The 5-Step Link Building Strategy
What does building solid relationships have to do with marketing?
Everything, really. How do we bring attention to our websites and businesses? By acquiring links from other websites to boost our online visibility.
And through building links, we’re doing something far more important: we’re building relationships that will pay off for years to come.
Link building has been around forever. Once it might’ve been known as a black-hat tactic to game the Google of yore into ranking higher for your keywords of choice.
But in the new animal-based search engine reality we live in today, link building is a fantastic way to acquire mentions of your website and brand on highly authoritative, relevant websites. Some of you may know this as PR. I just know it as some of the best marketing you can do.
How do you go about building great links to your website? Just follow these 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Research
What kind of websites do you want to discover?
To make sure they’re high quality, look for sites that are:
- Highly authoritative: These people know their stuff, and are worthy of building a relationship with.
- Seen as trustworthy: Would you want to have a link on a website that was full of link and other spam?
- Sites you want to be associated with?: Much along the lines of authoritative and trustworthy, one of the biggest things to keep in mind when you are researching websites to build relationships with.
- Popular with competitors: Who’s linking to your competitors? You probably want them linking to you too.
Tools in Raven that can help:
Step 2: Outreach
Use your research to cultivate a list of high quality websites with whom to start building relationships.
- Connect with website owners via social media: An easy way to begin a conversation and start cultivating a relationships.
- Organize your outreach: Use the CRM to not only keep track of all of your messaging and other outreach, but organize all of the potential relationship’s contact information, and any other notes you want to leave about the person.
- Manage the outreach: Remember the end game: a link on a great website and a relationship with the site owner. Be sure to connect the dots between the person and the website they own.
- Share the load: If you have a team, distribute the load on who to reach out to by assigning tasks.
Tools in Raven that can help:
Step 3: Organize
What do I need to know about the potential link and relationship I’m working on?
- Date of first outreach
- Date of follow up: You never want to be too forward or needy.
- Type of link requested or acquired: Are you writing a guest post? Did you comment on a blog? Did the link happen organically?
- Website domain: Yeah, you might need that one.
- Website owner’s contact info: Can’t build a relationship if you can’t get in touch with them.
- Conversation notes: If you’re talking to a ton of people, keeping detailed notes on the conversations you’re having will save you from a world of embarrassment later. Trust me.
Tools in Raven that can help: All Link Manager, all the time.
Step 4: Follow up
Once you’ve done your research, performed your outreach, organized all the data, hopefully you will have heard back from some site owners and will be well on your way to building great relationships with them.
If so, make sure you are constantly maintaining your information. Every conversation you have, every step of the link building process (requesting links, to active links to even inactive links). The more information you have, the more you need to organize and maintain it.
Tools in Raven that can help: Make sure to make liberal use of the custom link types and statuses within the Link Manager to really customize the data you need to organize. Make the Link Manager work just for you.
Step 5: Report
One of the biggest struggles marketers have is proving our worth to our boss or client.
While the end game of traffic and conversions is somewhat apparent, how did we get there?
Acquiring mentions and the relationships that come along with that take time, and can be hard to quantify that time to those paying the bills.
If you have kept track of all of your data and organized it within the Link Manager, it is very simple to produce a branded, PDF report of all of the links and relationships you’ve been working on.
Anything from a simple report to just show a quick look at your work, down to a more detailed report covering specifics such as exact domains where your link lives, even a screenshot of that link right on the page.
Tools in Raven that can help: Raven’s Report Wizard makes wrapping all this up into a professional branded report as simple as drag-and-drop.
While it can be time consuming, link building is a wonderful way to bring visibility to your online presence. Follow these few simple steps to build solid relationships, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
P.S. – Want a more in-depth introduction to link building? We’ve got that too.