SEO is an invaluable channel that should be considered in your digital marketing strategy. SEO allows you to be found organically for specific search terms in order to feed your funnel with unpaid traffic. While paid approaches are important, depending on SEO is a great long-term strategy to ensure business success.

SEO requires a number of skills, and one of the post important, yet difficult to find is link building and outreach. Part of the reason it’s difficult to find link-building pros is because link-building campaigns take a long time to develop, and therefore usually get canceled before they can be successful. Quick cancellation of these campaigns means not many people have actually gone through with a link-building campaign, and therefore not many people have developed the skills.

Below are some tips and tools that will help you become a link-building expert—or train your employee to be one.

  1. Work closely with other marketing departments

If you aren’t already, you should be working closely with almost every other marketing department to ensure a successful link building campaign. Work with content marketing to ensure that you are producing the right content and sharing it in the right spaces. Work with PR to figure out what they are already doing to earn mentions and links, and figure out a way to increase the number of links you get from their efforts. Each marketing department will have some helpful information to make your link building successful, and all you need to do it connect the dots.

  1. Create content that is worth linking to

Many content strategists focus more on creating content that will spark engagement from their specific audiences or even content that will entertain, but is all of that content linkable? Put yourself in the shoes of a publisher—do you think it would be worth it to link to a company’s funny post about all of the April Fool’s jokes that occurred in the office? It’s possible, especially if the company is well-known. On the other hand, however, if the company put out a guide on how to increase digital marketing ROI or a post with 100 suggestions to help save for retirement, those might be a little more useful for wider audiences that publishers typically have.

  1. Improve content that shows a spark

The work isn’t done after your push “publish” on your high-quality, helpful posts. Track the success of your posts. You’ll probably have a few different KPIs to track specific types of engagement, and when it comes to your link-building campaigns, links are going to be the primary KPI—but you may want to also look at social shares and mentions without links. If a post is showing some signs of life, but isn’t quite hitting the number of links you were hoping, make some tweaks to the content to optimize for engagement.  

  1. Reach out to publishers with the right audiences

Sending a guide for new cat owners to be shared on a financial blog sounds silly. You’d be surprised how many people don’t actually look at the blog for the contacts they reach out to before pushing send on an email. Avoid looking spammy and getting negative feedback by screening the contacts you reach out to before sending an email with your best content.

  1. Use outreach tools to slim down your process

Depending on how big your campaign gets, you might need to consider getting customer relationship management (CRM) system to maintain contact with your “leads.” Reaching out for links is similar to reaching out to a sales leads. The biggest difference is that your product is your content and their payment is in links, rather than money. Users also recommend Outreach as another great tool to automate your email outreach campaigns. Other SEO tools, such as SEMRush, can help you track the backlinks you earn, as well as track your overall rankings to determine where you are having success and where you can pivot and improve.

Building out your link building campaign will be a long process, and you are likely to feel as if it is unsuccessful many times. If you keep at it and follow these tips though, you will start generating plenty of backlinks to boost up your site’s authority.

Taylor McKinney is an Marketing Specialist at TrustRadius, which has become the most trusted website for B2B software reviews.  When she is not writing about the latest tools and small business trends she is enjoying Austin’s beautiful scenery with her family.

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