Last Updated on February 6, 2021 by Artem K.
If you run a business that depends on organic traffic then you probably know just how important link building is to SEO.
Right now you might be looking for a quality link building service that brings results you can trust OR you may already have a link building agency running the show but you are not 100% sure about their practices.
One way or another, today I want to share exactly how my link building company does things so you can see that we know what we are talking about AND give you an opportunity to grill your link building “guy” if you wish to do so. 🙂
Before We Start With Link Building…Quick Intro
My name is Artem and I am the founder of LinksHero, a no-nonsense link building service that specializes in blogger outreach and white hat link building techniques.
What I Do To Provide Best Link Building Services
Unlike other link building companies, I take things seriously and act as a custom link building service for every client. To maximize the chances of your success in search engine rankings I use the following SOPs.
- Site Cleanup: I make sure that your website is not being affected by poor link building from the past.
- Quick Wins Planning: I create the plan for any quick wins.
- Campaign Design: I design an outreach campaign for the following 3 months.
- Campaign Execution: I run the campaign and provide you with the simple, clear reporting file.
This is how a quality link building agency should be doing things.
Now to the details.
1. Site Cleanup
If Google sees that a bunch of crappy websites are linking to you, it’s far less likely to trust your business and get you higher in search engine rankings.
All of the search engines love clean link profiles so it’s my duty to make sure everything is nice and clean before I can move onto our first link building campaign.
Here are several examples of links that you want to have cleaned up before proceeding to high-quality link building tactics.
- Web 2.0 websites (“blogspot” is a common one)
- A large number of coupon websites
- Other low-quality websites
The cleanup process is pretty straightforward.
- I log into Ahrefs and analyze your link profile
- I check every link for quality
- Every poor quality link I find is added to the disavowal file
- Once I finish with the analysis, I submit the disavowal file directly to your website’s Search Console
Here is what the process looks like on the video.
It usually does take a while before Google fully “sees” the disavowal file. Sometimes it can take weeks, sometimes – months.
Nonetheless, it’s an important process that helps us to set the foundation for our future backlink building.
BY THE END OF THIS STAGE: Your website’s backlink profile is clean from any inbound links that are negatively affecting its rank in Google. It’s now ready for receiving quality links and SEO.
2. Quick Wins Planning
One thing that I’d argue sets me apart from all the other best link building services is my desire to give you the highest ROI as soon as possible.
This boils down to me finding your highest earning pages that can quickly gain several positions in search rankings with help of some off-page SEO and build links to them.
These pages usually:
- Have a significant search volume (whatever “significant” means for your business)
- Appear between positions 5 and 13 in search engine results
These keywords typically only need a slight “push” from a few high-quality backlinks and I want to capitalize on that.
By the way, internal links can play a big part in the link building process. This is something I also discuss with you when we start.
Now I need to know what anchor text to use for those quick wins.
2.1 Anchor Text Analysis
Even best quality backlinks can ruin our link building efforts if the anchor text they use is not what Google wants to see.
What’s anchor text? It’s whatever text is hyperlinked.
So if I’m linking to https://linkshero.com using Linkshero, then “Linkshero” is the anchor text.
Anchor text comes in several types:
- Target. Include any of the keywords that you are trying to rank for (in my case “service that does link building” is a Target anchor text because I’m trying to rank for “link building”)
- Phrase. These describe a category rather than the Target keyword (“seo services” for me)
- URL. Anything that appears as a URL (e.g. “https://linkshero.com”)
- Brand. Any mention of your brand (e.g. “Linkshero”)
- Misc. Anything like “read now”, “here”, “check this out” etc
- N/A. These are image links and gibberish stuff.
Correct anchor text can make or break your rankings (there is a special Google algorithm called Penguin overseeing that).
It’s my job to make sure we have the best chance with our link building and I achieve this by analyzing the anchor text ratio of the top 5 competitors.
I average the results and get the exact ratio of what I should be pursuing to provide you with the best link building services and help you rank A-S-A-P.
Here is what it looks like in the video.
BY THE END OF THIS STAGE: I have a list of priority pages that are set to bring you the highest ROI. I also know the ideal anchor text ratios that will help me to achieve my goal ASAP.
3. Campaign Design
My link building service is based on blogger outreach. This means that I, as a link builder, need to have something valuable for other bloggers to throw a link my way.
There are two things that I am concerned with at this stage.
3.1 Finding the Angle
My typical outreach letter goes like this: “Hi X, My name is Y and I have something really cool you guys might want to link to”.
What’s “something really cool”? Here are a few options:
- A valuable infographic (like the one we did for a client)
- A useful set of stats (great for referencing a point)
- HQ information guide (a thorough post on a certain topic)
- Any other link-worthy asset
Once I have a quality content piece that I can use for link building, I move on to finding the right audience for pitching it to.
If you don’t have “something really cool” available, we surely can do guest posts (which I talk about further down). Mind you, I do encourage high-quality content creation. It helps to maintain communication with your existing audience and creates additional content marketing opportunities for me as a link building company.
3.2 Campaign Schedule
My goal is to help your business grow. I achieve this by providing transparent link building services that supply your website with quality links every month.
During this stage of campaign planning, I estimate the number of links required on a monthly basis and schedule the volume of outreach that needs to be done for your website.
Depending on the conversion rate and the number of links required, I estimate the required number of link opportunities that need to be reached out to during a given month.
Typically we start with 10 links per month.
Assuming 10% conversion rate, we need to find ~100 link opportunities per month (10% conversion rate is rather ambitious; at times we see conversion rates as low as 2-3% and lower).
BY THE END OF THIS STAGE: I know the angle I will be using for building links to your website. I also have a good estimate of the prospects I need to be finding every month to secure the required number of links.
4. Campaign Execution
Finally, we are at the stage where backlink building is actually happening. This stage consists of the following steps:
- Reply Management
Let’s look at these closer.
It is the process of finding link building opportunities that I mentioned previously.
As I consider myself to be one of the best link building services out there, I need to make sure that I only find the absolute best websites to get links from.
To do that I look at the following factors:
- Domain Rating (DR). This metric is calculated by Ahrefs and serves as an estimate of domain authority a given website has. The higher the DR, the higher is domain authority.
- Organic Traffic. Only ~9% of the websites on the Internet get traffic so weeding out those that don’t help me to build links of the highest quality.
- Relevance. To improve your rankings Google needs signals from websites/articles that are relevant to what your business is about.
- Anything Negative. Anything that I don’t like about a given prospect goes here. Examples: recent significant traffic drop (were they penalized?), selling links left and right, bad backlink profile, metric manipulation etc.
I collect those websites in a spreadsheet and find their contact details. I will use these in my upcoming link building campaign.
BY THE END OF THIS STAGE: I have a list of relevant quality websites with a clean backlink profile and organic traffic without recent significant drops. I also have their emails.
Before starting the outreach part, I create an email template. The contents of that template vary wildly and depend on just about everything – a type of link building tactics I use, number of prospects, number of links required etc.
Here is an example of a template that I did for one of our previous link building clients:
I got quite a lot of fun feedback on that one :D.
Once the template is ready, it’s time for the outreach part to finally start!
Again, depending on the number of links I need to get you, I send a certain number of emails in batches to help ensure their deliverability.
I may send emails manually or using a simple tool that helps to speed up the link building process slightly.
BY THE END OF THIS STAGE: I send out targeted emails with the pitch that should help me get you that link.
4.3 Reply Management
While the absolute majority of the emails in any link building campaign never get a response, nonetheless, I start getting replies that fall into three buckets.
I do my best to make sure that I get the most out of Yes/Maybe type replies but I also push the “No’s” (e.g. if they can’t link to an existing post, they might still be OK with a guest post instead).
BY THE END OF THIS STAGE: I start getting replies and, eventually, links. Based on the percentage of replies I may readjust the campaign by increasing/decreasing the number of prospects we require.
At my white hat link building service, I love to keep things simple. Please don’t expect a meaty report with all sorts of graphs, pie charts and columns. My link building services are far from that.
I send out a link with an Excel sheet that contains all the important information you need:
- Source URL. The link’s parent website.
- Target URL. A page on your website.
- Anchor Text. The content of the hyperlink.
- Domain Rating (DR). Authority of the parent website.
- Date. Exact day when the link went live.
Here is what the file looks like:
Link Building Tactics I Employ
We use a whole load of link building techniques and strategies. Among them are:
- High-Quality Guest Posting
- Broken Link Building
- Content Marketing & Digital PR
- Resource Page Link Building
- Competitor Link Building
- Infographic Link Building
Guest posting is one of the staples of my white hat link building services. It is also the only method we can use if your website doesn’t have (good enough) content to attract backlinks.
Essentially, guest posting is a process of finding, pitching and, ultimately, writing content for other high authority websites. The content that you provide them with would include a link back to your site.
All that being said, guest posting has been extorted by link builders. That resulted in more and more webmasters asking for money in return for the precious link. As a result, the quality of the websites posting guest posts has gone down significantly.
My link building service follows a strict procedure for weeding out poor quality sites. I don’t pitch to websites that:
- Have had a significant SEO-related traffic drop during the previous 12 months.
- Have less than 1000 monthly unique visitors.
- Exist solely for selling links and are generally of poor quality
2. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is another tool in my link building strategies arsenal.
It revolves around finding a piece of content with a high number of referring domains that used to exist but doesn’t exist anymore. I would ask you to replicate it and then use it to reach out to the websites that were linking to the original piece asking them to change the link.
Another variant of this type of link building includes finding pages that link out to other resources that don’t exist anymore. The idea is to help the webmaster out by telling them that the link is broken and pitch the link you have at the same time.
Links coming from aged pages tend to have high authority. The higher authority will get passed onwards to your site helping you rank faster.
3. Content Marketing & Digital PR
This is a great approach for any website that already has amazing content we could promote to relevant blogs.
This link building strategy requires an exceptional piece of content (e.g. a study with unique data or a news-worthy resource) that I would pitch to the websites that might be willing to link to it because they already linked to something similar in the past.
For example, survey results that unveil interesting findings summarized in a blog post (or maybe a cat meme).
Thorough, detailed guides are another type of great content that helps with building links for SEO.
4. Resource Page Link Building
This type of link building is similar to content marketing technique from the above but we target resource pages that other blogs create for different topics.
You can find these by Googling for resource pages for a specific niche (e.g. “keyword inurl:links”).
This technique can work well if you have an amazing evergreen piece of content.
5. Competitor Link Building
This is one of the most common techniques used by link building services.
This type of link building campaign requires me to see where your competitors get links from and reach out to the same websites.
However, I also need to be careful because, frequently, those links are not good at all (your competitors might not know what they are doing or, at times, can be bombarded by spam).
Another manual link building strategy I love the most because it can be very effective.
All you need is a good idea and a designer that knows how to make things pretty.
After we have the infographic ready, the same prospecting and outreach rules apply – I pitch relevant websites and, once they accept, provide them with the infographic and a brief intro text.
This is where the link back to your website is placed.
What Friends Say
When do I see the results from your link building?
As I mentioned earlier, the goal of my link building service is to get you the highest ROI as soon as possible (that’s why I do all the planning, scheduling etc).
To answer this question, I tend to start seeing positive gains 6-8 weeks after the moment when the first link was obtained.
However, it depends on the number of factors like your website’s authority, the level of competition, the keyword difficulty and other things.
How much does link building cost?
If you have been searching around, you might have seen quite a wild price difference between different link building services but…how much does link building actually cost?
As I said earlier, I value transparency, so here are the numbers.
- Finding suitable prospects and their contact details eats up a lot of time because this still needs to be done manually. An experienced prospector spends one business day to find anywhere between 50 and 60 prospects along with their verified emails.
- Writing templates, reply management and guest post writing take hours.
Let’s not include anything but the amount of time the prospector spends to acquire one single backlink.
At a 3% conversion rate, it would give us roughly 3.5 hours per link. This is a very rough estimate and the actual number of hours that goes towards 1 single link may be very different.
What is the best link building strategy?
I recommend diversifying link building strategies.
First, I recommend to never stop doing guest posts on high authority relevant websites for the sake of expanding your brand which leads to getting more customers. The backlink is a nice addition to that natural process.
Second, I also recommend running occasional infographic/digital PR campaigns that share your findings (e.g. survey data, stats, experiments etc) or something cool you’ve done (Guerrilla-style PR etc).
How are you different from other link building companies?
I strive to offer the best service that helps any given website grow safely in long term. I am also not a full-scale SEO agency that does all of the SEO services out there. I’m rather an SEO agency that is solely focused on building links that improve rankings, bring referral traffic and grow business. I like long term custom link building campaigns and enjoy seeing my clients climb up in search engines ranking positions.