Link building mistakes

When it comes to SEO, link building is a critical strategy. However, there’s a potential pitfall that you must be aware of the link building mistakes. Link building remains a vital part of increasing a website’s authority and rankings on search engines. However, the road to building valuable backlinks can be filled with challenges, particularly in 2023, as search engines continue to refine their algorithms, putting emphasis on high-quality, relevant links.

In this article, we will discuss the common mistakes people make during link-building and how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

Not Creating Linkable Content

One of the most common link building mistakes to avoid is not investing in the creation of linkable content. Linkable content is often the basis of effective link building; it’s high-quality, informative, and adds value, making others more likely to link back to it. Simply put, you can capitalise on many links by creating a piece of content that people credit and link to. This has the potential to go way further than any guest post of outreach campaign if executed properly in a way that gets the attention of your target market.

How Do You Make Sure Your Content Is Linkable?

Firstly, the quality content must be original, comprehensive, and insightful. It doesn’t just repeat information found elsewhere. Instead, it offers a fresh perspective or new data, making it a worthwhile resource. Content that attracts backlinks often includes researched articles, case studies, thought leadership posts, informative videos, and visually appealing infographics.

Furthermore, content that addresses current trends or hot topics within your niche tends to attract attention and backlinks. It’s also essential to align with the search intent of users, ensuring your content meets their needs and, consequently, earns the coveted backlink.

Strategies for Creating Content That Attracts Links

To create content that compels others to link to your website, start by conducting thorough keyword and market research. Determine gaps in existing content, understand your audience’s pain points, and design your material to address these areas. Employing tools like Ahrefs for keyword analysis and exploring LinkedIn discussions can provide insights into topics that resonate with your audience.

Another strategy involves creating comprehensive ‘ultimate guides’ or ‘how-to’ articles that deeply explore a target keyword or topic relevant to your niche. These evergreen pieces are not only beneficial for users but are also frequently linked by websites that find your content authoritative and informative.

Collaborating with influencers or experts for interviews or guest posts can also enhance the credibility of your content, making it more link-worthy. Additionally, original research, surveys, or case studies make your content stand out, providing unique value that isn’t available elsewhere.

Read More: Link Building Strategies

Not Focusing on Link Relevancy

While many websites for links might seem “good enough”, search engines prioritise the quality and relevance of these websites to yours. Building links from sites irrelevant to your niche can result in low-quality links, which do not contribute positively to your search engine ranking. Links from websites with good domain authority and suitability to your niche act as a vote of acceptance, signalling to search engines that your material is useful, credible, and worthy of a higher ranking.

In fact, links from irrelevant sites can dilute your website’s perceived niche, confusing search engines about the topic you’re authoritative in. This can impact your rankings negatively and even lead to penalties from search engines if the links are perceived as an attempt to manipulate your site’s ranking.

How to Identify and Target Relevant Websites?

Start by recognising websites that are appropriate to your niche. These websites should complement your content and add value to your audience. Conduct searches for non-competing sites in your industry, use tools to analyse backlink profiles of industry leaders, and consider their sources.

Utilsing SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz can help identify potential websites by looking at your direct competitors. These tools allow you to explore their backlink profiles and locate potential link-building possibilities. Analyse the type of relevant sites your competitors have gotten their links from and tailor your outreach to similar sites. 

You can also engage with the very same sites through their contact details, social media, or even by commenting on their posts. Building relationships is a key step before outreach, as it increases the likelihood of gaining a backlink.

Using a Fake Author

Using a fake author while link building is one of the common mistakes that can cost dearly. Website owners and marketers today are more savvy and wise. They often verify the authenticity of authors before establishing connections or granting backlinks. This is to avoid building up any kind of spam score with search engines. 

If detected, a fake profile can lead to your emails being marked as spammy, which can decline your outreach success rate. More critically, it could blacklist you within professional circles, severely limiting future link-building opportunities.

By presenting genuine credentials, you reinforce trust. Linking to genuine LinkedIn profiles, sharing previous works, and maintaining a consistent online presence are tactics that can enhance your outreach’s credibility.

Moreover, website owners often want to link to or collaborate with real people. Being genuine not only validates the quality of your content but also lays the groundwork for building relationships in your industry, ensuring long-term link-building success.

Tips for Verifying Authorship

For website owners on the receiving end of outreach, verifying authorship ensures that you’re building a strong and natural link profile. Consider the following methods:

      • Cross-check the author’s credentials with their LinkedIn profile.

      • Search their name online to find previous works or contributions.

      • Reach out directly through known official channels or platforms, avoiding the outreach email.

    Spammy or Unclear Subject Lines

    When doing outreach for link-building, your emails are everything, and the subject line of your email serves as an initial first impression. A spammy or irrelevant subject line drastically reduces your email’s open rate. In contrast, an engaging, clear, and relevant subject line can increase the likelihood of your outreach being read, improving your chances of building backlinks.

    The best subject lines are concise, direct, and modified to the recipient’s conditions. They should instantly convey the email’s value proposition. It’s vital to avoid using words commonly flagged as spam by email services. Words like “free,” “promo,” or “urgent” can lead to your emails ending up in the spam folder, significantly reducing their visibility.

    A/B Testing Subject Lines for Better Results

    One strategy that hasn’t lost its relevance, even in 2023, is A/B testing. By crafting two different subject lines and monitoring the open rates for each, you can get insights into what resonates with your target audience. This continuous optimisation ensures that your outreach strategy remains effective, maximising the chances of your emails being read and acted upon.

    Not Personalising the Pitch

    When it comes to link building, one size doesn’t fit all. A generic outreach template might save time, but it also greatly decreases the likelihood of a positive response. Recipients can easily spot a templated pitch, which often comes across as insincere or lazy. In the age of personal connections and authenticity, a non-personalised pitch can result in missed opportunities.

    Personalising your pitch doesn’t just improve open rates; it enhances the entire user experience, reinforcing the authenticity and genuine interest of your content. By tailoring your emails to each recipient, you signal that you’ve taken the time to understand their work, values, and interests. This effort makes a significant difference when persuading website owners or bloggers to consider your content for a backlink.

    Tips for Creating Personalised Emails

        • Research the Recipient: Before reaching out, take some time to understand the recipient’s content, values, and interests. Referencing specific articles or projects they’ve worked on can be a great way to start the conversation.

        • Address Them by Name: It might seem simple, but addressing the recipient by their name instead of a generic greeting immediately personalises the email.

        • Be Genuine: Don’t just flatter for the sake of it. Be sincere in your appreciation or comments regarding their work.

        • Clear Value Proposition: Explain precisely how linking to your content can benefit them and their audience. Whether it’s a unique perspective, detailed research, or expert insights, make sure the value is clear.

      Obsessing Over Third-Party Link Metrics

      While tools like Ahrefs and Moz offer valuable insights into potential backlink sources, obsessing over their metrics without considering the broader context can be destructive.

      It’s essential to remember that third-party metrics are just estimations. They provide valuable insights but are not definitive markers of a website’s authority or relevance. Blindly following these metrics can lead marketers to overlook potentially valuable link-building opportunities.

      Combining Third-Party Metrics With Your Own Analysis

      Instead of solely relying on third-party tools, consider conducting your own analysis. Look at the website’s content, user engagement, applicability to your site, and overall quality. Use metrics from tools like Ahrefs as a guide, but ensure that you’re also considering qualitative aspects that might not be captured in these metrics.

      For example, a site with slightly lower metrics might be undergoing a rebranding or targeting a new audience segment that aligns perfectly with your content. Such opportunities can be easily missed if you’re solely focusing on numbers.

      Offering to Buy Links

      With the goal of quickly boosting their backlink profile, some marketers resort to a black hat SEO tactic of purchasing links. However, this approach comes with several inherent risks that can potentially harm your site’s SEO efforts.

      Search engines like Google prioritise organic link building and have mechanisms to detect unnatural link profiles. If you’re caught buying links, you might not only lose those links but also suffer a significant dip in rankings. Worse, your site could be blacklisted, making recovery a challenging task.

      Building Links Through Ethical Means

      Organic link building emphasises the grade and applicability of backlinks rather than the massive number of links. By creating high-quality content and fostering genuine relationships with other website owners and bloggers relevant to your niche, you’ll build backlinks that genuinely boost your online visibility.

      Not only do these links offer SEO benefits, but they also drive organic traffic to your site from audiences who are genuinely interested in your content, leading to higher engagement rates.

      Instead of buying links, you can rely on these resorts:

          • Guest Posting: By contributing quality content to other websites, you not only establish authority in your niche but also create opportunities for backlinks.

          • Engage in Collaborative Content: Partner with other brands or influencers for webinars, podcasts, or co-authored articles. This approach can enhance visibility and create mutual backlinking opportunities.

        Not Following Up

        In the hustle and bustle of digital communication, emails can easily get lost in the shuffle. Whether it’s due to an overloaded inbox or simply an oversight, the initial email might go unnoticed. This is where it’s necessary to follow up.

        The strategic timing of a follow-up can significantly impact the success of securing a high-quality connection. While the first email serves as an introduction, the follow-up is a gentle nudge, reminding the recipient of your proposal and showcasing your genuine interest in collaborating.

        Here is what to remember while sending follow-up emails.

            • Timeliness is Key: It is advisable to exercise patience and allow for an appropriate duration before dispatching a subsequent email. While you don’t want to be hasty, waiting too long might also diminish the chances of a positive response. Typically, a week is a good window.

            • Be Respectful: Always be polite and understanding in your follow-up emails. Recognise that the recipient is busy and might have missed your initial message.

            • Offer Additional Value: If you didn’t get a response the first time, consider sweetening the deal. Maybe you’ve published new content or come across an article they’ve written that resonates with your proposal. Use this to reignite the conversation.

          The timing of your follow-up can play a pivotal role in its success. Aim to send your emails during the workweek, avoiding weekends and holidays. Studies suggest that emails sent in the mid-morning, around 10-11 AM, have higher open rates.

          Also Read: Link Building in Competitive Niches: Strategies for Outranking Competitors


          Successful link-building is much like any meaningful relationship—rooted in trust, value, and understanding. As we chart our course in 2023, let’s not just chase after links. Instead, let’s create narratives, spark connections, and craft digital stories that resonate, captivate, and endure. After all, in this digital age, the best links are the ones that truly connect.


           Ignoring link relevancy means acquiring backlinks from websites that are not appropriate to your own website. This can have a negative impact on your SEO efforts as search engines prefer natural backlink profiles that are related to your website’s niche.

          Disregarding local SEO and geo-targeting can lead to a lack of targeted traffic and reduced visibility in local search results. It is important to target websites and acquire backlinks from sites that are appropriate to your geographical location or target audience.


          Building a quality link profile is crucial for SEO success. A quality link profile consists of backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites. Search engines consider the quality of your link profile when determining your website’s authority, trustworthiness, and ranking in search results.



          On-page SEO refers to the optimization of content, URL, title, etc. It plays a crucial role in link building as it enhances the relevance and quality of your website, making it more likely to attract backlinks from authoritative sources.



          The types of links to avoid in link building include link spam, paid links, and irrelevant or low-quality backlinks. It is important to focus on acquiring natural, organic, and high-quality backlinks that add value to your website.

          Utilising exact match anchor text too much is bad in the eyes of search engines and it can even penalise your site. It is recommended to diversify your anchor text by using variations, natural language, and branded terms to maintain a balanced and natural backlink profile.

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