Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO. It helps you gain authority, trust, and relevance in the eyes of search engines and users. But link building can also be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive.
Fortunately, there are ways to build links for free without breaking the bank or risking a penalty from Google. In this beginner's guide, we will show you how to do free link building with some of the best tools and strategies available.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the Internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web, discover new pages, and evaluate their quality and relevance.
Links are also signals of popularity, credibility, and authority. When other websites link to yours, they are essentially vouching for your content and giving you a vote of confidence. The more quality links you have, the higher your chances of ranking well in search results.
However, not all links are created equal. Some links are more valuable than others depending on factors such as:
1- The authority and relevance of the linking website
2- The anchor text (the clickable text) of the link
3- The context and placement of the link
4- The number and diversity of links from different websites
Therefore, link building is not just about quantity but also quality. You want to get links from reputable websites that are relevant to your niche and offer value to your audience.
Why do link building?
Link building can be expensive if you rely on paid methods such as buying links or sponsored posts. These methods can also backfire if Google detects them as unnatural or manipulative.
link building refers to getting links without paying for them directly or indirectly. This can be done by creating valuable content that attracts natural links from other websites or by reaching out to relevant websites and asking for a link.
link building has many benefits such as:
1- Saving money: You don't have to spend money on buying or renting links.
2- Avoiding penalties: You don't have to worry about violating Google's guidelines or getting penalized for unnatural links.
3- Building relationships: You can establish connections with other website owners and influencers in your niche.
4- Increasing traffic: You can drive more organic traffic from search engines and referral sources.
5- Improving branding: You can enhance your reputation and visibility online.
How to do link building?
There are many ways to do link building depending on your goals, resources, and creativity. Here are some of the most effective strategies you can use:
1. Create high-quality content
Content is king when it comes to link building. If you create high-quality content that provides value, information, entertainment, or solutions to your audience's problems, you will naturally attract links from other websites that want to share your content with their readers.
Some examples of high-quality content that can generate links are:
1- Blog posts: Write informative articles on topics related to your niche that answer common questions or offer useful tips.
2- Infographics: Create visual representations of data or facts that make complex information easy to understand.
3- Videos: Produce engaging videos that showcase your products or services, demonstrate how-to tutorials, or tell stories.
4- E-books: Publish in-depth guides or reports that cover a specific topic in detail.
5- Case studies: Share real-life examples of how you helped your customers achieve their goals or solve their problems.
6- Testimonials: Collect positive feedback from your customers or clients and display them on your website.
7- Podcasts: Record audio interviews or discussions with experts or influencers in your niche.
To create high-quality content that attracts links, you should follow these best practices:
1- Do keyword research: Find out what keywords your target audience is searching for and optimize your content accordingly.
2- Do competitor analysis: Analyze what kind of content your competitors are creating and how they are getting links and try to create something better or different.
3- Do outreach: Promote your content to relevant websites,
blogs, social media platforms, or email lists and ask them politely to share it with their audience or give you a link back.
2. Use link-building tools
There are many free tools available online that can help you with various aspects of link-building such as finding opportunities, analyzing competitors, monitoring results, and more.
Some examples of free link-building tools are:
1- Ahrefs: The industry’s favorite link research tool that lets you analyze your own and your competitors' backlink profiles, find broken links, discover link opportunities, and more.
2- Majestic SEO: A popular link building tool that offers an extensive “Link Intelligence” database by crawling and mapping the web. You can use it to monitor your backlinks, compare them with your competitors', and find new prospects.
3- Hunter.io: A handy tool that helps you find email addresses of website owners or influencers that you want to reach out to for link building. You can also verify the validity of email addresses and track your email campaigns.
4- MozBar: A browser extension that gives you instant access to key SEO metrics such as domain authority, page authority, and spam score for any website or page. You can use it to evaluate the quality and relevance of potential link sources.
5- Ubersuggest: A free keyword research and SEO analysis tool that also provides backlink data for any domain or URL. You can use it to find out who is linking to your competitors and how you can replicate their links.
6- Whitespark: A local SEO tool that helps you find local citation opportunities for your business. Citations are mentions of your business name, address, phone number, or website on other websites. They can help you rank higher in local search results and get more links from local directories or websites.
7- HARO: An acronym for Help a Reporter Out, a platform that connects journalists with sources for their stories. You can sign up as a source and offer your expertise or insights on topics related to your niche. If a journalist uses your quote or information in their article, they will usually give you a link back to your website.
8- SEO Toolbar: Another browser extension that adds useful SEO features to your browser such as SERP analysis,
keyword density, page speed, and social media metrics. You can use it to optimize your content and pages for better rankings and linkability.
3. Leverage existing relationships
One of the easiest ways to get free links is to leverage your existing relationships with people who have websites or blogs in your niche.
These could be:
1- Your customers or clients
2- Your suppliers or partners
3- Your friends or family members
4- Your colleagues or peers
You can ask them politely to give you a link back to your website if they have mentioned your brand, product, service, or content on their website.
You can also offer them something in return, such as:
1- A testimonial or review for their website or product
2- A guest post or interview for their blog or podcast
3- A discount or free trial for their audience
4- A social media shoutout or endorsement
The key is to provide value and reciprocity to your relationship partners and make them feel appreciated and respected.
4. Guest post on relevant blogs
Guest posting is one of the most popular and effective free link building strategies.
It involves writing an article for another website or blog in your niche that allows you to include a link back to your own website.
Guest posting has many benefits such as:
1- Exposing yourself to a new audience and generating traffic to your website
2- Establishing yourself as an authority and expert in your niche
3- Building relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your industry
4- Getting high-quality links from reputable websites
To do guest posting successfully, you should follow these steps:
1) Find relevant blogs that accept guest posts.
You can use Google search operators such as:
"keyword" + "write for us"
"keyword" + "guest post"
"keyword" + "contribute"
You can also use tools such as:
Ahrefs Content Explorer
2) Pitch them with a compelling topic idea.
You should research their blog, audience, style, and tone before sending them an email pitch.
Your pitch should include:
A catchy subject line
A brief introduction of yourself
A summary of why you want to write for them
A list of potential topic ideas with headlines and outlines
A sample of your previous work (if any)
A call-to-action asking for their response
3) Write an engaging guest post.
Once you get accepted, you should write an engaging guest post that follows their guidelines, provides value to their readers, and showcases your expertise.
Your guest post should include:
An attention-grabbing headline
An enticing introduction that hooks the reader's interest
A clear and logical body that supports your main argument
A relevant and memorable conclusion that wraps up your key points and leaves a lasting impression
A natural and contextual link back to your website (usually in the author bio or within the content)
4) Promote your guest post.
After your guest post is published, you should promote it on your own channels such as:
Your website or blog
Your email list
Your social media accounts
You should also engage with the comments and feedback from the readers, and thank the host blogger for the opportunity.
This will help you boost your credibility, traffic, and relationships.
5. Create and distribute infographics
Infographics are visual representations of data, information, or knowledge that are easy to understand and share.
They are great for link building because they can:
1- Attract attention and interest from your target audience
2- Simplify complex or boring topics into engaging and digestible content
3- Generate social media buzz and viral potential
4- Earn links from other websites that use or embed your infographics
To create and distribute infographics effectively, you should follow these steps:
1) Choose a relevant and interesting topic for your infographic.
You should pick a topic that is related to your niche, has high demand or search volume, and has enough data or information to support it.
You can use tools such as:
2) Design an attractive and informative infographic.
You should use a tool that allows you to create professional-looking infographics easily such as:
Your infographic should have:
A catchy title that summarizes the main idea of your infographic
A clear layout that organizes your data or information into sections or categories
A consistent color scheme that matches your brand identity and enhances readability
A simple font style that is easy to read and scan
Relevant images, icons, charts, graphs, or illustrations that visualize your data or information effectively
A source or citation that credits your data or information sources
A logo or link that identifies your brand or website
3) Distribute your infographic to relevant platforms and websites.
You should share your infographic on your own channels such as:
Your website or blog
Your email list
Your social media accounts
You should also submit your infographic to other platforms and websites that accept or feature infographics such as:
Infographic directories (e.g., Visual.ly, Infographic Journal, Daily Infographic)
Niche blogs or websites (e.g., Mashable, TechCrunch, Forbes)
Media outlets or publications (e.g., Huffington Post, Business Insider, CNN)
You can use tools such as:
Buzzstream to find and contact potential infographic hosts.
You should pitch them with a personalized and compelling email that includes:
A catchy subject line that grabs their attention
A brief introduction of yourself and your infographic
A summary of why your infographic is relevant and valuable to their audience
A link to your infographic (preferably hosted on your own website)
A call-to-action asking for their response or feedback
4) Track and measure the results of your infographic distribution.
You should monitor and analyze the performance of your infographic distribution such as:
The number of views, shares,comments,and likes
The number of links, referrals, and traffic
The number of leads, conversions, and sales
You can use tools such as:
MozBar to track and measure these metrics.
You should also follow up with the hosts who have published or linked to your infographic, and thank them for their support.
This will help you build long-term relationships and earn more links in the future.
Link building is a crucial part of SEO that can help you improve your rankings, traffic, and authority.
However, link building can be challenging and time-consuming if you don't have the right tools and strategies.
In this article,
we have shared five free link building tools and strategies that you can use to build high-quality links for your website.
1- Create valuable content that attracts natural links
2- Use free link building tools to find and analyze link opportunities
3- Leverage existing relationships to get easy links
4- Guest post on relevant blogs to reach new audiences
5- Create and distribute infographics to generate social media buzz
We hope these tips will help you boost your link building efforts and achieve better SEO results.