6 Smart Ways to Build Quality Backlinks and Outrank Your Competitors

How to build links to your website

In this day and era, you cannot underestimate the importance of backlinks. Backlinks improve the reputation of a website as well as its ranking on Google and other search engines.

And especially in a competitive niche, you can’t rank without backlinks. So, how do you get quality backlinks that will help you beat your competitors?

After conducting being in the SEO game myself for more than 6 years and interviewing different experts, I compiled a list of the 6 link building methods that have seen them attain so much success.

#1 – Guest Posting

Guest posting is an easy and effective tactic for getting backlinks and improving your search engine rankings. It involves contributing free content to other websites or blogs in exchange for a backlink to your site.

However, you must ensure you post high-quality and relevant content. Posting on top-notch websites also gives an added advantage and can enhance your reputation.

Personally, I’ve used this method and got many benefits from it. Other than getting backlinks, guest posts can help you build strong relationships with other bloggers and strengthen your reputation. In fact, many of my clients came after reading my guest posts on various sites.

They reached out saying something like: “Hey, George we read your post at PickaWeb. We like your approach about this and that, and we want to work with you! Are you available?” And the best part is that those are the best types of clients because they’re already true fans of your work.

Maros from Siteprofiler explains how guest posting boosted their search visibility: “We started with guest blogging only about one or two years ago. To be honest, we haven’t written many articles, so probably not more than 15% of the backlinks we earned via targeted campaigns were from guest blogging. Around 90% of submitted articles have been published. We know that guest posting is a great way to attract backlinks and boost our brand at the same time. At the moment, it’s one of the priorities as we are finally starting to cooperate with external writers. We have more than 10 guest posts in the game at the moment.”

#2 – PR Network with Writers

One of the best ways to get backlinks is to get cited as a source in online content by writers. Since bloggers and journalists are always looking for new content to publish, you can really benefit if you have good relations with a number of them.

John Holloway, the Co-Founder NoExam.com, said: “About 50% of our link building right now is done via PR. We are always on the lookout for writers covering complex insurance topics. We contribute our expertise to their articles, and they include a link to our business website when they mention us in the article. Over the years we’ve become the go-to guys for all things insurance for a handful of writers. They tend to write for numerous publications, and it has been a great source of links and brand mentions for us. It’s a long play, but it ends up landing links that your competitors will never get.”

Therefore, identify writers from your niche, and reach out to those who publish articles and guest posts often, and the ones who quote experts or refer to sources. Find ways to stay in touch by engaging with them on various topics, retweeting their tweets, and commenting on their blogs. With time, you will become their go-to expert when they are writing something in your niche.

#3 – Skyscraper

Skyscraping is the process of finding the most popular content in your niche and updating it while making some tweaks to make it better. You can add points, use more words, add pictures, and improve the quality. The reasoning behind this method is that if many other sites are willing to link to these pages, they’ll surely want to link to similar pages on your site as well.

Therefore, once you create the content, you then send it to webmasters who have linked to those pages.

DevriX is one of the sites that have used the method successfully, and Mario Peshev, the founder and WordPress Architect shared some insights: “Skyscraper content represents 30% of our top-ranked content at DevriX. Each piece takes anywhere between 3 to 5 days to craft, but on top of the high success rate pitching bloggers (12% to 17%), it leads to important strategic partnerships with industry leaders and market experts”.

One resource that can help you find the most shared content is BuzzSumo. Just search a few keywords, and you will find popular content that you can improve.

#4 – Infographics

Infographics present a great way to get backlinks due to their popularity. According to HubSpot, infographics are very popular on social media and get 3X more likes and shares than the other type of content. This is because most people prefer visual content to plain text.

In fact, Search Engine Journal claims that an infographic is 30X more likely to be read than a text article. Therefore, when designed and used well, infographics can generate a lot of high-quality backlinks. It’s also important to include an embed code for the infographic.

Brad Smith, Founder of Codeless, explains why they like infographics: “My favorite link building tactic is proprietary data. We can take any existing piece of content, perform some original research and create new custom image assets for the piece, and you kill two birds with one stone. On our case study for Content Writing Services we were able to decrease content exit rate by 23%, decrease Facebook ad CPC by 70%, and easily build dozens of natural links within the first few months after publishing.”

If you want your infographics to go viral, create for the topics that bloggers write about regularly. For example, I once used the topic Freelance Websites.

That’s a screenshot from my Pitchbox account.

I ordered an infographic and updated my blog post about Freelance Websites. Then I pulled out a list with blog posts on that topic of Freelance Websites. I emailed them and offered them to update their posts with my infographic. Many of them agreed. They used my infographic, and they gave me a link in the source below the infographic. Others asked me if I wanted to land a guest post on their blog. In both cases, I’m winning visibility and links.

#5 – Create a Free Stock Photo Library

Can a site exist without visuals? Imagine how gloomy it would look. Like I discussed above, people prefer visual content to plain text.

You can take advantage of this to get backlinks. All you need to do is create a free stock photo library, and people will start using your images. Below are the steps:

  1. Have several good images

You don’t need to hire professional photographers and designers or spend your valuable time creating images. Just use the visual content that you or your clients already have. Yes, must own the photos.

  1. Put them in a library and don’t put a watermark

Compile your images and put them in a library. However, do not add a watermark because your intention is to entice people to download and use them on their site.

  1. Upload them to a site with Creative Commons License

Once you have gathered your images, upload them to a site such as Flickr. Ensure the site you choose makes images available under the Creative Commons License. This will allow anyone to use the photos as long as they link back to the source.

“The license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials”

Jason Thibault, the founder of Massive Kontent, explains how this method helped his site: “I’ve been having a good deal of success link-building via Creative Commons images. Each month I upload a series of free stock photos to a Flickr account with the permissions default set to ‘Some rights reserved’ (or CC by 4.0). Blogs and newspapers regular use Creative Commons search for images to accompany their articles.

I have the Flickr account synced up to the Pixsy platform – which automates your reverse image lookups. Each month I go in and scan the image matches that Pixsy has retrieved from other sites across the web. If they haven’t included proper linked attribution, I send out a polite outreach email requesting that they please do so. This yields a 75-85% success rate in link placements. Through this tactic, I have continually built 2-6 additional links every month. Some of these sites end up being quite high in domain authority, and it’s the most passive form of link-building that I’ve discovered.”

#6 – HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

Getting backlinks from high authority sources can help you rank well in search engines. HARO offers a fantastic way to get traffic, create backlinks, and gain authority for your website. The service is designed to help journalists in need of expertise in various fields, and many high authority sources are using the service such as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Good Morning America, and many others.

How to Build Powerful Backlinks on HARO

The first step is to go to helpareporter.com and sign up as a source

Once you complete your registration, you’ll receive three emails every day from Monday to Friday – at 5.35 a.m., 12.35p.m and 5.35p.m. The emails will be put under different categories such as Healthcare, Business & Finance, Travel, and Education.

All the links are clickable and will bring you to the query information. Browse through the queries and respond to the ones you know you can give an excellent and thoughtful response that will make the journalist’s job easier.

Zestard Technologies is one firm that has successfully used this technique to get quality backlinks and enhance its reputation. The Director of Organic Search at the firm, Boni Satani, said: “HARO is one of my all-time favorite Link Building Activity. HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out, wherein a Journalist is ‘Looking for Advice’ from Experts.

Your Job as a marketer is to monitor these queries and offer advice to them as described. If your answer is valuable, the journalist will include your quote in their article with a link. We do this activity for all our clients, and our success rate is anywhere between 20 – 40 per cent [We get 2 – 4 links for every 10 Responses]. We recently landed three links on websites which had DR 80+ and Traffic of 1M+. Time & Resource Investment in HARO is comparatively less against other link building activities like Skyscraper, Resource Page Link Building and the ROI is HUGE.”


Link building is important. It offers one of the best ways to increase your search visibility and beat your competitors. The methods above can help you get high-quality backlinks. However, I would advise you to try them one by one and don’t move to the next until you implement the last one.  

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