Why You Should Choose My White Hat Link Building Service?
As you may know already, links and link building is THE most important strategy to get your website ranked – BUT – most link builders are missing one essential key component – LINKS THAT ACTUALLY DRIVE TARGETED TRAFFIC…
The main job of any quality link is to increase your Google rankings. Getting this part right will help your brand, but it will also position it in front of more targeted people who have an interest in your product or service. The happy by-product of which is your site will naturally get you more traffic as your site moves up the rankings.
But it gets better… having links that drive traffic as well as clicks actually shows Google that you’re relevant too (this is white hat link building at it’s best!).
It solidifies you as the Go-To authority – it sends you more customers – and it makes you ‘immune’ to being penalised by the next algorithm update…
GREAT link building isn’t cheap – but let’s face it, what in this world give tonnes of value, but is also cheap? …Nothing!
So you can keep on building cheap trashy links – always being in fear of the dreaded GOOGLE HAMMER slashing your business overnight – OR – You can come on board with us and build quality white hat links and in the process move your business to the next level, leaving your competitors in your wake…
My White Hat Link Building Process And What You Can Expect As A Customer…
I pride my self on the work I carry out for my customers, I strive to be the best white hat link building agency in the North East. In fact, I have studied some of the foremost authorities in the field including the likes of (the recently deceased) Eric Ward and Dan Ray, both of whom have the reputation of world-renowned link builders in their own right.
Based on this knowledge and support, I have, over the last number of years constructed a proprietary link building system to provide you with the very best value for money which is both efficient and process driven.
The services I am able to offer I believe probably surpass that of some of the best digital marketing agencies out there, and we believe we can outperform most of them.
However, we are nothing other than transparent and this document will provide you with a step by step guide on how we do things.
Below is a rundown of our process to show you EXACTLY how we run a campaign. Its objective is to allay any fears you might have before you take your next step. By showing the process, we also hope it will answer any question you otherwise might have.
We look upon this as strictly white hat link building and nothing but. It is considered best practice and in line with Google terms of service. You will not see any so-called Black hat link building techniques carried out.
As you go through the guide, You will observe that our process is very manual and labour intensive, this is to ensure we can maintain our high-quality standards. Because of the manual nature of our processes and as a small team, we are therefore mindful of our ability to manage customer expectations.
From that perspective, we have found that if we try to be greedy and work with more customers, we spread ourselves too thin and consequently the quality can suffer, which is no good for either party. It is, for this reason, we limit ourselves to a small number of hand-picked clients.
Full capacity for us is around the 10-12 mark, depending on the type and size of the client. As the time of writing, we have 2 slots available. So we encourage you to read through this page, decide if you think we’d be a good fit for your business, and then get in touch for a chat.
So, let’s get into the process…
We use the acronym A.R.T. within our link building, this stand for Authority, Relevance and Trust. It is exactly what Google is looking for in any given search result it serves. Our objective, therefore, is for our clients to reach that level where Google will consider your site in that way. The following process has been shown to provide the best results to achieve that level and as a customer, it is what we recommend.
Create an email account.
When a customer comes on board we will typically set up a generic email account normally in Gmail. We normally request that the client sets it up on our behalf as with the amount we end up having to create will raise a red flag. We also recommend using the owner’s name if possible, depending on your size and the type of business you are. You can look at this email address as your business persona we will use to form the basis of our outreach to prospective link targets.
The reason for doing it this way is quite simple, our experience has shown that people respond better if they perceive to be contacted by the owner of the business requesting the link. In our tests, this has been shown to be more successful than an email from a random link builder who has been hired to do a job.
At this stage, we need your data to understand a little more about your website and the traffic you are receiving. For this, we require access to your Google analytics account which is essential to the overall success of the campaign. This is so we can broadly assess how the traffic is coming to your site and which pages are considered the most valuable assets.
Google Search Console
As well as the Analytics data, we also need search console access. This is so we can delve further into your keywords and identify which of those your site is showing up for already. It’s also useful for identifying low hanging fruit or for that matter, quick wins so we can hit the ground running once we start.
Now that we have access to the two accounts above, we can get on with the real analysis so we can pin down the following:
- Your most popular keywords and the content which is driving most traffic.
- What are the ranking keywords and which are the easy wins. Usually, those ranking at the bottom of page one through to page four.
- Beyond that we are looking at what we call “Icebergs” those are the keywords that are showing up as impressions, but are not getting the clicks
Anchor Text Ratio
As you would expect, we have the full suite of tools to dive further into your data. SEMrush, Majestic SEO and Ahrefs are the industry standard software we use to do this job. This will give us invaluable insight into your existing inbound links and Anchor Text ratios for any given keyword on your site. We can then use this data to help sculpt a more “natural” link profile which helps to mask any red flags. This is simply blending more non-specific keywords such as “click here”, your company brand name and URL. basically the type of things people in the real world would use to link to your site.
Link And Site Content Audit.
At this stage of the process, we then look at the state of the content which already resides on your site. This allows us to do the following:
- Understand what we currently have to work with.
- If you are currently active in creating content.
- If you have a content creator and how good they are.
- Is the content being shared on social media and by how much.
- What other distribution channels are you involved with if any (emails, social following etc.).
- Your willingness to invest in content.
Once we have all of this we then take the URL’s of all the existing content and add them to a spreadsheet, this will allow us to refer to any piece of content at a moment’s notice so we can map it to a linking opportunity when available.
If at this stage you’re thinking, I haven’t got too much content on my site, don’t worry, this is quite common. In this instance, it’s just a conversation between ourselves about to manage that and how we can start producing content which is suitable for your site and of a quality that is able to acquire links from other sites.
Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to identify the best person in your organisation who is capable and willing to produce high-quality content on a consistent basis. Alternatively, we can use one of our team of high-quality writers to produce that content on your behalf.
Naturally this will be an additional cost to you, but to be quite frank is the one we prefer most, as we have an established working relationship with them. We know they can provide the consistent quality of work required for the job. This will help your business with acquiring the optimal amount of links during the campaign and has been shown to achieve the best results for our customers.
The ideal scenario at the beginning of the campaign, is that you as the client, are able to provide a budget both for the content and links.
As a link building company, I am obviously interested in what links are already pointing to your site for the following reasons:
- How clean is the domain, are the links spammy or do not look natural.
- Is the anchor text over optimised.
- Analyse the target pages to ensure they are of a quality required.
- Checking pages for Trust flow, citation flow, Domain authority and Page authority as well as links.
- A pages history to see if there is any red flags.
Add Content To Target Tab
In order to provide you with a live reporting system which is available for you to inspect at any time, I collate all the information about the pages on your site from carrying out the processes above.
This “living” document is at the heart of my system and tracks everything about the site. Its a place where we can measure the KPI’s set out at the beginning of the process. We also find that our customers like the fact they can access this document at any time so they can see what’s been done on their campaign at the time that works for them, rather than having to wait for a report at the end of the month to see how their money is been spent.
Google Operators And How We Use Them
The Google search engine allows us to use powerful operators to give us greater control over what we want to find in its index. It also helps us filter out the results that we don’t need, which makes this a really efficient way of working.
We use these operators to maximum effect to find an almost unlimited list of potential targets for your link acquisition process.
To show you how powerful using operators are, Imagine if we were searching in the cycling niche, try typing the following into Google (without quotes) “cycling inurl:resources”.
You will see this query returns any pages about cycling that have the word “resources” in the URL. So if I had created a resource about cycling, then all those results we see would be potential targets I could then contact.
Select The Type Of Links Based upon: Existing Content, Budget And Ability To Add More Content.
Now that we understand your site and the parameters we have to work within, we can set about the task of acquiring some links for you. The first part would be going after those we feel are most suitable for your site and may be the easiest to get, though not always guaranteed. These types of links are not those we will use throughout the campaign but will be probably the most common.
Typically, this is most useful for sites that don’t have too much content or industries that may be considered “dry”.
In these instances often the best types of links are those where we have to place content on other sites to get links back to your site. This is often quite a creative process as we have to look at associative industries or alternative ideas to “bridge” the gap while still remaining relevant to the sites linking back to yours.
Create A Project Management Plan
As the great Stephen Covey said in his book, 7 habits of highly effective people, Habit #2 “Start with the end in mind”. So, up until this point, all we have been doing is setting up the system for success.
Now that we have all the information in place we can now start our campaign. But for this we need a roadmap to show us the way so we don’t get waylaid on the journey ahead for the first few months.
In the live reporting document I mentioned before, I include a tab specifically for this task entitled “Project Management” This sheet takes us through in some details about the tasks we carry out on your behalf and shown in three stages… “Assigned”, “In Progress” and “Completed” and is updated in real time as it happens.
As you can probably summise, this document will keep you updated on the work we carry out, and what is yet to be completed and over the coming months.
Find Names And Emails Of Targets
If you’re familiar with sales, you will probably be familiar with the term prospecting, well this exactly what we are doing here.
The information we have thus far is:
- The Keywords Your Are Targeting.
- What Content We Have At Our Disposal.
- What Link Types We Are Going To Acquire.
- How We Are Going To Find Our Targets.
As with prospecting, this is always an ongoing process and ever-evolving, this can be seen by you on a daily basis how it changes as I update on in real time.
To improve the success rate, we spend a little more time trying to get the name and direct email of the person who owns the target website. Most people will instead be happy to sent an email to a role based email address. By going that little bit further, it gets better results by virtue of us personalising our message. This helps to create a real connection, rather than the robotic automated “spray and pray” style of outreach which some of our competitors sometimes prefer.
Personalised Outreach… As Much As We Can
As touched on above, for every target we identify, we try whenever possible to personalise our outreach. This gets much better results than generic faceless emails, and though it takes a little bit of additional time, it is well worth it in the long run.
We also send the email tailored to the type of link we will be requesting, asking for a content placement is different for a resource link for example.
The great thing about the personalised approach we take means in many instances, we find we are able to strike up relationships with the target. this is beneficial on a number of counts, as not only is easier to get a link, often they are happy to share our site on social media also which gets even greater coverage. We have even been known to use them again for other future campaigns for the same client.
Our statistics show that the chances of getting a link on the first time of asking are very low and obviously reduces the campaign effectiveness if we left it at that. Fortunately, we have built this variable into our system to improve the overall effectiveness of the campaign. We, therefore, use a follow-up procedure to gently remind the target if they have not responded.
We understand that our targets like all of us, are very busy, and may get hundreds of emails per day, which are easy to slip through the cracks. Therefore, we use tracked emails so we know if an email has been opened and not replied or simply not been see, we can then send a message catering specifically for that scenario in our follow up process.
So, how do we know what results to look out for? We mentioned earlier on the page about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). We talk to our clients about these at the early stages of any campaign, but effectively we consider the following to be the ones we feel are a reflection of a good campaign.
- More Traffic coming from Other Referral sites.
- this is from people clicking on the links we have been able to place, the key here is that the traffic generated should be from people interested in your products and services. We know this because we have targeted topically relevant website in your industry or associated ones. The main benefit though is this is high converting traffic due to the targeting and due diligence we carried out in the earlier stages of the campaign.
- An increase in Organic direct traffic through the search engines.
- Remember, the acronym A.R.T. from earlier? well this is where it comes into its own. This traffic is exactly what Google want as it’s Authoritative, Relevant and Trustworthy. This is typiclly reflected in higher search engine rankings in the SERPS (search engine ranking pages) for a greater number of keywords.
Because of the nature of the traffic we have garnered through our campaign, we know that your new visitors are interested in what you have to offer. they are searching often with credit card in hand waiting to buy from you, this is the best kind of traffic.
The links you can expect vary from site to site. With any campaign, there are a number of variables… the industry, your product or service and of course your targets and their attitude towards our approaches all play a part. However having done this on many occasions, our experience suggests we can achieve on average of a 5-10% success rate.
We find things that have a direct bearing on response rate is the quality of content provided to the target. Obviously, with us generating the content for you, this success rate will climb and therefore provide better value for money a greater success.
To create the optimal campaign, we would suggest at least 15 + pieces of content to be created per month.
- 5 of the pieces are for your site based on a predefined set of targets.
- Another 3-5 might be for opportunities where a target is pointing to a resource page that no longer exists, in other words the link is broken, we simply replace that resource with our own version of it.
- 5-10 pieces could be for content placement and content which are produced to cater for specific audiences.
- A further 2-5 could be used for “skyscraper” opportunities were we have found content to be out of date or incomplete. We can simply make another version of that content but improve on the original piece. We then approach those who have linked to the original content and ask them to link to us also. People always want to link to this type of content especially if you’re offering something that’s better than what they already have, and is worth the cost of producing it.
though the above is what we consider optimal, it is not typical, and we have many clients who can only provide us with a handful of content pieces a month, and we can still get a good number of links all the same.
Reporting And Tracking
There are many tools we could use for this, but having used most of them we find they are unwieldy and over complicated for this particular task. Therefore we keep it nice and simple so anyone who gets to see the document can easily understand it.
There are two documents We Use:
- Link sheet: This spreadsheet is the live linking document and is the hub of our activity. It contains various tabs that show the campaign in its various stages and is designed to be simple and straightforward. It shows, the outreach, content, passwords, live links and more besides.
This document is produced on a google sheet and is used by me, so its a real-time snapshot of your ongoing campaign. As the client you can access it at any time you want… not when we want you to see it, again, this we believe is a measure of our transparency.
- End Of Month Report: This informal document is a bit of a formality. I find a lot of my clients have got more important things to do than logging in daily to monitor the progress, they prefer to see a monthly overview. It’s for this reason we have produced this document to supplement the main document. I produce a bespoke document summarising what we have been doing on your campaign and the results we’ve seen as a result.
So, What Does This Level Of Expertise Cost?
This is probably the question people ask the most, so again in the interest of clarity, I’m going to tell exactly what you should budget for.
My prices start at £1000 + VAT per month and then work up progressively from there depending on what level of service you want for you business. As you climb the scale, you basically pay for more resources on your campaign. I find the sweet spot for clients is normally around the £3000 per month mark.
Like what you see?
If you’ve seen enough and you just want to get those links to your site, and start ranking for more traffic Lets Get Started…
Otherwise, read on…
Types of links.
There are many types of link we can acquire for your site, typically there 20 most common I would use, though in reality, there are usually only around 5-6 on anyone type in a typical campaign.
I’m sure if you browse the internet you have come across these type of page before. they are posts that aggregate content by sharing the news the author thinks his audience may like. These link types are in my opinion very underutilised. With these links, you are basically saving the author from doing any work as you are doing it for them
So if we have something that they will like, I simply email and show it to them.
Think in terms of “this month’s best construction posts”, and your site has a great post about construction, this person would be more than happy to share it.
Resource pages + Broken link building
This type of link is the go-to link for any link builder worth their salt, the resource page.
This is a page where people are listing resources around their subject matter, these pages exist on billions of sites, across every single industry.
If you have a resource it quite simply should be on these pages, and if you don’t we should create one together.
I like to pair this with broken link building, by analysing resource pages to see if any of the resources they link to are no longer available, this opens up an opportunity to recreate that piece and have them replace the broken link with your link (also opens up the chance for me to target everybody else who links to the broken piece and ask them to replace it with your link).
Content placements (Guest posting)
Best used when you don’t have a lot of content available, I will approach other sites in your subject areas that accept other peoples content on their site, I then have something amazing written for them and you both benefit.
They benefit by having an excellent piece of content that is relevant to their visitors and you benefit by having a contextual, relevant link back to your site.
These ones will cost you some money, but a lot of sites accept money in exchange for writing about your service or product, they will often ask for something to review in addition to some money, although sometimes it will be just money or just a sample.
This is a great way to get links on a site that your competition can’t get on.
A 2 stage type of link, I look for either place that have linked to you in the past and removed the link, politely reminding them that you are still around and would appreciate the link to be made active again.
I also look for sites that mention your brand or product but without a link, then ask them to replace that mention with a link.
Bridge method (location based
I look for sites that are based in the same area as you and approach them with 2 businesses helping each other out with mutual links or content placements etc
Bridge method (niche based)
This is somewhat of a speciality link for me, I seem to excel at gaining these. I look for businesses that are related to yours in some way, but not in direct competition with you and ask them for a link.
This is similar to the location-based method above (hence the sharing of the name “bridge”).
Think of this in terms of a web design site linking to an SEO site, extremely relevant and related, ye not in competition.
Now, this is a long-term method, people have been using some form of online PR in spammy ways for years now, however, what I am talking about here is real PR.
Do we have anything that is worthy of the attention of local journalists, BuzzFeed, The Huffington post, if so it is completely possible to track down these journalists and get them to add your link to either a past article or an upcoming one?
They will often ask for money but in my opinion, this type of coverage is worth every penny, you will typically have to pay a couple of hundred for this type of link but it is INCREDIBLY valuable when you get one.
Alternatively, when I am not paying, local newspapers love local businesses when they help the community, so have you recently helped out a charity, won your local sports league, have an interesting history?
Local blogger Outreach.
How many people in your local town or city have a blog? I’d bet millions.
How many of them are making anything from their blogging? Very few.
With that in mind, they would be more than happy to link to you if you can give them a valid reason and this is an extremely relevant link simply by being local to you.
If you don’t have a compelling reason, money often talks, they are often more than happy to take a few pounds to add your link to a 2-year-old blog post that they had forgotten about.
University and College Student Blogs
Almost every university has an internal blogging platform, thousands of students start them up, gain a little traction and then completely abandon them, either because they graduate, lose interest or aren’t having the impact they want.
But these blogs are hosted on University domains, and that means that they are trusted almost completely by search engines.
With a little encouragement, these students are more than happy to link out to a local business who can possibly benefit them in some way.
Pillowing tactics (mostly used for link diversity or anchor text dilution purposes)
Manufacturer links (ecommerce only)
If you sell a product that somebody else makes, these manufacturers often have a list of distributors or people who use their products on their sites. If they don’t they are usually easily convinced to create one.
If you create any videos there are multiple platforms to share these videos, such as Youtube and Vimeo. They usually allow links in the description box.
If there are any directories specific to your type of business then you SHOULD be listed on them as well as some of the most popular ones that are well known for various different industries.
There are generally professional organisations for most types of business, if they exist for yours, then it makes sense that you are a member, they often reward members with links back to your site.
Conference and event links.
If you attend any events or speak at conferences they usually link to attendees.
Blog and forum commenting.
Most people view this as a spammy tactic, however, if used correctly, for the purpose that blog comments and forums exist then it is an extremely effective way of building both links and traffic while the added side effect is that you have the opportunity to build a relationship with the blogger you are commentating for.
For example, if you disagree with what is being said and have a blog post as a retort, then link to it in comments, along with a well written and thoughtful response.
One of the most trusted sites in the world, yet entirely user-generated, anybody can add anything to absolutely any page. Including links to your site. These links need to be extremely relevant and useful or they are quickly removed.
Reverse engineering competitor links.
It can sometimes be useful to see what links your competitors have and to try to recreate them, although I prefer to get the links that they don’t have rather than the ones they do.
If you have an industry where there are a nice set of statistics or data that you have accumulated, then infographics are a great way to share this, if it is something that is exclusive to you, sites that are writing about that topic but don;t have the data you have will often embed your infographic, along with a link back to your site.
This is a method that has been around for a long long time but has recently come back into prominence thanks to Brian Dean.
It is a method where you find a piece of content that is being linked to a lot, and then create something better or more up to date, approaching all of the people who link to the original piece and asking them to link to you “better” content as well.
Broken link building.
This is really an art, it involves finding something that has been linked to a lot but no longer exists, you then either recreate the original piece or create a comparable version of your own.
Approaching all of the people who link to the original and asking them to replace it with your link. This is extremely effective as you are both benefiting from this, search engines don’t like broken links, so by pointing it out you are helping them in the search engines eyes, as well as the experience of their users who would usually click a link that leads to a 404 page.
You benefit from getting an extremely relevant and authoritative link.