How to Scale Your Link Building in 2020
The fundamentals of SEO are not that complex. You need to create good content that aligns with a relevant keyword and then create backlinks to the content.
This importance of backlinking cannot be stressed enough. There is, after all, a connection between the number of referring domains and a website’s Google ranking (there is of course other factors that affect Google rankings, but you get my point). This graph of Backlinko best illustrates this link.
Source: back link
Because of this proven link, backlinking should always be a carefully thought out process. This is the main reason why SEO is so difficult. In this article, however, I will share a strategy you can use to scale your link building efforts.
How to assess the quality of backlinks
Most common metrics for ranking a site that are used by SEO experts are based on the principles of PageRank. PageRank was what Google’s algorithm used (note the past) to rank content in search results.
There are basically two things you need to know about PageRank.
First, it uses a 0-10 rating system to rank websites.
Second, how PageRank applies this rating system. As part of the system, backlinks were given a value. If a piece of content had more high-value backlinks than another, the more likely it would be to rank higher in search results for relevant keywords.
Now that you know that, let’s look at some of these common metrics for ranking a site right now. Look at the similarities in the principles used by PageRank then:
- Domain Authority / Domain Ranking: Websites are linked on a scale of 0 to 100. Moz and Ahrefs respectively developed the ranking systems
- Trust Flow: A website’s trust flow is the ratio of many good backlinks it has to “spammy” links. Based on this, a website is given a score from 0 to 100. Majestic promotes Trust Flow as a ranking indicator.
- Relevance: If a website has too many links outside of your niche, Google may trigger a red flag
- Website traffic: The more traffic a website has, the more likely someone is to see its content and click on a link.
Here are the parameters of what constitutes a good backlink for me:
- Relevant niche
- With a DR/DA 50+
- 18+ Trust Flow
- Website traffic of over 5,000 per month
You can use these same settings for your backlinking campaign, or create your own. Your settings will depend on what you prioritize the most.
How to Select Appropriate Websites for Outreach
The next step in backlinking is to create a list of websites to contact. It’s best to base this list on your competitors’ own list.
To do this, start by making a list of relevant sites in your niche. Next, start examining each site’s backlinks using a premium SEO tool.
After typing Business Insider, a Business2Community competitor I write for, for example, you see that the site has 410k referring domains.
From the list of referring domains I exported, I automatically remove all sites with DR less than 40. Since mass outreach in sites with DR 80+ is not as effective, I also isolates these sites on a different list.
You can filter the resulting list of referring domains for relevance using the Majestic SEO tool and review the list manually for niche relevance to arrive at a final list of sites you can contact for your outreach.
How to find a publisher’s contact details
For sites on your final list with a DA/DR of 40-79, I typically reach out to publishers or website managers via mass outreach.
I suggest using an email search tool, which is quite easy to use.
Simply insert the site name and the email search tool will search for email addresses associated with the domain. I suggest doing this for at least 100 sites.
For websites with a high DR/DA, my colleagues like to contact website editors through LinkedIn. Fair enter the LinkedIn details of a site and search for the relevant job title. In this case, I suggest searching for the title of editor or writer.
Congratulations! You now have your final email list for your outreach.
How to manage an awareness campaign
Writing the email for an outreach campaign is crucial for your backlinking campaign. I prefer to use an email template because all you would have to do is fill in the blanks and then hit send. Including your content ideas in the initial email can be pointless, especially since you don’t even know if the editor will respond.
Here is an example of a model that I like to use:
I hope you have a nice day. I am interested in writing a guest post for [WEBSITE NAME]. I have a few ideas that I think would be great for your site. What would be the best way to present these ideas to you?
All my wishes,
PS I have written for sites like [BIG NAME 1] and [BIG NAME 2] so I’m sure I can reach your editorial standards.
It’s simple, straight to the point and engaging.
Target sending 30-60 emails on the first day. Thus, even if some sites do not respond to you, you will have other alternatives.
Once you get that answer, the next step is to pitch your guest post ideas.
How to come up with guest post ideas
It can be tempting to just write down the first ideas that come to mind on paper and then present them to the website editor. This, however, does not work very well.
In my experience, generating guest post ideas using a scientific method is always the most effective. Here’s the step-by-step process I follow for coming up with great guest post ideas:
- I offer a shortlist of 10 sites in my niche that consistently provide good content
- I determine the top performing articles on each site based on social shares. I do it through Buzzsumo
- I organize the data I found – the titles of the top performing articles and the URL – in a Google Sheet.
- I repeat the process for each of the 10 sites on my list
I use the final list of articles I generate to inspire me to come up with ideas. As soon as something crosses my mind, I go to Google to see if the subject has already been covered:
I just type: Site:website.com your keyword
Here is a screenshot to illustrate what I mean:
If my idea does not appear in the search results, I include it in my list of ideas for invited articles to present. I’m including two more people in this list following the same process so that I can pitch at least three guest post ideas.
You can use this process or even modify it to come up with your guest post ideas to pitch to the website editor.
Tips for Writing a Great Guest Post
Suppose at least one of your guest post ideas is approved by the website editor. When that happens, then it’s time to write.
One thing I’ve learned in my many years of writing for an online audience is that writing a guest post doesn’t mean aimlessly typing words using a computer for hours on end. If you do this, you will only end up with content that may not make sense and may even be rejected by the site editor.
Here are some tips I found for writing good content based on my experience:
- Outlines are the key to good handwriting. Come up with a plan first before you write.
- Write to express, not to impress. It means using as few words and as simple as possible to express an idea precisely. Complicated words should be avoided.
- Make your content as believable as possible. To know how to cite a website when including links to an authority page
- Incorporate images into content. The idea is to make your content as engaging as possible.
- Use an engaging tempo. Vary the use of long and short sentences in the content.
Of course, you can find out more about how to create content online and find other tips for yourself.
Whatever you do, remember that the goal is to deliver content that will appeal to an online audience. You wouldn’t want to disappoint your website editor either.
It’s true that getting your content noticed online can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
In this article, I explained the importance of backlinks and ways to assess their quality. I’ve also shared with you ways to find websites suitable for your reach and given tips for reaching publishers of the sites you’ve chosen.
Finally, I showed you how to run an outreach campaign, how to write to website editors using an email template, for example. I also covered how to generate guest post ideas to present to website editors.
It just takes a little effort and creating a plan. Soon you will reap these benefits and see your website at the top of Google rankings.