Relevant backlinks are links pointing to your site from another site that’s related to your industry. They can boost your site’s authority and ranking. We created this guide to help you learn how to earn quality backlinks, with the best tools to use along the way.

Getting backlinks for your website can increase your search engine presence, drive referral traffic to your website, and boost conversions.

But it’s important to get the right type of backlinks. Relevant backlinks make it easier to achieve your SEO strategy, attract the right customers, and avoid the risk of search engine penalties.

If you plan to enhance your backlink profile, this guide will show you the importance of backlink relevance and how to get high-authority links for your site.

What are relevant backlinks?

A relevant backlink is a link pointing to your website from another website that is closely connected or is thematically related to your own website.

Let’s say you own a website that sells vegan groceries. An example of a relevant backlink for your website may be a food news blog that covers a range of topics, including vegan food.

What are niche relevant backlinks?

A niche relevant backlink is one from a website in exactly the same industry or sector as yours.

While relevant backlinks are fantastic for your website’s SEO, niche-relevant backlinks are even better.

Earlier we mentioned that an example of a relevant backlink for a vegan grocery may be a food blog. An example of a niche-relevant backlink would be a high-profile vegan blogger, well-known in the food industry for their innovative vegan recipes.

This backlink is highly valuable because it’s more thematically related to your website, and has a more prolific reputation amongst the vegan community.

As a result, this niche-relevant backlink would help your website in the search engine rankings more.

Niche relevance also works for local SEO. For example, if you’re a plumber in San Diego, a link from a fellow San Diego business will be more relevant than one in Orange County or Santa Cruz.

How to get niche relevant backlinks

When building backlinks, the more relevant (or niche relevant) your links are, the better. Here are ways to find relevant links to boost your ranking in the search engine results.

Use pitching tools like HARO

Pitching tools connect sources and publishers, meaning you can find publications and blogs needing expert quotes. In return, you get valuable backlinks from relevant sites.

Help a Reporter out (HARO) homepage

Most pitching platforms are free to use and provide several backlink opportunities a day. Here are some of our favorites to get you started:

Quality is better than quantity when it comes to pitching and getting quality relevant backlinks. Jonathan Feniak at LLC Attorney uses sites like HARO to get backlinks for his firm.

“I’m not going to waste my limited time pitching every marketing query on HARO when I know my expertise will be surface-level at best,” shares Feniak. “If you pitch stories that fall squarely in your niche, you’re much more likely to get a backlink or quote.

“The biggest shift in our conversion rate came from narrowing our focus. Ignore generic business queries, and zero in on the most relevant topics to improve your chances of getting backlinks.”

Find guest posting opportunities

Guest posting (or guest blogging) is when you create a piece of content for another website. In return for creating the content you get a link back to your website.

Guest posting allows you to bring your valuable insight to a relevant website. This exposes your brand to a new audience and enhances your link profile and boosts SEO.

The key is finding relevant websites or news sites that accept guest posts. You can do this by searching in Google. For example, you can use the phrase “write for us” combined with your sector or industry, in this case, digital marketing.

Google Search for the keyword “write for us” and digital marketing

Other good combinations of keywords to use include:

  • “Contribute to” + sector/industry
  • “Submit article” + sector/industry
  • “Guest post” + sector/industry

Another easy way to find guest posting opportunities is to look at your competitor’s backlink profile. If a relevant or niche website links to your competitor, they’re highly likely willing to link to you too. We’ll show you backlink analysis tools below.

Don’t forget to do your due diligence to make sure the websites accepting guest posts are reliable, authoritative, and credible. Domain authority (DA) is a quick way to see which websites are worth pitching to. The higher, the better for visibility and link juice.

Moz domain authority report for

Create innovative, high-quality content

Creating high-quality content and adding it to your website increases the chances of relevant websites in your industry linking to it. By linking to great content, websites can enhance the user experience, provide additional context to their own copy, and build good relationships with other businesses.

David Gaglione, Founding Partner of PS212 understands the benefits content marketing can bring to your backlinking strategy.

“Visual content, such as images, videos, infographics, and screenshots, are highly sought-after by other content marketers,” says Gaglione. “And they’ll often offer backlinks in return for using your content on their website or blog.”

“The great thing about this link-building method is it also drives your content strategy. One piece of visual content that goes viral can bring in hundreds of backlinks per year.”

One strategy we use a lot in our content marketing at HawkSEM is the “skyscraper technique.” This is when you analyze competitors’ content, and then create something better and bigger.

For example, one of our competitors wrote an article about how to create an SEO plan, so we created a bigger article with a free downloadable checklist.

You can then encourage relevant websites to link to your content instead.

Pay attention to trends

Often, being the first to create content about a particular topic can mean you get first dibs on relevant backlinks.
Michael Alexis, CEO of uses trending topics to create content that people want to link to.

“We’ve had great success organically earning high-quality backlinks by quickly producing content for trending terms in our niche,” shares Alexis. “Our content team uses a combination of social listening and keyword research tools like Google Trends to detect up-and-coming keywords.”

For example, when their content lead noticed the repetition of “quiet quitting” in her LinkedIn feed, she quickly produced a comprehensive guide.

Even though concrete search engine results page (SERP) data was scarce at the time of writing, they had an instinct that the topic was on the rise — and they were right. Their efforts paid off with several shares and backlinks, including a link from Bloomberg.

Quiet Quitting article on the website

“Writing about topics that pick up traffic before much content exists on them can give you authority — both in terms of being used as a source by other publications, and getting an early advantage in search rankings,” continues Alexis.

Use white hat link building techniques

One of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make, and one that will undo all your hard work building high-quality links and getting organic traffic, is using black hat link building techniques.

Differences between white hat and black hat link building


What is black hat link building? Black hat link building is when you use techniques to build links that go against search engine guidelines. For example, if you buy relevant backlinks rather than earning them.

Other black hat link building techniques include:

  • Getting links on low-quality, spammy websites
  • Using redirects to confuse the search engines
  • Over-optimizing anchor text (for example, overly long anchor text or anchor text that uses too many keywords)
  • Using private blog networks (PBNs). These are a network of websites created just to link out to other sites

While black hat link building may drive initial results, it’ll eventually lead to search penalties. This means your web pages may be demoted or even removed entirely from the SERPs.

White hat link building is the opposite of black hat link building and focuses on organic, natural link building. While it might take longer, it’s less likely to lead to penalties.

All backlinks need to come from a relevant and trusted source.

Why does backlink relevance matter?

So why are relevant and niche relevant backlinks good for SEO, and how can you use them in your link building strategy?

Backlinks are an important variable in increasing your organic rankings. For example, according to Backlinko, the first result in Google has 3.8 more backlinks than the rest of the results on the first page.

However, as websites have evolved, so has the search engine algorithm. In the past, getting backlinks from random, irrelevant sites was fine. You’d see people paying for links on low-quality directories to get a boost in the results.

This led to the search engine results being flooded with poor-quality web pages that frustrated users.

In response, the search engines placed more value on high-quality websites. For instance, the Google algorithm places more emphasis on content that’s relevant, helpful, and trustworthy.

As a result, a link to a relevant or niche relevant website will do more for your search engine ranking than a low-quality, irrelevant link.

Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM, is a firm believer in how relevant backlinks can benefit companies in the search engine rankings (SERPs).

“While creating a strong backlink profile can be one of the more challenging parts of the SEO process, it’s well worth the time and investment,” explains Yadegar. “Companies that invest in a strategic and well thought out offsite SEO campaign see a significant uplift in their overall SEO success.

By creating high-quality content that encourages backlinks, we helped Easly increase its referring domains by 2,500%. This led to a 1500% increase in its brand’s keyword portfolio.

The best tools for finding relevant backlinks

How do you find the most authoritative websites to get backlinks from? Taking advantage of a SEO tool can identify potential websites to pitch to. Here are some of our favorites for finding relevant backlinks.


Cost: From $99 a month
Free version? Yes

Ahrefs comes with lots of nifty tools for identifying relevant backlinks.

Ahrefs Site Explorer lets you find 404 pages, which is fantastic for broken link building. This is when you identify broken links on a relevant website, and ask the webmaster or site owner to link to your content instead.

Broken links report in Ahrefs Site Explorer

If you don’t have a paid subscription, Ahrefs Backlink Checker is a useful tool. Use it to identify backlinks on any site, determine a site’s authority, and look for broken web links.

Backlink profile for using the Ahrefs backlink checker

Moz Pro

Cost: From $99 a month
Free version? Yes

Moz Pro has a selection of backlinking tools you can use to determine your own backlink profile and identify link building opportunities.

One of the tools we love is Link Tracking Lists to manage your link outreach. Just upload a list of the websites you want to get links from, and Moz Pro will tell you if they’re linking to your site. You can also add notes so your team knows what is happening with link outreach at any given time.

Link Tracking List report in Moz Pro

Another benefit of Moz is that it provides spam score metrics for all websites. This means you can identify websites that are safe to link to and ones that may harm your SEO efforts.

Spam score profile on Moz Pro for


Cost: From $129.95 a month
Free version? Yes

Semrush has its own link building tool which identifies potential backlinking opportunities. The platform provides you with contact information and lets you contact website owners directly within Semrush, meaning you can keep a centralized log of all your communication.

Semrush’s link building tool

Another great tool Semrush offers is the backlink gap tool. This compares your backlink profile against a competitor to find potential opportunities.

Semrush’s backlink gap tool

Google Search Console

Cost: Free

Google Search Console is a must-have for any website. Use it to identify which websites are linking to your site and which pages they are linking to.

Backlinking report in Google Search Console

If a particular page is getting a lot of backlinks from relevant websites, it’s a positive sign that this type of content is popular. This means creating similar content could lead to more backlinks.

Which backlinking tool is right for you?

We recommend adding Google Search Console on your website as standard because it’s great for enhancing your SEO and searching for any potential issues.

Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush all come with free trials so you can try them and see which brings the best results.

The takeaway

It’s true that instigating a link-building campaign can be one of the hardest parts of SEO. One in five digital marketers say it’s their least favorite aspect of the search engine optimization process!

The great thing about relevant and niche relevant backlinks is that you can get more for less. One relevant backlink will do more for your search engine presence than several low-quality, irrelevant links. This makes backlink building less of a time-consuming process.

When working with a digital marketing agency, it’s important they understand the value relevant and niche relevant links can bring, and factor this into your SEO strategy. At HawkSEM, we offer high-quality off page SEO services that drive results for your business.

Want to see how we can get you valuable backlinks from authoritative peers in your industry? Get in touch with our backlink experts today.

Kate Ingham-Smith

Kate Ingham-Smith

is a freelance writer and founder of Keep it Simple Copywriting. Kate has over 15 years of experience as a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, paid advertising, CRO, and UX.