How to Get High Quality Backlinks
Updated: May 4
1. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers (HARO)
Here’s the deal:
If you want to rank on the first page of Google, you need to build backlinks from authority news sites and blogs.
(I’m talking about white hat backlinks from authority news sites and blogs)
Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds.
All you need to do is use a free service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
HARO is like Tinder for public relations.
It connects people that need sources (bloggers and journalists) to people that want links and exposure (you).
First, register as a source. Next, choose a free or paid plan. Then, keep an eye out for requests that you can contribute to. Finally, send the journalist a VERY brief and valuable pitch.
2. Publish “Skyscraper” Content
First, find a piece of content in your industry that’s already performed well (in terms of links).
The easiest way to do that?
A simple Google search.
Just search for your keyword……and check out the first page results:
So if a piece of content is ranking on the first page, lots of people have probably linked to it.
That’s step #1.
Next, create a piece of content that’s 5-10x better than what you just found.
For example, last year I noticed that most of SEO tools lists out there were “meh”.
So I decided to create something that was 10x better.
Unlike most other list of SEO tools, my post contained every tool on the market (188 tools!).
Finally, promote your “Skyscraper” content.
This is KEY.
Yes, a piece of Skyscraper content already puts you WAY ahead of your competitors.
But to get the most out of your content, you need to actively promote it.
There are a million ways to promote your content.
So let me show you one quick strategy that works GREAT: Promote to people that you mention in your post.
3. Build Links From Outdated Resources
1. Your first step is to find sites in your industry that have:
Moved to a new URL
Stopped offering a service
Stopped updating a resource
2. Our second step is to find sites still linking to the old, outdated URL
This step is important:
Now that you’ve found a site that recently re-branded or a site feature that’s no longer there, it’s time to find all of the links pointing to that page.
Just grab the URL of the outdated resource and put it into your backlink checking tool of choice.
Depending on the site, you should have quite a few link opportunities to work with.
Either way, you want to focus on sites that have the highest Domain Authority (DA).
Then, move onto step 3…
3. Last up, reach out and get your links.
Your last step is to reach out to all of the people that still link to the outdated resource.
You want to give them a quick heads up about their outdated link…and gently suggest that they add your link to their site.
I tested a few different outreach email scripts for my SEOmoz/Moz campaign. Here’s the one that worked best:
And because I added value to their site twice (once from the heads up about their outdated link and again by showing them my valuable resource) people were more than happy to add my link to their page:
4. Use Content Formats Proven To Generate Links
If you want to get backlinks, focus on these content formats:
“How to” Posts
5. Publish Ultimate Guides
You already know that the only way to move your site to the top of Google is to build high quality backlinks (and lots of them).
That much is clear.
But HOW do you get other sites to actually link to you?
Seriously. Ultimate Guides are absolute link MAGNETS.
1. Your first step is to find a topic for your guide.
This is important.
You want to choose a popular topic that hasn’t been covered to death already.
(In other words: you don’t want to publish the 18th ultimate guide on a topic)
Instead, choose a topic that hasn’t been covered to death yet.
2. Next, outline your ultimate guide.
This is easy.
Just list out subtopics that make up your larger topic.
For example, for my link building guide, I simply listed out subtopics like this:
What is link building?
Black hat SEO
White hat SEO
3. Lastly, write your Ultimate Guide.
Don’t be afraid to cover EVERYTHING there is to know about a topic.
That way, your guide will be seen as THE definitive resource.
(And like I mentioned earlier, longer content tends to generate more backlinks, shares… and higher rankings in Google)
6. Use Branded Strategies and Techniques
Step #1: Develop a Unique Strategy, Tip or Tactic
This sounds hard… but it isn’t.
All you need to do is come up with a strategy that has SOMETHING unique about it.
(In other words, the entire strategy doesn’t need to be unique)
Step #2: Next, name your strategy.
I called my strategy The Moving Man Method because you’re helping the site owner “move” their link.
Not the most creative name, but it gets the job done.
So yeah, just make sure the name describes what your strategy does.
Other than that, try to use one of these words in your strategy name:
Step #3: Publish the strategy as part of a blog post.
Your last step is to show people that your new strategy actually works.
Publish your strategy in the form of a blog post (preferably a case study).
(That way, people have something to link to when they reference your technique).
7. Authority Resource Pages
First, you need to find resource pages.
These can be tricky to find. Very few people call their resource page a “resource page”.
Instead, people tend to describe their pages with terms like:
So to find these pages, you just need to search for these terms… plus a keyword.
Second, now that you’ve found a resource page, it’s time to reach out and (nicely) ask for a link.
(Pro Tip: Check the resource page for outdated or broken links BEFORE you reach out. Letting the someone know about their broken link can 2-5x your conversion rate compared to straight up asking for a link)
Here’s the email script that I recommend:
Hi [Name], I was looking for some articles to read about [You Topic] today, when I stumbled on your [Resource Page Title]. Very cool. Anyway, I noticed that you have a section on your resource page dedicated to [Your Topic]. I actually recently published a massive guide on that same topic. It might be worth adding to your page. Thanks and have a great day! Regards, [Your First Name]