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Backlinks For Beginners: What They Are + How To Build Them

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Introduction

There’s no getting around it — backlinks are the backbone of a good SEO strategy. 

If you’re new to SEO, you probably have no idea what a backlink is or why they’re so important. 

This is perfectly fine, after all, backlinks aren’t exactly the kind of thing you’d be taught about in school. Not that it’s a subject you could pick in school — but that’s a topic for another day! Hopefully, it’ll be on the curriculum one day right next to biology! 

Either way, if you want to succeed with SEO, you need to know what backlinks are, why they’re important, and how you can build them. Ignore this, and you might as well focus on buying billboards or something because your SEO campaigns probably won’t work out! 

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We’re going to explore a range of link-building methods. In fact, method #2 is one you’ll really want to pay attention to because it helped one of our clients hit 145,000 visits per month!

Anyhow, no matter what niche you’re in, the tips in this video should help you build some blockbuster backlinks. These will help you overtake your competitors and hit that #1 spot!

Right — so what exactly are backlinks then? 

Well, backlinks are essentially just links to your website. 

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Of course, not all backlinks are equal. Some are better than others, and the ‘quality’ of a backlink depends on a few factors. 

For the most part, these factors include–

  • The authority of the site that posted the link
  • Relevance of the website that links to you
  • The context of the link 
  • The anchor text that is used (something we’re going to touch on later!)

One great backlink can often be worth 100 mediocre ones, so remember, quantity isn’t the name of the game. 

If you want to avoid wasting time when building backlinks you need to make sure your backlinks are up to scratch in relation to each of these factors (Luckily, the link building methods we’re going to cover later will teach you exactly how you can do this!)

But, to keep things simple, let’s just touch on a few key points here. 

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To begin with, high-authority websites are usually sites that got a lot of high-quality backlinks of their own. 

  • You can often identify the high authority websites in your niche by using the best SEO tools such as Ahrefs. Such tools often have an ‘authority rating’ metric that helps you ID the high authority sites that you should get backlinks from. 
  • (Note that high-authority websites can also provide you with a ton of link-building ideas. And later, we’ll explore exactly how this works). 

As mentioned, relevance is also a big deal here.

  • Ideally, you want your links to come from high-authority websites within your niche. Not just any big website from around the web (Interestingly enough, the first link-building method we’re going to cover later on in this video, explains exactly how you can get big websites in your niche to link to your site!). 

Source

You shouldn’t focus on one specific kind of anchor text for all of your links, or else you might be penalized by Google. 

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This is important because a lot of SEO experts will tell you that the anchor text you use for your links will determine the kinds of terms you rank for.

For instance, suppose you own an e-commerce store that sells kitchen cabinets. 

Some experts believe that if you have a lot of links that use the anchor text ‘kitchen cabinets’ you will rank highly for this term. 

If this is a high-value term, you might be tempted to build lots of links that have this anchor text. After all, the reward for doing so is really high, right? 

Well, that’s definitely a reasonable conclusion, but this isn’t really the right way to do things. 

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That’s because if you have lots of backlinks that use the same anchor text, there’s a good chance your website will be penalized. 

Plus, Google is starting to move away from focusing massively on anchor text anyway, so you’re not really missing out if you avoid this approach. 

The links shouldn’t look like they’re being forced into a paragraph/sentence, just for the sake of building a link. Again, if you force your links, you might be penalized, and your hard work could just go down the drain. 

If you’re worried about using ‘unnatural anchor text,’ keep reading. Link-building method #4 is a great example of a strategy that’ll help you build ‘natural-looking links.’

How You Can Build Them?

Ok, so we’ve taken a look at what backlinks are, and some of the rules you need to keep in mind when building them. 

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But now, let’s take a look at how to get backlinks!

Method #1 –  Create Amazing Skyscraper Content

Skyscraper content is a term coined by Brian Dean, of Backlinko fame, and it’s become a popular way to build links. 

Essentially, there are four key parts associated with the Skyscraper method: 

  1. Identify competitor content that’s already attracting a lot of links
  2. Identify the websites linking to competitors 
  3. Create content that’s better than competitor content
  4. Cold email the people that are linking to competitors, and ask them to link your article 

So, for instance, suppose you’re in the skiing niche, and you want to build some links. 

Popular content in this niche might be something like ‘a beginner’s guide to skiing.’ If that’s the case, you will then want to look at the top results for this term. 

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You will then do a bit of research to see who’s linking to this kind of content. 

You then want to create something better than anything that currently ranks for this term. So, your content might be more in-depth or it might include more graphics. 

After all that, you’ll contact the people linking to your competitors, and ask them if they’d consider linking to your website as well. If your content is better than what is already out there, and your email is polite and to the point, you should get some traction. 

Here’s an example of what one of our clients was able to achieve after we helped them with the Skyscraper technique:

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As you can see, after the Skyscraper technique was put into action, organic traffic started to rise steadily. 

Method #2 – Help Out a Journalist

Source

Journalists are always on the lookout for expert sources when they’re writing something. If you can act as a source for a journalist, they might then link to your website when they publish their article. 

 So, how do you become a source? 

Well, there are certain websites used by journalists to find sources. The two most popular sites here are HARO (short for help a reporter out) and SourceBottle. 

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If you go to these websites, you can find these requests. And you can then put yourself forward as a source. 

If the journalist uses you as a source, they will often link to you. 

Now, it’s important to remember journalists get lots of other responses from people that also want to secure a link. 

Because of this, you gotta make sure you provide really good response for the journalist. If you don’t answer their question properly, and if you don’t come across as an authority, they’ll probably go with someone else. 

…Which is a shame, because these journalists often work for massive websites. So, if you get a link from them, it will likely be a very high-authority link. 

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In fact, here’s an example of a link we managed to secure for one of our clients on Forbes, using this method: 

And here’s the impact this method had on their site:

After building lots of links using this method, we were able to get them some amazing results, in a pretty short amount of time! Here are some of my tips on how you can use HARO for backlinks.

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Method #3 – Guest Posting

Since the dawn of SEO, guest posting has been a tried and tested method of building links. 

But on the other hand, ever since the dawn of SEO, there’s been a new expert every year saying that guest posting is dead and ineffective! 

Well, the truth is that it still works. Now, is it difficult and time-consuming?  Yes, it can be — but that’s often the case with any method that helps you build ‘good’ links. 

Either way, I’m here to tell you that if you take guest posting seriously, it can pay serious dividends.

So, for clarity, what is guest posting, and how’s it work? 

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Well, it’s quite simple really. 

You just need to find websites in your niche that accept guest posts. And then you need to approach them and ask them if they’d be willing to let you write for them. 

If they say yes, you then write something that is so good that they can’t wait to publish it. When they post this article, they will often let you put a link to your website in the author’s bio section. 

Here’s an example of a link I managed to secure when writing a guest post :

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If you want to find guest posting opportunities, you can do so by searching the phrase “guest post” alongside a keyword that represents your niche. 

You will probably need to contact lots of sites. But eventually, someone will get back to you and be open to potential blog post ideas. 

This is a super easy strategy that can help you build natural links with relative ease.

With this method, you just need to find websites that have mentioned your website/brand but haven’t actually linked to you. 

You then just need to contact the writer/website owner and ask them if they’d include a link next to the bit where they mentioned your site. This is a great way to build natural links because these website owners are already mentioning you on their website, but they simply haven’t made the text that mentions you, into a link! 

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For the most part, these website owners will be more than happy to send a link your way if you ask nicely. 

After all, if they’re already familiar with you, they will be happy to know that you’re engaging with their content. Plus, being website owners themselves, they’ll know the value of a link, and will understand and appreciate why you’re asking.

Method # 5 – Work with a pro

There’s no doubt that building backlinks can be time-consuming and a little intimidating if you’re new to SEO. 

If you feel this way, keep in mind that you can always work with someone like us. 

We’ve helped lots of people build high-quality backlinks to their sites. And there’s a good chance we might be able to help you as well. 

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If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, consider booking a free consulting call with us at juliangoldie.com!

Conclusion

All these methods have the potential to deliver brilliant results. But if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options, just try focusing on one method until it delivers results. 

Of course, as mentioned, you can also get in touch with us and we can help you figure out how you can build links to your site. If you’d like to have a quick chat with us, you can do so by booking a free consulting call with us.

Picture of Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

WANT TO BOOST YOUR SEO TRAFFIC, RANK #1 & GET MORE CUSTOMERS?

Get free, instant access to our SEO video course, 120 SEO Tips, ChatGPT SEO Course, 999+ make money online ideas and get a 30 minute SEO consultation!

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