Contextual, quality, consistent links are an integral indicator that search engine seek, when determining, where and why to rank your web pages in the results.
The more high Domain Authority web pages you have linking back to your site, the more visible, credible, and relevant your
web content -> site -> business
With almost 15 years in the SEO industry, I have seen both brick-and-mortar & online businesses struggle to scale… some totally fail because they didn’t themselves learn – or hire someone to handle – their backlink profile and SEO strategy.
This will not be your story.
SEO is the great equalizer that enables small and medium-sized businesses to compete with big global brands.
It opens up the gates and offers a direct line of communication between your brand and any market.
Which is why natural, consistent link building, is the bedrock of a successful SEO strategy.
And to support you on your journey I’ve simplified and outlined the process we use at Digital Lead.
First, understand the general process by breaking it down into discernable pieces.
Regardless of whatever link type you use, the process of link building could be broken to three different phases:
- Keyword Research
- Content Creation
- Link Prospecting
- Link Outreach
STEP 1: KEYWORD RESEARCH
Determine what tools you will use to uncover the analytics you need.
There are many to choose from.
Our preferences include:
- SEMRush and Ahrefs to find out the SEARCH VOLUME and AVERAGE CPC of the keywords we want to target. We call these MAIN KEYWORDS.
- Make sure that they fully describe your main product line/service.
- If you target local markets, when possible, include the location.
Don’t forget to input your competitors’ sites into either tool to see who within your niche ranks for what key terms and which of their keywords, pages, and content pieces have highest search volume and engagement.
- Ubersuggest and/or Google Keyword Planner (GKP) to discover KEYWORD VARIANTS, specific keywords that are related to the main keyword you want to rank for.
Vital for growth in the SERPs, because the more relevant keywords you can integrate into your web pages and content, the more you can diversify your link portfolio – which is essential for SEO growth and stability.
Record high performing, popular keywords, and variants in the KEYWORDS Tab.
- Categorize main keywords and pair them with semantic variants
- Record per month search volume of keywords or keyword phrase
- Input average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) to determine the value of the keywords. The higher the CPC is, the harder it is to rank for that keyword.
Oh – and if ever you want to pursue Pay-Per-Click advertising this would really help you out in organizing your campaign. You can sort, identify, and target the keywords that yield the highest potential profits.
High Search Volume + Low CPC = Positive ROI
(aka. A great keyword for you to tackle)
STEP 2: LINK PROSPECTING
After finding high traffic keywords, the next step is to use those keywords to find website’s that would be an appropriate link fit.
A clear link strategy prior to research and outreach is important.
I recommend to look for:
Guest Post Links
- Acquired by submitting an article that would be posted on high DA sites.
- Get your content included in “best of” or “roundup” articles.
- Possible when you replace broken links on high DA sites with your relevant content.
Record your top prospects in the OPPORTUNITIES Tab.
- The Plotted column is used to note if the link opportunity has been moved or transferred to the TARGET tab (to be discussed in the next section).
Link Type Field
- Categorize and filter link types – I.e. Guest Post, Broken Links, Round-Ups
- Domain Authority is one of the most important metrics to gauge SEO of a website. The higher the DA, the higher the relevancy of a website. Getting links from high DA sites equates to more SEO being passed down to your site.
- You can use Moz Toolbar to determine a sites DA.
- Include the domain url of the target website
The URL that informs of post guidelines or specific, notable requirements that will be support content creation, outreach, and a successful link acquisition.
- If this is a Guest Post opportunity, link to the WRITE FOR US web page
- If this is a Broken Link opportunity, include the web page and anchor text housing the broken link
- If this is a Round Up opportunity, input the previous roundup that you want to be a part in the future
- Capture the email address of the person you want to contact – I.e. Content Managers, Web Masters, or Site Owners.
Do-follow and No-follow
Discover and record which sites offer Do-follow links vs. those that only offer No-follow links.
- Do-follow are good. They communicate to Google that you’ve linked to an external site.
- No-follow links are insignificant. They don’t contribute to the SEO rankings of your site.
Don’t waste your time on outreach efforts for a No-follow link.
Do obtain as many Do-follow link opportunities as you can.
Step 3: LINK OUTREACH
Now you contact the *long* short-list.
AKA – The sites you want to get links from.
By studying the link profile each site offers you will get a better understanding of:
- What content idea to pitch (for guest posts)
- What content style to use so that your content submission matches their brand’s tone and voice (for broken links & guest posts) and
- What kind of topics they would like to feature (applicable for all three link types)
Basically, get to know what they (and their readers like) and then pitch an idea along those lines.
The only hitch… at times, is that email outreach can be a slippery slope.
What I mean is, once you start reaching out…
You’ll receive a helluva-lot-a emails.
- People asking you to send in content topics for them to review.
- Some may ask you to create an account inside their website.
- A few would try to sell you links
It’s important to organize and track your email activity.
- Duplicate the high-quality link opportunities from the OPPORTUNITY tab
- Determine if the site NEEDS TOPICS or USES A FORM PAGE. (This bit is important so that you can tailor your email appropriately).
- Track email activity
Personalize your emails
Templates with variable fields outlined are serious time savers. It has been proven that personalized emails with custom content convert much higher and yield much more powerful results.
Once you get a response, however, be sure to actually draft the reply. Do not let am autoresponder or template do the work.
Now it’s your turn
Remember, this process takes patience.
Build relationships and network! It’s about connection.
And don’t forget that behind every website is a person.
Download the Link Building Campaign Tracker here.
Get loads more, in-depth information and a huge list of other valuable resources that will support your DIY link building success in my FREE link building course.
Stop waiting it’s time to establish, secure and scale an intelligent, supportive, profit-producing backlink profile.
Now Go Forth and Conquer!