Building high-quality backlinks is one of the best things you can do to improve your website’s SEO ranking and drive organic traffic.
To do so effectively, though, it’s imperative to have a reliable link building outreach strategy in place.
Links on external websites that direct people to your site are called backlinks. As your website becomes connected to other websites on the internet, its value grows in the eyes of Google and other major search engines.
A search engine considers backlinks an endorsement, which can increase your trustworthiness — a factor that, along with expertise and authoritativeness, Google has trained its search quality evaluators to focus on. When Google believes that your content shows experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (or E-E-A-T), you gain a higher ranking and placement on SERPs, which can dramatically boost your visibility and organic traffic.
In a perfect world, your website is used as a resource organically and linked to by reputable companies and websites. But for most businesses, that isn’t the norm. This is where link building outreach can be useful. With this strategy, marketers reach out to other websites or blogs to see if they would be interested in linking back to their content.
Various link qualities can improve your backlink profile and help you gain higher SERP placements. There are a variety to include in your strategy to boost your ranking and drive qualified traffic for your site:
Websites are more likely to link to certain types of content than to others. Thought leadership pieces and articles that contain original research are often the best choices, but infographics, informative videos, interactive content, and free tools and templates also tend to have a lot of success.
When your content reflects foresight and deep industry knowledge, you earn the respect and authority that make people want to link to it. Similarly, by investing in original research, you’re not just adding to the conversation — you’re starting new ones. Publishers and industry leaders are always looking to link to content that showcases groundbreaking findings.
Still, it’s important that you align your content with the goals of the target publication. You should always review a website to ensure that your content fits with its audience and the topics that it normally covers. Irrelevant content, no matter how well-written or brilliant, is unlikely to get linked back to.
Once you’ve selected the content you want to pitch, you can start to identify target websites for outreach. Here’s how:
As you reach out to websites, you should use these principles as the minimum expectations for success:
If these requirements are met, your email will probably look something like this:
I’ve been following [recipient’s organization/website] and am particularly impressed with your work on [specific topic/article].
My company, [company name], recently published a piece on [content topic] that could add significant value to your audience, especially in light of your recent article on [related topic on recipient’s website]. Our piece dives deep into [brief description of your content], offering [unique value proposition of your content].
Would you be open to linking to this piece in the article to add another layer to the story?
To ensure this aligns with your editorial standards, here is more of our past content to review: [link to your content]. I’m confident that your readers will find it informative and engaging.
I look forward to the possibility of working together.
An effective follow-up strategy can include:
Tracking all of your interactions and follow-ups in spreadsheets or CRMs can help you stay organized.
Backlinks enhance the visibility and credibility of websites in the eyes of search engines. Securing these links demands a strategic, personalized, and persistent approach. Offering genuine value and maintaining professional decorum will allow you to focus on building authentic relationships that can lead to a robust backlink profile and significantly improve your website’s authority and reach.
As with any strategy, monitoring, adjusting, and refining the approach is key. When you know how to pitch for link building and understand the nuances of link building outreach, you can pave your way to SEO success, higher organic traffic, and maximized ROI.
I'm the president of Intero Digital's Content & PR Division. Intero Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency whose Content & PR Division helps businesses improve their lead generation, SEO, sales enablement, and thought leadership — all powered by content marketing and PR.