Google is a crowded marketplace. On average, there are 63,000 searches per second. That is a lot of competition. That is a lot of people vying for the attention of your target demographic.
In order to stand out, in order to make a genuine impact, you need an outreach and link building campaign. It will help inform people about your brand while improving your online visibility.
This guide offers concise tips and advice on how to build a link building campaign, how to do it effectively, and also includes things to avoid when conducting an outreach campaign.
What is a Link Building Campaign?
Back in the old days, Google would rank your website based on how many backlinks it had. It was a primary part of traditional SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
That is, if your website had lots of other people linking to it, then your website would be ranked higher. Then Google changed it up and only ranked highly the people who had authoritative backlinks pointing to their website. Google has changed it up again.
Nowadays, their machine learning algorithms rank websites based on the needs and wants of the user. However, backlinks still have a pretty high value.
The first reason for this is because other search engines, web spiders, ranking websites and apps still use backlinks as a way of judging the quality of your website. Also, Google records how many people visit your website from linked websites.
If you luck out and get a lot of traffic from a few of your backlinks, then Google views that as evidence that your website is popular and so ranks up your website.
Having many backlinks is good but having backlinks on active websites that regularly sees viewers, well that is even better. When people talk about “High quality backlinks,” they mean websites from active (aka popular) websites.
A link building campaign is simply a planned and orchestrated attempt to get more backlinks from active or popular websites, or from websites that already rank pretty highly on Google.
Why is Link Building Important?
As mentioned earlier, other online entities rank and judge your website based on its backlinks.
This affects how they treat your website. For example, if an app is pushing your website near the top of its search engine (perhaps near the top of a comparison website search engine), then Google notices that and ranks you up accordingly.
If a web spider notices that your website has a high number of backlinks, then it may rank you near the top of a directory, which drives more traffic to your website, which in turn makes Google notice you more.
Have you seen those ranking websites where people rank products, services, websites, etc.? A web spider picked the pool of products/services/websites. If you are getting noticed by search software because of your number of backlinks, then that is a good thing.
As mentioned earlier, if you are getting traffic from backlinks, then Google views this as proof that your website is popular, or at the very least, it views your website as useful. So, why is link building important if Google is only measuring traffic numbers?
Well, consider how easy it is to get backlink traffic from 10 backlinks, and how easy it is to get backlink traffic from 100 backlinks. The more backlinks you have, especially with popular/active websites, then the more traffic you will receive from those websites and the more Google will notice you.
How to Run a Successful Link Building Outreach Campaign
Email outreach is still the most popular way to create opportunities. Find the right sites that fit your niche, do a little due diligence, contact them and offer them something. Here are a few things you can offer them.
- Money or something of monetary value
- To write a guest post
- Offer to share their website on your popular social media platform
- To create media or social media content
- Reciprocal website links and social media links
If your website or business has something else to offer, then throw that in too. The great thing about offering your products or services in return for links is that it is only a soft cost for you.
They are getting something that is worth more than what you paid for it, so they feel like they are getting a great deal.
Tips For Building Your Outreach Campaign
Here are just a few things to think about when you are creating your campaign. The first is obviously the way in which you find your prospective websites.
Remember that the websites nearer the top of Google’s search engine are the ones least likely to respond to your messages (because they receive thousands of messages per week).
If you are looking for backlinks from top-ranking websites, then seriously consider outsourcing link building to a professional company. If you are just starting out for yourself, then here are a few tips to help you get started.
Tip 1 – Define your goals
If you are just looking for links, then grab a web spider of any variety (search software, search apps, etc.), gather a list and send out from generic, but slightly tailored, guest post offers.
On the other hand, if your goal is to spread brand awareness, then perhaps offer to pay money for letting you create a promotional post on their website.
Tip 2 – Balance Research and Reward
You can spend a lot of time creating a list of ten perfect websites and not receive a reply from any of them. On the other hand, you could bot-harvest a bunch of websites, contact them, and get yourself black listed for spamming on email servers, or worse still, receive replies from unsuitable websites.
As part of your research, look for websites that already have guest posting and back-linking rules written on their website. They are easy targets for an outreach campaign.
Tip 3 – Creating Your Offer
Remember the list of things you can offer, from the list in the previous section above, and craft your overall offer around those incentives. Consider the what, how and why of your offer.
Don’t try to entice, don’t try to hide your intentions, and avoid sounding spammy. Get to the point and make your offer because the website probably receives hundreds of these per week.
If you are offering guest posts, then explain how they are top quality and show some of your previous work. If you are offering payment, tell them if you will do it through PayPal, Skrill, bank transfer, etc.
Include a quick note about how you are starting a business and want to gain some exposure, or how you are trying to build your online reputation. Keep it brief and to the point.
Tip 4 – Avoid Sounding Spammy
This is just as much art as science. You need to create an offer that doesn’t look like the same template offer you sent to the last 300 websites. If you go too personal, “Hey, Jimmy, what’s up” then people will spot it as spam just as quickly as if you wrote, “Dear Sir/Madame/They.”
Try simply posting your question in your subject line, “Do you allow guest posts?” Try to avoid mentioning money in the subject line because spam catchers often flag them as junk.
Tip 5 – Give Something of Value
A free gift is only as valuable as how quickly it is thrown away. Those free gifts you get at fares, those keyrings and bottle openers, are often thrown out when people get home because they are worthless.
If you are offering something, even if it has no direct monetary value (like a guest post), make sure you sell it correctly to show the recipient that it has value.
Why So Many Outreach Strategies Fail
This one is hard to define because each company, each website, each web host, makes their own mistakes. Even if you follow a step-by-step plan, you may still fail. Here are a few of the most common reasons why outreach campaigns bite the dust.
It Was Not A Long Term Strategy
Your farmer planted seeds for just one season, dug up the soil, and then gave up. If your strategy is more of a smash-and-grab, ultra-exposure and quit-it approach, then you will fail.
You need to structure your research, your outreach, your process and your rewards as an ongoing task and not a one-off.
You Did “Personal” Wrong
This was touched upon earlier about not sounding spammy. You don’t want people to think your message is a template bulk-email message. On the other hand, sounding too familiar is creepy too.
Keep honing your emails and outgoing messages based on response rate. Improve the messages that work and dump the ones that don’t.
Blanket Messaging People
You may think you are saving time by spamming every website you find, but it wastes more time in the long run as you sift through replies from websites you have no interest in working with.
Plus, you often get desperate and start offering backlink deals with the unsuitable websites that contact you back, which wastes more time.
You Are Not Improving Your Emails
If you are having problems with proofreading your outgoing messages, then you are not thinking about your backlink campaign in the long term.
If you were thinking long term, then you would have several perfectly honed and well-crafted outreach messages that are perpetually working on to make them better and more effective.
Under such circumstances, things like mere proofreading are baby-basic compared to the sophisticated structures you have in place.
In the old days, backlink building was a vital part of SEO. It was a far more simpler time. Nowadays, the systems are far more intermingled and complex. Suffice it to say that backlink building is good for a wide number of broad and value-added reasons.
Modern backlink building has many facets and elements that even this article couldn’t fully cover in detail.
A good backlink campaign will improve your online visibility, it will get your website listed on more websites, it will see your website appear on more search-software/apps search engines, and it will make your website appear more popular.
It will improve your online reputation, it will help you rank up the search engines, and it will make your newer content more likely to rank up the search engine results pages.
Sure, backlinks don’t have the immediate search engine effect that they used to have, but a well-thought-out organic SEO campaign would be lost without a good outreach backlink campaign.