If you’re involved in SEO, you almost certainly know the basics and the most common strategies to get backlinks to your website. You will also know that these strategies are becoming less effective. Most website owners know the value of links, and getting people to give you a link is more challenging than ever.
In the digital world, the traditional ways of building backlinks just aren't cutting it anymore. Finding creative ways to get backlinks has become essential.
Daniel Martin, the co-founder of LinkDoctor, an agency that specializes in building powerful backlinks, states, "We constantly discover unique methods of building backlinks using AB Testing and single variable testing on experimental websites we host. Our approach to link building today is vastly different from what it was this time last year. With an experimental mindset, we've built quality backlinks that have driven results for over 600 businesses. Websites that builds more backlinks using our cutting-edge methods are not only seeing improvements in their Google rankings but also enjoying significant growth. On the other hand, those relying on outdated tactics are finding it tough to stay ahead."
To get ahead today, you need to think outside the box with your link-building strategies and develop unique ideas to get backlinks. That’s what you’re going to learn how to do in this article.
How to Build Backlinks in 2023
We all know the most common link-building techniques—guest posting, link insertions, etc.
Every site owner gets hundreds of guest posts, or link insert requests daily. But most of these techniques have been done so much that success has become hard to come by. Most of them are absolute garbage. Those that aren’t tend to be ignored by association.
Only some site owners today are naive enough to believe that your link can add value to their website or post. Thus, they’re unlikely to give you a link without any other incentive, and usually, incentives for link building can become very costly.
If you aim to climb the search engine ranks and draw more attention to your website, collaborating with professional link building companies becomes a pivotal strategy for your success on the web.
And getting people to agree to publish your guest post is difficult when everyone knows the post is just a vessel to get a backlink.
Can Google detect and devalue paid or unnatural links?
Links are still essential for SEO. Google still needs a way to tell which websites are most trustworthy and authoritative; backlinks from other traditional sites are the best way to show that.
The sites that can find a way through the noise and develop new and inventive ways to get links will increasingly rise to the top of Google searches. Those who stick to old and outdated link-building techniques will not last.
5 Innovative and Effective Link-Building Strategies
Are your existing strategies of guest post outreach and paid link insertions not moving the needle? Try these tactics to get links instead.
Most of these strategies (except for #1) are not as scalable as guest posting or link outreach, meaning you generally won’t get hundreds of links.
You will, however, get high-authority, natural links. These links will be better than you can get from a guest post and will likely do more for your domain authority than a hundred low-quality, paid links.
In addition, by using these strategies, you may also gain valuable no-follow links, which, although they do not pass link equity, can still provide traffic and exposure to your website. You can also use tools to check website backlinks to ensure good link quality.
1. Write quotable content
The best way to get links today is to write naturally link-worthy content.
Be warned this technique is not guaranteed to deliver links. It also requires trial and error. But when it pays off, it pays off in a big way.
The basic idea is to write the content people naturally quote in an article, such as data-driven posts or case studies, that provides real value for writers or journalists.
Article writers often search for data or quotes on their topic in Google. You want to have your post show up for those searches. People will start linking to it in their posts when it does.
It creates a flywheel effect. The more visibility your post gets, the more people find and link to it, and the higher it ranks.
It just takes a little traction to kick this flywheel into gear, and you can get hundreds of links from high-authority sites without lifting a finger.
Quotable content examples
Take this post as an example. You’ll see quotes from it on significant sites such as The Guardian, Financial Post, and Business Insider, all of which cited it after finding it on Google.
Image Source: Ahrefs
Statistics roundups like the post above are great fits for this strategy. You’ll compile a collection of data from around the internet on your topic, structure it in a way that’s easy to consume, and optimize your post for SEO.
Here’s another example, which puts together a few examples of a high-volume search query (“companies with unlimited PTO”), and presents it in a way that’s easy for writers to use as a source.
It works - see this natural 81 DR backlink as an example.
Another way to do this is to write a post directly answering a question. Take the following example. The post targets a specific query and clearly answers it in the first heading.
Source: Find Your Gi
Posts like this often appear as featured snippets, giving people a quick and easy way to link to your site naturally.
2. Go on podcasts
If you’re in a position where you’ve got something interesting to say, podcasts are a great way to build strong and naturally occurring links.
You’ll usually get a link to your website and/or socials in the show notes when you go on a podcast. It’ll give you a link to the podcast’s website (if they’re halfway good at promotion, they’ll probably have a strong DR). You may also get links from high-authority podcast platforms where the podcast is distributed.
See this example: the website (DR 70) links to every person/product mentioned in the episode.
Source: Tropical MBA
You might be surprised if you don’t think anyone would want you on a podcast. Podcasts are always looking for guests, and there are probably some in your niche where you could share something worthwhile for their audience.
Simply being a business owner or a successful digital marketer is enough to get on many shows to share your experience (and get a link!).
It’s even better if you can launch your own podcast. Running a podcast is a lot of work, but it allows you to publish on platforms like Anchor, Stitcher, Player FM, and 80+ DR sites, getting multiple homepage backlinks from each.
3. Launch an app
Want multiple dofollow links from 96 and 97 DR sites? Links that are also a considerable signal of authority and authenticity in the eyes of Google?
Image Source: Ahrefs
You can get that by launching an app and publishing it in the Android and Apple App Stores.
These high-authority links come with the app store listings. They boost your domain authority and provide a show of legitimacy whenever someone sees the “Available on the App Store” badge on your site.
You must pay very little for the links - just the nominal fees to create and maintain developer accounts for Apple and Google.
The more significant issue is in creating the app itself. But it’s easier and more accessible than you’d think.
If you’re running a content site, you can build and launch an app that’s essentially just your mobile website packaged as a mobile app. You don’t need a novel app idea. The app could simply be a recreation of your website.
You also don’t need to know much about app development or have a considerable budget to launch an app today. You can use a no-code app builder to build an app with drag-and-drop tools like you would with a site builder like Elementor.
Many of these tools also have WordPress integrations, which make it extremely easy to convert your site into an app and run it from your website’s dashboard.
Now the app development cost that you could launch an app for is as little as $200 (including developer accounts and app builder software). That’s an incredible price to pay for these powerful app store links.
4. Write testimonials for tools and services
It’s the simplest way to get more natural links from high-quality websites. You can do it right now and get some excellent links.
You’re probably using many different software tools or services in your business. Most of these tools will be delighted to get a testimonial from you and will give you a backlink in exchange for doing so.
See what Surfer SEO does on their site. They feature several testimonials from Surfer users, each providing a link to the person’s site.
Source: Surfer SEO
Surfer’s DR is 78. That’s a powerful link for simply writing a paragraph on how a tool helps you.
A lot of other tools do the same thing. Testimonials are highly beneficial for these businesses, so they’ll usually jump at the chance to publish yours.
Another idea could be to offer your experience with the tool or service as a case study. Again, this is hugely valuable for the other business, and only some will turn down someone coming to them and asking to provide a case study.
5. Donate to organizations or sponsor events
One more option is to donate or sponsor events or organizations.
When you do this, you’ll usually get a shoutout on their website and marketing materials, including a link to your website.
Source: SEO Mastery Summit
These links are genuine, natural, and usually authoritative. It can be even better if the event picks up the press, in which case you can often get a lot of high-quality media links as well.
This strategy is great if you’re trying to build a more robust SEO profile in a particular location. You can sponsor local events and get featured in the local press, which will be more beneficial than generic links.
You’ll also benefit from increased brand presence by being seen by people in your community and/or niche.
It isn’t something you can do for free. But you can often swing it, so you provide free products or support for the event, keeping the monetary cost to your company to a minimum.
There are three options you have for building links today.
You can keep going with the traditional approach of guest post outreach and link insertions. You’ll be banging your head against the wall most of the time, but if you send enough emails, you may get some (average) links just by brute force.
You could also ignore link building, focus on content, and hope your content is good enough to make Google like you.
The third option, a must if you’re in a competitive market with high-authority rivals, is to get creative with your link-building.
The five techniques above are great examples of thinking outside the box to get high-quality backlinks. You focus on providing value or doing real work to earn links rather than beg (or pay) for them.
The future of Google will only tip more strongly in favor of sites that build high-quality and natural links. Those who go for the easy option will find these links are eventually worthless.
To build a sustainable online business long-term, you must consider sustainable link-building methods.