Once upon a time, website owners could build links via directories, PBNs, and paid links. However, Google has since outlawed these methods and now penalizes all websites that utilize them.
Now, sites must gain links the organic way—via editorial outreach. Editorial links are those you earn by creating great content to which other website owners want to link.
Not only are these types of one-way in-content links legal, but they are also useful as they carry the most weight in signaling search engines that your content offers real value.
That said, you may be wondering if editorial links are the most effective, why don't more websites utilize them?
Gaining editorial links is hard work and requires persistent outreach efforts. Once you create great content, you need to find websites that find your content interesting, and that can promote it via their own content.
This is easier said than done. However, it can be done, with the right mindset and the proper techniques.
Why Outreach Efforts Fail
To understand how to reach out to websites and their editors successfully, you need first need to know why outreach efforts routinely fail.
According to recent studies, the biggest reason outreach efforts fail is because people do not treat outreach as the delicate sales pitch it is.
Instead, they assume that editors have a shortage of websites in which to link and are therefore willing to jump at any opportunity to link to some random page. This is not the case.
The internet has billions of pages from which editors can choose to link to, and all it takes is a quick inquiry on their part of finding one worthwhile.
You sending a link to your page does not make their jobs any easier, as they must still click on it, read through it, and determine if your site is reputable—and that's assuming they'll click on your link at all.
If you treat your outreach efforts as many website owners do (by sending out spammy emails), your email is more likely to get trashed than it is to get read.
To get the links you desire, your first goal should be to get your email read. So, how you can do that? Keep reading to find out.
Do Your Research
If you send a link for, say, your content marketing services to a healthcare firm and ask the editors for a link, they're going to know right away you didn't do your research.
Moreover, they're not going to use your link. Why? Because they have absolutely no use for it. Begin your research by understanding what types of companies could benefit from your content.
In your case, you would want to send links to web developers, copywriting companies, and other marketers.
In addition to knowing what types of companies could benefit from your link, you should also have an idea of the tone each website tries to achieve.
If your content is light and conversational, it's unlikely a more serious firm will want to link to your post.
Likewise, if your post is dry and professional, you may have a hard time convincing personable bloggers to refer to your page.
Review the tone of both a website's own blogs as well as that of the articles to which it routinely links for an idea of the kind of content its editors appreciate. Not only should your article emulate that tone, but so too should your email.
Find a Hook
In your research, look to your competitors' blogs to see where they're lacking. Is there a gap in other websites' content?
Do you provide more in-depth information or a more thorough guide than your competitors? Use the pitfalls of other websites to your advantage.
If, in your research, you discover that your own content is lacking, take time to improve it.
Craft the Email
Yes, it's important that your email is customized, well-written, and flattering, but those things alone won't earn you a link.
What will is authenticity, and genuine authenticity takes significant time, effort, and research to achieve.
If you're crafting your emails correctly, they will not scale. You will not be able to send them to even a fraction of the people in your funnel.
That's perfect. You may send your emails to fewer people, but chances are, you will yield more results.
Finally, follow up. You never know if a lack of response is because you reached out on a bad day.
If you haven't heard from a prospect you thought for sure would appreciate your efforts, follow up with him or her just to be sure.
Want someone else to handle the outreach for you? Check out our link building services. We already have the relationships with opted-in influencers. With our link building services, you can improve your search engine rankings by earning links on influential sites.