Written by Taylor McKinney, Marketing Specialist, TrustRadius

According to the 2018 Google rankings, list content and backlinks (among others) are important factors that affect your overall website’s SERP rankings — and these two factors are listed every single year.

Even Gary Illyes from Google has said that content and links are the two main things you should be focusing on. Content is a great ranking factor because creating great content is 100% in your control.

Earning backlinks, however, is a lot trickier. Even if you deserve links, and even if you reach out and ask for them, whether or not a website links back to your site is not in your control.

There are ways to increase the ROI of your link building campaigns though, and we’re going to share some of our top tips. But first, we’ll explain the difference between natural and outreach links because your approach will differ based on the types of links you’re going after.

Natural links are links that your site earns naturally because publishers and other sites find your site, product, or blog useful and want to share it with their audiences.

Outreach links, on the other hand, are links that your team earns by reaching out to publishers and other sites in hopes of convincing them to link back to your site or blog.

Now, let’s dive into how to go after these two different kinds of links.

Natural links

The key to earning natural links is to create useful and compelling content. If you have a great product, then publishers will want to link to your site to share your product with their audiences.

Additionally, customers will want to share your product on their social pages because they love your product so much. It’s not just about your amazing product though, another way to earn natural links is by creating evergreen or long-form content.

The content you provide on your blog should be valuable content that publishers will want to link to. Getting high-quality backlinks to your blog will increase traffic to your blog. However, the “juice” from the high-quality link will also flow through to other internally-linked pages.

Make sure to link to your high-value landing pages from your blog content. From case studies and educational content to charitable acts, there are plenty of ways to catch the eye of publishers.

Work with your content marketing team to ensure that you are creating the type of content that publishers will want to share. Use tools like Conductor Searchlight to use customer intent to build out high-value content and tools like Canva to create beautiful visuals that will increase the linkability and shareability of your content.

Outreach Links

Earning outreach links is a lot different than earning natural links. Without a high level of effort and perseverance, it’s likely that your outreach link-building campaigns will fail. Effort paired with the right tools and techniques can increase your ROI significantly. Now there are two parts of ROI – the return and the investment.

Use an outreach tool like Ninja Outreach or HubSpot to simplify the process and reduce the level of effort you’ll need to invest. On the other side, you should also make sure you’re developing strategies to increase the return on the effort you put forward. Use competitor research to see who is linking to your competitors and what types of pages they’re linking to.

  • Can you ask to be included in a list of companies that provide a specific product or service?
  • Can you ask for the publisher to link to your similar (but better) content instead of your competitor’s?
  • Can you find sites similar to those linking to your competitors and write guest posts with links back to your site?

Ultimately, seeing what works for your competitors then levelling up on it will be the easiest way to increase the ROI of your outreach link-building strategy.

About Taylor
Taylor McKinney is a 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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