How to Use Reddit For SEO Link Building [2023 Update]

With millions of active users and thousands of communities dedicated to almost every topic imaginable, Reddit offers endless opportunities to build links and drive traffic to your site.

But building Reddit backlinks can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the platform. From finding relevant subreddits to understanding the lingo, there’s a lot you need to get the hang of. 

We’ll cover all the basics and more in this guide. Let’s roll. 

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Is Reddit Good For Backlinks?

Yes and no. Reddit backlinks aren’t exactly considered high-quality because of a few reasons: 

  • Anyone can get Reddit backlinks: You won’t be the only one using Reddit to build backlinks. There are probably hundreds of people doing the same as you read this. That makes Reddit backlinks less valuable than those coming from more high-authority sites. 
  • Reddit links are marked as nofollow by default: Nofollow links don’t pass authority to the websites they’re linking to, which makes them less valuable than dofollow links.
  • Reddit backlinks don’t have a lot of authority and link juice: Because of the reasons we mentioned, Reddit backlinks won’t help your rankings in search engines as much as links from more authoritative sites.
  • Others can downvote your submissions or mark them as spam: Reddit users don't like promotional posts, so they may downvote yours or mark them as spam. If that happens, your posts and links may get removed or become as good as invisible to other users. 

With that said, Reddit backlinks can still be valuable for your business. 

In fact, Reddit link building has some serious advantages over building links on other sites:

  • Anyone can do it: This can also be a pro, as it implies you don't need special skills or expertise to build backlinks on Reddit. All you need is an account and some willpower.
  • It's free: You can build backlinks on Reddit free of charge, making it an attractive option if you’re on a tight budget.
  • No professional link building help needed: You don't need to hire professional link builders to build backlinks on Reddit. You can do it yourself with a little bit of effort and persistence.

Like most things in life, Reddit link building has pros and cons. 

But if you do it right, it can only help your search engine optimization efforts, not hurt them. When you add to that that building links on Reddit is completely free, it becomes obvious that it would be a shame not to use the platform as part of your SEO strategy. 

Must-Know Reddit Terminology

Reddit is quite different from other social media platforms and forums you may have used before. It even has its own terminology, and getting familiar with it in advance will help you get results faster. 

So, here are a few Reddit-specific terms you should know: 

  • Subreddit: A specific forum or community on Reddit dedicated to a particular topic or interest, indicated by “/r/” in its name. Each subreddit has its own set of rules and guidelines, such as forbidding text-only posts or offensive language.
  • Upvote: Equivalent to "likes" on other social media platforms; a way for users to show that they like or agree with a particular post or comment. Upvoted posts or comments get more visibility. 
  • Downvote: The opposite of upvote. Downvoted posts become less visible on specific subreddits and the site as a whole.
  • Karma: A measure of a user's reputation or popularity on Reddit. It’s calculated based on the number of upvotes and downvotes on users' posts and comments.
  • OP: “Original poster;" the person who made the original post in a subreddit or thread.
  • Repost: A post that has been made before in the same subreddit or on Reddit in general. Reposts are generally discouraged on Reddit, as users prefer to see new and original content.
  • Reddiquette: The informal rules and guidelines for how to behave on Reddit.
  • Shadow-ban: A ban that’s not visible to the user. It implies that the user's content is not visible to others and that the user may not be aware of this. Shadow-bans are used to discourage spamming or other inappropriate behavior on Reddit.

Understanding The Reddit Community

As we’ve mentioned, Reddit is different from most other social media platforms. If you’re using it for the first time, it may be helpful to understand how its users differ from communities on other platforms before you start building links.

Here are four main things you should know about the Reddit community:

  • Reddit users are very active: Hundreds of new posts are made every day, so it may be difficult to stand out from the crowd. To get noticed, you'll need to create unique and original posts.
  • Reddit users are savvy and well-informed: You won’t impress them by sharing common knowledge or information they can easily find elsewhere. They expect to see truly unique content. 
  • Reddit users want casual conversations: This implies you may want to rethink using the platform if you have a more serious or formal brand.  
  • Reddit users can be very critical if they don't like what they see: If you're not careful, you could receive a lot of negative feedback or downvotes. To avoid this, make sure you're offering high-quality content and engaging with users in a respectful and helpful way.

Of course, the best way to learn about the Reddit community is to become a part of it. Don’t be afraid to jump straight in and learn as you go. 

How To Build Reddit Backlinks In 2023 

Finally, let’s see how you can build Reddit backlinks in 2023.

 1. Create A Trustworthy Reddit Account

First things first, you need to create a Reddit account to be able to post and gain users’ trust. 

Go to the Reddit website and click “Join Reddit.” This will open a sign-up window where you can enter your email. 

Reddit website with the Join Reddit button highlighted

From there, you’ll be able to enter your desired username and password. 

Reddit will warn you that you won’t be able to change your username later, so make sure you think your decision through.

Reddit sign-up window

Considering you’ll use Reddit to build links, we suggest you enter your real name or a username that people associate you with online. This will help you gain trust. 

Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be able to edit your profile and add more details about yourself. Take this opportunity to further establish your credibility.

User settings on Reddit

(Note that you can change your display name on this site, although this won’t affect your original username.) 

We suggest you:

  • Write a trustworthy bio section – Mention your education, work experience, and relevant achievements but be casual about how you present this info. Remember: you’re on Reddit, not LinkedIn.
  • Connect your social profiles – Especially the ones you use for business purposes.
  • Add a photo of yourself – Replace your avatar with a real photo, or at least an image that better represents what you do.

2. Be An Active User From The Get Go

Think of your first 30 days on the platform as a test run. But it’s not just about you testing Reddit — it’s also about Reddit testing you

You want to convince the moderators and users that you’re on Reddit to add value to the conversations and not just to post links or promote your business. 

That’s why you should focus on publishing valuable content and avoid posting links or overly-promotional posts during your first month on the platform. This will help you build Karma, i.e., your user reputation. 

Also, you want to post comments regularly in order to position yourself as an active Reddit user and get the algorithms working in your favor. Like most other social networks, Reddit values consistency. 

3. Choose Relevant Subreddits 

The platform hosts thousands of subreddits covering just about every topic you can imagine. So, you’ll surely find one that fits your niche and goals, but this may take some trial and error.  

One way to find relevant subreddits is to simply enter your keywords in the Reddit search bar and see what comes up: 

Subreddits for the keyword “link building” 

Alternatively, you can enter the following query string into Google and find more relevant results that way: 

  • “target keyword” 

For example, if we google “ “link building”,” we’ll find multiple subreddits and posts mentioning this specific keyword. This may help us find additional suitable subreddits that we wouldn’t discover on the platform:

Google search results for the string “link building” include Reddit posts containing the keyword link building

The third option is to use specialized tools like NewsWhip to monitor relevant posts across all subreddits. This is the easiest, but also the costliest strategy out of the three. But to each their own; choose an approach that best suits your needs.

4. Create Your Own Subreddit For Posting Links

If you can't find a relevant-enough subreddit, you can always create your own. In fact, doing so can be an excellent way to build a community of like-minded individuals who are genuinely interested in your content.

To create a subreddit, visit the Reddit homepage and click the "Create Community" button. 

Reddit website with the Create community button highlighted

You'll be prompted to enter the subreddit name and choose a community type. You’ll probably want to make your subreddit public if you’re using it for link building purposes:

Community creation window

Once you’ve created your community, you’ll be able to add a description, rules, and primary topics, and tweak other features of your subreddit.

Subreddit home page

All that’s left to do is start posting! The following sections will help you do so with success.

5. Post Relevant Links In Moderation

If you post too many links or spam the site with promotional content, you could get a lot of negative feedback or even get banned from Reddit.

To avoid this, post only relevant links that add value to the conversation. Focus on providing helpful information or resources rather than just promoting your own content. 

A good rule of thumb is to make one promotional post (or include one backlink to your site) per 15 pure-value posts.

Also, keep in mind that some subreddits don’t allow text-only posts, so you may need to prepare visuals in advance. If you need more guidance on how to publish posts on Reddit, we suggest checking out this 1-minute tutorial: 

6. Make Your Reddit Posts Valuable

“Value” became a buzzword in marketing circles. So here’s exactly what we mean when we say you should make your Reddit posts valuable: 

  • Add something new to the conversation: Read the entire thread to see what others have already mentioned in their comments. If you don’t feel like you have anything else to add, we suggest choosing another thread for your post.
  • Make your posts context-relevant: Again, you want to carefully read through the entire thread to get a sense of what the users are talking about. 
  • Don’t post links in your first sentence: Otherwise, your posts will scream “promo” and probably earn you tons of downvotes. Try to weave your links into the middle of your posts instead.
  • Make your posts easy to understand: This will help other users recognize the value of your post more quickly. Bullet points and stylized text can help you emphasize the most important parts of your comments.
  • Add links naturally: Don’t force links into your posts just for the sake of linking. Add them only if they’re relevant.
  • Mention your sources: Never, ever plagiarize other people without giving them due credit. The Reddit community is unforgiving when it comes to plagiarism.

7. Track Your Success

Last but not least, try to regularly check which of your posts are getting the most downvotes and upvotes. 

From there, you want to zero in on your most popular posts and try to create more similar content in the future, while avoiding posts that got you downvoted in the past. It’s not rocket science, but it can make or break your efforts on the platform.

Can I Promote Affiliate Links On Reddit?

Reddit doesn’t allow posting affiliate links, and doing so can actually get you banned from the platform. 

Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use Reddit for affiliate marketing. You just need a more creative approach.

For example, you can post a link to a blog post with affiliate links in it rather than blatantly posting the links on the platform.

Want To Build High-Quality Backlinks Instead? We Can Help.

While building links on Reddit has its advantages, it’s not a good strategy for getting higher search engine rankings or driving consistent traffic to your site. You’ll need a more sophisticated link building strategy to do so. 

Our link building company can help you develop one and get placements in high-authority publications like Forbes, Southern Living, and many others. Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about how we can help. No strings attached.

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Written by
Dina Šoštarec

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