Inbound marketing is the name of the game these days. As you double down on your SEO efforts, strategy has become about how to remain relevant in a marketing world that is quickly changing. This is where link building comes in.
Many people know the basics of on-page SEO, but there is one element of optimization that no company can afford to ignore: link building. No matter its size, nearly every company can benefit from building backlinks to their own website.
In a phrase, backlinking means increasing the number of links around the web that lead back to your own site. The value of backlinks is that they show search engines your website matters to users’ queries. Acquiring and tracking backlinks has become a crucial part of SEO.
Engaging in a link building campaign can help your business in a couple of ways. First, it boosts the Google ranking for your actual homepage – the site your backlinks are redirecting to. Second, it builds market awareness of your company by featuring your content for relevant keywords.
Convinced that link building is a good idea? Let’s jump into the tips and tools that will help you get started:
4 Tips to Help You Get Your Link Building Campaign Started
Tip #1: Get Organized Right Out the Gate
A link building campaign is very generally separated into stages. Keyword research, competitor research, guest post ideas, outreach, writing and follow up. As you get started, make sure you take an organized approach to these stages to avoid reaching out to the same site twice or missing an important keyword for your brand. You should also set specific goals for what you want out of your link building campaign before getting started.
Tip #2: Focus on the Quality of Links Over the Quantity of Links
In the beginning stages, it can be tempting to throw out as many links as possible with forum comments, directory listings and the like. But for long-term success, you should put in the time and effort for relevant and high-quality links. Put simply, the quality of the links over quantity will increase the trust of your site visitors. Quality links will benefit your company more in the long run than any number of directory links, one line comments, or paid backlinks.
Tip #3: Take a Personalized Approach to Outreach
Again, in the interest of building up links quickly, it is tempting to copy-paste emails to reach out to as many sites as possible. While this may appear more effective, it doesn’t work as well. Spend the time to create a personal email to the blogger or site you are trying to reach, outlining why your proposed content benefits them and how it will add value to their readers.
Tip #4: Use a Variety of Content for Link Building
The anchor text – the actual text in your backlink – plays an important role in your SEO rankings. Descriptive and relevant anchor text gives context for the link, not only for your readers but also web crawlers. With that in mind, you should look for a variety of link building opportunities as you’re getting started. Being included on dozens of directories won’t be enough if you’re looking for a high ranking. For example, guest posts offer a great opportunity to build authentic links by including them with relevant keywords.
5 Useful Tools for Link Building Campaigns
With these tips in mind, you should have a better understanding of what you need to get started with a link building campaign. It’s not something that can be approached half-heartedly. You’ll need dedication, planning and a good amount of follow-through to be successful. Here are a few tools that can help you along the way. Each of these SEO tools has a high rating on our site TrustRadius, which aggregates authentic user reviews.
Moz is a leader when it comes to SEO tools – and link building campaigns specifically. The software platform’s Open Site Explorer – which is now being replaced with its Link Explorer tool – focuses in on link building for inbound marketers. The tool helps teams identify backlinks that currently exist, research backlink opportunities, and even conduct competitive keyword research.
The combination of these tools means that you will be able to ensure that all of your backlinks are relevant and high quality. At the same time, other tools, like the MozBar, ensure that your content is SEO-friendly.
BuzzStream is a more dedicated link building tool for marketing teams. The entire goal of this tool is to help companies conduct effective link building campaigns. Keyword research allows a simple approach to plan out guest blog opportunities. Reviewers of Buzzstream mention that the prospect tracking and the robust directory makes personalized outreach much easier. The tool goes above and beyond when it comes to outreach, with built-in email reminders and templates.
An effective link building campaign takes quite a bit of organization. Thankfully, there are some great tools out there for getting organized with lists, deadlines, and reminders. Google Sheets and Google Calendar are two standout options for all of these factors of link building. The Calendar can help you visualize a timeline after creating deadlines, and even syncs with prospect emails. Sheets lets you get organized from the start, as a centralized place for prospect emails, keyword research, guest blog opportunities and more.
Link Prospector is another tool that focuses in on link building for marketing individuals and teams. After keyword research, the tool helps you find the best and most relevant link opportunities for your niche by quickly returning a list of dozens of relevant URLs based on your keywords and niche. From guest posts to directories, the tool is useful for finding all kinds of content opportunities.
Once you have a few tools in your back pocket, you can confidently start with your link building campaign!
Guest author: Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking.
Don’t forget, if you want to keep track of which backlinks are receiving clicks from readers, ClickMeter makes this easy and can put extra data at your fingertips to help you figure out where to focus your efforts.
- How to use curated content for local link building
- 7 ways to earn links to your site
- How to promote your links in forums
- The top conversion tracking tools for marketers
This blog post is about:
- Link building tips
- Link building tools
- Building backlinks
- SEO tools