Most digital marketers understand the integration of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics and their importance to position their business on top of search pages. Business owners know that creating a website is not enough to convince customers to walk through your virtual door. Sometimes, it’s challenging to flex your marketing efforts — especially when the industry is too competitive and you have no idea where to start.
Sure, you have a great website built by the best web developers in Toronto, and high-quality and relevant content on your website like infographics, videos, blogs, etc., but are these giving you the exact results you want? One simple way to help your SEO efforts is to improve them with link building.
What is Link Building Outreach?
Link building is a term used in SEO to get other websites to link to your pages. Link building outreach is when you reach out to these websites (for example by sending emails) and ask them to link back to you. This tactic will help improve your rank in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) that come with a plethora of benefits such as increased traffic, brand awareness, and more importantly, conversion rates.
In link building, the greatest challenge is to acquire high-quality websites that are willing to link to your pages. Since search engines rate quality over quantity, you need to make sure you link to authoritative websites. The key to getting authority sites to link to yours is to produce top-notch content that can naturally guarantee shares, comments, links, and traffic to both of your sites.
Why Is Link Building Valuable?
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Because of relationships.
When your pages are seen by Google across the web, search engines will recognize your brand and put you in a higher rank on SERPs where you deserve the respect.
However, it’s not about the number of links you have on your pages. Rather, the value of the links. Even if your pages have plenty of links but don’t generate buzz, it can’t give you a good spot on SERPs.
Let’s say you’re running a storage business that shows ways to safely store power tools. Doing so will help gain the attention of people who want to learn how and even the attention of storage companies like Centron Self Storage, which already has 1.6 thousand likes on their Facebook page..
Link Building Outreach Etiquettes
As mentioned, link-building outreach requires you to reach out to web owners or webmasters to expand your audience reach. So, it’s highly necessary to ensure you use the proper etiquette when sending link-building outreach requests. Some link building outreach etiquettes to remember are as follows:
- Be Polite: Avoid making demands. Don’t insult their sites or blog posts.
- Don’t Be Forceful: If they’ve made their decision, don’t be forceful nor beg. Just don’t.
- Be Professional: Make your outreach message professional and friendly.
- Never Talk Down: Webmasters and web owners are smart, respect their opinion, and don’t condescend to them even when you know better.
- Keep It Short: Nobody wants to read lengthy letters. Be clear and concise with your intention, then get out.
- Mention Them: Don’t forget to praise their work and tell them why you find it interesting.
- Accept Rejections: When webmasters say “no”, accept it gracefully and move on.
The DOs and DONTs of Link Building Outreach
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
If your link building strategy has failed in the past and you’re looking for the best practices to guide you on your link building outreach, then follow these dos and donts:
- Do Produce High-Quality Content
When asking webmasters to link sites, make sure you can produce high-quality and relevant content that is valuable to their audience. Content that is great for link building is called “linkable assets” and these include blog posts, infographics, checklists, or whitepapers.
- Do Build Links from Authoritative Sites
In link building, you need to understand that not all links are equal. Always pursue links that have already established good authority like reputable organizations, government sites, educational sites, etc., including ones that are highly relevant and related to your business industry.
- Do Use White-Hat Tactics
Look for opportunities from businesses or customers that you already have a pre-existing relationship. See if you can earn a link on their site as this increases your chance of getting high-quality links. Just don’t be afraid to ask. You can use the best free press release sites for link building as well.
- Do Guest Blog
Build solid relationships with bloggers and site owners through guest blogging. All you have to do is collate a list of authoritative sites, reach out to them with your content ideas. Then, when they agree to post your content on their blogs, politely ask them for a backlink to your site.
- Do Convert Mentions to Backlinks
When sites mention your brand and don’t provide a backlink, use this opportunity to approach them and request them to link back to your pages with the mentioned services or related products to help readers know more.
- Do Take Your Time
It’s never easy to build a relationship, and link building is all about that. It’s not going to happen overnight. Hence, you need to make plenty of effort to nurture your link-building strategy and make it work.
- Don’t Rely on Templates
While letter templates can save you time and efficiency, relying on them can only hinder your success. Using templates can only make you prone to errors such as addressing the wrong website, autofill sections, picking the wrong template, etc., It’s better to add a personal touch to every email you send to show that you genuinely care and you’ve invested in the link opportunity.
- Don’t Engage in Low-Quality Blogs, Directories, And Spammy Sites
In link building, never sacrifice quality over quantity, else you’ll only get in trouble with search engines. Using low-quality sites can pose potential penalties that would surely affect your search rankings. Also, keep an eye on red flags like ads with paid links, sites with overrun ads, and sites with undesired content.
- Don’t Participate in Trading Links
Exchanging link schemes with high-quality sites can help you boost your rankings, but if you keep on doing this with other random websites, you’re putting your site in grave danger. When search engines find out, they will consider your site spam and unworthy affecting your search rankings.
- Don’t Use Black-Hat Link Building
Using tactics to manipulate Google search rankings is another red flag. These include cloaking, hidden text links, and injecting links. Pursuing black-hat tactics will only get you penalized and your website might not be able to recover.
- Don’t Be Wordy
As much as possible, make your outreach letter clear, concise, scannable, and succinct. Giving someone a concise description of your idea in your first mail is significantly better. If you’re interested, you can set up a call or request for more information via email. Don’t send an email that is longer than 3 paragraphs. You only have a limited time, so make sure they get your message before they lose interest.
- Don’t Fall for Spammy Paid Links
There are plenty of websites that ask you for a sum of money in exchange for building links. Such paid links are offered by spammy sites. Don’t fall for it and do enough research on their site authority before building relationships.
- Don’t Leave Things with Open Interpretation
Make the message of your link-building outreach emails clear. Ensure you explain what you want your reader to do next. Remember, your primary action is to add your link.
- Don’t Give Up
If you don’t succeed with your first email, don’t give up but try again one more time, then perhaps stop. In link-building outreach, it’s essential to do follow-ups but put a limit or you will annoy them. Give them time to respond. Don’t send emails the next day and another on the next – they might flag your email as spam.
Internet marketing in big cities like Toronto might be a challenge if you are doing it by yourself. You need all the help you can get to outrank the competition. If you’re still getting started in your link building, these guidelines should be helpful to you.