How to Build Links in 2022

Here is our Bespoke Link Building Service

OK, so you want to know how to build links.

First up, let me say that when it comes to Link Building transparency is very important.

That is something we try to do. As an SEO Link building agency we spend a lot of time talking to clients and potential clients about how we go about link building. Many have a completely wrong idea about how links are acquired and are also confused by the whole disparity in pricing.

So I decided to outline here exactly how we work as a Link building agency. For two reasons:

1. I want you to hire my team and me. I know my system is second to none and will deliver relevant links, rankings and traffic. If you like the way we work, great, CONTACT US and we can discuss your campaign and your goals.

2. Or, if you’re so inclined, have huge amounts of time and a team in place you can follow this system yourself.

OK, so if you’re reading this you already understand the importance of building links to your website.

Yeah, he’s spot on.

Our Link Building System

Just a caveat here, for many of the clients we deal with now

Part 1 – Link Analysis and Preparation

Google Analytics & Google Console This is the first step and very important. Access to both gives us an insight into your website, visitors and current content. We can see how your visitors interact with your site, where they spend time and what sort of content is proving popular.

Google Console provides data on what keywords you currently rank for and how much traffic those keywords drive. You can also see the most popular queries; pages, countries and devices people have used to visit your site. It also gives us an overview of what links you already have in place and what anchor text is being used.

Keyword analysis

For this we use AHrefs, which is a fantastic tool for looking at the full picture of your Keywords and your links.

HERE is a great post on why their data is so good.

We now focus on potential keyword targets. we are looking at:

  • Keywords with great potential – these are usually keywords ranked 5th-30th which show opportunity for growth.
  • ‘Low hanging fruit’ – keywords ranked in the top 30 which have low competition.This is a great opportunity to raise rankings and see a strong impact and thus a strong ROI
  • Competitor Keywords – Are they a viable target with your budget?

Link Audit

We then carry out a thorough audit of your current links. Is your domain clean? No spammy or unnatural links. Is anchor text ratio clean? Not over optimised? We check your metrics, TF (trust flow), CF (citation flow), DA (domain authority) and DR (Domain Rating).
We look at link history for any blips.
We examine links from competitor websites, this allows us to see if there are any of your pages that aren’t optimised to their full potential.
Examine and identify pages that are already earning links. How then can we speed this up.

Ahrefs will give us a full picture of all your links and will help us to see if any are toxic and may need removing or disavowing.

Here’s some info on why you should do this. Bad Links Ahref will also help to build a picture of what your competitor’s backlinks and content looks like. That way we can see what is needed to outranking them, this is not an exact science, but it helps. Remember ‘knowledge is power’.

Content Audit Next stage is to look at your current content and see what we have to work with: Are you dedicated to creating content? Do you have a content creator? How many social shares does each piece of content get? Do you have distribution channels built out (email list, social following etc) Are you willing to invest in content creation? I will come to this later when we look at Link Selection but the key thing to remember is Link Campaigns live or die by the content you have or produce. Brian Dean over at Backlinko talks about Power Pages, these are ‘hubs’ of unique content around your niche/market that answer all the key questions and provide valuable information.

We can work with you to put together a content plan that will be of interest to your target audience. From that, we can either use someone from within your own team or use one of our content providers. The best-case scenario is that you provide a content budget to produce quality content and for potential placements.

Add content to Target Tab I then make a list all good content URL’s within the Project Management sheets. Note* This reporting document is updated in real time and can be accessed any time you want to.

Outreach Persona Creation

It’s important to understand that perception is very important when it comes to outreach. Webmasters can often respond poorly to outreach from SEO companies. Whereas a well-crafted mail from someone who works at the company comes across a lot better. Depending on the size of the company we like to set up as either the business owner or content manager.

GMail or company email Setup The first step of any and all campaigns is to create a Gmail or company email account. We will then use this email for all outreach.

Twitter/Linkedin/FB Setup One of the key benefits of social media persona creation is when it comes to outreach. Accompanying an outreach mail with a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ to the person helps to build a personal relationship, which is important in outreach.

  • You will have much more success if you warm them up before you reach out to them
  • Follow them on social
  • Share a couple of their latest posts
  • Comment on a couple of their latest posts
  • Optional: personal compliment email

Link type Selection

The link type that we pursue are based on Content and Budget – Many clients don’t have a lot of content, so we often have to start with a guest posting campaign (still a successful strategy IF done correctly).

This should only be a temporary solution until we can generate some awesome content. I would say that you should look at building Power Pages as I discussed above.

This will enable us to build different type of links such as: Skyscraper outreach Link Roundups, Broken Link Building, Link Lists or Resource Page Link Building

Create a Link Building Campaign Plan

It’s now time to build out our outreach campaign plan. As I have already mentioned we use a reporting spreadsheet that tracks target site opportunities and won links. This spreadsheet will be on a Google Drive and accessible by you.

Part 2 – Prospecting

I cannot overestimate the importance of prospecting. Yes it’s time consuming, yes it’s tedious but without proper prospecting a link building campaign will fail.

We create a list of targets based on the link types we have already decided upon.
We focus on finding a personal contact email as well as the name of the person that we are contacting; in fact we obsess about this. So much so that we have a dedicated member of staff solely focused on building campaign data for our clients.
Why? Have you ever received an unsolicited ‘Dear sir’ or ‘Dear business owner’ does this make you want to read more? I bet you don’t. A real name means you can build a real relationship with the contact. It will set you apart from the vast majority of outreach mails the contact receives.

Part 3 – Link Building Outreach

For each of the targets we find we will then send a personal email, using their name if possible and the most appropriate type of email based on the type of link we will be asking for.

The approach for a content placement is very different to the approach for a resource link for example.

The goal of this interaction is to build a relationship with the target.
This needs to be something that can be mutually beneficial and utilised in the future. As well as a link, it is common practice for a target to share your site socially, which is an added bonus.

We spend a lot of time focused on outreach and the initial contact with a prospective link opportunity.
Through trial and error we have found that the more you can personalise your contact the better the response rate. We also keep outreach mails quite short and to the point.
Key factors: • Say what you have to offer. • Why it will be of interest to their audience. • What you want them to do next.

You need to put yourself in the mind of a site owner. What’s in it for them?
If your mail is offering something that is not of interest or requires a lot of work why would they link to you?

Outreach Follow Up

Definitely one of the most important parts of the process, and often overlooked by many that conduct outreach.

People get hundreds of emails every day; it’s easy to ignore them when you are so busy.
Even if you are keen on something you have received you may forget to follow it up. That’s why I always send a simple follow up email a couple of days later. It’s a significant percentage that responds to this second mail. I also who has opened an email and not replied, and who hasn’t seen it yet, these people receive completely different follow up messages.
If we have no response from our second mail we will send out a third and final mail. It’s surprising how many responses we get to our third mail.

Link Building Tools

To build links at any type of scale you not only need a process you need the right tools.

We have tried a variety of software tools and products and now use three key ones.

  • Link Analysis and Competitor Analysis – As I have already mentioned Ahrefs is our tool of choice here.
  • Content Discovery – For this Buzzsumo is the best tool out there. Its ability to find the best content and the most shared is second to none. Having said that we are increasingly using Ahrefs for content discovery as it has improved a lot.
  • Outreach & Project Management – There are many outreach platforms that can handle this but for us Pitchbox is the best. It’s not a cheap solution but it allows you to build very personalised outreach campaigns at scale.

Link Building Campaign Results

This is how we measure success. We focus on three main criteria:

Links Generated – This is the key one, more links from strong relevant sites equates to increased rankings.

Organic traffic – The key reason people create links. With relevant, quality sites linking to your website your rankings will improve. Better rankings MORE traffic!

Better Rankings – Quality links will increase your keyword positions in the search rankings. It’s as simple as that.

Extra measure:
Referral Traffic – This comes from people clicking on your link because they are interested in your company or service.
This is very targeted traffic and providing you have your site set up for conversion, it will lead to new clients or sales.

How much does our Link Building Agency charge?

As you can see from by the way we conduct link building, its a time intensive process.

That’s why we have link packages that reflect the time and effort that goes into securing good links.
You can check out our Bespoke Link Building Campaign
We also provide high quality Guest Post Outreach links and will be launching a link focused Local SEO offering shortly.

We are not for everyone, here’s a couple of things to bear in mind:

You should have your onsite and technical SEO nailed down already.

You must be willing to invest in great content (if you don’t already have it).

Actually want to grow your business and understand that good links can push the needle.

If so, great! get in touch and we can arrange a telephone conversation.