Ever wonder how some websites just seem to be on the front page of every search engine? It’s not just because they have great content. As PubLoft cofounder Mat Sherman says, “half the SEO battle is showing that you know your stuff—the other half is proving that you’re qualified and trustworthy.”

Despite some of the misconceptions around backlinking (some feel it is a “black hat” practice), building an authoritative backlink profile is truly a key part of all successful SEO efforts. Without Google-trusted backlinks, it’s a struggle to rank for your target keywords and drive organic traffic to your website. Zero traffic means zero leads and of course, zero sales.

So, how do you make it happen?

The big question becomes: how does one encourage authoritative brands to link to your website? There are, of course, unlimited ways to go about this. First, make sure you avoid any shady (“black hat”) strategies. Google’s gotten much better at detecting these aggressive methods, ranging from invisible text to cloaking content, and they will only cause more harm than good in the long run.

Instead, start by working on the quality of your content. Make it better than your competitors’. Content is king for real and practical reasons. First, Google and other search engines love quality content. Second, and more importantly for building backlinks, authoritative websites love referring their audience to pages that offer truly valuable information—and Google loves it too.

Now that you’ve worked on the basic foundations of obtaining contextual backlinks, you can start implementing strategies that you probably haven’t tried before. These SEO strategies require some effort and a little time to see results, but can propel your Google ranking to page one. Follow these 7 uncommon but effective backlinking strategies, and popular websites and influential bloggers in your niche will happily link back to you soon.

1. Guestographics

The idea behind the Guestographics Method is to create shareable infographics about your niche, valuable enough that journalists and online influencers will be excited to publish them on their websites. If you don’t know how to create graphics yourself, hiring a freelance designer will make the process easier.

Once the infographics are posted on your site, the next step is to reach out to the appropriate people. Look for influential bloggers and journalists who write about the topic of your infographics. Ideally, they should have a large following and with audiences that are interested in your niche.

Including a short introduction about the infographics is another important factor to make this backlinking campaign successful. Bloggers are usually happy to accept guest posts when you make things easy for them, so write awesome content and don’t forget to insert your contextual link.

2. The .edu hack

Obtaining a backlink from .edu websites is like an impossible dream unless you’re a lecturer, speaker, or a doctor in an academic field. You will need to have a mastery of a particular course in order to be featured on a university site. With that said, there are some hacks that you can do to make these educational sites link back to you without getting a PhD!

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Create a free digital product for professors and students. It could be a mini-course about your niche or an ebook guide that is useful to them. Request that your offer be published on the newsletter section of the university website and a contextual link to your site be included. You can also offer free services such as website audit, on-page optimization, and sitemap creation in exchange for a backlink.

3. The job board page

Create a special section on your website for career opportunities, and then invite reputable companies in your industry to post their list of job vacancies. Reach out to universities and request for your job board page to be included in their career resources page. This backlinking strategy creates value for your readers and the community, so a boost in your traffic is also expected.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be just full-time jobs. You can also create a dedicated page for freelance gigs and internships. Invite businesses to post their contract-based projects. Aside from enabling you to develop partnerships with business owners, it can also help you get attention from freelancers, who may decide to mention you on forum sites like Reddit and other online communities.

4. Create a go-to resource

This backlinking strategy requires some effort as you will need to create a resource that will help solve people’s problems. It could be a list of 50 free tools for bloggers or a comprehensive list of free online courses for entrepreneurs—all that matters is that you focus on readers in your industry or niche

The thing about this strategy is that you don’t have to be the original source of the information. You can use bigger site directories to get the necessary information. For example, you can use Agoda.com to create a list of hostels in a specific location that is best suited for short-term backpackers. This is a great way to earn mentions from digital nomads and travel bloggers.

5. Strategic guest posting

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Stalk your competitors and analyze where and how they are getting their authority backlinks. Contact those websites that are linking back to your competitors and offer to write quality content for them in exchange for contextual backlinks.

Another smart way of doing this is to contact bloggers and journalists who can publish your content on giant publications such as Forbes, Time, and digital magazines. Use your LinkedIn account to connect with Forbes senior writers and pitch an epic story. If your story gets posted, it could mean exposure and more mentions from authority sites.

6. The free blog theme

It can be WordPress or Blogger. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is to develop a child theme that’s functional, premium-looking, and easily customizable—Something that even pro bloggers should be thrilled to use. Start with a Wordpress theme like Avada, Divi, Tesla, or any other, and insert your contextual link in its footer so that you get a backlink every time a blogger uses the theme.

Take for example the free WordPress theme Mins by GoDaddy. It is currently used on 10,000+ websites and that means GoDaddy.com has built itself lifetime link juice with just one theme. Mins is a child theme of Primer.

7. Claim backlinks through Google Alerts

Google Alerts is the easiest way to track online mentions of your brand. The concept behind this strategy is that each time your brand gets a mention, you reach out to the website owner and request that a link is added to the text.

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First, you have to set up your Google Alerts account. It’s pretty simple and takes only a few minutes. Just enter keywords and phrases that you’d like to be alerted for. Include your website address, website name, brand name, or your name.

Next step is to send them a short and sweet email requesting the link to be added. Here is a sample email outreach template that you can use:


Hi {Name},

I’m an avid follower of your blog and I am thrilled that you mentioned my brand name in your recent article, {title of the blog post}.

I truly appreciate the special mention. If you don’t mind, I’d like to request a backlink to my website {url link}.

Thank you so much for the shoutout and I’d like to say that I love what you do.

Cheers,

{Your Name}


Building an authoritative web presence is perhaps the most challenging trek in the SEO landscape. But, as a wise human once said, the best things in life are worth working for—and link building, which can dramatically increase your search engine visibility, is well worth the challenge.

Ready to expose your brand to countless new readers and customers searching for you? Give these techniques a shot, or reach out below to see how PubLoft can help: