With over 63,000 searches a second on Google, it’s definitely a crowded market.
In order to stand out from the pack, it’s important to think about link building and outreach to help elevate your online visibility.
In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of link building, its importance and how to do it effectively, while also outlining some key strategies on what not to do when carrying out outreach.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of obtaining links pointing to your website. Links act as a popularity signal and a vote of confidence to Google – the more links you have, the better Google will rank your site in search.
However, it’s important to point out that it’s not just about the sheer number of links you have, it’s also about the quality. Your main goal of link building should be to obtain high quality and authoritative links from other websites.
Common link building strategies include outreach, broken link building, content marketing and creating useful tools.
Why is link building important?
Links are one of three major Google ranking factors.
By increasing your link portfolio, you’re not only working to improve your online rankings, brand awareness and visibility in search, but you’re also growing your organic traffic base. Organic traffic is one of the best ways to sustainably cultivate your audience as it’s stable and targeted. That’s because users are coming to Google with a targeted and specific enquiry and if you’re easily found, then the chances of conversion on your website are much higher.
As such, link building is something that shouldn’t be thought of as a short term effort, it must be an ongoing process in order to drive the best long term success for you and your business.
How to run a successful link building outreach campaign
One of the easiest ways to start link building is through email outreach. This process involves prospecting the right sites, performing some due diligence, creating a winning offer and delivering great value in return.
Here’s our best tips for running a successful link building outreach campaign.
Define your goals
This is probably the most important first step to think about. What is the end goal of your outreach campaign? Ideally, it’s to obtain a link but there are other goals you may be thinking about for the future like building industry connections, networking and increasing overall brand awareness.
Do your research
We all get a million emails everyday. To really stand out from the pack, it’s vital to go further than the standard To whom it may concern. Take the time to find out who you’re emailing, find out their name and title, research their company and understand how they all work and operate. Doing this will exponentially increase your chances of success as it’s more personal.
Create a compelling offer
The next step is to generate a compelling offer. Think of answering key questions around What, How and Why.
What: Don’t be ambiguous or skirt around what you want. It’s crucial to be clear and tell the person what action you’d like them to take. Whether it’s sharing, embedding, accepting content or adding links, it’s essential to be clear in your ask otherwise leaving it up to the person can mean your email is either deleted or you’re given something you don’t really want i.e. something that’s not a link.
How: Explain how you want the process to work and what you would like them to do. Similar to the first step, be clear and concise on your ask.
Why: This is the big one. Equally important as the other two steps, you need to address why they should help you. What do they get out of linking to you? Why should they care about you?
You don’t have to download the app to understand the premise of Be Real. Show your potential prospect that you’re not a bot, but a genuine real person worthy of their attention.
A few ways of doing this is to use their full name, utilize an interesting subject line, mention something specific about their work, have a proper email signature and genuine address. It’s all about being real and showing a good level of personalization in order to pique their interest. After all, wouldn’t you rather open an email that is carefully curated to you rather than the stock standard Hi Webmaster message?
Deliver great value
One of our best strategies is to always under promise and over deliver. If you’re creating a piece of content for them, tell them you’ll have it in a week and give it to them three days earlier than expected. It ensures you remain memorable and that you develop a great reputation. By going the extra mile and over delivering on things, they’re more inclined to work with you further.
Why some outreach strategies fail
As with most things in life, not everything works. Sometimes you follow the recipe step by step and sometimes it doesn’t quite work as it should. The important thing is not to be discouraged.
Here are some of the common reasons we see why outreach strategies fail:
It’s not personal
Yes, it probably is easier to create a generic boilerplate email template that you can mail merge with a list of contacts. But will it work? More often than not, it won’t give you the results you’re after. It’s always best to go the extra mile to personalize your email to ensure great results. It’ll take a bit more time but after all, we’re not here for short term wins, we’re here to guarantee long term success.
You’re messaging everyone
Like the first point, if you’re not utilizing a shortlist of ideal candidates, you’re probably doing email outreach wrong. Successful link building is not about the number of people you get in touch with, it’s about the quality of prospects. Shooting for the stars is great but shooting for the right target makes sure success is on the cards. Conserve your resources only for the right contacts who can provide you with the best tangible return.
You’re bombarding people
A follow up email here and there is perfectly fine…but if you’re sending four follow up emails in the same week asking for a reply, they’re probably not interested. Best to cop it on the chin and move on.
You’re not proofreading your emails
If your email is full of spelling errors or poor syntax, you’re less likely to generate a successful result. Thoroughly double check your emails before sending them off to ensure they read well and read naturally. Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor are free online tools you can use to enhance your writing.
You’re giving up easily
So you sent a few emails and no one got back to you? Don’t give up. It’s easy to get frustrated and put outreach in the too-hard basket and move on. The best link builders get knocked down and down again but what sets them out from the pack is their ability to take feedback, refine their strategies and set off again.
Success doesn’t come easy, nor does it come overnight. As long as you’re focusing on the big picture, time and persistence is key to success. The results will come when you least expect it.
Link building is a vital component to SEO. It not only boosts your online search rankings and brand awareness, but it increases your online traffic. While it can feel a bit tedious at times, the results are worth it as it’ll guarantee long term organic success for your business.
A key takeaway we really want to stress is personalization, personalization, personalization. Personalization will get you everywhere. Take the time to really understand your key contact and offer them something they can’t turn away from. It’s not always about the ‘big thing’ but the little things like knowing what their full name is, their job title and showing how you’re a real and genuine person wanting to help them.
Do you need help with your link building outreach campaign? Feel free to get in contact with our dedicated team of link building experts below and we’ll help craft you a winning strategy today.