I pride myself on being the best white hat link building company in Leeds (if not the country), I have worked extremely hard over the past 8 years to build processes and systems to give you the very best service for your money.
With these processes I am able to deliver a service that rivals even the best agencies in the country. Outperforming the majority of them.
With that in mind, I thought I would write down exactly how I do things with the aim that my transparency will show you exactly how I do things and overcome any objections you have to becoming one of my selected clients.
I am still only a small business so there are a limited number of people that I can work with at a time, I tend to top out at 5-7 clients, and I currently have space for 2 more, so read this page and then get in touch to see if we are a good fit.
The first step of any and all campaigns is to create a gmail account that uses the persona of the business owner, I then use this email to contact the link targets that I find.
The benefits of this are that it is much easier to get links when people think you are the business owner than if you are some guy who they hired to build links.
So yes, I will be pretending to be you in order to contact these people.
Get access to analytics
This is an essential step, I will have you give me access to your Google Analytics account so that I can get an insight into your website, it’s content and what visitors do when they come to the site.
Get access to Search Console
Similar to Google analytics, I will need access to your Google Search Console account, this will allow me to discover which keywords your website is showing up for already, how effective that result is at driving traffic and any quick wins that may be around.
Analyse both accounts and look for opportunities, what are they almost ranking for, what is getting impressions but not clicks
This is where the real work begins, I will analyse both of these accounts and use them to uncover:
- Which are your most popular pieces of content
- Which keywords rank fairly well but could use a boost, these are your quick wins (usually ranked between positions 7-35 for their keywords
- Whether you have some “sleeping giants”, these are keywords that are receiving impressions in the search results but aren’t being clicked on
Check anchor text ratio
I will use tools such as SEM Rush, Moz Pro and Majestic SEO to analyse your incoming links and the ratio of their anchor text.
It looks very unnatural if all of the links to your site are coming in using anchors that you want to rank for, if require I will build some “easy” links to dilute this with some standard and natural looking anchors such as “here”, your company name, your URL and other such natural things people would use as anchors if they were linking to your site without being “nudged”.
Content audit, on site and links
I then take a look into your current content:
- What do I have to work with?
- Are you actively creating content?
- Do you have a content creator?
- How many social shares does each piece of content get?
- Do you have distribution channels built out (email list, social following etc)
- Are you willing to invest in content creation?
I then make a list all good content URL’s so that I have easy access to them when I am approaching link targets.
If there is no good content that I can use, don’t worry this happens a lot. Between us we simply need to come up with a plan to create content that will be interesting to my list of targets.
If you have a person in house who can create stuff then great, if not I will happily use one of my content people, this will be an additional expense but is my preferred option as I know that these people can give me the type of content that I want.
In an ideal world you will give me a content budget, for both on site content, and to be placed on targets sites.
I will run a thorough audit of your current incoming links, this involves:
- Is your domain clean? No links that are spammy or unnatural
- Is anchor text ratio clean? Not over optimised
- Run majestic on target pages to make sure that everything is in order from a linking perspective
- Check your metrics, TF (trust flow), CF (citation flow), DA (domain authority), PA (page authority), link history for any blips, links from relevant websites, this allows me to see if there are any pages that aren’t being utilised to their full potential, or whether there are some that are already earning links
Add content to targets tab
I make a list of all of the information I have gathered from the few steps above (I keep this list in a reporting document that is updated in real time, and can be accessed by you any time you want to).
This keeps track of all of the content that I will be using, the keywords that it is currently ranking for and any that I think it should be or can rank for.
Generate a huge list of Google operators
I then use the keywords generated in the step above to create an enormous list of Google Operators, these are powerful words and characters that can be appended to search terms in Google that help to filter out specific results.
These operators can allow me to find any number of very specific types of websites that will be perfect for the types of links I am targeting.
For example, if you are building links in the “lego” niche, you could use a term such as –
“lego inurl:resources”Type this into Google
This would return any pages about lego that have the word “resources” in the URL. This is likely to be a list of resources about lego, so if I have spent some time to create one such resource, then all of the pages returned for this would be ideal like targets for me.
Select types of links based on content we have, budget, willingness to add content
Based on the type of site that you have and the things I have uncovered in the previous steps, I will select a few types of links that would be most suited to your site, these won’t be used exclusively but will be the basis for the campaign.
Good examples of this are in industries that aren’t so “interesting”, or if you don’t have a lot of content on your site.
In these situations I know that the best types of links to create will be content placements on other sites, local bloggers, or my “bridge method” (which finds related industries to yours that aren’t in competition with you, think web designers sites for an SEO).
All of the types listed above do not require content on your site, but content to be created to be placed on other people’s sites, this content will contain a link to your site.
Create a project management plan
At this point everything is in place, I have all of the information that I need to run your campaign, it’s time to create a roadmap of how the next few months will go.
In your reporting document I create a project management tab that will show you exactly what will be done over the next 3 steps, this is very detailed and items will be updated in real time as “assigned”, “working” or “completed”.
This keeps you constantly updated on what I have been doing for you and will be doing in the next few months.
Find opportunities, concentrated on contact name and email
Ok so by this point I know:
- Which keywords you want to rank for
- The content that I can use to rank
- The types of links I want to get for you
- The search operators I will use to generate targets for links
I use these 4 things to create a list of targets, I call this prospecting. This is a constantly ongoing process, so if you ever look into your reporting sheet, you will see all of the targets and their status, this will change for you on a daily basis as I update it in real time.
I try as hard as possible to get a personal contact email as well as the name of the person that i am contacting, this makes outreach much more effective.
Outreach to opportunities using personalised and most appropriate emails
For each of the targets I have found I will then send a personal email, using their name if possible and the most appropriate type of email based on the type of link I will be asking for.
The approach for a content placement, is very different to the approach for a resource link for example.
These types of interactions often result in a relationship being built with the target, meaning that I have something that can be mutually beneficial and utilised in the future. As well as a link, it is common practice for a target to share your site socially, which is an added bonus.
Probably one of the most important parts of the process, mostly overlooked by other people.
People get hundreds of emails every day, you probably do too and it’s extremely easy to ignore them, for this reason, I send a follow up email (or 3) to all the targets who don’t get back to me.
I also track email opens, so that I know who has opened an email and not replied, and who just hasn’t seen it yet, these people receive completely different follow up messages.
The benefits of the methodology that I have created are primarily based around 2 performance indicators.
- Referral traffic growth
- Organic traffic growth
People click on the links that I have earned for you, these people click on the link because they are interested in what it is that I have presented to them, this usually results in extremely targeted traffic that converts exceptionally well into customers/clients or buyers for your products or services.
The second benefit is that all of these links will be on relevant and authoritative sites, this is essentially the “food” of search engines, we are giving them exactly what they want and they then reward your site with higher organic rankings which results in traffic for you.
The type of traffic that buys too, these people are actively searching for what you offer,then choosing to click on your result. So long as your website does it’s job and pushed these people towards your conversion goals, then it is the VERY BEST kind of traffic.
Typical links expectations
This is completely dependent on the type of content we have, what your site is selling, and the reaction and attitudes of the targets being approached. But I tend to get between 10-20 links per month.
The more willing that you are to create content for me to use, specific content that I choose and create it quickly, the higher this number will be.
For example, a client of mine has created 15 pieces this month
- 5 of which are for their sites based on different types of target I wanted to approach
- 3 were for opportunities discovered where people were linking to a resource that no longer existed, so we simply created their own version of it and suggested it as a replacement for the “broken” link
- 10 were for content placements, specific pieces that were created to suit the audience of targets that would be able to link back to a relevant service
- 2 were improvements on popular pieces of content, I found pieces of content that were outdated, or could be improved on that had a LOT of links to them, I then approached the people linking to those pieces and showed them our “better” content and suggested that they link to it
The document, reporting and tracking
I do all of my reporting in 2 documents:
Link sheet – this is a live spreadsheet containing various tabs, that will show you the project plan, all targets, the status of outreach, opportunities, the content I am using for outreach, the passwords of any accounts I have set up for the campaign, live links, and plenty of other useful information.
This can be accessed by you at any time (you will have a link to the Google sheet) to check up on the work, it is update in real time by me so is always completely up to date at all times.
End of month report – This is a short informal document that I send at the end of each month to give an overview of the campaign, I will suggest any improvement, show increases in traffic and any other relevant information.
So how much do I charge?
Most of you can stop reading here, this is the bulk of my work, below is a list of the 20 types of links I use in my white hat link building company and a little bit of info about what they are.
If not….. READ ON
Types of links
I primarily use 20 different link types, although it is very rare that I use more than 5 or 6 for any individual campaign.
- Link roundups
These are a highly underutilised type of link, people all over the internet are aggregating content, by sharing posts that they think their audience will be interested in, these people are literally asking for you to show them something worth sharing.
So if we have something that they will like, I simply email and show it to them.
Think in terms of “this months best Lego posts”, and your site having a great post about lego, this person would be more than happy to share it.
- Resource pages + Broken link building
The bread and butter of any link builder, 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.
- Sponsored posts
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.
- Link reclamation
A 2 stage type of link, I look for either places 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 a 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.
- Online PR
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
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 2 year old blog post that they had forgotten about.
- Uni 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.
- Video links
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.
- Directory links
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 know for various different industries.
- Professional organisations
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 a comments, along with a well written and thoughtful response.
- Wikipedia links
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 sometime be useful to see what links your competition 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.
- Skyscraper method
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 aswell.
- 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.