Backlinks are crucial for SEO, traffic, and brand awareness, but you need to use the right link-building strategies to get them.
White-hat link building refers to using trusted, non-spammy methods to obtain backlinks from other sites. Some methods are more effective than others, but all white-hat strategies comply with Google’s guidelines and won’t get your site penalized.
In this article, we present the ultimate list of effective white-hat link-building strategies. Use these strategies to obtain links from high-quality sites for increased traffic and improved rankings.
1. Guest posting
Guest posting is one of the most effective link-building strategies. The reason it works so well is that it involves hard work and real content — and you aren’t paying anyone for a link, which would violate Google’s guidelines.
The downside of guest posting is that it takes up time and can be a lot slower than other white-hat link-building strategies. There’s often no guarantee that your guest post pitch will be accepted or that your guest post will be published as soon as you would like. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best ways to land links from high-quality sites.
2. Content creation
If you create the best content in your niche, you will eventually attract backlinks. Your goal should be to create the ultimate guide or resource on any specific topic. If your article contains more and better information than any other article, people will link to it the most.
Conducting original market research, polls, or case studies and writing a report on your findings is a wonderful way to get backlinks. People who cite your data will want to link to the original source (in this case, you).
3. Infographic creation
Creating original infographics is another fantastic way to attract organic backlinks. With infographics, you can also reach out to bloggers who’ve covered a similar topic and offer to allow them to use your infographic on their blog.
It’s kind of like guest posting, but the advantage here is that you can offer the same infographic to multiple bloggers. After all, there won’t be any problem with duplicate content, and the blogger you reach out to also wins by improving the readability of their article. Of course, they’ll need to link to you as the source, which is how you’ll get your backlink.
4. Reclaiming backlinks
You’ll often find your brand or website name cited without an actual link to your website. Regardless of why that might have happened, politely reaching out to the site owner and asking them to link to you often works wonders. That’s especially true if they used an infographic of yours or cited research you conducted without linking to you as the source.
You can set up Google Alerts to stay updated on new brand mentions across the web.
5. Broken link building
While not as effective as it once was, broken link building is still a popular white-hat link-building strategy. It involves reaching out to bloggers who have dead links and suggesting they replace those dead links with links to your site.
6. Stealing low-quality links
This strategy is a bit sneaky, but it technically is a white-hat strategy, so let’s talk about it. It involves finding websites that linked out to really low-quality blogs — such as blogs with thin content or a lot of outbound affiliate links — and suggesting they replace that link with a link to your high-quality resource instead.
This only really works, however, if you manage to find a high-quality blog that for whatever reason linked to a low-quality blog. Such situations might only occur in really obscure niches, where there are not a lot of resources to link to. Otherwise, the only sites linking to low-quality pages would be other low-quality sites.
If you manage to create the best and most comprehensive guide on a topic, however, your article will automatically be more informative than any other article. That will make it easier to use this technique.
7. Blog commenting
Using a bot to spam websites with comments, or leaving hundreds of one-line comments all over the web, are both black-hat tactics. On the other hand, leaving an occasional comment on a blog post in your niche which you have genuine thoughts about isn’t. You must add to the discussion and leave some quality remarks. It requires writing, thought, and time.
If you’re adding to the discussion, you can usually get away with leaving a link to one of your blog posts that expounds on a point you mentioned in your comment.
8. Directory list building
This strategy is one of the most important ones for local businesses. Getting your website listed in local and national directories will help your website rank higher. It doesn’t matter if those links are nofollow — they can still help with SEO.
9. Social media link building
While social media links are also usually nofollow, they are still important, as they send social signals to Google. Getting more shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help boost your rankings.
You can also try getting links from Reddit, Quora, Yahoo Answers, and other Q&A sites, as well as blogging sites such as Medium. Of course, don’t spam.
10. Getting mentioned in press articles
Getting picked up by a news site is one of the best ways to drive more traffic and boost your SEO rankings with backlinks. A link from a news site or a popular blog such as Forbes or Entrepreneur will do wonders for your rankings.
While PR syndication might help somewhat (as long as it’s not spammy), what we’re talking about here is getting an interview with a reporter or having an event of yours covered by a legitimate news outlet. It doesn’t have to be a major site such as Forbes. A link from Forbes is, understandably, hard to land.
However, you may be able to get mentioned on a local news site that covers events and businesses in your area. The smaller your town is, the easier this is.
One way to get picked up by reporters is by joining HARO (Help a Reporter.)
In addition to white and black-hat link-building strategies, there are also grey-hat strategies. These might not have been specifically banned by Google, but they are somewhat shady and might land you in hot water. It is important to know which white-hat methods are truly white-hat and most effective.
If you need help with your link-building campaigns, reach out to us! We offer affordable services for local and small businesses who want to build a solid backlink profile and boost their rankings.