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8 Link Building Strategies for 2024

8 Link Building Strategies for 2024

If you’ve been working diligently on your SEO, you’ve no doubt come to know about off-page SEO, otherwise known as link building.

Link building is just one (albeit important) facet of SEO, but it can’t substitute for great-quality content and a solid on-page and technical SEO strategy.

Therefore, it boils down to how you’re going to build links. It is a notoriously difficult and labor-intensive part of SEO, which, if not done correctly, can become a time and money sink.

However, if done right, it will accelerate your SEO growth and organic traffic. What we’ll cover in this guide are some of the best strategies to kick-start your link-building strategy this year.

So, let’s dive in.

1) Guest Posting (Niche Relevant)

Guest posting (or guest blogging) is one of the most common tactics in the industry. However, you shouldn’t approach it by just buying any old guest post from a database, as this is the kind of spammy, outdated link-building tactic you must avoid.

Instead, you want to reach out to niche-relevant websites and offer to do a guest post.

a) The best way to start is by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where else could the potential audience of your content be browsing?
  • What other sectors relate logically to your industry?

Doing a thorough competitor analysis may also help seed ideas here (we’ll talk about this more later), but the key thing is to have a list of industries or business types that intersect with your business and reach out to them with compelling content ideas.

Let’s imagine your website was offering logo creation, and your main audience was small businesses and freelancers trying to set up their websites.

Some ideas might include:

  • Marketing news posts
  • MarTech and SaaS tools
  • Freelancer news
  • Startup & Entrepreneurial news
  • Blogs and news sites aimed at E-commerce store owners
  • Coworking spaces

And so on.

b) Next, you need to take those ideas and build a prospect list for each.

Prospecting via Google is still the de facto standard most link-building operations use.

You can use, for example, the following advanced search operators and tag on an industry-related keyword:

  • [keyword] + “write for us”
  • [keyword] + “contribute to our site”
  • [keyword] + “guest post opportunities”

There are many more similar patterns to use. But there is a high probability of stumbling upon many low-quality “link farms” as well. Try searching for relevant sites that do not exhibit these patterns and just have a suitable blog or news section of some sort, especially if you see that they have credited outside contributors at the bottom of their articles, like the example below.

Screenshot of a blog post byline highlighting an outside contributor as the author.

Even if a website does not explicitly mention allowing guest contributors, it is still worth asking. If you don’t ask for it, you won’t receive it!

c) Guest post content ideas

Before you start your outreach, this is the key to getting your guest post pitches accepted.

For each of the niches you collected in the previous step, come up with a compelling set of ideas that you know would resonate with and interest their audience.

Essentially, you should be coming up with ideas with a topical crossover between your website and theirs.

For example, let’s say you’re a roofing company, and you’re reaching out to home insurance companies. Some ideas you may want to reach out to could be:

  • 5 Factors that Influence the Cost of a New Roof
  • Smart Ways To Use Home Equity For Remodeling
  • How Your Roof Impacts The Value of Your Home

There are a few techniques to find content ideas, but the main thing is just being clear on your content angles and pitching that to the targets. Not everyone will be interested, but the better your ideation, the better your success rate will be.

When you’re able to get this targeted with your outreach and built-inroads to particular sectors, don’t be surprised when you get email replies like this.

2) Unlinked brand mentions

That especially happens if you have been picking up a lot of press coverage. If your brand and products have already been picking up mentions in online media, you may see a quick backlink opportunity here.

There are a few tools, like Buzzsumo or Mention, that you can use to find all your brand mentions, but another example is Semrush’s Brand Monitoring feature.

You can set it to monitor for specific phrases, such as your brand name. One cool feature is that it will also indicate whether that mention is a backlink.

Image of SEMrush's Brand Monitoring dashboard showing brand mentions and backlink status.

Then, it’s simply about reaching out and politely asking to turn that brand mention into a backlink.

Email template screenshot showcasing a polite request to turn a brand mention into a backlink

Here’s an example of us getting a mention on Marketplace, turned into a link.

3) The “Modified Skyscraper” technique

Without a doubt, you’ll have come across the ‘Skyscraper technique” from Brian Dean.

The basic premise of this technique is:

  • Step 1: Find a linkable asset in your industry that has acquired a lot of links (i.e., a proven idea)
  • Step 2: Make an even better version of it.
  • Step 3: Scrape the backlinks of the linkable asset from Step 1 and reach out to them to ask for inclusion.

In some cases, this still works, but this is a fundamentally flawed technique, and it won’t always be a very efficient use of targets. In fact, in our testing, we found that when we did the skyscraper technique in this traditional manner, the win rate was quite small, and we burned through many targets.

The main problems we found were:

  • If people have already linked to a linkable asset, there’s no guarantee they’ll feel compelled to link to yours. In fact, the asset was good enough at the time, so they’ve already served the reader to some extent.
  • Reaching out with a blanket email template doesn’t give you room to personalize and build rapport. It’s harder to stand out, and the risk of being marked as spam will affect your email deliverability.
  • What is “better” can be subjective, and just being bigger or covering more ground doesn’t necessarily make it better than the original asset.
  • It’s very time-consuming to keep producing linkable assets larger than others. If a campaign flops, it becomes inefficient.

Instead, we recommend taking your linkable asset from Step 2 (or taking an existing quality asset you have) and creating topical crossover ideas.

For example, let’s say you have an asset like “A Guide to Staying Motivated to Lose Weight.” Rather than just scrape the backlinks of other pages covering the same topic, find articles covering crossover topics like these:

  • Tips to stay motivated for exercise
  • best workout songs
  • When you don’t feel like exercising
  • Workout motivation quotes
  • How to start exercising and stick to it

There are different ways to find seed ideas, but a part of it is about brainstorming and thinking logically about what has a topical crossover.

Once you’ve compiled your lists, reach out and leave enough room for you to go a level deeper with your personalization.

4) Resource Pages

You have probably seen sites in your industry with curated resource lists. Here’s an example of one below:

Webpage display of a resources section with a variety of curated industry-related links.

These pages generally list useful tools or articles that the creator feels are helpful to their audience.

Our goal here is to find pages that are relevant to us and ask for inclusion. The first step is to find more of them. You’ll commonly find that most resource pages like these have specific patterns within the title and URL.

So run searches like these:

  • [keyword] inurl:links
  • [keyword] inurl:resources
  • Intitle:”[keyword]” inurl:links
  • intitle:”[keyword]” inurl:resources

Once you do all the search combinations and permutations, you may find your lists quite large. Just review them manually and especially watch out for resource pages that only link to that site’s information, or that only link to organizations, governments, etc.

Next, reach out and show them your asset or resource. Make sure it’s, of course, relevant to their curated list.

We’ve found this tactic works well for highly informative pieces, tools, calculators, and games.

5) Roundups/Listicles

Roundups are articles that are curated around a specific topic. It may be a yearly roundup or even a daily, weekly, or monthly one.

Here’s an example of a roundup of email outreach tools.

Snippet of a roundup article featuring a list of top tools for multichannel outreach.

You’ll see each tool or resource has been mentioned and has a paragraph summarizing it, which contains a backlink.

There are a couple of ways you can find suitable link roundups, so read on.

a) Manual prospecting

Find combinations of a keyword associated with your product, tool, or feature and use advanced search operators like this:

  • [keyword] + inurl:roundup
  • [keyword] + intitle:roundup
  • [keyword] + “weekly roundup”
  • [keyword] + “link roundup”
  • [keyword] + “best posts of the month”

Or if you have a SaaS/software product, then you may want to use phrases like “best,” “top,” “tools,” “software,” and “platforms” within your searches.

b) Competitor analysis

If roundup posts are popular within your industry, you will likely find many examples (and patterns) when you analyze competitors.

We’ll touch on competitor analysis in more detail later on in the article. But definitely use it to help find roundup pages that you can reach out to and develop more roundup strategies. When you go through their link profiles, you’ll be able to pick out phrases that you can use to find even more pages. For example, if you go through SiteGround’s profile.

Ahrefs SEO tool screenshot analyzing SiteGround's backlink profile with emphasis on link quality

We can see 2 examples: “WordPress Hosting” and “Reseller Hosting”. We can focus on these keywords and use a manual prospecting process to find more roundups.

The outreach will then emphasize highlighting your piece/tool for inclusion and explaining why it’s worthy of a mention.

6) Reaching out to your network

Maybe you haven’t realized that there could be people in your network that you can reach out to and get an easy link from.

It could be any of the following (and more):

  • Your suppliers and vendors.
  • People from mutual business networking groups
  • As members of the Chamber of Commerce, you participate in
  • Any local clubs that you sponsor.
  • SaaS/software products that you use.
  • Agencies or services that you’ve hired.

For example, here’s a snowboarding equipment brand that has a list of authorized suppliers listed on their site and is crediting them with a backlink.

Section of a website listing authorized suppliers with outbound links as accreditation as a link building strategy.

On the other hand, if you use a SaaS product, you could offer to contribute with a guest post or suggest being a case study on their site.

7) Podcasts and Interviews

Doing podcasts and interviews touching on your industry or other industries and attracting your target audience is a good business development activity, as well as an opportunity to secure some very contextual links.

One option is to search for podcasts on Google or YouTube manually, but ListenNotes is one of the best ways to find them.

Simply insert the relevant keyword, and you can find relevant podcasts or podcasts mentioning a specific guest or competitor brand.

ListenNotes search results page for podcasts related to public relations link building strategy.

Make sure to get a backlink from their website as credit, not just a link in the podcast platform (as those tend to be nofollow links.)

Headline graphic from SEOBuddy featuring an interview to illustrate an example of a link source.

8) Competitor Analysis (creating seed ideas)

A widespread technique used by link builders is to analyze the closest competitors’ backlink profiles to see where they have backlinks from.

Most tend to download a list of all their competitors’ backlinks and reach out to them one by one.

However, competitor analysis is much more powerful than this, and you can use it to create seed ideas. In other words,

  • What type of websites gave them a link?
  • In what context did they get a link?

When you take this approach, you can start to pick out the common themes or find strategies where they got some links, and to some extent, this has validated that it is at least possible to get links with this angle, but you can piggyback off and get even more opportunities.

For example, if we were going through this site’s link profile, we’d find they got links via podcasts but also some mentions in popular media. Links on top-tier media may not be something we can replicate, but sometimes, if they are accompanied by a sound bite, that indicates competitors have been pitching sound bites via platforms like HARO or Connectively.

Backlink profile segment with media coverage and podcast mentions that include hyperlinks.

Once you really dig into the context, you can also see what kind of articles and pages they have links to. In the example below, we can clearly see that articles about marketing ideas for PTs are a strategy we need to develop a campaign around.

Example of A backlink on an article about marketing ideas for personal trainer.

Here’s an example of a link on a university page. That could be a strategy that we can build on further. So we can run a manual prospecting search like this:

Google search results page for articles related to universities and educational content.


Not every opportunity will be suitable, but once we filter through our list, we should find some suitable opportunities and run a campaign around this idea.

Where do paid link-building strategies fit in?

Google’s guidelines classify paid links (or links gained by exchanging products) as “link spam.” So they consider paying for links as a violation of Google’s terms.

If Google believes you have been paying for links, they will either aim to devalue those links or, if the violation is severe enough, may put you at risk of a manual penalty.

However, it is essential to also talk about the reality of the world of SEO and link building. A lot of link buying and exchanging products or services for links is happening, and it is not feasible for Google to be completely aware of every time this happens. They can certainly use signals to determine if a site is selling links en masse, such as:

  • It contains very poor-quality content.
  • Has a lot of exact-match outbound links.
  • Proportionally, there is an ample abundance of outbound links.
  • Other algorithmic signals that we are not privy to.

The question isn’t so much about whether the exchange of money or product makes the link less valuable; it’s just that, by and large, most sites that accept payment for links are of lower quality. If the site has no editorial process and just sells links to anyone who asks, this will ultimately degrade the site’s quality over time.

So, if you choose to buy links, you should use your due diligence and be very careful about where you buy links from and how they link. To stay on the safe side, you don’t want to become reliant on paid link strategies and should try to find alternative and more “white hat” strategies.


There are so many ways to acquire links, and I hope this article has helped illustrate that there is no “one size fits all” approach to link building as well.

The most efficient use of your time, as well as the strategies and sectors from which you’ll be able to get the most links, depend on your website.

It’s also important to remember that link building isn’t just about building links for the sake of links, and it’s not necessarily just about SEO.

Link building is, at its core, a human endeavor. It’s about building relevant connections and relationships. And when we approach it this way, link building will not just be a separate marketing activity but will support and complement our overall marketing strategy.

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