How to Build Links for SEO

Earn Links Naturally

Ask for Links

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Add Links

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Buy Links (and Why You Shouldn’t)

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When it comes to improving your website’s visibility on search engines, how to build links for SEO is a crucial question. To quickly address this search intent:

  • Create high-quality content that people want to link to.
  • Reach out to other sites for guest posts.
  • Get listed in business directories.
  • Fix broken links pointing to your site.
  • Promote your content through social media.

Link building is a cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. It involves getting other reputable websites to link back to your site. These links, known as backlinks, serve as votes of confidence for your content, signaling to search engines like Google that your site is trustworthy and relevant.

Without effective link building, your site may struggle to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). This lack of visibility can lead to missed opportunities in organic traffic, which is vital for attracting potential customers and growing your business.

In the following sections, we will explore the essentials of link building, providing you with actionable steps and tips to enhance your SEO efforts.

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What Is Link Building in SEO?

Link building is an essential strategy in search engine optimization (SEO) that involves acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These hyperlinks, known as backlinks, are crucial because they act as endorsements, signaling to search engines like Google that your site is trustworthy and relevant.

Without effective link building, your site may struggle to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). This lack of visibility can lead to missed opportunities in organic traffic, which is vital for attracting potential customers and growing your business.


Link building refers to the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. Think of these links as votes of confidence. Each backlink tells search engines that your content is valuable and worth ranking higher in search results.


Backlinks are external links from other websites that point back to your site. They are one of the most important ranking factors used by search engines like Google. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your chances of ranking higher in relevant search results.


The authority of a website refers to its overall power and influence in the eyes of search engines. Generally, backlinks from authoritative sites are more valuable. For example, a backlink from a well-known site like the BBC will have a bigger impact on your SEO than one from a small, unknown blog.

Google Algorithm

Google’s search algorithm uses backlinks as a key factor in determining a page’s ranking. The algorithm considers the number and quality of backlinks to evaluate how authoritative and relevant your site is. According to a study, 8 of the top 20 ranking factors relate to backlinks.

Ranking Factors

Several factors affect the value of a backlink:

  • Authority: The more authoritative the referring site, the more valuable the backlink.
  • Relevance: Backlinks from sites related to your niche carry more weight.
  • Link Placement: Links placed prominently within the content are more valuable.

For instance, a backlink from a sports blog in a basketball shoes buying guide is more valuable than one from a gardening site in an article about growing plants.

How to Build Links for SEO

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In the following sections, we will explore the essentials of link building, providing you with actionable steps and tips to enhance your SEO efforts.

How to Build Links for SEO

Earn Links Naturally

Creating high-quality content is the cornerstone of earning links naturally. When your content is valuable, people are more likely to link to it. This is often referred to as “link bait.” Here are some types of content that attract links:

  • Visual assets: Infographics, charts, and diagrams are highly shareable. For example, infographics can attract backlinks from blogs and news sites that find your visuals useful.
  • Original research: Conducting surveys or studies provides unique data that others will want to reference. Industry reports often get linked by professionals and journalists.
  • Online tools: Calculators or other helpful tools can generate a lot of backlinks because they provide ongoing value.
  • In-depth guides: Comprehensive tutorials or how-to guides are valuable resources that people will link to for their depth and detail.

By focusing on these types of content, you can naturally attract links without having to ask for them.

Ask for Links

Sometimes, you need to be proactive and ask for links. This is often done through email outreach. Here’s how you can do it effectively:

  1. Identify high-quality prospects: Use a link building tool to find websites that are likely to link to you. These should be relevant to your niche and have good authority.
  2. Credit mentions: If someone mentions your brand or content without linking to it, reach out and politely ask for a link.
  3. Personalized pitches: Customize your emails to make your pitch specific to the prospect. Mention how your content would benefit their audience.

For instance, Semrush’s Link Building Tool can help you manage your outreach process efficiently, from finding prospects to sending emails.

Add Links

Adding links yourself is generally not recommended for SEO purposes. Google doesn’t favor links that you place yourself. However, these links can still drive referral traffic:

  • Social media profiles: Share your content on your social media channels.
  • Business directories: List your business in relevant directories.
  • Forums and communities: Participate in discussions and share your links where appropriate.
  • Blog comments: Comment on blogs with valuable insights and include your link if it adds value.
  • User profiles: Add your links in user profiles on various platforms.

Make sure these links are added naturally and provide genuine value to users to avoid being flagged as link spam.

Buy Links (and Why You Shouldn’t)

Buying links is against Google’s guidelines and can result in penalties. Here’s why you should avoid it:

  • Link spam: Paid links are often considered spammy and can harm your website’s reputation.
  • Penalties: Google can penalize both the buyer and the seller of the link, which can drastically reduce your search rankings.
  • Ineffectiveness: Google is likely to ignore paid links, rendering them useless for SEO.

If you do pay for links, they should be marked with a rel=”sponsored” or rel=”nofollow” attribute to comply with Google’s guidelines.

In the next section, we will dive into specific tactics for building backlinks, including email outreach, broken link building, and creating linkable assets.

9 Best Backlink Building Tactics

Conduct Email Outreach

Email outreach is a direct and effective way to build backlinks. Start by identifying high-quality prospects. Use tools like Semrush’s Backlink Analytics to find websites that link to your competitors.

Personalize your pitches. Generic emails often get ignored. Highlight why your content is valuable and relevant to their audience.

An example email template might look like this:

Hi [Name],

I came across your article on [Topic] and found it very insightful. I recently published a piece on [Related Topic] that I think your readers would find valuable. Here’s the link: [URL].

Would you consider adding it to your article?

Best, [Your Name]

Become a Source

Becoming a source for reporters can earn you valuable backlinks. Services like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and Connectively connect you with journalists looking for expert quotes.

Monitor relevant requests and respond promptly. Use hashtags like #JournoRequest on X (formerly Twitter) to find additional opportunities.

Try Broken Link Building

Broken link building involves finding broken links on other websites and suggesting your content as a replacement. Use Semrush’s Backlink Analytics to identify broken pages on competitor sites.

Then, use the Wayback Machine to see the original content and propose your page as a suitable replacement.

Create Linkable Assets

Linkable assets are pieces of content that naturally attract backlinks. These can include tools, research reports, or in-depth guides.

For instance, Semrush’s blog post on content marketing statistics has over 2.5K backlinks because it’s a valuable resource for many writers.

Find Unlinked Brand Mentions

Unlinked brand mentions are when your brand is mentioned without a link. Use brand monitoring tools to find these mentions.

Once identified, reach out to the site owner with a polite request to convert the mention into a backlink.

Analyze Competitor Backlinks

Analyzing competitor backlinks helps you replicate successful strategies. Use Semrush’s Backlink Analytics to see which pages are earning the most links.

Look for patterns in the types of content and outreach those sites with similar or better content of your own.

Reclaim Lost Backlinks

Lost backlinks can often be reclaimed. Use Semrush’s Backlink Audit tool to identify lost links. Visit the URL to understand why the link was lost.

If the page was removed or updated, suggest a new spot for your link. If redirected, propose a link on the new page.

Do a Backlink Gap Analysis

A backlink gap analysis identifies websites linking to your competitors but not you. Use Semrush’s Backlink Gap tool to find these sites.

Reach out to these prospects with a compelling reason why they should link to your content.

Digital PR

Digital PR involves creating newsworthy stories and sharing them with reporters. For example, Parkdean Resorts created a mini holiday park for hedgehogs, tying it to a news story about endangered species, earning them valuable media coverage and backlinks.

Use press releases and targeted reporter outreach to gain coverage and backlinks.

In the next section, we will answer frequently asked questions about link building, including how to build local SEO links and get SEO backlinks.

Frequently Asked Questions about Link Building

How do you build links for SEO?

Building links for SEO involves several strategies to get other websites to link to yours. Here are some effective methods:

  1. Create High-Quality Content: Content that is useful, engaging, and relevant is more likely to attract backlinks. This includes blog posts, infographics, videos, and original research.

  2. Email Outreach: Reach out to websites and ask them to link to your content. Personalize your emails and explain why your content is valuable to their audience.

  3. Guest Posting: Write articles for other websites in your niche. Include a link back to your site within the content.

  4. Use Link Building Tools: Tools like Semrush can help you find high-quality prospects and manage your link-building campaigns effectively.

  5. Earn Links Naturally: Create link bait content such as in-depth guides, original research, and online tools that naturally attract backlinks.

How do I create a local SEO link?

Creating local SEO links helps boost your visibility in local search results. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Engage with Community Sites: Participate in local forums and community websites. Share valuable content and link back to your business page.

  2. List in Local Directories: Ensure your business is listed in local online directories. This not only provides backlinks but also improves your visibility in local searches.

  3. NAP Consistency: Maintain consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) across all platforms. This helps Google trust your business information.

  4. Earn Local Citations: Submit your business information to local citations and data aggregators like Data Axle and Neustar. This helps build a strong local backlink profile.

  5. Community Engagement: Get involved in local events, sponsor local sports teams, or collaborate with local influencers. These activities can earn you valuable local backlinks.

How to get SEO backlinks?

To get SEO backlinks, you need a mix of strategies that focus on quality and relevance. Here are some tips:

  1. Analyze Competitor Backlinks: Use tools to analyze where your competitors are getting their backlinks. Reach out to those sites with your own valuable content.

  2. Create Linkable Assets: Develop content that is inherently valuable, like research reports, in-depth guides, and useful online tools. These assets attract backlinks naturally.

  3. Become a Source: Sign up for services like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to become a source for journalists. Providing expert insights can earn you backlinks from high-authority news sites.

  4. Reclaim Lost Backlinks: Conduct a backlink audit to find and reclaim lost backlinks. Reach out to webmasters to fix broken links pointing to your site.

  5. Digital PR: Use press releases and news stories to gain media coverage and backlinks. Share interesting and newsworthy stories about your business.

By employing these strategies, you can build a robust backlink profile that enhances your SEO efforts.

Now that we’ve answered some common questions about link building, let’s delve deeper into each method to maximize your SEO success.


Link building is crucial for any successful SEO strategy. High-quality backlinks signal to search engines that your content is valuable and credible. This boosts your search engine rankings and drives more organic traffic to your site.

Long-term Strategy: Effective link building is not a one-time task. It requires ongoing effort and a strategic approach. By consistently producing quality content and building relationships within your industry, you can earn valuable backlinks over time.

AidaSEO: At AidaSEO, we specialize in strategic link building to enhance your website’s SEO performance. Our comprehensive SEO audit service can help identify opportunities for acquiring high-quality backlinks. Contact us to learn how we can assist you in building a robust backlink profile.

Local SEO Optimization: For local businesses, link building can improve visibility within your community. Focus on earning local links by participating in community events, sponsoring local organizations, and creating content that resonates with local audiences.

Strategic Backlink Building: Always aim for backlinks from relevant, authoritative sources. Avoid spammy link-building practices that can harm your site’s reputation. Instead, invest in creating valuable content and building genuine relationships that naturally attract quality backlinks.

By understanding the importance of link building and implementing a strategic, long-term approach, you can significantly improve your website’s SEO and drive sustained organic traffic.