In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, inbound links (also known as backlinks) remain a cornerstone of a successful SEO strategy. This process gained popularity in Google’s earliest incarnation (then known as “backrub”), which favored sites that seemed to be at the center of their online ecosystems. After all, inbound links are not just pathways leading back to your website; they are votes of confidence from one site to another, signals to search engines that others find your content valuable. For web publishers, mastering the art of building inbound links is essential for improving search engine rankings, driving traffic, and establishing authority in their niche.

This article serves to both highlight the importance of inbound links, but also to provide specific suggestions as to how you might go about building a network of quality links pointing to your website. We’ve even included some proposed email templates that you could use for this process, to further simplify the task for you.

Understanding the Importance of Inbound Links

Before diving into the how-tos, it’s crucial to understand why inbound links matter:

  • SEO Benefits: Search engines like Google use inbound links as a key ranking factor. A website with a high number of quality inbound links is often perceived as more authoritative, which boosts its position in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Referral Traffic: Inbound links from high-traffic websites can direct a steady stream of visitors to your site. Some websites receive more traffic from referrals than from search engines or social media, so the value of this source cannot be overlooked.
  • Brand Visibility and Authority: Being linked by reputable sites can enhance your brand’s visibility and position your website as an authority in your field. That, in turn, can lead to more collaboration requests, podcast interview invitations and all the other benefits that come from being seen as a leader in a given content niche.

Effective Strategies for Building Inbound Links

1. Create High-Quality, Shareable Content

  • Value-Driven Content: Produce well-researched, informative, and engaging content. This can range from blog posts, infographics, videos, to comprehensive guides. If your content is sufficiently attractive and compelling, other web publishers could decide that it’s easier to link to your content rather than try to create something similar for themselves.
  • Skyscraper Technique: Find popular content in your niche, create something better, and reach out to websites that linked to the original content. This incremental content improvement is good for audiences, and can deliver mutual benefit to you and for the site that previously linked to lower-quality content.

2. Guest Blogging

  • Identify Target Blogs: Look for blogs in your niche that accept guest posts. If those blogs also happen to carry a high domain authority score (this can be checked using tools such as, then all the better.
  • Pitch Compelling Topics: Once you’ve identified a few quality target blogs, reach out to them and propose the creation of topics that are both relevant to the target blog’s audience and provide a natural opportunity to link back to your site. In an ideal exchange, you should create content for this guest blog that is sufficiently unique and compelling so as to add genuine value to the blog that will post this for you, while including one or more links back to relevant parts of your website, so that you benefit as a result.

3. Leverage Social Media

  • Promote Content: Share your content on social media platforms to increase its visibility. This should be done through not only your own social media accounts, but by making your content readily shareable so that others are encouraged to post it to their groups and pages.
  • Engage with Influencers: Connect with influencers in your niche and encourage them to share your content. In many cases, influencers won’t consider sharing commercial links unless they are paid for the privilege, but if your content is particularly funny, fascinating or timely, some influencers may be eager to share your material to generate a reaction from their audience.

4. Use Resource Links from Trusted Sites

  • Resource Page Link Building: Identify websites in your niche with resource pages and suggest adding your site as a resource. Links placed within directories or resource/link pages don’t tend to be assigned the same level of relevance as links that are more contextually-integrated, but these can still help to a degree and tend to be easier to secure.

5. Broken Link Building

  • Find Broken Links: Use tools such as ahrefs to find broken links on websites in your niche, or find sites that are linking to a competitor of yours that no longer exists. Use this as an opportunity to help the websites to repair their broken links, without having to spend time looking for new content.
  • Offer Your Content as a Replacement: To keep things easy for the web publishers in question, reach out to the webmaster and suggest replacing the broken link with a link to your relevant content. If they’re able to keep other content on their blog or article the same, while simply replacing the link and its anchor text, the offer is often compelling enough to encourage them to switch. Check out the template below for a guide as to how this email might be phrased.

Templates for Outreach

The following two email templates provide you with a proposed structure for your own outreach emails. Of course, you don’t have to use these word-for-word, and it is a good idea to incorporate some of your own personality into the emails to add to their authenticity. Hopefully, though, they provide you with enough of a starting point to get you going with this process.

Guest Blogging Pitch

Subject: Exclusive Guest Post Proposal for [Blog Name]

Dear [Editor's Name],

I've been a follower of [Blog Name] for some time and particularly enjoyed your recent post on [Topic]. It inspired me to write a piece that I believe your audience would find valuable.

The article, titled [Your Article Title], covers [Brief Description]. I think it would resonate with your readers because [Reason].

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to [Blog Name] and hope that you choose to publish this piece. Please let me know if you'd be happy to proceed. There's no cost involved, though the article will include a link back to my site as credit. I hope that's okay.

Thanks in advance,
[Your Name]

Broken Link Building Email

Subject: Found a Broken Link on [Website Name]

Hi [Webmaster's Name],

While browsing your excellent article on [Article Topic], I noticed a broken link in the section [Specify Section]. I believe one of my recent articles on [Your Article Topic] could be a great replacement.

Would you consider updating the link to point to my resource? It's an in-depth guide that [Explain Value]. If so, the new link is as follows:
[Link URL]

Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work on [Website Name]!

Best wishes,
[Your Name]

Best Practices and Tips

  • Prioritize Quality Over Quantity: Focus on acquiring links from authoritative and relevant websites. Don’t bother with services that offer to add your link to 100s or 1000s of websites for a couple of dollars, as these will often be low-quality sites and directories that deliver no real value to you. A handful of links from high-authority websites will be vastly more effective.
  • Be Genuine in Your Outreach: Personalize your communication and avoid a salesy tone. Include a snippet of information in your approach that indicates you are familiar with the target website and/or its author.
  • Monitor Your Backlink Profile: Use tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, or Moz to track your backlinks and their impact.
  • Avoid Black-Hat Techniques: Steer clear of buying links or participating in link farms. Beyond being ineffective, these practices can actually lead to penalties from search engines, which can undo many of the gains you have already made.


Building inbound links is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires consistent effort, creativity, and a focus on building relationships within your industry. By implementing these strategies and leveraging the provided templates, web publishers can effectively enhance their link-building efforts, leading to improved SEO, increased traffic, and greater online authority. Go forth and build!

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