Note: This post includes the first 10 in a
series of 50 ways to build backlinks. We’ll be publishing this
series periodically with 10 new ways to build backlinks every
time so stay tuned for future updates.
Backlinks are an essential part of a well put together SEO
strategy and learning how to build backlinks can help boost
your website’s traffic in a variety of ways. As an essential
part of SEO strategy, building backlinks is a mandatory task
for every ecommerce store owner who’s looking to build and
maintain organic traffic to their website over time. The most
difficult and time consuming part of getting backlinks is
figuring out how to build them and doing so in a way that’s
acceptable by search engine standards (AKA: Whitehat
techniques). As backlinks need to come from sources outside of
your own website, convincing other website owners to link back
to your site in a way that’s honest and mutually beneficial can
be tricky. In this post we’ll discuss how to approach others so
you can generate backlinks to your site, but beyond that we’ll
also discuss the various ways you can generate backlinks for
yourself via honest means so that you don’t get penalized by
First, let’s discuss what a backlink actually is.
What is a Backlink
A backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one website to another
For example: In one of our previous articles, a Shopify
Review, our opening sentence reads:
“It’s been long overdue that we post a Shopify review on A Better Lemonade Stand.”
In that sentence we included a link to Shopify, the business
that we’re making reference to, and that’s a backlink for
Any link to another website that a site includes anywhere on
their webpages is considered a backlink. As a website, your
goal is to get quality (more on that soon) backlinks from other
websites because it increases your credibility in the eyes of
search engines and thus increases your chances for ranking as a
search result when appropriate.
Why Backlinks are Important
Backlinks are important because search engines read them as a
way of websites vouching for one another which helps to improve
the rank and domain authority (think of this as credibility) of
the linked site. When one website links to another they
figuratively pass on “link juice” and all the link juice a
website acquires from backlinks helps build up their own
authority by indicating to search engines that they must be
high quality too because websites with high quality link juice
are linking out to them.
In the example mentioned above, when we’re linking out to
Shopify from A Better Lemonade Stand, Google reads that and
come to the conclusion that:
Shopify is likely a reputable website because A Better
Lemonade Stand is linking out to them, and;
A Better Lemonade Stand is likely a reputable website
because they’re linking out to another reputable website,
Backlinks are recognized by search engines as a vote of
confidence and the more reputable websites that link back to
your own website, the more reputable it makes your website seem
to search engines by association.To simplify this, a links from
CNN is seen is much more credible and valuable than a link from
a Joe’s random thought blog that he started 2 weeks ago.
When you have other high quality websites vouching for your
website it helps to improve your organic search engine ranking,
you get indexed faster and you also get direct referral traffic
from websites that are relevant to yours which means targeted
traffic gets passed on to you and you’ll experience a lower
Backlinks are a
vote of confidence. When reputable websites link out to you the
more reputable you seemClick To
How Backlinks are Measured
That being said, different websites are ranked differently in a
variety of ways when it comes to reputation, and that, amongst
other variables, affects how backlinks are measured.
No backlinks are created equally. They depend on a variety of
ranking factors that are, for the most part, speculated.
Domain & Page Strength
Website authority can be measured in two different ways:
The overall strength of the domain
The strength of the URL
This means that, for example, abetterlemonadestand.com has its
own rank of website authority as one entire domain, whilst
abetterlemonadestand.com/blog (or this particular blog post)
will have an independent authority that’s connected to the
domain but separate still because it is its own page.
Bonus: To better understand domain and page
authority, check out this free website and page authority
checker. To use it, just enter some of your favorite
websites to see what their domain and page scores are.
Nofollow & Dofollow Links
Backlinks can also be measured by being either
nofollow and dofollow links.
Nofollow links exist when one website links
to another one they have the option to register the link as a
“nofollow” link which means search engines won’t take that
link into account as a vote of confidence, and basically
won’t recognize the link as a backlink for the linked
website. Nofollow links are often used by websites if they’re
linking to an unverified source for any reason, don’t want to
be associated to the page they’re linking out to, or in the
case of paid sponsorships, as per Google’s advertising
guidelines, they require those links to be nofollow.
Dofollow links exist when one website links
to another one and they want search engines to consider that
link as a vote of confidence for the website they’re linking
out to. Dofollow links are common when websites or blogs are
linking out to other websites or blogs and see no detriment
in being associated with that website in the eyes of the
Note: Generally most links are DoFollow
links unless the author of a website, post or page
specifically decides to make a link or set of links NoFollow.
NoFollow links are are identified by adding the NoFollow
attribute to the link code.
A DoFollow link will look something like this: <a
A NoFollow link will look soemthing like this: <a
One important exception to note is easily self-attainable
backlinks from self-posting sites/forums and social networks
(like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, or comment sections of blogs)
are almost always NoFollow.
Bonus: To get a better idea of which links
around the web are DoFollow vs. NoFollow, download the NoDoFollow Firefox extension
or NoFollow for Chrome. These
browser extensions will highlight all links and show you which
ones are DoFollow and which ones aren’t.
Link placement is also thought to play a role in how search
engines rank backlink authority. If a link is included in the
context of written content on the page of a website it’s
thought that search engines place more emphasis on it because
it’s more likely to be relevant to the content of the website
overall and is likely to be clicked more than links that are
placed elsewhere on a webpage such as in the footers or
What words the link is linked to on a page is also thought to
be an indicator to search engines of how relevant it is, this
is known as Anchor Text. For example, anchor text is the words
where the link is tethered to. For search engines, these words
are indicative that they’re relevant to the content and likely
to be clicked.
As another example, in the yellow bonus section above we
purposely linked to a free website and page authority
checker and specifically chose the words that were linked.
Google and other search engines read and register the words
that are linked (anchor text) and these words help search
engines better understand what they page or website you’re
linking to is about and what it should rank for in search
engine results. By specifically linking the descriptive words
like “free website and page authority checker”, we have
provided that website with a quality backlink that helps search
engines better understand what they are and what they do, and
we help that website rank higher for some keywords that are
important to them and to other people finding them.
Finally, link relevancy also plays a role in determining the
strength of a backlink. Depending on several factors that
search engines are well equipped to measure such as anchor
text, other outbound links, keywords, H Tags, context
surrounding the links and more, each of those helps determine
whether a link is relevant to the overall content of the page
and therefore whether the backlink is relevant or not.
Search engines place an emphasis on rewarding websites with
authority via backlinks carefully and measure the relevancy of
links in a variety of different ways to ensure that the
backlinks are authentic and not spammy to encourage
well-constructed content by websites that’s relevant and
helpful to searchers so they find what they’re looking for.
Search engines reward websites that meet their demand with
higher domain and URL authority as well as relevant organic
Low Quality Links & Spam
Acquiring links from websites or web pages that have been
deemed by search engines to have low domain strength because
they’re any combination of being low quality sources,
inappropriate, or spam can result in penalizing your own
website. It’s important to not fall into the trap of thinking
that more backlinks from more sourcing all pointing back to
your website will increase your website’s rank authority in the
eyes of search engines. It’s the quality of backlinks that
counts more than the quantity. Aim to get links from
authoritative sites that are relevant to your own in terms of
subject matter and search engines will reward you with
increased search traffic over time.
It’s the quality of
backlinks that counts more than the quantity. Aim to get links
from reliable sites.Click To
How to Build Backlinks
Now that you have a background on what backlinks are, why
they’re important and how they’re measured by search engines,
let’s dive into the ways you can build backlinks for your own
Reddit Social Proof Method
Difficulty: High Value: High
For those who haven’t already started using the forum Reddit for your business, now is the perfect
time to start getting acquainted with it. It’s a very
particular kind of forum with savvy users, so if you’re
unfamiliar with their content policy, what “subreddits” are and proper “Reddiquette”, get familiar with it before you
start using these next two methods to build backlinks
If you’re already familiar with Reddit, then let’s move
The purpose of this method is to give value, get upvotes, and
then replace the content of the socially-proofed post with a
link to your site.
Here’s how to perform it:
Create a remarkable piece of content (more on that coming
Find the subreddit within Reddit that best suits the niche
you’re trying to target (make sure to thoroughly search through
all the different subs to find the right one (or ones) that is
relevant to your content. Relevancy is key as Redditors don’t
appreciate spam and this method won’t work if the right niche
of people aren’t engaged in the post).
Create a post to that subreddit following that sub’s
community guidelines (this step of the process is crucial. You
have to approach your post on the subreddit very carefully. You
cannot just post a link to your content and expect the
subscribers of that sub to see the value in it, you have to
give value first).
Whilst creating the post, include all the valuable
information you discuss in the remarkable piece of content you
created. Your goal is to tell people the details you discuss in
your piece content, why it’s interesting and why it’s relevant
to them, and then, after you provide a thorough few paragraphs
of information and if the community guidelines permit it,
include a link to your piece of content and let users know they
can click on that link for the full article.
Once you’ve created that post, publish it to the subreddit.
You aren’t likely to get too many clicks through to your
link from the post, but hopefully, and this is why this method
is rated as a “High” difficulty level as it’s not always easy,
you’ll generate a lot of discussion and upvotes on the post. If
the subscribers of that subreddit see the value that you’ve
given in the post without spammily just linking out to your
website, they’ll likely upvote the post so others can see the
thread. Again, it will have to be pretty valuable to generate a
substantial amount of upvotes and comments, but that’s the
Once the post has been up for several hours and it’s
generated a significant amount of upvotes and comments, edit
the original message of your post to just include the link to
your piece of content so that users will then have to click
through to your web page to view the content.
You’ll only be able to achieve that step once you’ve
generated a significant amount of upvotes and comments
(whatever that means for the sub you’re targeting, that amount
will be different for every sub) as that will serve as social
proof for your content. If you didn’t have social proof your
post would just seem spammy with it linking out to your content
only, but now that you generated significant social proof first
by giving value, you will be less likely to run into your post
getting removed by the moderators of that sub and you’ll get
users clicking through to your website as well as a backlink
This method of building backlinks is valuable for two reasons:
Links on Reddit start off as nofollow links and as we
discussed earlier in this article, that means that there is no
link juice transferring over from Reddit to any outgoing links,
unless, and this is the important part, a certain amount of
upvotes are achieved and then those links become dofollow. The
actual number of upvotes isn’t public knowledge, but through
educational speculation and testing, it’s widely believed that
this theory is true. Getting a dofollow backlink from Reddit is
hugely beneficial as their rank and domain authority is very
Besides getting a backlink from Reddit, you’ll also be
directing relevant referral traffic to your website, which is
the best kind of traffic to drive there. You’ll hopefully have
a lower bounce rate because you’ll be directing traffic to your
website that’s already interested in your niche and they’ll be
more likely to engage with your website overall.
Test out this backlink building method for yourself but
remember not to be spammy on Reddit, follow the community
guidelines, give value and get social proof first then leave a
link to your piece of content and hopefully get some high-value
link juice and referral traffic.
Example: Below is an example screenshot of the
/r/entrepreneur subreddit. You can see from the highlighted
link colors which ones are DoFollow (Purple) and which ones are
Create Remarkable Content
Difficulty: High Value: High
The absolute more reliable and consistent way to get a ton of
backlinks is to create remarkable content on your website that
others naturally want to link to. There’s no way you’ll be able
to get long term, sustainable and valuable backlinks if you
have nothing of value for other websites to link out to.
Alternatively, if you post remarkable content consistently
that’s interesting, engaging, valuable and helpful, you’ll get
high value websites linking out to you organically without
having to ask for a backlink. Create valuable content and
you’ll receive value in return.
This is a difficult method because it takes a lot of time to
product helpful and valuable content consistently and to
sustain it over a long period of time. Even if you publish high
value content on your website from day one it’s going to take a
while for others to take notice of your effort and in the
meantime it’s easy to get discouraged due to lack of an engaged
audience. The difficult part is providing value on a consistent
basis over a long enough time period to generate an engaged
audience that supports your efforts. Once you reach that point
you’ll start to see backlinks from other high value sources
start to come in and that’s when you reap the rewards of the
work you put in creating remarkable content from day one.
Until then, you just have to create content that’s interesting,
engaging and helpful, promote it via every possible method and
work on every other way to generate backlinks that you can.
Example: Online businesses have lots of
opportunities to create different types of content. Whether
it’s written blog posts, videos, podcasts, slideshows or other
forms of media. Each of these is an opportunity to go above and
beyond. A great example is a video created by Wendy on Wendy’s
Lookbook. The video highlights a comprehensive list of 25 ways
to wear a scarf. Besides the fact that the video has garnered
nearly 40 million views on YouTube, this one video has led to
thousands of backlinks to Wendy’s blog and store.
Furthermore, Wendy also created another blog post on the
making of the scarf video which have attracted an
additional 100 backlinks.
Bonus: For more on how to create remarkable
content, look forward to our upcoming content strategy blog
post where we’ll be sharing all our secrets with you.
Get a Link from Your
Difficulty: Medium Value:
Depending on your manufacturer, this may be an easy method to
build a backlink. Basically, you want to reach out to the
manufacturer who you source your products from and ask that
they link you as a retailer of their products on their website,
or link you as a business that they work with. Manufacturers
are likely to have aged domains which is thought to be a high
ranking factor by search engines. The older the domain the more
authority it keeps.
The difficulty of this method is middle of the range because
your manufacturer may not have a place for this kind of link on
their website or they simply may not want to link out to you.
If your manufacturer is open to the idea it’s an easy link to
get but if not, you’re out of luck.
Beyond the difficulty of this method, the value of this
backlink also lays in the middle of the range. It won’t be a
low value or spammy backlink by any means, but it also might
not give you super high quality link juice like you would be
getting from a domain like Reddit. That being said, if you can
get your manufacturer to link out to you then it’s relatively
easy to acquire and it’s one more backlink than you had before.
Before you reach out to your manufacturer make sure you have a
reputable-looking website with some valuable content on it
(like we discussed in the previous method) so the manufacturer
is more likely to link out to you. They want to make sure
they’re linking out to a reputable website as well so make sure
you look like one.
Example: Below is an example of Beardbrand’s
list of online re-sellers. When you sell other branded
products, it’s usually in the best interest of the supplier or
manufacturer to link to you, providing your store with a
Interview Authorities in Your Niche
Difficulty: Medium Value:
Seek out “authorities” in your niche, whether they be bloggers,
influencers, speakers, entrepreneurs, creators, etc. and
interview them. Post the content to your website and reach out
to whomever you interviewed and let them know about the content
More often than not the person will share your content, whether
it’s on social media or, if you’re lucky, on their own website,
and you’ll generate a backlink from it. People love when they
get noticed, even if it’s by a smaller player in their niche,
so you will likely be recognized.
The trick with this method is to be persistent in every way.
Persistently pursue influencers when you’re reaching out to
interview them and persistently pursue influencers when you’re
reaching out to share your content with them. It’s likely that
they have a lot of emails coming in at any given time, so
persistently follow up with them. The more eager you seem the
more likely they will be to engage with you. Always be polite,
don’t get upset or offended if they aren’t getting back to you,
but do be persistent.
At worst they won’t respond at all, but then just try another
influencer in your niche. At best they’ll respond, you’ll
create some great content from it, they’ll share it on social
media, you’ll get some valuable referral traffic from it and if
you’re lucky they’ll link to your content on their website and
you’ll get a backlink and some valuable link juice. If they
have a press page also ask to be featured on there as you’ll
get a prominent backlink that is likely to have high authority.
Build a relationship with the person you interview, generate
some good content and then work on getting the backlink.
Republish Old Content
Difficulty: Low Value: Medium
Don’t let great content that you’ve created in the past go to
waste. There are some websites where you can syndicate content
which means that articles that you’ve published on your own
website can be re-published on other websites relevant to your
niche that have a much larger and diverse following than your
own website. This enables you to get your content out in front
of a larger audience and the original source of the content
(your website) will get a link back to acknowledge where it was
Well known websites where you can syndicate your content
While it’s commonly thought that content syndication can lead
to penalization from search engines for publishing duplicate
content, that isn’t the case because there will be a link back
to the original piece of content acknowledging its origin.
Oftentimes the original creator of the content will also add a
new introduction or title to the content as a means to
differentiate it from the original post, but that’s optional.
Look for high quality sites you can syndicate your content to
(like the ones we mentioned above) so that you get valuable
link juice from an authoritative domain. This method is also
likely to generate social shares and put your content in front
of an audience that’s interested in your niche so you’ll be
gaining valuable referral traffic as well.
Bonus: For an additional 46 publications that
accept republished content along with the appropriate contact
info, please see this list,
originally curated by the good folks at Sumo.
Difficulty: Low Value: Low
This is possibly one of the easiest methods to generate
backlinks because you’re able to control how many you put out
and there’s likely to be plenty of blogs in your niche to
The intention of this method is to leave thoughtful comments on
other people’s blog posts while also including a link back to
your website; this way you’ll receive link juice from the
website you’re linking from back to your own website.
The value of this particular method is low because it’s thought
that most blog commenting services deem outgoing links as
nofollow, which as we discussed above means that no link juice
will be passed on to your domain through the link you leave in
your comment. However, this is still a very popular backlink
building method because it’s easy to complete and many theories
still believe that the links continue to be recognized by
search engines and are indirect ranking factors. The value may
be low but there may still be value there.
Find high quality blogs to leave thoughtful, non-spammy
comments on while providing a link back to your content with
the intention of providing value. You want to show that you’re
there first and foremost to engage with the content and that
you also have something relevant on your website to add to the
discussion. No one likes spammy comments, so try not to leave
Alternatively search for blog comment sections that do provide
dofollow links. There are thought to be some out there so do
Difficulty: High Value: High
One of the most authentic ways to build a backlink is to guest
post on someone else’s blog and earn a link back to your
website in the byline or add some relevant contextual links to
your website throughout the piece of content. When you guest
post on someone else’s website you’re able to showcase your
expertise in front of a new audience and control which pieces
of your own context you link out to. It’s also a mutually
beneficial relationship for you and the website host as you
provide them with valuable content and they provide you with a
Securing guest posting assignments isn’t always easy and you’ll
likely have to start small and build a portfolio before you
earn guest posts on larger blogs. Your best strategy is to be
persistent, polite, eager, and let website hosts know what
value you have to offer. Always lead with what value you have
to offer them, not with what you’re hoping to get out of it as
they’ll be much more receptive to your guest posting pitch if
they see that you genuinely have value to give and want to
share it with their audience.
When guest posting on other people’s websites remember that
this is an opportune time to build a relationship with the site
owner. If you really have a lot to offer them in terms of
valuable content, they may ask you to become a repeat guest
poster which would be an ideal position for you as publishing
repeatedly on another site puts you in front of new eyes
consistently and gives you valuable backlinks every time.
If you plan to reach out to other websites to guest post for
them make sure your own site has valuable content already
published on it so they have some way to gauge whether you’d be
a good fit for their audience or not. Make sure your website
looks professional and like you would fit into their niche
market. Don’t forget to peruse their website and see if they
have any guest post requirements or any particulars your guest
post would need to meet such as a specific word count or
formatting. You want to give them every opportunity to say yes
to your guest post offer so make sure you’re prepared with
valuable content, a prepared post that meets their
requirements, a relevant niche and a professional looking
Difficulty: High Value: High
If you have a certain product you’d like to promote to an
audience, getting a blogger, influencer or another website to
publish a review of your product is a valuable way to not only
have your product featured in front of an audience that’s
relevant to your niche, but a great way to get a contextual
backlink as well.
As per search engine ranking systems, product reviews garner
high ranking backlink authority because they fulfill many of
the high value ranking requirements such as optimal link
placement (within the post itself, not in a sidebar or footer)
and link relevancy (within a relevant niche). If it is a
sponsored product review, which depending on the website you
work with they may only accept sponsored product reviews, as
per Google guidelines, the link will have to be a nofollow link
as opposed to a dofollow link, which isn’t ideal for a backlink
but is still thought to provide some ranking power.
Make sure you reach out to reputable websites for product
reviews, and as we recommended with guest posting you may have
to start with being featured on smaller websites before you’re
able to get onto more popular ones. Ensure that you’re able to
approach potential product reviewers with some fact-based data
of your product such as how many units you’ve sold, what your
customer/market demographics are or how much revenue you’ve
earned so you can give reviewers a way to gauge the demand of
your product or what target market would be interested in it.
As we said in regards to guest posting, always lead with what
value you have to offer the reviewer, be persistent, polite,
eager, have a valuable product with some reputable reviews or
data backing it up, find reviewers that serve a relevant niche
to yours, and have your own professional looking website.
Product Review Sites:
Request a Link
Difficulty: Medium Value:
Search for blogs or websites that have conducted roundup lists
or compilations of products, businesses or websites in your
niche and ask to be added to the list.
For example, we occasionally get requests from businesses
operating a graphic design service to add their website to our
blog post, 200+ Free and Premium Graphic
Design Resources. From our perspective, this is a mutually
beneficial request: it enables us to keep our list up-to-date
with the best resources out there and the business is able to
get a dofollow backlink without having to guest post, comment
on our blog posts, pay for a product review or republish their
own content, and the link placement and relevancy is perfect.
It’s also a simple request, you’re asking to be added to the
already existing post, so it’s a fairly simple request for
businesses to fulfill.
The only minor downside depends on when the post was published.
If it was published over a year ago the amount of traffic to
the post has potentially slowed over time meaning you may not
actually generate much traffic by having the link in the post,
but you will have a backlink from a reputable source so that’s
the goal here, not necessarily generating referral traffic.
The best way to achieve this method of building a backlink is
to do your research on what kind of posts are out there in your
niche that would be appropriate to add your link to and then
reach out to the publisher of said post. Really look for posts
where your website would just be a simple addition to the post,
you’re not looking to re-write it. Find posts that are roundups
or ones that have numbers in the title. See what your niche has
to offer and just reach out! Make sure your website or product
is relevant though, there’s no point if it’s not.
Subreddit Moderator Method
Difficulty: Low Value: High
This is a very little known method of generating backlinks on
Reddit and is lower in difficulty than the last method because
you don’t have to generate social proof as a means of turning
the backlink into a dofollow link. Even if you have no previous
experience using Reddit this is an accessible way to get
backlinks without having to engage with subreddit communities.
Here’s how to generate dofollow links to your website from
Create your own subreddit (please
note that your Reddit account will have to be at least 30
days old and you’ll need to have a small amount of positive
Once you’ve created your own sub, you don’t have to post
anything to it ever (if you don’t want to) but the value comes
from linking your content in the sidebar. As a subreddit
owner/moderator, you have the ability to add relevant links and
information your subreddits sidebar.
Every time you have a new piece of content or a webpage you
can to link out to, add it to the sidebar of your own subreddit
and that will generate dofollow links to your website from
As we’ve said above, Reddit is a high value domain to receive
link juice from, so a dofollow backlink from Reddit is
beneficial and this is one of the easiest ways to get them.
Please note, however, that your subreddit’s webpage will have a
much lower authority than Reddit’s domain authority, but you
will still acquire link juice and a backlink associated to
Now you know the top 10 of 50 ways you can build backlinks to
your website. We encourage you to try out each method for
yourself and see what response you get. Don’t forget to be
persistent, polite and eager whilst still providing value when
reaching out to other websites. Building backlinks is a
marathon not a sprint so be diligent about building a link here
and there over time and they’ll begin to accumulate. First
things first though, start working on remarkable content, a
valuable product and a beautiful website if you haven’t already
so that you have something to direct potential collaborators
to. Remember, it’s the quality of backlinks that count, not the
quantity, so aim for quality.
is a marathon, not a sprint.Click