Backlinks are one of the trickier parts of SEO to do right. Unlike keyword optimization, which you can do yourself start-to-finish, backlinks mean relying on other people to link to you on their websites. And that usually means building trust with others in your industry. If you just hire a cheap SEO agency to do it for you, you can’t be sure where your links will end up. Plus, Google is getting smarter every day, and its algorithms might be able to tell when you’re just trying to trick it.

Here are eight suggestions for building high-quality backlinks:

  • Build a name for yourself and relationships in your industry. Even beyond SEO, this is a great call for your business. Being active on social media, providing value, and networking with others go a long way toward boosting your credibility, which makes people want to work with you (and trade favors like backlinking on each other’s sites).
  • Go for the visual appeal. Design an attractive infographic that people will want to share (and link back to you when they do). And make your website look polished and professional because viewers online do judge a site by its cover.
  • Write content that people WANT to link to. This speaks for itself! If you’re publishing typo-ridden blog posts that just restate the same things everyone else is saying, people won’t be jumping at the chance to promote that content on their sites. Hire good writers, even if you have to pay more. Or, if you write the content yourself, hire an editor who can make your words and concepts shine.
  • Be original. Want to stand out from the crowd? Try conducting a survey and then report on its results. This is a guaranteed way to be original because if you’re the one who published the data, people will link back to you anytime they mention it.
  • Write reviews or testimonials for other people’s websites. This can be one more step in those relationships you’re building! When you write a testimonial for their product or service, ask them to link your website along with your name (e.g. John Smith, yourwebsite.com).
  • Join industry Facebook groups. You can get connected with a lot of people this way that you might not have rubbed shoulders with otherwise.
  • Be genuine when you engage with others. If you just reach out with a brusque, all-business proposal for links, the response probably won’t be as positive. Invest thoughtful time into chatting with people, commenting on their posts, and getting to know their hopes and what they’re trying to accomplish with their websites.
  • Give backlinks to others. You can arrange a trade of sorts, where you both link to one another. Or, you can just link to someone’s website in good faith without reciprocation to show that you’re happy to do a good turn. For instance, reach out and offer to quote someone in one of your articles, and link to their site in the process.

These backlink building strategies will not only help you rank on Google but also help you establish yourself as a player in your industry. Two perks for the price of one!