Guide about how to get backlinks and improve your SEO in 2024.

How To Get Backlinks: 5 Practical Methods For 2024

Marie Davtyan

Table of Contents

There are several ways to get backlinks, but not all of them will lead you to higher rankings. Yet, that’s a fundamental purpose of SEO, isn’t it?

Google’s rankings are influenced by the number of unique domains linking to a page, according to a recent Backlinko study. For this reason, in this article, we want to spill the tea on how to get backlinks that will bring you superiority in search engines.

Why are Backlinks Still Important in SEO?

Before learning how to get backlinks, understanding why they’re important to you makes sense. Backlinks are important because Google still counts them as a signal that another website finds your content relevant and valuable.

The presence and quality of backlinks in your web pages represent the authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your website. They also indicate you have a natural backlink profile. Thus, the more authoritative your website is, the higher Google will rank it – just like a reward for good behavior.

How to Get Backlinks in 2024?

As an SEO enthusiast, you should know that there are multiple ways to get backlinks. Some of them are quite spammy and can even harm your backlink profile. However, in this guide, we avoid talking about such practices.

Engage in Practical Link Exchanges

Link exchanges are fine as long as you don’t do them excessively, which is against Google’s good policies. It’s a practice where two websites link to each other’s content for increased search visibility on the search engine results page. Thus, to find link exchange opportunities and figure out how to get backlinks, you should find suitable websites.

The process of finding websites for link exchanges is called link prospecting, and there’s no link building strategy without it. To find websites and contacts to reach out to for link exchanges, consider the following steps:

  • Pick the route you’re going to take with your link building strategy and identify your link building methods, whether that’s A-B-C change, guest posting, or Link insertions.
  • Next, select topics to target and list similar and relevant topics the websites you reach out to should cover. If your website is about cat nutrition, target websites that cover cat medicine, annual vet care, cat health problems, etc.
  • Specify the criteria of metrics you’ll follow and that are important for you, such as the domain rating, organic traffic, relevance, etc.
  • Create a list of prospects with the help of Ahrefs by heading to the “Content Explorer” tab and searching for your relevant keyword and you’ll have all the info you need. You can even filter the websites through metrics you need by clicking on “+more filters.”
Creating a list of websites for outreach through Ahrefs “Content Explorer”.

Following the previous step, find who you’re going to contact such as the link builder of the website, the SEO manager, the content manager, the editor, or someone else.

Finally, create an email sequence to give a start to your link exchanges. To complete it successfully, do some research on their websites and write personalized messages. Introduce your message and yourself. Avoid using words that echo that you’re trying to sell them something. And don’t forget to add a call to action at the end. Last but not least, prepare follow-up messages for when they don’t answer immediately; it’s pretty common, so you shouldn’t worry.

This is how to get backlinks with the help of link exchanges. Next, let’s explore guest posting!

Offer Value Through Guest Posting

Guest posting, if you haven’t heard of it before, as the name suggests, is the practice of writing blog posts for websites other than your own. You provide great content – the host website receives value, and your content receives attention from their existing audience.

Your blog post is like a guest to their blog; through it, you also earn links back to your website – organic backlinks. This, in turn, signals Google or other search engines about your website’s credibility and authority.

Well, that’s one answer to how to get backlinks. But you need an invite to be a guest, right? There are several ways to find out how to ask for a backlink through guest posting, including the usage of practical tools like Ahrefs. Learn more about the step-by-step process of finding websites for guest posting by clicking on this guide to guest posting we made earlier.

Other ways you can initiate guest posting opportunities are through:

  • Networking – through social media, online and offline events, and other ways of networking you can find.
  • LinkedIn: announce that you’re open to such opportunities or reach out to new or old acquaintances to start a conversation with them.
  • Google search: by typing “your target keyword” + “write for us,” “contribute as a guest blogger,” “guest post guidelines,” and you’ll easily find websites in your industry that accept guest posts.
Looking for guest posting opportunities through Google search.

After you make a list of the websites that accept guest posts and start a conversation with them through email outreach, you can provide value and receive organic backlinks.

List Your Business On Relevant Listicles

In your quest to find out how to get backlinks, you should consider listing your business in suitable listicles.

Listicles are articles written in a list format that present products, films, educational material, and much more. They consist of paragraphs that give the reader detailed or brief descriptions of those products or services, depending on the depth and length of the listicle.

They are effective when written well because they provide information in a short format, which means they’re easy to digest. And you’re from this time and space, you know how short today’s attention spans are. Thus, listicles work well for delivering important messages.

The above is true because due to their format, they don’t try to ramble too much information in one go, instead, they provide links when the reader needs to explore more information to get the answers they need – that can be a link to your web page.

This way, your brand mention is natural in the context, you choose the keyword to place the link on and the reader gets to learn about your business practically.

Here’s a simple step-by-step process to follow to find listicles to list your business in:

  • First, add the Ahrefs SEO Toolbar to your browser and log in to your account.
  • In Google, search for “top,” “list”, or “best” + “your keyword/product type,” for example – top + human resources software.
  • With the help of Ahrefs, export the results as a CSV file, as shown in the screenshot below. You can also try other keywords to get other SERP results and merge all CSVs.
  • Next, clean this data so you have good and reputable listicles to work with.
Searching for listicles and using Ahrefs extension to export data.

You should remove duplicates and delete websites with low traffic and low DR (whichever number is low for you.) You can easily do this in Excel or Google Sheets since Ahrefs export files include this data.

Also, according to a case study by Ahrefs, you should segment this list according to:

  • Lists that don’t mention your product or service.
  • Lists that mention your business without a link.
  • Lists in which you are ranked lower than your competitors.

Now, find contact information like the author of the listicle or the website contacts so that you can reach out to them to list your product/service in the listicle. You can do it manually or with an email finder tool. This is where you must prepare a great outreach email and reach out to those contacts with a clear message and your request.

Finally, follow up on the conversation and personalize your messages to receive the best results with your listicle outreach.

All this being said – consider looking for relevant listicles and pitching to them to find backlink opportunities and add this to your link building methods. This is one of the most effective answers to how to ask for backlinks that are not forced and show up as organic to Google.

Work on Developing Linkable Assets to Obtain Backlinks

One of the best organic link building tips is that you should create content that satisfies the reader’s search intent and helps them with the information they want to find. Linkable assets are created to attract good backlinks from other websites and refer to content formats that offer value, coherence, and originality.

They’re usually long-form and SEO-optimized content capable of ranking well. Such formats are blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, and videos. Linkable assets are also well-researched and packed with information that’s usually hard to come by.

Linkable assets are called so because, over time, other websites will want to link it if it’s valuable and authoritative enough. As a result, search engines will consider your website an authority in your field. In this sense, it will provide yet another solution to the challenge of how to get backlinks.

Having said all that, let’s discuss how you can ensure your content is linkable and what other formats you can call a “linkable asset”.


Guides or how-to guides provide detailed instructions on how to complete a task from beginning to end. How-to guides may also provide best practices, examples of desired outcomes, as well as trends and insights into guide pieces. Guides can also come in different formats such as downloadable PDFs, images, or blog posts, such as this one.

A guide example from Moz Blog about creating an SEO strategy.

Source page

Similar to guides there are also manuals – guides that contain more in-detail and technical information and instructions.

Make guides “linkable” by optimizing and updating them regularly. Learn about your target audience and their preferences – specifically, which kind of words and phrases they look for, use, or like.

Use Google search,, Ahrefs, or other tools to carry out your audience and topic research. Remove technical or complicated terminology in the text to make it easy to understand. Include examples, actionable tips, and visual illustrations next to your explanations to offer a unique experience for your reader.

Case Studies

A case study is a detailed review of how your company, product, or service has benefited previous customers. It can take the form of a webpage, document, or slide deck that presents quantifiable, actual outcomes. To support points made about the results of a project, a great case study also includes statistics and research.

An example of a detailed case study.

Source page

Case studies are applicable when you’re wondering how to get backlinks because they provide practical insights into the usage of a company’s tools, products, or services. If written well, they are useful. When creating them, mention the problems your case study targets, organize the info well, and have a cohesive message across the entire text. Finally, speak in real numbers to demonstrate the results you achieved to make them clear and compelling.

Statistical Reports

These are yet another great resource for websites to link to. Most websites are in search of original statistical data that serves as proof for making statements in articles. Thus, they’re in demand and can increase your chances of getting organic backlinks if your reports are up-to-date and keyword-optimized to rank well. You can create statistical reports by interviewing industry experts, conducting studies, and carrying out elaborate research.

These and other types of link-worthy assets can be created to attract backlinks and raise your rankings on Google. To learn more about linkable content formats, study our more detailed guide on them.

Learn How to Get Backlinks from Competitors

Competitor backlink analysis is another way of getting organic backlinks in the sense that it gives you new insights you might have missed. Since you and your competitors share quite a similar target audience, as you analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles, you will discover the following:

  • New sources of backlinks
  • Areas of backlink profile improvement
  • New and natural link building strategies
  • Well-performing content formats you haven’t tried yet
  • Things you should never do if you want to gain a competitive advantage

Here are a few clear steps you can take to complete competitor analysis with the help of Ahrefs.

Step 1: Look for your direct competitors by entering your website in the search bar and going to “Organic Competitors” – these are your domain-level competitors. If you change the search filter to “exact URL,” you’ll be able to see your page-level competitors and you’ll be able to learn how to track backlinks from a specific page on your website.

Looking up page-level competitors through Ahrefs.

Then, you can mix the results and carry on with your analysis.

If you scroll down, you can also notice that Ahrefs provides you with top competing pages for the page you’re searching for. Here, you can look up their domain rating, organic traffic, common keywords your competitors target, and other metrics of evaluation.

Looking up top competing pages on Ahrefs for competitive analysis.

Step 2: Your second step here will be evaluating the backlinks of your competitors. Do they have the metrics you’d prioritize(high DR or organic traffic)? Do they have backlinks you don’t have? Do the backlinks have anchor texts with unique keywords you should consider?

All of these insights can be beneficial for moving on with your competitive analysis. Based on them, you can:

  • Identify websites your competitors have backlinks from that you don’t,
  • Work out an outreach strategy to target those websites and get good links,
  • Discover backlinks that are spammy and from websites you should never cooperate with.

You might be wondering how long do backlinks take to work. That’s a common question a lot of business owners and SEO specialists ask themselves. But the ones who have tried and tested the above tips will know that time does not matter as much as the fact that they do work quite effectively.

Key Takeaways

To conclude, here’s a quick overview of the main understandings:

  • Backlinks remain significant for SEO in 2024 as they indicate to search engines that other websites find your content relevant and valuable
  • Guest posting is another effective way to earn backlinks. By providing valuable content to other websites, you can gain organic backlinks, which signal search engines about your website’s credibility and authority.
  • By finding suitable listicles and reaching out to their authors or other website contacts, you can request to list your business and earn a backlink.
  • Developing linkable assets is another great approach to obtaining backlinks and positioning your website as an authority in your field.
  • By analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles, you can identify new sources of backlinks, areas for backlink profile improvement, and natural link building strategies, giving you a competitive advantage.

FAQ about getting backlinks

Are backlinks free?

Backlinks are free when you earn them through the organic link building strategies mentioned in this article. Otherwise, they’re paid.

Can backlinks hurt SEO?

On the contrary – unless you engage in practices that violate Google’s spam policies, leading you to penalties, they can’t hurt your SEO.

What is a bad backlink?

Bad backlinks come from topically unrelated websites, and private blog networks, which violate Google’s spam rules, and are found in keyword-stuffed anchor texts.

How many backlinks are too many?

Although there’s no fixed number of backlinks you should have, according to Google, they should come from unique domains and be placed naturally within context.


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