42 Hacks to Score White Hat Backlinks for an Online Business in 2017

white hat backlinksLooking for white hat backlinks?

You came to the right post.

Link building and outreach is still the backbone of SEO – without high-quality backlinks, there won’t be organic traffic. To help you out we collected 42 techniques to generate white hat backlinks that still work in 2017.

Quality over quantity.

A futile effort or your best return on investment is what you make out of link building. It’s is not black or white.

For every tactic you tell me is good, I can show you how it could be bad. For every tactic you tell me is wrong, I can find a scenario where it could be right.
– Eric Ward, author of the “Ultimate Guide to Link Building”

With the rise of organic tactics and holistic SEO, more and more marketers will focus on creating meaningful connections. More SEOs will steer away from shameless promotion and focus on helping people be smarter, happier, richer.

This post contains 42, no-BS evergreen link building tactics that still work in 2017, and guaranteed to get you white hat backlinks. Because why fixing something that already works?

As simple as they are, you still have to make them actually work by applying some common sense:

  • Be relevant. Focus on opportunities that are more targeted, rather than using the spray and pray approach.
  • Create a connection with your prospects. Don’t drop the bomb before you even had said “hi”.
  • Don’t promote – serve. Respect is key.
  • Kill them with kindness when you get rejected. Because you will get rejected. Especially if you’re just starting out with link building.

This post should act as a quick reference for to the best ways to get white hat backlinks. Brainstorm with them, jot down the tactics you like and get to work.

Let’s cut to the chase.

The Low Hanging Fruits

These strategies will help you to get white hat backlinks faster than getting a dog out for a walk. No reason not to use them.

1. Internal Linking

Yes, that’s right. Internal linking is something most people overlook, but internal linking is big. Not only it helps you transfer link juice through your pages, but you have a complete control of the links. It also creates a natural link profile and helps Google crawl your site quickly.

internal link building

Note: Be careful with using targeted keywords in your site-wide links, as Google might treat this as a spam factor.

Resources:

2. Friendly Blogrolls

Ask your friends, employees and colleagues to put a link in their “Friends” blogroll section.

friendly blogrolls

Note: Blogroll Etiquette
It’s an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that if a blogger puts a link to your site in his blogroll, you should add that blog’s link on your own site.

3. Ask for Credit

Whether you run an SEO agency, or you’re a freelancer, you should ask for credit from your clients or partners.

For example, at WooGuru, we ask our clients if it’s OK to put “WooCommerce support by WooGuru” in the footer of their website.

The best time to ask for this link is when a client is at his peak of happiness. Also, make it easy for them. Put the link on their site yourself or provide an embeddable HTML snippet with the link.

4. Ask Your Suppliers and Distributors

If you’re buying products or services from someone, ask them to link to your site. Since you’re already paying them (although not for the link itself) your suppliers tend to be much more likely to link back to you, as they want to see you succeed.

5. Create Message Board Signatures

Include a link to the site in your forum signature.

Although mostly “no-follow”, these links can bring a decent traffic to a site, and also, help you keep up with your natural link profile.

Directories and Resources

6. Resource Pages

Another old-school easy way to get links. Just use Google search parameters like:

  • “keyword” + list,
  • Try this – “keyword” + resources,
  • “keyword” + tips,
  • “keyword” + links,
  • This is great as well – “keyword” + inurl: links.

Depending on the vertical of your business, you should find at least a dozen solid link opportunities.

More on the topic:

7. Directories

Submit your site to niche-specific directories, blogger directories like AllTop or local business directories like GoldenPages.

Be very careful with general web directories, as some of them are ridden with low-profile links and you don’t want to associate your site with them.

An easy way to track if a directory is fine is by using the Moz Spam Score.

Read more:

8. Paid Directories

Some premium directories that will ask you to pay to list your site on their site. The problem with them is it’s hard to distinguish which ones are worth the money.

Resources:

9. Web Design Galleries

css galleries

This type of directories deserves a place on their own because you can get some pretty serious traffic from them. This tactic works best if you have a unique, innovative design.

Use a service like CSS Gallery list to get your site submitted to all web design galleries for 50 bucks.

10. Startup Directories

There’s a number of startup-related directories that let you create your company profile. To name a few: Angel List, Crunchbase, and BetaList (if your startup is still in pre-launch stage).

Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Startup Listed Online

Content-based Opportunities

These link-building tactics involve creating content to get a link.

11. Participate in Round-ups

Thought leaders, experts, and influencers roundups are an excellent way to build credibility in your field and get a link. Of course, you must know a thing or two about your niche to get featured in them.

The important thing to note is that once you participate in few roundups, blog authors will start approaching you instead of you having to go to them. Almost every blogger wants to write a round-up post at some stage in their blog’s life, and the easiest targets are usually the people who are already participating in round-ups.

Read more: Blogger Outreach – How To Get On 158 Blogs In 14 Months

12. Create Round-ups

This tactic works the same way as the previous one, except this time you’re putting together the expert roundup.

Reach out to influencers in your field and ask them to contribute. Everybody wants to look good among other well-respected people. Once you put the round-up live, you can simply ask them to share or link to your post.

SEO Experts share their advice

More on the topic:

13. Create video tutorials and share them on forums

Most bloggers share their tutorials on forums either wholly or link to them. Linking doesn’t work that often since moderators remove those. Sharing an entire tutorial gives them little incentive to come back to your site.

The thing that I have seen working time and again is sharing video tutorials. Branded with your blog’s name, with an outro slate providing a link back to your blog, these videos work magic in bringing visitors to your site.

Video tutorials are often sticked to the relevant categories and sends a nice trickle of traffic long after you’ve stopped promoting.

The additional advantage is that there is no problem sharing an internal forum thread elsewhere on the forum. You can always prop up the thread if it’s relevant to the discussion.

example of optimizing video

This technique works better and requires more effort than any other forum promotion technique that you might have heard.

For the Internet marketing niche the best forums for this would be Warrior Forum, Black Hat Forum etc.

14. Guest Blogging

Pitch bloggers with an idea for a blog post and ask them if they’re happy to publish it.

If you’re just starting out with guest blogging, you will find better luck using one of the guest blogging networks like BloggerLinkUp and MyBlogGuest.com

Resources:

15. Offer Content Upgrades

These tactics involve offering content upgrades like eBooks, reports, infographics, etc. to other sites.

The reason content upgrades work so well is because:

  1. you can provide something exclusive for the site you’re pitching
  2. it’s much more scalable than guest posting

Let’s say you wrote a big article on cats health. You can re-package the whole post as an eBook and offer it as an exclusive resource to a relevant site.

Read more:

16. Write Testimonials

Nothing makes a person happier than seeing his clients using their products. Endorse the products you use and ask them to share your testimonial on their websites.

More on the topic: How to get featured to 750,000 readers (and get your first 250 subscribers)

17. Write Case Studies

This tactic is the same as the previous tip, except you go for more details and write a complete case study, describing how you use the product/service.

Resources:

18. Comment on Blogs

With blog comments, you can get some no-follow links, which is perfectly fine but you can also find a decent amount of blogs that allow do-follow comments.

Read more:

19. Participate in Communities

Niche communities are a great place to bring more traffic to your site and get some links (usually no-follow). These could be everything from subreddits to smaller hubs like GrowthHackers.com for online marketing.

20. Answer Questions

Answering questions on Quora and Yahoo Answers not only brings traffic to your site but also helps you build a credibility as a thought leader in your business vertical.

Read more:

21. Inbound Link-building

This works in a similar way to the round-up tactic except on a much bigger scale.
Great examples are StartupStash and the Glossary of Internet Terms.

StartupStash has over 1426 white hat backlinks from 185 domains:

startup stash backlinks

22. Mention Influencers in Your Content

This is the classic ego-bait tactic. By appealing to the egos of people, they’ll help you increase the exposure of your content.

Egobait still works – just not like it used to, it’s not as effective to simply quote or link to an influencer praising their work; we’ve found that at this point if you want to see results (and leverage influencer marketing) you need to bring them into the conversation before you push publish.

– Nick Eubanks, creator SEO Auv

23. Create a Free Tool

Build a free plugin or browser extension to your main product or service.

A great example is EmailHunter’s Chrome extension:

email hunter tool

Not only this could potentially attract white hat backlinks to your site, but your customer retention will increase.

24. User Generated Content

People want to be the center of attention, and in control of what they’re doing. Create a platform for user-generated content. That could be a simple message board or Spotify’s interactive “year in music” personal music habits review.

spotify user generated content

25. Surveys

Asking people for help could be very beneficial. The way surveys work is:

  1. Collect a decent amount of answers to your survey.
  2. Thank them for participating
  3. Ask them if they’d like to help your research by spreading the word with a link.

26. Funny Products and Games

Everybody loves laughing. And everybody loves making other people laugh. This is a great way to generate a white hat backlinks.

CSS Puns by Saijo George is a great example: 1288 total backlinks from 259 domains.

css puns backlinks

27. Seasonable or Timed Content

Leverage the power of ego-bait on a massive level: a national celebration or event.

A great example is this infographic about the National Liberation Day, which collected over 3.5K shares in just a few days.

Give Something

If you have something to give away, this is probably one of the easiest ways to build a white hat backlinks. Although, be careful going overboard with the charity.

Note: Make sure you comply with Google’s “Best practices for bloggers reviewing free products they receive from companies

28. Promotions and Giveaways

Offer influencers in your field promotions or giveaways in exchange for a product review or feedback.

This works best with products with bigger margins.

29. Contests

Encourage engagement and linking by running contests with prizes. Use a software like Gleam or KingSumo to launch your contest.

buffer contest

Read more:

Help People Out

Whether you’re helping webmasters by pointing to broken links or you offer your services to someone, there’s a huge opportunity for using reciprocity to build white hat backlinks to your site.

30. Finding broken links

  1. On Google, you can find relevant sites (or posts) to yours.
  2. Then search for broken links on the site – this app will do it for free.
  3. In the end, you offer the site owner to replace the broken links with your post.

There are several free tools that would help you identify the broken links on a site. One of the most hassle-free plugins is Check my Links for Chrome.  In the example below the link in red is a broken link.

Read more:

31. Offer a Pro-bono Service

Whatever you’re doing you can exchange your services for a link:

  • web design work
  • web dev work – you could do something as small as changing their style a bit or speeding up their site with a couple of WordPress plugins
  • marketing and SEO 🙂
  • content creation (help a site upgrade or update their content)
  • grammar checking (scan a couple of articles and pinpoint the mistakes to the site owner)

Take Advantage of Existing Opportunities

There are some hacks to score white backlinks that are just waiting to be taken.

32. Claim your Brand Mentions

Use a service like Mention or Buzzsumo to track your brand name mentions. Make sure that your brand name links back to your site.

More on the topic:

33. Convert Unhappy Customers Into Avid Brand Proponents

Chances are there will be some negative comments, reviews or articles about your brand. Do your best to convert their negative voice into a positive one – offer them an exclusive discount, help them sort their problem, just give a crap.

Read more:

34. Do a Google Reverse Image Search for Your Images

Chances are someone is using your images if you have useful graphics or beautiful photography on your site. We live in the free Internet.. duh!

Make sure to take a breath before you go all mad about it and think if you could use that as to claim a link to your site.

35. Make Sure Your White Hat Backlinks Point to the Proper Page

Use Linkody to track if all your white hat backlinks are properly linking to the right page. If you have a link to 404 page there are 2 ways to approach the case, depending on the situation:

  • Inform the site owner and re-purpose that link to a new page/ask them to correct the mistake in the URL.
  • Use a redirection (301) to another page on your site.

linkody finding link problems

36. Spy on Competitors and get their Backlinks

If your competition is a spot higher on the SERPs than you, they must be doing something right with their link building (or something gross).

(See How to Identify and Remove Bad Backlinks?)

You can use Linkody to find all your competitor’s backlinks. All you need to know is their website’s URL and Linkody will do the rest.

  1. Find the URLs on Google.
  2. Add them to Linkody.Spy on Competitors
  3. Linkody will find all your competitor’s backlinks.
  4. Reach out to the webmaster saying that your tool would be a great addition to the site’s resources.

You can find the full guide – here.

37. The Rebranding link opportunity method

Most brands often change their names. Brian Dean has a great technique which he calls the Moving Man method to find link opportunities through this.

It’s different to the broken link building method in that the links actually exist. They just re-direct to the new url. However, since the anchor text and the site link points to the old domain, there’s an opportunity.

Brian was able to achieve this with outdated BlueGlass links (an SEO agency) that went out of business. He reached out to all the site owners who had a link to BlueGlass with this mail.

reach for links

email_response1

Image Source

In order to discover such opportunities you can search PR channels and search on Google about re brands. All such news results in your industry can get you links.

38. Incorporate Tweet this in your blogposts

Often times we can inspire people to take action by asking them to specifically tweet a portion or nuggets of your post. These tweets can drive more tweets because the words are emotionally charged or contain something very important or interesting.

They can drive social shares and mass links.

39. The Poster Boy Method

The Poster Boy method involves writing a splendid success story that you had with a tool.

Companies are always looking for great testimonials about their own products. Writing about how you achieved success with their tool will immediately make your story the apple of their eye.

You can expect the company to share the article and mention it several times across the press releases and blog posts. They may even interview you for insights.

40. Buy links (carefully!)

Buying links is always an option, but you should be very careful if you do it.

The only thing you can buy without much repercussion from Google is paid tweets, anything else is pretty risky nowadays.

Buying links from sellers on various forums is nearly guaranteed to get you banned. The only way to get good links is to approach various blog owners directly.

41. Create your own private blog networks

If you’re serious about SEO and plan on being in the game for a long time, creating your own blog network is one of the best things you can do for long term success.

And I don’t mean one of those networks like Gawker or Envato that advertises itself on every site. Although they can work very well, too. I mean a truly private network of websites that have nothing to do with each other, aside from being owned by you.

It’s the best way to go for small websites without massive financial backing.

The benefits of a private network are immense:

  • You have multiple independent sites and income streams so you don’t suffer if one or a few of them get penalized or de-indexed (temporarily or permanently);
  • Create backlinks between the sites whenever you need to rank for any keywords or need to get a new site off the ground fast;
  • Get much more control over your SEO, since backlinks become pretty much on-site optimization for you.

I’d say that anyone who is going to be doing Internet Marketing for a long time should at least try to build their own network of small niche blogs.

For further reading check this article.

42. Maintain accounts on Reddit

Social media accounts are mostly a long term strategy, since they’ll rarely get results in the short term.

Well, not counting successful submissions to Reddit, Hacker News and the like. These sites are worth it most of the time.

I’d recommend you create and maintain (either yourself or through outsourcing/automation) profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Hacker News and most importantly, Reddit.

In fact, if you need to choose only one site, I’d recommend Reddit for a few reasons:

  • It’s easy to create several accounts there (it’s not against the terms of service);
  • You can submit stories on almost any topic and they have a real chance of getting to the front page in the appropriate subreddit (which would give you direct traffic and quite possibly backlinks from other sites);
  • And a little known secret – Reddit comments are indexed by Google and Bing.
    • Most importantly any links will have the nofollow tag removed automatically if the comment gets any upvotes.

 

White Hat Backlinks Wrapped Up

Link-building is a never-ending story of new tactics and SEOs outsmarting themselves by finding new opportunities to grab a link. This evergreen list of link building techniques should serve you well as a starting point to generating loads of white hat backlinks.

And don’t forget – it all falls on you to make these tactics work.

Share in the comments what is your favorite #1 evergreen strategy to get white hat backlinks?

Related posts:

26 thoughts on “42 Hacks to Score White Hat Backlinks for an Online Business in 2017

  1. Lots of takeaways from this blog. I really love your ideas of “Google reverse image search” that’s completely new to me. Another vote for content upgrade suggestion. The resources linked are quite useful. Thanks.

  2. Broken link building is a great method to help us earn quick backlinks from high-quality pages. Comment to other blogs and make sure these blogs are relevant to your own blogs.

  3. One of the best link building articles I have come across. I especially like the second on internal links…. something I have definitely overlooked. Keep up the great articles and thanks.

  4. I have gone through every possible content about link building and they still come back to this.

    Some of them are easy to do while some are complex but all in all they all work. One thing I would say is even though content is still the primary source to get links it is not the only way.

    Great post love it.

  5. Very nice. Those are some powerful ways to instantly help people better rank their sites with some additional backlinks on higher PR sites.
    Thank you for this.

  6. These are all incredibly effective when you add the relevance factor into the mix. Taking the time to blog comment, guest post or even finding directories that are niche relevant to your site gives a huge boost in rankings.

  7. Very informative post. there are so many methods I’m not familiar with and also should have to follow. hoping these methods will help me get quality backlinks…. thank you so much 🙂

  8. Hello
    There are many tactics that can guarantee success in link building
    The videos are particularly shareable
    Lots of social sites ( Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, etc.)
    Lots of magazines and newspapers

  9. Wooow i have read this article it is such a great one and an eye opener on what exactly one needs to do to beat their competitors. I loved the idea of constantly spying on your competitors backlinks, for the lazy but it is the perfect way to get to know where to put your links. Good article for sure.

  10. Been struggling to try rank my site after reading this article i am now equipped with the right tactics to use to rank higher than my competitors thank to whoever did this article its very helpful

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