Here’s why backlinking is a go-to strategy for any content marketer worth their salt.

When it comes to improving your SEO results, nothing is more powerful than a well-placed backlink. Linking back to your site from another site is perhaps the best way to drive more organic traffic to the pages you want people to see.

Whether you’re looking to up your SERP ranking or simply boost your click-through rate, here are some creative backlinking strategies you should try:

1. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is one of the most common backlinking strategies, and for good reason — when it comes to effort expended vs. value gained, it’s undeniably one of the most effective ways to reach new audiences.

To save yourself time, rather than writing a totally unique piece for another publication, try writing a complex and detailed post on a particular issue, and hosting it on your own site. Then, write a simpler, snackable version and offer it as a guest post to other sites, linking back to your original piece. If the issue is complex enough, most editors will opt to retain the link, since it offers real value to their readers.

2. Help a Reporter Out

“Help a Reporter Out,” otherwise known as HARO, is an easy and effective way to get publications to backlink to your site. Once you sign up for their service, you’ll receive daily emails from reporters looking for reliable sources to help them write their articles. If you can stay on top of responding, they’ll be more than happy to give you a backlink in exchange for your expertise.

3. Infographics

Building out your own infographics might seem complicated (not to mention expensive), but in reality, custom infographics are a relatively effortless and cost-effective way to seriously improve your SEO.

Even if you don’t have someone in-house who can handle graphic design, a quality infographic design from a freelancer shouldn’t run you more than $200 or so. Once your infographic is complete, you can submit it on infographic sharing sites and share it with other industry sites. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much traffic just one well-placed infographic can drive!

4. Use Social Media

This one is pretty self explanatory — if you’re not taking advantage of social media, you’re missing out on a lot of potential pageviews. So make sure everything you publish is easily shareable on social media! If your work is well-written and well-marketed, the internet will take care of the rest for you.

5. Build Internal Links

Technically this one isn’t backlinking, since internal links are links within your own site — but it’s still worth noting! After all, if you’re putting all this effort into backlinking effectively, you should be doing the same with the internal links you have on your own site.

For instance, when you’re linking to articles on your website, it’s best to link not only by theme, but also by recency. For example, if you’ve published a newer or more detailed version of a previous post, add a link to the new post at the top of the old one. That way, no matter what page people land on, they’ll click through to the newer page.

6. School Your Readers

When it comes to Google’s search ranking algorithm, how many backlinks your site has isn’t the only factor that matters — the quality and influence of the sites that are linking to you is also crucial.

As you might already have suspected, backlinks from .edu domains can seriously up your SERP rankings. If you’ve published any relevant thought leadership pieces, chances are that universities will be happy to link to you in their resource pages — but remember, you’ll have to do the reaching out! Even one or two of these links can be a site traffic goldmine.

7. Create Partnerships

If you can’t beat them, join them! By partnering up with other companies in your field, you’ll be able to drive more interest to each other’s sites.

One way to do this is by hosting an event with multiple partners and individually driving interest about the event on your respective blogs. Another way is to create a series of interlinked blogs, wherein every blog post refers to another one, so that (hypothetically) interested parties will cycle through as many blog posts — and therefore as many pages — as possible.

8. Answer Questions Online

Ever wonder who answers professional queries on Quora? Savvy businessmen, that’s who! These websites often receive the first line of inquiry from curious consumers — and if they get a sense that you know your stuff, they’ll almost certainly click through to your site. By consistently and reliably answering questions on Quora, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry while building a steady flow of new traffic.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer search engine optimization and analytics services to help businesses transform their websites into visible sources of knowledge online and answer the questions that matter most to your prospects. Learn more about SEO and analytics here.

Author Jamie Ayers

A graduate of Skidmore College, Jamie works at L&T as a content strategist, account manager, and editorial lead across a wide range of industries and fields, specializing in the digital economy, experiential marketing, and campaign-led initiatives. His other interests include electronics, Agatha Christie novels, and being outside.

More posts by Jamie Ayers