If you want to grow your company with SEO, then link building is crucial.
A lot of marketers focus too much on on-site SEO. While that’s important, your off-site SEO needs to be top tier to rank for the keywords your market is searching for.
Don’t believe it? uSERP surveyed 800+ SEOs to find out how much link building impacts rankings:
Hint: backlinks matter. A lot.
But it’s well known in the industry that link building is a tiresome, thankless, and even mind numbing proposition. As far as how I built 100 links in 30 days? — That must take some superhuman skills.
Well, luckily, it really doesn’t.
Sure it will take some work, but there is a system you can follow to do it. In this post, I’ll show you how I built 100 links in 30 days — and how you can do it too. That way, you can build your link profile and start ranking higher in less time.
Let’s get started:
What Goes Into Link Building?
Before we get into tactics, let’s talk about the various aspects of link building you’ll need to execute on. That way you have some context. When getting 100 links in 30 days, I did the following:
- Build your list
- Find emails and contact people
- Craft custom, engaging emails for each audience
- Create content
- Email and phone outreach
- Following up
The two aspects that will take the most time are building your list and creating the custom emails for each niche. If you don’t take the time to create customized emails, your placement rates are going to be lower. So you should plan on about 15 minutes on average per email to a prospect.
Build Your List
When you follow the steps in this article, then you can get 100 links placed in a month. And while that is faster than usual, it doesn’t mean you can take shortcuts.
You need to have a list of contacts in place — or commit to building one fast. This strategy assumes that you have cultivated contacts within the blog industry. If you haven’t, you are going to get lower response rates.
For this part of the process, a simple Google sheet works fine:
Whether you have built a reputation or not, you’ll still need to find the email contacts of the people you’re going to solicit links from. This helps you scale the process, instead of being spread out among LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms.
There are a number of email finder tools that can help you out with this step, such as Voila Norbert. So let’s say you have a contact and you know their name and domain name, but need their email address. You would simply type these into the tool, and that part of your process is done:
Craft Custom Emails
You don’t want every email to be the same. People will sniff through that and ignore your outreach. Instead, you can create a template and then make it custom to each person. Just be sure to double-check the name and company when sending it out, so you don’t slip up and send “John” an email that was meant for “Sarah.”
If you opt to create new content when getting backlinks, it’s going to take a lot more time. So if you’re starting from scratch, aim to add another few weeks onto the process.
Typically, new content builds links at higher success rates:
However, if you already have content posted, then you can skip ahead to the next steps.
Email and Phone Outreach
Notice how I said phone and outreach. You can have success with just one or the other. But if you combine them both, you’re doubling your chances of getting into contact with the decision makers who can grant you links.
Marketers know that the big money is on the backend. In other words, it’s in the followup. And just like you need to follow up with visitors after they opt in to your email list, you need to follow up with your contacts. Plan to have about 5 conversations back and forth with them before they agree to actually place your link.
The Big 3
We’re aiming for a 90% open rate, 40% response rate, and 90% placement rate.
In order to do that, there are 3 key areas to focus on. Otherwise, the steps above will be hard to manage on your own:
- The technology
- Your processes
An executing on those areas will require two main strategies:
- Reclaim content – find relevant content with the right keywords or products and get a link placed there.
- Leverage unlinked brand mentions – find mentioned of your brand that don’t have links and get links added…such as the “Hotjar” example below:
See a full case study on how link reclamation can earn you hundreds of links per month.
Now let’s talk about managing your relationships:
There are various types of relationships that are valuable in SEO. This includes authors, content publishers, and editors. In other words, those people who are heavily involved with the decision making on published content.
Tools like MuckRack and Pitchbox can help you connect with authors that publish on third party blogs. And building your network will be hugely important.
If you cultivate great relationships, you’ll only need to contact 275 to 300 sites with the metrics I’ve listed above. This makes it doable as a one-person job. But avoid the temptation of trying to get multiple links from the same domain.
A good backlink profile means having a diversity of links from different domains. Of course, if one person does have the ability to place links on various domains, you can try to make the case for placing a link on each one.
Naturally, you’ll need tools to manage the relationships that you’ve already built or that you’re forming. That’s where technology comes in. Here is where you’ll want to leverage tech to get better results:
If you want to do things the manual way and avoid paying for a tool, it’s possible. We’ll talk about the manual way right now, although in just a minute I’ll show you a tool to use for finding unlinked brand terms.
To do it by hand, you’ll want to search google using the “site” search operator. So, if your brand was salesforce, you could use the function as in the screenshot below:
Instead of storing your contacts in a spreadsheet, you’ll save time if you simply use a CRM like Pipedrive or Buzzstream. CRM usage has been on the rise, and for good reason.
Once you get past a few dozen contacts, managing your relationships the old-fashioned way becomes infeasible. You’ll also need to document the process along the way.
By documenting everything in your link building outreach, you’ll keep everyone on the same page. You’ll be able to keep track of workflow, timeline, and where each contact is in the process.
At a minimum, you should document the following steps in your link building progress:
- Outreach made
- Responded to email
- Said yes (or no)
- Placed link
Everyone loves to see the end result of success, such as having 100 backlinks added to their site. But process is the real workhorse behind everything. And perhaps the most important process you are going to be using is cold email outreach:
The Email Outreach Process
Assuming you’ve already done the work of cultivating relationships, and you have the right tools for the job, here are the 6 steps of the email process:
1. Set Criteria
What kind of metrics will you track? What kind of pages are you going to ask for links to? Evaluate your content and determine your specific goals, so that the target is easier to hit.
2. Search for Sites
This is where technology heavily comes into play. If you’re using a spreadsheet, it will take forever to find the kind of sites you’re looking for. If, however, you use a tool, you can search by niche relatively easily.
3. Use Ahrefs
Earlier we mentioned looking for opportunities to get links to your unlinked brand mentions, as well as content that is underutilized. Luckily, Ahrefs is a great service that lets you find these quickly.
4. Get Your Pitch Ready
You don’t need to recreate entire pieces of content. Instead, focus your pitch on creating an interesting angle. Just write one paragraph for the contact that they could easily put in their article to add value, while providing a backlink.
5. The Outreach
Use Mailshake or Instantly (or do one-to-one manual outreach). But even if you’re using a tool to send emails, don’t just copy and paste your email. You need to identify who you’re talking to and create a pitch that’s customized just for them. This will increase your open rates, and the likelihood you actually get your link placed.
6. Check Your Links
Tools like Scrapebox and Moz will help you reconcile your links, to make sure they’re up and working. That way, you can also track how many you’re earning each week.
Building links to your site can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to pay a lot of money, cheat, or spend hours banging your head against the wall. If you follow the proven steps above, you can build your links efficiently and effectively.
So if you want as many as 100 links in as little as 30 days, don’t procrastinate. Start putting the tips above into action today. That way, you can get more links, impressions, traffic and ultimately conversions to grow your company.