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How Do You Build Backlinks?

Here's a quick guide on building backlinks, the best backlink checkers to use, and the types of links you should build for your site.

Ben Kazinik
By Ben Kazinik
Natalie Stenge
Edited by Natalie Stenge

Updated November 20, 2023.

How Do You Build Backlinks? main image

Here are several ways that you can build backlinks for your business. But first, the one thing you want to remember is that any site that you are trying to get a link from should be relevant to your industry, and should be a high-quality site with real traffic coming to it every month.

Focus on the quality of the site

Google’s Penguin 4.0 update wiped out sites that had low-quality backlinks by adjusting their worth. So no spammy links! Look for things like traffic, DA/DR score, relevance to your own site, and engagement on social media.

Use cold email

One of the simplest ways to build backlinks to your site is to email other SEOs and content managers in your industry and build relationships with them. You can offer to exchange guest posts or collaborate on larger content projects together.

Get on directories

There are numerous directories you can get a listing from, depending on your industry. Though these links are not the most authoritative they will give you a small SEO boost, and help you get your business up and running.

Publish original research

Writers love citing original research and data in their articles. If you are in a position to run a quick case study and get some of your own data then you could get hundreds of links. You should combine this with an outreach campaign to journalists and other industry blogs.

Quote experts in your articles

Another quick way to build relationships with other sites in your industry is by offering to quote experts in your articles. Reach out to experts and see if they could contribute a line or two on a specific topic. Some brands publish expert roundups where they get 10-15 experts to weigh in on a particular topic.

So for example, if we were writing a guide on how AI affects organic search we would get a few SEO experts to weigh in. The more examples and images they send in the better.

It’s an old one but a good one. Look at sites you want to get a link from and use a tool like Ahrefs to find all of their broken links. Then email the content manager pointing out the broken link and suggesting your own blog post or piece of content instead. More often than not you will get a positive response and a new link back to your site.

A number of the ways that we covered don't require a marketing budget to execute. Here they are again:

  • Use cold email to reach out to other blogs in your industry
  • Ask experts to weigh in on a topic and then feature them in a post and exchange links
  • Publish guest posts on other blogs
  • Appear as a guest on a podcast
  • Write high-value comments on sites
  • Repurpose your content on sites like Medium

If you're just starting your SEO backlink campaign you first need to know who is already linking to you. The way to do that is to use an SEO tool like Moz, Ahrefs, or Semrush and analyze your site.

These tools will display all the sites that link back to yours. You can use those existing relationships to get more links and opportunities for guest posts from them or ask for referrals to other sites that would be relevant for a content partnership.

SEO tools that display the backlinks your site has are called link checkers. Here is our list of the best ones.

  • Semrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Moz
  • Buzzsumo
  • Ubersuggest
  • LinkMiner
  • OpnLinkProfiler

There's a really nice tool you could use called RankWatch that lets you see all of your competitor's backlinks. It's pretty basic but it gives you a rough idea. If you want to get more detailed (and accurate) information you should get a paid subscription to an SEO tool like Ahrefs or Semrush.


Ideally, you shouldn't have to pay anything to get a backlink. You should be able to get all the links you need through content partnerships, guest posts, podcast appearances, and other organic activities.

However, if you run out of those efforts and need to build your domain authority then you could allocate some of your budget towards purchasing backlinks. A backlink could cost anywhere from $100 all the way to $20,000 (especially if you are doing a PR promotion).