Link Building in SEO: A Comprehensive Guide

Digital Marketing Blog: What Are Backlinks and How to Build them in 2022

Link building is just one integral slice of the SEO pie. Search engines look at your link building strategies to determine where your website ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs). Lots of high-quality links pointing to your website tell Google you’re an authoritative source and the higher you’ll rank.

Table of Contents

Today we’re sharing a comprehensive guide to link building in SEO. We will discuss everything from the benefits of link building to the best link building strategies and the tools that’ll help you along the way.

What is Link Building?

The link allows users to navigate between web pages. Because search engine algorithms consider a website’s link popularity (the measure of the number and quality of links that lead to your website) when ranking, link building is imperative to SEO.

When you have several links pointing to your website, this tells search engines your website is an authority on the topic. As a result, your website will rank higher on Google search results. We discuss common link building strategies below.

The Difference Between a Link and a Backlink

The main difference is that a link can include any kind of hyperlink. For example, internal links or navigation menu links. Meanwhile, backlinks are inbound links that lead from one site to another and only go one way. Today’s link building strategies focus primarily on backlinks, as they’re considered the “votes of confidence” that indicate your authority to search engines.

Why is Link Building Important?

Backlinks are one of Google’s major ranking factors, as links signal to Google your website’s authority. The more links you have, the better your page authority, the higher your website will rank in relevant search results and the more search traffic you’ll generate.

The Benefits of Link Building

Here are some further benefits of link building:

Establish Relationships

Outreach is important to link building and it can help you establish long-term relationships with authorities in various industries and with key influencers in your niche. Business-wise, this increases your chances of being seen as a trusted and highly regarded company in your industry, which is invaluable.

Increase Relevant Organic Traffic

Backlinks are a great way to increase relevant organic search traffic to your website. Other websites will typically link to yours because your content is helpful and relevant. The hope is that their customers view the anchor text, want to learn more and click through. This in turn generates more leads and customers to your website and grows your business.

Improve Rankings on Search Engines

Backlinks are a ranking signal and build trustworthiness. So if you want to increase your search engine rankings, you need a link building strategy.

Build Your Brand

Businesses that are in this for the long haul want to ensure they’re building their brand. By doing outreach, you’re not only connecting with people you can trade backlinks with, but you’re highlighting your authority in the industry.

4 Types of Backlinks

There are four main types of link attributes:

1. Nofollow Links

Nofollow links use the rel=”nofollow” link attribute to inform search engines that they shouldn’t pass trust. Given that nofollow links don’t pass PageRank, they won’t necessarily help your site rank higher on the SERPs. However, the outgoing links still deliver brand recognition and referral traffic.

2. Follow Links

Follow links are regular links that pass PageRank and don’t have a nofollow attribute. They pass on authority to a trusted website and help bots understand the page’s content.

3. Sponsored or Paid Links

If you pay an affiliate or an influencer to promote your content, a rel=”sponsored” attribute must be added to inform Google (Moz, 2019). This attribute prevents your site from being negatively impacted. 

4. UGC Links

If you pay an affiliate or an influencer to promote your content, a rel=”sponsored” attribute must be added to inform Google (Moz, 2019). This attribute prevents your site from being negatively impacted. 

How to Find High-Quality Links

We’ve certainly stressed how important high-quality links are. So the next question is: how do you find them?

How to Build Links

There are three main ways to build links and the strategies listed below typically fall under one of these categories:

1. Ask For Links

Start building links by contacting relevant websites and asking them to link to a specific web page. This includes:

2. Add Links

This is when you visit a particular website and manually add your link. This includes your social media profiles, business directories, forums or blog comments.

3. Earn Links

This is when other websites link to your website without you asking or manually adding the link. You can attract links by creating linkable content like infographics, case studies, online tools or calculators, and how-to guides.

10 Popular Link Building Strategies

1. Content Marketing

To build high-quality links, you must create valuable and engaging link-worthy content. If your posts and visuals are informative and exciting to read, other sites may share and include a backlink. Here are some popular linkable assets to include in your content marketing strategy:

A linkable asset might solve a problem, offer a unique angle or just be interesting to consumers. Remember, to attract links you need to optimise (with on-page SEO) and market your content to get it seen by the right people.

2. Guest Posting

Many site owners allow guest posting. This means you write a blog post for another website that includes a link pointing to your site. Submitting a well-written guest post that provides valuable information to the other site’s readers is essential to getting good results.

To find which sites relevant to your niche will accept a guest post, do a quick Google search and then check the website’s domain authority (you want it to be a minimum of 25). Doing so enhances the quality and quantity of your referral traffic.

3. Press Releases

As long as you have an interesting story or piece of news, press releases can be a great way to build external links from reputable websites.

4. Help A Reporter Out

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists to various sources and allows businesses and individuals to get media coverage (and most importantly, backlinks). HARO makes your outreach efforts a lot easier, by providing you with more opportunities you don’t have to go searching for.  

All you need is a couple of minutes a day to sift through HARO’s daily request emails to find queries that align with your niche. Although there’s no guarantee your responses will be cited in a published blog post, if they are, you’ll get a link from a credible website and therefore more backlinks.

5. Mentions and Reviews

If a blog or website features or reviews your business, it typically includes a link back to your site. But how about you reviewing another business? Testimonials benefit the consumer, business and reviewer. So think about submitting testimonials or reviews to relevant websites about products or services your business uses.

If you can’t submit a review directly to the website, you might need to contact the site owner about submitting a testimonial instead. Take the time to craft a unique and personalised review that includes keywords.

6. Social Media

As social media becomes more popular, it’s also becoming one of the most valuable link building tools. By sharing your content on social media, you increase the chances of other websites linking to your site. Adding your website to your social media profile is another easy way to generate a backlink.

7. Citations

Citations are links on reputable websites that point back to your business. When creating citations, it’s essential to look for high-quality sites with strong link popularity.

8. Resource Pages

One of the most effective tactics for building links is creating resource pages on your website. A resource page is a web page that contains a list of helpful resources on a particular topic. For example, a gardening website could have a resource page that includes the best gardening books, websites and magazines.

To create a resource page, find high-quality websites relevant to your topic you can link to. Ensure you include a brief description of each website and why it’s helpful. You can also add images to make your resource page look more appealing.

Alternatively, you can build links by emailing websites with resource pages relevant to your niche and asking them to link to your website.

9. Internal Links

Internal links are links that point from one page to another on your website and are crucial to SEO. They help major search engines better understand your website structure and with the right internal linking strategy, you can help pass authority between pages on your site, leading to better rankings.

Internal links also improve user experience as they allow visitors to find more interesting and relevant content. There are two main types:

10. Broken Link Building

Broken link building involves finding other prominent websites linking to a dead page and asking them to swap it for a working page on your website. The first step is to find broken pages with relevant backlinks and you can do this with a Chrome extension like Check My Links. Then you can email the website with the dead page and your relevant linked page.

Link Building Tools

It’s true that link building has changed significantly over the years. Today, it’s all about ethical link-building practices. Here are the tools you want on your side:

  • Ahrefs. With an index of three trillion live backlinks and counting, Ahrefs is a powerful link building tool. Use the broken link checker to identify broken inbound and outbound links and for your broken link building tactic.
  • Majestic SEO. Their Fresh Index shows pages and links from the past 120 days so you can understand how your current link building tactics affect your rankings. Historic Index spans the last five years, so you can measure your site’s SEO performance over time.
  • Linkody is a simple link-tracking and backlink analysis tool that enables you to analyse backlink profiles and disavow bad links. Visit Top Pages to see the web pages with the most backlinks.
  • MozBar is a Google Chrome extension that lets you conduct backlink research and view metrics from search results, like Domain and Page Authority. The Link Explorer feature shows how sites on the first page of Google achieve their rankings.
  • helps you find email addresses for other site owners so you can easily generate more backlinks.
  • Pitchbox is best for link outreach, link prospecting and link vetting. It’s an influencer outreach and link-building platform suitable for businesses, as you can use it to find and connect with top influencers and publishers in your niche. Reach out to them for link-building opportunities through the tool’s outreach templates.
  • BuzzStream helps grow your email outreach as it lets you personalise, manage, organise, track and send emails.

URL Profiler lets you pull a wide array of metrics and data related to URLs. The Contact Scraping feature is useful for link building as you can pull link prospects.

Link Building for SEO

The bottom line is that good link building is an integral part of SEO and should be a priority for any business looking to improve its online presence. By creating valuable content and using the right link building strategies, you can increase your website’s ranking in search engine results.

Remember that link building is a marathon, not a sprint and that not all links are created equal. It takes time and effort to see results, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run. For advanced link building tips and advice, let the team at Evolving Digital help. We can develop an effective link building campaign for your business.


What are spammy link building techniques?

The three main link building strategies that fall under the “spam” category include:

  • Links in the header, footer and sidebar.
  • Linking from non-relevant websites because they add no value.
  • Buying links.

Link reclamation involves finding, fixing or replacing broken links that point to your website. It may also involve replacing links that don’t pass value from your site to other people’s websites. 

Link reclamation is important because it ensures your site won’t lose out on any link juice because of broken links, moved pages or faulty URL canonicalisation. The process also enables you to find pages that are no longer working, duplicate content and issues with your site navigation and internal links.

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