Best Practices For Link-Building Outreach That Work For Me
Updated on: 15 April 2021
Sometimes, being an SEO marketer requires you to turn into a salesperson for your brand. I don’t just mean that you sell by promoting your products through well-written content and beautiful landing pages. What I really mean is the equivalent of cold-calling and door-to-door sales, only it takes place online known as: link outreach.
But first, what is link building?
Link building is an integral part of SEO, because it’s what really sets your brand apart as one that provides something so valuable, so much so that people actually want to be associated with your business. Having a steady network of backlinks leading your website is a killer move that will set your SEO campaign on the right track to beat out your competitors. However, acquiring these links is easier said than done.
That’s where link outreach comes in
Many SEO experts and companies perform link outreach regularly as part of their link building strategy. They look for other websites, brands and organisations that could potentially benefit from linking to their client’s website. Then, the SEO marketer reaches out to the other website to request for their link to be featured.
Best practices for link outreach
But, as experience has told me, just blasting out template e-mails to the owners of any remotely relevant website won’t miraculously earn you those links. It takes patience, conscious targeting, and effectively crafted e-mails to raise your chances of securing the backlinks.
After plenty of trial and error, here’s what I found have given the best results in terms of performing effective link outreach:
Most businesses don’t do things simply for free. So, forget about ‘asking for a favour’, and get serious about letting them know exactly how displaying a backlink to your site will benefit them. It doesn’t have to be a direct monetary benefit – it could be something that aligns with their brand values, value-adds to their existing content, or provides helpful information to their audience.
For example, if you are representing a florist business, you might be able to convince businesses in the events industry, such as bridal studios, venue rentals, and event photographers to feature a link to your business page, as their audiences are highly likely to also be looking for florals to spice up their event. This provides convenience to their audience, putting both your business and theirs in a positive light.
A golden rule for any marketing e-mails: get personal! Most e-mail users are bombarded with marketing and work e-mails daily, and many won’t be interested in reading a generically-addressed e-mail that starts with ‘Hi there!’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
Taking that extra time to find the name of your intended recipient shows effort on your part, and adds a touch of humanity to your e-mail. Seeing an e-mail that’s directly addressed to them will make your reader perk up and feel more inclined to open up that message and actually consider your request.
Getting their name right is just the start of humanising your message. Busy business professionals have little time to spare for an obviously templated solicitation e-mail. Instead, show that you are really interested in what they do with a message that is unique and deliberate.
Begin by doing some research on social media or keeping up with their website’s latest updates. Then, make some reference to their current status in your e-mail. For example, if the business has just launched a new product, expanded their number of offices or won an award, you can deliver your congratulations in your message.
Not many businesses will reply to your message quickly – if at all. After all, they have tons of more important things to tend to than your request for a backlink! However, you can make a more lasting impression when you take the initiative to send out a follow-up e-mail.
The tone of your follow-up e-mail is crucial, too. Rather than blaming your addressee for their lack of response or get pushy, show empathy and sensitivity for reasons why they may not have replied. Treat their potential response like a bonus, rather than an entitlement they owe you.
And if you are thinking of sending more than one chaser e-mail – I don’t recommend it.
Rejection is part and parcel of link outreach, but with these best practices up your sleeves, I’m sure you will be seeing improved results for your next attempts in no time!
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