If you are new to SEO, you should know that there are many things needed for a properly optimized website, and a lot more for you to show up high in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In 2021, one of the most critical factors for high rankings are backlinks.

Essentially, backlinks are a signal to search engines that your website is legitimate and others vouch for your content. As a result, Google puts websites and pages with more (authoritative) backlinks higher in the SERPs.

1. How Do You Earn Quality Backlinks?

The answer is simple – you need to identify the right websites related to your industry/niche and start approaching them with an offer. The offer here would mean free content for them, which you need to write, and a backlink that you will get in exchange for that. It is important to mention that most quality backlinks are not free.

However, an email with the subject “Hi, Tom” does not always guarantee a backlink. You will need a more creative and genuine approach. 

Below, we list an overview for earning and giving backlinks and how to do it right. This guide aims to help you get your article published on a popular website so that it links back to the original source (your website) and you get that much-appreciated backlink.

Find a website and understand its purpose

The first step in getting backlinks is finding the ideal website(s) and doing some research. Ideally, you should target websites in the same industry and niche as you, and sites where you can easily find information about the editor. 

Our advice is to go for successful websites but not ones that are too popular. To ensure that they are legit and their backlink is powerful enough to help your website’s SEO, you can always check their Domain Authority (DA) on this link. 

Generally speaking, any domain authority above 30 (on a scale of 1-100) is a good one. By visiting the link above, you can also check the website’s backlink profile and see how many backlinks they have.

Refer to this tool for assessing a Domain Rating (DR) and backlink profile on Ahrefs.com.

2. Determine a Useful Topic

Some websites have defined target audiences, while others talk to different and more general groups of people. You should understand the purpose of each website and try to fit in with your article idea.

We suggest you do your research, see the angle they have (whether they are advice-driven or focused on business) and change your approach accordingly. After all, journalists are doing you a favor with a backlink – so try to create something that will blend in nicely. You can always use our SEO copywriting tips when writing your article.

3. Craft the First Email to the Editor

Once you find the right website for your needs, you should plan your first email along with your article idea or a draft of your article. Remember, sending out a piece that you will write specifically for that website will help both you and them – you will get a backlink, and they will get free content.

When sending out the email, make sure that you clearly communicate your idea and intention. Show that you are ready to brainstorm, edit, and come to them with the perfect angle that supports their editorial calendar. Your willingness to work hard will hopefully pay off in the long run. So, even if you don’t get a reply, we suggest doing the same thing when contacting other website editors.

To help you out, we are attaching one powerful email template that you can use when you begin your outreach to editors.

Hi [Name],
[Your Name] here.

I am a huge fan of your site [Their Website] and have really been enjoying your content. In fact, I have a similar blog where I publish content centered around topics like these.
I have some new post ideas that your readers would receive value from.
I was wondering if you’d be open to a guest blog post with a backlink to my website.
Here are the ideas:
[Topic 1]
[Topic 2]
[Topic 3]
To give you an idea of my writing style, here are two of my best posts that I’m linking:
[Your Post 1]
[Your Post 2]
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
I look forward to our next conversation.

Regards,
[Your Name]
[Your Telephone Number]
[Your Website]

4. Be Persistent but not Annoying

As we mentioned above, being persistent will help you get more backlinks in the long run. However, there is a line between persistent and annoying – make sure not to cross it. For instance, if your email doesn’t get a reply, don’t push the editor by emailing them again. Instead, ignore it and focus your attention on another website.

You may or may not get a reply, and sometimes, you may get a negative one. If that happens more than you planned, lower the bar and start contacting editors in less-known websites. After all, any backlink is better than no backlink, and you can use this alternate strategy to maximize your content performance.

5. If You Aren’t Having Success, Hire an Experienced Agency to Obtain Quality Backlinks for You

It’s important to mention that 80% of an effective SEO strategy is rooted in quality backlink acquisition. The challenge comes in when editors get too many offers. Many inquiries come from organizations whose websites are subpar in UX/UI design and editors don’t want to be connected to a site or brand that doesn’t suit up or show up well.

If you contacted many editors with your article(s) and never heard back, the next logical step would be hiring someone to acquire backlinks for you. The good thing is that there are plenty of backlink services out there, and you can pay for quality backlinks.

As we said at the beginning of this article, backlinks are only one piece of the big and challenging puzzle called search engine optimization (SEO). If you want to make most of this puzzle and start ranking high on the Web, you will need a complete approach that includes many other factors.

— Devine Solutions Group is a local resource for effective marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. Beth Devine is one of the most sought-after marketing experts in the Central Valley. She is the founder and principal of Devine Solutions Group, an award-winning digital marketing agency headquartered in Tracy, CA. Connect with Beth by either calling 833-933-8463 or email her at beth@devinesolutionsgroup.com.