To get high search engine rankings, you need high-quality backlinks.
A backlink is essentially a hyperlink that points to a website, page, or post from a different site.
Backlinks not only improve the discoverability and indexability of your website. Getting multiple backlinks from high-traffic, authoritative sources also increases your website’s rank-worthiness in the eyes of search engines.
Guest posting is a surefire way to do this. However, this strategy can be extremely time-consuming—not to mention that you’re not guaranteed to land a backlink after spending hours creating a guest post.
That’s why website owners, bloggers, and marketers need to learn how to get high-quality backlinks without relying on guest blogging alone.
Without further ado, below are seven proven ways to generate backlinks that don’t involve creating guest posts.
Publish interviews, positive reviews, and expert roundups to encourage the mentioned brands to link to your content.
These are called “ego-bait” articles—designed to leverage a brand’s natural need for positive recognition.
Covering other brands in a positive light will surely capture their attention. And if the content is well-written, detailed, and favorable enough, there’s a good chance they’ll link to your content from their own websites.
At the very least, they might mention or share your content on social media.
Here are a few tips to remember when creating ego-bait content:
- Mention numbers and percentages that make your target brands look good.
- Round up quotes from multiple experts to get several potential backlinks in one post.
- Reach out and inform them once the content is live.
- Highlight the key takeaways (most impactful pieces of data) above the fold to make them easier to find.
Create a list of relevant statistics in your industry to encourage other brands and content creators to cite your post when making claims.
Linking to a source when mentioning data is one of the timeless content writing tips that every marketer knows by now. It shows that your content is based on cold hard data—not just anecdotes or hunches.
By creating a massive listicle of statistics, countless content creators will link to your post whenever they need to highlight a data-driven point. And if you keep your listicle updated, you can steal backlinks from outdated sources by informing websites about the new numbers.
Conduct original research and package your findings into an industry report, case study, or any other form of data-rich content.
Since you’re the original source of the information, you’re guaranteed to get a backlink whenever someone tries to reinforce their content with your data.
Again, use numbers to make your content more “link-worthy.”
You can also convert data into an infographic using tools like Piktochart and Canva. In doing so, you should earn backlinks from content creators who take screenshots of your data visualizations.
Hire on-demand SEO content contractors and service providers that offer value-added services, like free backlinks and social media promotions.
Only a few agencies on the internet can offer SEO articles with guaranteed free backlinks.
Before you hire a contractor or agency, be sure to discuss your work arrangement. Project management platforms like Wrike, for example, allow you to visually track the progress of projects as well as collaborate with your sourced team.
Other Wrike alternatives include:
Use tools like Ahrefs and BrokenLinkCheck to find broken links on a target website’s page or post.
These brands know that broken links are bad for SEO.
Tell them about broken links on their site and introduce your own content that provides the information they’re referencing. In exchange for helping them fix broken links, you can get rewarded with a quality backlink to boost your search engine rankings.
It’s a win-win all around.
Propel the exposure of your link-worthy content (case studies, data listicles, etc.) by sharing them on social media.
Optimize them with existing social media marketing tools like popular Instagram Reels hashtags, trending TikTok effects, and challenges. This will maximize the reach of your link magnet and elevate your chances of earning natural backlinks.
Just don’t forget to develop a plan that combines your link magnet with your target audience’s preferred content formats.
For instance, to promote your link magnet on TikTok, create a short-form video that introduces the content, underlines the benefits, and directs viewers to where they can access the full version.
Use data to determine which of your content strategies are performing well and which doesn’t.
Content marketing analysis platforms like Google Analytics can instantly reveal your top-performing pages in terms of traffic. At the same time, the platform identifies the pages or posts that lead to the most user exits.
From there, you can do two things: model your future content after your top posts and cut away strategies that don’t work.
Of course, you can also work on improving other posts to bolster engagement—but only if you’re absolutely sure that the strategy can be salvaged.
Apart from content performance, Google Analytics also tracks site-wide metrics, like:
- Bounce rate: The likelihood of users leaving without clicking anything on the website.
- Pages per session: The average number of pages that readers open in one visit.
- Session duration: The average length of time users spend on your website and content.
- Page views: The average number of monthly visitors your website gets.
Building high-quality backlinks yourself through guest posting is indeed an effective strategy, especially if you have a team of content writers working on the submissions.
But if you’re understaffed or work as a solo brand, focusing on guest posting alone won’t get you to the top of Google’s search results.
The strategies above let you take advantage of various opportunities to get high-quality backlinks. Some of them can even generate backlinks passively—that is, without your active involvement.
Go through each step—one by one—and let the results decide which strategies you should keep.