12 ways to win or fail


As search engines have become more sophisticated, the strategies for effective link building have evolved. 

In 2024, the focus has shifted from quantity to quality, with a greater emphasis on acquiring high-quality, authoritative backlinks from relevant and trustworthy sources. 

This article explores 12 key dos and don’ts for successful link building, highlighting common mistakes to avoid and effective SEO strategies to employ.

1. Don’t: prioritize quantity over quality

More is not better. Better is better. A focus purely on volume is detrimental to your rankings and credibility. 

Remember, Google values the quality and relevance of backlinks over sheer volume. One high-quality backlink from an authoritative website has more impact on rankings than multiple low-quality backlinks. 

Be sure to focus on building relationships with authoritative and relevant sources for impactful link acquisition.

2. Don’t: Neglect the relevance of linked content

While acquiring backlinks from any source may be tempting, this harms your website’s credibility and rankings. 

Building links from irrelevant websites can undermine your site’s credibility and rankings. For example, if you operate a law firm, acquiring backlinks from technology blogs or travel websites may not be as beneficial as securing links from legal publications or industry-specific directories. 

3. Don’t: Publish thin content

In the quest for more content, many are tempted to publish thin or low-quality pieces to drive frequency over quality. 

Google and other search engines won’t reward content that isn’t valuable to visitors. 

Instead, be sure to focus on creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that addresses the needs and interests of your audience. 

The quality of your content is more impactful for your visitors and rankings over poor content publishing more frequently. 

Remember to conduct thorough research, provide unique insights, and ensure your content is original, well-written and well-structured. Use surveys to gather your own data and provide insights that are easy to digest or provide a different point of view. 

4. Don’t: Over-optimize anchor text

Anchor text optimization is important, but don’t overdo it. 

Exact match anchor text is when you use the exact keyword or phrase you want to rank for as the clickable link text. Google recognizes this as an attempt to manipulate rankings.

Focus on using a diverse range of anchor texts that are relevant to the content being linked. Incorporate variations, branded anchor text, and natural language phrases. 

This approach can also help you rank for broader keywords and attract relevant but diverse audiences.

5. Don’t: Ignore local SEO 

Local SEO is a great opportunity to increase your backlinks, but many companies miss this step. 

Especially for businesses with a local audience, geo-targeted link building will help you increase your website’s local search visibility and be more relevant to your target audience. 

Work to obtain links from business listing websites, local blogs and local directories. 

6. Don’t: Ignore personal connections

Start with who you know. You likely have personal connections in your industry who can help deliver valuable backlinks

So many marketers overlook their own network as a resource, focusing solely on cold outreach and missing out on opportunities for more natural, relevant links. 

Go through your LinkedIn connections and ask. 


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Content is at the heart of an effective backlink strategy. Create valuable, engaging, and shareable content to attract high-quality backlinks, including infographics, research results, case studies and surveys. 

Citing statistics and percentages is also important, so focus on creating content that showcases your expertise and provides rare, insightful data. Use long-form content to provide in-depth information or problem-solving features. 

Don’t forget to promote your content through email, social media, and outreach efforts to attract natural backlinks from other websites.

Dig deeper: How to create a link building strategy

8. Do: Guest post on niche-relevant websites

We still love a great guest posting strategy. For 2024, be sure that your guest posts are from highly relevant, reputable and high-authority sites that align with your industry. 

First, identify websites that closely relate to your niche, have similar a target audience, and have a domain authority of 50+. 

Then, reach out to these websites and pitch valuable content ideas that align with their audience’s interests and needs. 

When guest posting, aim to secure “dofollow” links back to your site within the author bio or content. 

9. Do: Harness the power of social proof

Encouraging social sharing of your content can attract backlinks organically. 

As content gains social media traction, it increases the likelihood of other websites referencing and linking to it. 

Creating shareable content, engaging on social media, and using user-generated content (UGC) amplifies your brand’s relevancy and authority.

Dig deeper: How to integrate user-generated content into your SEO strategy

10. Do: Pick up those unlinked mentions

You’ll often find that your website or brand was mentioned on a site, but no link was associated with it. Don’t sleep on those opportunities.

Brand monitoring tools like Talkwalker, Critical Mention or BuzzSumo can help you find unlinked mentions, providing opportunities for easy link building.

In these situations, reach out to the site owner and politely request they add a link to your site. 

11. Do: Focus on strategic content partnerships

Co-marketing and strategic content partnerships are effective ways to leverage the authority and following of other industry blogs. 

Identify authoritative industry blogs and establish partnerships based on mutual benefits. 

Find a topical article on their blog where you can link back to your content and offer to link to their relevant articles.

By partnering with trusted blogs, you can expand your reach, gain more backlinks, and enhance your website’s authority.

Don’t overlook this crucial technique. 

Audit your site’s internal structure and identify pages, posts, or assets that can be linked internally based on topical relevance.

Link from blog posts to related service pages, from product pages to relevant buying guides and blog content, and across navigation menus and site footers. 

Internal link build will enhance the user experience and help search engines crawl and understand your site’s structure.

Avoid common mistakes, embrace winning strategies

Focus on creating high-quality, linkable content, building relationships with reputable sources, and avoiding common link building mistakes. 

Understand that link building is a long-term effort requiring consistent monitoring and effort. 

If you’re reading these best practices and thinking, “I’m just overwhelmed.” Don’t stress. 

Link building is time-consuming, but reputable consultants and agencies can support you and make the process effective and efficient. 

Adopting these practices will improve your website’s visibility and boost its SEO performance in the long run.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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