How to Build a Strong Backlink Profile?

Whether for traffic and conversions or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), backlinks always hold the interest of many marketers and webmasters. Many people have written countless articles on getting backlinks and will most likely continue to do so. But why exactly are backlinks beneficial? What's the difference between Follow and NoFollow backlinks, and what does a strong backlink profile need? And of course, how does one build a strong backlink profile? Let us delve into all of these questions here, one by one.

Why is building a strong backlink profile beneficial?

Starting with the most basic question, let us establish the importance of backlinks. You do need to make wise choices regarding your content creation, PR, and other fronts to get them. But why should you? The core benefits are twofold; SEO and traffic.


Firstly, backlinks are crucial for SEO; they send search engines all the proper signals to help rank your content higher. Follow backlinks from authoritative sources increase your own Page Authority (PA), and referral traffic signifies engagement. In short, backlinks make your site and content appear more valuable and thus help achieve higher rankings.


Secondly, whether Follow or NoFollow, all backlinks generate traffic. In turn, traffic translates to higher lead acquisition rates and more potential conversions. Even if we entirely disregard the SEO aspect, backlinks have demonstrable, tangible value toward driving sales.

Follow vs. NoFollow; what does a strong backlink profile need?

Now, having mentioned Follow and NoFollow links already, let us briefly make this very crucial distinction.

“Follow” is the default state of most links. In HTML code, Follow links look like this:

<a href="">example anchor text</a>

In contrast, “NoFollow” links must be specified as such using the rel="nofollow” tag. So they will look like this:

<a href="" rel="nofollow">example anchor text</a>

The crucial difference between the two is simple but very substantive; Follow links affect your PA, while NoFollow links don't. Thus, Follow backlinks from authoritative sources will directly boost your authoritativeness in the eyes of search engines. NoFollow backlinks will not, and will only generate traffic.

Now, this would indeed imply that strong backlink profiles only need Follow links. That's not the case, however. For one, search engines will suspect backlink profiles with predominantly Follow links and at times penalize them. Conversely, a balance between the two looks more natural. Second, and important enough to stress again, all backlinks generate traffic. Thus, with both of these in mind, you should ideally strive to get both instead of focusing on one.

Building a strong backlink profile

So we’ve established why backlinks have value, how Follow and NoFollow differ, and why you can benefit from both. The important question remains, however; how do you build a strong backlink profile? Consider the 5 following strategies and practices to get you started.

#1 Create quality content

SEO holds that "content is king". Others will say, "quality is king". Still, the concept remains – quality rules, and quality gets backlinks.

While “creating quality content” comes as too natural a suggestion, it is indeed the foundation of backlinks. People will share, engage with, and link back to quality content, and your SEO and conversions will benefit from it. Thus, consider the following fundamentals to improve your content creation:

  • Write error-free content; grammatical and other errors devalue your content.
  • Go for length and depth; long content ranks better in terms of SEO, and audiences appreciate deep dives into subjects.
  • Format your content; headings and subheadings, bullet lists, and other formatting tools help visitors scan and absorb your content.

Of course, should you have the option of adding your own media to it, you should. Videos, images, and other elements make content more appealing and shareable.

#2 Create infographics

On the subject of your own material, infographics are among the best content you can create. In this context, they serve three equally important functions:

  • They enrich your content; infographics increase your content’s value.
  • They may appear in image searches; proper alt text may rank your images for image searches, earning you traffic.
  • Others may organically share them; infographics are an excellent, digestible source of information. If yours are valuable, people will share them – earning you a backlink.

If this step is not within your reach, fear not; there are more options to explore.

#3 Use the skyscraper technique

With quality content in hand, you may then apply the skyscraper technique. Coined by Backlinko’s Brian Dean, this technique is as demonstrably effective as it is simple:

  1. Find content within your industry that performs well
  2. Expand on it, enrich it, and add value
  3. Reach out to platforms that host your competitors’ content and promote yours

This may sound curiously simple, but it is indeed a highly effective way to generate backlinks.

#4 Contribute user-generated content (UGC) to other sites

On the subject of creating content, you may also consider producing UGC for other sites. Granted, these will typically be NoFollow links, but a strong backlink profile needs those too.

This practice is actually fairly common, as most sites welcome additional content. It helps their SEO, too, after all. Therefore, if you can spare the time and resources, you may do so and benefit both parties involved. In fact, this may well pave the way for other business relations on top of your primary goal.

Still, when you do, it is wise to remember the following:

  • Follow their rules; sites will have vastly different submission rules. Pay utmost attention to their rules and standards before submitting content to prevent rejections and delays.
  • Offer quality content; artificial content written just for backlinks shows, and most websites frown upon it. Moreover, they will then likely turn down future submissions.
  • Don’t demand Follow links; most sites will tag UGC backlinks as NoFollow. If they don’t offer Follow links, don’t demand them – you don’t always need them anyway.

#5 Build backlinks through broken links and claim brand mention links

Finally, you may consider targeting broken links and brand mentions. The reason why these two get one paragraph is simple; both need you to scout the internet, not create content.

Broken links refer to links that lead to a 404 page. This may happen when pages make modifications to their structure or page names, among other reasons. Outside of fixing your own, then, you may scan other websites for broken links and offer to replace them with your own links. This tactic frequently works, as it benefits both parties. Tools to do so include, among others:

  • SemRush
  • SiteChecker
  • Google Webmaster

Similarly, brand mentions also require that you scout the internet; this time, for unlinked brand mentions. To do so, you may use such tools as the following:

  • SproutSocial
  • Hootsuite
  • BrandMentions

All you need to do in this case is politely reach out and ask for a backlink. You have already earned their mention, so why not a link that will also benefit their readers?


To summarize, backlinks are invaluable for both SEO and traffic. Whether they are Follow or NoFollow links, the above tactics should help you build a strong backlink profile and reap its benefits.

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