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10 Powerful Link Building Strategies for Higher Rankings

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Links remain one of the strongest ranking factors for SEO. Here are 10 of the most effective ways to build quality links and improve your search rankings:

1. Guest Blogging

remote blogger

Approach websites in your industry to contribute guest posts with backlinks pointing back to your site. Focus on relevant sites with good authority and traffic. Provide useful, original content that adds value for their audience.


- Write a post on latest industry trends for a popular blog in your niche like Shopify eCommerce Blog

- Contribute a tips post to a marketing blog like Search Engine Journal

2. Content Promotion

Promote your best performing content across social media, on other people’s blogs, in forums and groups, and through outreach emails. Make it easy and worthwhile for others to reference or share your content.


- Share your latest ebook on social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter

- Promote your recent blog post in relevant Facebook groups and Reddit subs

- Pitch your infographic to other blogs to syndicate

3. Link Reclamation

Use email outreach and online requests to update old or broken links that previously pointed to your site. Revive the links and strengthen their value.


- Reach out to previous guest posting sites where the link is now dead

- Use Google alerts to find mentions of your brand but broken links to request fixes

4. Resource Page Linking

landing page design

Create guides, tools, templates, datasets or other resources you can share and secure links from related resources pages, bloggers and media sites.


- Create a toolkit for Etsy shop owners for Craft Industry Alliance site

- Offer up enterprise SEO dataset for Search Engine Journal resources

5. Sponsorships

Sponsor events, podcasts, newsletters or other opportunities in your industry that offer sponsor spotlights, backlinks, brand mentions or other exposure. Look for the best match between your target audience and the opportunity's followers.


- Sponsor a booth and speaker spot at a niche industry conference

- Sponsor the newsletter for a trade organization and get brand mentions

6. Branded/Localized Outreach

young professional girl in business

Do niche outreach to organizations, websites or local businesses that focus on your brand name, products, clients or location. Offer tailored content and assets that meet their specific needs.


- Provide local gym listing sites with tailored content about your fitness brand

- Pitch area newspapers your store press release for holiday shopping guide

7. Press Releases

Write and distribute releases through PR distribution platforms to drive brand visibility and quality editorial links. Time releases around relevant news events or announcements.


- Submit new funding announcement through PR Web

- Share launch of online course through PR Newswire

8. Business Directories

Claim and optimize in-depth profiles on niche industry directories related to your business type and location. Add backlinks to these citations.


- Add expanded profile for your biz on Better Business Bureau

- Fully complete your Google My Business listing

9. Informational Linking

reporter interview

Identify high-authority informational resources related to your offerings and reach out to contribute quotes, stats, or other expert insights they can link to.


- Provide industry analyst quote about market trends for MediaPost article

- Give startup founder tips to Buzzfeed for small business piece

10. Hashtag Campaigns

Launch viral social media campaigns with unique hashtags for your brand. Encourage shares and participation while embedding links back to your content.


- #ShopSmallBiz Twitter campaign to highlight your Etsy products

- User-generated content Instagram campaign with unique branded hashtag

Diversify link building strategies over time for natural growth. Monitor to ensure new links come from trusted sources and vary anchor text. With quality over quantity, these tactics can significantly boost rankings

Here are 14 FREE Tools to Utilize for link building efforts:

two asian men focusing on business

1. Ahrefs Site Explorer:

- Limited free version to analyze backlinks and find link building opportunities.

2. MozBar

- Chrome extension for SEO tasks like backlink analysis, metrics, and keyword research.

3. BuzzSumo

- Free version to analyze influencers and content performance to support outreach.

- Provides data on existing links, broken links, and search performance.

5. Mailshake

- Free email outreach automation tool to streamline guest posting and broken link outreach.

6. Google Alerts

- Get notifications of brand mentions and new link opportunities.

7. Twitter Advanced Search

- Identify conversations and influencers around keywords to connect with.

8. Linkody

- Free link analysis and prospecting based on competitor link profiles.

9. Majestic SEO

- Limited free backlink checker.

10. Open Site Explorer MOZ

- Limited number of free backlink checks.

- Identify rising search trends and topics to create content around.

12. HARO

- Free service to connect with journalists seeking sources for stories.

13. BuzzStream

- Free limited version to manage outreach and link prospects.

14. Reddit

- Share your content and participate in niche communities for opportunities.

Leveraging these free tools strategically can help generate more high-quality backlinks without paid tools. They provide the ability to research prospects, identify influencers, and streamline outreach.

Not sure where to start?

Get a Free consultation to see how McFarland Marketing can help build links for your website.

Or checkout these free recommended articles if you'd rather figure it out yourself:





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