Backlinks to the site are not in vain the topic of a good half of the articles devoted to SEO: the link profile of the site plays an important role in the promotion. At the same time, link buying makes up a significant proportion of your overall SEO budget.
As part of our post, we will talk about how to save money on buying backlinks and share 15 different ways to get backlinks to your site for free (or almost free).
1. Social networks
Using social networks is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get backlinks to your site and increase the visibility of your company (brand) in search results. Some social networks allow you to get dofollow links, some exclusively nofollow links. Despite the fact that the value of the former is significantly higher, do not underestimate the second type of links: a natural link profile should include not only dofollow, but also nofollow links.
- LinkedIn . A blogging platform within the social network LinkedIn allows users to seamlessly post nofollow links in their articles, useful for diluting your link profile organically. But don't despair: LinkedIn's value doesn't stop there. Well-written posts rank well in organic search, so you have every chance to properly promote yourself or your product.
- Pinterest and Tumblr . The two major global platforms for the exchange of visual content allow you to publish content with dofollow links and, in addition, successfully advance in organic image search.
- Youtube . If your content strategy still doesn't include YouTube promotion, it's time to think about it seriously. At least for the sake of coveted dofollow links and increased visibility in organic search results on Google.
- Facebook , Twitter and VKontakte . Even if you are not encouraged by the thought of endless (one might even say, thankless) work on nofollow links in social networks, we still advise you not to ignore the most popular global and regional social networks. They can become not only sources of nofollow links, but also attract targeted traffic to the site, as well as increase the company's visibility for branded queries in organic search results.
- Reddit . Reddit is one of those services that react extremely negatively to link spam and require users to deliberately and appropriately place links. It may sound intimidating, but once you understand the laws by which Reddit lives, the link posted on it will not only become an additional decoration for the link profile, but will also bring targeted traffic to the site.
2. Blogging platforms
Independent blogging platforms as well as blogging services from leading search engines can also provide backlinks and additional traffic to your site. When posting your publications on them, do not forget that publishing the same content on all platforms will obviously not play into your hands. In addition, each of the sites has its own unique features that should be taken into account when developing content.
- Blogger (ex-Blogspot). A blog service from Google that provides the ability to post dofollow links.
- Medium . A major independent service popular in professional circles. Alas, Medium links are provided with the rel = "nofollow noopener" attribute.
- Yandex Zen . Yandex's personal recommendation service, which includes personal and corporate blogs linked to your main website. Links are closed in nofollow, but can generate good referral traffic and, as we said earlier, dilute the link profile.
3. Services of questions and answers
The main usefulness of Q&A services in the context of promoting your website or brand lies not so much in generating backlinks as in increasing awareness, as well as directing traffic to the landing page. As a rule, Q&A services automatically assign rel = "nofollow" attribute to all links, but this does not mean at all that your site does not need such links.
Several main Q&A services deserve special attention, which can be useful for promoting your projects:
- Quora . A large international service of questions and answers, a significant part of which is tailored for questions of a professional nature. Useful for those who are promoting in foreign markets.
- Mail.ru replies . One of the largest Russian-language Q&A services. Most popular in Russia.
- Yahoo Answers . Popular Western service from the Yahoo search engine. It will come in handy for those who work in Western markets.
Commenting on forums using links is one of the simplest and most common methods of posting a link to a site for free. To use it, you just need to find relevant forums with topics that are most suitable for your niche.
First you need to check:
- does the forum have traffic,
- whether there is regular activity on it,
- who "lives" on the forum: real users or link builders.
In the process of writing comments, pay attention to the rules of each of the forums: some of them suggest that the user must earn a certain reputation for posting links, or they exclude this possibility altogether. Violation of the rules may result in a temporary or even life-long ban.
5. Sites with listings of companies / products
If the topic of ratings or lists (products / companies / tools) is relevant in your industry, you can analyze the existing options and try to supplement them with your product with a link to the site.
To find all the most popular niche listings, you can use one of Serpstat's tools - Keyword Analysis → SERP Analysis → Top by Keyword .
How your site is added to the list will depend on the format of the list itself. If it is in the form of an article, you will need to contact the author directly. If it is generated automatically, complete all the necessary procedures for registering your site (product) to get into the overall rating.
6. Guest posts or blog posts on themed media
The section "Blog" in thematic media can be considered the next link in the evolution of "author's columns" and the heading "letters from readers" in classical print media. The only difference is that posting is now much easier than it used to be. Now, to publish, it is enough to log in, download the material, taking care of the formatting and the presence of the necessary links, and click on the "Publish" button.
A similar scheme works successfully in relation to such niche media as, for example Spark . Within the framework of these two projects, user-generated content undergoes basic moderation, but does not require lengthy approvals and large-scale editing. On the one hand, this is the perfect way to leave an organic link on a trust site, and on the other, to earn great traffic directly from the site's news feed and organic search (provided that your material will interest readers and cause the slightest resonance).
In short, whatever one may say, publishing on blogs of popular niche media is a profitable venture :) On your part, it will only take time and a little effort to write unique and valuable content that must be approved for publication by the moderators of the selected site.
7. Link building on broken links
In the event that generating content for external sites or posting it turns out to be problematic (you run out of ideas for publications, or the site owner asks for too high a price), you can use another link building technique . It involves searching for broken links on the sites you are interested in and then replacing them with correct working links - already to your site, of course. The method includes several stages:
- We select sites.
- We conduct a technical audit of selected sites in Netpeak Spider to find broken links .
- We unload and analyze broken links.
- We write to the author (owner) of the blog and propose to write new material of similar content so that it can be referred to and, thus, organically replace the broken link.
8. Placement of reviews on the sites of services that you use
Many foreign companies that provide goods or services for business willingly post reviews of their users, indicating along with the name of the company or website, which is especially important for us.
Take advantage of this little conceited weakness and ask your colleagues to leave reviews on the sites of all the services you use in your work.
9. Participation in conferences and specialized events
Participation in specialized events can not only benefit you in terms of traditional PR, but also open up additional opportunities for link building. Send an employee as a speaker, become an information partner or sponsor, and you are guaranteed to receive your cherished backlinks from the event website. Do not forget to voice the requirements for links at the start of cooperation with the organizers of the event.
10. Collaboration with bloggers
In an ideal world, affiliate (advertising) materials on blogs include an active dofollow link (and not even one), and therefore are of interest to both content marketers and SEO specialists.
Is this method free? If your company has sufficient authority on social networks or a large base of email subscribers , the blogger's PR on your part can be a good argument for cooperation. Otherwise, you can always offer a barter payment format if the blogger might really need your product.
This method of obtaining links can be called the most resource-intensive. This is not about money: in this case, we are talking about the cost of time and your nerve cells. Creating a page on Wikipedia will require persistence on your part: you will have to face a whole series of edits before the publication is approved by the administrators. However, when the page is published, you will receive your cherished trust backlink.
12. Services of journalistic inquiries
There are a number of specialized services for journalists in the world that allow them to quickly find experts in a particular field and receive professional feedback.
Within the framework of such services, registration is provided for both parties, and you, in turn, can register as an expert, which journalists can refer to in their materials. To interact with Russian-language media, you can use the Pressfeed service , Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is suitable for the Western market
13. Search for company mentions without links
If your company (and its website, respectively) is known outside of its office, then it is probably mentioned with some frequency in thematic media and blogs (both personal and corporate). Some of them put links that can be easily tracked (for example, using Google Analytics or Serpstat), others are limited to text mentions. In the case of the former, everything is already clear, but what about mentions without links? Of course, correct the situation and place beautiful and correct links to your site everywhere!
In order to find all text mentions and provide them with appropriate links, you need to follow these steps:
- Seek mentions.
This can be done in a Google search using several basic search operators. To compose a search query, it is enough to use a template of the form:
"brand name" -yoursite.ru -twitter.com -facebook.com -google.com -vk.com Quotes are used to exactly match a key phrase, and a hyphen is used to exclude mentions from search results from your own website and, for example, from social networks. It will also not be superfluous to set up regular tracking of mentions. To do this, use the free functionality of Google Alerts or any other specialized service like Mention .
- Write to webmasters with a request to place links in the necessary places.
And it's all? - you ask. Yes, it's very simple. Write a grateful, polite, and friendly email asking for links. If necessary, send another letter in a few days, but without excessive fanaticism.
Do not forget that before placing (or attempting to place) links on sites with mentions of your company, you should first make sure that the site is not spammed and does not automatically parse content, as well as sell links. You can check this using various metrics available in Netpeak Checker, in particular - Moz Spam Score .
14. .edu Sites (Educational Partnerships)
Government and educational domains tend to have high trust scores and are therefore particularly attractive for link building. Getting links from government sites is somewhat problematic, while it is quite possible to negotiate with educational sites.
There are only three scenarios for posting backlinks on educational sites: in the comments, in the places of broken links, and directly in the text.
The first technique refers to ordinary spam and will not bring you any benefit: Google has a negative attitude towards sites with hundreds of link comments, regardless of their domain zone. We already talked about the second in paragraph 7, and it, in fact, works for most sites, regardless of the topic.
The third technique will require much more effort from you than the previous two, but it also promises to bring more benefits :) cooperation - exchange of information, admission of students for internships, and so on.
15. Platforms (catalogs) for publishing reviews
Another place to post a link to the site for free can be specialized directories for publishing reviews. They can focus on a specific topic (information technology, gastronomy, beauty industry, etc.).
Formation of a link profile is one of the most resource-intensive processes in search engine optimization. However, you can avoid significant financial costs by using free backlink sources. These include:
- social networks,
- blogging platforms,
- services of questions and answers,
- websites with lists of companies / products,
- thematic media blogs,
- sites with broken links,
- reviews on the websites of the services you use,
- websites of conferences and other specialized events,
- relevant author blogs,
- services of journalistic inquiries,
- sites with mentions without links,
- .edu sites,
- platforms (catalogs) for publishing reviews.
Know other free sources of quality backlinks? Share your experience and we'll be happy to add your recommendations to the list.
If you still have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them in the comments below the post: we will try to answer them as fully as possible.