Finding a good link is a lot like trying to break into show business. It can feel like the marketing equivalent of hitting several auditions, trying your best, and then waiting for the result. You have to deal with so much rejection – but once you land your dream role (backlink), it can propel you into stardom (page 1 of Google).
Link building is widely-viewed as one of the most valuable SEO practices, and also one that can be hard to execute. Since you have to convince another company, person, or organization to alter their website content to include you, many will skip over your cold-email request in a second. But if you reach out to the right person, at the right time with the right message, you may just land your website a backlink that can benefit your website for years.
Easy wins are pages that may be talking about your product or mention your company – maybe even linked you before, but the link was lost along the way. These are the easiest links to gain, so they are the best to look out for.
Link Reclamation – this is reaching out to pages that linked back to your website in the past, but unlinked along the way. That could be due to several reasons like it got lost during a link update or blog refresh, or they deleted or redirected the page. These are innocent lost links, and an easy win if the unlink wasn’t on purpose.
You can find the links your website lost using web tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs site explorer.
Claiming unlinked brand mentions – this is also an easier win as linking to your content where they mention you improve the quality of their content. You can find your unlinked brand mentions with almost any SEO web tool out there. Then, you can reach out with a specific way another website can improve its content!
With this strategy, the more recent the content is, the easier it is to convince someone to edit it. So, another handy tip is to set up google alerts so every time your company or product is mentioned, you can confirm right away that they are linking appropriately.
Identify who would want to link to your page (and it may not be as obvious as you think). Instead of being passed along from rep to rep (and most likely get lost along the way, reach out to the shot-callers right off the bat. This may include doing a little LinkedIn Sleuthing or website “team page” investigation, but the upfront work is worth the effort.
Now that you have the right person, hit them with the right message. The same boilerplate approach with no personalization is not worth a couple of seconds it takes to copy and paste.
Using the correct name, mentioning how you found them and why you’re reaching out is a great place to start. Even better, mention what you admire about their company and vision, and then close with how a link to that company would tie into that vision so nicely.
This kind of personalization could look like:
Amanda from Dowitcher Designs here – hope you’re having a nice week!
I wanted to reach out to let you know I wrote a blog post on inclusive marketing and I included Outdoor Voices. OV does such an amazing job of owning individuality and diversity in every photo and message – because any other way of representing active humans would be false. So, I had to include it as an example.
On a personal level, I am a fan of your product – while I regrettably don’t own anything myself, I borrow my friend’s OV exercise dress so often it may be damaging our relationship.
I hope you enjoy the post and let me know if you want any edits made. Please feel free to link to it or promote if you see it fit!
Showing that you did the work upfront to learn about their company is a crucial part of gaining the attention that just may lead to a link.
When you reach out to a company for a link, many people’s first thought will be “what’s in it for me?” If you answer that question quickly, you start on the right foot when asking for a favor in return.
The value you could add off the bat is:
Depending on how much time you’re willing to spend on the value, the opportunities are endless.
Here’s an example:
Good afternoon, Chad!
Hope you’re staying safe and healthy this holiday season! My name is Michelle and I’m reaching out on behalf of bachelorette.com, the ultimate resource for Bachelorette party planning. Of course, we featured The Montauk under our recommendations of where to eat in Boston! You can check out your listing here – let us know if there’s anything else you’d like us to add.
We were wondering if you’d like to add our badge to your website to further promote The Montauk as an essential stop for Bachelorette Events. We’d also really appreciate the link back to https://www.bachelorette.com/. The logos are attached and we think they’d be a great addition to your http://www.themontauk.com/event-requests page!
Being persistent can land you the link – but being annoying can lose you a partner.
Be realistic and appropriate in the frequency you follow up, and there’s no need to get too sassy with the “you are ignoring me” message. Changing your message with each follow up helps keep your outreach fresh, and tracking your progress will help you not over or undershoot your follow up strategy.
While yes, it’s time-consuming, link building is a low-risk-high-reward practice that can be streamlined and optimized. By creating consistent and modern link-building tactics, you can minimize your rejections and find the ‘golden nugget’ links that can grow your business for years. If you need help creating your link-building strategy, reach out to our team!