The primary goal of an outreach link building service is clearly to get a link, but there is actually much more to it than this quick and simple transaction.

Through email outreach, you can begin building long-term relationships with key influencers in your industry; you can extend your brand's reach. In this way, link outreach is akin to public relations. In the Venn diagram between SEO and public relations, outreach link building services are right in the middle.

Outreach link building services are more "bespoke" or tailored than other link building methods. This technique requires excellent inbox discipline, relationship upkeep, and a meticulous scraping of the internet for relevant link creators.

Let's take a look at what's involved in running a successful link outreach campaign.

The Asset

We call it "link building," but what we're really talking about is "link earning." And that begins with a link-worthy page. Before you can start collecting links, you need something of value -- something that other site owners want to be associated with.

Do you have a great piece of content on your site? We're talking something visually appealing, chock full of information, and useful to a wide range of internet users. Specialized resources are ideal, but a solid blog post can be quite shareable as well.

Here are the top four types of assets we like to promote with link outreach.

Best Assets for Link Outreach

  1. Visual
    • Images, infographics, charts and graphs
    • Three years ago, Brian Dean published an infographic outlining the anatomy of a perfectly optimized webpage. Now, in 2019, that infographic has 7.2 thousand backlinks and is still being reposted and linked to every month. Dean estimates that roughly 75% of the links were created because he presented key info in a highly visual format.
  2. Listicles
    • Expanded list posts
    • BuzzSumo and Moz analyzed 1 million articles and found that list posts generated more backlinks than any other types of content.
  3. Original Research
    • Studies and surveys
    • Data and statistics are extremely linkable because readers expect authors to cite their sources. When you're the primary source for some interesting info, you're bound to get links.
  4. Longform Content
    • Blog articles that go in-depth on a subject and include a lot of images
    • This often refers to "Ultimate Guide" posts, which pack a ton of useful info into an easy-to-read format.

Bad Assets

Here's the challenge with any outreach link building service: you're essentially asking a stranger to vouch for your webpage -- a webpage they've probably never seen and a company they've probably never heard of. You haven't had a chance to build trust yet, which is why asking them to promote your brand, products, or services will likely fail. For that reason, the following assets are not good for link outreach:

  • Product pages
  • About Us pages
  • Forms collecting visitor information

Promotional pages like these also don't work because they are not designed to enhance the viewers' knowledge -- unless viewers are looking for information on your company, specifically.

In other words, link outreach is not a technique to get free advertising.

A strong asset is the foundation of a successful link outreach campaign. The best assets provide useful information about a specific topic -- a topic that appeals to a broad audience. The larger the target audience, the more opportunities you will have for links.

Ideal Link Creators

Who is building these links? Through Semify's outreach link building service, we email 120+ websites a month for each customer. In order to make the list of opportunities, a site must meet two requirements: high authority and high relevance.

  1. Authority: This refers to a site's Domain Rating (DR) or Domain Authority (DA). Site strength is important because strong domains pass on more "link juice" to the link's destination. This acts as a clear signal to search engines that your site deserves to rank well.
  2. Relevance: Moz has reported indications that Google is moving away from anchor text as a strong signal but rather relying on page analysis to determine relevance. Moz speculates that the shift away from anchor text is in response to recent over-optimization and "Google's readiness to penalize such websites through the Penguin update." If this is the case, it means that links from relevant pages pull more weight than ever before.

We are looking for bloggers, businesses, and organizations in your industry. We are also looking for authoritative sites outside of the industry directly whose readers may find value in the asset -- in other words, sites that are tangentially related to the asset's topic.

How Do We Measure Success?

First, it's important to note that, like the general practice of SEO, link outreach is a "slow burn." Obvious results like increased web traffic or conversions will not be immediate. Ideally, we will see a site's DR or DA increase over time as authoritative sites pass on "link juice" through the links we've built. According to Brian Dean, link building is the most important skill when it comes to SEO.

So, what does a successful link outreach campaign look like?

The primary metrics we track are opportunities contacted and links won. More specifically, though, we will be focusing on the number of referring domains. Moz says:

"The number of linking root domains is a stronger signal than the raw number of links because it is a better indication of the true popularity of a website. If we go back to how Google think of links as 'votes,' then in this sense each website has only one vote to give you. No matter how many times they link to you, they still only count as one vote, which prevents the digital equivalent of 'stuffing the ballot box.'"

In other words, many high-quality links are good but it's better if they come from all different sites.

Note: links must be "do-follow" to benefit SEO. The tag rel="nofollow" tells search engines, "Don't count this link."

It's safe to say that in 2019, backlinks still matter. They are a heavily weighted ranking factor that Google and other search engines use to determine where in the SERPs a webpage should appear. There are a number of methods of link building, but at Semify, we believe that link outreach is one of the most effective white hat link building services available today.