Link building is the cornerstone of SEO. Any good online marketer or SEO needs to know how to build links to their site if they want to rank well in Google.
Many have said they’re less important than they were 10 years ago, and that may be true, but there is no doubt that they are still very valuable. And there’s no sign that it’s likely to change in the future.
So a good link building strategy is an “ongoing practice” that ramps up overtime. You’re continuously working on it, and the more you work on it, and the more links you build, the better your chances of ranking higher in the almighty Google.
My goal in this post is to create something that all marketers with all skill-sets can use. Whether you’re new to link building, or have been building your backlink profile for 10+ years, I think you’ll find some useful nuggets in this post.
Those blogs, to this day, are still great resources to visit when looking for posts on link building. Let’s start with a list of the best link building guides available to you, for free.
Link Building Guides
Want to skip the 500-word articles and go straight into a deep dive on link building? These massive free guides will help.
- Link Building for SEO: The Definitive Guide – One of my favorite guides. Read this if you want a full background on link building. Learn the fundamentals, how to get high quality links, and what to avoid doing.
- The Advanced Guide to Link Building – Broken up into twelve chapters, the QuickSprout guide will be helpful if you’re looking for tactics to build links.
- What is Link Building? A Beginner’s Guide – If you don’t like the other guides, this one is more targeted towards beginners. Has some useful tips and provides more background on why link building is so important.
- Noob Guide to Link Building – This guide was written in late 2016, but still contains valuable information, even two years later.
Link Building Strategies
Let’s look at some posts with a wide variety of link building strategies.
- 90 SEO Experts Talk White Hat Link Building, Outsourcing And Scaling – Ahrefs rounds up SEO experts to discuss their favorite link building strategies. (I’m included!)
- Low-Hanging Link building Opportunities That Almost Touch The Ground – Looking to get the easy stuff out of the way? This blog post will cover everything you need to know.
- 8 Link Building Tips – Paddy Moogan covers eight tips to help you build more links in eight minutes. Read all 35 link building tips from Paddy at Mozcon here.
- Link Building Tactics (Point Blank SEO) – A very thorough list of link building strategies. I’d recommend using their filters in order to find ones that will be the best fit for you.
- 8 Unusual Link Building Strategies That’ll Catapult Your Rankings – Looking for some unusual link building tactics? I’ve got 8 for you in this post.
- 3 White Hat Link Building Techniques That Go Far Beyond Links – Ryan Stewart is a former black hat SEO, turned white hat. Here’s what he learned about the most effective white hat link building techniques.
- A Simple Guide to Turning (Unlinked) Brand Mentions into Links – Your brand is probably mentioned in hundreds or thousands of places around the web. But not all sites link to you. Here’s how to turn that around.
- Link Building Strategies From Backlinko – Chapter 6 of this link building guide covers 3 quality ways to build links. Do this right and you’ll start getting more sites pointing to you.
- 20 SEO Experts on Best Link Building Strategies that Don’t Require Content – Looking to build backlinks without creating content? Here’s 20 experts telling you how to do just that.
- The 6 Month Link Building Plan for an Established Website – This is not a six-month SEO plan, so it doesn’t cover site audits or keyword research, for example (although you should read this post if you are planning to conduct an SEO audit). James Agate focuses on the acquisition and optimization of links and content for links.
- The Definitive Guide to Qualifying a Link Prospect [with Video] – Link builders should look for cues that make a website a good potential partner. They should look at metrics like a SEO, but also at less tangible cues like engagement and trustworthiness.
- The Noob Guide to Link Building – Everything about link building including a six month link building plan.
- Link building cheat sheet – Here’s 10 things you can do right now to help build your backlink profile.
- What Types of Links Should We Be Getting – What SHOULD we be doing? We know what links we SHOULDN’T be pursuing, so it’s finally time to break down the links that you can get.
- 9 Evergreen Link Building Tactics that Will Never Go Out of Style – When link building, you’ll want to focus on the things that will matter years down the road. Here are 9 tactics that will still be important in the years to come.
- 12 Timeless Link Building Tips for Business Blogs – Here are a few timeless tips for building natural links that will attract (and engage) customers to your business blog.
- Link Building For the Little Guys – Just because you don’t have a big brand doesn’t mean link building won’t be effective for you. If you’re a small business that’s looking to grow your backlink profile, this post from Moz will help.
Thought Pieces on Link Building
These links are a little less how-to and have more insightful content on link building. If you’re looking for link building tactics, skip this section. If you want to know about the essence of link building and why so many online marketers and SEOs focus on it, these articles will help provide that background.
- What is Link Building and Why is it Important? – If you’re new to the SEO world, you may wonder why so many are focusing on link building. This article will answer why it gets so much attention.
- Links Are The Web’s Building Blocks, And Fear Of Google Has Them Crumbling – Google has been sending out a whole lot of messages to webmasters about problematic links. People are in a frenzy trying to get rid of links that may or may not be hurting their search engine rankings, and this is a frenzy created by Google. It may not be exactly what Google intended, but it’s happening.
- Fake news! How to recognize bad advice in link building and SEO – Lots of companies make lots of promises with SEO. Equally, a lot of bloggers who are seemingly experts in SEO and link building make promises. With all this information, it can be tough to tell what’s good information and what’s bad. Use this as your guide.
- 13 outdated SEO tactics that should terrify you – Much of SEO stays the same, but some things change. What was important 5 years ago doesn’t matter at all today. Here are some of those outdated techniques you shouldn’t be doing anymore.
- Five myths about link building – The fast-growing Wordstream blog gives you some myths around link building.
- What’s the Cost of Buying Links in 2018? – Buying backlinks are a big no-no and violate Google’s guidelines. But it’s still done in 2018. Here’s what it costs.
Link Building Practices to Avoid
Just as important as the links you should be building, here are some posts on links you shouldn’t be building. Always remember that spammy links pointing to your site is your problem that you need to take care of.
- An In-Depth Guide to Link Quality, Link Penalties and “Bad Links” – Not all links are created equal. This guide covers the differences, and how to recover from any link penalty.
- What is an Unnatural Link? An in-depth Look at the Google Quality Guidelines – Unnatural links can put you in a bad link neighborhood and violate Google’s guidelines. Here’s some background on unnatural links and what you can do if you find yourself having a lot of unnatural links.
- 17 Types of Link Spam to Avoid – The wise SEO would want to take note of the types of link spam to make sure that what they’re doing doesn’t look like a type of link spam. Google’s response to, and attitude toward, each type of link spam varies, but every link building method becomes more and more risky as you begin moving toward the danger zone.
- 10 Types Of Unnatural Link Building Tactics and 10 Quality Alternatives – How can you compete when the competitors are building links that are low quality, paid, or otherwise spammy? Here’s a look at 10 types of link building strategies that are spammy, low quality, or unnatural, plus 10 quality alternatives.
- What are common link building mistakes? – A Quora thread about the link building mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
- 7 Link Building Mistakes You Ought to Avoid – Some significant changes have been made through Google updates that can affect your link-building strategy, so let’s explore those changes and others to help you maintain, if not increase, your rankings.
- How to Use Google’s Disavow Tool – If you do have a lot of spammy links pointing to your site, you can use Google’s disavow tool to ask Google not to count those links pointing to your site. This post from Moz shows you how to do that.
Link Building with Content
Since content is becoming increasingly more important, here are some posts on link building with content:
- How to Create Content That Attracts Backlinks – Consistently creating invaluable content is one of the best ways to attract backlinks. This guide from Ahrefs will show you how to do just that.
- Link Building with Content (Quick Sprout guide) – Chapter 7 of this SEO guide outlines how marketers can build links through lists, PDFs, images, and microsites.
- How to Build Quality Backlinks With Infographics – Infographics are many marketers favorite tactics for link building. Here’s how to do it right.
- How to Create Content Partnerships that Build Ethical Links and Authority – This article will give content marketers tips on how to effectively (and safely) link build in today’s post-Penguin SEO landscape by using quality content and forming long-term content relationships.
- Why Link Building Strategies Fail – Learn how to create a content strategy that includes link bait (isn’t all link bait) and figure out where you can leverage the content for link building.
- 10 Ways to Use Images for Link Building – The great thing about using images for marketing is that it’s one of the most efficient ways to build brand recognition and acquire natural mentions/links to a website, seeing that the images can easily stimulate interest in an audience (particularly if they are really compelling and/or visually appealing), and the images are very easy to disseminate.
- Building Links With Images: Where To Start And How To Automate It? – Still looking for guidance on how to use images to build backlinks? This post will help you out.
- The Ethics of Link Building Through Content – A look at the ethical / moral side of link building through content.
- How To Create Linkable Assets Without the Content Commitment – Not into writing? This guide shows you how you can still create linkable content without the writing.
- 7 Reasons Content Marketing is Better Than Link Building – Content marketing and link building both have their merits in the realm of search marketing. However, the tale of the tape reveals that content marketing has a distinct advantage over link building for marketers. Here are seven reasons why.
- Building Links with Video Content – Learn about the SEO benefits of video, where to place video, video sitemaps, and places to pitch your new video for potential links.
- 10 Ideas for Link Bait and 5 Ways of Getting the Word Out – Link bait ideas and ways to make sure your link bait content gets links.
Link Building Locally
If you have a local business, these link building strategies are made just for you.
- 11 Ways For Local Businesses to Get Links – Take a look at these 11 ways (including some unconventional methods) local businesses can get links.
- The Complete Guide to Link Building with Local Events – Whether you’re a small local business or an international company, hosting local events is a great way to build your brand, both offline and online.
- Local SEO: White Hat(ish) Link Building For Businesses On A Budget – Looking for local link building on a budget of $500 or less? This blog post will help.
- How to Find Opportunities for Local Link Building – Don’t know where to start with local link building? This post will get you pointed in the right direction.
- Ethical Wikipedia Link Building – Inbound Marketers, SEO’s (whatever you want to call us) are looking to drive relevant traffic, and Wikipedia can be a great source (no-follow or not) of that but also link value.
Link Building with PR & Social Media
Think PR and social media have nothing to do with link building? Think again.
- How to Construct and Use Personas for Link Building and Social Media – How to use created personas in doing actual link acquisition and social media marketing practices, by using them as ambassadors that will help scale the process of marketing a brand over the web.
- How to Use Social Media as a Link-Building Tool – In this post, Christian Arno will discuss using social media to impact your SEO efforts and how the two can work together to grow your business.
- How to Build Backlinks and Get Press Using HARO [Case Study] – Here’s how you can use HARO to build your backlink profile.
- Better Than Link Building: Authority Building with HARO – Rather than link building, Matt McGee has been doing authority building with HARO and sees great results from it, including increased search traffic.
- 5 PR Strategies You Can Use To Build Links Right Now – Looking for your to-do list? You have it here with this article from Search Engine Land.
The Top Link Building Tools
Nothing makes link building more productive and effective than the right tools. Here are posts reviewing some favorite link building tools of 2018:
- Free Link Building Tools (SEObook.com) – Aaron Wall has put together a great list of free tools you can try out. The list is sorted to help you find what you need.
- 55 SEO Experts Reveal 3 Favorite Link Building Tools – Matt Beswick tested six of the most popular link-building tools over the last few months to figure out the pros and cons of each. Here’s what you need to know.
- 3 Types of Link Building Tools and How to Use Them – The guys over at Ahrefs put together a list of the types of link building tools and how you can use each one.
- 10 Tools That Will Get You More Backlinks – This list from Neil Patel Digital is also useful if you’re looking for more tools to monitor and grow your link juice.
- 9 Backlink Analysis Tools That’ll Help You Understand Your Link Profile – It’s not about link building blindly. You need to know who is linking to you and which ones you’ll need to disavow. These 9 tools will help you with that.
- Link Building Tools We Use at Distilled – Distilled gathered up a list of all the link building tools and resources they turn to daily across the company for data, analysis, research, customer relationship management, content promotion, and inspiration.
- Comparison of Link Building Outreach Platforms – Outreach is core to link building. Here’s a comparison of some of the top outreach platforms.
The Best Blogs Discussing Link Building
Want to keep up with link building news? Here are the top SEO blog’s link building categories.
- Link Building on Moz
- Link Building on Search Engine Land
- Link Building on Search Engine Watch
- Link Building on Search Engine Roundtable
- Link Building on Search Engine Journal
- Link Building on Ahrefs
- Link Building on KaisertheSage
- Link Building on WordTracker
- Link Building on Point Blank SEO
- Link Building on Vertical Measures
Want to follow link building on Twitter? Don’t miss the 30 Link Building Experts You Need to Follow list.
Q&A on Link Building
Have questions about link building, or want to demonstrate your link building expertise? Here are some places where you will find lots of people asking about link building.
- Link Building on Inbound.org
- Link Building Q&A on Moz
- Link Building on Quora
- Link Building Subreddit
There you have it! 78 great link building resources to chew on. Did I miss any of your favorite posts or link building blogs? If so, please share them in the comments, and happy linking!
About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.