Link Building as a Value Exchange
A major component of running a profitable link building campaign is your approach. If you go into it with the expectation that webmasters will be tripping over themselves to accept your guest posts, you’re unlikely to receive many backlinks.
Instead, you should see all link building as a value exchange. What do webmasters get for linking to your website or accepting your guest post? The value they receive can be anything from well-written content that’s applicable to their website to a link exchange or free trial of your product. So long as the content that links to you is high-quality, Google will never penalize you.
Once you start looking at your approach as a value exchange, you can start to test out different forms of building links. In the next 5 years, guest posting, resource link building, and PR link building are likely to be the most effective methods for building a backlink profile. Marvin recommends A/B testing these methods to see which would work the best for your business in the long run.
You can do this testing on your own, with an internal team, or through an agency like Sure Oak. If you hire an agency, you’re better able to solve for specialization and efficiency with the various steps associated with link building.
If you choose to hire an agency, Marvin recommends finding one that tailors the campaign to your company’s specific needs.
Here’s what that looks like with our clients at Sure Oak.
Sure Oak’s Link Building Strategy
If you’re starting a link building campaign, one of your goals is likely to get results and quality links. When we develop a link-building strategy for our clients at Sure Oak, we customize it to their unique goals. This enables us to attain links that actually make a difference in that client’s ability to rank for their target keywords.
Before we begin outreach, Marvin and Sure Oak’s other link building strategists develop a competitor analysis from a link building point of view and analyze it for opportunities to receive backlinks from the same websites. If a website links to one of your competitors, chances are they’ll have no problem linking to your page as well. The results of this analysis depend on the type and quality of links the client is looking for, as well as the specific pages they want to have ranked on Google.
Once we’ve completed the competitor analysis, we move on to determining the best strategy for attaining links.
Typically, one of the best and most efficient methods for attaining high-quality links is guest posting. This enables our clients to link back to those pages they want to rank with and provide webmasters with high caliber content, satisfying the value exchange policy of link building. Other methods include PR outreach, like HARO and Just Reach Out, resource link building, and link reclamation. PR links are often the most difficult to attain, as they’re some of the highest quality available.
Once you’ve determined the best possible strategy, it’s time to execute. If you choose to work with an agency like Sure Oak, the only finger you’ll need to lift is the one that clicks the button for payment. When you run the campaign yourself or hire an internal team to manage it, however, more of the gritty details will fall to you.
Finally, after we’ve implemented our clients’ chosen strategy, we monitor the results and adjust our outreach methods accordingly.
The Outreach Process
The ideal outreach process differs from company to company, so you won’t necessarily see the results you’re looking for without A/B testing multiple methods. No matter what method you use, though, it’s important to establish rapport with webmasters and maintain your reputation as an organization that offers real value.
Ideally, you or the agency you work with will already have a list of webmasters you can regularly contact for backlinks and guest posting opportunities.
If, however, you’re starting your campaign from scratch and have to do cold outreach, make sure you keep the following tips in mind.
Positioning Outreach Emails
There’s a myth in link building that growing your backlink profile is simply a matter of sending out emails and receiving responses to each one. Even if that was true when link building first came into existence, it no longer is.
Now, your success in receiving replies lies in how well you’ve done your prospecting and how well you demonstrate the value exchange your link, post, or company can provide to webmasters. It also lies in your ability to craft emails that stand out, as well as your follow-up skills. Link building takes a lot of time and effort — and tenacity.
If you want to see success with your outreach emails, you need to find the best prospects possible and personalize your emails. The link building guides available online can only take you so far. If you rely on their outreach templates to structure your emails, you’ll only be ignored, or even worse, you’ll end up in spam. This is something you want to avoid, as having high spam rates makes email servers less likely to allow your emails into inboxes at all, and getting blacklisted from ISPs isn’t easy to reverse.
If you’re going to start a link building campaign for your business, read as many guides as you can. While you can’t use the templates or reach out to just any website, you CAN get an idea of various methods to test out.
If you’re having trouble prospecting and aren’t sure what to look for, look to your competitors. What websites have linked to them and their content? If a webmaster linked to your competitor, they’re much more likely to recognize the value exchange your link or post offers and add it to their website.
Finally, when you do get the go-ahead to write a guest post or have one of your links included, pay special attention to the website’s DA and ability to give you the results you’re looking for. You should also ensure the URL and domain are relevant to yours and that the more powerful guest post links use exact match, partial match, or long-tail keywords to send readers to your website.
- The most successful link building strategies start with solid prospecting.
- Link building is about value exchange – how does linking to your page help the webmaster you’re reaching out to?
- Your competitors’ backlink profiles are a great place to start off when implementing a link building campaign.
- Before you send an outreach email, ask yourself whether it’s something you would be interested in reading and responding to.
- If you want to get into link building, read the guides that are available and customize the templates they provide to make them your own.
- Make sure to A/B test your outreach efforts to determine what methods are most effective for your business and industry.
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