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Backlink Building: How to Acquire Backlinks for SEO

Backlinks are one of the most influential factors for ranking your website higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). For beginners in SEO, understanding the nuances of backlink building is essential to kickstart your journey toward online visibility and success.

Backlink building for small businesses enhances visibility online and credibility. When your site has quality backlinks from reputable websites, it signals to search engines that your site is trustworthy, leading to higher Domain Authority (DA) and search rankings.

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks, also referred to as inbound links, are links from one web page to another that are accessible through a hyperlink anchor text.

A hyperlink is a clickable element on a web page. Anchor text is a few words within a webpage that provides context about what content it links to. When you click on it, the hyperlinked anchor text redirects you to another web page, document, or resource.

A hyperlink and anchor text linking back to another web page.
Hyperlinked anchor text linking out to another web page.

Backlinks play a key role in how search engines determine the credibility and authority of a website. They serve as votes of confidence from other websites, assuring the quality and relevance of content on a site. So the more other sites link to yours, the more votes you have and the more trustworthy and authoritative you appear to search engines in that subject matter.

A backlink from one site to another.
Backlink from one site to another.

Why do Backlinks Matter in SEO?

Backlinks are important for SEO for several reasons:

Growth of your website

Backlink building can improve the growth of your website because search engines like Google consider them as votes for your web page. When multiple sites link to your page, search engines assume that the content on the page is worth linking to and that it needs to appear higher on search engine results pages.

Authority and trustworthiness

When reputable websites link to your site, it signals to search engines that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. This trust factor can lead to higher rankings in search results.

Improved rankings

Backlinks are a significant factor in search engine algorithms. Websites with more quality backlinks tend to rank higher in search results, leading to increased visibility and organic traffic.

Traffic generation

Backlinks can bring direct traffic to your website. When users click on a link from another site to yours, it can lead to new visitors who might become customers or readers.

Relevance and context

Backlinks from websites in your niche or industry can indicate that your content is relevant. This relevance can further boost your site's SEO performance.

Credibility and reputation

High-quality backlinks can enhance your website's credibility and reputation. Users are more likely to trust and engage with content linked from reputable sources.

Indexing and crawling

Backlinks can help search engine crawlers discover and index your web pages more effectively, ensuring that your content is included in search results.

Backlinks are vital because they can increase the position of your website in search results. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher your site ranks. This means more visitors, more customers, and more success.

How can I get Free High-Quality Backlinks?

Here are some simple ways you can get quality backlinks absolutely free!

1. Create high-quality content

High-quality content is the pillar of successful backlinking. You should start by creating engaging, informative and relevant content.

Google uses the Experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E–A-T) framework to assess the quality of web pages and websites. It’s part of their algorithm and Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. When your content follows these guidelines, others will want to link out to it from their websites to share it with their audience.

Because Google recently added ‘Experience’ to their guidelines your content should aim to demonstrate your first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand. Research your content thoroughly and provide value to your users.

2. Provide value

Ensure that your content is easily accessible, offers a unique perspective and valuable insights and information about a topic. That way, it’ll be easier for users to share and link to.

3. Find your niche and target audience

Identify your niche and target audience, then tailor your content to suit their interests. Content that resonates with your target audience will increase your chances of acquiring backlinks.

4. Find your tribe on social media

A survey conducted by Statista found that social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. In 2022, over 4.59 billion people were using social media worldwide. That number is projected to increase to almost six billion in 2027.

That’s why identifying your target audience and having the right content isn’t enough. You need to be where your audience is to increase the likelihood of acquiring backlinks. Identify which social media platform best suits your business and capitalise on this by engaging with current and potential clients where they are.

Ask for their feedback, respond to their comments and share behind-the-scenes content, where possible, so that you can build relationships with your followers and create a community

around your content.

5. Outreach

This is a proactive approach to acquiring backlinks by reaching out to other websites and content creators in your niche. You can reach out with a request to publish a piece of content on their site that they will link back to yours. It’s a simple way to acquire backlinks, build lasting relationships and grow your network.

Here’s how to go about it:

Identify relevant sites in your niche and ensure that they cover similar or related topics to yours and that their Domain Authority (DA)is higher than that of your site.

Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a site is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). Ranging from 1 to 100, the higher the score, the greater the likelihood of ranking.

Next, reach out to the content manager, editor or website owner via email address, social media or a contact form. Make note of guidelines and/or requirements for content submission.

You can use tools like the Chrome extension to find B2B email addresses.

Use a personalised pitch to highlight your content piece. What unique value does it have and why would it be a valuable addition to their website content? Do some research to identify how your content aligns with their audience, values and content.

6. Content syndication

Content syndication is the process of republishing your content on other websites or platforms to increase its reach and attract backlinks. It’ll help you reach a wider audience, increase your visibility, and attract backlinks from other websites and content creators.

Example of syndicated content:

  • Email Marketing: You can syndicate your content by using email marketing to promote your blog posts, videos, and other content.

  • Social Media: You can syndicate your content on social media platforms by sharing links to your blog posts, videos, and other content or by repurposing it into shorter, more shareable formats like infographics, memes, and short videos.

Finally, promote your syndicated content on your socials and encourage others to link to it and share. This will help you reach a larger audience and attract more backlinks.

Don’t forget to monitor and analyse your syndication efforts regularly then restructure your strategy appropriately.

Monitoring and Measuring Backlinks

Every successful SEO campaign utilises quality backlinks to improve the reputation of their sites and domain authority. When you have quality websites pointing to your web page, you increase its visibility in search engine results pages and gain more traffic.

However, after you've established a quality link-building strategy, you need to monitor and measure the backlinks.

Tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, SE ranking, and Semrush among others can help monitor and measure backlinks. They provide insights into the number of backlinks, linking websites' domain authority, and the anchor text (target keywords) used in the inbound links.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free and easy-to-install tool. It allows you to check domains that link to your website including toplinking sites, keywords, and all backlinking URLs.

The Google Search Console link checking menu
The Google Search Console's link checking menu

With this tool, you can get an overview of which pages in your site have acquired backlinks ( Top linked pages) and which sites have linked to those pages (Top linked sites) as well as the number of occurrences.


Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool for backlink monitoring, keyword research, and analytics. It helps check page authority, remove low-quality backlinks, and count referral traffic. Its rank tracker helps you follow your most important keywords and check backlink profiles for each.

Ahrefs backlink checker tool interface
Ahrefs backlink checker tool interface

SE Ranking

SE Ranking is a helpful tool for backlink monitoring. This SEO tool also has features for keyword rank tracking and website audit, among other features.

SE Ranking tool backlink checker
SE Ranking tool's backlink checker


Semrush is a helpful tool for checking your backlink profile. This tool lets you analyse your backlink status and it also has a tab with link-building solutions. Furthermore, it allows you to do backlink audits to show links that can cause negative SEO on your website.

Semrush backlink checker
Semrush's backlink checker interface

Wrap Up

Backlink building may take time and effort because, like every other SEO effort, results aren’t instant. But they can, in terms of increased audience growth and engagement, be well worth your while because high-quality backlinks improve your website's SEO ranking and drive traffic to your site.

One of the most important points to note about backlinking is to prioritise quality over quantity. Seek backlinks from trusted and authoritative websites in your niche that carry more weight and as a vote of confidence from industry leaders.

Diversify your backlink sources and avoid overreliance on a single source. Choose anchor text wisely, making it descriptive and relevant to give users and search engines a clear idea of the linked page's content.

Most importantly, avoid unethical backlink practices like buying links or link schemes, as they can lead to penalties from search engines.

Download The SEO WTF Backlink Checklist under the image below or visit our blog for more resources.


SEO WTF - Backlink Checklist (1)
Download PDF • 23KB


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