What Is Link Building and How To Do It In 2020?

When you read about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you will definitely come across the term “building backlinks”. A practice that many said is dead and has since lost it’s value.

That is not true. The spammy way of building backlink is definitely outdated but proper link building is still worth investing and acts as a strong Google ranking factor.

Without a backlink profile, it will be impossible to outrank your competitors.


What is a Backlink?

You can consider a backlink like a vote or favor from other websites. These links will later be quantified by search engines to properly rank a website.

A backlink is provided through link juice and the more you gather, the more they improve the authority of your website/webpage, and subsequently, better ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).


How to build High Quality Backlinks?

Building high quality backlinks is tough, which is why many webmasters choose to compromise by building more low quality backlinks.

However, this is a bad practice and does nothing but digs a grave for your site.

To secure high quality links, take the following aspects into account:

  • Relevancy. Google only gives values to links received from relevant websites. For example, if you page is about ‘jackets’ and you gain links from a furniture websites, it is not going to help your site rank higher as jackets have nothing to do with furniture.
  • Domain Authority. Try to get backlinks from websites with high domain authority and they will increase the trustworthiness of your site.
  • Anchor Text. When acquiring a backlink, select the right anchor text for it to gives Google algorithms and users a right idea about the link and page.
  • Content Freshness. Try to get backlinks from websites that publish fresh and original content as these are the sites with content Google prioritizes.


15 Ways to Gain High Quality Backlinks

1. Create Awesome and Link Worthy Content

Consider this. Let’s say you are asking thousands of people to visit your bookshop where there are only a few unpopular books to read. Will they stay in the shop and will they come back again? The answer is obvious.

Like the example above, you need to have sufficient high quality content on your website before asking people to take the interest in linking your site to theirs.

Learn more on ways to create high quality content.


2. Email Outreaching

Every time you create an awesome piece of content, share it with as many people as you can! This includes contacting other web owners via email or social media.

For example, you have written an extensive article about social media tips of 2019 and are ready to show it to the world. The procedure involved will be:

1. Search “social media tips” on Google.

2. Contact suitable websites regarding your published content. To increase your chance, add in a few interesting points from your article into the email and a link to your page if they are interested to explore further. A suitable email for this purpose is:

Hi Dominique,

Hope you are doing well.

I was researching about social media and came across your article “21 Social Media Marketing Tips You Can’t Live Without”.

I love your suggestions and tips about social media. I especially like the point where you talked about creating a separate plan for each social media channel. It is very important. I appreciate your quality research and effort.

I also published a similar but updated content, talking about social media tips of 2019.

Would you be interested to check it out?

The link is ___________________. 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,

3. If you get a positive reply, take the conversation further to ask for a link. Try doing so this way:

Hi Dominique,

Thank you for reading my article. I am glad you liked it.

Your suggestions are great and I will add them into my article for sure.

I was wondering whether you can link my article to yours. Since the content is fresh and relevant, I am sure your audience will love it.

Let me know your thoughts.


Best regards,

You may not get a reply from every email you sent but don’t let that stop you! Keep on sending and you will sure win some backlinks. It will be worth the time.

Make sure to include in your email at least one point of what you like about the webmaster’s article. This way, he or she will know that you did read the post rather than just throwing fake appreciation.


3. Monitor Your Brand Mentions

There are tools available online, such as Buzzsumo, Mention.com etc. that can be used to track mentions of your site on other platforms. These tools will alert you on a daily basis whenever there is a brand mention.

Upon getting the notification, you can contact the website owner. An example of the email can be:

Hi Neil,

I saw you mentioned us on our research about on-page SEO strategy. Thank you very much for that.

If you want to know more about this research, do let me know.

Also, I would like to request you to link the research. It would make it easier for your audience to access the post.

Let me know if you have any query.


Best regards,

Compared to the tactic above, this strategy takes less time to build quality links as you have already established a link worthy content that people recognize. So all you have to do is ask for a backlink. Simple, isn’t it?


4. Guest Posting

In 2014, Matt Cutts, former head of Google web spam team, declared that guest blogging is dead. That statement shocked many SEO experts, as it was their primary way of building links.

But is guest posting really dead?

One thing for sure, if you are guest blogging just the sake of links, it is not seen in good light by Google. For example, there are many private blog networks (PBN) sites that provide guest post opportunities for the sake of links. These websites will be penalized.

However, guest posting with the intent of knowledge sharing, gaining exposure and branding is still valid and a thriving method in building high quality backlinks. It is worth the investment and gaining these editorial links can build trust and domain authority for a website.

Regarding this tactic, everyone will have their own approach. Some will prepare the content first before finding websites to outreach, while others will contact the websites first and create content accordingly. It is just a personal choice, both ways are approachable.

To find websites with guest post opportunities, type the following into Google search:

“guest post” + topic name

“contributor” + topic name

“submit guest post” + “keyword”

“write for us” + “keyword”

“guest post” + topic name

“become a guest author” + topic name

“become a contributor” + topic name

Through the results, you will find countless websites with opportunities open. With the list of websites, simply contact the site owner via email or other channels listed.


Thousands of people are sending outreach emails, so be sure to make your email stands out.


5. Competitor’s Link Analysis

Are your competitors’ websites ranking way higher than yours? If so, you will want to know what they are doing right. This way of acquiring links is actually easier than finding new link prospects.

First, determine who your competitors are. Create a list of them and choose at least 2 close successful ones to begin the process of competitor link analysis. you will need backlink explorer tools for the next step so if you haven’t installed any, I would recommend opting for either Ahrefs or SEMrush, which are both popular choices in terms of features and pricing.

Upon opening the tool, insert your competitor’s homepage URL and hit ‘enter’. It will show you the backlinks of the searched URL. Download these links in a spreadsheet by hitting the export button on dashboard. Now, analyze each backlink manually. There are no short-cut. It will be time-consuming but worth the time.

Analyze the backlinks based on the 4 factors mentioned at the beginning of this article:

  • Link Relevancy
  • Domain Authority
  • Content Freshness
  • Anchor Text

Upon analyzing each link based on the parameters above, you will be able to determine which backlink prospect is good or otherwise. Filter out the bad ones and you should have a decent list of backlink opportunities to contact via email outreach.


6. Publishing Reports, Data & Facts

Researches have proved that people paid more attention on data-driven content than of plain text. Thus, it is important that you do your own research for authentic data and facts.


Promote your data-driven content on social media platforms. You can also send emails to different websites asking for a feature of your research on their sites.


7. Case Studies

Like data-driven content, case studies are loved by readers as it help them understanding the topic in more depth. Case studies written well will increase the quality of your content and thus, improves your chance of getting backlinks from other sources.

Remember to publicize your case study link for more exposure.


8. Prediction

Stay ahead of the game by predicting the market trend for your industry. By conducting extensive research on your niche, you can create fresh and original content that will surely attract the audience’s attention. We just cannot emphasize enough how important original content is in increasing your chance for link building.


9. Video Creation

Video content is on the rise, and according to Bloomberg, Snapchat users watched 10 billion videos per day. Another report from Content Marketing Institute published that 62% of B2B marketers rated video creation as an effective content marketing tactic. All these reports showed that video content is high in demand, creating opportunities for backlink gain.

Videos you can consider creating including choosing a topic in tread and create an explanatory video. Then, gain backlinks by outreaching it to other interested websites.


10. Presentations

Like videos, you can also witness a good rise of viewers for presentations. They act as a visual way in understanding a subject and many websites feature them as a part of their main content marketing strategy. You should also take advantage of this method.

With the information you already have, convert your reports, case studies and facts into slides. You can also consider hiring a professional or download pre-made templates on the internet. Upon completion, you can publish the presentations on your sites or other hosting sites such as slideshare.com.


11. Article Roundups

For article roundups, first, choose a trending topic and pick existing resources online that most represent the chosen topic. Choose around 15 articles in total and then create your own article by explaining them in short. Do not forget to provide links to the original sources.

Upon publication, contact each website that the article was sourced from and inform them that you have found their article a great source and have mentioned it in your roundup. Then ask if they will be happy to share it on social media or feature it on their site. By doing so, you can secure many editorial backlinks as well as traffic.


12. Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for years but have hardly been used as a marketing tool till recent years. Today, it served as a great tool for SEO Singapore services professionals to build quality backlinks.

A Nielsen report published in Aug 2017 stated that 50% of all US homes are podcast fans and there are more than 630,000 podcasts available online. Podcast listeners are growing and so are backlink opportuities. Host podcasts on hot topics and simply submit them to podcast directories. You can also email them to other related sites, and share them on social media.

To learn more on setting up your own podcast, check out this step by step podcast creation guide.


13. Content Syndication

If your content is useful for readers, no doubt that people will share the post on their websites. If so, take advantage of this by syndicating your content on other authority sites. Every industry has great syndication websites that re-publish high quality posts.

You can also syndicate your content on websites such as Linkedin.com & Medium.com, which have high domain authority and traffic. Services such as Taboola and Zemanta are also fantastic resources to syndicate your content. If your content is sales, marketing, business or lifestyle related, you can consider syndicating it on Business2Community platform.


14. Webinars

Hosting webinars is a good way to show your expertise, and help your audience understand a subject in depth. When hosting, gain more reach by asking other industry leaders to join in with you. Remember to plan ahead so that you have the time to promote your workshop. To promote, send emails to leading relevant websites for exposure and ask for features.


15. Sky Scrapper Method

The core foundation of the sky scrapper technique is ‘content improvisation’

  1. Sky Scrapper method

Sky scrapper technique is a proven method of links acquisition. The core foundation of this method is ‘content improvisation’ through which you can make any content better and publish it.

To take advantage of this technique, you need to first research a great topic that is fresh, has enough searches on search engines and link worthy.

You can easily do that by Buzzsumo, you can go to this tool, search for a term and it will tell you whether this content is popular or not.

If you find the topic good then search the same term on Google, check the quantity as well as the quality of content on different websites and note down the URLs of these websites in a spreadsheet. (For later use)

If you notice a room for major improvisation in the subject then pick the topic and write awesome content. Add extra material into it such as factual data, images, screenshots, new strategies etc.

After publishing this remarkable content let those websites (which you put in the spreadsheet) know about your article.

You can ask them that you created a fresh piece of content that is more valuable for their audience. They will likely to feature it on their website.

But, don’t forget to praise their work. Don’t pitch in a way that shows that their content was less valuable.


Link building strategies are ever changing and so you have to adapt to these changes.
You have to keep investing in the new ways of building backlinks to compete with your rivals.
If you do so, you will succeed. You can also contact our SEO expert to know how do we do SEO link building for our customers. We have the SEO package which also included the link building services.


About the Author:

My name is Wynn Zhou - SEO expert in Singapore, and I’m the founder & Director here at Digital M which provide digital marketing and SEO in Singapore. I’ll be getting my 10 years of digital marketing experience, I am personally focussed on getting your business to the top of Google so you can enjoy the growth of up to 295% year on year like my other clients.
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