Are you hoping to rank higher on Google, get more clicks, and generate more leads so that you can grow your online business/website faster and make more money?
If so, then backlinks are your best friend!
In this post, I’m going to show you how to get high quality backlinks in five simple steps.
Whether you are launching a new website or wanting to bump up your reach on a site you have been working on, this method will get you results.
I’m also going to reveal the most powerful, free secret to getting backlinks THE RIGHT WAY!
But before you can understand why this secret is important, you need to understand the fundamentals of link-building and how they all work together. And in this post, we are going to cover everything you need to know.
Let’s blow the lid off backlinks and how to get them… once and for all!
What Backlinks Do for Your Website
The great thing about backlinks is that they give you truly powerful SEO results. They help to boost your site’s rankings, which helps your site to show up better in Google search results.
But it is also important that you build backlinks the right way… if you do it at all!
The thing about backlinks is that they really work… if you acquire them the right way.
You need to acquire them organically. If you don’t, you could get the Google banhammer brought down on you… and that could put your business in serious jeopardy!
Rank higher on Google
Since I’ve been crushing the backlink game on my own site, my traffic has more than doubled and my exposure in the search engines has tripled!
And the best part about it? It shows absolutely no signs of stopping or slowing down!
But… the difference between me and ‘sketchier’ digital marketers is that I build backlinks the right way. And in this post, I’m going to show YOU how to do it as well.
Get more clicks and leads for your website/ business
Backlinks do more than just link your content to other posts online.
Backlinks also help you to drive more organic traffic to your site, help your posts to rank better, and help to establish your website as an authority.
But this also translates to you getting more leads, opt-ins, and sales for your business!
No matter what you are selling on your site, backlinks can help you to increase your traffic, opt-ins, and profits.
Can I Get Backlinks for FREE?
Yes, you absolutely can. But, you have to be resourceful.
For a long time, I focused on on-page SEO only because Google began punishing websites that had shady backlinks that were not earned.
I avoided the backlink conversation.
The increasing competitiveness of SEO forced me to learn how to earn backlinks the right way. And in this post, I am going to tell you how to build backlinks... completely for free.
Now, with that being said, keep in mind that building backlinks takes time and energy. There are some tools out there to help make the process faster, but they cost a bit of extra money.
If you don’t have the cash to outsource this process, you will have to spend the time required to get backlinks for free.
Black Hat Vs. White Hat Methods to Get Backlinks
Black Hat SEO is basically sketchy SEO that you DON’T want to dabble in.
The thing about backlinks is that there is more than one way to get them. And some of the methods that people use to build them are most definitely considered ‘Black Hat.’
It is very important that you avoid these pitfalls in your own business!
Worst Mistakes You Shouldn’t Be Making When Getting Backlinks
What is the difference between ‘Black Hat’ and ‘White Hat’ SEO?
Well, let’s take a minute to clarify exactly what you DON’T want to do!
One of the worst things that can happen for your site is for it to get black-balled by Google.
And unfortunately, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could do the wrong thing and really hurt yourself in the long-run.
Here is what NOT to do while building backlinks for your website.
Do Not Buy Backlinks
Buying backlinks is a big no-no.
Because it directly violates Google’s policy!
Google doesn’t want anyone to purchase links. This makes sense though, because what Google wants more than anything is for your content to rank organically.
In other words, they want content to earn backlinks because it is awesome content… not because someone paid for it and sidestepped the organic process.
Do Not Do Link Exchanges
Link exchanges are another big no-go where Google is concerned. But once again, this makes a lot of sense.
Google wants posts to earn backlinks organically. And if sites just traded backlinks, there would be no trust.
Google wants valuable posts to earn the top-spots because they want their users to find the best possible content online. And backlinks are a tool they use to help facilitate this.
But the system gets all muddied when people start buying, selling, or trading links. That really messes with Google’s vision of helping people to find the best content possible.
Getting Links Should Be One-Directional
The idea behind backlinks is that they should be one-directional.
In other words, it should go like this:
When you create an epic piece of content, that content should be so good that other websites are left with no other choice than to link to it.
Why? Because your post is the authority on that topic on the internet. It will be the first thing that pops up in search results, it will have a ton of authority, it will provide readers with all kinds of useful information… and linking to it will literally make their content better as a result.
This is why Google uses backlinks to help factor an SEO score for posts. They know that organic backlinks exist because the content being linked to must be providing at least a certain measure of value.
And value is what Google is looking for!
How I Doubled My Exposure on Google Through My Backlink Strategy
I’ve used a number of different methods to build backlinks.
I’ve done it myself. I’ve put in the hours, rolled up my sleeves, and gone at it the hard way.
I’ve also paid premium services to do it for me.
I’ve also obtained a course that I’ve used to start training my own backlink team.
There are several very good ways to go about this. And we are going to talk about all of them in this post.
But first, let’s start at the beginning.
Here’s how to do it for free.
How to Get Backlinks - Just 5 Steps!
Alright. Now, let’s get to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of this article.
How to build Backlinks for your website.
This method is free. All it will cost you is your time.
I’ve developed this method through trial, error, and experience. But I can also tell you, with 100% certainty, that it works!
So without further delay, here are 5 steps that you can take to start building quality backlinks today!
1. Find posts that rank well for high difficulty phrase keywords in your niche.
This is the beginning of the first step.
First, you want to find high ranking posts for difficult keyword phrases in your same market/niche.
This is actually pretty easy to do. You can start by doing a Google search of the topic that you want to craft the content for, and look at the top results for it in Google.
(It is better to do this InCognito, so that your own browser settings are not affecting your searches.)
But why search for difficult keyword phrases and not easy ones? Because difficult phrases require more and better backlinks to rank for.
These are the competitive keyword phrases. These are the ones that look almost impossible to rank for on the first page of Google, but that are 100% relevant to your audience, niche, and/or market.
The trick is to look for content published by sites that probably have lots and lots of great backlinks. These are posts that are winning for competitive phrases… phrases that are ranking around a 50 or above in Keyword Finder.
On the flipside of that, if you find long tail keyword phrases that have difficulty scores of barely 20… you can bet that they aren’t going to have as many backlinks.
Why? Because you don’t need as many backlinks to rank for those long-tail keyword phrases.
Always go for competitive phrases
Keep in mind that you want to be going after competitive phrases that overlap with your niche! These are the types of posts that your audience is going to want to read.
Once you find a post that qualifies, you create a list of backlinks. In other words, you compile a list of every site/page/post that has linked to that competitor’s post in their own content.
You will need a backlink tool for this. I personally recommend either Ahrefs, Semrush, or Keyword Finder… but we will talk more about these in a minute!
So now, at the end of step one, you will have a list of backlinks... all of which are linking over to one specific, relevant topic.
2. Create an amazing post on that topic - better than other high-ranking posts.
Step number two is where it actually starts to get interesting. This is also where the ‘harder work’ kicks in!
Your next step is to go and create an AMAZING post on the exact topic that you researched in Step 1!
But here's the kicker. Your new post must be BETTER than the post that is currently ranking at the top and getting all of those backlinks!
How do you create a better post?
A better post essentially means a more valuable post… or a post that brings even more value to the reader.
One of the best ways to do this is just to offer more information.
So, if you are competing with a blog post that has 13 different niche ideas… go and create a blog post with 23 niche ideas instead!
If you are trying to beat a top 10 list article, go and create a top 15 list article.
But you can also beat other posts by making yours more detailed. If you are trying to beat a post that has quite a bit of useful information, then you may need to craft a post that contains far more in-depth detail. It could be a technical tutorial, or some other kind of post that goes REALLY in-depth with the information.
Put more images into your post. Include more screenshots. If it is a post with step-by-step instructions, include more steps in your post than were included in the competing post.
You can also make sure that your post is better-written. Better grammar, fewer errors, fewer spelling mistakes, fewer run-on sentences, etc.
In other words… your post needs to be epic enough to simply out-compete the competition in pretty much every category!
3. Begin the outreach process.
After you’ve crushed it with a super-valuable piece of content that out-performs the competition in every single way, it is time to begin the outreach process.
During this phase of the process, you go and collect the email addresses of each website that linked to the original post you researched and compiled the list of backlinks for.
Why are you doing this? Because this gives you a list of websites that you want backlinks from as well.
In other words, at this point, these are the micro-steps you will have already achieved:
- You researched a topic that is directly relevant to your niche
- You made sure that this topic was based on a competitive keyword phrase that overlapped with your niche
- You found a top-performing post that ranked super-well for that competitive keyword phrase
- Next, you used your keyword tool to find all of the backlinks for this top-performing post
- Then, you created an EPIC LEVEL piece of content, on the same topic, that provided a ton more value for your audience than that top-performing post does
- Next, you went to each one of the websites that linked to the top-performing site you researched, and found their email addresses
- You have now compiled a list of those email addresses to begin the outreach process
This takes a LOT of time to do by hand… but toward the end of this post, I’ll show you a tool that I use to speed the process up!
Essentially, this process involves looking for contact pages on websites that you want to earn backlinks from. You may want to look at the footer of their site, or browse around… but the point is to find their email addresses and save them.
The good news is that most websites make it pretty easy to find their contact info… which is awesome, and something that you will come to appreciate very much by the time this process is over!
If you find a contact form, that will work as well.
Once you start finding email addresses, you are going to want to start a spreadsheet so that you can keep track of all of this information. You are going to want put the name of the site in one column, their email address in another, etc.
If you can’t find an email address anywhere, you may have to get creative. Check their Facebook fan page, their YouTube channel, Google it, etc.
Anyway, once you’ve gathered all of these email addresses, it will be time to begin the outreach phase of the process.
In this step, you start emailing every one of these websites with an email that sounds something similar to this.
Sample Outreach Email
I am (name) with (website.com).
I noticed that one of your posts (example.com/blog-post/) contained a link to this post (competitorexample.com/blog-post/).
That is an excellent resource, but I have actually created an even better post that your audience will probably love! Check it out here (add link), and if you want to add a link to it in your post, I would really appreciate it. I know that your audience would appreciate it as well!
(Signature)... Have a good one!
And that’s it! It’s that simple.
Keep in mind that there are all kinds of different email templates that you can use for this process. This is not necessarily a ‘new’ idea, and a lot of people swear by different email layouts.
But as for me… I have always tended to formulate my templates based on experiences and by simply doing.
So, you go through your entire list, emailing every website you would like a backlink from.
You may have to tweak your email a bit. You may find that different emails give you different results. But you can play with it and see where you land.
The main point, however, is not to overthink it. You need to send out these emails and start gathering those backlinks!
And that leads us to step number 4.
4. Follow up with the people you reached out to.
Alright, this is where things start to get crazy!
Remember those first emails you sent out… that you spent all that time on?
Well, unfortunately, 98% or so of the people you just reached out to are going to completely ignore your first email!
This means that you need to send a follow-up email (At least one. You may need to send more than one). And trust me… the ‘fortune’ is in the ‘follow-up’ when it comes to emailing for backlinks!
And here, you may start to see some interesting things come through the pipe. You may find yourself being ‘propositioned’ for backlinks once you start to get their attention.
But here is where you need to start being careful.
Watch Out for Shady Tactics…
It probably won’t be long before you come across someone wanting you to pay them for links.
Some may charge as much as $150 for a link! Some may also say that they will give you a link if you give them a link!
Personally, I say no to this… because I don’t want to do things that are going to start me down the path of going against Google’s terms of service.
And the black-and-white of the matter is that Google does not want us to buy backlinks. Google also doesn’t want us to do backlink exchanges or ‘link circles.’
Google wants you to earn the link… by publishing a great piece of content that other people will want to link to.
So, the point of this outreach process is that you want to do just enough to get some organic link-building going. You want to earn what organic links you can, and then leave the rest alone.
It may be tempting to trade or buy links… but that is where you start getting into black hat SEO, and trust me… that is not a road you want to start going down!
5. Scale the process
There are two different tools that you can use to scale the process of link building. And in this section, we will go ahead and discuss them.
This tool will help you find and gather those email addresses that we were talking about earlier. This is a pretty big time saver, and comes highly recommended.
This is kind of an automated cold-outreach mail merge system.
Basically, it lets you import your template, the website’s name, and their email address. Then, it will broadcast out those cold-reach emails for you, so that you don’t have to go through and send each one of them by hand.
It also helps you to track who opened the emails and who didn’t, etc. It just does a really good job of helping you to scale this process and track what happens with it… and that is actually really powerful.
Once again… this is a tool that comes highly recommended if you want to scale your efforts and get things really nailed down.
Two Ways to Scale Backlink Building (That I Personally Use)
There are two different systems that I recommend for people who need to start working on backlinks to improve their traffic and SEO factor.
One of these systems requires you to pay a company to get links for you (all white-hat!), while the other is a training system that will teach you how to automate the process at scale.
Let’s spend a moment talking about them.
ReachCreator.com is a UK based link building company that I’ve used a few times… and I actually really like them.
They charge $2,350 for 10 links, which equals out to $235 per link.
Now, that may seem a bit high. But you have to understand that they actually do EVERYTHING. They do all of the researching, they go and pull all of the relevant backlinks, they do the outreach… everything!
And best of all, it is all white hat. They do everything by the book, which is awesome!
I’ve spent about $7,500 with this company, and can absolutely tell you that they are a premium service.
Granted, if you are just starting out, you may not have that kind of money just laying around for backlink building. But keep in mind that I have been at this for quite some time. For me, time is the scarcest resource… so throwing money at the problem works for me because it saves me a lot of valuable time!
The DIY Shotgun Skyscraper BackLink Building Method
If you do not have premium-level cash to throw at the problem, then a more DIY approach can be found from the Authority Hacker pros.
Mark and Gael have been building authority sites for years and have developed a link-building training program that will show you how to build white hat links at scale.
This training has over 40 videos that show you, step by step, how to build backlinks the right way.
The Shotgun Skyscraper backlink building method will teach you how to shoot hundreds of BBs (backlink outreach emails) each week instead of a few.
It also gives you all sorts of templates. You get a first outreach template, reply templates, and all kinds of resources to help you handle all kinds of different responses that you may get back while doing outreach.
You can even plug the email templates into Mailshake, and that makes the entire process incredibly simple and user-friendly.
Make no mistake… it is a full on, premium-grade course. But if you are going to be doing serious backlink building in-house, then it is a tool that will save you a TON of time, effort, trial, and error.
It will also provide you with awesome results!
I am even using this course right now. I obtained it and handed it off to two of the people on my team… my Lead SEO person and my virtual assistant.
In the future, this is going to help me to slow down on those $2,500 buys, and allow me to run all of my backlinking in-house… which is awesome!
This will end up providing me with more links for less money.
But even if you don’t have a team and are in full bootstrap mode, you can still go through the course, implement what you learn, and crush it all under your own effort!
This course will show you how to get thousands of emails sent out each week. This will help your traffic to spike and many that go through this course create backlink building agencies and quit their j.o.b.
Backlinks Research Tools You Can Use, and Why They Rock
There are several different backlink research tools that you can utilize. Here are my three favorites.
Each of these brings unique advantages to the mix. But you will find that each one of them also delivers a ton of value.
Ahrefs is a tool that you can use to grow your search traffic, research competitors, and monitor content in your niche.
They offer a 7 day trial for just $7, which isn’t a bad deal at all.
They offer features like Competitive Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Research, Content Research, Rank Tracking, Web Monitoring, and more.
This site/tool has won multiple awards, helps you analyze backlinks with a Backlinks Checker, shows you information related to Backlink Gaps, helps you to perform audits on your site, and also gives you an on-page SEO checker and built-in Link Building tools.
Semrush will also let you monitor your brand, and will create custom reports that will provide you with essential backlink metrics information.
Keyword Finder (or KWFinder) is a site that gives you access to all kinds of tools that let you do all kinds of things, including (but not limited to):
- Keyword Research
- SERP Analysis
- Rank Tracking
- Backlink Analysis
- Website Analysis
They also offer a free version of their Keyword Research tool that you can use to conduct 5 searches per day, which is pretty awesome!
This is one of the most popular keyword research tools on the internet… but it is also a very decent competitor analysis link building tool that can really help you to level-up your backlink research and link-building efforts for less.
The Most Powerful, FREE Secret to Getting Backlinks Remains, and It Is…
As you’ve read, I’ve developed my own 5-step method for earning backlinks the correct way… using white hat SEO that the Google gods will smile down upon.
I’ve also shared some of the best tools that you can use to aid you in your journey.
But the most powerful, free secret to getting backlinks is actually really simple.
You see, no special tools or fancy link-building services are going to do a lot for you if you don’t have one crucial element of the equation in place.
The truth is that it all starts with truly epic-level content that gives your audience the greatest value to be found on the internet.
This is where it starts. You need to craft a post, dedicated to your specific niche and topic, that is so good that there is literally no better piece of content on the entire internet that can actually compete with it for value!
That, my friends, is where true backlink power begins. That is where the winning piece enters the game-board. That is what is required for everything else to function.
If you don’t have epic-level content to crush it with, you are going to waste a lot of time, energy, and money trying to build backlinks to content that just isn’t up to par with what your competitors are sharing.
Plus, epic-level content will gather its own backlinks over time. These are purely organic links that you will not have to spend a dime (or a minute) gathering!
Alright. We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post. But it is important ground that you need to cover if you actually want to win with SEO in the long-term.
Or… if you are running a brand new site and you literally have zero money to spend, you can use the 5 steps I’ve outlined here and do it all from scratch!
Sure, it is time consuming. But at the end of the day, the effort you put into building quality backlinks for epic-level content is going to pay HUGE dividends for you in both your SEO page ranking stats and traffic numbers.
If you want to jumpstart your digital marketing success and boost your numbers, backlinking is a sure-fire way to take that next step.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think. How do you get backlinks? What tools do you use? Also, try this 5 step method out and let me know how it works for you.
I am also always down to answer any questions you may have about backlinks or anything else related to digital marketing or SEO.
At the end of the day, we all want to be successful. But it takes work and effort. If you can stick with it and not give up, you will win in the long game. That’s what it’s all about!
Catch you all later!