Ten Ways to Build Backlinks Without Spending a Dime

Backlinks are a key part of SEO and without them you can’t expect great search results. When you’re starting out it can be very difficult to get backlinks, especially on a shoestring budget that is all too common when starting a website or company. Here are some ways you can get backlinks for free.

Before starting I would like make a note about these suggestions. Most of these are “secondary” links meaning you aren’t just signing up and posting links, but your link is attached at your signature or profile. You should always avoid spamming websites, no exceptions. Do not make useless posts and bump threads just to get your link out there. It’s annoying to the forum members and makes you look bad.

1. Forum Signatures

This is one of the best places to get quality backlinks. These won’t drive a lot of traffic, but will help with your SEO. Add your URL (with desired anchor text) to your signatures and save it to your profile. Join the community, make intelligent posts and participate. You’ll be surprised what it brings in.

2. Directories

Believe it or not, directories are still a great place to get backlinks. Because so many people link back to them, they generally have good pagerank and rank well for many keywords. That being said be sure to add a link back to them and leave it there, otherwise you won’t be listed.

3. Blog Comments

This is another great place for some PR boost. When you comment on blog posts you have an option of putting in your URL. Again, don’t spam these blogs, try to contribute something useful and get a conversation started. The more intelligent and relevant your post is, the more likely people will click it, bringing in additional traffic.

4. Local Business / chamber of commerce

Check with your local chamber of commerce and see if you can get your link put on their website. In larger cities it may not be possible or they may charge a fee, but in smaller cities and towns it’s much easier.

5. Article Marketing

The article you’re reading is one that I’ve written for distribution. Useful, well written articles can spread all over the internet, and your link goes with it. There are thousands of sites dedicated to syndicated articles and you can submit yours and have it published. The links you put at the bottom will be spidered and counted in as your total backlinks.

6. Press Releases

A great press release will get you tons of attention, but even a press release nobody cares about will still be listed in some places. Include your link in the press release and you’ll see more backlinks soon. Don’t write junk or spammy releases, they’ll be ignored or rejected by most outlets.

7. Review Sites

By doing reviews for a product you can often use your link in your profile or a signature. This counts as a backlink from the sites you do a review on, so get reviewing. Just don’t do just reviews just for the link, and don’t ever review a product you haven’t actually used.

8. Link Exchange Sites

Link exchanges still exist! It’s hard to find good ones, but they’re out there. They’re good for building up backlinks and also good for finding relevant sites you may also be able to link exchange with. Contact the webmasters of the related sites and ask!

9. YouTube

This is a great place to build backlinks, but it takes a lot of work. You can put links on your profile and in signatures here, but you must contribute good intelligent posts or people will delete you. If you create useful and popular videos, you’ll get lots of traffic from the page as well as good backlinks. It takes a while to build up a following on YouTube, but once you do it pays off with more traffic and better backlinks!

10. Social Media sites

These links are probably the easiest ones to get for your site. Each link you post on a social media site is a backlink, but it’s also a good way to drive in traffic! Sign up for multiple sites and find people with similar interests and start posting! Don’t overload your accounts with links, especially if they are all to your site. Try to put in some real content, and you’ll make a lot more friends and your campaigns will be more effective. If you merely spam links all day you’ll be ignored and most people will not share them.

Conclusion

I hope I’ve given you some good ideas about places to find good backlinks for SEO. I over emphasised the fact that you shouldn’t ever spam these sites. Not only is it annoying to the site owners (who will delete your links and ban you) but it makes your company look bad as well. Participate intelligently and you will not only build backlinks, but potential customers as well. Good luck!

Jeremy Morgan is the lead SEO for a Portland Web Design firm and also runs an SEO Blog in his spare time.

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