Links are still the most important ranking factor when it comes to search engines. And so having a link building strategy is of utmost importance. Something isn’t easy for everyone I notice in my work as a SEO-specialist at Bynder. This blog post will introduce a quick and easy way to build high quality backlinks to your site.
External tools and case studies
One of my most successful link building strategies involves going through the different external tools that are used at a company, and then asking those companies whether they would be interested in writing a case study on us (and then securing a link).
How to find out exactly what third party tools your company uses?
So in order to find out exactly what tools your company uses, you need to ask. I would start this off in a friendly way. Send an email to the whole company introducing yourself and what you are trying to do, and why it will benefit the company.
“Hi all, I was wondering if I could please ask you all for some help. I am working on the SEO of our website, and one thing we can do to increase our ranking is to build links to our website.
An effective way of doing this is to ask companies that we work with or third party tools that we use to write a case study on us for their site (and eventually ask them for a link).
Please do let me know if you are using any third party tools and I will contact them about doing a case study.
Thanks very much!”
One important thing to remember is that almost all of the links that you get through this strategy will require cooperation from other members of the company, so it is important to bear that in mind when it comes to getting stuck into the link building.
Once your colleagues start replying then you can assess the link opportunity.
The first thing to do is to is to see whether the company already does case studies, and if they do, if they link out to the customers. If both these boxes are checked, then you should look at Moz Open Site Explorer (or something similar) and assess the quality of the case study domain.
If the domain authority is quite low, this does not mean that you should abandon the opportunity, but just place it lower down your priority list of link opportunities. Equally, if the domain is very powerful then push the link opportunity to the top of your list of priorities. This is important as if the case study domain is a good one, you want to move things forward with them quickly, before their marketing team gets preoccupied with other things and your case study get pushed down their to do list.
The most effective ways to approach those companies
Once you have stakeholders in your company on board, it is time to reach out to the third party tool.
The best way to do this in the first instance is through the account manager, as the account manager will be swift to pass the case study to the marketing team in order to keep you (their customer) happy.
Failing that, try to go through their customer support. The customer support team will be used to receiving messages from angry people, so try to start off in a positive way. It will really set your message apart from the rest and will increase the chances of the support person passing your request on to the correct people.
Something like: “Hi there! We at xxx are huge fans of xxx”
And then go on later in the message to ask about the possibility of a case study. When you suggest the case study idea, try and pitch it by suggesting that the product has had a unique effect on your business, or that you use the product in a unique way.
And try and back this up with a statistic of some kind. Marketing teams love statistics that prove how valuable their product is, and so will jump at the chance to make a case study of you.
I.e. “I was wondering if you might be interested in writing a case study on us. Xxx has allowed us to increase website traffic by around 40% in 6 months”.
Offer to write the case study
It is often the case that the company might be hesitant to offer you the case study because they are not sure whether their marketing team has the resources. So it is important to make it clear that you are willing to write the case study yourself, to save them most of the work. Therefore they don’t need to commit their marketing resources to you.
How to make sure that you get the link
If you are writing the case study yourself, make sure that you put a link in the document that you send them. Only put in one link (or two at an absolute max) as being too aggressive on the number of links might lower the value of the content in their eyes, and stop them from publishing your content.
If they still publish it without the links, just ask for the links directly. You can lead with something like: ‘My manager would love it if we could get a link to our website too’.
How to build on the relationship to secure links in the future
This might be an obvious point, but always be very grateful when they publish your case study. If it is a positive experience dealing with you then they will be more open to working with you in the future, and may mention and link to you from other blog posts of their own accord. It is also worth sharing the case study on your company and personal social media profiles (including retweeting/reposting their posts).
Does it work?
Using this strategy, I have secured over 20 high quality links over a relatively short period of time. Some of the links I secured had a domain authority as high as 90. The strategy is a great way to fill in the high quality link portion of your backlink profile. Good luck, specially startups have nice stories to tell, spread your word and benefit from it!
Jack Saville is an SEO Specialist at Bynder.