local link building

Local Link Building For Any Business On A Budget [27 Strategies For 2021]

This is the most actionable guide to local link building.

You'll learn here how to build backlinks for any local business on a shoestring budget.

Also, you'll discover some advanced strategies for 2021 (and beyond) that I never shared anywhere before.

Let's get started.

 

1. Use Job Portals For Quick Backlink Wins

 

When building links for our clients, one of the first few questions we ask is, “what's the existing content asset in the client’s website we can use as USP for linker outreach?”.

This question breaks the “content mental block” that is often experienced when strategizing what link acquisition tactics that require content to create in order to acquire high-quality links.

Interestingly, we’ve discovered that there are existing under-utilized pages published on client’s sites that we can use to show/provide to publishers and content creators to get them to link to the client’s page.

A great example of this content is “jobs portal”.

A “jobs portal” is a directory/curation of all job positions available in a local area.

Your brand can even curate available positions available for a specific industry  (e.g. “tech startup jobs in New York”).

boston tech jobs

 

For some local brands that I’ve audited, the jobs portal is inherently the first few pages published on their sites which serve as a content hub for their local partners like local professional organizations who are looking for new hires for their teams.

Jobs portal caters specifically to the “job seekers” linkable market which has a lucrative number of links pages.

Link prospecting for this strategy is pretty much the same as how you’ll normally do it for a resource page link building or broken link building strategy, but the difference is just that you are only looking for a local linkable market - “jobs links/resources pages in Boston” for example.

You can start prospecting using Google search with any of the following search queries to collect your initial set of local link opportunities:

  • “job search” “resources” “CITY”
  • employment” inurl:resources “CITY”
  • “job hunting” resources “CITY”
  • inurl:careers “CITY”

Expand your list by reverse engineering other local job portals or other local job board sites.

By checking which pages link to local-relevant job board sites on this page, I was able to collect a few more tens of local links pages.reverse engineer resource pages

Once you have generated your list of prospects along with their contact details, you can then start engaging them through your outreach campaign.

Spend a few extra minutes to check if there are broken links on a prospect page.

If all links are working, simply request to be included as an additional resource on their links page.

I’ve found it helpful to add subtle changes to email copies to emphasize the local relevance of the jobs portal or any other local content pieces I’m building links to. I usually add lines for:

  • The best section on the resource page to add the client’s local content
  • Who is the target audience of the content?
  • A few recommendations for the content that serves as a social proof

email outreach jobs resource pages

 

With proper execution, we were able to acquire links:

resource page link first example

resource page link second example

2. Create Localized Visual Data

 

Visual data link building (infographic-based link building) is getting more saturated, as more brands try to pick up on it. But with the right audience targeting along with accurate data and impressive design, visual data can still prove its effectiveness in getting high-value links especially if it’s been massively promoted through different content distribution channels.

One way to get started with this approach is to find a local piece of content created by other publishers who had extensive research on a particular subject matter and transform it into a visual asset.

To give you an example, recently we’ve been looking for a piece of content that we could well turn into an infographic.

By searching for available public data on different trusted sites, we’ve found a research study on teen dating, abuse & bullying with respondents based in  New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

nacjd public data source website

 

Side note: here are a few public data sites you can source information from for your visual assets:

We’ve checked if the public data is still relevant in the current year, as we want to get the most recent study as much as possible (the latest we consider is 2016).

One way that helped us assess the relevance and credibility of a public data piece is by looking at the version history section. For example, the research study we considered was initially published in 2012 but it has been updated for 2016 (indicated in the version history section).

Then we strategize how the public data content can be turned into an infographic without cursing the target audience with knowledge.

Given that the research study has two sections: teen dating & abuse and teen bullying, we’ve decided to choose teen dating & abuse and keep the latter for future content references.

concised research study

 

The hardest part of visual data link building is content creation.

As an agency, there are two ways to attack this: outsource to a freelancer or hire an in-house graphic designer.

We chose the latter simply because it’s time and cost-efficient.

Produced the visual data (partial image below):

teen dating infographic

 

Then we’ve spent most of our hours looking for potential link partners or content publishers who’ll be interested in the content piece we produced.

We begin prospecting using the following local-centric queries in Google search:

You can also use Reverse Image Search or Tineye to find and track any local-based infographics for local bloggers and publishers who distributed these pieces on their blogs.

If in case you’ve been running out of prospects, you can tap other industries and look for local publishers who still cater to the targeted audience of your content.

In our case, we tapped local legal publishers with the injury/sexual harassment categories on their sections.

sexual harassment injury blog

 

As for the outreach, make it easier for your local prospects to know the interesting fact on your visual data. It is best to state some numbers and your target audience to build the context relevance and credibility of your content piece.

visual link building outreach

 

You can test the two-blogger outreach process to initially capture your prospects’ interests then eventually sending the link pointing to your visual data (or attaching it in your email conversation) if they’ve positively responded to your initial pitch.

Useful Resource: The State of Backlinks for SEO in 2021: What 800+ SEOs Think About Link Building

 

3. Realize Opportunity In "New To An Area" Pages

For local link building, what I’ve found to be most quantitative (high amount) in links/resource pages are those that cater to audiences who are relocating/living to a new area or city.

Typically, these are pages that provide lists of resources/references that a person who’s new to an area would definitely find.

Here are some examples of local “new to an area” topics:

  • Quality schools in [City] or finding the right schools
  • Local laws in [City]
  • Tourist information, local attractions, or things to do in [City]
  • How to get here
  • Volunteer listings in [City]
  • Moving and relocation in [City]
  • internet & cable
  • my neighborhood

If you are marketing a brick and mortar business, a local attraction, a local professional organization, or a utility company (i.e. internet cable), it’s best to get your initial set of links from this type of resource page.

things to do in city pages

 

You can start prospecting by using “page-level” qualifier queries (which I highly recommend if you’re looking for “new to an area” topical pages) through Google search.

If you're prospecting for "things to do in [City]" pages, here are the following search queries that you can use:

  • inurl:"things to do" [City]
  • intitle:"things to do" [City]
  • inurl:links activities in [City]

The above approach is an alternate option to the basic link prospecting queries for resource page link building (i.e. using inurl:resources OR inurl:links “keyword”).  It expands your search for link opportunities that don’t necessarily have the title tag or URL qualifiers (intitle and inurl).

The next step is to reach out to webmasters of these links pages and offer your website to be included as an additional resource on the page.

I’ve found it helpful to prepare short lines/descriptions to be added to the links page along with your link. It can help take away webmasters’ burden of thinking about what texts to add, that describes your brand/website (e.g. best description of your local attraction).

area to pages link building outreach

 

If you’ve executed it properly, you’ll definitely get a link.

attraction resource pages

4. Get Resource Links From Summer/Off-Campus Housing [City] Pages

 

Summer housing/off-campus housing pages are resource lists of available housing options for both students and interns in a local area.

This type of webpages can positively generate exposure to brands they’re linking out to as well as provide possible leads for brands’ services since the purpose of the page is focused on recommending rental offerings currently available in the area.

The closest vertical that can benefit from generating high-quality links from summer housing [city] pages, obviously, is real estate, particularly local apartments brands, housing, and rental services companies.

National brands with apartment rentals in different cities can also take advantage of this link acquisition technique by acquiring links from summer housing resource pages available in cities they cater offerings to. The more cities they’re marketing to, the better they could take advantage of this local link building tactic.

national apartments

 

You can start this link approach by creating a list of targeted link prospects from Google search results - using any of the following search terms:

  • “Off-campus” housing [city] “resources”
  • “Student housing” [city] “resources”
  • “Internship housing” [city] “resources”

Populate your list by checking broken domains for any inbound links from summer housing pages. A simple plug to your favorite link checker tool can help quickly assess the number of unique referring domains pointing to these dead websites.

For example, this extinct site that is used to be an apartment rental site has 75+ unique referring domains that include solid .edu sites links pages. A quick look at it can reveal tens of potential summer housing pages that can be added to a link list.

ahrefs summer housing reverse engineering links

 

Then craft email copies you can use for your local outreach that is straightforward and easy to personalize.

Finally, acquire the link:summer housing link

5. Serve FSQ With Local Content

 

Creating content that’s really hard to do and that is better than its competitors is definitely one of the best ways, not just to stand out as an authority publisher in the industry but also to acquire high-quality in-content links from other content publishers on the web.

In addition to that, making sure that the content piece has well-served its audience by providing their needs through the useful information found on the page can increase the chances of building as well as earning backlinks from highly relevant sites.

For local content creation, here are topics that are frequently searched (FSQ or frequently search queries) by a local audience and linked to by local publishers:

  • Street occupancy and moving permits
  • [city] neighborhoods
  • Helpful moving tips or things to do before you move
  • Resources for landlords & tenants
  • Homeowner resources
  • Voter registration
  • Address change

The main key to success in creating local content is to be succinct while being so much helpful in providing the details that the local audience needs.

Coming up with a guide that sums up all of the items mentioned above for people who’re looking for direct information is an extremely useful content asset that has high chance of earning links from local content creators.

moving resource example 1

moving resource example 2

moving resource example 3moving resource example 4

 

6. Seed Answers To Long Tail Online Discussions

 

Conversation marketing is a highly effective brand-building tool for local business owners, marketers, and/or those who’re an agency that markets local clients - who don’t have a huge budget to spend to build a strong brand presence online.

While it’s certainly time-consuming, the amount of effort put into value-added conversations can invaluably bring momentum and exponential growth of links as well as drive referral traffic and potential leads for the business.

One of the best ways to start this approach is by joining online communities where your local target audience is participating and looking for direct information.

For example, if you’re promoting a local attraction site, answering questions on StreetAdvisor can be an initial jump to your conversation marketing efforts.

seed forum link building

 

Below are some ways that you can do to leverage and scale conversation marketing for your local business:

  • Do Google searches for direct questions that people are seeking to find local businesses and/or attractions (e.g. best [product/service] in [city/area]) and spot-on local and niche-specific forums that are currently ranking in the first two or three pages in search results  - these online pages still receive a few tens/hundreds of organic traffic and may bring valuable traffic to your website.
  • Choose an in-house team member who has a strong knowledge of the product/service you’re offering and let him/her spend 20 to 30 minutes daily, participating in local online discussions.

 

7. Promote Your Local Content Using Reddit

 

Reddit is a community news aggregator site that has its own ranking algorithm to decide which referring link deserves to be placed on the front page for a specific subreddit.

If you’re launching local content that contains a compelling story/data and design-driven images, such as infographics, then Reddit is definitely a place that you can utilize to put more eyeballs on your content (increasing the amount of traffic you’re getting).

You can start by identifying specific subreddits that are relevant to your local brand. Do a Google search for site:reddit.com “keyword” OR “city,” manually check each subreddit and see if they cater to the audience with the same demographics you’re targeting.

Create a list of relevant subreddits along with their current number of subscribers and online users (photo credit: Siegemedia).

siegemedia reddit promotion

 

It is best to take a few minutes checking referring links placed on the front page of each subreddit to assess content types (images/videos/data) that best resonate with the subreddit audience. You can add a column for Notes or Remarks in your spreadsheet to mark content formats/types.

Once you have the Reddit data to base your content upon, you can now produce niche-specific content pieces that are context fit to those local subreddits.

You may want to check out this comprehensive post on creating content by building traffic sources backward from Reddit.

The next step is to customize social buttons on your content by adding a Reddit button, for example, to make it easier for Reddit users to upvote your content.

Another approach that you can make to increase the likelihood of ranking your story on the front Reddit pages is by reaching out to like-minded individuals in your industry or sharing your subreddit link in an online group of marketers to get more upvotes for your client’s content piece.

inbounders facebook group

 

8. Use Affinity Categories For Local Sponsorships 

 

Sponsorships are big in local SEO.

It's nothing new.

But what makes local sponsorships successful?

Answer: proper targeting of audience.

I'm not referring to types of entities: car clubs, event organizers, town clubs, charities, and forums.

But I'm referring to your:

Potential customers.

Most local sponsorships target any local audience, but not those who'll purchase their offerings — products/ or services.

One way to know the right market segment for local sponsorships is:

Through identifying affinity categories.

Affinity categories are users likely to be ready to purchase your products or services in the specified categories.

You can find these categories in Google Analytics:

Audience > Interests > Affinity Categories

google analytics affinity categories

 

These are specified categories your potential customers are also interested in.

You see, you're not just getting any sponsorship link from a local website.

But you get the benefit of directly putting your local sponsorship to potential customers.

Pro Tip: Zipsprout has reliable link building services that directly target local sponsorships.

 

9. Publish Review-Type Guest Posts For Local Vendors

 

Guest posts are everywhere.

But instead of doing it the traditional way for local link building.

Why not try this one?

Modified shoulder guest post.

You may not be familiar with this, but it's so simple.

Here's the process:

Identify local vendors.

local vendor

 

These are brands you may be partnering with as part of your operations and marketing.

In other words, you've used their products or services to grow your business.

Pitch to them, not guest posts.

But a case study or a review.

The first section of the article shares about your brand — a topic, and this is you include the link back to your website.

Then in the second part, you showcase how that local vendor has helped grow your business.

Simple.

 

10. Build Vendor Partner Links

 

Your vendor partners are the best sources of links.

Why?

Because they know you, they're likely to make your requests. And that includes — links.

So think about who is your vendor partners.

If you run a restaurant, you may source bread from a local bakery, or your ice cream could come from the homemade mom-and-pop shop.

local bakery

 

Have a list of all products you sell as a brand. Then check your vendor partners for each food (for example).

Then see if they have local stores.

Do eCommerce link building by going through their "vendors list" pages.

Reach out to them and ask for links.

 

11. Get Low Hanging Fruits From Competitors 

 

Competitor link analysis is nothing new.

You check who links to your competitors. Make a list of them and try to get backlinks from those pages.

In local link building, you start your search with your target keywords in Google Maps and organic search.

Then, it's time to discover some low-hanging fruits.

Use Ahrefs' Link Intersect.

link intersect local competitors

 

Put in your competitors' domains. And include your website as well — but it doesn't link to you.

You'll now see a list of websites that link to your competitor but not to your site.

ahrefs link intersect results local competitors links

 

Another good thing here:

You'll find link opportunities that are linked to a 404 page.

What you could do here is to create a better piece of content.

And reach out to all websites that linked to the broken page.

One more creative thing to do:

Get information on what link building tactics your competitors are doing.

This opens up new ideas and backlink opportunities for your local business.

 

12. Offer Free Content To Local Business Groups 

 

Guest posting is nothing new in SEO.

The typical approach to prospecting industry blogs is through Google search.

Use advanced search operators (i.g. inurl) plus topic, then you'll see possible websites for content.

But what if you almost run out of guest post targets?

What is an alternative way to find new niche blogs?

A NEW guest post prospecting strategy:

Facebook groups.

Not just generic Facebook groups that explicitly buy/sell or accept guest posts.

But I'm referring to local Facebook groups.

new york smes facebook group

 

One way to get guest post prospects is to offer an exclusive service to any content writer or SEO person of a local business.

By posting on specific local business groups, you open an opportunity for anyone interested in free content in their niche.

You can start with specific niche local businesses to make your content offer appeal to members of the group.

Then once you get comments and personal messages from local business content creators, you can check the quality of the blogs.

See if it passes your blog standards. Then, write and publish an article to their blogs with editorial links.

 

13. Pitch Statistics Content To Local and Regional Publishers 

 

Getting attention from local media isn't that difficult.

Create content with a story that's appealing to local publishers, and you pick up great backlinks.

How can you do that?

Think of statistics content.

rents statistics content

 

Local publishers often cite this type of content as they have information that isn't usually found elsewhere.

Especially if points and stories are interesting or unique.

One angle you can look at is state by state local data.

For example, "During Covid, Rental Rates in X States were % more expensive than in Y States".

While you can pitch this content directly to national publishers, make sure to pack some data points for local media attention.

 

14. Get Strategy Inspiration From Other Markets

 

Running out of link prospects is normal.

It often happens for local link-building campaigns where only a few websites are discovered in a specific city.

How do you come up with new targets for links?

The answer:

Outside your market, take the time to look at any other markets.

Maybe, you've been thinking:

What sense would it make to see your websites in different marketers when they don't work directly with your website?

The answer is pretty simple:

You get inspiration for new link building ideas.

So if you're in a smaller metro area, try to find other similar businesses from a large metro — to see what's working for them.

If you're in a large metro area, analyze backlink profiles from other larger metro areas.

You can also explore other niches, not just local businesses from other metro areas.

Let's say you're building backlinks for attorneys. Maybe you can see what's working for other industries like pest control?

pest control philadelphia

 

One tactic in a niche can be used differently in your local business niche.

If everyone in the legal market is doing scholarship link building, you won't see it being effective if it's adopted by many, including your competition.

When you're able to discover a link building technique that's not being abused yet by many…

You stay ahead of the competition.

Different markets have different search landscapes, so every backlink profile from ranking websites opens up other link building techniques.

 

15. Build Backlinks From Alumni Directories 

 

One common type of local backlink is alumni links.

They are easy to spot and acquire for your local business.

How?

You start by looking for local schools.

Then see if they have alumni directory pages with links.

alumni association links

 

From there, you use either two of these creative ways:

Provide discounts to community members to get links from their sites' member benefits page.

alumni association member benefits

 

alumni association member benefits 2

 

Or offer a free event space for org meetings.

If you're an eCommerce, the first one perfectly works well for you.

If you have extra office space (or events hall), the second idea gives you links.

 

16. Acquire Gov Links Using "Bait and Switch Strategy" 

 

Gov links aren't easy to acquire.

Especially for local businesses, but you’ll have a competitive advantage if you can get those authority links.

Bait and switch strategy.

This is a budgeted local link building campaign to land gov links.

Here is a seven-step process to execute this creative link building strategy.

Step 1: Find 30 to 50 local councils.

google philadelphia council links page

 

Step 2: Think about what to offer to council members. It could be a yoga class or giving away gym equipment.

Step 3: Purchase and create a .org domain. Then create a website based on your offer. For example, make a community yoga class website with a council finder if it’s a yoga class. It has no commercial intent but purely includes community information.

Step 4: Create a landing page related to the value offer (e.g., yoga class landing page on your website).

Step 5: Reach out to all local councils and other websites to promote your new .org site.

Step 6: Create a landing page related to the value offer (e.g., yoga class landing page on your website).

Step 7: Redirect the .org to your landing page with links to your money pages.

Win.

 

17. Find Local Businesses That Feature Non-Competing Brands

 

Strategic partnership is an excellent way to think about local link building.

There are great link opportunities when two or more non-competing brands collaborate.

For example, if you're doing SEO for a photography website, you can find ways to get featured on wedding and event organizers sites.

wedding resource page links

 

May it be from their blog section or their page dedicated to listing local partner brands.

Vice versa, if you're a wedding organizer, one of the best links that you might get come from wedding photography sites. They might feature weddings shot at their venue.

Think of your brand.

Identify your non-competing brands.

Reach out and ask to get featured on specific pages or articles.

 

18. Find Local Government Programs For Certifications 

 

Certifications help build up the credibility of an individual or business.

But did you know it's also an excellent way to earn some good local links?

Here is how to get started with this:

Find resources or programs that your business would need to enroll or get certified in.

If you've been certified in a few places, check those certification websites and see if they linked to people or businesses they certified in.

Invest your resources in these certification programs for additional credibility or brand exposure, especially if your local business needs them.

 

19. Offer Unique Testimonials To Local Businesses

 

One of the best social proofs is testimonials.

If a customer gave you a testimonial, whether in written or video format, it increases the perceived value of your products/services.

Potential customers are likely to see the results they'll get from using your offer.

Think testimonials not only for conversions but also for local backlinks.

Local businesses won't ignore an honest testimonial from a customer.

Significantly if it adds proof of results for potential customers.

So, how can you use testimonials for link building?

Step 1: Find local vendors your local business/client uses, likes, and shares.

Step 2: Offer a long-form testimonial on their website. It includes how the local vendor helped your local business.

testimonials page local coffee shop

 

Pro tip: You can format the testimonial in a basic block of HTML, so your contact person can forward it straight to the web developer to implement the changes.

Testimonial link building is helping other local businesses grow through your words.

Then links become a by-product.

 

20. Publish Relevant Top X City Posts With Lead Generation In Mind 

 

You see local content in most local business blogs.

It's for traffic — they say.

So, for example, publishing a "Top X city" article helps drive people from your target location.

Nothing bad here.

But what if you want as a local business is not just traffic, but also potential customers.

Here's the thing:

You can get both.

Traffic and leads.

So whenever you publish local content, think lead generation.

Is this content I'm going to create will drive traffic and potential customers to my local business?

So instead of just creating content like:

  • Top 10 things you should know about in [city]
  • Best [cuisine] spots in [city]
  • 5 things to do in [city]

best restaurants philly article

 

You create content that ties into your products or services.

Let's use local vets as our example.

People interested in pet care services would usually read content like:

  • 10 pet-friendly restaurants in [city]
  • Pet laws in [city] you don't know, but you should
  • Dog-friendly hikes in [city] rated by a veterinarian

dog friendly philly article

 

Did you get the idea?

So regardless of whether you publish it on your blog or distribute it elsewhere (i.e., guest posts), you're also thinking about how that local content can drive conversions to your local business.

 

21. Discover Local HOAs & Neighborhoods Using This One Search Operator 

 

HOA - Homeowner's association.

And neighborhoods.

You won't find much of this in every city.

But consider this as one of your link building techniques.

If your local business is engaging physically with local town members of associations, you can benefit from this.

How can you find link opportunities from HOAs and neighborhoods?

You need to use a search function that gives you the results of a specific page.

Take a look at this search query.

"homeowners association" "florida" inurl:links.html

homeowners association resource page link

 

At the time of this writing, it will show links pages (in other terms, resource pages) for homeowners in New York.

You’ll have to look for links/resource pages and not just any type of page because you want to know if they have a history of linking to external resources or businesses.

So try it out for your target location.

See if there are any HOAs and neighborhoods sites you can discover.

Then check if they have links/resources pages you can get listed in. Or better yet, start the search using "[city]" "homeowners" links.html

 

22. Build A Useful Tool For Local and Niche-Targeted Entities 

 

One way to drive high authority links is by creating a helpful tool for your audience.

For example, Shopify created a business name generator that generated 1.9K+ in referring domains and $500K+ in traffic value.

ahrefs shopify business name generator

 

The cost of creating tools depends on the complexity of the functions.

But what about local businesses?

Brainstorm an idea where a tool is needed.

It doesn't have to be specific to the niche you're in.

We are looking at the relevance of local links for this matter — as this is what we're aiming for.

Are there any tasks or projects other businesses in your location need that you can create and generate links from it?

 

23. Approach Journalists With Local Angle Of Content 

 

Could you get journalists to cover your local business story?

The answer is yes.

But what makes journalists tick when accepting stories from businesses?

It's the angle and hook of your stories.

If you've published a content piece (news, story, data, etc..) that has worked for the national press, start thinking about how you can tweak it local media attention.

Perhaps, you can add rankings (top 5 cities or any location thereof) to your interactive world map to get that local business angle.

So if you're looking for excellent links from local publications, always think about how to pitch local journalists with a local angle of your story, data, or any content piece.

 

24. Acquire Donation Links From Decent Authoritative Local Organizations 

 

Donation isn't a new thing in local link building.

Most local businesses with enough resources invest in donations to scale links quickly in the first months of a link building campaign.

How to start with donation link building?

Check your resources and determine your estimated budget for this link building project.

Typically, a decent donation link can cost around $500~. Some links from orgs can have lower pricing for the $200 range — but you'd have to check if it's worth the site’s quality.

Find local organizations using two metrics:

Relevance.

The sites should be locally relevant and might potentially drive potential customers to your website.

So if you're a veterinarian in Philadelphia, try to find local pet clubs, local health orgs, etc.

pet club sponsorship links

 

You can also go far from niche-targeting and check from just a local standpoint.

From a recent vet example, donating to small software projects isn't bad (as long as it's still in Philadelphia).

The second metric is decent authority.

You can use Ahrefs' DR (Domain Rating) as an essential measurement of the website’s authority.

Try to look for sites with DR40+.

If you don't have time for this type of link building strategy, you can hire agencies that do solely — local sponsorship marketing.

One good example is Zipsprout, founded by Garett French.

So, you can get sponsor links DIY or hire a sponsorship service like Zipsprout.

 

25. Use Local Linkbait Strategy To Get More Targeted Traffic 

 

Linkbait is a type of content that gets natural links.

It's beneficial for your local business, as you're creating a 'flywheel' effect.

Where you publish a few comprehensive linkbait content and these handfuls of posts repeatedly hand you over new backlinks over time, it becomes a natural link acquisition system for your brand.

In local link building:

There is one local linkbait strategy that you can use.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Think of a topic that will bait local businesses to be featured on a list.

For example, if you pitch "Best 15 Coffee Shops in Philadelphia" to an owner of a local coffee shop, it's a no-brainer the person would help with the content promotion.

Step 2: List down all potential local businesses you'll partner with for the blog post.

Step 3: Reach out to these people and let them know that you are about to publish an article.

The pitch value here is that they'll be featured in an article that will attract new leads for their local business.

Plus, it would also have some more visibility for their brand and possible links for their websites.

Pro tip: If you've got a solid base of social media followers, include it as part of your value pitch, "We could share the blog article across XXX followers.”

Step 4: Publish your "Top/Best X in [City]" post.

Step 5: Send the link to the blog post to your partner local businesses.

Expect local backlinks from those business blogs and other websites.

 

26. Write New Segment For Link Insertions 

 

Outreach is one of the crucial phases of a link building campaign.

You connect to your target linkers with your email pitch.

That's the reason why:

If you write an email that speaks to your linkers' needs, you can persuade them to link to you.

How will that happen?

You encourage the outcome that you want in your initial email.

For example:

In most link insertions, outreach campaigns, where you reach out to bloggers or publishers to include a link to your content from one of their existing articles.

This is commonly known as "niche edits.”

The way to encourage the outcome here is to write the passage with the link in the same format, existing voice, and style of the article.

This offloads the work on the part of the blogger.

The good thing here:

You help these publishers to copy-paste the new segment out of your email simply.

What's the added value?

The easier it is for them to place your link somewhere on their articles, the more likely you'll get the link.

 

27. Create Your Own Link Building Playbook 

 

Here's one thing about scaling backlinks:

You need processes to do that.

One tip here is to create your link building playbook.

This is where you'll input all the necessary details about your link building campaign.

The playbook includes:

Backlink profile data:

Questionnaire:

Order of priorities (for link building strategies):

Procedure documents:

Reports:

Link building playbook helps you scale your link building team.

Got a new hire?

You hand it over to the playbook. Let them learn what's inside.

The more you develop your playbook, the more you increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign.

 

Here’s The Next Step…

 

Which of the 27 local link building tactics you're going to execute for your campaign?

Will you build backlinks from alumni directories? How about publishing relevant top X city posts to generate leads for local businesses in local link buildingYouinin in local link buildingYouis stated?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


seo leads

15 Proven Tips To Get Quality SEO Clients (+Examples)

In this guide, you'll discover 15 tips to get SEO clients.

Actionable. 

And these are proven to work for freelancers, consultants, and SEO agency founders. 

Let's get started. 

 

 

1. Apply The "Local Courier" Lead Generation Approach

Cold outreach to get SEO leads is effective.

Only if you apply the right approach.

First, you select your target market.

It could be dentists, veterinarians, or HVACs. 

Or, if you're offering local SEO services, find local-based businesses.

How?

Start with Google search. 

Everyone who's not ranking well is an obvious choice of prospect. 

google search veterinarians florida

 

Another technique that you can do:

Use Ahrefs' Content Explorer to discover potential clients. 

ahrefs content explorer filtered by domain rating

 

Filter for websites that have DR 1 to 15. 

Then check "One page per domain" and "Exclude domains" to reduce the results.

veterinarian florida results ahrefs content explorer

 

Export the list.

 

The second step is to analyze the website.

Provide a quick summary of where the business is currently at against its competitors.

From there, you create the proposal. 

 

The last step is the most creative part of this cold outreach approach. 

Instead of you sending the proposal to the prospect business email...

Have a courier or any delivery service (e.g. FedEx) to send it to them.

local courier lead generation

 

Include in your intro letter a note saying that they have to call you on a particular day at a specific time. 

Do a follow-up if you don't receive any call from them. 

 

2. Include "Customer Success Stories" In Cold Outreach

Want to triple results in cold outreach?

The strategy:

Show customer success stories in your emails. 

Your potential clients want to know if you can deliver results. 

And the best way to have it is by creating case studies. 

HipLead increased their conversions by 208% by mentioning a famous customer in one of their sales emails. 

 

For your SEO services, invest the time to interview one of your clients to get results for their website.

from the future case study

 

You can use Case Study Buddy to help you with this one.

case study buddy

 

The next step is to include a note in your cold outreach email. 

Something goes like this:

"One of our clients, [Client Name], was able to [Results] because of [Your Service]. What would those results mean for your business?"

If no response, send follow-up emails. 

One of your follow-up email sequences includes asking them to take a strategy call with you. 

This is when you put on your "consultative hat", you ask questions to get to know about their business. 

Engage them, and help them set a roadmap to get their SEO to the next level. 

 

3. Specialize With Your Core SEO Strengths

Target a niche market.

There are three advantages when you serve a specific group of people with your SEO services:

 

First, you get more inbound leads for your website.

Potential clients will see how specific you address their lead generation problems through SEO. 

Instead of an "SEO services" landing page, you publish a "Dental SEO NYC" page. 

dental seo nyc landing page

 

The message holds for the copy on the site, blog posts, social, and other branded assets. 

 

Second, you establish solid internal processes. 

When you constantly create an SEO plan for a specific target market, you can easily duplicate the framework or list of tasks.

The scale of information and your internal knowledge processes can help produce consistent quality results for your clients. 

Best for your team. You now have documented processes they can rely on to provide deliverables for your clients.

 

Third, you expand networking opportunities. 

If you know what vertical to target with your SEO services, you can go to niche-specific conferences/events.

This is where you can build relationships with your potential clients.

Getting SEO leads this way becomes easier as you're not simply pitching your SEO services but rather understanding their problems, struggles, challenges, and industry. 

 

Here are some examples of niche-targeted SEO agencies:

Nifty Marketing:

nifty marketing

 

Plumbing SEO

plumbing seo

 

Below are some tips to help you identify what niche market you want to specialize in:

A. Start with your core SEO strengths and experiences.

Most successful specialized SEO agencies started getting clients from their past jobs either as in-house SEO or an enterprise-level digital marketer.

When you invested in working relationships capital, it will pave a long way for your SEO business.

Reason?

Your past colleagues will remember you and can pass along potential clients to you.

 

B. Identify which type of client/market gets a high consistency level of results

Many SEO agencies start with saying "yes" to all available opportunities, including all potential clients.

You don't choose which client to work with; you accept clients as long as they have the necessary budget for SEO. 

From time on, you get as many clients as maximum as your capacity. 

As you grow your client base, you now start thinking about the SEO campaigns you've handled.

Then you assess if there are any markets you've consistently been providing results with your SEO work. 

 

C. Check what client types/industries you like. 

Interests can be a good factor in determining what industry you'll specialize in.

The reason?

The more your interests grow, the more you can discover new opportunities to develop your SEO client campaigns. 

You get to find a similar scalable strategy for content creation and promotion through manual outreach.

Which would help you deliver outstanding results now and then.

 

4. Send Custom Videos In Emails Using BombBomb

You get deals closed with clients if you demonstrate value to them.

And the best way is:

By showing how you'll help them increase their bottom line as businesses. 

Instead of sending a sales pitch.

Like what anyone else is doing.

You show that you're a real person through video.

You record a video using BombBomb (which plays a quick GIF-style clip). 

bombbomb

 

In that video, you include: 

The opportunity/problem they're facing.

Data explaining why SEO is a good channel for them.

Who you are and your value proposition (your credentials, client case studies, etc..)

What you can do next with their website.

Once you recorded the video, include it as part of your email. 

 

And one more thing:

You can insert a link directing your outbound prospects to a Facebook video that's relevant to your pitch. 

Then create a custom audience on Facebook Ads for people who watched it.

Retarget them with more helpful videos and/or case studies to get them through your sales pipeline.  

 

5. Organize Branded Local Meetups

Somebody says this best:

If you're not networking, you are not working.

 

It's good to attend industry events where you can meet entrepreneurs whose primary need is lead generation.

But there's more leverage when you organize local meetups. 

Conduct your Meetup to establish a brand.

While at the same time, build relationships with your target clients — e.g., eCommerce entrepreneurs.

 

Search Meetup and other networking sites for relevant meeting groups.

You may want to attend any of those meet-ups to see how they conduct sessions.

 

Then, create a strategy for how to come up with your local meetup. 

SEO Sydney Mastermind by James Norquay

seo mastermind sydney

 

PeepCon Philippines By Glen Dimaandal

peepcon glen dimaandal

 

6. Educate SEO Leads With Evergreen Blog Assets

Educating is the best way to sell.

To move further your prospects.

From an eyeing client to a closed deal, you have to give them value upfront.

The way to do that is to publish content assets that will be useful for them. 

How is that possible? 

 

First, think about solving the problems your potential clients may have. 

It is best to make a profile of the exact customer. 

Are they a business owner, marketing director, in-house enterprise SEO specialist?

 

Next, if you already specialize in selling SEO services, either on a core SEO strength (e.g., link building services) or market segment. 

You may now have an idea of what topics to write about. 

For example, link building guide for lawyers.

link building guide for lawyers sharprocket

 

Consider the best format and style of content.

For instance, we usually publish evergreen content assets here on our link building blog

sharprocket link building blog

 

The reason is simple. 

We know that months or years from now, those guides will still be relevant to our target audience.

Plus, this type of content will eventually rank and drive leads to our business over time.

Case studies showing successful SEO campaigns are one variation you can make with your content.

By sharing results, would prove expertise in your industry. 

You may also look for frequently asked questions in SEO communities and forums. 

traffic think tank

 

Answer them through your blog posts and use them as reference points to help leads and emails subscribers with their marketing challenges. 

 

7. Use "Growth Manager/Specialist" As Sales Position Titles

If you have salespeople:

One technique you can test to win good deals is by changing "sales position titles.”

Some potential clients do have resistance when they see or hear "sales" from pitches and emails — while that would require that you test it out if it's true on your end.

So instead of putting "Sales" in the title, you can use something like "Growth Manager" or "Growth Specialist.”

See for yourself. 

 

8. Create Strategic Partnerships With Non-Competing Agencies 

Business development is crucial to growing your SEO agency or consultancy.

Knowing who to partner with matters and growing based on those relationships can help you get more inbound leads you wouldn't otherwise expect.

One strategy here is to partner with non-competing businesses. 

For example, if you're selling SEO services, considering partnering up with:

Web development firms:

web development agencies google search

PPC agencies:

ppc agencies new york google search

Branding agencies:

branding agency florida google search

 

Because both of you offer different but complimenting services, you get the mutual benefit of passing along clients who might need the service the other party offers. 

Create a plan that mutually benefits you and the other party.

Reach out to them and let them know of your partnership deal. 

Then get a constant stream of inbound leads by doing this. 

 

9. Set Up Referral Program For Employees

Not only you'll get SEO leads from outside.

But from people inside your company (your employees) who will refer new business opportunities to your SEO agency.

Set up a referral program for your employees. 

Decide on your payment structures. 

Either on a percentage level:

For example, some SEO agencies give 10% on any retainer clients for up to 6 months

Or a 10% revenue share for the first year of the contract.

Or a subsequent percentage: 10% the first year, 8% the second year, 5% the third year.

Other SEO agencies provide gift cards or vouchers to employees who refer new clients to them. 

 

10. Invest In Agency Sourcing Platforms 

Some websites match businesses with their potential outsourced SEO agency or consultants. 

One good example is Credo

credo homepage

 

They introduce pre-vetted and verified digital marketing providers to businesses and individuals. 

With their Lead Networks Access for marketing agencies, you'll get notified of leads you access to. 

If you're consistently looking to grow your SEO client base, consider joining the Credo list of verified agencies. 

 

11. Protect Your Greatest Salesforce 

Do you know who your greatest salesforce is?

It's not your salespeople. 

It's your current and past (satisfied) clients. 

Other SEOs take for granted their clients.

How?

By not providing the results and not protecting their interests.

Even beyond SEO.

 

Building trust is more than half of the battle.

trust how to get seo leads

 

Whether they stop getting your services for some reason, you're still part of their radar.

They can get back to you for future potential projects or refer their networks in need of your help.  

SEO isn't known for the highest ethics.

But if you are ethical and can earn and keep respect with clients, especially for industries that sell professional services, like law and finance.

You get more business out of it by protecting your greatest salesforce — "trust.” 

 

12. Attend and Speak At Events

Thought leadership is one of the highest leverage to get more SEO leads.

Because you're demonstrating expertise while at the same time building relationships with people who might need your services later on. 

How can you practice thought leadership?

Two ways:

Either you attend events. 

Or speak at events. Get invited or pitch to organizers looking for potential speakers. 

Public speaking can become your biggest driver of new clients with no prior connection with your SEO business. 

Start small with local meetups, dinners, lunch & learns.

 

Either speak to an audience in the SEO or digital marketing space:

SEO Zraz

seo zraz seo event

 

Or to entrepreneurs in a specific market.

When you speak, you position yourself as an expert.

It solidifies your credibility. 

As your speaking grows, your business grows as well. 

More prominent organizations will come knocking to get your services. 

 

13. Use Application Funnel As A Lead Qualifier 

Marketing funnels are effective in getting your leads to go through a process of learning about your business.

As they move from one step to the next, they get to see what your agency or consultancy can offer to them.

One marketing funnel that's been effective for high-ticket services (>$1500) is:

Application Funnel

The flow goes like this:

application pipeline flow

You show people a pure value webinar. 

 

Million Dollar Agency Webinar by Dev Basu

million dollar agency webinar dev basu

 

After watching it, they would go through an application process to see if they're a good fit for your business. 

Instead of chasing these potential clients, you now have control over which client you'd like to work with.

At the end of the application (if they seem to fit your target customer), they'll be able to schedule a strategy session with you.

book strategy call session sharprocket

 

During this session, you walk them through your framework of moving their business to the next level in terms of SEO. 

From there, you may send a proposal that suits their needs.

Then have the next meeting if everything goes well on their end.

Client win. 

 

14. Develop A Win-Win Referral Program For Existing Clients 

External commissions are best.

But add more — internal commissions.

Set up a referral program for your existing clients.

Make sure it benefits the referee (you) and referrer (client). 

Either has a specific payment structure: 

Percentage model — 10% bonuses towards the retainers (based on the new client's contract value). 

Or have a higher rate but with a shorter length — 20% of the monthly retainer for the first three months

Some agencies have complex computation:

10% on month 1, 5% on month 2 to 6

Either of these options works.

You should decide on a commission structure that best suits your model. 

 

15. Apply "Strategic Linkedin Engagement" Strategy 

Linkedin is an excellent place to get SEO leads.

Not that you spam any potential client with your pitch.

But with a strategic Linkedin engagement strategy.

 

The tactic goes like this:

You add connections from few juniors from the potential client (company) you want to pitch.

Then add later the senior contact (manager, director, etc..). 

That way, your connection request appears that you know a few that's part of the organization. 

You can simply just jump in and send a short message to connect to them.

linkedin subtle message

 

 

Bonus #1: Strengthen Your Current Networks 

Your networks are critical to your success.

That includes your past workmates who have gone in-house in different companies. 

Given that they know you when there's a need for SEO from their respective, you are one of the first people they'll have in mind. 

This takes time.

So you need to hustle and always be connected with your past colleagues.

Strengthen your networks as you work in and out of business. 

strengthen your SEO networks

Bonus #2: Give Value Natively On Social Media 

Social media shouldn't be an environment for spamming people with your services.

It's a marketplace value.

Therefore, you should know how to create content (posts) to add value to your target clients. 

You can follow great companies publishing great Linkedin posts.

Like Gong:

And Ross Hudgens of SiegeMedia:

And see how they accumulate followers, and expand their reach through their high-value content. 

 

Your Turn 

Which tip you'd like to try first?

Will you include "customer success stories" in your next cold email outreach?

How about setting up a referral program for your employees?

Let me know in the comment section below. 


how to get high quality backlinks 2021

How to Get High Quality Backlinks in 2021 [21 New Strategies]

Looking for new ways to get backlinks and boost your site's Google ranking?

Great! 

This post contains 21 new link building tips and strategies that are working in 2021. 

Let's dive in.

 

 

1. Create An Image Library 

When people use your images, you can ask them to credit you with links.

The more images you produce, the more links you can reclaim for your website. 

How can you start with this?

First, analyze what images are linkable. 

Start with any of these sources to know what images get the most links: 

You want to look for images that are likely to be used by publications and blogs.

The reasons why bloggers would use it is very simple:

They want to show how a person behaves the way they mentioned in their articles or how things are used. 

And if you can give them images that portray that, then you're hitting their needs.

It must be any of these themes: 

Places:

unsplash travel example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objects:

unsplash things example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events:

unsplash events example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People:

unsplash people example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actions:

unsplash action example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotions:

unsplash emotions example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go look for them on a photo source website by typing your niche keywords. 

For example, "work from home":

unsplash work from home

 

 

Or go to the Popular section to get a sense of what photos individuals and businesses are paying for.

Grab any image and plug it into Tineye to see how many sites have used it.

Once you analyze what images are often used by bloggers and publishers, go to your blog and start publishing an image library.

Create an image library that you can license under "creative commons distribute". 

Get these images uploaded on Flickr and other websites mentioned above. 

What you input in Flickr as title and description will be your page title and meta description box.

Make sure you add your attribution request in your description. 

Start with 30 images. 

Then as you get results, add 5 to 10 more each month. 

Monitor who uses your images using Tineye Reverse Image Search.

tineye show results

 

Or using Copytrack.

Or Picmatch.

Spot use of your images without links. 

Reach out to them and ask for attribution. 

Another effective strategy is this: 

If you have a big library of images, maximize it to the fullest. 

How?

Besides uploading these photos on photo sourcing sites:

You can offer it exclusively to publishers. 

Here is an email outreach template that you can use:

 

Subject Line: Save [Website]'s time and money on images you use

Hi [Name],

For [Website]'s editorial team, a crucial part of work is to find images, relevant to the content. 

What do you think of an alternative source of images in the form of a free subscription to more than [number of] images: [link to your page]?

We can give you [number of] images per month for a [X]-month period (with a possibility of extension). In return, we would like you to credit our images with clickable links.

Please let me know what do you think of our offer.

Thanks,

[Your Name] 

 

2. Apply 'Linkedin Reclamation' Technique 

One of the easiest types of backlinks you can get is:

From people who mentioned you on their sites but without attribution of links.

Well, you can simply reach out to them and ask to get credited with links. 

And you're probably familiar with this technique: 

Link reclamation.

The good thing is you can do it with any type of page you own.

Including your Linkedin page.

If you have someone in your organization who is getting attention from the press, either they are an authority on a technical topic. 

Sharing tips, quotes, or any value-added advice to the community.

Or because they have a remarkable story worth sharing.

Do a quick backlink check on their Linkedin profile page.

backlinks to linkedin page

Find some potential link opportunities in there.

Reach out to blogs and ask them to link to their profile page on your website. 

If you don't have a dedicated page for that person, create one for this strategy.

Then, get links. 

 

3. Initiate Reciprocal Linking 

You're probably familiar with link exchange.

That's the activity of two websites linking to each other webpages. 

There is a heavy discussion in the SEO community about whether link exchange is good or bad. 

But think about it:

Two websites can link to each other reciprocally without even the intention of manipulating search result rankings.

For example:

If I'm a manufacturer of a product and you're a reseller, would it be logical to link to your page because I want my potential customers to know where they can purchase the product?

Or vice versa. 

Another example:

Two niche bloggers were attending a conference. They grabbed some coffee and talked.

reciprocal linking

 

They are in different niches. But happen to find each other's new articles useful for their readers. 

One linked to his friend’s blog post. And vice versa.

You see:

These two examples are natural reciprocal linking.

Link exchange is okay.

As long as it is done in a manageable manner.

Not scalable. But if initiated for targeted people you've built relationships with, then it becomes more effective. 

 

4. Use "Bank For Buck" Guest Posting Strategy 

Not all guest posting campaigns are effective.

Why?

When people send guest posting ideas, they come from the lines of:

"Here are my guest posting ideas, choose one that fits your blog."

bad example email outreach

 

Or:

"topics I'm thinking about and hoping to include a link in your article pointing to my website" 

It is a one-sided benefit on the part of the guest blogger.

Sad truth: 

But this is the reason why a guest posting campaign doesn't work for many businesses. 

So how can you stand out among them? 

Instead of thinking about just “links”, why not ask these questions: 

What do they want?

What do they care about?

Some answers you can arrive at may be: 

They want to rank for their target keywords to get new readers for their blogs.

They want to monetize their blogs. 

And so, if all these are beneficial to your target publication, what you want is a new level of guest posting strategy. 

Insert: 

"Bank For Buck" strategy. 

It's a guest posting strategy that is simple to apply. 

The idea is: 

You submit guest posting topics that your target guest publication/blog would benefit from:

Either because they can monetize from it.

Or they can potentially gain new search visitors by ranking your content for target keywords. 

Now:

Here's how you can do it. 

First is to find affiliate programs in your industry. 

And the reason is:

These affiliate programs may help your target niche bloggers earn a commission whenever someone clicks on their affiliate links and buy the products they're selling.

It’s a win for them! 

How can you find these affiliate programs? 

You can do a Google search for "[INDUSTRY] affiliate programme" OR "[INDUSTRY] affiliate program".

find affiliate program google search

 

Here you'll see different brands looking for affiliate partners. 

bluenile affiliate program

 

Make a list of these affiliate programs. 

Next step:

Look for bloggers who are likely to participate in the program.

And the easy way is to find people who've done it before.

These are bloggers who've written product reviews. 

And because they're into affiliate marketing, they will be more receptive to email pitches that would give them more affiliate commissions.

How to find them?

Use Ahrefs to check blogs linking to the affiliate programs you listed earlier.

target guest blogs for affiliate programs

 

Another way:

Look for authoritative blogs you can reach out to for guest posting.

google search fashion bloggers

In other words, these are your prospective guest blogs. 

Then the next step:

Research for their best-performing content.

And find what topics you can write for them that can help them rank for some industry keywords.

You can use Ahrefs for this:

Either you use Top Pages to get a good sense of their top-performing content. 

fashion blog top pages ahrefs

 

Or Content Gap Analysis to discover keywords they don't rank for yet (but their competitors are currently ranking). 

content gap analysis fashion blogs

 

Now, as you assess, these are the topics you can suggest to write for the blog.

Two things:

You write the content and link to one of the affiliate programs you found related to their niche.

And you write the content that gets to rank for some keywords they haven't targeted yet. 

So, in summary, here's how to apply the "Bank for Buck" strategy: 

  1. Find affiliate programs in your industry.
  2. Look for niche bloggers who are linked to affiliate programs.
  3. Find authoritative blogs in your list. 
  4. Send a list of guest posting ideas (with target keywords to rank and related affiliate programs to target).
  5. Write the content for them and get links to your site. 

 

5. Get Infographics Inspiration From Visual Capitalist 

It's challenging to make infographics stand out in your industry.

Not only:

There are thousands (if not hundreds) of businesses publishing various visual content assets every day. 

But there is nothing new with most infographics.

So how can you make your infographics stand out in your industry?

The key is to model what already works.

That is to get inspiration from proven and tested infographics that have gotten links from authoritative blogs and publications.

One website producing solid visual content assets is:

Visual Capitalist

visual capitalist

 

If you experience creative block when thinking of what infographics to create for your brand, check out what Visual Capitalist do. 

Some examples are:

mapped global happiness visual capitalist

 

world plastic waste visual capitalist

Now, you don't have to worry about where to start with infographics. 

 

6. Use Thought Leadership For Content Collaboration 

It's not that easy to create content.

But let's say you're working with other industry practitioners, you can produce more and higher quality content assets. 

That's co-marketing. 

How can you apply this?

Simple.

Find any thought leaders in your company. 

google industry thought leaders

 

And get them to be involved in your content distribution strategy. 

The idea is that the more authoritative a person is in an industry, the easier it is for you to secure opportunities with online publications.

Now:

Do you have any subject matter experts in your company?

How about professors who've done any solid research at school? 

The great thing here is:

You can partner with other institutions and entities where you each guest post on each other's website. 

 

7. Apply Advanced Stats Round-up Strategy 

You're probably familiar with round-up posts.

A round-up post is an article containing insider tips from industry experts on a specific topic.

Most content marketers abused this technique.

And it affects how the marketing industry perceives the value of a round-up post. 

The thing is:

Round-up posts still work.

But instead of just asking thought leaders to share their "most actionable tip", you can go deep with data. 

For example: 

You can survey at least 30 people.

Or try to get statistics about the topic.

Let's say you're targeting business owners. 

You can research on:

"Percentage of business owners who would create the same business (industry) VS other business owners who prefer to venture into a different niche"

"The average number of employees, team size, or revenue VS the years in business" 

These are just some examples.

The thing is:

Statistics are referential topics.

Publishers, bloggers, and content creators often link to statistics to validate their points and make their content more comprehensive than others.

small business failure statistics google search

 

This means that you have a high chance of getting links when you rank for target keywords (e.g. "small business owners statistics"). 

So do not just publish a 'best tips' round-up article. Go beyond that. 

 

8. Do "Reduce, Re-use & Recycle" For Links 

You can do wonders out of garbage.

if you know how to recycle properly…

What if recycling is also applicable for link building on your site? 

How? 

With old, seemingly not useful content, you can create an entire content distribution program without even the need to create new content.

What are the steps? 

First, find old content that you can prune.

These are pages that bring heaviness to your website (in terms of wordcount), but doesn't gain or contain any of the following:

Not generating backlinks (0 referring domains).

no backlinks pages ahrefs

 

Receiving <100 organic visits per month (lower relative to your site's overall search traffic). 

no traffic pages ahrefs

 

Not related to your blog's overall topic theme. 

The next thing you'll do is:

Offer the content as guest posts to third-party industry publications.

Or you can rewrite the content first to fit the blog's content guidelines.

Then submit it once you see "green signals" from blog editors. 

While doing this strategy, you'll find that not all of your pruned content are worth submitting as guest posts…

And that's okay.

If there's a huge volume of well-written content, those are good articles still relevant for other sites. 

The last step is to serve 410 response codes on the old URLs.

Or no-index via Search Console for those articles to no longer be indexed. 

So if you're having a hard time creating content for link building, recycle what you already have by turning old content into guest posts. 

 

9. Reverse Engineer Author Footprints Of Competitors 

You know competitor research.

Basically, finding patterns, behaviors, and people connected to your competitors.

In link building, it's understanding who linked to your competitors.

Why did they link to their sites...

And what specific patterns you can model for your own site. 

If you know competitors who are heavily involved in link building with authors or bio names. 

One link building technique you can do is:

Crawl their domain in a link building analysis tool like Ahrefs.

Outgoing links - Anchors

Scan through anchors and check names. Some of which are contributors to the publications.

locate authors ahrefs

 

Locate the websites and social media profiles of those authors. 

Collaborate.

Either:

Offer content partnerships (pay-per-content partnership).

Where they'll create the content and submit it to an industry publication.

And because they are already contributors to these industry blogs, it would be easy for them to publish the content.

 

10. Approach eCommerce or Shopping Editors 

Ecommerce link building isn't that easy. 

Webmasters must have a good reason to link to your product pages. 

Many reasons, but one is:

Niche bloggers write "The best gifts for X" articles. 

And if your product is relevant to their topics, you can get direct links to your product/category pages. 

Besides bloggers:

You can also reach out to Shopping editors.

These are newswriters, content creators, and editors from top eCommerce publications.

Let me give you a few names.

Lara Tumer

shopping contributor heavy

 

Leah Stodart

shopping contributor mashable

 

Then go from here. Prospect for more opportunities by discovering other publications that they're writing for.

Through Google search.

google search shopping contributors

Through Ahrefs. 

shopping contributors ahrefs content explorer

 

 

11. Use Non-Competing Websites As A Source Of Link Opps

What if you have exhausted the link opportunities of your competitors?

The next best option is to find non-competing websites to reverse engineer with.

These are brands that don't offer the same product as yours.

But they're in the same industry.

For example:

If you are a veterinarian, your first option is to find pages linking to other veterinarians in your market. 

If you've prospected enough link targets from other vets’ sites, your next best is to use non-competing websites as your source of link opportunities.

Now, some resources pages link out to different needs of an audience. 

Take a look at this page:

pet resources pages

 

If you're a pet lover, you'd love this page as it covers pet resources in San Diego.

So you can think of pet stores.

Pet groomers.

Animal hospitals.

How can you apply this to your niche?

First, find niche resources pages (just like what I shared above) that cover different resources (not just for one niche offering - e.g. vets). 

Then, look for pages linked to each of the non-competing sites in every niche category you can find.

Then be amazed by the number of link opportunities available to you. 

 

12. Get Links From Eco-Friendly Product Listings

Green environment is a big chunk market of links.

Resource pages.

Guest posts.

Sponsorships.

Niche publications.

If you're selling physical products, one type of links you can take advantage of is:

Eco-friendly product listings.

There are tons of this type online.

For example:

An eco-friendly product listings page. 

eco friendly product listings

 

If you're a pet store selling eco-friendly products, then this one would open opportunities for you.

How?

Find other similar types of pages.

Using Google search:

Then reach out to them and pitch to be featured on their following articles. 

 

13. Reach Out To Freelance Journalists To Cover Your Story 

Digital PR is huge.

And publication editors receive hundreds of email pitches from brands and marketers looking to cover their stories.

The thing is:

It is saturated.

Instead of going directly into publications.

Try reaching out to freelance journalists.

They get paid by pitching stories and news into publications.

And that itself is an advantage, as they work with different publications.

One freelance journalist can open up many relationships. 

And if you're an agency working with different content campaigns, this one is for you.

So, how can you discover these freelance journalists? 

Use Twitter.

With their advanced searches, you can find Twitter profiles with "keywords" on their bio. 

twitter search freelance journalists

 

If you're into local SEO, you can focus your search on a specific location.

Find local freelance journalists that you can engage with during a coffee chat or simply hop on a call.

Another way is to incentivize these freelance journalists to write content for you or your client.

As you build relationships with them, you get to expose your brand to several external publications you'd otherwise prospect or think of when you reach out to a cold list of "any kind" of journalists. 

 

14. Use "3-Step Podcast Outreach Strategy" 

It's undoubtedly that podcasts can offer you great links to your site.

But how?

Here are the 3 step process you can use to maximize podcasts for link building in your industry.

First, use podcast search websites to discover active podcasts in your industry.

Either through:

Podsearch

podsearch

 

Or Wondery

wondery podcast search

 

Or Blog Talk Radio:

blog talk radio

 

The next step is:

Pitch to these podcast hosts and offer great value in return for brand exposure. 

If you're pitching for your client, here is a good email template that you can use for outreach:

 

Subject Line: Guest suggestion for [Podcast]

Hi [Name],

[Briefly introduce yourself/your client]

Here are some key discussion points that your listeners would find interesting to hear:

  • [Topic 1]
  • [Topic 2]
  • [Topic 3]

I'm not sure if you're open for new guests but in any case, [me/my client - state you/your clients' credentials as to why you/your client would fit their podcast, what's in it for them]. 

Do you think my client could be a potential guest on [Podcast]? 

Let me know so I can connect you to [You/client's name]. I'll send any info you may need. 

I'll offer to transcribe the podcast episode for you - free of charge. :) 

Thanks,

[Your Name] 

 

The last step is getting in touch with the podcast hosts.

Other hosts would give you sponsorship requirements. 

So you need to invest money for that.

Others would let you come in for free.

Either way, you get brand exposure.

Plus, links from their transcript podcast articles. 

Or even from their "press" pages on their personal websites. 

 

15. Write Like A Normal Person 

Why does outreach fail?

One reason.

Generic non-personalized email templates. 

Public email templates are overrated.

Those email copies that you see included in SEO articles don't always work effectively.

And the reason is that:

Different markets have different needs of an audience.

Different styles. And different levels of personalization your email must adjust to. 

Do not say words to over impress people with lines like: 

"I'm a long-time reader/big fan of your blog."

"I liked what you shared in this article…" (without you even reading the article) 

regular visitor email outreach

 

One best practice in email outreach:

Write like you're writing to a friend.

The key is to check your inbox and see the latest emails from your friends.

How does it look like?

In what tone or style of conversation?

The next time you craft email outreach templates, think of your recent 1-on-1 conversation with your friend. 

Like you're writing to an average person. 

 

16. Find Websites Getting Natural Links 

The best link building strategy is going for a mix of natural/organic links and manually-built links.

Natural links are links you get without pursuing bloggers/publishers to link to your content.

You get backlinks because of your authority. 

Because of the information of your content.

One actionable link building tip is to spot competitors getting natural links.

That means they don't get it manually. They earned it organically.

But how can you know if what they picked up are natural links?

This is where you need a skill to separate manual and natural links.

When you get crawl a domain in Ahrefs, you'll then see a list of backlinks.

And by the type of links, you get to know if a link is earned or built manually by the kind of links.

You only need to know here that if a link is potentially built through manual outreach, you can collect it as part of your list of link opportunities you can reach out to for links.

Some types of links to be seen as manually-built:

Local sponsorship links:

sponsorship links from homepage

 

Resource page links:

recovery resource page

 

Round-up posts:

second-round-up-post

 

The logic is simple here.

Monitor your competitors getting natural links using Ahrefs' New Links feature.

new links batteriesplus

 

This could open up low-hanging fruits for your site. 

17. Create A "Link Prospecting and Outreach Cheatsheet" 

If you want to scale link building, you need processes. 

Processes help your team achieve predictable results.

If you're investing heavily in link building, you're probably not working alone.

You work with teams of SEOs or link builders.

Or have a small team of virtual assistants helping you with small tasks like finding email addresses

One thing to add to your process is creating a 'link prospecting and outreach cheatsheet'. 

An easy-to-follow document that your team can follow every time you're launching a new link building campaign.

Or have a new website to start doing link building with.

Create your documents, such as:

Broken link finding for broken link building strategy:

broken link building processes

 

Outreach for broken link building strategy:

outreach document broken link building strategy

 

The more you scale links, the more you should be creating documentation for your link building processes. 

18. Use Phone For Reaching Out To Resource Page Curators

The most default way of connecting to potential linkers is email.

No doubt.

Write a personalized email. Hit send. 

But not every email is read by the recipients. 

Sometimes, they missed reading it. 

That’s a loss link opportunity. 

One way that you'll found to be effective in outreach is:

Using the phone to request links.

This is especially true for resource page curators.

For example:

Links pages from .edu websites.

Typically, webmasters working in colleges and universities receive calls from people searching about the website.

So a potential error about one of their pages is something they care about. 

And they don't ignore it.

So do some A/B tests calling with resource page curators on the phone.

phone outreach for link building

 

Or if you're writing outreach emails, you put something along the lines of:

"If I don't hear back from you, I'll just give you a quick call regarding this."

With this additional simple sentence, you can increase your responses from people who don't want to talk on the phone. 

19. Get Backlinks From Expired Domains 

Here is one reality in online marketing: 

Domains expire.

And when this happens, you can either:

Buy them.

Rebuild them.

Or redirect them to your site. 

Many SEOs get easy backlinks through buying expired domains that are relevant to their site.

But you instead of buying them. 

You can go through their backlink profile to see if there are websites linking to them that might be your potential links.

Use Ahrefs to download their links.

links to expired domains

 

And filter out bad links.

Like scraper sites.

The next thing you’ll do is to find their email addresses. 

And reach out to these websites. 

You simply tell them that the site is now down and you now have an up-to-date resource they can link to in replacement. 

Here is an email template that you can model: 

 

Subject line: error on your site 

Hi [Name], 

[Your Name] here from [Your Site}. Just wanted to let you know that you have some broken sites featured on [Page where an expired link is placed].

Your mentioned [Expired domain] on that page, which has been broken for a while.

We offer very similar content on [Your Site]. [Provide details of your content]. 

Let me know if you can add us to the page. Here is our site. [Your link to your page]. 

Look forward to hearing from you! 

Thanks,

Venchito 

 

If you're reaching out to the right people and you have a targeted message.

You can gain quick wins in your outreach. 

~10% in conversion rate 

 

20. Speak To What They Care About In Email Outreach 

One best tip in outreach:

Do not focus on links. 

Links don't motivate people in outreach. 

That's the hard truth.

Because SEOs care more about links rather than care about helping people — the latter helps you get the former. 

Care about what your prospects care about. 

Care about their organizations' goals. 

What do their websites want to achieve? 

Write emails to communicate people's issues, problems, or solutions.

Then you get links as the by-product of helping people. 

A quick nudge on emails like:

"Where do you refer parents to finding the right dentist for their child? Is there any resource page on your site? I didn't know if the info was in the right place."

 

It is not a direct ask of a link.

But a subtle opening of a conversation. 

As you start your conversation, and if it goes a long way. 

You respond with something like:

"Well, we just finished this guide on [topic] [insert the URL of your content]. In any case, parent calls, it would be the best help to have it included somewhere on your site — may be an additional item on your resource page". 

 

You see how this works:

It's not pushing them to add your link to their resource page.

It is basically:

Moving them.

Sparking their emotions.

And getting links in return for giving help. 

21. Build Linhpin-Level Links 

Linchpin.

Vital to an organization. Vital to a certain process. 

There are links that will move the needle in rankings.

They are relevant and may be pointing to the top-ranking pages for your target keywords. 

Now:

How you can find them?

Create a list of your priority keywords.

These are keywords you're targeting (and you want to target) for your content.

Find the top 10 ranking pages for your keywords. 

Do this with the help of Simple Scraper by URL Profiler.

simple serp scraper keywords

Then with the help of Ahrefs API, crawl the links pointing to these ranking pages.

Your API credits will depend on the number of pages you crawl.

Remove duplicates.

And any irrelevant bad links.

Then you now have a solid list of prospect linchpin links. 

 

Final Thoughts

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which tactic from today's guide are you going to try out first?

Will you apply "Bank For Buck" guest posting strategy? Or do the "Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle" for links?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


ecommerce link building

Ecommerce Link Building: 21 New Strategies [With Examples & Email Templates]

In this post, I’m going to show you 21 new link building strategies for eCommerce websites.

And these tips actually work in ranking product pages for competitive keywords.

In fact, the 21 strategies I'm going to share with you have helped us ranked one of our eCommerce clients (Fiddlershop) for highly searchable competitive keywords like viola, violin, and cello.

 

ecommerce case study fiddlershop ahrefs organic traffic

ecommerce case study fiddlershop ahrefs traffic value

Now it's time to show you each of these strategies.

 

 

1. Get Listed on What's On My [Season] Wishlist

You're probably familiar with wishlists.

There are counterparts of it online, in a form of a blog post.

whats on my wishlist

whats on my wishlist products

 

Industry bloggers publish this type of content during seasonal events (e.g. Christmas) to help their readers discover new products online.

And if you, an eCommerce marketer, give these bloggers a product that's interesting to use, you get link opportunities right off the bat.

But where can you find this type of backlink opportunities?

You begin by finding bloggers who just recently published "wishlist" blog posts.

Use this search query when you do a Google search: "what's on my" [SEASON] "wishlist"

google search whats on my wishlist

 

Make a list of bloggers who published wishlist articles on their blog.

It is best to check if they only post one-time or if they do regularly publish wishlists during seasonal events.

Because they're more receptive to your product endorsements/reviews if it is part of their content ritual.

Approach them through email and offer to give away your product for free.

 

2. Build Product Page Links From “Where to Buy” Pages

Here's the #1 struggle in eCommerce link building:

Building links to product pages…

Even more difficult if your product and category pages don't have much information worthy of reference by publishers.

But here's the thing:

You can get backlinks to your product and category pages.

How?

Start by contacting your complementary businesses and suppliers.

Typically, they have "where to buy" or "stockists" pages where they list down all sources where people can buy their products.

where-to-buy-products

List down your manufacturers, retailers, or suppliers of your products.

See if they have websites and dedicated "where to buy" or "stockists" pages.

Use a quick Google search, "site:domain.com "where to buy" OR "stockists"

Or you can also reverse engineer your competitors.

You can use Ahrefs for this.

Site Explorer > enter a competitor’s domain > Backlinks

Then search for "where to buy" or "stockists" in the search field.

reverse engineer competitors where to buy pages

reverse engineer competitors where to buy pages mattress

Reach out to them and request to be added to their pages.

 

3. Use The "Product Alternative" Technique

There is always a better option for products.

And people want alternatives to see which one fits their purchasing needs.

The only question is:

What makes your product a better alternative for your competitors?

Are you serving a different market? Do you target a different type of customer?

If your competitor serves the US market, you serve the UK — you're a good alternative for the same offer.

If your competitor targets a different type of audience (high-end customers), you sell affordable products - you're a good alternative for the same product.

How can you take advantage of this "product alternative technique"?

First, you find in different market, location, or audience.

Prospect blog posts recommending or mentioning this competitor. Ahrefs can easily help you with this.

product alternative ahrefs ecommerce

 

Request these publishers to link to you, stating that your product might be useful for their market.

 

4. Convert Unlinked Mentions Into Links

Whether your online store is new or established, you'll experience some of these changes:

New product launches.

New partnerships and acquisitions.

Location openings and closures.

Interviews about your leadership team

Whether you do intentional PR or just bloggers catching up with your new product events, you get mentions from elsewhere.

But there's the thing:

Not all brand and product mentions credit you with links.

linkless brand product mentions

 

So what you want to do is to capture all of these unlinked mentions and turn them into links.

First, find them through intitle Google search.

google search intitle

 

Or use Ahrefs to get more of these linkless mentions.

ahrefs new alerts ecommerce link building

 

Then go and reach out to each publisher and ask them to credit their mentions with links.

Subject: Thanks for mentioning [ SITE/BRAND NAME]

Hi [ NAME ],

Hope you’re doing great day.

I would like to drop a quick message to say thank you for mentioning [ BRAND NAME ] in your post – [URL].

I noticed that you hadn’t included details of our brand and was wondering if you would be kind to include a link pointing to our website, so your visitors would see more information about your reference.

Thanks again

Kind regards,

[ YOUR NAME ]

 

5. Publish "X City" Content Assets

Publish great content.

But what's great really mean?

Simple answer:

Blog post formats that work.

You know you create great content if you publish content formats that really work.

There is one content type that works for eCommerce blogs. And that is:

"X City" content asset.

Just as normal people wonder which city/location has the oldest home or hottest in the state, content creators want to feature interesting content that is based on facts.

Take a look at this eCommerce brand: FilterBuy.

They create different resources in the "X City" format.

The Hottest City in Every State

The Hottest City in Every State

 

Cities Most Prepared to Work From Home

The Most Affordable Cities to Size Up for a Home Office

 

The Most Affordable Cities to Size Up for a Home Office

Filterbuy The Most Affordable Cities to Size Up for a Home Office

 

Think about your online store.

What topics would resonate most with your customers?

What topics they would find interesting to consume?

What topics would local publishers and industry bloggers feature on their websites?

Find an intersection among all your answers to the above questions.

Get inspiration from Reddit:

subreddit infographics data visualizations

 

And from niche communities:

quora most cities

Publish your own version of the "X City" content piece.

 

6. Use "Gone Out Of Business" As Source Of Link Opportunities

There are businesses that have recently gone out of business.

In many cases, their domain name actually expires.

When that happens, you'll find that the entire site gets replaced with parked pages, just like this:

parked page example

 

These gone-out-of-business websites are still technically working.

But broken link checkers (like Ahrefs) can't find them.

The good thing is:

You'll find a lot of link building opportunities (hundreds or thousands depending on the site) that your competition doesn't know about.

Here's the question:

How can you find these gone-out-of-business websites?

Start with big domain auction sites like GoDaddy Auctions, Flippa, or NameJet.

Look for outdated websites that are related to your brand.

namejet domains auctions

Identify how many referring domains are linking to each of the websites.

The higher number of referring domains, the more link opportunities are available to you.

Next thing to do:

Grab these domains linking to the outdated resource and check their backlinks.

You can use Ahrefs for this one.

Ahrefs - Enter the domain - Backlinks

backlinks gone out of business

 

Let people know about their outdated backlinks and offer your online store site as a replacement.

 

7. Solicit Links From Topical Resource Pages

You are probably familiar with resource pages.

They're basically a page that lists down links to different resources, references, and content on the same topic area.

Either this resource page is informational or salesly — just in the case with "where to buy" pages, where it lists down suppliers or resellers.

For example, if you see this page:

resource page BMW

 

This is a general resource page that linked out to BMW events, BMW automobile parts sellers, maintenance services, and anything related to BMW.

Whereas, this page covers a more specific vehicle part: batteries.

resource page batteries

 

So you'll see manufacturers, resellers, and suppliers on this page.

In your market, there are topical resource pages you can find.

Start with discovering pages linking to your competitor.

Use Ahrefs to find them.

Ahrefs - Enter your competitor's domain - Backlinks.

Then, filter the list with keywords on titles like, "links" OR "recommended" OR "best" to only see resources/links pages.

reverse engineer topical resource page links

 

Reach out to them and request your product/category page to be added.

 

8. Hire Industry Authors For Your eCommerce Blog

One of the best ways to get links is to put out high-quality content.

Creating it is simple and is manageable if you have resources.

But promotion?

It needs efforts to get more eyeballs to your content.

Here's what I noticed:

High-quality content creation requires expertise to fly.

So, hiring an experienced writer to create content for your blog matters.

Start with authors who've written articles on other blogs.

You can use Ahrefs' Content Explorer to find them.

Search for the topic or blog theme you want them to write about.

Click "Published: Last 12 months".

ahrefs dog care tips

Then, go to the "Authors" tab.

ahrefs top authors

 

Reach out to them individually and offer to pay them to write for your blog.

It is best to also add your blog's traffic numbers, social media numbers, and any website number in your outreach email to help them see added exposure for them as authors.

 

9. Target "Going Green" Market For Links

One of the untapped linkable audiences in the eCommerce space is:

"Going Green" market

These are enthusiasts, organizations, and entities who are into recycling and nature sustainability.

If you happen to sell recyclable products or you could create a page about recycling related to what you're selling, there's a bank of opportunities available to you in this market.

How can you start?

Reverse engineer pages that are likely to give you backlinks.

Start by looking at your competitors' backlink profiles.

Using Ahrefs, you can see if they have linking pages about recycling.

reverse engineer recycling resource pages

 

Another way, to begin with, is to check general "recycling" resource pages.

Then see what types of content they usually linked to.

edu recycling page

 

Then you reverse engineer by creating content that matches what these "recycling" resource pages want to link to.

Collect more link opportunities by doing advance Google searches:

google search inurl recycling resources

And discovering more recycling resource pages using Ahrefs"

reverse engineer recycling resource page ahrefs

 

 

10. Invest In Sponsoring Local Events

If you're into local eCommerce, you should be looking for more geographical-based links (e.g. links from "New York" targeted websites).

And one way to do have those local links is to sponsor local events.

You've heard of sponsorship links.

Well, you may have some arguments or doubts as to whether or not you should buy links.

The truth is:

For the most part, you are buying links.

It may not be in the form of paying a blogger to explicitly give you a link from his blog.

But you're paying staff members (i.e. freelancer or link building agency) to build links for you — that itself is a form of link buying.

Going back:

When sponsoring local events, what you should be aiming mostly are homepage links from event websites.

Like this one:

sponsorship links from homepage

 

Search for any big or small local organizations such as non-profit organizations.

Examples are outdoor sports and military for possible collaborations.

You can join a few Facebook groups in your niche. Then check the "events" tab inside the group.

facebook groups local events

 

Look for any upcoming events or contact the event organizer directly to see where your products might be a good fit.

Some events may explicitly say they're actually looking for vendors.

Be the first to reach out to them to get yourself updated.

Keep in touch with the event organizer.

You'll find that either:

They will write a post about the event.

Or have a dedicated page for sponsors with image or text links pointing to each of the sponsors’ websites.

live sponsorship links

 

Make sure you get credited with a link when the event goes live.

 

11. Set Up Landing Pages For "Big Retail Days"

Black Friday, Cyber Monday…

Single's Day, International Women's Day…

These are all big online retail days you shouldn't miss out on.

Not only that you'll get an increase in product sales.

But you often find your website gets occasional links.

So, set up a landing page for each big retail day.

Like this one:

cyber monday marketing ecommerce

 

It doesn't have to be fancy, just a page showing your offers and what your customers might expect from your brand during the product offer period.

Look for blogs that showcase new products during retail days.

Reach out to them and ask if they're willing to feature your product in one of the "feature retail days" articles.

That way, you get more upfront instead of simply waiting for bloggers and publishers to cover your "big days" product offer.

 

12. Get Conversion-Oriented Links From Old School Marketing Strategy

Old school is cool.

Only if the strategy still works.

One link building strategy eCommerce SEOs overlooked is forums.

Yes, you can get links from guest posts, "where to buy" pages.

But still:

People are on niche forums.

They are there to engage with other like-minded users to get help when seeking information or asking for possible solutions to their needs.

Instead of you, chasing them. And persuading them to buy your products.

Users in forums are introspecting about what products to purchase during the moment.

Take a look at this:

ducati forum

 

It's a niche forum for Ducati owners and enthusiasts.

With 78.3K members, you're open to needs, motivations, and specific questions and information people like you (or your customers) are looking for.

Engage. Get involved in discussions.

Another example is this string instruments forum.

maestronet forum

 

You see threads from people searching for specific products to purchase.

This one:

i want to buy a violin forum thread

 

Spend a few minutes answering questions on industry forums.

Whether or not you get links from it, it's a plus for you.

You get visibility for your brand. You get sales opportunities.

 

13. Avoid "Link Building Block" Using This Strategy

Some SEOs don't know where to start in eCommerce link building.

The simplest way is:

Check what websites are linking to your competitors.

And not just any website.

Look for sites that have linked to 3 or more competing domains.

Because chances are:

If they linked to your competitors (who offer similar products), they're also likely to link to your online store.

So, how you can find these websites?

Use Ahrefs' Link Intersect. Enter your competitors' homepages.

ahrefs link intersect ecommerce link opportunities

 

Make sure you choose "URL" for each site so it would only show you homepage links.

Add at least three competitors.

Now, Link Intersect will show you which sites are linking to those competitors.

What you only have to do.

Filter referring pages based on link types.

It could be forums.

Resource pages.

Directories.

The next time you reached "link building block" (you don't know where to start in link prospecting), try this strategy of checking which websites are linking to your competitors.

 

14. Publish Linkbait To Get Organic Links

You're probably familiar with linkbait.

You create a linkable content asset — an infographic, a guide, a piece that gets attention from linkers.

And because the content asset provides high-value information, publishers, bloggers, or any of these types would link to your page.

In the eCommerce space, I've seen one strategy that's been effective to get initial links.

Good if you're still new in doing SEO for online stores.

Or even if you've been for a while thinking what link building strategy to use for eCommerce.

The process goes like this:

First, choose a specific niche where you’ll feature top XY blogs.

X means the industry (e.g. medical).

Y means number of blogs (e.g. 50).

Here is one example:

cables and sensors top medical blogs list

 

And another one:

carbon fiber gear top car blogs

 

The next thing you'll do is to make a list of all blogs in the industry you've chosen.

What you want to do is to make sure you get enough links from this strategy.

So you first reach out to them and let them know you'll feature them on your top X blogs page.

This way, you don't get any random blogs to be featured.

But you're making sure that once you published the post, you have these people ready to share it to their networks (and at most, link to your page from their blogs).

Here's an email template that you can use:

Subject Line: question OR inquiry

Hi %Name,

I'm %YourName%. I manage the blog %Brand%. I'm looking to feature your brand in our upcoming exclusive %XYTopList% (share more information about your upcoming XY list). 

We get "X amount of visitors" every month, and we have "X amount of email subscribers" and "X amount of social media followers" to share our new content with. 

Let me know if you're interested to participate. 

Thanks,

%Yourname%

 

The value proposition in the email is your feature opportunity:

The responses from your target prospects will vary.

Some will be honored to get featured on your blogs.

Others won’t care.

Nonetheless, you prioritize people who've shown interest in promoting the "linkbait" piece once it gets published.

 

15. Use Product Discounts As Linkable Value Proposition

Discount programs get the benefit of added sales once executed properly.

But you can also use it as a way to get recurring links from discount pages.

Here's one example:

university discounts example

 

Universities have "discount pages" for students who're looking to save bucks every month.

They partner with brands potentially looking for collaborations.

Universities provide value to students in terms of discounts on products.

eCommerce brands get direct links to discount pages (or product pages).

pride partners discount pages

It's a win-win situation.

The process using this link building strategy doesn't have to be fancy.

Simply reach out to them and show them what type of discounts students of prospective universities will be getting.

Subject Line: Discount program for %XUniversity%

Hi %Name%,

I'm %YourName% from %Brand%. I'd like to offer discounts to your readers and followers at %University%. 

Here are the details of the discount program:

(Share details about your discount program)

I'm sure your students and readers of your page would love to know any new product discounts.

Let me know your feedback.

Thanks,

%YourName%

 

Then, you'll reap the benefits of links once you get featured on their pages.

As you know, these universities bring high-level link juice or authority to any linked-to website.

 

16. Create Research-Based Infographics

Infographic marketing is not dead.

Some marketers and SEOs don't just know how to create infographics that stand out and get promoted over and over again.

Here are some examples of linkable infographics from online stores:

Parent's Guide to Childhood Asthma: Symptoms & Treatments

filterbuy childhood asthma infographic

 

Carbon Fiber Cars, Parts, & Care - Infographic

auto enthusiasts infographic

 

You see:

Nothing luxurious, but you'll find that the creators of these infographics well research about the topic.

And the most part, topics are not random.

These topics are within the boundaries of their brand themes.

So you can start by getting inspiration from top online stores that create infographics in their markets.

best infographics siegemedia

 

See which of them you can model to your eCommerce blog.

 

17. Get Recurring Links From Roundup Blogs

It's easy to get a link one-time.

But doing it repetitively is another story.

That is why:

There is one way to get recurring links to your online store.

And that's through roundup blogs.

These are bloggers who regularly publish "roundup" articles every week or month.

Some prefer to call it "weekly products".

Others have it as "link party".

Where they feature informational content or straight products on their articles.

Now:

How can you find these easy link opportunities?

Start with your competitors.

Reverse engineer if there are websites linking to them with titles such as:

"links" pages

links pages ahrefs

"Best of" articles

best of blog posts ahrefs

 

"Round up" posts

round up posts ahrefs

 

Or your second option is:

You find these roundup link opportunities on Google.

Use any of these search queries below:

  • “KEYWORD” “best blog posts”
  • “KEYWORD” “monthly round up”
  • “KEYWORD” “notable posts”
  • “KEYWORD” “notable updates”
  • “KEYWORD” favorite posts of the week
  • “KEYWORD” friday link round up
  • “KEYWORD” friday round up
  • “KEYWORD” monday link round up

Assess the bloggers' roundup page.

Understand how, why and what types of posts they link out to brands.

Reach out to these bloggers. Build relationships with them. And offer a free product, a feature on your blog, or any value that gets them to link to you regularly.

 

18. Offer Discounts To Employees

We've covered discounts earlier.

But that's only for students.

You can add one more to earn more backlinks to your online store.

Offer some discounts specific to employees.

Employees of non-profit organizations, university staff, and high-authority brands.

See this example:employee discounts pages

 

And this one:

discount pages universities example

 

Reach out to them and offer employee discounts.

The better your discounts, the higher is your likelihood of getting links from these employee discount pages.

Webmasters have different requests for information — send them over what you need. And you get featured and links on their webpages.

 

19. Monitor New Links Of Other Online Stores

New links to your competitors are opportunities for you.

Why?

Because webmasters and publishers who freshly link to a website:

Are more likely to respond to requests.

They're still in the mode of updating their pages.

So where do you start?

Make a list of domains you'll monitor fresh links regularly.

First, it could be a list of your direct competitors.

And it could be a list of top publications in your industry that also target the same market as yours (e.g. car enthusiasts).

And any local businesses picking up new local links.

Then:

Start monitoring new links pointing to each website.

link monitoring using ahrefs

 

Assess each new link to see if it's worth reaching out to.

Check if the link is replicable.

Can you request a link from the page and let your website be added as well?

Is it a new guest post they recently published? And is it a blog you could also contribute an article into?

The key is to understand why the publisher gave the link to your target domain. And assess it based on your resources if you could also acquire the same type of link.

 

20. Use "Book Crowdsourcing" Technique

Are you familiar with "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill?

think and grow rich napoleon hill

 

If you are reading personal development books, you're probably familiar with how the book is created.

It was basically Napoleon Hill interviewing top entrepreneurs on how to get rich and putting all their insights into one book.

To date, Think and Grow Rich has sold 15 million copies.

Let me ask you one question:

What if you could do the same?

Interview industry experts, practitioners, and thought-leaders in your space.

And curate all their insights into one book.

If you've heard "round-up" posts, you know it's the same as this.

But this "book crowdsourcing" technique is quite different.

It's a lot higher value than a simple "round-up" post article.

Because it is packaged in a well-crafted book.

Take a look at this:

the happy health home book

 

It's not the type of round-up post you see elsewhere.

The book is also available on Amazon and Lulu — which increases its perceived value in the market.

happy health home book amazon

 

Use this "Book Crowdsourcing" Technique for your eCommerce blog.

Find thought leaders in your industry.

Reach out to them and offer "being featured on a book" as the value proposition of your email outreach.

That way, it stands out among all "interview pitches" they receive.

Then collect all their insights.

Curate, format, design, and publish a book.

 

21. Add FAQs On Your Blog

People want quick results.

Case in point:

Featured snippets.

Most featured snippets that you see on Google search results are quick answers to frequently asked questions.

And when they rank and get referenced by other publishers, pages with FAQs get backlinks.

How you can start with this?

Discover keywords with featured snippets on search results.

Ahrefs can help you with this.

Check "featured snippets box" to only see keywords with featured snippets on results.

violin tips keywords ahrefs featured snipeets faqs

 

Find what's relevant to your brand. And publish FAQs, included in an article or page.

You can use SEO Booster to help optimize any of your important pages.

Conclusion

I'd like to hear from you.

Which link building strategy you'd like to execute for your eCommerce website?

Would you like to get featured on "where to buy" pages?

How about tapping the "going green" market with your content?

Leave your insights in the comment section below.


saas link building

19 Actionable SaaS Link Building Strategies For 2021 [Free Checklist & Templates]

This is the most detailed guide to SaaS link building online.

So if you want to:

  • Build scalable backlinks to your SaaS blog and landing pages
  • See examples of the world's best SaaS link building campaigns
  • Increase new demos and trials from new customers

You'll love detailed strategies in today's guide.

Click on any link below to jump to a section. 

 

Let's get started.

 

Steal Your Competitors Best Keywords Using Capterra

Capterra has the most number of software reviews on the web.

As of now, their "Software Categories" contain 850+ different categories.

That's a lot!

And you can take advantage of what they're currently doing.

How?

First, if you don't know who your competitors are, or if you're looking for additional ones to do research on, go through the list of SaaS companies in Capterra.

capterra browse categories

 

Once you find these related software businesses, you can check their backlink profiles using Ahrefs.

freshbooks backlink profile ahrefs

 

This can give you an idea of what types of backlinks they get for their SaaS website. And what niche-specific link building strategies they're using to get more targeted backlinks.

Secondly, get keyword insights from Capterra.

Most SaaS companies have the challenge of determining what best keywords to target for their landing pages.

Take EnsoData for example. They offer artificial intelligence (AI) scoring and analysis for sleep technicians. They have clear service offerings, but they're not targeting any specific niche keywords for their pages.

ensodata

This happens mostly for SaaS with very specific core offerings.

The way to solve them is to let Capterra do the keyword research for you.

By looking at their Capterra page, you can easily find some core keywords.

capterra organic keywords

 

By doing these two things: finding competitors on Capterra's software categories and discovering the best keywords on Capterra pages, you can publish content assets that are likely to rank and earn links along the way.

 

Use Help Center To Earn Fresh Links

You build trust from new customers when you help people with their problems.

That increases demos and trials for your SaaS.

One way to achieve that is to use the Help Center of Knowledge Base.

Take a look at Hubspot and Uber. Both these two SaaS companies effectively use Help Centers for many purposes:

Show their existing customers how to use their products and their features to solve their problems.

uber help center

 

Provide tips from certified experts and industry practitioners.

hubspot certified experts

 

You earn fresh links from people you've helped. They will talk about it on forums and on blogs.

The reason is simple:

They found your guides, tips, and product features helpful for them for their communities. 

See the number of links Hubspot and Uber earned with their Help Centers.

ahrefs hubspot

 

ahrefs uber

Discover Untapped Link Opportunities From Google Play

If you have created an app for your SaaS, this is for you.

Take a look at the people who linked to your app in Google Play.

google play grammarly

 

Then see if it makes sense to have another opportunity to get backlinks from them.

ahrefs google play grammarly

 

If they mention and link to you, they are familiar with your SaaS brand.

It makes sense to reach out again and offer another value in terms of content.

Make a list of all people who linked to your app — who can be your backlink prospects for another link building campaign - i.e. guest posting.

Execute another link building campaign for your new list of backlink opportunities.

 

 

Use Product Hunt To Earn Branded Links

Product Hunt is your go-to website when finding the best new software in the market.

It's also a great way to get feedback from SaaS founders, marketers, and the tech community.

If you want more new customers for your software, launch it on Product Hunt.

As you get traction, you earn eyeballs from publishers, tech content creators, and linkers on different websites.

That way, you earn new links to your SaaS brand.

Take LeadForms for example:

After launching their software product to Product Hunt, here's what they got:

  • Generated over $10,000 ARR in the pipeline (some super highly qualified leads)
  • Close to 2,000 unique page views
  • A couple of backlink opportunities

product hunt leadforms

 

If you want to get more demos and trials, and increase your MRR, submit your SaaS strategically on Product Hunt.

You don't spam people. You don't force them to upvote and support your product launches.

Product Launch is a community. So, contributing value first should be your utmost priority.

You build your own community long before the launch. So when you start launching your software, you'll already have a bunch of people to support you.

Here are some examples of successful Product Hunt launches:

Flawless 

product hunt flawless

 

Quokka

product hunt quokka

 

Weblium

product hunt weblium

 

 

Optimize Your SaaS Landing Pages To Increase Linkability

Not all landing pages of SaaS are linkable. People don't normally link to sales pages unless it is worth citing.

If you have SaaS landing pages, you have to make them linkable.

How is that possible?

You include citable elements to your SaaS sales pages.

Add any of these micro content to your landing pages:

  • Data or “findings.”
  • Direct quotation of a source.
  • Defining jargon and industry terminology for the layperson (aka definitions).
  • Pricing Guides or Generalized Pricing Information.
  • Images, Videos, Widgets, Downloadables.
  • Detailed, Multi-Faceted Metrics-Based Reviews.
  • Tips/Advice Directly Related to Products/Services on the Page.
  • The Origin Story.
  • Supplemental Outbound Resource Links

These are content pieces to increase the linkability of your sales pages. The more you have them, the easier for you to persuade publishers, bloggers, and industry content creators to link to your page because your content is worth referencing.

For example, Proposify added new free templates to their website for potential customers. These have been branded assets that generated hundreds of links.

proposify proposal templates

 

Another example is Quickbooks Sales Tax:

quickbooks sales tax

 

You see that they have "sales tax calculator", "how to calculate sales tax", and "sales tax survey".

These are all citable elements that will give publishers a reason to link to your sales page.

The next part is:

Reach out to people who might be interested to link to your sales pages. And expect to increase backlinks to your SaaS website.

 

Make Your CEO A Hero In Stories

Every software as a service brand has a story to tell to the world. And that's a huge advantage.

Journalists and reporters are hungry for interesting stories. They're looking for success stories of tech founders who've grown their startups to thousands of customers.

They also ask for quotes, tips, and advice from industry practitioners.

Here's the thing:

if you have stories, you can get more visibility and links for your SaaS website.

Plus, you'll get new customers by being featured on top publications — if these publishers bring referral traffic to your website.

Does your SaaS have any interesting founding story?

What about unique problems your tech product was able to solve on its own?

If you want to get great coverage on major publications, think about stories as your product.

Here is one example.

ceo story your hero

 

If you don't have a partnered PR agency, you can get your stories known using HARO.

You can check out this step-by-step guide on how to use HARO.

 

 

Create A WordPress Plugin

Most webmasters use WordPress as their CMS.

For ease, most content managers and publishers want to use plugins to integrate tech products useful for their websites.

The best thing?

Create a WordPress plugin.

If your SaaS has logical benefits for ease of integration with WordPress, that's a big plus for your customers.

The next big thing is you get backlinks from WordPress users and tech publishers.

One more: you get new customers searching when your plugin is featured in the WordPress directory.

Take Hubspot again as an example.

They've created a WordPress plugin to integrate their software products inside the WordPress website.

hubspot wordpress

 

Built natively into WordPress, their customers can do meaningful tasks in CRM, email marketing, and analytics.

As of now, their Hubspot WordPress page earned over 1800 links.

ahrefs hubspot wordpress plugin

 

 

Use Your Affiliate Program To Increase More Links

Affiliate programs are one of the best ways to grow your customers.

And the best part: you increase your backlinks by creating an affiliate program.

If you already have one, you just need to find bloggers and content creators who publish reviews and articles about niche products on their websites.

These are industry publishers who can write reviews about your product.

Of course, you get links from those product reviews.

learnworlds affiliate program

 

Here's how you do it:

Try to search for "your competitor" + "review" on Google.

google competitor affiliate review

 

You'll surface a bunch of review articles of your competitors. 

Leave the review websites like Capterra, G2, PCmag, etc..

For bloggers and publishers who write product reviews for your competitors? Reach out to them.

 

Publish Learn Hubs To Increase More (Targeted) Traffic

Read these statistics:

85% of large Saas businesses own a blog.

36% of SaaS companies use their blog to share content that educates. (SaaSX)

More and more software companies understand the power of content marketing in generating new customers, trials, and demos.

That said, how can you make sure your blog stands out?

Instead of doing what everyone is doing.

You do this:

You create what we call, "Learn Hub".

Learn Hubs are basically resource or knowledge centers.

Basically, you create an online library wherein you publish different pages that systematically target keywords within a topic.

The catch here?

You keep readers engaged on your site because each content piece lives closer together.

And because the entire "learn hubs" consists fully of highly valuable content assets, it's much more linkable than other competing individual pages.

For example, Canva's Learn Hub on design has generated over 3,000 backlinks and is currently ranking #1 for the key phrase: "free design".

canva design learn hub

 

Another example is from Freshbooks. Its Small Business Resource Hub is one of the top resource centers on accounting and invoicing for small businesses.

Freshhooks' "Learn Hub" ranks for over 355,000 keywords, with 3,200+ backlinks pointed to it.

ahrefs freshbooks links

Use High-Quality Custom Tools To Generate Links

Here's the good thing with tools:

It helps in automation and simplicity of work.

And for the most part, generating high-quality backlinks to your website.

For example, Gusto has a full library of different payroll and HR tools that currently generates over 2,000 backlinks and over 40,000 monthly sessions, according to Ahrefs.

gusto tools

 

Software companies like you, won't have a hard time creating custom tools.

You do this as a product team.

Are there any estimated calculations your potential customers must make to arrive at a decision to purchase your SaaS product?

Do you have in-house spreadsheets that you can share with your audience to increase their efficiency on certain tasks?

Start with one tool. Then promote it massively to your target audience.

Add another tool to your /tools section. Promote it again to your audience.

You build a momentum of link earning as you build sets of custom tools for your audience.

 

Submit Your Website To Software Directories

You can't ignore the basic stuff:

Submitting your SaaS website to software directories.

You simply have to submit details about your brand, and some other information needed for submission.

Here is a free list of software directories.

 

 

Discover Content Patterns In Your Industry

The #1 mistake content marketers make is:

Not doing enough research before creating the content…

The reason why they don't get enough results when they start to promote their content assets.

One content strategy that gets you backlinks is discovering content patterns.

These are patterns — types and formats of content that already have worked in your industry.

How can you do that?

Start to reverse engineer top publications in your target industry.

saas content patterns

 

And see what types of content they consistently publish on their blog.

Model the same format in your SaaS blog and have a higher success rate in backlinks.

 

Use Tangential Topics To Discover Guest Post Prospects

Guest posting is one of the scalable link building strategies online.

But what's more interesting is:

Guest posting drives more traffic and more potential trials and demos to your software website.

Think about it:

If you write an article for an industry blog, and one of its readers read your content. You build trust among these readers.

They like you, and they'll buy from you.

But how can you know what industry blogs to target for guest posts?

The answer is to think about the specific problems your SaaS solves in your market.

We call as "tangential topics".

These are not the main core topics in your software blog.

But they're related to the solutions your SaaS is trying to solve.

Examples are:

Project management software helping freelancers do remote work.

Workflow software helping HR departments grow their businesses.

Productivity software helping small business owners manage their remote workers.

You see:

So you don't just limit your guest posting strategy with your main target audience.

But you're thinking about who are other audiences who might benefit from the solutions you're trying to solve in your space.

How?

Start with Google search

Use intitle search operator to find blogs with your target tangential topics.

See the example below:

google search workflow human resource

 

Make a list of all these industry blogs and target them as your guest post prospects.

Do this again after a couple of months. And you'll never run of your target guest blogs.

 

Publish Industries Pages

Do you want more trials and demos?

I'm sure you do.

It's only possible if:

You're not just niche-targeting, but also widening opportunities in targeting industries.

That's the best thing for software companies.

You can target different audiences.

For example, SimpleTexting created several "Industries" pages for their SaaS.

Text messaging for Car Dealerships:


simpletexting car dealerships

 

Text messaging for Property Management and Landlords:

simpletexting property management

 

Text messaging for Fitness Centers and Gyms:

simpletexting fitness gyms

 

Industry pages work well in helping you drive audience-specific links.

In our given example, Simple Texting can reach out to car dealership blogs, property management blogs, and fitness blogs.

That translates to tons of links rather than just focusing on one niche.

 

What's the common buying pattern of your potential customers?

Simple: They look through different solutions, choose which product they think that they can solve their needs, and decide for a trial or demo.

The reason why:

There are a lot of list posts (sometimes called, "listicles") and comparison guides in the software industry.

Bloggers, publishers, and content creators have "top 10 for [insert solution" articles.

You know what?

You can take advantage of these listicles and comparison guides to get links.

But you first have to start discovering them. How?

Plug in your competitor's website in Ahrefs to see who linked to them.

ahrefs listicles best grammarly

 

Go to the Backlinks section.

Add filter keywords such as:

  • Best
  • Top
  • Tools
  • Software

These will give you results of pages with any of these keywords in page titles.

Reach out to them and request your SaaS to get featured.

Pro Tip: Offer basic or premium account access to your online software to increase your link placement rate.

 

 

Turn Brand Mentions Into Product Page Links

Most SaaS websites have lots of homepage links.

It's a good thing but:

If you want to maximize results in link building, you need more relevant more targeted links. 

What can you do?

Turn your brand mentions of products into product page links.

Step 1: Look for brand mentions.

You can use Ahrefs to track them easily.

ahrefs new alerts freshbooks

 

Or use Google Alerts to find these blogs that mentioned your SaaS.

Step 2: Reach out and ask to update their links to a more relevant page.

Given they have mentioned your online software in their articles, a simple request for change of links to a more specific page (your product or template page) is doable. for webmasters.

Here is a simple email outreach script that you can use:

Subject Line: Quick question for your [Name]

Hey [Name],

It’s [Your Name] here from [Their Website].

I was just looking through my backlinks and noticed you mentioned me in this post: [Link of the page where you got the link]

However, I noticed that although you mention a particular blog post of mine [Topic of the page that mentioned your
website], you actually linked to my homepage rather than the blog post itself.

Any chance it would be possible to swap the link out for a link directly to the blog post instead?

No worries if not, I just think it’d make more sense in the overall context of the post (as people may be interested to
read that post).

Either way, have a great week!

Thanks,
[Your Name]

 

Publish Statistics Page In Your Industry

People want to know different things.

They do Google search for "how many people are X", "what is the number of people in X", how many users are using X".

These are numbers. Some pages have statistics to show off.

It's good for users. It's also good for link building.

Your software brand has data and numbers that might be valuable to your audience.

And is a powerful asset for backlinks from authority sites.

Many SaaS websites publish "statistics" pages.

Tidio's Chatbot Statistics:

tidio chatbot statistics

 

Hubspot Content Marketing Statistics:

hubspot content marketing statistics

 

Simple Texting Remote Work Statistics:

simpletexting remote work statistics

 

Publish your own statistics page.

Get information from your internal data in your company.

Or get data from top statistical sources such as:

Once publish, you reach out to people who might be interested in linking to the page.

Start with people who have previously linked to statistics related to yours.

Use Ahrefs to discover blogs, publishers, and websites that linked to your similar statistics page.

Go to the Backlinks section. Make a list of these backlink targets.

reverse engineer ahrefs statistics

 

Reach out to them and promote your statistics content.

 

Hunt How-To Tutorials On Youtube

You should probably know that publishing Youtube videos is a great way to generate brand awareness and drive new customers to your SaaS website.

But there's one more thing with Youtube videos:

It helps software companies to bring new inbound links to their websites.

How?

By publishing tutorials on how to use your product for meaningful tasks.

For example, Trello has tons of videos on how to be productive using their tools.

trello youtube videos

 

Instead of putting out an article on how to use Trello, a better demonstration of their SaaS features is through how-to videos.

Another example is putting out videos of app integration with your software.

ahrefs app integrations

 

This helps your brand get in front of people using those integrated apps.

Those are link opportunities at hand.

You can track blogs that mentioned your SaaS along with the integrated app.

ahrefs new alerts app integration

 

And even reach out to content publishers who've written a post on a topic of your Youtube video.

By sharing that it adds more value to their readers, if there's a how-to video that showcases the exact way of doing the task, you're likely to increase the chances of getting backlinks to your website.

 

Appeal To Sales People With Your Software

Audience-first link building.

It is your ability to think first of your audience, as it dictates what link building strategy to use for your software website.

Besides your main audience for your SaaS blog:

HR people, CIOs, small business owners…

…you can also target salespeople

Salespeople have high intent in social sharing and referencing valuable resources.

For what reason?

Simple: They get more money by doing so.

If they want more sales, they have to educate more their audience, especially if their offers have a longer sales cycle (e.g. 3 to 6 months before a person purchases their offers).

Trigger the emotions of salespeople by appealing to them with your SaaS content.

Think of ways on how to appeal to salespeople. 

Use Google to find titles and topics that go near to your brand's solutions.

google search intitle for sales intitle productivity

 

 

Here's The Next Step…

I want to turn it over to you.

Which one of the 19 SaaS link building strategies you're going to apply right now?

Will you optimize your SaaS landing pages to increase their linkability? How about publishing "learn hubs" to earn more links and targeted traffic to your website?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


attorney link building

12 Powerful Link Building Strategies For Law Firms

This is the comprehensive guide on attorney link building in 2021.

The best part?

Everything on this list is working GREAT right now.

So if you want to get more backlinks to your legal website, you'll love today's list of link building strategies.

Let's dive right in…

 

 

1. Get Easy Links From Legal Directories

Directory link building is probably the easiest way to get backlinks.

Some directories are free. Others require subscription or one-time fees.

But you don't need to submit any content, all you need is a few important details about your law firm and your website.

That's it.

So how you can get backlinks from directories?

First, make a list of all lawyer-specific directories.

list of legal directories google sheets

 

Next is to categorize them based on their type.

Basically, there are two types of directories: paid and free directories.

There are paid directories where you need to fill out a form, submit a payment, and wait for the review process of your submission. Other paid directories don't have much waiting time. You get easily approved once you submit your payment.

And free directories where you only need to fill out your basic information (Business Name, Phone Number, Practice Area, links to social profiles, and to your website). Then submit. Some free directories also have an approval process.

Know that every directory is different.

Once you have a list of free and paid directories, qualify these directories based on some metrics.

The reason is that you want to make sure you only get links from directories that can bring value to your law firm website.

So what are those metrics?

First, relevance.

Start with directories that are legal-specific.

For example, Justia Lawyers only include listings from law firms and legal organizations.

legal directories

 

Another qualifier is Moz' Domain Rating.

My recommendation is to get lawyer niche directories with a minimum DA or 20.

Not too low to get NEW relevant directories.  Not too high to include non-authoritative submission sites.

Once you have these details of directories on your list, decide if you'll do the submission yourself or you'll hire a virtual assistant to do all the legwork for you.

 

How To Find More Lawyer-Specific Directories

If you're looking to find more directories for your law firm website, the best way is to check out your competitors' backlink profiles.

Ahrefs can help you out finding directories where your competitors have links.

Start by entering the domain in Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

ahrefs competitor analysis directories

Go to Backlinks section. This will show you all the websites linking to your competitor.

Type in "directory" in the "Include" search to only see directory websites.

list directories ahrefs

 

There you'll surface a bunch of directories you can submit your website details and get attorney-related links.

You can check out this guide on how to use Ahrefs for link building.

2. Build Local Citations

If you want to rank for localized attorney keywords, such as "personal injury florida", you need citations.

A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of a local business.

Cictaions help search users to discover local businesses. These can impact your local search rankings.

Check out this updated list by Bright Local of the top local citation sites.

brightlocal local citation sites

3. Offer Scholarship Programs

Scholarships are one way to get tons of edu backlinks to your website.

The reason?

Financial aid departments of universities have listings of current scholarships on their website. They keep on updating those listing pages to help students find the latest scholarship programs they can apply for.

And the best thing is you aid students with their financial needs, while at the same time, get backlinks to your law firm website from these scholarship pages.

Now here are four steps to do scholarship link building.

Step 1: Create a scholarship page

Know what you want to offer in your scholarship program.

Do you want to target law school students?

The more relevant your scholarship is to your brand, the better impact scholarship links can have on your website.

Create a page that includes all of the details your target beneficiaries need to apply for your program. Details such as name, award amount, deadline, rules or criteria for application, snd submission, and review process.

legal scholarship program

legal scholarship 2

Complete all details of your scholarship program.

That way, your offer is more appealing to people who handle the financial aids department of university websites.

Step 2: Make a list of all target schools for outreach

Once your page is already set up, your next step is to look for scholarship listing pages.

Typically, you'll find the financial aid department that provides a list filled with scholarship programs.

How do you find them?

Use search phrases along with Google search operators.

Here's a list of search queries that you can use for prospecting:

  • "legal" ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid
  • "legal" site.edu ~scholarships ~financial aid

Look for the contact person who manages the scholarship listing. It could be the person in charge of the financial aid page or the webmaster of the school.

legal scholarship spreadsheet

Add the contact person's name, designation, and email address (or contact form) to your list.

How To Find More Scholarship Listing Pages

Another way to populate your list is to find pages that linked to your competitors' scholarship page or other relevant law firms that offer scholarship programs.

ahrefs competitor analysis scholarships

 

Enter a legal-specific scholarship program in Ahrefs Site Explorer. Go to Backlinks sections and you'll see all pages linking to the scholarship page.

Add these pages to your list.

Step 3: Reach out to your outreach prospects

Send emails to your prospects. Tell them about your scholarship, where to find it (URL of your page), and how students can apply.

Not all prospects are the same.

Some people will ask for more details about your scholarship program, so be sure, you have complete details when they need them.

Best Lawyer Scholarship Programs (2021 List)

Below is a list of the best scholarship programs in the legal space. Check them out and find inspiration for your scholarship link building strategy.

Shook and Stone Scholarship

 

shook and stone scholarship

 

Harris Personal Injury

 

personal injury scholarship

4. Create And Promote Evergreen Content Assets

There's more content published today than ever before.

According to this content study by Backlinko, 94% of online content has zero external links.

So:

How can you create content that stands out in the legal space?

The answer is:

Publish evergreen content assets.

Content that is more comprehensive than other pages related to your topic.

Content that is evergreen to be relevant and beneficial over the long term.

In creating these evergreen content assets, you need a content strategy and keyword research.

Doing keyword research effectively and creating content to match topics to serve your audience.

You can do both with topic clustering.

Topic clustering is basically grouping your content by key topic areas, wherein there is the main page (commonly called as "pillar page") that targets a broader audience, and stretches out by having support pages to cover specific topic ideas or key phrases listed on the pillar content. 

topic clusterAnd importantly is having both pillar and cluster content internally link to each other.

How To Create Evergreen Content Assets

Step 1: Discover Topics, Not Just Keywords

Find topics that you can address with your expertise.

My recommendation is to use Ahrefs to discover legal-related topics.

ahrefs keyword explorer legal topics

 

Go through each keyword in the results and see which one has informational content.

Check through the list and see if there are any parent informational topics.

car accident deaths

 

Look deeper to find more relevant topics.

Add filters if you want to only see keywords that are fit to your context.

For example:

  • Set KD (Keyword Difficulty) to Max 40 if you know your law firm website doesn't much domain authority to compete in the search results.
  • Filter by volume. Make it only give you keywords with a search volume of 100 minimum.
  • Check Featured Snippet in SERP features, which is optional, only if you want to keywords with featured snippet pack.

You can export results from Ahrefs into CSV to filter them more.

Make sure you create a list of all the keywords with their parent topics (including all criteria you choose to consider - KD, volume, Featured Snippet).

csv car accident keywords

 

What's another important thing besides finding content topics?

It's the content type.

You want to know what kind of content piece you'll publish on your content.

Step 2: Identify Content Types That's Best For The Topic

How to know what content type suits you best for the topic?

The answer?

Look at the search results.

Because what the search results will reveal is basically the type of content the search engines see as deserving to rank for that topic.

google-search-results-car-accident-deaths

 

You may surface content types such as statistics ("study"), long-form content ("guides"), listicles ("best X"), or FAQ ("frequently-asked questions").

Different topics manifest different content types.

Look through each search result and see what's the common pattern among ranking pages.

Add a "Content Type" column to your list.

Step 3: Create Content 10X Than Its Competitors

The biggest step in content marketing is creating the content.

And to make your content 10x:

Make sure you check what's missing from your competitors. Go to each ranking page and review them.

Ask yourself, can I add something that's been missing or hasn't been mentioned from their content?

List them down.

Add internal data.

Case studies, surveys, and other content formats.

Include your own actionable insights in your post.  Just make it more comprehensive.

Structure your content in a way that's easy to digest.

Here is a simple guide from Ahrefs to creating "BIG" blog content.

Step 4: Promote Your Content Assets

Everyone creates content, but only a few promote their work.

That's not you, right?

So start to promote your content assets to get more traffic and earn backlinks to your website.

But how will you do that?

Make a list of all pages that have shared or linked to pages related to your topic.

You can use Ahrefs to find these backlink prospects.

reverse engineer content assets

 

Get their contact details and start reaching out to them.

5. Leverage Thought Leadership

Your legal expertise can help you build more natural links to your law firm site.

As they say:

To educate is the best way to sell.

Well, in SEO, educating is the best way to build links.

Because people want answers to their pressing needs and questions.

And they will give you links if they find value when you share your expertise.

If you're a thought leader, leverage any of these brand assets.

Publishing Books

If you or your attorney client have published books in Amazon or in any book publishing webplaces, think about how you can use these books to get links to the legal site.

You may add direct links to your lawyer website in author profiles.

Or have a page on your site dedicated to that book.

You may include the URL of this book page in your PR campaign to get traction and potential natural links from websites of publishers and journalists.

Podcasts

Podcasting is a great way not only to build your brand but to expose your thought leadership to a large audience of linkers (publishers and bloggers) who're likely to link to your website.

legal podcasts

 

There are two ways to get backlinks from podcasting:

Start a podcast.

Get interviewed on podcasts.

When you start a podcast, you get links from podcast hosting companies through your profile pages.

When you get interviewed on podcasts, you get links from podcast blog transcriptions ("show notes" or "links section").

Provide Answers To Questions

As a legal practitioner, you can help anyone interested in legal practice by answering their questions online.

Either you comment on other people's legal blogs (not your competitors) or by becoming part of a crowdsourcing post sharing a tip or two when asked for insight on legal topics.

When you comment on blogs, you don't simply drop by and spam them with comment links.

You give value to their audience by sharing your own insights or feedback points to their articles.

You want your comment to be interesting that people are enticed to click on your link pointing to your website. This way, you get referred traffic from the website.

Discover Unlinked Brand Mentions

If you're showcasing thought leadership online, chances are publishers and content creators recognize you.

Search the entire web to see if you, your law firm, or any of your online assets have been mentioned elsewhere.

Some brand mentions may not have links to your legal website — these are missed link opportunities.

Take advantage of that by reaching out to people and asking them to credit mentions with links.

You can use Ahrefs to create alerts whenever someone mentions you. This way, you can quickly send an email to ask for a backlink (in case, the person didn't give you a link).

 

6. Use PR Outreach

What would you feel if journalists cover your stories?

What about being interviewed as a thought leader (or expert) in the legal space?

These are things that are possible with PR outreach.

Online PR is doable. It is something SMEs including law firms can take advantage of, not just Enterprise brands.

One effective tool to help you with online PR is Help a Reporter Out (HARO).

help a reporter out

It's a simple tool that allows you to connect to journalists.

The good thing with HARO?

Because the journalists do request quotes, you have chances to get responses, instead of you chasing them out on Linkedin or other social platforms.

For example, if they required quotes in an article about new legislation or the implications of a court case currently in local news, you can jump into HARO and share your insights on the topic.

HARO curates requests for stories, tips, information, or quotes from journalists and puts them in one place.

This may feel like a lot of work, but if you have a process to follow and tools, you can get exposure (and links) from journalists and top-tier publishers in your space.

Here are useful resources to help you get started with HARO link building and digital PR:

7. Maximize Sponsorship Opportunities

You can buy links ethically. How?

Not directly paying someone to give you a backlink to your legal firm site.

But by using money to support a cause of your target linkers.

Have you seen someone donates to a charity, sponsor an organization, event, or foundation?

That's what you do online.

Most non-profits and charitable organizations have their websites and dedicated pages to list logos of companies and organizations who support their cause.

For example, if a local non-profit organization has an upcoming event page, it has a section on its event page or somewhere on their website a list of all the event sponsors.

sponsorship links

 

That section has a list of links to company websites.

Besides pursuing non-profit organizations, you can leverage online community websites where you can find sponsorships on events from local businesses.

One example is Meetup

With Meetup, you get to see events that you'll sponsor and in return, have the exposure (and links).

You connect to the organizer and ask about their sponsorship details.

Then you decide if it's the right fit for you.

 

8. Publish Legal-Specific Roundups

What if you can create valuable content with lesser efforts in producing it?

That's possible with:

Legal roundups.

You ask thought leaders, practitioners, or experts a question on a particular topic.

Then you curate all of the inputs into one big blog post.

What's more interesting in having 33+ legal experts talking about a legal topic?

That's what The Dolman Law Group did with their "Attorneys Answer: When do you need to hire a car accident lawyer?" roundup post.

They asked 33+ experienced lawyers in auto accident claims in Florida to answer a question most people would ask with regards to a car accident.


legal roundup attorney answer

As of this writing, this law firm website earned 128+ backlinks from other relevant publishers, helping their website to improve their site's search traffic.

backlinks roundup question

You can model what they did.

See what content topics that people were looking to get insights from.

Go through each partner's legal websites and legal experts in your field to ask that question.

Compile their insights and make it a blog post.

 

9. Apply For Legal Awards & Associations

Any brand assets that display thought leadership and excellence in the legal space are powerful in helping you gain more backlinks to your legal website.

Do you have legal awards and associations you're associated with?

Some legal awards include:

If you're an SEO agency, ask your attorney client if they want to be nominated in an upcoming legal award in your niche.

legal awards associations

 

When you're permitted to do so, submit their information and other details needed by the awarding body.

Typically, award pages offer links to the websites of awardees. This is your good chance to get a backlink using this attorney link building strategy.

10. Invest In Relationship Building

One of the best types of links is links built on relationships.

Why?

Because you don't just get one link from the website, but recurring links given you continuously provide value to the person (linker).

ask peers for links

Ask Your Peers For Links

There's never an easier way to get backlinks than to ask your friends.

Do you have any friends or partners in your networks who have a website?

No, you don't reach out to them and say, "give me links!".

Even if they are your friends, you still want to know what kind of value will you offer to them.

One value offer is content exchange.

This means that you lend your expertise to write on a specific issue your friend's target audience will get value from.

For example, you could write an article that speaks of a unique perspective to an issue that one of his clients might have. If you're a tax attorney and your friend is in the personal injury space, you could write an article on how personal injury settlements are taxed in her state.

You find what topics resonate with their audience — that also resonate with your brand or niche.

Give Testimonials

Testimonial link building is an easy way to get free backlinks to your law firm website.

How's that possible?

Businesses need social proof to help their visitors convert into customers.

And testimonial is one social proof that tells their audience how good their product or service is.

Typically, business websites have their testimonials section on their homepage.

Or they have a dedicated page just for that.

Can you remember any business that provided services to you?

For example, if you hire home-based services to help you out with cleaning or house chores, you can send them an email and provide a testimonial in exchange for a link to your legal firm website.

Check their websites and see if they have testimonials.

Reach out to them and send a testimonial quote about their service.

 

11. Give Value Through Reddit & Forum Link Building

Forums are not dead.

Your audience wants to get insights from other like-minded people.

The reason is:

They connect more, share their experiences openly, and are more receptive to answers and questions when they're part of a community.

Reddit is a very active social forum.

Law-related topics such as this one:

reddit legal advice forum

 

Or topics your audience engages in:

reddit car accidents forum

 

Create your Reddit profile.

Display your thought leadership by interacting with other members in subreddits.

You don't post links right away.

Participate in other discussions by simply responding to legal and niche-specific questions (e.g. car accidents).

Be mindful of the subreddit posting rules and regulations.

Some communities have strict rules for posting too many self-promotional links.

When it is only relevant to your audience, post links to your helpful articles.

 

12. Do Guest Posting 

Guest posting is not dead.

Any publishers accept contributions from other authors (at some point).

Why?

Because it's free.

And if the quality of content reaches the standards of the guest blog.

How come they won't accept it?

Guest blogging offers more benefits than just links.

Branding. Exposure. Referral Traffic. Assisted conversions.

All these are long term benefits useful for your law firm.

I've covered the exact step-by-step process on how to do guest blogging.

If you're a bit hesitant about the effectiveness of guest blogging, check out your competitors and how they are getting backlinks today.

At some point, some of the links they got to come from guest posts they contributed to other blogs.

 

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my attorney link building guide.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Which technique from this guide are you going to try first?

Do you want to submit your law firm website to legal directories?

Or maybe you want to leverage thought leadership to get more links.

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


ahrefs link building

How to Use Ahrefs For Link Building (Like A Pro)

In this new guide, you'll learn how to use Ahrefs for link building.

Even without experience using the SEO tool.

Even if you've been using Ahrefs for quite a while.

(I'll include lots of advanced strategies that I've never shared anywhere before).

Here's everything you'll discover in this guide:

Let's dive right in.

 

What is Ahrefs SEO Tool?

Ahrefs is a robust tool that can be used to perform backlink audits, conduct keyword research, analyze competitors, track organic visibility and find and quality link prospects.

ahrefs link building homepage

For this guide, we'll focus on activities related to link building.

If you don't what link building is, start first by reading this beginner's link building guide.

 

How to Find Backlink Prospects Using Ahrefs Link Explorer

Every link building campaign starts with finding websites that can potentially link to your business.

When finding link prospects, you can use Google and advanced search operators to discover blogs and websites to look after for links.

You'll surely discover hundreds of websites following this process.

But if you're looking for a scalable way of link prospecting:

You use Ahrefs.

Ahrefs has a Link Explorer feature to help you find websites linking to the URL or domain you've entered.

ahrefs link explorer

The URL you will enter can be a competitor of your business.

Since you'll enter a relevant competitor, you also find backlink prospects that are relevant to your business.

ahrefs link explorer competitor

You'll then see a bunch of websites linking to your competitor's website. This could be your possible backlink prospects for your business.

That's how simple it is.

You do this to every website of your competitors. And you'll find thousands, if not hundreds of link opportunities.

Now, if you lack ideas of who your competitors are.

You go to one feature of Ahrefs: competing domains.

Click "Competing domains".

ahrefs competing domains

 

You'll see all websites competing with your business.

Going back.

If you want to get all the backlink opportunities (websites linking to your competitor's website), click Export in the Backlinks feature.

How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities Using Ahrefs

Guest blogging is the practice of contributing a content piece to another blog, whether that piece is an article, visual assets like an infographic, video, or any other content format. And get backlinks in return for that value.

Here's how to find guest blogging prospects using Ahrefs.

Enter a keyword in Content Explorer.

ahrefs content explorer

 

Add a filter for Domain Rating and toggle to see only "One page per domain".

ahrefs domain rating filter

Use the "highlight unlinked domains" function to highlight results from websites that haven't linked to you before.

Now, that gives you a list of blogs you can consider as guest blogging prospects.

 

How to Find Unlinked Mentions Of Your Brand Using Ahrefs

Not all websites that mentioned your brand would link to you. Some will do, others do not.

But for those who didn't link to you, what you can do is reach out to them and ask to link back.

Given that they've mentioned you, you have leverage for links by simply asking them.

So, how do you find these "unlinked mentions"?

Search your brand name in Content Explorer.

ahrefs content explorer enter keyword

 

Click the "highlight unlinked domains" button. And enter your domain.

highlight unlinked domains

Then, you'll see websites that mentioned your brand on one of their pages.

You can check out this guide on link reclamation to know how to qualify these brand mention pages and reach out to them effectively to acquire links to your site.

 

How to Find Podcast Opportunities Using Ahrefs

Podcasts are everywhere.

In your industry, there are podcasts you can get interviewed in, to bring your message out there to your target audience.

Using Ahrefs, you can find these podcast backlinks opportunities.

Find a thought leader or someone who've been guested on many podcast in your industry. This will be your starting point.

Look for his website and enter it into Ahrefs' Site Explorer. Go to the Backlinks report and search for their name.

find podcast thought leaders

podcast link opportunities backlinks report

This will give you websites where the person has appeared on.

You can learn more about this from this guide on getting podcast link opportunities.

 

How to Find Broken LInk Opportunities Using Ahrefs

Deadrot is something link builders can take advantage of.

Broken links on other websites are link building opportunities for your website.

Using Ahrefs, you can discover these broken links.

There are two approaches you can apply here.

First is by entering a competing website into Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

Then go to "Best By Links" and filter for "404 not found".

best by links 404 not found

 

Find any pages that linked to the 404 page by plugging it into Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

find links to 404 pages

These will surface you link opportunities you can reach out, and offer your resource as a replacement to their broken link.

Another way to find broken link building opportunities is by using Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Enter a topic or keyword.

Then filter for "Only broken".

content explorer only broken pages

Set the filter for referring domains for a minimum of 50. This will give you linkable pages that you can recreate and publish on your website.

referring domains 50

How to Prospect For Resource Page Link Targets Using Ahrefs

There are a lot of resource pages available on the web.

Use Ahrefs to find them.

Enter a relevant keyword into Content Explorer plus a search operator, "inurl:resources" to find only pages with resources on its title or content.

computer addiction resources ahrefs

resource page link opportunities

How to Discover Content Syndication Opportunities Using Ahrefs

Content syndication happens when a content is re-published by other third-party websites.

As the content is automatically being republished, it gets more visibility on other more web places.

How do you find these content syndication opportunities?

First thing to do is to find a website that gets syndicated regularly. You can also find an author, content creator, or blogger who gets his article republished elsewhere.

Ahrefs now has an author feature to help you discover authors in your space.

Simply type any keywords in Content Explorer. And go to the Authors tab.

content explorer authors tab

Once you find an author who has a blog that gets syndicated. Paste the domain into Ahrefs' Site Explorer and go to the Backlinks report.

Search for "originally appeared on" in the "Include" box to filter the pages with titles, and content that includes that phrase.

ahrefs originally appeared on

 

Now, these are content syndication opportunities you can leverage for links.

 

How to Find Industry Authors Using Ahrefs

When people use guest blogging, they opt to look for websites and blogs.

A more strategic way of doing this is to find industry authors.

There are many things you can do when you find them, either you hire these industry authors to create content for you and distribute third-party content on other niche blogs.

Or get these industry authors to promote content published on your website.

Now, how to find authors in your space using Ahrefs?

Go to Content Explorer.

Click on Authors tab.

ahrefs authors tab export list

You can export the list to further assess each author.

You can then filter them by their number of followers, traffic value of their website, and average referring domains.

 

How to Monitor People Linking To Less-Deserved Content Using Ahrefs

Link building is a matter of giving value to a target audience.

If you can more value to linkerati, you get these people to link to you without hesitation.

If your ranking page isn't getting its deserved spot (not yet ranking number one), then either the competition for that keyword is too difficult, or your competititors' pages have more high-quality backlinks than you.

Besides making your content better to serve both search engines and search users, you would want to build more backlinks to your page.

You can reach out to people who linked to the top-ranking page.

A more strategic approach is to find any less-deserved content (people with lesser backlinks than the top-ranking page), but are getting continuously links from publishers.

Use Alerts feature of Ahrefs to send you alerts whenever people link to those pages.

alerts to less deserved content

As soon as you receive alerts, check each of them and see if your content deserves more of getting the link than your competitor.

Whenever you find it relevant and more feasible for your content to get links, consider reaching out to the linker and share your content.

 

How to Find Fresh Outreach Prospects In Your Industry Using Ahrefs

You need to find an outreach angle when reaching out to potential linkers.

Whether that's an interest of the prospect you're tapping into, or as simple as describing your content from a unique angle.

One way to get more responses and link placements from your outreach campaign is to ping them about their most recent content piece.

Oftentimes, people reach out to bloggers about their old articles (most of the time, articles from years back).

Those bloggers obviously may or may not care about their old articles, unless they find it interesting to update them.

So you want to be looking for people who've recently just published their content.

Why is the case?

These are people who are more receptive to suggestions as they're in the positive mode of receiving feedback for their recent content.  So that means you have a higher likelihood of receiving responses from them.

How to find fresh outreach prospects in your industry?

Enter a relevant topic (a topic of your content) in Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Set filter for "Published last 90 days". Then, set a minimum "Website Traffic" from 1K, and "Domain Rating" of 60-90.

ahrefs fresh outreach prospects

 

Check "Exclude Homepage" to avoid seeing multiple pages from the same website.

ahrefs fresh outreach prospects metrics

These are fresh outreach prospects in your industry that you can reach out to for content promotion.

 

How to Discover Link Targets With Potential To Bring Referral Traffic

One of the best types of links is links that can generate referral traffic to your website.

Not only you'll get the benefit of link juice from a relevant website to help you rank in search, but you'll also receive relevant traffic who can be your potential customers.

Now, how would you be able to find these link targets?

Enter a relevant topic on Ahrefs' Content Explorer to see pages that mention your topic.

Then set the minimum search traffic filter to 500.

ahrefs content explorer website traffic 500

Export the list and consider them as your link prospects.

outreach prospects traffic 500

How to Qualify Backlink Opportunities Using Ahrefs

Not all backlink opportunities are relevant to your business.

Not every website is worth pursuing.

That's the reason why you have to qualify sites or specific pages before you reach out to people who own them.

Link qualification helps you to maximize your resources and efforts in link building.

The better you qualify, the less time you spend reaching out to websites with no relevance and business value to your site.

What are some criteria to consider when qualifying backlink opportunities?

First is contextual relevance.

Check the website and see for yourself if the website is topically relevant to your business.

Let's say you're looking for a guest blogging opportunity in the personal injury space.

The most relevant opportunities are personal injury blogs.

If you sell beauty products, your most relevant backlink opportunities are beauty blogs, lifestyle blogs, and mommy blogs (with topics on beauty for mommies).

Second thing you should be looking at is: Authority

This is where Ahrefs comes in.

Ahrefs has an authority metric, called Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) that shows you how authoritative a website is (measured on a scale from 0 to 100).

ahrefs domain rating

 

There are two things you can do when qualifying backlink opportunities using Ahrefs:

Manual approach and Ahrefs' Batch Analysis feature.

You can qualify websites manually. Go to the website. Click on Ahrefs tool button (make sure you install it on your Google Chrome Extension).

Or do it using Batch Analysis.

Collect all URLs of your backlink opportunities.

Copy and paste them in the Batch Analysis box. You can enter up to 200 URLs.

Let's say I'm going after guest blogging opportunities, what I'll be pasting in the box are all websites I'm going after for guest blogging.

After pasting all these URLs, click the dropdown and choose "domain with all its subdomains" option.

ahrefs quick batch analysis

 

This is important if you want to qualify a backlink opportunity as a whole (not just as a single page).

Now then, you'll see a bunch of data you can use to assess whether a website is good or not.

Basic metrics you can look at from this Ahrefs data:

Organic Search (Traffic)

The monthly organic of the website from search. The higher this metric, the better opportunity because you know that it ranks for its target keywords in Google. This means that if you get backlinks from the website, it could bring visitors to your site through the link.

Ahrefs Ratings (DR)

The higher this metric is, the better. We recommend as a link building agency to have a benchmark of at least 30 (DR of 30 and above). Not too high, but not too low to see if there is enough authority on the website.

Referring Domains (Total)

The total number of unique domains linking to the target. The higher it is, the better. This means that there are other websites that have votes of confidence in your backlink opportunity.

There are a lot of other factors you have to consider when qualifying backlink opportunities, but what I've shared would be enough to help you start with link qualification.

 

How to Qualify Link Prospects Better Using Ahrefs

Besides using contextual relevance and authority metrics (like Ahrefs' Domain Rating), you can qualify link prospects in a more detailed way.

Using Ahrefs, you can check websites if they have been penalized.

While we don't have data to see if they have been hit by a penalty unless we got a direct access the website's Google Analytics.

However, there are clues when you assess further the website.

You can use Ahrefs to see the website's search organic trends or performance.

check backlinks better search performance-ahrefs

 

If you see drops in search traffic, you may want to investigate further.

You can't simply conclude the website has been penalized.

Look through the date where the drop began.

Check using Moz calendar of algorithm updates to see if there are any big updates on that date.

Remember that Google is constantly changing its algorithms to serve its search users better.

moz google algorithm updates history

 

Another thing you need to check is if there are any website revisions during that date.

If there is a website redesign, it may have caused technical errors that led to a traffic drop. Use Wayback Machine and go through the date when you've seen the search drop-in Ahrefs.

ahrefs check backlinks wayback machine

 

One last thing:

Know the seasonality of the website's traffic. There are on and off seasons in certain markets. This means that if a website sells seasonal products, it's understandable the website will experience drops in its search performance.

seasonal products

How to Know If Your Outreach Prospect Has Linked To You Before?

In outreach, it is best if you can identify if your prospects have linked to you in the past.

There are two reasons for this:

First, you may reach out to them later, if you prefer to prioritize websites that haven't given you links yet.

Second, if you see that getting recurring backlinks from them benefits you, consider them as your current outreach prospects.

Now if you need to see if a website has linked to you before.

Enter the website of your outreach prospect in Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

Go to "Referring domains" report. And include your brand or website in the search bar.

ahrefs referring domains link to website before

There you'll quickly find all the pages linking to your website or have mentioned you.

 

How to Discover Linkable Content Topics Using Ahrefs

One reason why people link to a website is they see content worth referencing on their pages.

So creating content that people would love linking to is a great way to increase backlinks to your website.

Content creation is not a requirement all the time. But if you want to scale link building, do it with a strategy.

Use Content Explorer feature of Ahrefs to find linkable topics in your industry.

Start by entering a keyword or phrase (your topic) to search for their database of over one billion web pages.

Your query matches what you choose in the dropdown options:

ahrefs content explorer parenting tips

If you're starting out, it is best to choose "Everywhere" to let the tool explore more pages on the topic. 

Go to the bottom section and "Sort by referring domains". This allows pages to sort from highest to lowest referring domains.

ahrefs filter by referring domains

To say that a topic is linkable, a good count is at least 100 referring domains.

For other industries, you may not able to find more than the number, but you get the point.

You should be able to find topics with a good number of referring domains.

 

How to Find Skyscraper Content Opportunities Using Ahrefs

Skyscraper technique.

Creating a 10x content that's better, longer, and more comprehensive than other competing content on the topic.

It starts with finding what topics you can create yourself.

Use any of the three features of Ahrefs.

A. Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Enter a relevant topic into Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Set the minimum 'Referring Domains' filter to 50, to give you websites.

You can add a language filter to get only pages in your target language.

ahrefs parenting tips content creation

 

Consider checking the Traffic Value of each page in the list, as it gives you an idea of the value of the topic and page related to your business.

B. Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Plug in the URL of an authoritative website (in your industry) into Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

Go to Best By Links section. Set the filter to "200 ok". And sort the list by Referring Domains.

ahrefs best by links site explorer

This will give you an idea of what topics are linkable in your industry based on the highest linkable pages of an industry website.

C. Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer

Enter a broad industry keyword into Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer.

ahrefs keyword explorer keyword difficulty

Set a minimum of Keyword Difficulty to ~40. Based on Ahrefs' calculation on KD, the top-ranking pages for high-KD keywords have lots of backlinks.

You can check ranking pages for each of the high-KD keywords. See if they have a good number of referring domains.

ahrefs serp overview referring domains

How to Look For "Definition" Keywords Using Ahrefs

Today, most searches for definitions show a featured snippet.

google what is a fever dream

Google pulls this information out from one of the top-ranking pages.

Now, that is an opportunity you can maximize in your content. You could appear in the snippet section if you have a definition of a term on your page.

If you have pages currently ranking for your target keywords, you may want to look if they rank for the definition of terms.

Here's what you can do:

You can enter your domain into Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

Go to the Organic Keywords section, then filter for top 10 rankings with featured snippets.

ahrefs organic keywords what is

Next thing is you filter for "what is" and "what are" keywords using the Include filter.

Check through your pages that are currently ranking for these definition keywords. Add sections for  "what is" or "what are" content. Make sure there's a relevant definition of those terms on your page.

 

How to Discover Content Types That Get Links In Your Industry

When you look for content topics to write, you also want to know what content types or formats that receive the most backlinks.

That way you can create a content piece that is both consumed best by your target audience and best linked by other people.

How will you know content types that work?

First, find any big publishers in your industry.

Then enter the domain URL into Ahrefs' Link Explorer.

Go to the Best Pages by Link report.

Look for any patterns of the content format that gets links most often.

ahrefs best pages by incoming links

How to Find Videos With Potential To Attract Search Visibility Using Ahrefs

Video marketing gives one of the highest yields in terms of building brand awareness and gaining new followers and visitors for your website.

Here is how you can look for videos that have the potential to attract views from Google.

Go to Ahrefs' Site Explorer and enter Youtube. 

Go to the "Organic Keywords" report. Then add a relevant keyword or topics to the "Include" filter.

ahrefs youtube organic keywords

There you'll surface video topics that get on the top of Google when you search for them.

 

How to Know What Attracts The Linkerati

There are certain pages and topics that receive the most attention from linkers.

A more advanced way of finding what makes them tick is not only looking at the "Best By Links" section of Ahrefs.

If you enter a website into the tool, you'll find what pages they get the most number of links.

However, that's not to account for the velocity of their link building campaign. That means, if they're doing link building effectively, you'll likely see a steady growth of links.

You don't just see the Best By Links section, but also find some time to get more insights from the Best By Links growth.

If you try to reverse engineer a competitive content to know what attracts the linkerati, use Best By LInks growth for that. This feature of Ahrefs doesn't just show you what worked in the past in terms of link attraction, but what also works today.

ahrefs best by links growth

 

A steady link growth implies you have a content type and topic that captures attention from linkerati continuously.

 

How to Make Your Content Better By Knowing Why People Link To Ranking Pages

Content creation is not a one-time hit wonder.

You don't stop just because you create one.

But you continuously update it to better serve your target readers.

One way to make your content more powerful is to understand why people are linking to your competitor pages.

When you get insights as to why link to them, you can go back to your content and add insights to your page.

Here's how to do it.

Get one of the ranking pages for the target keywords you're trying to rank for. Enter the domain into Site Explorer.

Go to Anchors report. In here, you'll see what anchor texts people are using when they link to this page.

ahrefs ketogenic link anchors

 

You'll then see anchor texts not commonly used by other people.

Look deeper and try to understand why by going through each of the pages linking to the content.

For instance, one reason the page gets a different anchor text because the author has a new section for the page he needs more references on a sub-topic.

You see:

Knowing why people link to certain pages can give you insights as to what sections to add to your content to make it better for your target audience.

 

Conclusion

I hope you got a ton of value from Actionable Tips On Using Ahrefs For Link Building.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

What tip from today’s post are you going to try first?

Do you want to try discovering linkable content topics using Ahrefs?

Or maybe want to try knowing if an outreach prospect has linked to you before?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.


types-of-links-how-to-get-them

9 Types of Links That Matter in SEO And How to Get Them

The types of links that you build matter as much as you execute your link building strategies tactics.

Just like knowing what kind of salt and pepper to use for your recipe, your cooking becomes more effective when you actually know what ingredients to use and why you need to use them.

So, if you want to be an effective link builder, you need to understand these 12 link types.

Here we go.

types-of-links-how-to-get-them

 

1. NATURAL EDITORIAL LINKS (CONTENT)

Natural-editorial links are by-products of link earning.

This type of link is acquired organically - meaning there isn't any form of outreach initiatives from the side of the person who gets the link.  The webmaster or publisher initiates linking to a certain piece of content.

Link-wise, it's close to impossible to get a similar link type unless there's a high-level reason why a particular person would link to your website.

In my experience, there are three primary factors on how you can earn natural-editorial links:

A. Content Ranked For Referential Keywords 

Not all keywords that you target can get people to both search for it and link to the top ranking piece (or whatever ranking page they'd find worth referencing to).

For example, if you search for what is link building, you'll find that most people would end up typing the exact question, getting the answer, and leaving the page right away. 

But there are keywords that people both search for and link to as a reference for their own content works. These are called "referential keywords".

Here are some examples of referential keywords:

A.1. Topic Templates 

Any niche template is highly searchable and is worth linking to. The reason is simple - it makes life easier. If you can have a template to create your own resume without having to write the whole thing from scratch, it actually saves you minutes (if not hours).

Therefore, the templates keyword is one content type that is worth referencing in a blog post because it gives value worth finding.

Popular examples of this niche-type keyword are job search templates and web design templates (CSS and HTML).

job search templates serps

Other template keywords you may also create content around that can fit in your industry are the following:

  • Christmas tree template
  • meal plan template
  • door hanger template
  • macaron template
  • travel itinerary template
  • weekly lesson plan template
  • wedding seating chart template
  • real estate flyer template
  • family budget template

Pro tip: Use Ahrefs or SEMRush to search for a specific type of template you could invest a content piece around in your space.

You can use the tool's search volume to type in a keyword + "template" to find niche template terms.

ahrefs parenting template example

A.2. Tips, Strategies & Hacks

A writer wants to include more tips in his content and so, if you have an extensive guide on co-parenting tips, there's a good chance it could be used as a reference on other blog posts.

Example: photography tips, first date tips, rhetorical strategies, camping hacks

A.3. Data 

Industry/topic data can serve as a credible source of information for the content you're writing about. It builds trust from your readers and thus, this is a type of content that has a high likelihood of being linked to by publishers as a reference.

Example: real estate data, snapchat data usage

Exception:

There are niche-type keywords one wouldn't ever think of being referenced by potential linkers. Such is the case with question keywords.

Normally, a question keyword, what is a watchdog? for example, can be easily answered and doesn't require you to refer to a post about that specific topic.

direct question search results

If you're the writer, you think it's only bit-sized information and you could either list it down or use your opinion if you can answer the question properly.

However, there are cases that require expertise to answer a question and thus, give content creators an opportunity to create content from it that doesn't just serve the need but has data/facts to support the answer.

You'll see this happen in health niches. One should have a scientific/medicine background before he/she can answer a question.

For example, the search query, "Is snoring a hereditary?", requires content that is written by a person with strong health background (Ph.D. graduate).

Is snoring a hereditary google search

With these niche questions that are best served with expertise-based content, there are cases when a question keyword can also be a referential keyword. This means that content ranking for such keywords can also be used as a reference by other publishers in their posts.

B. Word-Of-Mouth Bottom Of The Funnel Pages 

Another factor that could help you earn links is when your community users, brand evangelists, and those people who know your brand link to you naturally from discussion websites.

What makes it worthy of earning is the number of conversions you can get from those discussion sites - not just links.

forum links assisted conversions

Forum links that point to your bottom of the funnel pages, i.e. to your product pages, is really valuable from a business perspective - as it can generate sales over time. 

C. Strong Brand Authority 

Building your brand authority in your space requires consistency in messaging and delivery of high-quality offerings.

Whether that's a great product/service, a great brand ambassador, or the length of company existence (with strong brand presence), the more you could establish any of those factors consistently on your site, the higher the possibility of earning links this way.

For example, Tim Soulo recently published a post on how they grow exponentially at Ahrefs from an MRR/ARR metric perspective.

ahrefs growth

How that possible is their ability to focus on one thing - to improve their product best. The product itself allows them to earn links from SEO or internet marketing publishers.

(If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you see that I've been linking to them almost all the time when I want to share a tool that can be used for certain link building activities).

This isn't something that is scalable in nature, for sure, and the market decides if you have the great/best offering.

But if you're choosing clients to cater to your SEO or link building services, it's something that you have to consider. A brand authority could easily help earn links because it's the community themselves - publishers and products' existing users linking to the organization naturally.

2. MANUAL OUTREACH LINKS (CONTENT)

As implied, manual outreach links are executed with manual efforts - from finding relevant link opportunities to identifying an irresistible offer (something that's valuable to end-users) and to sending emails to appropriate contact persons.

This is the most common type of links on the web given that not everyone has the ability and authority to earn links when starting out.

That being said, manual outreach link building can bring a guaranteed range of the number of links per month (e.g. 6 to 10 links per month) if done right and consistently throughout a period of time.

There are a lot of ways on how you can build manual outreach links, and here are some resources that can help you get started:

For this post, I'd like to share with you something that's been overlooked when doing manual outreach link building.

First:

Picking Up New Competitors 

If there are only a few inches away from beating up the competition, knowing what your competitors are working on based on their new links being acquired is essential to maneuver your website to better links.

For this reason, you can use Ahrefs to check your competitors' new links.

new backlinks ahrefs

You can even filter indexed links based on a specific period of time (past month, past week, or past day).

filter new competitor backlinks

Picking up new links of your competitors will you give insights as to which link building tactic they're currently focusing on (either niche scholarships or discount programs for example) and if they are pursuing blogs/sites from other verticals (but definitely still relevant to their brand).

Given their recency of linking, new links acquired by your competitors have high chances of converting into links when pitched since they are more receptive to link pitches. 

Linkable Markets For Certain Content Types 

A certain type of content is serving a particular linkable audience.

For example, an educational guide caters to resource linkers while bloggers are more receptive to infographics and entertainment-driven articles.

Meanwhile, news editors are looking for the more data-studies type of content.

content fits linkable market

via SiegeMedia

In essence, if you're manually reaching out to the certain linkable audience and you're not giving them a suitable content type, you're less likely to acquire a link from an editorial perspective.

That's not to say there's no chance of linking. But for every content type, there's a specific linkable audience it does serve.

3. SELF-CREATED NON-EDITORIAL LINKS

Not being editorially given, self-created non-editorial links tend to carry less weight than other link types. They get lesser clicks to their referring pages as compared to links placed within the body of content. Therefore, from a lead generation perspective, it's not worthwhile to put all your efforts into self-created non-editorial links.

self created non editorial links

Here are some examples of this link type that I've seen still being built up to this date:

  • Not moderated blog comments
  • User profile pages
  • Forum signatures/profile links
  • Not moderated directories

Get this type of links to diversify your link profile, but not too many, given that they don't provide as much link value as compared to editorial links.

The type of self-created non-editorial links you should definitely get is social links.

Here are a few social sites where you can build free backlinks:

4. DISCUSSION-BASED LINKS

Links coming from discussion websites and online boards are proved to be valuable in terms of driving referral traffic and assisted conversions to a website.

Both benefits are strong proof of how powerful that link type is, as you're hitting two birds with one stone: traffic and conversions.

To benefit much from discussion-based links, one must consider the following:

    • Identify sub-niche boards from community discussion and niche-specific forum sites.
    • Consider more quality than quantity (e.g. if you own an eCommerce guitar website, a brand presence on a guitar forum with 5000-ish users is better than a music forum with almost 50,000 users).
    • Participate in discussion boards/threads where you think you can provide value with your expertise. Take note that your goal is to drive traffic through clicks from links. If your participation doesn't engage the users well, it's more difficult to drive traffic to your website.
    • Don't insert links pointing to your commercial pages with no relevance to threads. You may be flagged as spam or be banned from the community site.
    • Add hyper-relevant links to discussions. If you think a category page is more suitable than a product page, then consider more to adding it.

Here are a few examples of websites where you can build discussion-based links:

Quora

Quora is a question-and-answer site where people benefit from answers to specific queries.

Search for Quora-sub threads that you can follow and find questions from it. Spend 10 minutes of your time providing genuine and valuable answers or solutions to niche-relevant questions.

quora question and answer

Last year, I've put a daily practice to answer one relevant question every single day. It drove not just traffic, but potential clients to our agency.

Country And Local-Specific Forums 

If you're doing local link building, it's important to not just get relevant discussion-based links, but also hyper-local.

For example, if you're targeting Aussies, Whirlpool is a forum site in Australia you’ll love the most as users (mostly from the tech niche) are highly engaged.

Identifying a forum site like this is worthwhile to spend minutes, if not hours, of your time. Genuinely provide solutions to recent questions that will best result to more traffic and leads to your website.

whirlpool forum

Niche-Relevant Forums 

Don Rhoades shared a credible idea on how to penetrate niche forums for traffic.

He coined the term, "forum participating rubric", which is a method of using criteria to make decisions on participating in forums and online conversations that mention a need for your products.

Here's how it looks like:

forum participation rubric

Here's what each row means:

Timely: I like to try and stay current as sales opportunities can go from hot to cold very quickly. Online conversations can change focus just as instantly. As an online retail salesman, you must be ubiquitous in “the showroom,” which any good salesman knows is everywhere he is. You can use this method for current press hits as well.

Collaborative: Agree or disagree, supporting another user’s statement helps you build a relationship, and that’s what link building really all boils down to. Keep in mind, the first few interactions you make will most likely not be a good time to drop a link. This is a situation that calls for patience and being genuine in your responses. Remember, this is not about ranking sites and scaling the shit out of a process. This is about adding value to a community.

Education: This is most likely the best facet of this approach. Every product, no matter how much like other products it may be, has unique features, advantages, and benefits. These are the selling points of your product over others. Your on-site content should communicate these FAB’s and offer the G, which stands for Grabber (ask for the sale, without asking).

Clarity: This is one of my most common 4’s on the scale. Having an opportunity to address a misprint or correct an opinion formed by the reader is a blessing in disguise. This is also where it pays to have assessed all of your press mentions and link profile. Many times, I have found opportunities to place links to other sites that already have links that generate sales. BOO-YAH! Some press hits from 2 years ago had no inbound links in the body, but after giving a clarifying statement (with an informational page link), they still bring in significant monthly sales.

by Don Rhoades

5. SPONSORSHIP-BASED LINKS

Getting this type of link isn't groundbreaking. You only need to be a sponsor of an event, organization, charity, or any cause, and in return, you'll be receiving a link from a specific page.

Here are steps on how you can build sponsorship-based links.

First is to identify niche-specific sponsorship link opportunities.

If you're targeting a local city, it is best to also filter opportunities based on its locality.

You can use this search query (inurl:sponsor "INDUSTRY") or (inurl:sponsor "INDUSTRY" "CITY") to look for sponsorship pages in your industry.

The more hyper-relevant your opportunities are, the better link value you can get from them.

sponsorship links

Next is to create a list of these sponsorship opportunities in a spreadsheet.

This way, you'll be able to check each page later on and prioritize which sponsorship opportunity is more suitable to your website and to your budget.

Finally, reach out to each contact person in the website/organization with a value offer that suits them.

6. MEMBERSHIP-BASED LINKS

This type of link is a by-product of being part of an affiliate within an organization.

Acquiring membership-based links is based on the idea that if you have joined an organization, whether you're coming off as a personal or corporate, you will have a chance to get a link from a specific page of that organization's website.

membership based links

If you're working for a client for link building, it is best to check your company's existing collaborations, partners, or affiliated organizations.

Do research if there is an existing membership/affiliate/partnership page in that organization.

See if other companies have links to their respective sites. This is important as you won't be able to get a link from them if, in the first place, they haven't given links to other companies.

When you see one, reach out to the particular organization and ask if you can give you a link from that specific page.

7. Edu & .Gov LINKS

Links coming from .edu and .gov links are highly trusted by search engines, and therefore, is a high-quality link type you should aim to get for your website.

These links are difficult to acquire, but certainly, there are many ways on how you can score them. Below are some tips on how to get .edu and .gov links.

  • Provide a scholarship opportunity for students, make it more relevant to your brand (e.g. scholarship for disability students if you're selling medical supplies).
  • Offer educational content to .edu and .gov sites that is worth linking to from a relevant resource page.
  • Get links from summer housing, internship, and off-housing pages of .edu sites (best fit if you're a real estate site - apartment).
  • Acquire links from the "new to an area" page of .edu sites (things to do, local attractions in [CITY], quality schools in [CITY], moving and relocation in [CITY], etc..).

things to do in city pages

Here are some more resources you can read on building .edu and .gov links:

8. EVENT-BASED LINKS

As implied, these links are acquired using events - either you create your own or just participate.

Here are some ways on how you can maximize events to build links to your website.

Host your own event (whether local or niche-specific).

This requires that you have a set of brand followers (offline or event, much better if it's both) or simply have built expertise around a certain niche/industry. This way, it'll be easier for you to sell tickets or get people to book slots for the event.

host local industry conference

Invite people who have linking intent, i.e. publishers of a local media team, bloggers, influencers, or content creators/PR of different companies to come to your event. Give some free passes or reduce their sponsorship fees if they're a huge win for you (i.e. a big local media site). 

If your event is to provide information/content to your audience, it's also important to invite industry experts to speak. This will give you some links, as some of them may also promote your event from their own blogs.

Get your event listed on local or event listing websites/directories. Here are some search queries you can use to find these low-hanging link opportunities:

  • [CITY] inurl:event inurl:submit
  • [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:submit
  • [CITY] [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:submit
  • [CITY] inurl:event inurl:add
  • [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:add
  • [CITY] [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:add
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit an event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "add event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "add an event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "add your event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your workshop"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your course"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your class"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your conference"

Pitch to become a speaker at an event

Companies hosting events normally have pages on their sites dedicated to that purpose. By pitching yourself to become a speaker at a local or industry event, you may ask organizers to include a link to your website from their event page.

Take a look at this contextual link I got from a local events page.

local speaking pitch 1

local speaking pitch 2

To find speaking opportunities within your region, this newly built platform by Bryan Harris is a great help.

agent speaking agent

The platform has a filter function that helps you sort out speaking pitch opportunities that are only relevant to your expertise/industry.

Moreover, here are some websites where you can create events, list your events, participate, or even pitch to be a speaker:

And down to our last type of link - relationship-driven links.

9. NATURAL-EDITORIAL LINKS (RELATIONSHIPS)

Another kind of natural-editorial links is a link that is built through relationships.

Relationships, if started and strengthened through authentic and continuous connections can really help someone acquire a natural link.

There is one attribute that allows relationships to result in links.

Reciprocity.

The principle is that when you offer value to a person, it's but natural for that other person to give back something in return.

The question now is not how to build relationships, because that obviously is natural for every person, but how to know what value to offer to a person.

Here are some tips on how you can identify and bring that value to a targeted audience in your space (which give you a ton of opportunities to earn natural links in return):

  • Make a list of people who you can help and can also help you in strengthening your brand.
  • Build conversations with them around industry communities (forums/community sites) and social networking sites. Don't come off as spammy by sending out generic Tweet DMs.
  • You can start by sharing their latest content (best if you can customize your tweets to make them unique and enticing for clicks from your followers).relationship driven linksPromote your best content to them (by giving so, you let them see resources they can use as references to their works).
  • Influence other influencers. By doing so, you can capture audiences of other influencers when they start sharing content and you've built strong connections with them as well.

Overall, those are the 9 types of links that you need to remember. Not all of them you will build, but the links you should prioritize are ones that can drive traffic and conversions to your website.

If you liked this post, subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on @venchito14.

Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out  guide.


guide-broken-link-building

The No Non-Sense Guide to Broken Link Building

Broken link building has been around since 2010. From that time on, a lot of things had happened that changed how we approach this link building tactic. Nuances in methodologies, additional best practices, and questions of whether the said technique is still working now, are just a few things we will cover in this post.

Table of Contents

WHAT IS BROKEN LINK BUILDING?
WHY BROKEN LINK BUILDING?
WHY BLB ISN'T WORKING FOR ME?
STEP BY STEP BLB GUIDE
1. FIND A TOPIC THAT SERVES A SPECIFIC GROUP OF LINKS PAGE CURATORS
2. CREATE CONTENT ABOUT THE LINKABLE TOPIC
3. PROSPECT FOR LINK OPPORTUNITIES AND QUALIFY THEM
4. FIND BROKEN LINKS, CONTACT PERSONS AND EMAILS
5. CONDUCT OUTREACH
6. MONITOR LINKS

Before we get too far though, you might want to know how we define broken link building.

what-is-broken-link-building

Broken link building is a link building tactic where a person contacts a webmaster who has a broken link in his or her website and recommends a replacement of link/s that include his/her target page.

That seems a very simple thing by definition but actually, the work to execute all steps behind that takes a lot of effort.

Though it may be time-consuming, if you understand the value that broken link building can provide to webmasters, it'll give you the confidence of its effectiveness as a link building tactic and that it can also be implemented to many websites if found to be fitting to use.

why-broken-link-building

Broken link building helps fix the web by letting webmasters know of their broken links and their best replacements.

Broken links (or linkrot as some refer to it) happens when a web page becomes permanently unavailable, due to one of many reasons:

  • Expired links; temporarily created for a short-term purpose (for example sponsorship page)
  • Content is intentionally removed by the webmaster.
  • A website where the broken link is hosted may be closed or taken down by the owner.
  • A website changed its domain name (some links are not redirected to their corresponding pages in the new website).

No one wants to have broken links in their websites which users would find to be of no value because they don't see the exact resources they are looking for.

page not found

 

If you have helped someone fix his/her links, you will be reciprocated by adding your recommended resource on his/her page (which most of you will recommend a link to your target page).

Reciprocity matters in link building. Value to value. If you help someone, you will be helped. That's why broken link building works.

why-blb-isnt-working-for-me

This question has been raised several times. From a perspective of a link builder who practices broken link building, there are some common misapplications I see of this technique.

First is tying any content type to links pages curators.

Who is a link page curator?

A links page curator is a type of linkable audience (from the term itself) curates links in a specific page about a particular topic for the sole purpose of giving its intended website visitors references and resources that they can use either for personal consumption or business research.

A link page curator is attracted mostly to educational guides or academic-driven content.

Suggesting to them an infographic to be added as a resource to their links pages is less likely to accomplish its linking purpose unless it has a text section (beneath the image) that has comprehensive information about the topic.

The best way to increase the likelihood of acquiring resource links is to produce an educational or academic-driven type of content that is more comprehensive than what other publishers create (more on that later in this post).

educational guide

 

Second reason why people think broken link building doesn't work for them is the difficulty to find a linkable topic that fits your brand.

There are cases wherein you wouldn't find a topic that is highly linkable (i.e. there are a lot of links page curators linking to content on the topic) and that also fits directly to your brand.

The solution here is to think of a specific linkable audience and brainstorm ideas on how you can best serve them. Check if it's tangentially relevant to your site. (I'll show you exactly how you can execute that part later).

For now, let's dive into how you can implement broken link building tactics to your website.

step-by-step-blb-guide

There are a lot of published resources on executing the exact process of broken link building. But one thing I noticed is that these don't give you the exact picture of implementation from different role perspectives.

So as you go through each step below, you'll see some tips on how to do the exact process based on your current role.

if you are an agency marketer/SEO

if you are an In-house SEO

if you are a business owner

If any of these phrases is not included, the tip applies to all.

That avoids you saying, "I can't do this because I'm not ___."

Note: If you have any questions about how you can do that yourself or with the help of someone, feel free to contact me.

Let's start with the process.

find-topic-specific-group-links-page-curators

You don't have to go too far. Start first with your informational keywords.

If you have keyword excel sheets in place. Begin with that. Go through your list and find top-of-the-funnel keywords.

Use the inurl:links.html as your litmus test to check if a topic is serving a number of links curators.

Why links.html? Because most links pages are in their HTML page, not adding .html may leave off some good numbers.

So what's a good number of indexed links pages to find?

Anywhere from ~300 to ~500 is feasible. More than that is highly linkable.

For example, if you searched for inurl:links.html "sleep apnea", you'll find that there are 552 available links pages indexed in Google (as of the time of this writing).

links curators litmus testing sleep apnea

For the topic, "bruxism", the number of indexed links pages is 272 (as of the time of this writing).

links curators litmus testing bruxism search

WHY LINKS CURATORS LITMUS TESTING IS IMPORTANT?

If you find there are enough links curators who are waiting to link to your content asset from their links pages, you can ensure that the topic you'll be creating is worth your investment to create.

No waste of time and money. That doesn't mean it always attain success, but at least there's a confidence of results when you pursue a topic that is linkable because it has an existing audience giving you links. You are proving linkability in your content.

WHAT IF THERE ARE ~300 LESS LINKS CURATORS AVAILABLE ON MY TOPIC?

This question may arise, and there are two answers for that.

One is doing a Google search for the topic. This is to ensure that there are still links page curators that are available who couldn't easily be discovered through Google search and could only be found through reverse engineering - more on this later. 

Going back, if you use Moz, you can see immediately the number of referring domains each page on SERPs is getting.

referring domains links curators litmus testing

 

If you find that each page has at least 20 plus unique referring domains, you can further investigate its linking pages.

Otherwise, you find another topic keyword and run it through the process again.

Further investigation involves finding at least 100+ links pages that have a specific page on the topic. The reason for doing so is to ensure that when you promote a content piece, there's an available audience dying to link to your content.

How to do that is to simply grab each URL in SERPs and check using a link checker tool if there are links/resource pages linking to the URL. 

links pages to url content ahrefs

 

My tip here to quickly find links pages is to use the search function of Ahrefs.

Type in links or resources to find resource pages with links or resources in their titles. 

backlinks list ahrefs filtered

 

Collect every links page you find and qualify as you land on the page or choose to qualify them later. You can skip to this section of Link Qualification stage.

Make sure you create an Excel sheet purposefully for those links pages.

spreadsheet links pages

 

If you have collected at least 100+ links pages (qualified), then the topic is suitable for broken link building.

WHAT IF THERE ARE ~300 LESS LINKS CURATORS AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE SEARCH AND ~100 LESS LINKS CURATORS THROUGH REVERSE ENGINEERING?

If you find fewer links curators on the topic, you can still create a content piece but you won't expect many links from links pages given that not all of them would link to you. There is a conversion rate of around 3-5% to be expected from this topic depending on the number of emails you send to qualified links pages.

create-content-linkable-topic

Hopefully, you now have an idea of identifying if a particular topic is suitable for a broken link building campaign. Now comes the hard part - actually creating the content.

You know this, you don't just have to create content. It has to be 10x better than other content pieces on that subject matter.

How can you do that?

If you are a business owner or if you are an agency marketer/SEO, you can try hiring academic-industry writers from freelancing websites.

You probably have done this because it is way cheaper than hiring full-time, in-house writers. It may not be feasible at first, to hire a full-time in-house writer given there's still less bandwidth of work for content writing.

Academic industry writers can produce educational guides better than Fiverr generic writers. The cost of hiring the former may be higher than the usual rate you pay for a writer, but you can expect higher quality output from them.

Now the question is, how can you find an academic-industry writer?

There are hundreds of ways on how you can look for them but there are methodologies I've found helpful in looking for the right academic-industry writer.

HIRING ACADEMIC WRITERS IN UPWORK

First is by using Upwork as your hiring channel for writers.

upwork

 

Upwork is a top freelancing website wherein you can post a job that can run either hourly or project basis and that targets freelancers in a specific industry, skill set, and level of skills you're looking for.

The process of hiring in Upwork is simple:

  • Identify who you need to hire.
  • Post a job board.
  • Interview people
  • Hire your preferred freelancer.

For a more detailed reference on how to post a job on Upwork, here's a resource from the website that you can check out.

To give you an insight into how it works specifically when hiring an academic-industry writer, below is an example of a job post that I posted.

upwork job post blb content writer

 

Simple note: The writer I was looking for was specifically tasked to write product reviews and informational articles, but later on, was assigned to create educational guides for BLB.

As you can see above, the post is very simple. It covers almost everything you need to know about the job.

But what I'd like you to take note of are the following points:

  • Title - the key here is to be very specific with the kind of writer you're looking for. Cater the job title to a niche writer, that would mean not just a health writer, but someone who knows specifically about sleeping or psychology - as another example.
  • Fixed price - depends on where you're more comfortable with, but if a fixed price is what you prefer, you can even negotiate that further to cost per word (e.g. 0.027cents per word).
  • Level - you need someone who is an intermediate or an expert on the subject to write comprehensive and academic content pieces, particularly on jargon-heavy topics.

INVITE FREELANCERS TO A JOB POST 

One trick to ensure you're making the shot of hiring a great industry writer is to find freelancers and invite them to apply to your job post.

Instead of waiting for freelancers to apply to you and start filtering which ones deserve the slot, you can initiate looking for the best ones and negotiate

Most skilled freelance writers are not applying massively to relevant job posts, but some even are getting inbound potential clients that hire them.

So if you proactively invite people to apply for your job, you increase the possibility of getting skilled freelance writers.

upwork invite freelancers

 

Once you've hired a freelance writer based on a certain skill set and expertise, it's time to create the content.

CONTENT CREATION PROCESS

If you're an agency or in-house, there are other roles in the team you should consider who can aid you with the content creation process - starting from research down to publishing.

It's critically important not to overlap tasks of each others' roles to get an easy flow of work and to excellently complete each content writing project.

As a small team, the SEO “the one who actually did the research” creates the outline and then just send it to the content writer for completion. If the content requires creative work, our designer has to come in and collaborate.

jayson bagio gobiggr

 

 

 

- Jayson Bagio, Founder of Gobiggr

The distribution of work depends on the internal process of a team.

However, the quality of output should be checked if it's going to be linkable content.

One way to ensure the quality of your content piece is to use a framework where you will base its success probability.

USE A QUALITY-CHECK FRAMEWORK

One framework that has been mostly considered is the Made to Stick's SUCCESs model.

The idea is to run a quality check of your content based on these six factors:

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credible
  • Emotional
  • Stories

made to stick model

 

If you're a business owner, you may not have the luxury to go over each content piece and run it through a quality success framework. But having someone to look after the writer is advisable, either you get a senior editor or copywriter just to ensure the content piece can pass a certain standard of quality.

Aside from internal checking of quality, it's also important to ensure your content piece is far more comprehensive than other content assets on the same topic.

You can check what's lacking in other content pieces that you can add and emphasize to your own content piece.

For example, we've recently created a guide on types of sleeping disorders.

By looking at other content competitors, I've seen that they haven't had a huge list of sleeping disorders with their respective categories. They also lack customized visuals to entice social sharing.

With those things in mind, we've produced one that's far more comprehensive than other content assets - not just bigger, but better.

comprehensive

 

Note: If you do well know your industry, you need to provide key points to your content writer as to the format and flow of messages based on how you think your content can be best consumed by your target audience.

prospect-link-opportunities-qualify

You may have a linkable content asset, but without a list of link prospects to reach out for content promotion, your content may not see the light of the day.

So where can you collect a list of link targets?

RESOURCE LINK PROSPECTING METHODS

A. Save your link targets as your early list

It begins when you run a link curator's litmus testing.

As soon as you are checking if there are existing links/resources pages on the topic, you can immediately create a list out of that. Save them as your early targets.

You can use Ahrefs or Majestic when checking links pages or resources pages on pages ranking for a topic you are targeting.

ahrefs links to ranking pages

 

B. Reverse engineer content competitors

Content competitors are content assets that discuss the same topic as your content piece.

Find them either by using a Google search or by looking at related resources on a target page for links.

content competitors

 

Once you find them, go and check all backlinks using a link checker tool.

Grab only resource pages. You may use words like "links" or "resources" on the Ahrefs search bar to quickly find them.

reverse engineering content competitors

 

C. Check for broken links on your initial list of resource pages.

You may find that there are other external links on a specific section of the resource page wherein you want to get a link from.

See if one of the external links is broken either by clicking on them or by using LinkMiner to scan the page for any broken links. linkminer finding broken links

 

If you find a broken link, check if there are referring domains linking to it. It's a good opportunity then to find more resource pages.

D. Use Google search queries to find resource pages in your niche.

This is the most common type of link prospecting and one that will give you tons of link opportunities if you use appropriate search terms and advanced search operators.

There are many link prospecting search terms to finding resource pages.

But to help you with this process, I've shared a spreadsheet tool below that semi-automates the activity of using advanced search ops (specific to BLB) h/t to Jayson Bagio.

blb-query-generator-spreadsheet

 

All you have to do is to insert a keyword/topic on Column A and click on Column F to direct you to the search result.

When you land on each search result page, you'll find relevant links pages. Go and check each one and quality according to your metrics (Section: Qualification Metrics).

E. Use Citation Labs Link Prospector

If there's one tool I'll recommend in finding hundreds even thousands of links pages, it is this Link Prospector by Citation Labs.

It's nothing new to advanced SEOs out there, but if you're starting out in broken link building, the said tool can help you maximize your prospecting efforts and save hours of time spent.

Here's a tutorial video that shows you how to use the tool properly.

QUALIFICATION METRICS 

Before giving you metrics to consider when qualifying resource pages, the reason why I didn’t' separate Link Prospecting and Qualification, is that you can execute them simultaneously.

When you land a resource page, you can quickly qualify it according to your metrics.

This saves you a lot of time in qualification, as you don't have to assign a team member to do this task alone - qualifying each resource page you've collected.

Though it requires practice to do that, it's something I'd recommend SEOs to master over time.

Going back, there are qualification metrics that need to be considered in broken link building.

A. Relevance - top priority!

There are three aspects of relevance we need to talk about here.

First is page-level relevance.

A links page that is highly relevant to the topic of your content piece increases your chances of getting a link from that resource page.

Let's say, you own a content asset about the types of sleeping disorders. A highly relevant page for that is a resource page on sleeping disorders or sleeping issues. In this case, it makes sense for the webmaster to link to your content asset because it actually what he covers on his page.

sleep resources page

 

Second is category-level relevance.

There are resource pages that don't cover specifics for your content topic but have a section for it.

In my given example, a category-level relevant page is a resource page about disorders. It's not necessarily about sleeping disorders but if it has a section on sleeping disorders, then it could be considered as a good link prospect.

B. Use tool ranking scores

Moz has DA and PA. Ahrefs has DR and PR (know how their new DR is calculated).

moz metrics

It's been a discussion in the SEO community on which one to use for link qualification. Is it Ahrefs metric or Moz metric?

To be honest, I personally don't have a specific answer to that.

Given Moz has built its brand and its metric is dominantly used by SEOs. If you're an agency, you'll talk with clients that highly consider Moz metrics as their metric.

You may have to educate your clients to consider relevance as your sole metric or sole metric + other tool ranking scores.

If you're in-house and if you're a business owner, you can have your own list of metrics, i.e. relevance alone, Moz DA + relevance, Ahrefs DA + relevance, or others.

Note: Later, I'll show you a visual resource on what metrics we use for broken link building.

C. Ask yourself, can I really obtain a link from this page?

Not all highly relevant .edu DA70 resource pages will give you links. But there are signals on a resource page you have to see that will help you determine if that page is obtainable for a link or not.

C. 1. Last Updated

There are resource pages that explicitly note the date their page was last updated. If you reach out to a webmaster that has a resource page last updated in 2008, there's a little chance you'll get a link from that.

The more frequent an update on a resource page, the more receptive it is for new resources or links.

C. 2. Matched Content

Are the external links on the resource page match the content you want to build links to? Are they page-level relevant or category-level relevant? If you say yes to these questions, you have a chance to obtain a link.

C. 3. Explicit Notes

Sending pitches to webmasters with no clue of whether they entertain new resources or not is difficult. But there are times when resource pages explicitly state that they are open to add new links or new resources to their links page.

It increases your chance of getting the link, given that the webmaster is open to any link suggestions. Though not a guarantee of link success, definitely increases your obtainability.

So those are signs that you can acquire a link from a resource page.

Now let's move on to some red flags that once you notice or see on a resource page can immediately give you an idea that's it's not a fit for your content piece or it is low-quality.

Red Flags to look for:

  • Too many outbound links (150 links or higher)
  • Outbound links pointing to low-quality or spammy websites (e.g. .blogspot websites)
  • Page isn't properly designed 
  • Page linking to general lists or resources (no specific topic that they cover 
  • Page linking only to professional organizations, .edu, or .gov pages.
  • The old version of the HTML page signals that the owner no longer updates it. 

When you landed on the resource page, you can immediately see some of these red flags. You may hover your mouse to check pages' URLs for a glance.

You can always move on to your next link prospect on your list if you found the current one is not a good fit. 

This simple activity to add to your process is helpful for two reasons: first, you ensure that links that'll be added to your link list is definitely high-quality and second, it saves you minutes/hours of time - otherwise, reaching out to them will add up to your outreach hours.

For more visual learners, and to provide a resource for this process, we’ve created the following handy flowchart for your decision tree on whether or not to collect the resource page.

Case to case basis, there are other factors to consider but this guide should give you the thought process of link qualification.

find-broken-links-contact-persons-emails

Now that you know how to prospect for resource page opportunities and qualify each one of them to suit your link objectives, it's time to find any broken links (if there are existing ones on a page).

FINDING BROKEN LINKS

You don't have to manually open each external link to a new tab to see if they're working or not. It’s pretty time-consuming if you do that.

There are tools to help you with finding any defunct (broken) links on your prospect page.

First is LinkMiner. It is created by Jon Cooper of PointblankSEO which only requires a click on your toolbar then the tool itself will automatically check the entire page for any broken links and highlights them in red color.

linkminer

 

Next is AtomSEO Broken Link Checker (h/t to Jayson Bagio). Another Chrome Extension tool for finding broken links which you can also run using a keyboard shortcut.

atomseo link checker

 

Note: It's important to check again the external link if it's a 404 or a live page. Those aforementioned tools aren't perfect, they may at times, highlight links as red (meaning it's 404) when they're otherwise not.

CONTACT FINDING

Next is to find the right contact person and look for his or her email address.

There is a lot of advice about this matter. Many SEOs recommend using a contact finding tool to scrape any available email addresses on a given website and all you have to do is to choose one or two you can use for outreach.

I've been doing outreach for years and I'd say that one factor to a failed outreach campaign is reaching out to the wrong contact person.

No matter how linkable your content piece is, if it's not seen by the right contact person who actually manages the resource page, it won't acquire the desired link.

The best way to find the correct contact person and his/her email are to manually search for on the page/site.

I'm currently working with a VA whose role is to find broken links (if any) on resource pages and look for the right contact persons with their respective contact emails.

If you have a documented process, it'd be easy for you to delegate this task to a team member/VA whether you're an agency SEO or in-house.

So here are two document processes for contact finding and broken link finding that I personally use.

broken link finding process

conduct-outreach

This section focuses on conducting outreach in Gmail. It is geared towards SEO teams with ~2 link builders and those agencies who prefer a low-cost approach when doing outreach.

If you're currently using premium outreach tools, I recommend reading this outreach guide in using Buzzstream at PointblankSEO.

For Gmail users, continue reading.

gmail for outreach

 

First off, Gmail is fascinating because it is free and is easy to use. The orientation for its usage is so low that if you hire someone for outreach, you don't have to spend lots of time training him/her on how to use the platform. 

However, if you don't have set up a workflow process that organizes everything from the initial pitch to converting the links, you'll end up wasting time in identifying the outreach status level of every conversation.

The key to make Gmail organized for outreach is to use Labels.

Labels

Labels are a cool feature of Gmail that allows you to “segmentize” your emails by their current relationship status. It means that when you see your email inbox, you know that a thread is for a particular link building campaign (client), a thread has gotten a link or a thread is waiting for a response from the recipient.

gmail labels

Organization in Spreadsheets

Given that you don't have a platform to collect your link targets (unlike with Buzzstream), you should have a spreadsheet for collecting link prospects and for tracking your outreach relationships when you pitch them.

For example, at SharpRocket, we've been using colors to highlight a certain row in Spreadsheet and know if it's been reached out already, needs a follow-up or we had just acquired a link from a resource page. This allows our outreach specialists to know which stage a prospect is currently in.

spreadsheet rows

We also created a column for the status of a link.

status relationship level spreadsheet

 

These two micro-activities to our outreach workflow help us to avoid confusion and manage our link builders' performances properly.

Once you've set up labels and spreadsheets, it's time to pitch your outreach prospects.

Personas

You don't start your outreach by creating email templates, though that is important and should primarily be used to scale sending off your initial emails.

However, if you want to create initial emails that are relevant and that catch the attention of your link targets, you first have to start with defining your outreach personas.

Outreach personas are commonly used to better understand a certain industry's outreach market's behavior based on demographics, needs, and interests.

For example, Jayson Bagio at Gobiggr uses four personas when reaching out to contact persons of .edu websites.

gobiggr outreach persona

 

As you can see, these four student personas have different needs and interests when pitching link curators on .edu websites, whether it's for a research or project purpose or simply just recommending a resource they've found useful on their behalf.

The other reason for using outreach personas is to test which persona is more receptive to outreach prospects and could more likely acquire links in the process.

By doing so, you can replicate the same process on other link building campaigns (not only for BLB) to increase your response and link acquisition rates.

kaiserthesage outreach personas

Once you're done with creating your outreach personas, your next step is to start pitching your backlink targets.

There are two outreach methodologies that you can use: broken link outreach and content suggestion.

Broken Link Outreach

You are applying here the law of reciprocity. That is when you tell the webmaster which of his/her links aren't working (and sending appropriate link replacementsl), he or she will be more likely to return a favor to you - that is, to include your content asset as an additional resource to his page.

If you're eyeing for a template in this post, here's one good example from Jon Cooper that we've been using effectively for initial resource link pitching:

Initial template with broken links:

Subject: Found an error on your [Resource Page Template]

Hi [First Name],

I was browsing the [Page Title] page on your site when I encountered a few broken links. I didn’t know if you’d be interested in knowing, but if you are, I’d be happy to point out which ones I stumbled across.

-[User First Name] [User Last Name]

Keys to Success:

  • A/B test your initial emails' subject lines (you can use Found a problem on your {Resources} page or Found a 404 on your page).
  • Not aggressive, but polite and brief email message - coming off as a real human.
  • You can customize based on your persona but the principle of baiting a response by saying you've found errors is still the same.

By this time, you're expecting responses like, "Please let us know which link is broken".

give me errors email

 

Your response to that is based on his/her response. But basically, you can use a semi-template to answer the question, "Which page are you referring to and which link/s is/are broken?".

Template response with broken links:

Thanks [First Name],

I’m happy to send them over. The ones I encountered were here ([Linking From]):

  • [Broken Link #1]
  • [Broken Link #2]
  • [Broken Link #3]

Hope that helps. Also, is there any chance I could make a quick suggestion? *CRAFT CUSTOM FROM HERE*

Well, if I come across any other website errors, I’ll be sure to reach out.

-[User First Name]

Here's what this template looks like in actual outreach:

sending errors email

Content Suggestion

Your main value is to offer a content asset that is worthy to be added on the resource page, and that is dependent on how comprehensive and educational your content is.

Below is a template you can use as your initial pitch for links pages without broken links:

Hi [First Name],

I was checking out some of the resources listed on the [Page Title] page of your website, and I noticed that I knew of a couple of resources that might be worth adding. Would you be interested if I sent them over? If not, I totally understand, just thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

-[User First Name] [User Last Name]

We've encountered several responses wherein they don't accept new link suggestions from outsiders, so another way to start your pitch is to ask if they're still updating their page (A/B test these two initial outreach templates).

Hi [First Name],

Just saw your note on your Resources page about new suggestions, so thought I’d check and see if you’re still updating the page. If you are, I'm happy to pass along a few new resources for review. If not, can’t say I didn’t ask!

-[User First Name] [User Last Name]

When the webmaster replies, your response should be as direct and short as possible, but ultimately explaining how valuable the content asset that you are suggesting.

Response without broken links:

Thanks [First Name]!

*CRAFT CUSTOM FROM HERE*

Well, thanks again for your time, I really appreciate your consideration. Anyways, hope you have a great rest of the week!

-Jon

An example of an actual response that got us a link is here:

live link email

For many reasons, some webmasters will not respond to your initial emails. You then need to follow them up.

Your follow-up isn't to harass the person to get back to you immediately. We are human beings and as you come off as polite as possible, you're more likely to receive a response from them.

This template below is easy to customize when you send it to your prospects who didn't respond initially.

Follow-up:

Hi [First Name] – just checking to see if you ever got the below. If you have, my apologies!

-[User First Name]

monitor-links

Your prospects may tell you if they've added your content link to their resource pages.

link added email

Some aren't kind enough to tell you, so that leaves you to monitor links prospects that you pitched them and have added your link without saying.

You can manually check each resource pages' source codes and find your domain there.

view source code

 

That might consume a lot of your time, so I highly suggest using Monitor Backlinks where you can upload all your links prospects and it'll ease the entire process of telling you if there is your link is active on the page.

monitor backlinks

 

Over time, you'll see the results of your hard work. One way to monitor the link performance of your content piece is to use Ahrefs page-level section.

new backlinks monitor

Most linkable assets designed for broken link building are supporting sections of middle and bottom-of-the-funnel pages by internally linking to them. That being said, links generated for those linkable assets can lift the authority of the overall domain one way or another.

If you've been wondering if broken link building can work for your site, or if you haven't gotten through the entire process I've shared above, you may consult us for link building analysis.

We are also looking for potential clients with whom we can work together for our link building services.


How to Use Personas to Build Multiple Backlinks to Multiple Clients (High-End Strategy for SEO Agencies)

How to Use Personas to Build Multiple Backlinks to Multiple Clients (High-End Strategy for SEO Agencies)

TRANSCRIPT:

How to use personas to build multiple backlinks to multiple clients

The challenge for SEO agencies today is being able to deliver backlinks consistently to their clients, and that’s what we want to address and solve today.

How can you take one persona of a writer and use it as a way to approach industry publishers so you can easily guarantee placements on these websites and link directly to your clients. 

If you find this high-end strategy interesting to you as an SEO agency founder or marketer, stay tuned. Let’s begin. 

This strategy is applicable if you have clients who are not competing in their offers, whether that’s products or services, but they are in the same industry.

The main idea of this strategy is to use one persona who would be your main content contributor.

For other agencies, they want to use a fake one. But I doubt that would be a sustainable long-term strategy.

 

How To Use Personas To Build Multiple Backlinks To Multiple Clients

So what I want you to do is to follow these simple steps to implement this high-end SEO content strategy. 

Step 1: Find a technical writer or persona

And when I say persona, it means not a fake one, but rather an authentic writer who has the experience and expertise to write technical topics for a specific vertical or market.

You could hire this person on freelancing platforms like Upwork or someone who’s really keen on writing technical topics.

Another way is to have someone in your SEO or digital team who has the technical experience to write those external content assets. 

Who would be that person?

Let’s say you have a web designer in your digital agency, and you have 3 or 4 clients in the tech industry.

In very specific topics like programming and web design, your team member could create content with finesse for topics he is capable of writing. 

Have that team member as your main persona to reach out to multiple publications and contribute articles for these content sites.

Step 2: Build up the credibility of your author

Your persona won’t approach any websites without building its profile first. This is very important because this will dictate the success of your outreach campaigns.

During this time when you need to create a complete profile on Linkedin and Twitter profiles. This would take some time, and that’s the reason why having someone in your team who has built a presence online has a huge advantage.

Even the ones you’ll be hiring as your persona author must have an established online profile. That is what you’ll be paying them, not just the content itself. 

And when building up the content portfolio of your persona author, what you want to do is to start writing high-quality articles on your brand properties. If it is your team member, you can set up a blog for him or her to get started with publishing high-quality articles. 

Your persona author could also start writing for Medium.com or niche writing blog sites like Hacker Noon for the technology sector.

hacker noon

The author can also sign up for specific forums or groups like Github in building up a name for himself. 

It’s very important for you to set up the author’s credibility because this is your asset. The stronger the portfolio is, the huge returns you can make building real editorial links from different niche publications, for your clients in the same vertical.

After setting up the initial portfolio of the person author, the next step is to:

Step 3: Manually pitch sector publications 

You can’t send the same email you used to one publication, for pitching other publications. Generic email templates for this high-end strategy won’t work. 

You want to start customizing your email based on what you offer - the topics of your content. You have to know who you are writing for. Every niche publication has its own contributor guidelines, as well as certain topics they only need for their blog.

Research is the key here. You won’t just be sending an email with the hopes of getting natural placement quickly. You can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find common interests and things about your target editors that will help build rapport in conversations when you pitch. 

And when you’re sending emails to editors of these niche publications, you have to pitch hyper-specific topics, whether it’s a new update in the industry, very actionable in form as you give tips. Be aware of what are considered highly useful topics in your space, so you can generate content ideas that will suit your target publications.

There are a lot of advantages of using this high-end strategy for SEO agencies, like you own or work for, to be able to build consistent backlinks from relevant high-quality publications.

When starting this strategy, you’ll find yourself investing a lot of money in finding, setting up, and building up the author portfolio. It takes hard work at the start, but you as go along, you’ll realize this is scalable in nature. Because you won’t just be gaining visibility through links for one client, but for multiple clients with adjacent topics. 

It’s an asset that you build with high returns. 

So there you go, you discovered 5 quick and easy tips to increase conversions in your outreach campaign. 

Before you go, I have a special gift for you.  if you’re looking for ways to build backlinks to your online store or you’re stuck as to what link building strategy to use for your website, simply go to the description of this podcast episode. 

Go to either of the two resources I shared there. One resource is a blueprint that I and my team have used to scale ink building for clients and another resource for link building opportunities in the eCommerce space.  Go and grab those resources so that you won’t have to worry about how to do link building for your website. 

For more link building and content marketing tips, be sure to subscribe to this podcast to get notified of the latest episodes. Just click the “Follow” button. See you in our next episode.