Once you understand the value of backlinks for SEO, the next natural question is: Now how the heck do I build them? Let’s find out.

In “What are backlinks?”, we defined backlinks and why they’re valuable for your website’s marketing and SEO strategies. What we (intentionally) didn’t dive into was how to build backlinks.

As with most marketing / SEO efforts, the backlink building process starts with analysis. Because the value of a backlink has a direct relationship to the value of the website it appears on, you first need to know what sites warrant outreach in your backlink building campaign.

Analyze potential publishers

But how do you gauge site quality in an objective (or at least, non-subjective) way? There are five key ways to do that:

But how do you gauge site quality in an objective (or at least, non-subjective) way? There are five key ways to do that:

1. Check for the “no follow” tag to external links

But publishers can also turn that flow of authority off by adding the rel=”nofollow” tag to external links. If a publisher nofollows their external links, time spent building backlinks there equals time wasted.

(At least, it’s time wasted in terms of backlink building. Such a link could still bring you tons of traffic and help elevate your brand, so it might still be worth it.)

To check if a publisher uses nofollow links, you can use an extension like NoFollow or just use the inspector built into most modern browsers.

2. Check the site’s Domain Authority

The SEO gurus at MOZ created a metric to measure website quality that they call “Domain Authority.” It can be a handy way to think of a complex set of interrelated qualities in terms of a single hard number — as long as you keep in mind that it’s a “fuzzy” number at best.

3. Consider publishing frequency

Unsurprisingly, Google likes sites that frequently publish new helpful info (and keep their content up to date), and dislikes sites that … don’t. So aim for the former and avoid the latter like the plague — but keep in mind that this is most important for sites where timeliness matters.

4. Look at direct traffic volume

5. Is the site in your niche?

Freelancer, Digital Marketer, Network Marketer