Link building today is not just a piece of the puzzle for digital marketing. It's a driving force – something that you must pursue as a SaaS brand if you want to show up in google search engine results. It is how brands drive growth and increase brand awareness. It might not be the only way, but it certainly affects your success significantly.
So, how do you get your SaaS business higher in search engine results? How do you actually use backlinks to turn things around?
Backlinks are the backbone of your marketing and SEO strategy, but they only work if you have the right links and know how to use them – and where. Every year, research data confirms that "having quality links has a high correlation to your site ranking well."
In this article, you will get to know about the five most promising ways to secure links that drive impact.
What are backlinks?
A backlink is a link that goes from one website to another. When someone clicks on it, it redirects them to a different page or website. If you can find a link from site A to site B, that's your backlink.
The backlink can be there for several purposes. It can serve as a referral, i.e., praise the offerings or content of site B. It can be informative or point out useful data found on site B. In some cases, backlinks have a negative connotation, i.e., present site B as something average or bad.
Think of these as referrals that can go either way. But, there's more to backlinks than just this. Backlinks are valuable indicators that crawlers in search engines use to determine where your site or page ranks.
Sparktoro recently came up with devastating results – in 2020, 65% of Google searches ended without the user clicking to get to another website, i.e., zero-click search. This means that many of the websites have poor link-building strategies.
The majority of websites on the Internet right now have no backlinks at all. This gives you a huge advantage - a chance to truly shine on the market.
If a SaaS website has numerous backlinks from high-rated and trusted websites in the same niche, algorithms are highly likely to place that website among the higher-ranked ones.
How do you make it work?
Top 5 tips on securing great links
It all starts with a smart strategy for link building. Link building is a long-term process that requires a lot of research, planning, strategizing, and prioritizing. You need to know what your strategy must include, where you will get those links, how you'll get them, how you'll secure them, and more.
Skale, a leader in SaaS link building online, points out a few of the many things that need to be done for this to be a success. Their team 'finds relevant and high-quality websites to reach out to by analyzing competitor backlink profiles and finding relevant websites in your niches.'
As you can see, this is not an easy endeavor. It takes a lot of work, and to do it right; you need a strategy.
You can think of this as your business plan, something you do before getting into action and investing your time and money. Here are just a few things to research to outline your strategy:
- Who is your audience, and what would they be interested to see?
- Which websites are most likely to link to yours?
- Would their audience be willing to read your content?
- What kind of content do you need for this?
- How big is your budget for this?
- Should you use any tools or help for this process?
The second step in this process is doing the actual hard work – figuring out every step of your strategy in detail. At this point, you'll have decided on the type of content you need, researched possible sources, planned your budget, etc. Now comes the heavy work – you need to perform research that outlines your next steps.
For starters, you should identify the kind of content you already have, provided that your SaaS brand has existed for some time now. You should consider everything: the homepage, any linkable assets such as guides and infographics, main landing pages, and 'quick win pages'. Quick win pages are the articles that rank at the top of the funnel compared to other pages on your website.
Next, you need to establish what types of content you'd like linked to yours. If irrelevant websites to your niche create backlinks to your pages, the chances are that their visitors won't enjoy or be interested in your content. You need authoritative sources, but also relevant.
This part usually gets marketers in a cold sweat. It's one of the hardest parts of link building. Finding prospects is as hard as it seems, especially if you plan to do it right.
It can be easy to find just any prospects to link to your website. Many new sites would very much like your links and will be willing to return the favor. There will be those who will do this at a price.
But that shouldn't be your goal.
Your goal is to find prospects that are authoritative and valued in the SaaS industry.
So, how can you find good prospects?
Start by identifying the sites in your field that are popular. You are probably visiting such sites regularly or have heard of them. When those sites praise a brand such as yours, that brand seems to get more popular really fast.
Next, find ways to reach out to those prospects. There are several ways that you can reach out to those prospects and build a relationship. You could use industry influencers to provide you with link-building opportunities. You can join communities and forums in your industry, attend events, and present yourself as an expert in the field.
Now is the time to use those contacts you have in the industry. Think outside the box – where can you find the best sites' admins and contributors, and how can you convince them to link to your pages? You might even find guest bloggers who are already published on your targeted sites and ask them to insert a link in one of their posts.
Here are some ways to find good prospects. Just think outside the box about where you communicate with the audience and platforms in your business industry.
Keep an excel sheet or running list of your own choice of all your contacts with proper information.
If you've never reached the platforms or connected with a website, you'll wish to send personalized outreach, but we'll cover that in the coming section.
It is a simple yet effective strategy if you convince bloggers to contribute to your SaaS link building. For example, that you want to get published on Inc. A simple search for the keyword 'SaaS' on the site will show you who is published there: Source
It might take some time, but if you open a few dozen articles in these results, you might be able to find – and reach out to people who are already contributors to this website. Many will have their contact information included on the author page.
Naturally, most will expect some kind of compensation for this service, so prep your budget for such tasks, too.
Outreach equals pitching your content, which isn't very complicated – but it's not very easy, either. You don't want your calls or messages to seem inconsistent with your SaaS brand or appear 'too gimmicky'. Outreach needs to be friendly, professional, and personalized, especially if the people you are reaching out to are not someone you've spoken to before.
If this is the case, it might be a good idea to work on your relationship first before you ask outright for a backlink. Many consider the latter too aggressive.
Content is an enormous part of your strategy. You need it to link to other sites and keep up your link-building relationships. Of course, you need quality content on your website so that people are interested after they use a backlink to get there. You need it for emails and outreach, too. That being said, a lot of your strategy will be based on content.
There are a few general rules about creating linkable content:
- Make it useful to the people in your industry
- Originality is a must – your content needs to be creative and one-of-a-kind
- Use linkable topics based on your audience's pain points
The SaaS world is very promising nowadays. With the right strategy and approach, you can attract more people than you could ever imagine to your SaaS brand. But, getting there requires tons of work – as well as the right tools and tricks. Focus on these five things when planning for your next moves.