Link building is an essential part of any online strategy and can help significantly boost visibility and traffic to your website. Effective link building requires an in-depth understanding of outreach strategies, best practices, and successful case studies.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to build an effective link-building outreach plan and provides real-world examples to help inform your own outreach efforts. From developing key messages and identifying target sites for outreach to designing the right techniques for promoting content, this article is a must-read for anyone looking to create a successful link-building plan.
Let’s dive in!
- Link building outreach is an essential component of any digital strategy, as it helps increase organic traffic and improve website visibility. A successful link-building outreach plan requires careful planning and execution, involving four general steps: assessing the current backlink profile, researching and identifying potential link targets, crafting an engaging pitch, and executing the outreach campaign using the right channels and tools.
- Step 1: Assess Your Current Backlink Profile
Step 2: Research and Identify Potential Link Targets
Link targets are websites you want to link to your website. Your link targets should include:
- Bloggers and influencers in your niche or targeting your audience. Use tools like Spartoro or BuzzSumo to find popular sites in specific niches.
- Unlinked images can be identified through reverse image search. Find link targets using your images without attribution.
- Advanced operators help find unclaimed brand mentions as your link targets—sites referring to your brand but without a link.
Four types of content typically generate the most links: infographics, videos, blog posts, and case studies.
Step 3: Craft an Engaging Pitch
In the link-building cold email outreach process, crafting an engaging pitch is crucial. Here are some guidelines:
- Personalize your emails. Reference a specific article or podcast episode by the person you’re reaching out to, explain what you liked about it, and describe how adding your link would benefit their audience.
- When suggesting a replacement for broken links, offer content of similar quality, relevance, and length.
- Keep the subject line brief and to the point, avoiding salesy or spammy language.
Examples of Link Building Outreach Plans:
Broken Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Broken link building is a strategy used to replace broken links on other websites with new ones. This helps gain backlinks and increases search engine rankings. Third-party tools like Ahrefs’ free broken link checker are necessary for finding broken links.
Research link targets closely related to the resource you want to build links to, increasing the chance of finding a broken link to replace with your content. Broken link building adds value to someone’s website by identifying and replacing broken links, which Google considers a poor UX signal.
Resource Page Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Resource pages list useful resources for a specific industry or use case. Resource page link building works in two ways:
- Look for other sites’ resource pages and get them to link to your product/tool as a resource.
- Build your high-quality resource page, hoping other sites will link back to it as a valuable and authoritative source.
Competitor Backlinks Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Closing the backlink gap between your site and its competitors is a key part of link-building outreach. Identify competitor backlinks your site doesn’t have and manually request them or build them from scratch. Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and BacklinkManager can help with this process.
Guest Posting Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Guest posting is the process of creating content for other websites in exchange for a backlink. This approach is mutually beneficial, as the host site gains valuable content and the guest author gains exposure and a backlink. Here’s how to create a guest posting outreach plan:
- Identify relevant blogs and websites within your niche that accept guest posts. Research their content to ensure it aligns with your brand and audience. Tools like BuzzSumo, AllTop, or searching for your niche + “write for us” on Google can help find guest posting opportunities.
- Analyze the target site’s backlinks, domain authority, and audience engagement. This will ensure that the guest post is valuable and reaches the right audience. Moz’s Domain Authority tool can help assess the site’s authority.
- Create a list of topic ideas tailored to the target site. Consider their content style, audience, and existing topics. Offer unique, engaging, and informative content that adds value.
- Pitch your guest post idea to the site owner or editor. Personalize your email, clearly explain the benefits of your guest post, and provide samples of your previous work. Be concise, professional, and respectful of their guidelines.
- Once your guest post is accepted, deliver high-quality content that meets the host site’s requirements. Ensure proper formatting, grammar, and spelling. Include internal and external links, as well as a link to your website, in the author bio or within the content itself, if allowed.
- Promote the guest post on your social media channels and engage with readers in the comments section to foster relationships and boost your online presence.
Skyscraper Technique Link Building Outreach Plan Example
The Skyscraper Technique, developed by Brian Dean of Backlinko, involves creating exceptional content that stands out in your niche, then reaching out to websites that have linked to similar but inferior content. Here’s how to implement the Skyscraper Technique:
- Identify popular content in your niche using tools like Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, or Google Analytics. Look for topics with high engagement and numerous backlinks.
- Create content that surpasses the quality, depth, and value of the existing popular content. This could involve updating outdated information, incorporating visuals, or adding new insights.
- Compile a list of websites that have linked to the popular content you’re improving upon. Use tools like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer or Semrush’s Backlink Analytics to find these backlinks.
- Reach out to the websites on your list, explaining how your new and improved content provides more value than the content they’re currently linking to. Make your pitch personalized, concise, and compelling.
Overall, link-building outreach requires a well-thought-out plan, attention to detail, and persistence. By identifying the right link targets, creating engaging content, and fostering relationships with website owners and editors, you can build a robust backlink profile and improve your website’s online visibility.
The best way to monitor your hard-earned links is to use a CRM tool with crawler like BacklinkManager. BacklinkManager is the first CRM for managing link-building outreach partnerships, vendors and clients and monitor links. It sends you notifications when a link goes 404 or when a do-follow link you expected is in fact no-follow. Try its generous free plan now!
What is Link Building Outreach?
Link building is like a puzzle piece in any successful online marketing strategy. It’s the process of building incoming links, also known as “backlinks“, from other websites. These links are essential for various reasons, such as helping boost a website’s rankings in search engines, increasing its visibility and credibility, and improving the overall user experience.“Backlinks” help search engines understand how relevant your content is while simultaneously enhancing the user experience. Plus having multiple (reputable) sites linking back to yours is an indication of the quality of your content!
Link-building outreach involves proactively asking websites or content creators to link back from their content to yours by reaching out through emails or comments on other websites or even engaging in social media conversations. This way you can build relationships that will encourage others to include links leading back to your page – thus expanding reachability! By using an efficient approach when it comes down to link-building outreach you’ll be able to increase the number of high-quality incoming links pointing towards your website which will ultimately improve its ranking within search engine results pages along with boosting visibility too!
Why is Link Building Outreach Important?
Link building and link building outreach are like two sides of the same coin – essential components for any successful online marketing strategy. Link-building is the process of creating links from other websites to your own, while link-building outreach involves reaching out to other sites and blogs to build relationships and acquire links. These efforts can help boost website rankings by increasing visibility in search engine results, leading to more organic traffic and better customer engagement.
How to Start a Link Building Outreach Plan
Link building outreach is an essential part of any digital strategy as it helps to increase organic traffic and improve website visibility. Creating a successful link-building outreach plan requires careful planning and execution. The process of link-building outreach involves four general steps:
- assessing the current backlink profile,
- researching and identifying potential link targets,
- crafting an engaging pitch,
- and executing the outreach campaign – using the right channels and tools.
Link reclamation is an important part of the process. It involves identifying and reclaiming lost links, claiming unlinked brand mentions, and analyzing the link profiles of competitors.
Step 1: Assess Your Current Backlink Profile
The first step in crafting a successful link-building strategy is to take stock of the current backlink profile. A backlink profile is like a map, showing which websites are linking to your own and how reliable those links are. To assess it, you’ll need to consider factors such as relevance, authority, and trustworthiness of the page that’s doing the linking. It’s also important to make sure none of these links are toxic or suspicious:
You can use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to analyze your competitors’ link profiles.
Semrush’s Backlinks Analytics tool and Bulk Backlink Analysis Tool can give you an overview of up to 200 domains’ profiles quickly – invaluable for understanding SEO performance. The Backlink Audit tool then helps identify any dodgy links so they can be disavowed; plus it provides data on domain authority, referring domains, total number of backlinks and an overall toxicity score too.
Step 2: Research and Identify Potential Link Targets
“Link targets” are simply the websites that you want to link to your website. Typically, you want to include in your link targets:
- bloggers and influencers writing about your niche/ for your audience – how to find them ?Use tools like Spartoro or BuzzSumo to find popular sites in specific niches.
- use reverse image search and to find link targets through unlinked images – the use of your images without attribution
- use advanced operators to find e.g. unclaimed brand mentions as your link targets – sites that are already referring to your brand, but without a link
Step 3: Craft an Engaging Pitch
The third step in the link building cold email outreach process is to craft an engaging pitch. Here are a few rule of thumb to remember when building links through outreach emails:
- Personalize your emails. Refer to a specific article or podcast episode of the person you’re reaching out to in your email, tell them what you liked about it, and why adding your link to the blog/shownotes would benefit their audience.
- When suggesting a replacement for broken links in your outreach, it is important to offer a piece of content that is of similar quality, relevance, and length.
- keep the subject line brief and to the point and to avoid being too salesy or using spammy language.
Examples of Link Building Outreach Plans
There are four types of content that tend to generate the most links: infographics, videos, blog posts, and case studies.
Broken Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Broken link building is a link-building strategy used to replace broken links on other websites with new ones. This is a great way to gain backlinks and increase search engine rankings. To discover broken links for this link outreach move, a third-party tool like Ahrefs (which has a free broken link checker) is necessary:
As you can see, you can find both inbound and outbound links through this tool.
Of course, you need to do your research on the link targets that are very closely related to the resource you want to build your links to – this increases the chance you will find a broken link that you can ask to be replaced with your content.
The good part about broken link building is that it adds value to someone’s website through by finding broken links for them (which is a poor UX signal for Google) and helping them replace them with working ones.
Here’s how to use broken link building for your link building outreach plan:
- Find broken pages with backlinks using these tactics: a. Look for your competitors’ broken pages with backlinks i. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer ii. Enter a competing domain iii. Go to the Best by links report iv. Filter for “404 not found” pages v. Sort the report by Referring domains from highest to lowest vi. Identify relevant broken pages for content creationb. Look for broken pages about a topic i. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer ii. Enter a broad topic iii. Switch the search mode to “In title” iv. Hit search v. Filter for broken pages only vi. Filter for pages with at least 20 referring domains vii. Confirm the broken page by clicking the title to open it in a new tab
c. Look for broken links on competing websites i. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer ii. Enter a competing domain iii. Go to the Broken Links report iv. Export the report and analyze using Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool
d. Look for broken links on resource pages i. Use Google search operators to find resource pages in your industry ii. Check for broken links using Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar iii. Export the list of URLs and analyze using Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool
- Vet the link prospects: a. Check link quality using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer b. Check link reasons by reviewing the Backlinks report for general links and deep links
- Create a replacement page: a. Create a rough outline based on the broken page’s content using the Wayback Machine b. Bake in linkable points by incorporating deep recommendations from your link vetting process c. Develop your replacement page using the outline and linkable points as a guide, and ensure the content is high-quality and relevant to the broken page’s topic.
- Monitor your own links with tools like BacklinkManager and find broken links easily through it:
Resource Page Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Resource pages are, simply put, pages with a list of useful resources for a specific industry, use case etc. An example of a resource page can be a listicle roundup post like ” 50+ Best User Onboarding Tools for SaaS [Updated for 2023 & Categorized]”, a glossary, or e.g. a list of top 24/7 vet clinics in Vancouver Resource page link building is a link-building strategy that can work in two ways:
- (1) you either look for other sites’ resource pages and get them to link to your product/tool as one of the resources;
- (2) you build your own high-quality “resource page” in the hope other sites will want to start linking back to them as a valuable and authoritative source.How to build links using the resource page link-building technique (1)?
- Create or identify a useful resource:
- Can be an informational resource or interactive tool
- Find relevant resource pages:
- Use Google search operators with broad keywords related to your resource
- Install Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar and set the number of search results per page to 100
- Export search results using the “Export CSV” button on the Ahrefs overlay
- Vet the pages: A. Filter and eliminate using metrics:
- Use Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, or URL Profiler to pull metrics for the pages
- Filter for prospects that match your requirements, such as Domain Rating (DR) >= 10 and Domain Search Traffic (ST) >= 5000 B. Manually review the remaining pages:
- Open URLs in batches and review them for relevance, maintenance, and link value
- Reach out and suggest your resource: A. Find the person responsible for maintaining the resource page B. Craft a personalized email mentioning your resource and its value C. Respect their preferred contact method and provide specific placement suggestions D. Point out broken links on the page, if any E. Avoid paying for links
- Utilize additional methods to find more resource pages: A. Search the backlink profiles of sites with known resource page links B. Search for listicle resource pages using “best [thing]” searches C. Search for pages with resource sections using specific search operators.
Competitor Backlinks Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Closing the backlink gap between a site and its competitors is a key part of link-building outreach. This involves identifying competitor backlinks that the link builder or site does not have, and then either manually requesting them or building them from scratch.
A backlink audit tool like Ahrefs or Semrush can help in this process. It allows users to compare the backlink profiles of two sites, identify backlinks that the target website does not have, and manually request them or build them from scratch. The tool like BacklinkManager can also help track won or lost backlinks over time.
Here’s how you can use your competitors backlinks to build your own links:
- Identify Competitors: a. Use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to access the Organic Competitors report to find a list of sites ranking for similar keywords. b. If you don’t have a website yet, search for a few main terms to identify competitors or use Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to access the Traffic Share by Domains report.
- Find Common Links: a. Input your list of competitors into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer’s Link Intersect report to see the list of referring domains shared by your competitors. b. Click the numbers under each domain to see the specific links your competitors have from each website.
- Identify Competitor Strategies: a. Examine the common links your competitors have that you’re missing and work your way through those. b. Look for patterns in the data to identify the type of sites where competitors are getting links, such as niche sites, local listings, or other local websites.
- Check Your Competitors’ Most Linked Content: a. Access the Best by Links report for some of your competitors in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. b. Look for interesting content driving links to competitors, such as tools, studies, or quotes. c. If you see a competitor successfully gaining links this way, consider creating similar tools and content to gain more links for your own site.
- Provide more value than your competitors by e.g. creating an infographic, video or other type of original content to make your resource more attractive for them to link to.
- Use outreach emails to ask the link sources of your competitors to link back to your resource in addition to your competitors (or instead – if you find their content is e.g. outdated!)
Guest Posting Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Guest posting is a great way to build valuable links, get exposure, and build relationships with other bloggers and site owners. It’s an “expensive” strategy time-wise though – so you need to use your resources wisely:
Here’s how to build links using the Guest Posting Strategy effectively:
- Be Selective About Where You Pitch: a. Choose a site in a similar niche. b. Review the site’s performance (domain authority, social followers, industry leader, engaged readers). c. Make sure you’ll get a featured bio.
- Craft a Pitch that’s Impossible to Ignore: a. Do your research on the target site. b. Pitch to a person, not a website. c. Dig deeper into guest posting on the site. d. Follow the guidelines for pitching. e. Be direct and succinct. f. Provide information about yourself and your site.
- Write a Guest Blog That’ll Attract Readers to Your Site: a. Know your audience’s needs. b. Create a compelling headline. c. Go in-depth with your content. d. Provide easy-to-digest content.
- Funnel Your Readers to an Outcome: a. Link to a specific page in your bio, not just your homepage. b. Think about the desired outcome (newsletter sign-up, online store, blog followers).
- Reply to Comments on Your Post: a. Engage with readers by replying to their comments. b. Answer their questions and interact with them. c. Increase your conversion rates and stay at the forefront of readers’ minds.
Anchor Text Link Building Outreach Plan Example
Anchor texts are a controversial topic in SEO. On the one hand – Google likes exact matches…but not when you overdo them when building links! Reducing the use of exact match keywords in anchor text is essential for avoiding search engine spam. Instead, partial match anchor text – which contains a modified version of the keyword or related keyword – branded anchor text – using the company name or product name as the anchor text – and generic anchor text such as “click here”, “read more”, and “visit website” should be used. Combining these types of anchors will help ensure a natural-looking link profile and better SEO results. It’s important to remember that exact match links should be used sparingly; link-building outreach plans should focus on finding high quality backlinks from relevant websites.
Here’s how to build links using the Anchor Text Strategy:
- Be Selective About Where You Pitch: a. Focus on authoritative sites that are right for your content. b. Ensure your content is relevant and provides value to the target site.
- Use Exact Match Anchor Text Wisely: a. Google prefers exact match anchor text, but only to an extent. b. Anchor text should describe what the reader gets when clicking on a link. c. Avoid mass scale link schemes with exact match anchors to prevent penalties. d. Use exact match sparingly and come up with unique ways to describe the link you are referencing that are still helpful to users reading.
- Audit Your Anchor Text: a. Examine your current anchor text spread to find an ideal medium. b. Conduct outreach to publishers to change anchors if necessary. c. Use tools like Ahref’s Anchors report to analyze your anchor text profile.
- Create a Well-Rounded Anchor Profile: a. Diversify your anchors by including branded anchors, exact match anchors, general/randomized anchors, and image source anchors. b. Establish a natural mix of anchor texts that avoids link schemes or system manipulation.
- Discovery and Outreach: a. Use an SEO tool like Respona to find relevant articles mentioning your target keywords. b. Input your content URL, target keywords, target niche, and content description in the tool. c. Add a value proposition, such as a link back or a free subscription, to the incentive field. d. Run the automation and add additional SEO filters if needed. e. Review the results and check for your targeted keyword within the articles. f. Create a sequence in the SEO tool for reaching out to the owners of the target sites. g. Personalize your outreach emails to make them more engaging and effective. h. Offer incentives to the site owners for adding a link to your suggested anchor text.
- Follow Up and Monitor:
- a. Keep track of your outreach efforts and follow up with prospects who haven’t responded.
- b. Be polite and persistent in your follow-up efforts, but don’t be overly aggressive.
- c. Thank the site owners who agree to add your link and fulfill any incentives you’ve offered.
- d. Keep track of the new backlinks you’ve acquired through this strategy.
- e. Analyze the impact of these backlinks on your site’s SEO performance.
- f. Use your learnings to refine your anchor text strategy and improve your future link-building efforts.The best way to monitor your hard-earned links is to use a CRM tool with crawler like BacklinkManager. BacklinkManager is the first CRM for managing link-building outreach partnerships, vendors and clients and monitor links. It sends you notifications when a link goes 404 or when a do-follow link you expected is in fact no-follow. Try its generous free plan now!
Skyscraper Link Building Outreach Plan
Technique Skyscraper Technique is a content marketing and link building tactic based on the premise that you always need to create content with more value than the top-ranking competitors in SERPs (which often means adding more content – thus building a “taller” post, similarly to building a skyscraper). When Brian Dean first applied the Skyscraper link-building tactic in 2016, the number of backlinks to his article went through the roof. This resulted in the increased referral traffic, and more importantly, his organic traffic doubled.
What made it so effective?
That’s only one of the questions we answer in the article. But first, we explore what the Skyscraper technique is and how it works. Then we move on to practical ways of implementing it and the tools you can use.
How to build links using the Skyscraper link building technique?
- The Skyscraper link building technique is an effective method for generating backlinks, which involves creating high-quality, engaging content that outshines existing articles and then reaching out to those who have linked to these articles with backlink requests. This approach capitalizes on the popularity of topics and the success of well-linked articles to bolster your own content’s performance.
- To find suitable content to improve upon, examine SERP results and scrutinize your main competitors. Utilize SEO tools to analyze their most popular content and identify articles with a significant number of backlinks. As an alternative, you can conduct keyword research and focus on content ranking for medium and high-difficulty keywords. Alongside the number of backlinks, consider how you can enhance the content further.
- Improving content entails making it more comprehensive and delving deeper into the topic. Incorporate data, case studies, real-life stories, and visuals to elevate the quality. Ensure the content remains up-to-date and accurate. To make the content more accessible, employ simple language and concise sentences that resonate with your target audience.
- To optimize your content’s SEO performance, write long-form articles of over 2000 words that address search intent. Strategically distribute keywords throughout the piece, including in the title, introduction, and H2s. Craft eye-catching taglines that incorporate your keywords. Technical SEO aspects, such as optimizing for mobile users, enhancing site speed, and ensuring an intuitive navigation structure, should also be considered.
- Promote your content by reaching out to creators who already link to similar content with personalized emails. Although securing backlinks from influencers and authorities in your field may be challenging, these links can significantly increase your domain authority and boost organic traffic. To entice influencers, offer them something valuable in return for their endorsement, such as free access to your product.
- Leverage social media to promote your content by sharing it and engaging with related content. Techniques like guest posting and content syndication involve publishing your content on other sites to expand its reach. Utilize tools like Ahrefs, NinjaOutreach, SurferSEO, StoryChief, and BacklinkManager to find content opportunities, manage relationships with influencers, create SEO content, and monitor your new links’ performance.
Here are the top tools for skyscraper link building campaigns:
- Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO suite that allows you to find content to work on and track inbound links.
- NinjaOutreach is an influencer marketing and email outreach tool that you can use to establish and manage relationships with influencers.
- With SurferSEO, you can create SEO content that will outrank competitors.
- StoryChief will help you manage social media activity to promote your content.
- BacklinkManager is a dedicated link-building tool that enables you to monitor the performance of your new links. Want to see how it works? Book the demo!
Link building outreach is an essential element of any successful online marketing strategy. It helps to create quality inbound links, increase visibility and improve rankings in search engine results. While there are templates found online, creating a link building outreach plan requires careful planning, research, choosing the right tactics (broken link building, via guest post posting, competitor link building etc.) and crafting an engaging pitch and execution.
With the right strategy, businesses can build inbound links that help drive organic traffic to their websites. Ultimately, creating and implementing a well thought-out, link building outreach campaign plan is the best way to gain both authority and authenticity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are link building campaigns?
Link building campaigns are an essential part of any effective digital marketing strategy. They involve focusing on acquiring links from other websites and leveraging various tactics to increase their visibility and search engine rankings.
They can be implemented by an organization or expert link building consultant and can help drive successful website promotion.
Does link building still work?
The consensus among experts is that a link building campaign continues to be a key part of a successful SEO strategy. Link building can help increase domain authority and provide added credibility, making it an invaluable tactic for boosting visibility in the digital landscape.
Therefore, the answer is a resounding yes – link building still works.
What is manual outreach link building?
Manual outreach link building is a time-tested and effective way to build relationships with other websites and grow your site’s link profile. It involves reaching out to website owners or blog authors to get them to share links back to your content, thereby helping to increase your visibility in search engine rankings.
What is manual outreach?
Manual Outreach is a labor-intensive process of contacting websites and potential partners on an individual level with the aim of securing a link or endorsement that will benefit your website. It requires time and effort, but it can have tremendous rewards.
What is the best link building approach?
For the best link building approach, it is important to create useful and interesting content. Try using techniques like guest blogging, comment posting, forum posting, and answering questions on Q&A sites. These are some effective link building strategies that can help you reach a wider audience.