Link Building: 6 SEO Strategies To Acquire Backlinks And Increase Your Organic Ranking

By Alexandra Thibaudeau | July 6, 2022 | Reading Time: 6 minutes

In the article that describes 3 SEO strategies to improve your organic ranking, I promised to expand more on the implementation of a link acquisition strategy, commonly called backlinks, to improve your positioning on search engines. I am looking into the question today in order to explain this SEO tactic and give you ideas for improving your website’s domain authority.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, let's take a few moments to fully understand what link building is and how this practice can help your positioning on Google (or any other search engine for that matter).

What is a link building strategy?

A link building strategy consists of executing tactics so that external sites refer to your content by including a link to it.

When a site with an excellent reputation decides to link its contents with yours, a part of its authority is transmitted to you, which informs Google that your content is relevant and useful. In fact, each link that leads to a page on your site acts as a vote. This indicates to search engine robots that the content you have created is of quality and reliable for the reader. The more backlinks/votes you have, the better the chances of your site ranking higher in the search engine results.

But how do you make the right websites not only to cite your publications, but also to link to it? Several tactics can be explored by your company, each requiring a different amount of time and resources:

  • Create unique content regularly and promote it
  • Become a guest blogger
  • Target backlink opportunities
  • Contact the sites on which you wish to be mentioned
  • Be active on social media
  • Regularly audit your backlinks to ensure the quality of the links obtained
6 strategies to obtain backlinks

1. Before creating a backlink strategy, think about publishing unique content regularly and promote it on different channels

It may seem like a simple first tactic, but many businesses believe that once their website is developed, they don't need to put in any further effort to get organic traffic. However, you will need to continually create quality content on topics related to your industry and update existing content in order to position yourself as an expert in your field. Without publishing value added, informative, unique and interesting content, the chances of you being cited by other sites are rather low.

Promotion is also an important step in getting your content discovered. You cannot assume that by publishing a blog post, your target audience (or anyone else who may be interested in your article) will find it. You will need to perform marketing efforts to promote your content to increase your chances of it being read, shared and taken up by your audience.

2. Become a guest blogger on a strategically chosen site to include backlinks to your website

A great way to get backlinks is to collaborate with blogs that have a good reputation in your industry. This will not only allow you to create content that refers to your site, but also to develop your notoriety with a new audience who does not necessarily know your business.

However, this strategy should be executed with caution. Do not agree to write for just any blog as this will not necessarily have a positive impact for your company. Pay attention when selecting sites to collaborate with. They must have good authority as well as a direct link to your industry and the topics you will be discussing.

You will also need to ensure that the content you write for these third-party sites is new and useful for readers. Don't just repost an article you wrote for your own blog; this will create duplicate content, which could be harmful to the positioning of your site and that of your partner.

Finally, you will have to be careful not to stuff your articles with links to your site, at the risk of being perceived as spammy by robots that crawl the web. Yes, you can and should insert some links for the success of your link building strategy, but these must support your post and be interesting for the reader.

3. Target opportunities to get backlinks

Three distinct methods can help you target opportunities to gain backlinks from sites of interest to your company: discovering broken links, optimizing brand mentions, and fixing lost links.

3.1 The use of broken links

Have you ever read an article, clicked on a link and been redirected to a 404 page? What if this broken hyperlink could be replaced by one leading to your content? You could then write to the author to inform them of your discovery and suggest an appropriate link to your site to replace it. Often, the person who will receive your email will appreciate your find and update the URL, as a broken link can negatively affect the user experience.

3.2. Optimizing your brand mentions

Certain sites may refer to your content and quote you without adding a link to the original post on your site. You can then contact the author who mentioned and ask him to add a hyperlink to the right content.

To find these backlink opportunities, use monitoring tools, such as Google Alerts or SEMrush. They can be programmed to notify you when your brand is mentioned on a site external to yours.

Take note: If your content is taken up by "large sites", for example media sites such as The Gazette, The Globe and Mail or National Post, the author of the article will probably not include a link to the original content, even if you reach out to them. In these cases, it is better not to waste too much time trying to get a hyperlink to your site. Instead, consider engaging with comments related to the post and, if available, sharing the link to the original content.

3.3 Fixing Lost Links

Did you manage to acquire backlinks? That's great, but I suggest you don't just forget about them once they're in place. Every now and then, check that you have not lost an acquired link, and if so, contact the affected site to ask them to restore the hyperlink or offer to link to other relevant content on your site.

Spend time analyzing your backlinks. Make sure they you haven't any over time.

4. Directly contact the sites on which you would like to be quoted to acquire backlinks

When backlink building, you will also have to be proactive in targeting sites relevant to your industry. Contact them directly and offer content that you know will be useful for their audiences. Be concise and direct in presenting your request. Describe in a few lines the article you would like to reference, where you would like it to be mentioned on their site and specify why the publication will be interesting for their readers. Don't forget to include the URL of the content to link to.

Another way to be proactive about backlinks is to communicate with the sites you've mentioned in your post. When writing your article, you will also have to insert links to external sites to optimize your On-page SEO. Why not inform them of this referral and let them know that, if they are interested, they can also link their content to yours or even share your text with their target audience?

5. Be active on social media to increase your visibility and, ultimately, acquire backlinks

Social media can absolutely help you with your backlinks strategy in several ways. First, you should optimize the descriptive sections of your pages to include a link that leads to your site. Then you can use the different social platforms to:

  • Promote the article you create in your news feed;
  • Interact with your communities and when appropriate, include a link to your content in the comments;
  • Contact third-party sites, bloggers or influencers by direct message. Present to them your pieces of content that could be of interest to their audiences.

The more you and your audience push your content, the better it will be for your link building. Also, feel free to share posts that you did not write to help increase your visibility in your industry. The goal here is to deliver useful, interesting content that can help your audience, even if it was not created by you. I also strongly encourage you to respond to mentions of your brand on social media and regularly engage with your community to bring your unique perspective to their discussion. By being active on social networks, you help develop your reputation and make your content and expertise known.

6. Audit your backlinks you get to ensure their quality

Throughout this article, I regularly mention the importance of obtaining quality links from sites relevant to your industry. However, there are thousands of spammy sites and yours is not immune to being referred to by them. However, you can take the time to audit your backlinks and disavow those who are undesirable. In disavowing a URL, you are indicating to search engines that you do not trust a website and that you want to remove the hyperlink that has been included. Several free tools, such as Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer (MOZ), SEMrush and Majestic, allow you to identify toxic links to your site.

In short, developing a link building strategy is an essential step in your SEO tactics. By acquiring links on other sites relevant to your industry, robots crawling the Web will be able to discover your content and recognize its quality. Ultimately, this will help build your site's authority and better position it in search engines results. The time that will be spent link building will definitely have a positive impact on your business in the long run.

Time and resources can be hard to come by, especially when we are in the midst of a labour shortage. If you need help developing a backlink strategy and implementing it or simply want to delegate this task to someone else, feel free to contact our SEO experts.

Alexandra Thibaudeau, Digital Project Manager

Alexandra Thibaudeau

Holder of several HubSpot Academy certifications, she uses her expertise to ensure the creation and development of the company's Inbound Marketing strategy.