created some cool piece of content, product, tool or software and you just want to share it with people, get their opinion, get some feedback, give some value, create a relationship.
Don’t try to sell or actively push for link building from the first contact – give at least some value first.
There are a lot of modifications of link building outreach.
20. Skyscraper technique
This technique was invented by Brian Dean from Backlinko.
Basically, it’s more perfected and targeted outreach.
1. Research the best performing blogs of your competitors (use Ahrefs or Buzzsumo, etc).
2. Then write a blog on that topic. But, make it either just better – more detailed, analytical, visual – or more in-depth overview of some aspect.
3. Reach out to all sites, which link to your competitor’s blog and ask them to add a link to your blog as well (or even replace competitors link), because your piece of content is better, fresher, more detailed.
21. Guest posts
Guest posting is one of the most common ways to get backlinks to your site.
Basically, it works like this – you provide high-quality content on sites and in exchange, they can offer you a link to your site.
Most sites won’t allow more than 2-3 backlinks – they can be either in text or author section.
Some of the sites only provide no-follow backlinks.
Of course, the higher quality and authority of the site, the bigger demands will be from your content (length, interesting topic, quality, visuals, etc.)
For sure, many sites will want a fee – from $10 to thousands $ per one blog.
The first question is how to find guest blogging opportunities.
Try to find guest post opportunities using Google Search Operators.
Head over to Google and start entering the following search queries (one by one):
- Keyword “guest post”
- Keyword intitle:“write for us”
- Keyword inurl:”write for us”
- Keyword “submit a guest post”
- Keyword “submit” AROUND(4) “guest post”
- Keyword “guest post by”
- Keyword “accepting guest posts”
- Keyword “guest post guidelines”
- Keyword “submit blog post”
- Keyword “contribute to our site”
- Keyword “submit article”
- Keyword “guest author”
- Keyword inurl:“guest post”
- Inpostauthor: “guest + post” Keyword
- Inpostauthor: “guest + blog” Keyword
For example, if I search “seo “submit a guest post” – I will find a number of SEO blogs, which offer guest posting opportunities. OR
Reverse engineer prolific guest bloggers
Google search: NAME “guest post by”. This way you can find guest posts by other bloggers and pitch your content to websites.
Guest posts by your competitor
Here is a Google footprint for finding which guest posts were created by your competitors.
“guest post by COMPETITOR NAME” -COMPETITORWEBSITE.com
This will show you pages that link to your competitors website + also contain the phrase “guest post” – these pages are usually places your competitor has submitted a guest contribution.
Collect a list of websites with guest post opportunities, get their emails (using e.g. hunter.io or buzzstream.com) and do guest post outreach.
22. Buy guest posts or sponsored content
Sometimes, if guest post requirements are too complicated, it’s easier just to buy good quality guest posts on other sites with links to your site.
Prices range from $20-30 to $500 for a single post.
Judge not only by Domain Authority but also traffic, social presence, engagement, link placement page, etc.
Remember, best links are those, which real people actually click on and go to your site.
If it’s a DA 30+ site, with e.g. 30K sessions per month – it may be worth paying $70+ for placing your guest post on their site.
23. Guest post tools
There are number of guest post tools, where you can either but or submit your posts.
24. Answer questions on Quora and other sites
Quora links may be nofollow, but still helpful. They can be a good source of referral traffic. They’re also great for diversifying our link profile (a link profile consisting solely of dofollow links won’t look natural at all!)
Create a Quora.com profile and participate in discussions, related to your niche.
Don’t spam, try to fully answer the question, at least 300-400 words and only after that, include a link to your site with more info.
Most of the links from Quora are nofollow, however, they can bring some referral traffic and much awareness.
Here’s a three-step process for getting even more referral traffic (and links) from Quora:
- Plug Quora into Ahrefs (to find the highest traffic threads).
- Search for a keyword related to your content (this will filter out relevant threads that have rankings and ongoing passive traffic).
- Write a top notch answer on the threads with lots of traffic.
Forums are kind of old-school or just dead (after Facebook), but in some particular niches there still well-functioning forums. So, do your research.
Create accounts on forums in your niche with a link to your site.
Also, try to engage in discussions, answer questions, find solutions to problems and then include links to your blog.
Reddit can be a massive source of referral traffic when your post goes viral and receives many upvotes.
Of course, if you don’t spam and understand how it works.
Also, AFAIK, if your link in Reddit gets many organic upvotes – it becomes dofollow. 😱
Of course, there are ways to buy upvotes to your reddit posts and create traffic.
27. Submit comments
Some of the platforms, where you can leave comments: WordPress, Joomla, Disqus, Facebook Comments, etc.
Most of these links will be nofollow.
However, a great comment can bring a lot of referral traffic, awareness and even customers.
Some Google footprints for finding sites with comments.
“powered by WordPress” AND “comments” keyword
“facebook comments” keyword
Here is also a list of high quality sites, which accept comments.
28. Build links through blog comments
Scrape the websites of everyone who left a blog comment in the last 30 days on your blog or on blog posts relevant to your niche.”
- Check if they have any content on their website related to your niche.
- If so, reach out, thank them for the comment and ask if they’d consider linking to your post.
29. Link your site in Youtube description
Link from Youtube description is nofollow, but if your video goes viral – it might be republished by many sites and publishers.
Who can copy link as well.
30. Create a killer infographic
There are certain types of content, which can generate a lot of content.
Infographic – a very powerful piece of content. It’s a part of a bigger visual trend in SEO.
A good infographic is a magnet for natural, high-quality backlinks.
How to attract backlinks with an infographic?
1. Share your infographic on image-sharing or infographic-sharing sites.
2. Use your infographic for outreach – it has higher response rate, than simple content.
3. Include infographic sharing widget in your blog, which will create html snippet, with link to your site. And write something like:
if you want to use this infographic, just copy the code below or link to this page.
31. Animated infographic
Ok, infographics were really hot like 2-3 years ago.
It’s not that sexy anymore – i.e. you will get fewer backlinks.
So… create an animated infographic, which will really stand out, become viral in your niche and attract hundreds of referring domains.
These guys do an amazing job!
32. Steal links from competitors
This is one of my favorites 🙂
Why invent all these link building tactics, when you can just look through backlink profile of your competitor and try to replicate it?
To check out backlinks to any site, use Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz Link Explorer, etc.
In Ahrefs, there is even a feature for that – Link Intersect – you can compare, what are common and missing backlinks with your competitors.
An easy way to do it is just to go through link profile of your competitors and try to get links on same sites as well:
- Do outreach to same bloggers
- Register in same directories
- Write on same forums
- Get reviews on the same sites, etc
Backlink profile of your competitor is a ready link building plan for you. 🙂
33. Turn your brand mentions into backlinks
Monitor your brand mentions.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to gain some new backlinks. Reach out to those who have mentioned us with linking to us and request a link.
Google Alerts or Mention.com could help us keep track of brand mention across the web (the idea being that you can reach out to them and request they add a link if they haven’t already done so).
34. Monitor the brand mentions of competitors
Set alerts not only for your site but for your competitors as well. When they are mentioned or linked to on a new site – it can be a good opportunity for you.
33. Links from customers
Ask customers to include a backlink to your site.
E.g. if you developed seo audit software tool, think of outreach to your customers, so they can mention your tool and site in the blog, list in favorite tools section, etc.
Maybe, think of “Proud user of … tool” outcampaign
35. Recover your 404s
Find dead links without redirects on your site.
Either add a redirect to a new page or restore this pages.
Without a redirect, all links to that page will be lost.
36. Expert roundups for quick link wins
Create an “expert roundup” blog.
For example, Robbie Richards created this post: 47 Experts Rank Best Seo Audit Tools.
In the post, each expert gives an opinion what are best SEO audit tools.
Apart from giving more social proof to the article, a lot of experts will mention this article on their resources as well.
37. Create a list
Create a “list” type of blog.
Lists is the second most popular type of content after infographic. It brings a lot of shares, exposure and links.
But, don’t create “top 3” or “top 5”, create a list, which stands out – top 50 seo tools, top 100 seo tips, etc.
Here is a list by Brian Dean, about top 200 Google Ranking factors.
Also, another tip: instead of creating many small lists, focus on one, but massive. E.g. instead of having 4 “top 5” blogs, create one blog with “top 30”
38. Ultimate Guide
Ultimate Guides to something are also great.
For example, Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2019.
HubSpot ranks #1 for this search phrase.
It’s a well-written and structured article, with over 9000 words.
This piece of content attracted 991 backlinks, 148 referring domains, ranks for 970 organic keywords and generates $30K worth of traffic every month. Not bad.
39. Enjoy natural links 🙂
This is the best way of getting backlinks so far. 🙂
When different types of your content start ranking high in Google, get some attention and traffic – people start referring to your articles by themselves.
And you will see more and more links, which just appear naturally, without your interference.
40. Convert homepage links to deep content links
Boost your blog posts (and “Money” Pages) by converting homepage links into deep content links.
Link to a particular page is more valuable than to the homepage.
It’s Andrew here from OnlineHikes.com.
I was just looking through my backlinks and noticed you mentioned me in this post: [URL]
However, I noticed that although you mention a particular blog post of mine (the one about how to increase website traffic), you actually linked to my homepage rather than the blog post itself.
Any chance it would be possible swap the link out for a link directly to the blog post instead?
No worries if not, I just think it’d make more sense in the overall context of the post (as people may be interested to read that post).
Either way, have a great week!
Don’t forget with follow up as well.
41. Use Google footprints for outreach
You know how to do outreach, but where to take all contacts?
There are plenty of Google operators (footprints) you can use to get more contacts.
For example, “travel guest posts” will give you list of sites in Google, which have this exact term.
Also, increase search results in Google to 100 per page, so you can easily filter results.
After that, you use e.g. your Buzzstream or Ninja Outreach extension to get the required sites.
You can also use free “oscraper” extension in Google Chrome, which will scrape all url from Google search into a handy .txt file. Then you can upload that file to Buzzstream.
42. Try Scrapebox
If you want quickly get a list of websites for a specific Google query or Footprint, I would recommend Scrapebox. It will automate this process for you.
This tool can harvest thousands of URLs, which you can filter out, export, check some metrics, etc.
Back to you
What did I miss?
What are your favorite link building tips?
Some Link Building Tools
- Common Backlinks Tool (CBLT)
- Link Juice Thief (LJT)
- Backlink Profiler (BLP)
- Link Juice Recovery Tool (LJR)
- Bulk URL Analyzer (Juice Tool)
- SERP Research Tool (SERP)
- Link Alerts (LA)
- Strongest Subpages Tool (SSPT)