How Do I Start a Link Building Campaign? A Step-by-Step Process

Did you know that the top page ranking on Google Search has around 3.8x more backlinks on average than the ones on the #2 to #10 spot?

how do i start a link-building campaign

It simply proves that links are essential if you want to rank higher on search engines. And I’m not saying this only because of the data above, but a senior strategist from Google confirmed it. In an online Q&A, he mentioned that links and content are the top-most factors of search engine ranking. 

So if you want to gain more organic traffic on your site, increase your domain authority, reach a wider audience, and stand out from your competitors, you must focus on building links. 

Find out how it works and learn to create an actionable campaign from this post. 

This SEO strategy isn’t easy, and I bet you’ve read or heard this somewhere already.

To improve your search engine visibility, you need to secure backlinks from authoritative sites – those web pages trusted by search engines and have high domain scores.

Here’s a great example of a web page with a good amount of backlinks and ranks top one on a certain search term:

How Do I Start a Link Building Campaign? A Step-by-Step Process 1

And since they are high-quality sites, it won’t be easy to get links from them. The competition is high, and you’ll need to offer something unique that will convince them to link back to you. 

Having a campaign in place will allow you to organize your process and help you discover great link opportunities. 

Although there are various methods, most link-building efforts will require you to do these three things: 

  • Create and publish high-quality content. 
  • Find prospects’ and their contact information. 
  • Email outreach.

It will be impossible for you to have a successful link strategy without doing them. 

To help you obtain good links pointing to your site, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow: 

1. Plan and Prepare

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The planning stage is where you set your goals, allot a budget, and determine which link-building tactics to use. 

You should never skip this part because your plan will serve as your guide throughout the process. 

Set your goals.

What kind of result would you like to achieve? Doing link-building to get more links might not be a good goal to have.

Ensure that what you’re aiming for is specific enough and aligns with your business’ goal. 

One good example is to rank on the top page of main keyword terms that your target audience searches. By setting a good goal like this, you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary ideas or tasks on your list.

Allot a budget.

Like I mentioned earlier, acquiring backlinks is quite challenging. Sooner or later, you’ll need to spend money to hire people and subscribe to tools that will help you obtain links faster. 

Base your budget on the length of your campaign. For example, if you want to run it for one year, you can divide your budget by 12 months and assign an amount for each expense you’ll have. Create a sheet to monitor all your costs, and don’t forget to update it.

Choose your methods.

Although we will present you with some methods on this guide, you have the freedom to add, remove, or change anything. Remember that you don’t need to apply all the backlinking strategies out there. 

2. Establish a Content Marketing Strategy

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This applies to powerful tactics like broken-link building, guest blogging, skyscraper, and link-baiting.

People love to share and link to pages that offer them something valuable, helpful, and fresh. To do this, you must build a solid content strategy that includes the following:

  • Your readers’ personas;
  • The topics to discuss;
  • Sources for data and statistics;
  • List of keywords to target;
  • Length of posts;
  • Amount of articles to release for link-building.
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Now that you have a clear idea of what you’ll offer, it’s time to find the right people to connect with and pages to get links from.  

The most popular way of discovering prospects is through Google. You can type “write for us” + your niche for the guest posting technique.

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It does work. However, since your competitors are also looking for websites to write for, you might have a hard time landing guest posting opportunities in this case.

What you can do is use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush instead.

Here’s how they work:

With SEMrush, you can check your competitors’ backlinks using the Backlink Analytics tool. This way, you’ll know which authoritative websites are linking to your competitors and what type of content are they linking to. 

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Image from SEMrush.com

You may choose to pitch guest posting ideas to these sites or try to find broken links you can replace with your own.  

Another great tool is Ahrefs’ Content Explorer. This tool works a little differently from the one mentioned above. Instead of extracting your competitor’s links, you’ll find prospects publishing content that is relevant to your topic or niche. 

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Image from Ahrefs.com

It’s like doing the “write for us” on Google, but better and faster. 

The Content Explorer of Ahrefs is useful for finding guest blogging opportunities or discovering broken links. 

Don’t forget to create an information sheet and stay on top of everything. 

4. Look for Contact Information

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Before you can send emails to your prospects, you’ll need first to identify the right people to contact. 

You may do this manually, but depending on the sites and the number of your prospects, it might consume a huge amount of your time. 

Another option is using an application. Hunter is an affordable software that can help you find and verify the address of websites or professionals. It has a free plan, and you can upgrade to paid plans if you need more searches per month. 

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Include them on your link targets sheet once you collect the email addresses and contact names. 

5. Create Your Content

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Steps 5 and 6 are interchangeable. Depending on your link-building strategy, you may need to create your content or email your prospects first. 

For example, fixing a broken link will require you to create content before reaching out to a relevant site, but guest posting works the other way around.

But no matter what, remember that creating high-quality content is the best way to acquire links. And based on data from Moz, about 90% of marketing experts use content creation as their primary method to get more backlinks.

When creating a blog post, don’t focus only on the quality of your text. But make an effort to develop insightful videos, infographics, images and add relevant links to encourage links and social shares. 

6. Start Sending Emails

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Now that you have your content and the contact information of your link prospects, it’s time for email outreach. 

The worst thing you should avoid in this step is sending a generic email. Most email software flag this as spam, and there’s a slim chance that professionals will respond to it. 

Create a personalized one and make sure to connect with the person first and show that you have a common ground or you’ve been a follower of their site. 

Also, remember to be polite and keep it concise. 

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Last but not least, ensure to schedule a monthly, quarterly, and yearly assessment of your campaign. 

When you actively monitor your link-building strategies, you can adjust them as necessary based on the results. This might include changing your target keywords, updating your link prospect sheet, or switching up your pitches. 

3 Important Tips to Follow

Before I end this post, I want to share with you these three things that can increase the effectiveness of your link-building campaign:

Do surveys and provide original research.

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Image from Backlinko.com

Creating surveys or new statistics or data will increase the chances of getting high-quality links. Articles that provide fresh information are more valuable than content that talks about topics already being discussed. 

Invest in the right tools.

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Image from Ahrefs.com

There are so many amazing applications out there that can help you automate your process. Although they might be pricey at first, finding the right tools will give you better and faster ROI results. And they will lessen the time that you put in link-building. 

Create a system.

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Image from Canva

The step-by-step process above is just a guide. It’s okay to follow everything above, but I suggest that you tweak it and find what works best for you. Once you have a suitable system in place, stick with it.

Conclusion

Creating a long-term link-building process is crucial to your site’s success. But, it will take some trial and error before establishing good ones. If you are new to link building, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the vast methods available, but don’t let this stop you from doing it.

Start with the link-building campaign we presented above, and you’ll be able to build many more successful campaigns from there. 

Make the Most Out of Link Building Using the Best Tools!

Search for link prospects, conduct backlink research, monitor link profile, and more!