This is how we build links
This page is going to tell you exactly how we build links for our current clients. It is the exact process we use with nothing left out so you can see in detail how we would work if you became a client. This covers everything in detail and will take some time to go through but if you want to know what your money is buying and how the service will be delivered this covers it all.
If you don’t have time to read this page just yet, below is our process in a visual form.
Here is the Full Step by Step Process in Details
Create The Project Plan
The very first step in all campaigns is to set up the project management worksheet. This is the central hub of the entire campaign; literally everything is recorded and planned in here. You will have access to this file 24/7 via Google drive and can keep track of how the campaign is unfolding, who has been contacted and which links have been secured. As with all campaigns, there won’t be much in it to start with, but you will soon begin to see it fill up as we roll out the project. You can also see what is planned months in advance.
Create your Gmail account
We will create a Gmail account which will be unique to your name and business, or we can use someone else within your organisation like the marketing manager. The Gmail account will be personalised with a link to your LinkedIn profile and website, and we also like to add a small photo for extra authenticity. So, in fact, we will be approaching people on your behalf.
So why do we pretend to be you? Well, the simple answer is response rate! People respond better to an individual than they do to an SEO / link building agency. It’s also more beneficial to you in the long term if the relationships that are built are with you. We add an extra element to this part to dramatically increase deliverability and response rates. We can’t tell you what this right now but we do tell our clients (we have to keep at least one secret)
Access to Google accounts
Before starting a campaign we request access to your Google analytics and Google search console and if for any reason you don’t have these set up, we can do this for you. These two Google tools are imperative when you have a website. We use these to document the progress of the campaign. All stats are recorded before we begin and then monitored throughout. The data from these two accounts is also imported into your own private live dashboard which you can access at anytime.
Website and Content Analysis
This is an important part of the set up process. This is where we look at your on page SEO, current ranking profile and back link profile. Firstly we check the on-page SEO, this should already be at a good level. If for some reason your on-page is poor then any backlinks built will not have the best effect. we check for keyword over optimisation, duplicate content and word count. This is performed manually against your competitors.
We use tools such as Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs and Majestic to analyse your current backlink profile and anchor text to make sure there is a good diversity of natural anchors. Ideally there should be a good mixture of brand, naked url, generic and a small percentage of exact match anchors.
Your websites content
We need to know what type of content you have and the quality of that content, or in other terms what link-able assets your site has. We sometimes find our clients either don’t have any current content or that it’s simply not the type of content we can use. In this instance, we will ask you to have some created or we can use our professional copy writers to produce content. The content we produce is to a very high standard that people will love to link to and share. This will be an additional cost. Ideally, you will have a content budget for the duration of the project. Excellent content will stand the test of time and continue to bring traffic and links long after it’s been created.
An example analysis of the BBC’s website profile.
Plan of Target Pages and Keywords
We’ll begin by building a list of pages and keywords that we can target. Typically the first targets will be low hanging fruit, i.e. keywords already ranking between pages 2-7 with a healthy search volume. This information will also go towards deciding which link type and sites to go after. Once we have uncovered the target keywords, they will be documented in the online drive and added to our rank tracker to monitor progress in Google.
With everything in place we now start the prospecting campaign to find relevant targets to reach out to for link opportunities. First we compile a massive list of Google operators.
Email Out Reach Campaign
The initial contact is made using a personalised email which varies slightly depending on which link type we are seeking. We always try to find the actual person’s name, personal email and if possible a contact phone number. Finding these details takes more detective work but, the personal approach not only increases the success rate but also helps build a relationship. This can result in further links and the person sharing your content on their social media channels. All email conversations including the date the email was sent are added in the opportunities tab on the project planner so we can have a record of who has been contacted and how the process unravelled. We make sure we follow up on all the people we approach, we do this 4-5 times. This increases the success rate dramatically, and as we track all emails, we know who has opened the email and who we should follow up with. An example of the link target tab can be seen below
The Results of the Link Building Campaign
Let’s break the results down to see what will be achieved from the outreach campaign and the links that are built.
- Direct organic traffic
- Powerful niche specific links to your website
How Many Links Does this Process Generate
Reporting and tracking
Everything we carry out in the campaign from the prospects we find to the emails we send, and of course the links that are secured are tracked for you to see anytime you wish. Within the project planner, you can even see the campaign unfolding in real-time as the sheets are updated as we complete each task. You also have access to a live dashboard unique to you which you can access at any time. Here you can see the change in traffic and keywords. An example of the dashboard is below.
Here are some of the more common question we are asked, if you have a question that is not covered here please get in touch.
Do I really need to build links?
How long should I build links for?
How many back links do I need to see improvement?
What if I cannot provide content
We only want a few links, can you undertake a quick campaign?
Link Building Pricing
Our pricing is simple, transparent and is based on on the number of targets we reach out to each month. Our minimum fee is £2000 per month which is 200 targets per month. As we progress along the campaign we continue to calibrate to increase results. If you want us to reach out to more targets simply double or treble the base level. 400 targets is £4000, 600 targets is £6000 etc.
Points to note
- You should understand the importance of link building and that it is a long term commitment – We don’t take short term clients.
- You have to be willing to invest in good content whether that be in-house or from external sources.
- Payments for services are invoiced monthly in advanced and must be paid before work commences.
If you like what you have read? Reach out and lets talk.
Reverse Engineer Links
It’s a good idea to find out which links your competitors have by using Majestic, Moz of Ahrefs and then attempt to build the same links. A combination of matching your competitors links and building new ones is a winning formula.
A guest post is an article written for another website on an agreed topic. A good guest post will be posted on a site within the same niche providing value to the visitors of the website. Most guest posts will give a short bio of the author along with a link back to the author’s website. Some sites will allow links within the body of the article (contextual links) giving even more linking power. There have been claims by some people that guest posts no longer work, this really refers to article farms and sites just existing for the sole purpose of making money from posting articles. As long as the article is posted on a relevant site with real traffic they work exceptionally well. Guest posts usually make up the bulk of a link campaign.
Resource Links & broken Link building
Resource links are used on many websites to list useful links or resources within their niche. You may have seen these pages on various sites, and they tend to be called things like useful links, resources or “niche” links, i.e. photography links. To secure a resource link you need something of value on your site that can be used as a resource, and this could be anything such as a downloadable PDF, online software or just a massive piece of content that covers everything on your niche. Every site should have one of these.
When we look for resource link opportunities, we also check for broken links. These are links that no longer go to their original destination and as such are now a broken link, which is not good for the visitor or website owner. We contact these sites to make them aware and offer a replacement – content on your site.
These type of posts will cost some money but will provide you traffic and a good link. Prices vary from a £15 admin fee to £300 + Typically the more traffic the site has and the better the metrics, the higher the cost. This is really about weighing up whether the securing the link is worth the money. Sponsored posts should be considered and it is advisable to have a sponsored post budget in any campaign. Some niches such as gambling and loans will have a much higher number of sponsored post links.
Link reclamation is finding sites that used to link to you but some reason they no longer do. We reach out to find out the reason and try to reinstate the link. We also look for sites that mention your business but do not link to you, again we reach out and ask for the link.
These are excellent links to acquire people all over the internet create posts with the posts titles “best links of the week” or “Weekly link roundup” these are a post listing the best links the author has found that week in a certain niche. We can approach these sites and ask for a link to be included.
Bridge links (Local and Niche)
These are sites that are in the same niche and sites that are in the same area as you. These sites can be approached to form a reciprocal link placement. These sites will be in a similar niche to you but not in direct competition.
Online PR Method
Genuine PR is great for brand awareness as well as securing a good link, and it’s been a method that has been used successfully for years. if you have anything that may be of interest to journalists such as a product, service or article that is very relevant to a current or past article. in order for this to work what ever you have has to really enhance the journalists article. Quite often PR will incorporate a fee but will result in a very worth while link. Newspapers also love local business that are actively involved in the community.
Pretty much all universities have blogs which are run by the students and links from these sites carry good authority being on university domains. Its possible to obtain university links by reaching to the students running these blogs and offering something in return.
Almost every town has bloggers and most people will gladly help out a fellow business in the same town for either an exchange of content or a small payment.
Infographics are a visual display of data points covering “how to” or a set of statistics, like the one at the top of this page. An infographic will normally have embed code at the bottom enabling people to add the infographic to their site just by adding the code. We like to offer a mini guest post introducing the infographic as this also gets a contextual link. These have to be planned very carefully to avoid it being a flop.
Although it has been around for a fair while most people associate this link building method with Brian Dean from Banklinko.
We look for a piece of content that has generated a lot of links and then create something far superior. All that then remains is to contact all the people that linked to the original content inviting them to link to the improved, better content.
Pillowing links are mainly used if there is a need to dilute or diversify anchor text.
Citations / Directories
If you are a local business, you should have the main citations in your country to improve your Google Maps listing. There are also many niche directories out there and are great for building generic links to diversify anchor text.
There are lots of video sites online with YouTube and Vimeo being two of the most popular. It’s relatively simple now to create a short video and add a link to your site. A lot of these links are nofollow but at the time of writing this a link in the comments section of YouTube was follow. There services that upload your video to multiple sites creating a bunch of pillow links.
The days of creating blog and forum comments in masses are gone and will do more harm than good. Creating genuine, quality blog and forum comments within your niche on the other hand is a great way to building pillow links. These links should only be sent to the home page of your website.
If you sell products on your website then it’s feasible to contact the product manufacturers and ask them to add your website to their online retailer’s list.