If I said "link building," your first thought would probably be something like guest posts and content marketing.

You know... the written word.

But too few content marketers understand the value of building backlinks with images and visuals.

Sure, many have taken to Pinterest, Tumblr and Reddit to popularize their images—and these are all good platforms to use.

But these techniques are very basic, and the results are minimal.

Instead, let's discuss seven more advanced techniques to effectively earn quality backlinks with images.

1. Image Sharing

If nothing else, social media has taught us the importance of sharing information, memes, jokes, rumors et al. You can take advantage of this social behavior by allowing people to share your images, provided they link back to your site.

Let’s assume you have a tea-commerce website, and try to sell all sorts of tea online.

You have several tea brewing pictures, illustrations showing tea preparation methods, tea plantation photo shoots, etc.

Now you will find many fitness, health and wellness websites that are looking for good images online for free. You can provide images from your archives and ask for backlinks.

2. Image Bookmarking

Have you heard about Fotolog, Zoto, Unsplash, and Scrapblog, these are just a few of the many images bookmarking sites that allow you to promote your share worthy images and in return you get many good backlinks.

I know I have used Deviantart many times to find a good picture. The best part is these images are free, and all you have to do is link to image owner’s website.


3. Charts and Graphs

When it comes to link building through data visualization, one of the prime examples is InsiderIntelligence

Theirs is a very simple but effective strategy; do great research and create simple charts with their brand colors – black and red – which is praiseworthy because every time you see their chart, you know it’s from eMarketer.

Many people use their statistics as examples in their blogs and link to them while using their graphs. See how I found that using Reverse Image Search in Google.

google image search

4. Infographics

Marketing Infographic Example
Image source: Venngage

Now let’s talk about infographics.

Head over to any infographic directory and you will see many companies submitting their infographics there.

These directories have a PR of 6 and even 7 (Visual.ly), which make it worth your while to submit your infographics. See how buycalls.com is using OnlyInfographic to get more backlinks.

Other than this, you can personally contact webmasters of websites where you can feature your infographic and give them a heads up about your charts and infographics.

5. Badges and Awards

An excellent method for websites that provide awards, certificates, and custom badges to other blogs in their niche.

Let’s say, for instance, you are a travel website offering the best deals on hotels, flights, etc.

So you reach out to travel bloggers and give them custom badges for Best Blog Posts, Best Travel Knowledge, Best Backpacker, Globetrotter of the Year Award, etc.

This method can be replicated for your website partners, dealers and guest bloggers.

badge link building

6. Memes

Memes for Marketing
Image Source:Digitaloye

If you were one of those who said memes are a fad, it’s time to eat your words. Memes are just as popular as they were earlier. You will find memes about anything and everything on the internet.

However, a lot of people are missing out on a golden opportunity here. The memes are used freely without any credit as there is a lack of sufficient knowledge about the meme publishing rights.

So do some research on Google and find out all the people who are using your memes, write them to link to your website and you will get a surprising number of back links without actually creating new images.

7. How-to Guides and Illustrations

I think every website must have a few how to and illustrations no matter what their niche or topic.

  • How to find the best air ticket prices?
  • How to make the best apple pie?
  • How to impress your hot date in 5 steps?

You get the gist.

How-to guides and illustrations make not only good sharing material but also have greater chances to be referenced by bloggers.

One word of advice – make timeless pictures as in don’t overdo time-sensitive posts like "How to Make Money in 2019," "How to Invest in 2019," etc.

Here's an example of a blog post that was not evergreen, but made good use of its temporary nature:

illustration example


8. Guest Posts

Almost every guest post we write has many images for reference. We often source these images from the internet and create memes, charts etc. That’s how we make our posts look more appealing.

For instance, see how I smartly used the image above from our blog and linked it to one of our articles. A lot of bloggers are very strict about linking but they accept images happily, so this is a great way of working around their rules.

Final Thoughts on Building Backlinks with Images

Images are not there to beautify your blogs or websites. They have an excellent capability to go viral because of their inherent share-worthiness. Make sure you are using your images to their best capabilities.

A smart marketer will use every piece of content collateral created to do link building, whether it’s the written word, cartoons, memes or landscape photography. If you are not doing this, do it already.

Wait, you don’t have good images?

We are in 2019 and what’s more, we have tons of tools to create almost every type of images including memes, infographics, charts, GIFs, cinematography, etc.

You can use these tools to create awesome visual content, and if you have awesome visual content, people will be using them left, right and center. Just wait and see!