Want to build authoritative backlinks for your website?
Then, you’re in the right place.
You’ll enjoy trying the actionable link building strategies in this new guide. In this article, I’m going to focus on strategies that actually work and that are easy to replicate for your own website.
Keep reading to learn what link building is all about, why it matters, what kind of links to build and how, and which tools can help you improve efficiency and earn more backlinks in 2024.
Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
What is Link Building?
Link building is the practice of acquiring hyperlinks (backlinks) from other relevant and authoritative websites to your own.
The goal is to tell Google that your website is a trustworthy source of information and ensure that your web pages rank well on the search results pages for relevant keywords.
Why is Link Building So Important?
You’ve probably heard backlinks are good for SEO benefits.
They are one of the ranking factors that Google uses to evaluate the authority and credibility of your web pages. If authoritative websites link to your resource, it tells Google that your page displays valuable information and your website is trustworthy.
You can think of backlinks as votes. The more high-quality links that point to your website, the higher you’ll be able to rank on Google, which will help you drive more organic traffic to your website.
That said, Google focuses on link quality (not just link quantity).
If you want to rank well in the SERPs, you need to build high-quality links that add to your website’s credibility and trustworthiness.
You might be wondering:
What are the characteristics of a high-quality link? And, how can you build them?
That’s what I’m going to cover in the next section of this post.
What Kind of Links Should You Build to Improve Your SEO?
Before we dive into the link building strategies you should use in 2024, it’s important to understand what kind of links you should build for your website.
So, here’s what makes a link good (high-quality):
Authority of the Referring Domain and Page
Links from high-authority websites impact search rankings more than links from low-authority pages.
Is the page linking to your website of high authority?
If so, it will pass more authority (PageRank) to your web page and help you improve your search rankings.
You can easily check the page authority of any URL using tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush.
Similarly, the overall domain authority of the referring source also impacts the quality of the link.
For example, acquiring a backlink from Forbes will drive more value than acquiring a link from Quora or a no-name blog.
Again, both Semrush and Ahrefs come in handy when you want to check the domain authority (DA) or domain rating (DR) of a domain.
Semrush’s Backlink Analytics dashboard shows the distribution of your referring domains by their domain authority score.
Relevance of the Referring Website
When it comes to the quality of links, another factor that matters is relevance.
If you run a website about car wash services, would it make sense to get a link from a high authority website in the digital marketing domain?
The key to building valuable links is to acquire a link from authoritative websites that are closely related to your website and niche.
Another factor that impacts the quality of a backlink is its placement or position on the page.
Is your link included in a piece of content?
Or, is it buried somewhere in the footer, sidebar, author bio, or data sources?
Links placed in footers and sidebars are not as valuable as contextual links that are embedded in the body of a page’s content.
Therefore, you should aim to acquire in-context links from the main body of a web page or blog post.
My website has 91% contextual links, which definitely contributes to my search rankings and organic website traffic.
Anchor text is the word or phrase over which your link has been placed. Google uses anchor text to understand what the linked page is all about. This means your anchor text should be relevant to the content of your web page.
However, using exact match anchor text or keyword-rich anchor text is considered spammy.
Along with the anchor text, the words and phrases around your link should also be relevant to what your page is about.
Nofollow vs. Dofollow Links
Websites can add a “nofollow” attribute (rel=“nofollow”) to your link, which will tell Google not to pass any PageRank or link juice to the linked paged. It is similar to telling Google not to associate the two websites from a ranking perspective.
Obviously, dofollow links have greater value than nofollow links as they pass on authority (PageRank) and trustworthiness to your web page.
Other commonly-used link attributes include:
- Rel=“sponsored”: It indicates that the link has been paid for and should not pass link juice or PageRank.
- Rel=“UGC”: It indicates that the link comes from user-generated content (UGC) such as comments and forums and it could have been manipulated by the target website.
The link building strategies I use have helped me build a lot of dofollow links, which account for 54% of my total backlinks.
A higher percentage of dofollow links is considered as a sign of a solid link profile.
In the next section of this post, I’ll share the ethical, white hat link building strategies that have helped me build a great link profile. So, stay tuned to learn how to replicate the success of my link building strategy for your website in 2024.
Most Effective Link Building Strategies for 2024
Now that you know how to determine the quality of a link, it’s time to start building high-quality links to your own site.
Let me help you get started by sharing my proven link building strategies with you.
1. Create Shareworthy Content
It’s no secret that creating great, shareable content is the key to earning high-quality backlinks. If you want bloggers, publishers, and other brands to link back to your website, you need to create something “link-worthy.”
It may sound like something you’ve heard a million times online but not many people will tell you how to actually do it and what type of content to create.
So, let me show you how to create shareworthy content with real-life examples of how others are using this link building strategy.
Curate Industry Statistics
People and brands often link back to research studies, survey reports, and listicles that curate industry-relevant statistics, trends, and predictions.
Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, regularly publishes research reports that include statistics and trends related to influencer marketing.
Many brands, marketers, and publishers, including me, often quote their findings in blog posts, social media posts, and other content pieces. Usually, the website also gains a backlink to its resource page.
Curating such industry reports and statistics is one of the easiest ways to automatically build backlinks without any additional effort.
However, conducting a survey and curating the report may be time consuming.
Create Infographics and Other Visual Assets
How many times have you referred to a chart, diagram, or infographic to understand complex processes?
Visuals make it easier to consume complicated information, which is why they are super easy to link to.
When you create a powerful infographic, chart, or some other visual asset to provide useful information, it increases your chances of acquiring more links. Many of these links could come from high authority websites in your niche and contribute to improving your search rankings.
And the best part?
Most of the links will be created by people who directly posted your infographic on their websites and linked back to your site as the source. You won’t even have to reach out to them.
All you need to do is conduct research on a topic relevant to your niche, design an infographic, and publish it on your own website. Also, provide an embed code, using which other websites and publishers can easily share your infographic on their sites.
Of course, you can go the extra mile to promote your infographic and use it to build links to your website.
You can share your infographic on social media with a link to your infographic post. You should also reach out to bloggers and editors of top publications in your niche to share your infographic.
Sending a simple, to-the-point email also works well with most publishers. Here’s an example:
Check it out here: [Link to the infographic]Is this something your audience would love? I’d appreciate it if you could consider sharing it on your website.A lot of publications repost my infographics on different marketing-related topics.
Submitting infographics to publications is another effective link building tactic.
I also put together a list of infographic submission websites that will give you an opportunity to re-publish your infographic to increase its reach and build a backlink for your own site. You can check out the list here.
Develop Useful Tools Relevant to Your Industry
Other than statistics, case studies, and visual assets, tools also attract links from dozens of sources in a natural way.
If you launch a useful tool for your industry, there are chances that brands and industry professionals will use it and talk about it. This means you’ll get more backlinks.
Neil Patel acquired Ubersuggest, a keyword research tool in 2017, revamped its user interface, and included additional features such as CPC data. He basically provided more information to users for free, which helped increase the popularity of Ubersuggest.
By offering something valuable for free, you can easily generate tons of visits and backlinks without writing guest posts, creating infographics, or doing link building outreach.
Launching a free tool or a tool with a few free features is another effective strategy to attract links from industry leaders and other professionals.
Listicles get 2x more traffic and 1.5x backlinks than other blog post formats, according to a Semrush study.
Because listicles make it easier for readers to consume more information by dividing it into small chunks of content.
You should consider creating listicles like:
- 7 tips to do [something] better
- 12 tools that can help you do [something] easily and efficiently
- Tips from 15 [your industry] experts about [topic relevant to your industry]
Many of my posts with the highest number of backlinks are listicles.
And, they are also ranking well in the SERPs.
Create In-Depth Guides
The Semrush Content Marketing study quoted in the above section also found that articles of over 7000 words generate 4x traffic and 1.5x shares (links) than articles of average length (900-1200 words).
“How-to” articles and in-depth guides, like this one, also receive 1.5x shares (links).
That’s because such long-form content pieces give readers a vast amount of information in one place, which makes them the go-to resource for that particular topic.
2. Leverage Guest Blogging
Guest posting is one of the most popular link building strategies to date.
But the right approach to guest posting has changed. If you want to get SEO value from guest blogging, you need to be strategic and authentic in your approach.
You can no longer write an okayish post for an unrelated website to gain a backlink and hope to improve your search engine rankings. You’ll definitely not get anywhere like that.
If you want to acquire high-quality backlinks, higher search rankings, increased organic search and referral traffic, and more qualified leads, you should:
- Choose your guest posting websites selectively. Make sure they are relevant to your niche and have a high domain authority (DA).
- Pick topics that are relevant to the audience of the website, have not been covered on the website already, and are related to what you’re best at.
- Create a unique piece of content that can help people do something better. Share your personal experiences and proven methods that actually work.
- Include a link to your resource which adds more value to the topic. Don’t focus on link building. Focus on delivering value.
This has helped me increase my readership, build trust and credibility, acquire more quality backlinks, and rank higher in search results.
Guest post links can only help you rank better if you publish an awesome guest post on a topic relevant to your niche and expertise on a high-authority website.
Your guest post links may be considered spammy if:
- You pay the publisher to post your article and link.
- The post contains exact match anchor text to link back to a page on your website.
- The website is unrelated to your niche.
3. Do Directory Submissions
Online directories should also be a part of your link building strategy. However, only use relevant and targeted online directory submissions for white hat link building.
Traditionally, businesses used to get listed in yellow pages (printed business directories). Now, when you want to search for a product or service, you most likely turn to search engines to find a nearby business.
That’s why you should list your business in high-authority directories to gain backlinks, improve search visibility and reach, and get higher rankings.
Here are a few tips you should follow while registering your business in online directories:
- Pick directories that are relevant to your niche and target audience.
- Consider listing your business on directories with a high domain authority (DA).
- Use all features of the directory submission system to make a detailed listing. Some directories only ask for NAP (name, address, phone number) details while some feature photos, customer reviews, and ratings too.
- Stay consistent with the details you provide to different directories about your business. At least, the NAP details should be constant everywhere online.
4. Send Emails to Bloggers and Publishers for Link Building
You need to use link building email outreach tactics if you want to build white hat links from top publications in your niche.
For this, you should first look for link building opportunities and find people or publications that are likely to link to you.
The easiest way to do so is to search for your target keyword in Google.
Copy the URL of the top search results and use a link analysis tool to find domains that are linking back to it.
The sites linking back to them are all prospects that will more likely link back to your resource pages too.
Another way to find link-building prospects is to leverage a powerful tool. Semrush’s Link Building Tool can help you analyze the SERPs and find the most suitable linkers for your website.
Once you have found your link building prospects, you should look for their email address and reach out to them with a personalized email.
Here’s an example:
I stumbled across your article, “[post title + link]” when looking for information about [topic].
Good stuff! I especially enjoyed reading [a portion from their post].
I’ve also published a new guide on, “[post title and URL related to their post]” and I thought it may make a nice addition to your page.
Be sure to share your thoughts about it.
5. Comment on Relevant Blog Posts
Another effective link building strategy is to start commenting on other blog posts on relevant websites. You will need to tactfully include a backlink in your comment.
The comment shouldn’t look forced. While you’re doing it to build links, your focus should be on building good relationships with the author of the post by making a meaningful comment.
- Appreciate the author and make their day.
- Add a meaningful insight about the topic and share a resource that could add more value to the post.
- Start a discussion by asking a question or sharing your opinion about a point the author talked about in their post.
Along with link building, blog commenting is a great way to build and nurture relationships with other bloggers, authors, and publishers.
6. Get Your Links Added in Resource Pages
The next strategy on this list of link building strategies for 2024 is one of my personal favorites. You should find and reach out to resource pages to add your posts that can be a valuable addition to that page.
Resource pages are pages that link to awesome content pieces on a particular topic. Their aim is to create the #1 go-to resource for information on a topic.
A resource page is sometimes also called a “pillar page” as it includes several helpful links and is optimized for various related keywords.
To add your link to a resource page, you should first focus on finding relevant resource pages. You can do this by searching for the following terms on Google:
- [Your keyword] inurl:links
- [Your keyword] “helpful resources”
- [Your keyword] “useful links”
- [Your keyword] inurl:resources
- [Your keyword] intitle:links
- [Your keyword] “best resources”
- [Your keyword] “best sites”
- [Your keyword] “places to learn”
- [Your keyword] “best blogs”
- [Your keyword] “other resources”
If you run a bakery or a baking recipes blog, let me help you find some of the top resource pages in the baking niche using Google Search.
Check out the resource pages one by one and vet them to analyze if acquiring a backlink from them is worth it.
It’s easy to figure out if a website or resource page is a good fit to add your posts. However, relevance should not be the only metric you consider.
You should also look for the page authority of the resource page and the credibility of the website.
If everything meets your link building criteria, you can reach out to the resource page editors to request them to add your article to their page. Some resource pages also allow you to submit an article that is a good fit for their resource page.
Before reaching out to resource pages for link addition, make sure your link makes their resource page better.
Send them an email saying,
I just wanted to say that you’ve got an excellent resource page on [topic] here: [link to the resource page]. It has helped me a ton.
I have also published a guide on [topic] recently, which talks about [describe the content of your resource]. It might be a good addition to your page.
Here is the link to it, in case you’d like to check it out: [link to your resource]
Have a great day!
7. Reclaim Lost and Broken Links
Over time, links get broken or lost for a variety of reasons. It could be that the author mistakenly removes a link while updating a post or the page that was linked to might be deleted.
Broken link building is one of the most popular link building strategies.
Because, instead of asking for links, you’re actually helping someone fix the non-working links on their web pages.
You need to find relevant pages in your industry that can link to your resources. See if they have any broken outbound links and reach out to them to request them to update their broken link by pointing to a relevant resource on your website.
An easy way to do this is to monitor the backlink profile of your competitor and find their broken links. And, then ask the site editors to replace them with links to your resources.
Here’s a simple email template that can be a good start for your broken link building outreach emails:
Subject line: There’s a problem with [their site name]
I was looking for information on [topic] when I came across your post on, “[post title + link].”
I couldn’t help but notice a few links that didn’t seem to be working:
[Broken link 1]
[Broken link 2]
Also, I recently published a post on [topic], which may be a good replacement for the [broken link] on [page #xx] of your post.
I hope this helped you out!
Taking advantage of your competitors’ broken links is not the only broken link building strategy you can use. You should also focus on reclaiming your own broken and lost links. Else, your competitors will leverage them against you.
You can use Semrush’s Backlink Analytics dashboard to track your own lost backlinks and referring domains.
You can then reach out to the site editors to reclaim those lost or broken links by replacing them with a relevant resource link from your website.
8. Turn Linkless Brand Mentions into Backlinks
When someone mentions your brand in a post, they may or may not link to you. But you can give them a gentle nudge to turn your unlinked brand mentions into backlinks.
Now the question is: How can you find these unlinked brand mentions?
You should use Google Alerts, BuzzSumo, Brand24, and other social listening tools to track who is mentioning your brand. And, use those brand mentions as an opportunity to gain new links and build relationships.
As a thought leader in the digital marketing industry, there have been articles and conversations where people include quotes by me or mention my name. Some of these sources include:
Once you identify the domains mentioning you, it’s easier to convert linkless mentions into linked brand mentions, which is equivalent to building new backlinks for your website.
9. Get Interviewed on Podcasts
It is pretty common to build links by writing guest posts but creating a unique piece of content takes a lot of time and effort.
On the other hand, you can just create an outline of the topic, talk to the host of a podcast about it, and boom! They’ll give you a backlink too.
These days, podcasting is gaining huge popularity among people as you can listen to them while on the go and learn new things. And, there’s a podcast about almost every topic you may like to talk about.
For example: I myself host a business and marketing podcast, the Marketing Growth Podcast.
And, I am often invited to participate in other podcasts by reputable industry sources to talk about marketing strategies, entrepreneurship, social media, influencer marketing, and all the stuff that I excel at. Those sources also give a link back to my website.
Here’s an example of a link I built by being interviewed on a podcast by CoSchedule:
10. Participate in Expert Roundups
Have you come across long-form posts like: “101 Experts Share Their Top Link Building Techniques”?
This kind of post is known as an expert roundup and in it, the publisher just curates insights into a particular topic from various industry experts.
The best part?
These posts also give a link back to the website of each expert who shared their insight into the topic. This makes it a win-win situation for both the experts and the roundup curator.
I have created a lot of expert roundup posts on different topics for my blog as they are easier to curate and drive a lot of traction to the blog.
Similarly, I have participated in expert roundups by other reputable publications in my niche to get more exposure, establish myself as a thought leader, and acquire a backlink.
Here’s an example of a few links I built by participating in an expert roundup:
Along with building backlinks, it has also helped me build relationships with people from my industry and showcase my knowledge and expertise in front of my target audience.
You can also search for existing roundup posts related to the topics you’re interested in and good at. And, reach out to the publication or editor to request them to add a quote or tip from you.
To find relevant expert roundups that fit your genre, you can perform searches for the following terms on Google:
- [Your keyword] intitle:“weekly roundup”
- [Your keyword] intitle:“roundup”
- [Your keyword] inurl:roundup
Most editors won’t deny you if you have great insights or actionable tips to add value to their roundup post.
11. Perform Reverse Image Searches to Reclaim Links
If you’ve created infographics or other shareable visual assets related to your industry, there are chances that many sites are using your image or infographic.
But have they credited you with a link?
They may or may not have.
You can conduct a reverse image search on Google Images to look for URLs that are using your image or graphic.
If they haven’t credited you, simply reach out to them via email and ask them to add a link to your original resource. Most publishers will do it happily with minimal effort.
12. Leverage Q&A Platforms
Using Q&A platforms such as Quora and Reddit can also help you build links to your website. They can also help you diversify your link profile.
You should engage with relevant community members and questions and be sure to provide value with your answers. Remember, the key to building high-quality links is not to add any link anywhere but to share relevant content that answers the user’s question.
You can and should include a link to a relevant resource on your website in your answer to acquire a relevant backlink.
13. Be Active on Social Media
Social media networks can be a great addition to your link building strategy in 2024.
By becoming active on social media, you can boost engagement and get your content found by more people who could share it with their target audience. This can help you boost your overall visibility and improve your link profile.
I also post frequently across social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Being active on social media is not just limited to posting new content consistently. You should also engage with people who interact with your posts and Stories and reply to their comments or questions regularly.
14. Integrate Your Digital PR and Link Building Strateg
The best way to build quality links is to blend your online PR strategy with your link building strategy. It can help you earn a significant number of high-authority editorial links through press releases, journalist stories, and other media publications.
The key is to reach out to journalists and influential bloggers in your niche to cover your story and talk about your brand and products/services.
Using my PR strategy to build links has worked wonders for my brand. You can check out my PR case study to learn how I used PR for brand building and link building.
15. Answer HARO Questions
If you’re not leveraging HARO (Help a Reporter Out) services yet, you’re missing out on a lot of link building opportunities for your brand.
HARO is a platform that lets you help reporters with their stories. You can answer their questions that are relevant to your niche.
If they find your answer insightful, they’ll include your quote in their story and give a link back to your resource. Through it, you can secure valuable media opportunities and get mentioned in reputable publications such as TIME and Reuters.
Here are a few posts I was able to contribute to and acquire a link back from using HARO service:
Looking for more insights into link building strategies?
Here’s a podcast interview I did with 180 Marketing’s Founder, Jeff Oxford, where we discussed how to build powerful backlinks. You may like to check it out on the side tab!
What Kind of Backlinks Should You Avoid to Prevent Penalties?
This post on link building strategies is incomplete without talking about black hat link building strategies. Basically, I am going to share what you SHOULD NOT do when it comes to building backlinks.
While black hat link building is an easy choice, the risk that comes with it is huge. If Google notices spammy link building techniques (which it most likely will), you will have to face deadly penalties.
Here is what you should absolutely not indulge in if you want to avoid Google penalties:
- Excessive link exchanges
- Paid links
- Exact match anchor text
- Keyword-rich anchor text
- Blog comment spamming for link building
- Link farm – a cluster of websites developed solely for the purpose of link building
- Private blog network (PBN) for link building
- Links from low-quality directories
- Links from hacked websites
- Links built using automated services
- Too many sidebar links
One example of Google penalizing a site for black hat link building techniques is that of JCPenney, which is a clothing, accessories, and home decor brand.
They were ranking very well for a vast number of keywords such as “home decor” and “skinny jeans.” But most of their backlinks were from websites that have no relevance to the brand and its products.
Once it was confirmed, the JCPenny website’s rankings dropped by several places and their pages were nowhere to be found for queries that they were earlier ranking #1 for.
To avoid Google penalties, you should always follow Google Webmaster guidelines and have a clean link profile.
You should also consider disavowing bad links from time to time through the Google Search Console dashboard.
You may also like to read my post on: How to Excel at Google Penalty Removal
How Can You Measure Your Link Building Campaign ROI?
By now, you must have understood the importance of link building and how to acquire high-quality backlinks for your website.
But not many marketers know how to track whether or not the link building strategies they are using are worth their time and efforts. To evaluate the effectiveness of your link building campaign, you should measure your link building campaign ROI.
Wondering how to do that?
Here are a few tips that can help you track and measure the ROI of your link building strategies:
- Perform backlink analysis.
- Track the number of brand mentions and social shares you have.
- Track your referral traffic.
- Track changes in search rankings and organic traffic over a period of time.
The Only Link Building Tools You Need
Link building not only helps you boost your search rankings and organic traffic but also gets your brand more exposure. But implementing the link building strategies discussed above takes a lot of effort and can be time consuming.
What if you can automate your link building processes and tasks?
It will definitely save you a lot of time and help you improve efficiency. You’ll be able to get more high-quality backlinks in less time.
Wondering if that’s even possible?
Well, it is. Because there are plenty of powerful free and paid tools that can help you automate everything from analyzing your backlink profile to filtering out spammy links, sending personalized outreach emails, and finding broken links.
Let me share some of the link building tools that can make your life easy and help you get more done in less time.
- Backlink analysis tools such as Semrush, Moz’s Link Explorer, Ahrefs, and Linkody
- Content syndication platforms such as YouTube, Medium, LinkedIn, and Quora
- Email marketing automation tools such as Mailchimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact
1. What is link building?
Link building is an SEO technique that can help you increase your search rankings and drive more organic traffic to your website.
2. What are the benefits of link building?
The major benefit of link building is that high-quality backlinks tell Google that your page offers valuable information and can be trusted. This makes Google rank your page well in the SERPs and, thereby, helps you improve your search rankings.
However, that’s not all…
Link building also helps you with:
- Brand building
- Increased referral traffic
- Relationship building
- Targeted leads
- Greater sales opportunities
3. What are link building strategies?
Link building strategies are tactics or proven methods that can help you gain backlinks for your website to improve your domain authority and search engine rankings.
Some of the most effective link building strategies include:
- Creating sharable content
- Guest posting
- Directory submissions
- Email outreach
- Blog commenting
- Resource page link building
- Broken link building
- Turning unlinked brand mentions into links
4. What are the different types of links?
Links are majorly categorized as nofollow links and dofollow links. Nofollow links do not pass link juice or authority to the linked resource. Whereas, dofollow links tell Google that your page is a trusted source of information and help improve your search rankings.
5. What are the key elements of a successful link building strategy?
Relevance and authority are the key elements of a successful link building strategy. You should make sure the pages linking to your website are of high authority and relevant to your niche.
Similarly, the anchor text on which your link is placed should be relevant to the content of your linked page. Contextual, editorial links drive maximum value to your link profile.
6. Is link building really effective?
Yes, using the right link building strategies can help you improve your link profile and search rankings.
The greater the number of relevant and authoritative sources that have links pointing to your website, the higher the chances of Google ranking your page in search results. This, in turn, will help you drive more targeted traffic to your website and boost your conversions and sales.
However, make sure you do not use any black hat link building strategies such as buying links or doing excessive link exchanges. Else, Google may penalize you for building links in an unnatural way and it can do more harm to your website’s search performance.
7. What are the best tools for link building?
Some of the best tools that can help with link building include:
- Google Alerts
- Moz’s Link Explorer
8. Is link building illegal?
Any link built to manipulate a website’s rankings in Google search results may be considered as a practice violating Google Webmaster guidelines. Google can ban or penalize your site for building manual or unnatural links using black hat link building techniques.
Are You Ready to Build High-Quality Links for Your Website?
That’s it for my guide to the most effective link building strategies for 2024. These are all ethical link building strategies that can help you build a solid link profile and drive more organic search traffic to your website.
Which strategy would you like to try first? Or, do you have a question about any of the link building strategies I mentioned in this post?
Either way, drop a quick comment below to discuss.
If you’re looking for fully-managed link building services or content marketing services, feel free to reach out to my team anytime.