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SEO 13 min read March 13, 2023

Link Building Wins and Fails: Lessons Learned from Real Experiences

Link Building Wins and Fails: Lessons Learned from Real Experiences
Kateryna Hordiienko
Kateryna Hordiienko
Research Editor at Serpstat

Search engine optimization is a unique universe with its rules and laws, breaking which result in a heavy penalty for your website creation. To ensure you do things right, one of the means is to take care of your link building strategies. It is high time to remember the difference between black-hat and white-hat SEO.

You will be accompanied by the leading experts and influencers in the market, whose ways of utilizing SEO tools and analyzing link building tactics have proven efficient in establishing competitive and naturally evolving internet-based spaces:

Debi Norton
Debi Norton
the founder of Bravo! Interactive Media, Internet Strategy Consultant
Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
Ayon Chy
Ayon Chy
SEO Expert & Content Writer
Marianne Sweeny
Marianne Sweeny
SEO Principal Consultant, Former Pres at IAinstitute
Rahul Marthak
Rahul Marthak
Content Marketing Manager @saleshandy
Joey Trend
Joey Trend
Co-Founder of Hum JAM Digitial Marketing Agency
Avast Zumac
Avast Zumac
 Lead Generation, Marketing, SEO, and Web Development Expert
Bibi Raven
Bibi Raven
SEO and Link Building Specialist

To learn more about SEO trends and crucial know-how in the field, don’t hesitate to join #serpstat_chat and participate in discussions with Serpstat experts and special guests. These meetings are held on Thursdays at 2 pm ET. You can find us on Twitter, check #sepstat_chat.

The Importance of Link Building in SEO: Why You Need to Get It Right

The answer here is really simple. If you ignore link building, you won’t be able to increase your domain’s reputation in the eyes of search engines. In turn, you will lose the fight for the best positions in SERPs. Even if your content is brilliant, promoting it takes time and effort. And that’s where link building techniques should become your best friends.

Make sure to clearly articulate the value that your content or website can offer. This could be in the form of useful information, exclusive data, or valuable resources.
—Rahul Marthak

The value of inbound links is estimated during webpage crawling and can significantly impact your ranking. Backlinks offer transparent conditions to improve credibility and establish great connections with Google and its algorithms by sending more weight to your web page.

Link building can be a challenging and time-consuming process, and there are several pain points, the two most common are:
  • Difficulty finding high-quality, relevant websites to pitch or request links from.
  • The time and effort required to outreach.

—Rahul Marthak

No matter how demanding this process is, it is worth it. If you incorporate spammy links, on the contrary, trying to trick Google or alternative systems, you will only face losses.

Failure to Launch: Common Mistakes That Can Hold Your Link Building Efforts Back

Of course, link building outreach templates are valuable sources of inspiration. Still, the abundance of data and the lack of understanding of what link building is a stumbling block for many amateurs and novice SEO specialists.

Getting started, mainly these are resources to learn from. Unfortunately, there's a ton of information out there, and it seems overwhelming to go through all of them.
—Avast Zumac

Figuring out how to make a sitemap that navigates end users from point A to point B with good strategy and personalization is essential.

I reached out to journo about bacteria eating the Titanic, but my outreach email sucked, and I didn’t target the right people. The story broke a couple of months later, and I got 0 links. I learned to put more effort into personalization and targeting.
—Bibi Raven
What can negatively impact link building success?
1. No brand or identity.
2. Same thing repeating what the others doing. No uniqueness.
3. Of course, doing useless internal linking without knowledge.
4. Technical SEO.
—Ayon Chy

The Power of Guest Blogging: How Building Relationships Can Boost Your Link Profile

Without a doubt, guest posting is one of the most popular, effective, and sought-after methods of white hat SEO. The key advantage is that this method can be used by any search engine optimization specialist and let them build the desired brand awareness from scratch with minimum resources.

However, increasing your knowledge base is essential not to miss the benefits guest posting really offers. If you can’t analyze the efficacy and page authority of third-party domains, you will reflect those drawbacks on your website. The lack of credibility between the sites is visible to Google and makes the entire system ban your effort for spammy links and other non-well-thought-out decisions.

  •  Bad UX.
  •  Bad information architecture.
  •  Blocking interstitials.
  •  Link effectiveness is diminished if visit behavior indicates a lack of relevance.

—Marianne Sweeny

When choosing third-party partners for guest posting, don’t forget that it is always about mutual benefits. Your website has to offer content or other values to become knowledgeable candidates for working with domains of higher prestige and authority. Nevertheless, persistence and diligence in guest blogging are the right motivations to increase your page’s reach, keep your content refreshed regularly, enhance the efficacy of SEO, and boost traffic.

1. Relevant stats compilations for journos and editors = doing their homework.
Example: Vegan Beauty Industry Stats & Trends for 2022/3
2. Answer to a (burning) question.
Example: http://howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com
3. Solution for a problem.
Example: 101 Date Night Ideas That Aren’t Dinner & A Movie

—Bibi Raven

The Role of Social Media in Link Building: How to Use Social Channels to Drive Links

The benefits of digital engagement are hard to underestimate. Since achieving higher ranks in SERPs and increasing website traffic is like playing in the same pool with other competitors, it is clear that one or two efficient methods won’t be enough. Utilizing the resources of social media is equal to accessing other target audiences with a single click. Of course, it is not as simple and requires a lot of work, but the overall principle is clear — applying social channels helps you promote your domains and boost their credibility and authority.

Content that mentions other relevant businesses. Naturally, when a business gets mentioned, they will want to share it.
—Joey Trend

It isn’t enough to mention your post in a social media advertisement and expect when it is the right time to harvest the results. The main problem and joy of SEO approaches are how multicomponent it is. This field requires high-end quality at each stage, and excellent copywriting and content aren’t less efficient than well-done link building.

Any kind of content can grab links if anyone can write it perfectly. You are not perfect if anyone needs to go to another URL to know more.
—Ayon Chy

The Waiting Game: Why Patience Is Key to Link Building Success

It is crucial to bear in mind coping with link building challenges isn’t a one-time occasion. It is a routine process that requires special maintenance, knowledge, and devotion. Although black and grey hat SEO tools might promise fast and instant results, they aren’t lasting. Google and other search engine systems are strict when it comes to detecting breaches of their policies, and penalties are heavy.

Skills & personality traits good for link building:
  •  Patience
  •  Persistence
  •  Perseverance

—Debi Norton

That’s why preferring white hat SEO methods for link profile analysis and natural link building is a healthy behavior on the internet. What’s more, it delivers great results in the long run and helps you adapt to ever-changing Google guidelines in a smooth and efficient way. Of course, this patience comes in handy and lets you self-build the most functional and versatile attitude to SEO and link building best practices.

  •  Good at listening to others and getting their point across
  •  Patient, but never complacent.
  •  Able to step outside of the box and come at problems from different angles.
  •  Long-range thinking
  •  Part psychologist and part internet/content geek.

—Olena Prokhoda

Link Building Metrics That Matter: How to Measure Your Success and Adjust Your Strategy

The more links you build, the more successful your target domains can become — that’s definitely not a rule of thumb in the market. On the contrary, quality is more important than quantity. You also should be ready to face failures even though the original plan was likely to be a wow. It is a must to analyze your previous approaches and current results to understand how to improve your off-page optimization and other SEO parameters in the environment of constant algorithm updates.

I've sent a non-personalized email to 700 users.
I got bogged down in communications. In the end, I was able to get 3 links in 2 months of work.
My investment has been greater than my return.

—Olena Prokhoda

Here are some aspects to pay attention to kickstart your performance and learn from fellow link building case studies:

  • You should be monitoring the volume of referring domains gained on a monthly basis. This period of time is sufficient to track how great or bad your chosen tactics are. You will be in vain if you keep expecting overnight boosts after implementing new links or testing the latest tools.

Try Serpstat's 7-day free trial and unlock powerful tools for analyzing your backlinks, identifying referring domains, and detecting malicious websites.

By leveraging our comprehensive suite of features, you can gain valuable insight into the performance of your website and make data-driven decisions.

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No matter how challenging link building lessons and tasks can be — if you are persistent enough and keep seeking answers to your questions, you can attract new visitors to your pages and improve the credibility of your content. Choosing the best practices in SEO and implementing them in practice is always about certain ups and downs, which help you become better with each failure.

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