The concept of search engine optimization (SEO) has been rapidly evolving over the last several years. Backlinks however are a little less well known.
While growing and encompassing more and more strategies to improve a site’s performance, SEO link building (aka getting backlinks) has become one of those newer, yet critical pieces to SEO strategy.
As we explained in our Ultimate Guide to Backlinking, link building is the practice of linking to an external piece of content within your own content (or having an external site link back to yours) as a way to add authority or credibility to the content.
In this post, we are going to specifically be referencing the practice of asking another business or site to link to a piece of your content.
These types of backlinks signal to search engines that a piece of content or web page is valuable.
Having valuable backlinks to your content on other authoritative sites can help to increase traffic to your site, increase your Google SERPs ranking, credibility, and increase your Moz Domain Authority (DA).
With the recent changes to Google’s search algorithm and ranking factors, having relevant, valuable external links within your content as well as links to your content from a high authority third-party site, have become extremely important for businesses and B2B companies are no exception.
Again, and this can’t be understated, when B2B marketers are seeking backlinks to their content, it must be relevant, high-quality content. Any spammy inbound links or “black hat” practices can land you in Google jail and risk severely hurting your rankings.
So, what should you do to incorporate a solid backlinking practice in your B2B marketing strategy? That’s what we’re going to cover today.
B2B Tactics to Obtain Backlinks
If you’ve got the high-quality content marketing pieces ready, we can help point you in the right direction with these tactics that will supercharge your B2B link-building strategy.
But before we begin, we want to preface by saying any site that you approach for backlinks should be one that is aimed at the same target audience as your business. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that they will find much value in the content you’re offering, or that you will have quality traffic produced by your backlinks.
1. Guest Blogging
A critical element of backlinking strategy 101 is to offer something of value in exchange for backlinks. One of the easiest ways to do this is to suggest a valuable piece of content that a site your target doesn’t already have.
For example, if it’s a digital marketing agency you’re approaching, you might find that while they offer SEO strategy, they have very few blog posts about SEO. This is a golden opportunity for you to provide an article about SEO strategy that links to other relevant content on your site.
Guest blogging is a link-building tactic that requires quite a bit of outreach and effort to pull off. You’ll want to source a team that outreaches to target sites as well as writers to produce the guest posts.
However, if you’re just starting out, you can always begin with 1-2 people and grow your initiative from there.
So, how do you find these opportunities? You’ll want to do a little research to ensure that the site you’re pitching to:
- Is it in your niche or an adjacent vertical with the same target audience?
- Are they open to guest posting?
- Is it an authority site with high engagement of their existing content?
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, you’ll need to begin pitching them via email. This will require that you procure email addresses and produce an email that asks about the opportunity.
- Keep it simple.
- Be direct and not misleading.
- Offer your value upfront- in other words, talk about the kind of posts you’d like to offer their site and let them choose from a few different ideas.
- Follow up to ensure your post is published and that the backlink is functioning.
2. Social Media Links
This is a simple strategy but doesn’t pack quite the same punch as a direct backlink from a third-party site. Essentially, this entails including links to your pages and content on social media.
This can be a website link on your LinkedIn profile page or your Facebook business page, but it can also be a link promoting your content.
Now, while most social media post links are no-follow links, you may gain some traction if another business picks up the content and decides to reshare it.
Should another business see your content on social media and decide it’s valuable, they may also want to link to it within their site content.
The chances of this happening may be more remote than direct outreach, but it’s a simple effort that both help to promote your content and increase the odds of it getting picked up by another site.
3. Linkable or Downloadable Assets
Similar to #2, linkable assets are another piece of content that is designed to attract links and can be picked up by other sites to add value to their own content.
Examples are interactive assets like surveys, quizzes, calculators, games, etc. And it’s simpler than it sounds. There are plenty of free or low-cost tools, like SurveyMonkey and LeadQuizzes, that can help you quickly and easily create these assets and get them live and shareable with a few clicks.
If this isn’t the route for you, you can also create high-value authoritative content like infographics, case studies, whitepapers, eBooks, or long-form guides.
These are also often picked up by other sites because they provide scientific or proven concepts that can add credibility to the points the blogger is trying to make within their piece.
While creating this kind of content can be costly and time-consuming, you can get the most from your effort by repurposing the content into other smaller pieces of content, or using these pieces as gated content on your own site for lead capture.
4. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is another tactic that requires outreach to a website owner. Essentially, you will inform them that they have a broken link within a piece of their content and that you’d like to replace it with one of yours that can serve the same purpose as the previous link.
While it does require an initial investment in using the tool, this is one of those “low hanging fruit” tactics that are an easy win for you and the target site.
They get to provide a better user experience for their readers who instead of clicking a broken link, get a high-quality link instead, and you get to add to the number of links to your content.
5. Unlinked Brand Mentions
Most bloggers and marketing services understand content best practices. One of those best practices is to include 2-3 internal links to existing content and 2-3 links to external, high-value content. For us, providing a URL link to a brand mention is a natural instinct, but this isn’t true for everyone.
In fact, someone writing a post or a piece of content may mention a brand they respect or like but neglect to actually link the brand they’re mentioning.
This is another one of those low-hanging fruit backlinks for anyone with an SEO tool or even a good old fashion Google Search. You can take it one step further by setting up a Google Alert for your brand name mentions.
If you find a piece of content that mentions your business but doesn’t link to it, you can simply reach out to the site and ask for them to include a link to your site or content.
Sometimes, however, we come across those that leave our site unlinked on purpose, while this is a little sketchy of them, it’s not technically against the rules unless they’re plagiarizing or quoting content.
If they’re simply mentioning your business or brand, for example naming a podcast they enjoy but not directly linking to it, there’s nothing you can do to force them to include a link. But it couldn’t hurt to ask!
6. Round-Ups and Listicles
An expert round-up article is another great opportunity for a backlink to your site. A round-up or listicle is a post that essentially offers a number of options for a topic.
You can get the inclusion of your content in a round-up or listicle in one of two ways. The first is to reach out to influencers or authoritative sites in your niche and ask if they would be interested in collaborating in a round-up that includes your business or content.
An easy way to move this along is to offer to write the post and allow them to suggest the other mentions in the post aside from your business.
The second way to do this is to pitch the author or site owner of an existing round-up and offer your content or site to be included in the round-up. Be ready to offer a compelling reason for why your content will add value to their existing post.
7. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
Help a Reporter Out, or HARO is another opportunity for obtaining high-quality links to add to your backlink profile. HARO is a free referral-like service that provides resources to reporters for their news stories.
While this isn’t a fit for every type of business or content strategy, it can be very beneficial if you frequently produce content that is timely and newsworthy. Essentially, reports can contact you (which is different from our other strategies) for content related to their story.
To get started, sign up on their website and reply to requests if you feel you have content that can satisfy the reporter’s request. This will likely be a time-sensitive thing so be sure you are available to answer any questions or provide additional feedback if your content gets selected.
No Time? Outsource Link Building to Interrupt Media.
We’re not going to lie, effective link building is a time-intensive, long-term strategy regardless of what Neil Patel says on his digital marketing blog. While finding the backlink opportunities may be quick and easy, setting up an outreach strategy, executing, and creating content to market takes time and effort.
At Interrupt Media, we specialize in B2B digital marketing. From SEO and content marketing support to sales enablement and migrations, we have a team of experts that are ready to handle just about any demand generation or marketing operations initiatives you have in mind.
We offer custom-tailored long-term and short-term projects depending on your needs and budget. We start with your revenue targets and demand generation objectives in mind and work backward from there.
We can help your marketing team hit their goals using strategies that are results-driven and proven effective. So if you’re ready to level up or outsource your marketing strategy, reach out, and we’ll set up a call.
Ready for more on backlinking? See the next post in our series on backlinking for local SEO.