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Link Building: 5 Quick Win Tactics

Updated: Apr 1

Link Building - 5 Quick Win Tactics

Do you work for a digital marketing agency, or in-house marketing team, and curious about where to start when it comes to building a backlink profile?

This is article shines a light on just a few of the proven link building tactics that have been successful over the past 10 years, also known as quick wins. Named so, because of the speed they can be deployed with minimal client involvement. There’s no need to build tools, resources, or invest a large amount of time across different cross-functional teams to achieve success. These tactics fall in to the ‘short-term’ bucket and can form just a part of a comprehensive link building strategy.

Competing within competitive industries requires consideration of ‘long-term’ projects that will require additional effort and planning. A combination of the two will deliver results when considered as part on an SEO campaign.

In addition, these tactics can work for a brand-new website, along with an established household brand. Let’s dig in and explore the tactics in detail.

1. Backlink Gap Analysis

This tactic consists of auditing the backlink profile of selected competitors to identify if any of the following opportunities exist:

  • Linking Opportunities - websites linking to competitors, but not linking to your site.

  • Generate Content Ideas - do competitors have blog content, or other types of content, that have attracted a significant number of backlinks?

The objective of this tactic is to improve domain authority, reduce the gap between competitors, and diversify your backlink profile.

There are three different variations to consider when conducting backlink gap analysis:

  1. Export all of the external links for each chosen competitor, at the root domain level.

  2. Export all of the external links pointing to a specific landing page, for each chosen competitor. (e.g. for a specific product or service)

  3. Conduct a Google search, using a specific search term, and download the external links to the top 10 websites that feature in the SERPs - this will give you insight into the links that are being obtained, and therefore required to compete within those top 10 listings.

Exporting Backlink Data

Backlink data can be gathered from many different tools, such as Moz, SEMRush, and Ahrefs. I am using SEMRush as a guide.

If you have an SEMRush account you can navigate to the following page, to view, export, and gather the backlink data:

The tools mentioned can provide a lot of data that isn’t required, therefore consider keeping only what you need. From experience, when exporting the data these are the columns that I like to keep:

  • URL, Title, Anchor Text, DA, Target URL, Link Type, HTTP Status

SEMRush also provides a tool that automates this process, listed under Backlink Gap:

SEMRush Backlink Gap Tool

Both SEMRush and Moz have created a handy step-by-step blog post that covers this is detail, depending on the tool you have access to: 

If you have never audited backlink profiles, you will be surprised at how easy it is to get an in-depth understanding of the types of websites that are linking to your competitors. This is valuable information, and it will quickly help you identify the gap that exists between you and your competitors.

2. Unlinked Brand Mentions  

The second tactic involves identifying opportunities using Google search operators to find web pages where a brand/company has been mentioned, or listed, with no backlink. Especially where it would provide additional value for the users reading that particular web page. 

Here are a couple examples that can be entered into Google to identify if there are any opportunities, using Nike & Adidas as a placeholder to demonstrate: 

  1. Brand search: 

    1. "Nike" -inanchor:"" 

    2. Nike -inanchor:"" 

    3. Nike -inanchor:"nike"  

  2. Brand search with social media removed: 

    1. "Nike" -inanchor:"" 

    2. Nike -inanchor:"" 

    3. Nike -inanchor:"nike" 

  3. Brand search with related domains removed: 

    1. "Adidas" -inanchor:"" 

    2. Adidas -inanchor:"" 

    3. Adidas -inanchor:"adidas" 



  • If there are companies with similar a brand name, it’s simple to remove these using the “-site:” search operator. 

  • If this doesn’t refine the results try adding an additional search term that is relevant, e.g. “trainers”.  

  • Remember to remove all related domains, and sub-domains, if the domain has related domains that appear when conducting each search.  

  • Social Media sites can be removed, by adding to the search. 


3. 404 Page & Broken Links 

The third tactic involves auditing and identifying if there are any backlinks pointing to pages on your site that are returning a 404 error page. The solution will involve implementing 301 redirects if there is value in preserving the backlinks. 

  1. If you ever encounter a URL that returns a 404 error, run it through a backlink checker to identify if that page has any backlinks that are worth re-capturing. 

  2. When completing backlink audits check the HTTP Status column, if the backlink checker tool provides this data, this is where the status header of the page that the backlink is linking to will show the HTTP response status codes.  

4. Industry Specific Marketplaces 

There are many different avenues to increase visibility within the search results. This isn’t just about chasing “follow” links, this is about growing a business and increasing exposure to a brand. Marketplaces like Clutch, and Wix, provide a great resource for smaller business to connect with a vast amount of dedicated experts who provide a service.   

There’s a lot more marketplaces for specific industries that can help drive leads for businesses. These can be found by searching and conducting a little research, this includes during the backlink gap analysis process. 


5. Associations & Accreditation 

The final tactic involves reaching out to your local chamber of commerce, or seeking ways to obtain accreditation that will provide assurance to your customers/clients. These can have costs associated, but this will also help towards building a brand that has greater visibility online and provides external certification that people can trust:  

  • Chamber of Commerce 

  • Better Business Bureau 



As outlined at the beginning, these tactics are great to consider at the beginning of a campaign to build the foundations of a successful SEO campaign. But it will not be enough to improve organic visibility in competitive industries – planning long-term is essential. This is where it will be important to get creative and create a well-planned content and social media strategy. 

View our SEO Services page, or reach out to us at, if you want to find out more about our SEO services.


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