Editor’s note: Paddy Moogan’s quote on the whiteboard should read “Do you have the ability to link?” This is fixed in the picture below.
Britney is back with the third and final installment of her link building series, this time with the pros and cons of link building reach (with bonus tips from the experts!). If you haven’t already, be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.
And if you’re just getting started on your link building journey (or need a refresher on the basics) be sure to check out Moz’s new and improved guide:
The beginner’s guide to link building
Click the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
Hey Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going to go into link building reach, a critical, critical part of your link building success. So this is part 3 of our link building series.
Link building does it
Let’s dive into the do’s. There are many ways to potentially get in touch, but there are more ways to resolve potential problems. That’s why we want to cover all of our basics and give you all the tools you need today to get a higher success rate in the future.
So some of the do’s:
- Keep it short. We get so many emails every day. You know as well as I do. Be precise. Leave out unnecessary words. Get to the point. Let me be clear Your first outreach goal should simply be to get a response and build a sense of rapport. That’s it. They don’t ask for a link out of the gate. We’ll get into that. That’s all we’re trying to get your foot in the door. So be short.
- Personalize. Show that you care and that you’ve done some homework, you’ve made an effort.
- Deliver value. One way to get someone’s attention is to create value, to help them in some way, shape, or form. This could take the form of being relevant and providing them with some geospecific unique data insights that will help them with something on their website that you noticed. There are all kinds of tactics.
- to arouse curiosity is another good one. There’s a reason “Quick?” The subject line works very well for link builders.
- In Garrett French and Eric Ward’s new, updated The Ultimate Guide to Link Building, they have a great section on how the psychology of ask for a small favor makes that other person think of you more lovingly and maybe trust you more. While we’re not trying to be manipulative at all, we do try to make your website successful. We’re trying to help you play a stronger role in determining link success. Overall, this should be a win-win situation.
- You should really be creating value and helping and create an honest relationship with someone else. I always think that’s a good thing. So re-establish the relationship.
- Spell their name correctlyout of love for Roger. This is probably my biggest pet problem. There is no excuse these days. You have to get it right. Just spell her name correctly. Otherwise it will be difficult.
- Social proof is a great way to get someone’s attention too. So prove that you are walking in the same circle, that you both know one way or another, or that you both spoke or attended this conference. Establish a mutual connection.
- Have a professional email signature. This is pretty easy to put together and shows that you are a real person. You are not a spammer doing this at large. There’s someone behind the effort here.
- Check your email three times. A great tactic – I’m not going to say because I can’t remember exactly who said this – is to wait at least 30 minutes before sending the email you created. Just give it 30 minutes. Check triple. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes. Then you’re good to go.
- Keep an eye on your efforts. Really, very, very important. Know the date you sent email contact, who it went to, when the reply came back, what that was, you did a follow-up exam. These are all things that you should really keep an eye on.
- Follow-ups are so important. Even in a normal email life, follow-up is often required. It’s always good to potentially mention other “big names” or media outlets, or whatever you’ve created in your public relations. You could drop some names. I tell you to call Drop. That sounds so sad. That’s not what I mean. Not what I mean, but you get what I mean.
So you are proving worth. They prove that there is a wish behind that simple request or an idea or something. Hopefully that gives a little picture of things you want to get right.
Link building not
What don’t you wanna do now
- You definitely don’t want thatcovered range. This is the same template for a number of people. You do not want that.
- You don’t mean to be rude either. I think this should be obvious, but I’ve definitely received a few rude link building requests in my time. Nuts.
- Don’t ask for a link. Now I’m interested in hearing people who disagree, in the comments below. Let’s have a healthy conversation, friends. I just think that the first time you use it, you don’t want to ask for a link. It looks and sounds and feels spammy, and you haven’t even established a relationship or any kind of back-and-forth email with that person. So I would always advise not to ask for a link in the first email. Comment below if you disagree. I would like to see why and if you succeeded.
- Don’t use spam triggers. So update some of your spam triggers. It’s actually easy to include some at times, but Google continues to do very, very well. Various email platforms continue to do very well. But words like “love”, “click” and “opportunity” could also be potential flags.
- Don’t misspell her name. I put this here twice because it drives me so crazy. Just spell her name correctly. Just show that you care and that you are trying hard. There is no faster way to get a no answer.
- Don’t use clunky or confusing sentences. Be clear. Be precise.
- Do not contact someone again after they have been asked not to. This is super important and another easy way to mark you as spam and cause problems for you.
All in all, these are some of the top dos and don’ts.
Link building tips
There are so many incredible link builders in our industry. I learned from the best and the resources that created them. Man, there is just so much that is good. Here are some of my favorite tips from professional link builders.
- Garrett French says, “Use ‘mentions’ or ‘share’ instead of soliciting links.” I like that. It’s a lot more natural. I think it’s a brilliant, brilliant tip from Garrett.
- Karl Kangur – I don’t know if I’m saying this correctly, I’m sorry – “Reach out to people who already know you / your brand.” Brilliant. That takes care of part of creating the relationship. There is already a sense of relationship. There is already a sense of that connection that you can use to start this conversation.
- Debra, OG Link Builder: “If you want higher open rates for your contact, I recommend that you include a point of commonality in the subject line of the email.” Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant and it works incredibly well. I remember doing link building probably 10 years ago and reaching out specifically to people who went to the University of Minnesota like me. So I could put “Go Gophers” or “Ski-U-Mah” in the subject line. Tell you what, those were the highest open rates I’ve had in my endeavors. Really fun stuff.
- Paddy Moogan in his older link building book, which, by the way, I still adore, I’ve been a fan of all of these people for a very long time. Paddy said, “Do you have the ability to rank?” His whole theory was why we spend our energy and efforts reaching out to people who don’t have the power to add a link. It is very, very important that you find the editor or webmaster or someone who can possibly provide this link.
Some of the resources that I’ve absolutely admired and granted some of them over the years are a bit old, but I love this stuff. I keep the overview and take notes. Let’s go over a few of my favorites:
- Point Blank SEO. Jon Cooper is a genius. He wrote this a long time ago and he said it was a little old and out of date a few years ago. But I still like it. I still think there are a lot of great things going on here. He’s also provided some new content that is amazing. I absolutely adore his work.
- Ken McGaffin taught me a link building class probably 10 years ago, and I was able to print out his book, Linkbuilding Made Simple. Still a lot of great stuff here that I use from time to time.
- Paddy Moogan’s old book, this was also one of my favorites, “The Link Building Book”. These are also from a few years ago, but still have really, really good stuff in them.
- This has just been updated. It’s probably the newest. This is the latest one that I have. Garrett French and the late Eric Ward wrote the “Ultimate Guide to Link Building” and just updated it to the second edition.
I am not affiliated with any of these books or e-books. These are just resources that I really enjoyed. There is a lot of great stuff out there today. I know Brian Dean has great things. So share some other resources in the comments and some of these examples. I know this contains examples of email contacts. Different people have been doing something of this lately which was really fun to watch.
Yes i hope this helps. This is really fun and I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts and comments below. Thank you for participating in this edition of Whiteboard Friday. Hope you’re all in there and see you next time. Many Thanks.
Video transcription from Speechpad.com