As a marketer, if I ever get lucky enough to meet a Genie, the ability to do white hat link-building seamlessly will definitely be one of the three wishes…move over immortality. While I have not had the opportunity to meet a Genie yet, I did get a chance to attend an AMA by Erika Rykun, Jolly’s in-house White Hat Link Building Manager, and learn a lot about doing white hat link-building techniques, strategies, and expert tips!
In case you missed it, here’s a summary of the AMA with Erika! This blog is great if you build links for your own websites or offer them as a service to your clients.
Erika Rykun started White hat link building in 2016 after learning it from Brian Dean’s online courses. She started with guest posting and skyscraper campaigns. Gradually, she really started enjoying it & it became her full-time profession. She personally finds paid guest blogging boring and loves the challenge that white-hat link-building strategies present to her.
One of the recent wins she is the proudest of is this DR 92 link: https://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-answers/what-is-voice-commerce
White Hat Link building tips and tactics:
- While guest blogging remains one of the best ways to do white hat link building, broken link building, and resource pages also often work well. They are currently underutilized, but if you have relevant good quality content, it can work to your advantage.
- Availing channels like Growth Partners Media offer an excellent opportunity to be part of a community that provides and accepts guest posts with backlinks. It’s a well-organized community that allows you to do link exchanges.
- If you do link building for a client or have multiple websites, as long as they don’t compete with each other and are relevant, it’s a good idea to put multiple links in one article.
- If you do link-building professionally, one strategy that will go a long way in building connections with people in the community and looking out for each other; whether that’s in a personal capacity or more professional capacity like writing guest posts, sharing links on social media, or if you have the option then offering freebies like discounts on services/products, etc.
- Track, track, track. Keeping a systematic record of websites you work with, link exchanges and overall links built is another great way to make link-building more efficient and build networks.
- If you have your own website, the targets for link exchange should have similar or slightly higher metrics. E.g. if your website has DR 40, I’d look for DR 40-50 link exchange opportunities and I wouldn’t reach out to websites with DR 60+.
White hat link-building tips: Outreach-focused
- Platforms like Linkedin, Apollo, Hunter, etc. are great tools for finding relevant people in the companies and their contact details to do outreach.
- Finding the right person to contact within a company can be another key factor in ensuring the success of your link-building campaigns. Usually, people working in marketing departments or media relations, editors, content writers, etc. are good contacts to get in touch with. Bigger publications can be trickier, as they have multiple departments for each category, in this case, the best solution is to identify the right person. Avoid reaching out to editors-in-chief as they are usually too busy and checking pitches is not a part of their role.
- If you can’t find direct contacts even with Apollo or Hunter, you can always use media/info/contact emails.
- Be clear in your ask and make the work very easy for your partner. For example, do not say to them “Hey, I have website A and I can link to your website B. Let me know what link you want”. Instead, analyze their website, find pages that are a good fit for a link, and write them something like “Hey, I have a website A with DR 40 and I can link to this article (link article URL) from this article of mine: (article URL) under the anchor text “suggested anchor text”. This way, you make things easier for your partner as they don’t have to spend time figuring out what link they can request.
- Find a balance between automation and personalization. Using templates makes a lot of sense to save time, however, adding a personal touch can help you get more responses.
- Test different subject lines and copies and keep track of the successful ones. Learning from what worked in the past for yourself and others is another great way of optimizing your campaigns.
Example of running a link-exchange campaign
Let’s use an example of building links to a page on the topic, “how to reduce your debt”.
- Identify a list of websites to reach out to. You can start by going to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer and searching for articles on topics of “financial security” and “personal finance”. These topics don’t directly compete with your page, yet are related enough to get a good quality link.
- Find contact details of these websites and reach out with a link exchange offer. See the template below:
If you are running a team of outreach managers, then effectively managing your outreach managers is another important success factor.
Managing your team of outreach managers
Managing people on the team is always a challenge. So far I’m trying to focus on these three areas of team management:
1) Training and SOPs – all new team members should have proper training and SOPs that allow them to learn all processes within the company. It saves a manager so much time!
2) Communication is the second aspect of team management. First of all, it’s important to have proper tools. E.g. we use Slack for communication and Asana for task allocation. I also do regular 1:1 meetings with outreach managers to keep track of every project and discuss planning
3) Quality control. We have definite quality criteria for websites we outreach, what types of guest posts we write, how to add client links etc. But there is always room for improvement though.
We hope these white hat link building tips will be helpful to you. Jolly SEO regularly hosts AMAs and webinars by experts in the field of SEO and link-building specifically, to stay in touch with our schedule, sign in to our list here!