10 Different Backlinking Strategies You Can Use To Grow Online

backlinking strategies tree

Did you know that there are over 200 ranking factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking your website? And, of these 200 ranking factors, backlinking is one of the top 8. 

Considering how important backlinking is, it is vital that you have a backlink strategy in place. Especially if you want your website to rank highly in search engine results. 

There are many ways in which you can obtain backlinks to your website. 

So, we have broken down some of the key backlinking methods we often come across. So you can see how they work and start applying these same tactics to your own website.

But First, A Quick Introduction to Backlinks

Image: introduction to backlinks

A backlink is when a website links back to your website. The link can be from an image, in the anchor text or as a button. And it can link to an author, a specific webpage or a recommended article. 

Backlinking is considered by many marketers as one of the more challenging aspects of SEO. However, it’s also one of the most important. 

Backlinks are essentially an indicator that your content is valuable and deserves to be ranked highly on search engine results. 

The more value and trust your website has, the higher Google will rank it. 

And the higher your website ranks in search results, the more likely potential customers will visit your site.

Not All Backlinks Are Equal

Image: Not all backlinks are equal

So, you’ve analysed your website and discovered that you have a random backlink you never knew about.

The link is from a website which isn’t relevant to you or your business. And, it has a low domain authority (DA).

This is a great example of a backlink which isn’t worth much.

The best backlinks are from relevant websites which are trusted within your industry or related to your niche.

For example, imagine you have a small business which sells handmade jewellery. A backlink from a motorcycle blog won’t be as relevant as one from a lifestyle blogger or a handmade craft company.

That being said, it is better to have the blog article link, than no link at all. Especially if it comes from a website with high domain authority.

One backlink from a high domain authority website is more valuable than 10 backlinks from low domain authority websites. 

So it’s especially important to identify, research, and evaluate any potential backlinks before trying to obtain them.

10 Different Backlinking Strategies (with Examples)

We’ve identified 10 different types of great backlink strategies you can start using for your company.

In addition to this, we’ve included examples of each backlinking strategy. So you can see exactly how it works and view the results each strategy achieved. 

The 10 types of backlinking strategies are:

  1.  Backlinks from Guest Blogging
  2.  Utilising Directories
  3.  Creating Press Releases
  4.  High-Quality Content 
  5.  Best List Mentions
  6.  Infographics 
  7.  Broken Backlink Building 
  8.  Recommending Alternative Links
  9.  Buying Other Websites
  10.  Links on Relevant Forums

1. Backlinks From Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is one of the best ways to obtain high-value backlinks. 

It involves writing articles which include a hyperlink to your website. And then contacting another website and asking them to post it on their site as their content.

Guest blogging allows you to choose who you want to approach. You can research and decide which websites or blogs would be suitable to obtain a backlink from.

There are many blogs out there which accept submissions for guest blogs. But always remember to check whether they allow hyperlinks. Often they will have their own guidelines for article submissions.

Depending on what industry you are in, you can find specialist blogs or blogs specific to your industry or niche. 

An example of a great guest blog is from The Adventourist which is a travel blog created by Mike Jenson. Mike created a guest blog for Trails Unblazed which is another travel blog with a DA of 32. 

Backlinking strategies The Adventurist Blog

As a result, this guest article provides Mike with a relevant backlink back to his travel blog – The Adventourist. 

Mike has used guest blogging to help gain 3,500 backlinks from 613 referring domains. And this has helped increase his website’s domain ranking to 38. As well as improving his keyword rankings, and increasing overall traffic to an average of 6,000 monthly views. 

backlinking strategies keyowrd and traffic trend for The Adventourist

2. Utilising Directories

Another great way to obtain backlinks is to make use of directories. 

Online directories have taken the Yellow Pages concept online. Gone are the days when you would search in a physical book for your nearest plumber. For instance, you may be looking for a local plumber in Liverpool to fix a dripping tap. Now, all you need to do is reach in your pocket and open up the browser on your phone. Then, you can conduct a simple Google search for ‘plumber near me’ or ‘plumber in Liverpool’. 

Image: User searching for plumbers

Google will display the results of all the plumbers closest to your area. Many of these will be through local packs (AKA map packs) or directory results. 

People use directories as another way to find what they are looking for. 

But you can also use directories to gain valuable backlinks. Many directories will display the name of the company, the address, ways to contact them, and a link to their website. 

And Many of these directories have high domain authorities, which makes them great backlinks. By also helping with local SEO as your business will appear in searches for your specific area. 

For example, let’s do a Google search for a plumber, this time, in Norwich. 

These are the first results we get:

backlinking strategies directories Google results for plumbers norwich

These local packs come from Google My Business and always appear at the top of search results. In this instance, there are three businesses listed, two of which have reviews and links to their websites. 

Not only have, My Norwich Plumber and HGS Plumbing and Heating gained valuable backlinks. But, they’ve also gained exposure to all searchers of the keyword; ‘plumbers in Norwich’. 

The top three websites ranked on Google are all directories. Specifically – Yell (DA 80), Trust a Trader (DA 54), and CheckaTrade (DA 67). Both Yell and Check a Trade offer backlinking opportunities for plumbers. 

Depending on your business and industry there are ample backlinking opportunities from directories. These directories also offer great exposure while also helping gain backlinks with ease. 

Start with more generic directories but try to ensure you appear on directories specific to your industry or niche too.

And, if you aren’t utilising directories for your business, then you should be. Because they are super easy and beneficial backlinks to obtain with little effort. 

3. Creating Press Releases

Image: Get your content featured on news sites

Have you ever wondered how a company gets featured or linked on a news publication?

Backlinks from news outlets are often achieved using press releases. 

Companies use press releases to create content with the aim of getting it picked up by a journalist or news publication. 

To create press releases you can either create one yourself or use a third party company. If you use a company they will then distribute these press releases to news outlets. 

If a news site shows interest in your press release,  their journalists will create their own article around it. Often, in their article, these journalists will link back to your website or original article. 

As a result, you will gain an extremely valuable backlink from a news outlet. This is due to their association with factual and accurate information. As such, search engines often view news sites as publishers of trustworthy information. 

For example, Client Earth is an environmental law charity. They put out a large amount of content on their website. However this isn’t just in the form of press releases. But, also current industry topics, environmental news, and their own news content.

As a result of this they have gained very valuable backlinks from the following news publications:

  •  The Guardian – DA 87
  •  BBC – DA 88
  •  CNN – DA 87
  •  NY Times – DA 87
  •  The Washington Post – DA 86
  •  Harvard.edu – DA 86
  •  Forbes – DA 85

backlinking strategies Client Earth backlinks

These backlinks have allowed Client Earth to gain a DA of 57. With an average of 16,000 monthly views, and 178,600 backlinks from 4,700 referring domains. As such, this has helped them gain 246 keywords which rank in the top 3 within search results.

traffic and keywords for Client Earth law firm as a result of backlinking strategies

4. High-Quality Content

Image: High-quality content bring backlinks

Becoming a source of knowledge and creating useful content is key. This will naturally create backlinks from other websites. And, others who find your articles useful will link back to your article as a source. 

Put simply, if you create good high-quality content, the backlinks will come. For instance, take Sally’s Baking Addiction

This website is full of baking recipes. It covers everything from cookies, to bread, and pies. Sally’s Baking Addiction is winning the race in terms of producing well written, high-quality content which is useful. 

This website receives 16.9 million monthly views, has a DA of 74, and 23,600 backlinks.

backlinking strategies high quality content - traffic and keyword trend example

One article alone entitled ‘The Best Sugar Cookies’ has gained 467 backlinks from 247 referring domains. These backlinks are mainly from lifestyle bloggers, country living magazines. As well as  family oriented and hobbyist websites. These include Country Living (DA 69), Hobby Craft (DA 62), and New York Family (DA 59). 

Best Sugar Cookies article

Combined, these backlinks have helped this single article receive 315,400 monthly views. In addition to helping it rank for 4,000 keywords. Many of which are ranked in the top 3 within the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

traffic and keyword growth example ofbacklinking strategies; good content

5. Best List Mentions

One more unique way to obtain backlinks is by searching for “best x” lists within your industry or niche. 

Image: Create list articles

For example, if you are a travel blogger, you could search for listicle articles with titles like “best travel bloggers”. 

These articles ordinarily feature a small bio for each blogger and a link to their website. ‘Best of’ lists tend to have high monthly search volumes too. For instance, the keyword “best travel bloggers” has 4,500 monthly searches. 

You’ll likely find an abundance of these lists across different websites. However, the best place to start is to look up the domain authority scores for each website. Then, you can pick one or two with the highest DA scores. 

Next, contact your chosen websites and pitch as to why you should be included in the list. 

Alternatively, you could also create your own ‘best x’ or listicle articles. 

For example, you could feature different travel bloggers. Then contact each one individually to ask if they would like to promote the article. Or alternatively, create their own article which mentions that they were included in your list and links back to it. 

Take this article called “Top 10 Travel Bloggers You Should Already Be Following” on a blog called Under 30 Experiences. This article features 10 different travel bloggers and includes hyperlink to each of their websites. 

As a result, this single blog page has received backlinks from 119 referring domains. These backlinks are mainly from other travel blogs and bloggers who are publicising the article. Backlinks gained include Hatena Blog (DA 83), Thrive Global (DA 72), and The Odyssey Online (DA 68). 

referring domains good backlinkingn strategy example

These backlinks have helped the Under 30 Experiences website receive an average of 9,000 monthly views.

backlinking strategies listicles example of views

6. Infographics

What catches your attention the most; images or text?

For the majority of people, images are what draws their attention first. Photographs, graphics, or infographics are all ways you can use images in articles or blog posts. 

Plus, infographics specifically, are great for gaining backlinks. 

In 2020, 67% of B2B marketers are currently using infographics. And, these infographics are shared 3x more than other forms of content.

Infographics are a way of sharing content in the form of images or graphics. They often feature  relevant information, stats, images, graphics, and company information. 

For example, you can make an article much more shareable by taking information from the article and turning it into an infographic. 

And, they are also a great way to gain backlinks. With this form of content shared more often than others, you can create backlinks to your website with every share. 

People share infographics as sources of information on social media or within articles. 

An example of a great infographic is from Nationwide pet insurance

Their infographic is on the 10 most popular dog breeds. 

They have included an image of each of the 10 dogs. Alongside  information on each, such as weight, life expectancy, exercise needs, and more. All this information is presented in an easy to read way. And, Nationwide has also included their logo and various website addresses on the graphic. 

Nationwide infographic example

This infographic has helped Nationwide receive 338,100 backlinks from 8,000 referring domains. As well as an average of 1 million monthly views.

traffic and growth from infographic - another example of great backlinking

7. Broken Link Building

Broken link building is a slightly cheeky way to gain backlinks. 

This process involves reaching out to a website you want to gain a backlink from and searching to see if that have broken links in any of their articles. 

For example, if a hyperlink goes to a 404 dead page.  

Image: 404 dead page

Once you have found a page with a broken link you can create an article which would fit in where that link once was. 

Then simply contact the website. Explain that you have seen they have a broken link and offer your article as a suitable replacement. Not only will you be helping them out with their broken link. But it will also allow you to gain a valuable backlink if they say yes to your article.

8. Recommending Alternative Links

Sometimes we get approached from companies asking us to change or replace one link within an existing article with another. 

This is a backlinking strategy you can use too. 

And, this is how you do it: :

  •  Target a page with lots of backlinks but with outdated content (e.g. best sweaters of 2019)
  •  Write an updated article on the subject (e.g. best sweaters of 2020)
  •  Contact each of the sites who link to the original article. Ask them if they are interested in updating it. Then, offer your new alternative link which is more up-to-date
  •  Obtain a brand new backlink

Cheeky? Yes. 

But does it work?  Yes.

This is because it’s in the interest of all websites to have relevant, up-to-date content. As a result, they will rank higher in SERPs and boost their site traffic.

9. Buy Other Websites

Another unique way to gain backlinks is by purchasing old websites and creating 301 redirects back to your website. 

If you’ve ever moved house and used a post redirect service then think of 301 redirects in the same way. A 301 redirect refers to a code which moves an existing web page with a fixed location to another. 

Image: Redirecting website content like redirecting post

This is particularly helpful if you’re moving your website to a new domain. As it ensures the transition is as smooth as possible. It also means people accessing your site from an older URL can still access your content.

These redirects will transfer between 90% and 99% of the links original SEO and ranking power to the new website. 

For example, Netstar, an IT support company in London, has purchased a website called vinylthemovie.co.uk. They’ve used a ‘301 redirect’ to redirect each existing backlink back to Netstar.

And, these backlinks are from a website with a DA of 73. Thus, providing Netstar with value and improved SERP rankings. Even though the purchased site has nothing to do with their website or company.  

backlinking strategies buying other websites example

Vinylthemovie.co.uk has 12 referring domain backlinks and every backlink has a redirect back to Netstar. These backlinks include BBC (DA 84), British Council (DA 77), and Movie Insider (DA 55).

Backlinks from buying other websites, Netstar and Vinylthemovie

As a result, these backlinks help Netstar to receive an average of 12,500 monthly views. And, help them to rank in the top 3 in search engine results for 142 keywords.

Backlinking strategies Traffic and trend Netstar Backlinks

10. Links on Relevant Forums

You can obtain backlinks by posting links to your site. Or by posting articles on relevant forums. 

Maybe someone is asking for a recommendation of a product you sell? If so, you could respond and include a hyperlink to your product or to a review of it. 

Take AV Parts Master, for instance. This company has been using forum links to gain backlinks to high domain authority websites. 

An example of how they are doing this is demonstrated in a post on a forum called One Plus Community. A forum member is looking for a recommendation for a projector. 

posting on forums to gain backlinks

This forum is a tech forum where people ask relevant questions. Or are looking for recommendations on tech products. As such, this forum is a good backlink source because it has a DA of 75. 

AV Parts Master has 4,100 backlinks from 232 referring domains. And, a large number of these backlinks are from forums which help the website gain a DA of 38.

Clearly these backlinks have helped AV Parts Master grow too. As you can see here:

growth and traffic for AV Parts Master

However, be careful when using this method. As spamming forums or using forums unrelated to your company will penalise your rankings. 

Bad Examples of Backlinking: Spammy Comments on Blogs

Some companies try to manipulate Google’s algorithm by posting their own backlinks on other people’s blogs in the comments section. Or on links on social media. However, most of these are automated and spam.

Image: Spam is bad for your rankings

Although you may think this is an easy way of gaining a backlink from a high DA site, it could be detrimental. This is because it is considered very spammy. 

And search engines like Google recognise spam comments. So, often penalise websites for doing this. 

So, we recommend avoiding this particular strategy at all costs. Unless you want to jeopardise your current ranking or DA score.


Put simply, there are many backlinking strategies available for you to utilise. We suggest  adding a few to your marketing strategy. 

Backlinks are one of the top-ranking factors that Google considers when crawling your  website and deciding your position.

Overall, Google sees backlinks as adding value to your site. As such, the more backlinks you have from high DA websites, the better it is for your website.

As you can see we have suggested 10 different types of backlinking strategies you can use. However, backlinking takes time to implement and see results from, but it’s worth the time and effort.

Backlinks lead to higher keyword rankings, which in turn leads to an increase in traffic. And ultimately, more leads to your business. 

Good backlinking strategies take time to research and create, identifying relevant high DA websites and creating fantastic content which is relevant both to the reader and to the author. 

Obtaining Backlinks For Your Business With a Strategy That Works

If you want help with your backlinking strategy, why not consider speaking with a marketing consultant? 

My team and I have years of experience creating and gaining backlinks. So we can help you take your backlinking to the next level with our backlinking strategies. This includes doing all the time-consuming work for you. Such as, researching backlink opportunities, creating guest blogs, and evaluating and implementing your overall strategy. 

If you would like to hear about how we can help you with your website, please get in contact

We’d be happy to have an obligation-free chat about where you want to get to. And, we can help you identify how to get there. 

About Murray Dare

Murray Dare is a Marketing Consultant, Strategist and Director at Dare Media. Murray helps UK businesses find better ways to connect with their audiences through targeted content marketing strategies.