Getting a backlink from a highly reputable and authoritative website like the BBC isn’t easy. It’s a bit of a cliche in SEO circles, with the BBC and Forbes being perhaps the two most quoted “holy grail” sources for desirable backlinks.
However, as you can see from the Google Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools) image of a website I regularly work on, it is indeed possible with the right approach. If you’d like to emulate this, here are some strategies you can try to increase your chances of getting a backlink from the bbc.co.uk website: too.
How I did it
I suppose you could say that I got lucky. I wrote a killer article relating to recycling and sustainability; a noble topic if ever there was one – and many, many months later, it got picked up by a BBC journalist who was writing an article in the same environmental niche for the BBC’s Future Planet sub-site.
By sticking to favourable topics like this, you’re more likely to get a BBC backlink by creating great content that a journalist will want to link to for a source reference. Oh, and it goes without saying that your article should be factually accurate and squeaky clean. In short, if you create high-quality, unique, and newsworthy content that’s well-written, well-researched, informative, and engaging, you’re more likely to succeed.
SEO – Make sure your article/blog post gets found
It’s no good writing a great article if no one ever finds it on the internet. This is where being mindful of SEO techniques can really help. For example, you probably came across this article by searching for something along the lines of “how to get a backlink from the BBC”, “get backlink from BBC website” or something vaguely similar so make sure your article contains a healthy dose of the keywords that people will want to use to find an article such as yours.
You’ll also notice that this page is extremely lean with no frills. This makes it lightning-fast and well-optimised. These are both key ranking factors for good SEO.
You could try and build relationships with journalists and editors. If you can ‘network’ and build relationships with journalists/editors at the BBC, you’re in with a great chance. Alternatively, you can try and connect with them through social media platforms instead e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn etc. or even by attending relevant industry events.
The ‘expert’ approach
Not everyone is an expert in their chosen field but if you are, you have a distinct head start. It’s a bit of a long shot but if you have expertise in a specific field or niche you can position yourself as an authority on the subject. Offer insightful comments, write guest articles, or contribute to discussions on BBC platforms such as radio shows or podcasts. This can increase your visibility and credibility, making it more likely for the BBC to link back to your website.
Again, this isn’t for everyone but if you can provide exclusive data or research on a topic that isn’t available anywhere else, the Beeb may consider using your findings as a source for their stories. Make sure your data is well-researched, reliable, and presented in a clear and concise manner.
Try HARO or JournoRequests
This one is definitely doable. Keep an eye on websites like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) or PRJournoRequest, where journalists (including a few from the BBC), may post requests for information, quotes, or expert insights. Make sure you respond promptly and professionally. If your contribution is used in their story, it may well include a backlink to your website and don’t be afraid to ask for one either.
Make comments on BBC articles
Engage with BBC content by commenting on BBC articles. Participate in any discussions you come across and share their content on social media. This way, you can steadily build relationships with their editorial team and increase your visibility which may, just may lead to a backlink opportunity.
It’s fair to say that getting a backlink from the BBC or a similar high-authority website is hard. It will take time and persistence. Remember, I did it by creating valuable content that one of their journalists found and naturally wanted to link to.