Link Building 101: Expert Tips to Take Your Efforts Beyond the Textbook

A person working on a computer with a backlinks concept on the screen
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Links that take users straight to your website from different sources across the web bring you more traffic and more trust from search engines and users as well. Simply put, the more you invest in link building, the more visible your brand appears on the digital landscape and the higher rankings in SERPs you can have. Respectively, the more profit your company can generate. Thus, it’s no wonder why building a solid profile of mentions is an integral part of SEO.

Having been around for many years, link building has been evolving and changing rapidly. So, it shouldn’t feel new for marketers and SEOs to adjust to new rules. Yet, now, as more and more sites are vying for their place in the spotlight, it becomes crystal clear that your link building efforts should go far beyond the textbook. Read on to learn how to craft a strategy that works in today’s competitive environment!

Forget the Boring

We all know the basics of link building – the process consists of identifying potential opportunities, developing an outreach strategy, and reaching out to as many sources as possible to gain mentions and boost the authority of your website. However, if you want to level up your game, we offer you the chance to forget the tedious and habitual tactics and adjust your approach.

First of all, drop the “Faster, Higher, Stronger” approach. Mass mentions aren’t as good for you as you think. Embracing quality and lasting relationships is a much wiser approach. 

So, instead of hunting for a larger number of opportunities, analyze your domain authority and identify the most beneficial link sources. You can use advanced backlink analysis tools or choose comprehensive solutions among best SEO software for agencies to help you get on the right track with your backlinks.

After you get rid of the urge to do mass outreach, make sure your strategy prioritizes long-term goals. Quick wins could feel good. However, when you prioritize larger SEO and business goals, you win more in the end.

Tap Into Unconventional Link Sources

Businesses that are looking to acquire more backlinks turn to bloggers for guest blogging opportunities. Although this tactic still works (we’ll discuss it a bit later), don’t neglect other link sources that are also there:

  • Social Media. By leveraging social media, you can kill two birds with one stone – grow your social media presence and strengthen your SEO. In order to find backlink opportunities on social media, craft high-value content, focus on building a solid community, and follow industry leaders and influencers and engage with them.
  • Content Powerhouse. Focus your efforts on crafting high-value, share-worthy content. For example, sharing unique research and findings can help you gain more mentions. Also, consider creating visual assets, such as infographics.
  • Unlikely Allies. Instead of reaching out solely to influencers and bloggers, try partnering with less typical allies, for example, with artists, non-profits, local businesses, etc. Such allies can bring you more trust.

Build Real Connections

As was mentioned earlier, embracing lasting relationships is a must-do in your new strategy. The stronger connections you make, the more mentions you can gain from each of them.

Here are a few tricks that should help you make your outreach more meaningful:

  • Personalize Outreach. Generic and spam emails never cut it and often end up in the trash bin. Therefore, if you want to make meaningful connections, you have to ditch templates and personalize your outreach. This way, you will show potential donors that you know their audience and values, which should help you earn their trust.
  • Offer Some Value in Return. The unfortunate truth is that no one wants to promote your website, company, or products for nothing. Thus, if you want to gain backlinks, you need to offer your allies something truly valuable, such as your unique experience, expertise, or resources.
  • Nurture Your Relationships. Finally, if you want to create lasting relationships, you need to constantly nurture them. Maintain consistent communication and value exchange to succeed in your link building tactic in the long run.

Leverage Advanced Link Building Techniques

Now that you know where to look for opportunities and how to build your outreach effectively, let’s move to the most exciting part.

So, how do you take your link building beyond the textbook? Here are several advanced techniques that will help:

  1. Consistently analyze your backlink profile to detect broken mentions. After finding them, connect with webmasters and offer replacements.
  2. When engaging in guest blogging, focus on quality, not quantity. Bring real value and expertise to every blog to get featured by the most trusted sites that can level up your SEO.
  3. Leverage HARO to your benefit. HARO translates as “help a reporter out”; it’s a helpful resource that connects users with top names from the most trusted and credible sites. This resource can become your goldmine for acquiring quality backlinks from authoritative websites.
  4. Use reliable tools like Google Search Console and others to consistently monitor your profile and find lost or inactive mentions. Analyze the reasons for a mistake in each particular link and reclaim them.

Measure Beyond Backlinks

Now, you have an actionable tactic for creating a solid backlink profile. However, don’t think that your work stops after content creation and outreach to potential partners. In order to make the most out of your efforts, you need to measure your success. Moreover, you need to measure it beyond your backlinks.

First of all, focus on analyzing your referral traffic. You need to know how many resources have picked up your content and shared it with their audiences. Needless to say, the more brand mentions you get, the better. Additionally, keep an eye on your conversions. You need to analyze how a growing backlink profile is affecting your other metrics.

To measure your progress seamlessly, be sure to leverage tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and similar. These tools will help you keep an eye on all metrics in a simple and convenient way. Consistently monitor your performance to assess the effectiveness of your link building and other SEO efforts, and regularly update your strategies to work out all weak spots or gaps.


Quality backlinks, shares, and brand mentions can do wonders for your positions in SERPs, traffic, conversions, and, respectively, profit. However, now that all common link building tactics are becoming more and more widespread (aka “generic”), it’s crucial for businesses to look for other, more meaningful ways to grow their backlink profiles.After reading this guide, you have a solid set of tips and tricks that should help you bring your SEO beyond the textbook. Start using these tips ASAP to catch up with the competition and stand out of the pack!