It is an open secret that Google uses links as a parameter to rank websites and help them climb the SERPs. Updates like Penguin have also added weightage to the link quality instead of link quantity. Links can be white hat, black hat or somewhere in the middle.
Given the importance of links, many businesses think to buy outreach links. It is despite the fact that Google does not endorse buying links and consider it a violation of its rules. Yet, it can come up as a good strategy. Confused? We understand that.
Given the importance of links, here we would cover it step-by-step and systematically. We would also investigate whether to buy outreach links and its implications. By the end of this write-up, you would have comprehensive knowledge about it at your fingertips to make an educated decision about it for your business.
What is Link Building?
Let us first understand what precisely link building is. In simple terms, it is an amalgamation of those practices and strategies that you employ to increase the hyperlinks or backlinks to your website. Some overarching objectives usually accompany them. It is the cornerstone of SEO, and its primary purpose is to improve your website’s Search Engine visibility.
A few of its popular strategies include content marketing, email outreach, outreach links, broken link building, building useful tools, and public relations.
Does Link Building matters? Should you buy links?
To understand this, let’s dig up some history. In the initial days of the internet, search engines like Yahoo and Alta Vista ruled the digital space. Their search results were ranked 100% on the content of the page. Today, many would not even know their name. What happened?
Google Happened! It brought in its famous PageRank Algorithm and moved ahead of mere analysis of page content. It also focused on how many people linked to the website. Many thought it would not hold water but it is still going strong. With updates like Google Penguin that focus on link quality instead of link quantity; we can safely deduce that link building remains as vital today as it was when Google started its journey. It still remains the cornerstone to your content marketing efforts.
Given that Google uses links to discover new websites and determine its ranking in its search results, we can say the links matter for every content marketer and to all business people like you who want to see their brand ranking and digital presence improved.
Now that we have concluded that links do indeed matter, the next step is to get quality links. But it is not so easy. Because of this, many buy links. While it is a prevalent practice, it is seen that paid links generally add little value in the eyes of most search engines. Buying it is considered as a Black Hat SEO technique and a way to mislead Google. For best results, it is best to resort to White Hat SEO technique and build links the right way.
Some Good Practices of Link Building
We already know ever since its inception; Google has not changed its core Algorithm based on links. You can’t hope to improve your website ranking without links. Moreover, you need good quality links. Because of that link building has become a professional practice today.
Kinds of Links that Matters
You would be surprised to know that today you can easily simulate the impact and risk of a backlink relationship before building it. It is possible today to weed out bad links and choose only good links. So first, let us understand what kinds of links are good links and matter for your business. They are:
- Contextual and Editorial links
- Links from positive and authentic online reviews
- Links from web pages that already enjoy a rank in search engines like Google.
- Getting links from strong social brand pages.
- Links from interviews
- Links from newsletters.
- Recurring links from regular contributors and bloggers.
- Press Release and Coverage
- Links from .edu and .gov
- Natural mentions from online communities
Now that we know what qualifies as good links; let us throw light on the best practices of link building.
- The first is strategic guest posting, i.e. do it with a clear goal in mind and such that search engines do not penalize your blog.
- Create useful infographics and distribute them wisely as they can generate 37% more backlinks than a standard content blog post.
- Become active on social media by sharing new updates, posts, images, press releases, etc. It boosts engagement and helps improve your links profile.
- Start using resource links from trusted and authority sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, etc. Most of these sites have resource pages that you can easily take advantage of. Outreach links work great here. An excellent feature here is that you get it naturally and need not buy outreach links.
- Leverage the broken link strategy. Here, you need to hunt for blogs with dead links and request the blogger to replace it with the link of similar content from your website.
- Enhance your business brand and its value such that other sites link to the content of your site naturally.
- Check and spy on your competitors, especially if they are ranking higher than you. It would help you know the keywords they are using and the places from where their backlinks are coming. The method is called ‘competitive analysis,’ and it always yields positive results.
- Next, replicate the success of your competitor’s link building strategy into your own plans for link building. For this, you can make use of plenty of available tools and resources and make the job easy for yourself.
- Create link roundups. It is also called reciprocal links where you exchange links. But it should be done judiciously, and links should be on topics that ‘make sense from a user standpoint.’ It also emerges a powerful way of networking and showing appreciation.
- Avoid the colossal error and keep track of all your links. It would give you an idea of your status, and you would always have the idea of whether to continue or pause.
- Content is still the backbone of all digital marketing and SEO efforts. While publishing various kinds of content, you must always have a few pillar contents. These are long forms of content that have plenty of practical tips and offer real value and insight. The content is more of evergreen type and thus has a long-term appeal. It frees you of the hassle of publishing new content frequently, but you only need to promote it.
- You can also reclaim your links through social mentions. You can do this efficiently using Google Alerts.
- Earning editorial links is another great way to get links at no cost.
- Outreach the right way.
Link Building and Link Outreach- The Difference
We have talked about outreach as a good strategy and yet asked not to buy outreach links. Before we delve further, let us understand the difference between them.
We already know what a link is and discussed a few right strategies for link building. Outreach is one of the strategies for it which can be done in several ways like email/PR outreach, social outreach, press outreach, and influencer outreach.
Link outreach is nothing but a specific type of link building. It refers to the procurement of links as a result of reaching out to people of influence and authority and asking them to give links to your website. The links obtained by this process are known as outreach links. You can get them organically, or many buy outreach links.
Risks in Buying Outreach Links from Bad/Risky Techniques
We have already spoken about links as an essential parameter used by Google to rank your business website. Earlier, you could place as many links on as many external pages in your link building campaigns. Needless to say, common tactics were often to buy outreach links.
But Google Penguin has changed the picture. It has paved the way for terms like Link Quality, Link-based Penalties and Google Penalty Recovery.
Now, if you buy outreach links using the wrong and risky techniques, Google most often traces them, and it harms your business as it can penalize your website and negatively impact your content marketing’s SEO efforts.
Bad links are all those links that have been obtained by black hat techniques or those methods intended to fool Google Algorithm. A few of those techniques include:
- Exchange of links in excessive and without relevance.
- Buy outreach links.
- Use of automated programs to get links.
- Guest blogging with thin and off-topic content.
- Commenting in forums and other discussion sites merely to leave a link to your business site.
- Over-optimizing your anchor text.
- Procuring links from topics that are unrelated to your business.
- Getting links from websites that have no authority, and are often fake and spammy, and lack real content.
- Procuring links from sites whose only intention is advertising like sites for gambling, porn, viagra, etc.
There are lesser-known techniques which Google would today deem as a wrong move and categorize your link as a bad move. The consequence of it would be that Google would ignore that link which makes your effort go down the drain. It can also penalize your site, and you would find your organic traffic taking a nosedive. Hence, if you intend to buy outreach links, you must be extremely careful and cautious, or you might end up losing more than gaining.
Why Should You Not Buy Backlinks & Why You Should Earn Them?
The most obvious reason for which you should not buy outreach links is that it is considered as a violation of Google’s rules. Moreover, most often, the paid links are bucked under the bad links, and you need to face its adverse consequences. You end up losing your SEO efforts, lose your precious money and damage your link profile. There is no benefit generated at all.
The second reason is that if you intend to buy outreach links that are genuine and of good quality, it will prove highly expensive. It would not prove worthwhile for your business. Instead, a wise move would be to invest in content as your link acquisition would have little value if your site isn’t well optimized and has an adequate base of content assets.
Earning backlinks through the various strategies we have discussed, still remains your best bet. They would inevitably be quality backlinks that would be intrinsically beneficial for your domain authority and SEO rankings. You would always be confident of what you are getting, and over time, it would generate the passive traffic that you desire for your website. They would also prove to be more worthwhile for your SEO efforts.
Cost of Buying Backlinks (Monetary & Value-wise)
If you are considering buying link outreach, you must know the costs involved. We already talked about it as expensive, but how much?
There cannot be any straight answer to it as various factors are considered in it. Let’s look at an authority case study result.
According to Ahrefs, the average cost of buying backlinks excluding labour and outreach costs is about $361.44, which was derived from a study of 450 blogs.
Not only is it way too expensive but also gives you little value in return. The truth is you can generate quality backlinks at a much lower cost and save your business from Google’s penalties and its repercussions.
Benefits of Link Outreach
By now, the importance of links and SEO needs no explanation. We also know what link outreach is. Today, it’s easy to find link outreach specialists like us. We craft out a proper outreach strategy that helps you build and earn quality backlinks, which would prove beneficial for your business.
It’s only with effective outreach that your business website would enjoy greater organic search engine visibility. It would finally lead to exceptional growth in high-quality and target website traffic. The direct consequence of it would be an increase in qualified sales leads, better conversion and an increase in sales and business ROI.
Reasons You Should Outsource Link Outreach
Now, you might think of doing an in-house outreach campaign. But if you intend running a successful outreach campaign, you must understand that it requires time, commitment and expertise that you might not have. Let’s look at a few compelling reasons that make outsourcing link outreach, a viable and must-do option. They are:
- It saves you time and money.
- With Google changing its algorithms continually, the strategy for link outreach needs adapting. With an expert outreach campaign company, doing it on your behalf, you need not worry about keeping pace with it. You need not remain updated with changes.
- Without this hassle, you are in a more convenient position. You can focus on other important areas of your business and let the experts shoulder the responsibility of generating quality backlinks for you.
- An emergency or things going haywire can happen in any campaign. If the same happens to your link-building campaign, you can rest assured that a trusted and reliable expert is there to troubleshoot and adjust your campaign such that it is back on track.
- Being experts in the niche, the link outreach experts would only deliver you quality links whose benefits we already know. Moreover, the process is expedited and helps you grow and reap profits faster.
- Above all, the cost of hiring outreach experts is way lower than the benefits that they offer in exchange.
Best Practices for Implementing Effective Outreach
One of the most effective and best methods of outreach is email outreach. To make it work best for you, you need to follow a few time and tested practices which are:
Prospect the right contact
The backbone of effective outreach is to prospect the right link contact. You should not be requesting links from anybody. Each prospect should give you both quality and relevance.
Few prospects that always emerge as the right contact are
- High-rollers who are high-profile individuals with vast audiences and extended reach out.
- Medium-rollers who have less reach than the high-rollers but are experts in their fields.
- Tiny-rollers are influencers who are also trying to build a reputation and audience-reach for themselves.
- An almost roller who is just getting started.
All four require different approaches and yield different levels and extent of benefits.
A catchy email subject line
A subject line is the first thing that a recipient would see. Hence, it needs to be catchy but simultaneously succeeds in pitching your content and positioning you in its few words and a single sentence. It must be direct, specific and related to your pitch, concise and related to your pitch. You need to be creative here as lines like ‘Please link to my content’ will not do it. You can use lines like, “Should I stay or should I go?” or “Loved your posts,” etc.
You must never send the same body of the email to different influencers as it is likely to get you blacklisted. Instead, you must send a personalized content that reflects your familiarity with that influencer and his work and audience. Instead of groveling, your matter should reflect as asking for guidance and suggestions. It would yield better results.
The content of the email should also communicate your value to the recipient and vice versa. It must clearly showcase how linking to your content would be beneficial for both parties. It must be concise and persuasive without begging.
It must also be timely and relevant. It’s no point pushing old content. Always push for current content that is timely and relevant to the recipient’s expertise and audience.
Always include a call to action (CTA)
The chances of your success increase with a call-to-action. A good CTA includes a request, a link to the content for which you want a link, and an explicit action that you want them to take.
Ideally, you should be using two CTAs. The first should be within your pitch and must have the link to your content. The second should be at the end and should be a reminder as well an invitation for what you are asking for.
A follow up of your email after three to four days of email shootout is necessary irrespective of a response or no response from the recipient. It should be drafted according to the recipient’s reaction.
If your request has not been fulfilled, you might request for it again but in a tweaked manner. If you don’t get any response after the second mail, you need to move forward and not bombard the recipient’s mailbox. You can make a second attempt after a couple of months.
Track your campaign
Like any other campaigns, even your outreach campaign needs to be tracked and measured for response rates. Outreach software like Mailshake, TechWyse, etc. make the job easy.
Checking the Quality of an Outreach Link
Because of your efforts, you might have got outreach links, but you must never use it without checking the quality of the link. It is based on four parameters. They are the Domain Authority (out of 4), Relevance (out of 3), Site quality (out of 2) and engagement (out of 1).
Each has a different score attached to it. A good quality link would have a quality score between 6.5 to 10 while an average link would have a score of 4-6. A score below 4 indicates that the link is bad and must not be considered.
Guide to Buying Paid Links- Things to Consider
Despite Google’s heavy penalty and scrutinous eyes, links are still purchased today. Many find it viable as it can equate to easier outreach, faster results and beat the competition. But you get these results only if you are purchasing quality leads.
We already know what a quality lead is. So, let’s check out a few vital tips and guides to buying quality paid links indirectly.
You might be receiving advertising requests for your blogs. The bulk of them ask you to review their products and sites on your blog in exchange for some incentives like money. It can be a viable option of getting contextual links of high-quality if the products/services are strictly about what your website is offering.
You can also do this by sending a request to authentic bloggers whose sites have a good amount of traffic, offer quality content for your industry, have strong and loyal followers or subscribers, and enjoy a good Pagerank (3 or above) and domain authority that you can measure via Mozbar.
Purchase content from influential bloggers
Inviting influential bloggers to publish their content on your site in exchange for money can improve your site’s ranking and linkability considerably. It can cost anything between $100 and above, but its returns are tremendous and worth the cost. It is an effective method of purchasing links.
Today, contests are proving an effective method of inviting contextual links as most of its organizers and sponsors get cited from the contest’s promotion/outreach process. Even the contestants are required to link to sponsors via blogging, social sharing and their contest entry.
Here, the sponsors earn natural and high-quality links while the participants absorb the link juice and traffic, which results in improved brand awareness.
Fund research and case studies
This step can yield you valuable links as long as it is for your industry. The results of the research and case studies are often published on their sites and linked to your site as the origin of study.
JV partnerships and affiliate programs
The step might not yield you powerful links, but it helps improve the traffic of your website and even sales. You need to pay very little cash to those who promote your products and services.
Paid social ads
Today social media has become a powerful medium of improving your site’s linkability and visibility. It is because Google is now using social signals as a ranking factor. But it should be done with the right targets and from the right channels.
Donate to charities
Making charities to non-profit organizations improve your brand image, trustworthiness, earns you good press and even earns you valuable links.
Sponsoring online and offline events like local conferences, webinars, seminars, fundraising events, blog awards, etc. Improves your brand’s image as well as earns you valuable links.
Invest in external projects
External business investments like on freelancers, conferences, blog awards, websites, etc. are also an excellent way to improve your brand’s presence and visibility.
This method is straightforward, as all you need to do is purchase any product or services. Then you can request the provider of that product to let you place your testimonial on their site. You can easily place your website link with your testimonial.
Besides them, you can also use other options like paid web directory listings and paid press release submission.
By now, you must be convinced that it is not viable to buy outreach links and other paid links. It is always wiser instead to invest in link outreach experts who will always get you quality links with long term beneficial effects.
For additional information and services, do reach out to us. All you need to do is fill our contact form or give us a call today for an appointment.