The basic way that search engines will rank your website in the search results for a particular phrase, come down to 2 main reasons; The content of the page, and the links pointing back to the page from other websites.
An introduction to content
The content on your web page should be written for the reader in a way that makes you look like an authority on the subject that the page promotes. Your keyphrase will then naturally reoccur through the text, and there will be related or similar words surrounding your main keyphrase. So when links start to point back to your site, the search engines can analyse the anchor text of the link compared to the text on the web page. Good correlation between these 2 factors will add more weight to the link and promote your page better for the given search phrase.
The quality of a link to your website is determined by many factors. Links from high authority sites that have plenty of content and backlinks themselves will give you the best SEO value. Likewise links from websites that are in the same business or niche as you, will be a good quality link.
Your backlink profile should be a diverse mix of branded anchor texts, URL anchor texts and a small percentage of main keyphrase anchor text.
Try to stay away from links from websites that are in a completely different niche than your own. Stay away from websites that are low quality or have little content and few backlinks.
So here is my list of places and techniques to acquire quality backlinks to your website.
Posting your own content on a niche relevant blog can be great for creating a backlink to your website. Always guest blog with great articles that are in-depth about the subject and engaging to the user. Articles should be more than 500 words, if you can write 1500+ words then they will be seen as an authority article by the search engines and ranked accordingly.
If you pay for this type of link, make sure it is done by a reputable and experienced company, so thas it looks natural. Paid or guest blog posts can give you a massive boost in the search results, but it has to be done correctly. Make sure you keep your anchor text diverse and the blogs do not look spammy or look like they are selling links.
Social Blogging or Web 2.0 Blogging
These platforms are free to join and you can post your blog with a link back to your site. Not as powerful as a guest blog, so it is better to use branded anchor text in the links that you create here.
Commenting on other peoples blogs is a good way to easily get a backlink. Here you can usually setup a profile with a link back to your site. So when you leave a comment there will be a link in the author title.
When you become an active member of a forum, it can be a good place to get a link. Create a user profile with information about who you are and of course the url of your website. Post and comment on the forum and the search engines will then find and index your profile page with the backlink.
Answer Questions – Quora
There are quite a few sites out there where you can answer questions on your chosen expertise. My favourite is Quora. Setup your profile, and first build a reputation for yourself by answering questions, but not yet leaving any links back to your own site. Then after a while you can find questions that you can answer and leave a signature in the answer with a link back to your site.
Another good way to get a link with Quora: Read what questions people are asking. Write a blog post about the answer to the question. Then go back to Quora, answer the question and link back to the blog post you just created on your own website.
Whenever you write an article for your own blog, why not reference someone else in the article and link back to them. You can then in turn ask the other blogger if they would not mind sharing your article on their own social media platforms, and you can even ask for a link back from his website.
Submit your own products or website to be reviewed. You can offer the reviewer a free trial or test product in return for the review, or you can even look into paying someone to make a review. Make sure the review links back to the product page of your website.
If your business has been around for a while, there is a good chance someone has spoken about it online but not linked back to your website. There are plenty of online tools to find mentions of your business, BuzzSumo is one, you can get details of them here - http://buzzsumo.com .. Once you find the mention without the backlink, get in touch with the publisher and ask them to update their content with a link back to your website.