How to Communicate as a Link Builder

Link building is an SEO strategy that helps businesses rank for specific queries in major search engines. While the path to get the link varies by the situation, the goal is the same: to have another webmaster publish a link leading to your desired landing page. This benefits you for click through reasons, but also helps Google and other major search portals identify your “popularity”. Quality links help your site rank for certain keywords.

The act of link building isn't simple. A webmaster needs to be convinced that a link is worth their time. Communication is critical to achieving the approval of a site owner and there are certain ways to make sure your strategy is up to par. They’re listed below.

1. Present yourself as a fellow human

As with most forms of communication, it helps when the recipient relates to you. If you can show from the first outreach that you’re a human with a genuine interest in what the site owner does, you’ll have a much better chance of earning a link. It’s a fact that a lot of people are scouring the internet right now to acquire links. The important reality, however, is that it gives you a golden opportunity to separate yourself from the pack by doing it the right way.

Prime advice: Always try and use a name when you’re outreaching. If you can’t find one, that’s fine, but it’s a goal to aim for. Additionally, try and make your outreach go beyond “I like your blog” or “Your resource bar as great resources”! If the site owner is clearly from a certain geographic location, and you’ve been there, tell a story about your trip. If not, don’t. It’s completely up to you and will be relative to your individual situation, but it always helps to try and make your conversation more human than the rest of the flock.

2. Make sense and be relevant

There’s no reason to reach out to a dog website with a pitch to write a guest post on cats. It’s not relevant enough and if you get an article published with an irrelevant link, Google will devalue it and drop you in the rankings. It helps everyone including you to be relevant and make sense with your link building efforts. You want the highest chance of a click-through on your link, as well as rankings, and these both come through relevant-first link building. 

Prime advice: It used to be enough to spray links all over the internet in any forum that would house them. Manipulative link strategies used to be the glitz and glamor. Not anymore. Google’s continuous algorithm updates, the most recent on May 22nd, are doing everything they can to rank sites that deserve to be ranked. You don’t want irrelevant links or poor content anywhere near your domain, and neither will a potential site owner that you reach out to. Keep your motives in check and make sense when you start communication with another person. It can go a long way in helping your link building efforts be more successful.

3. Be genuine and appreciative

It’s no secret that link building is done for a certain motive. People want to build links so that they appear higher in the SERPs. Due to this understanding amongst most webmasters, it’s wise to be straight forward, genuine and appreciative. They know why you’re emailing them and it’s important to show appreciation. Explain to them through creative ways that you are pitching interest to provide a useful link, whether in article form or not, and you deserve to get a link back in return. Convincing a webmaster that your outreach will benefit them in any single way is a huge win for you. Take it to heart.

Prime advice: Realize what you’re doing isn’t convenient for a webmaster. Doing your job the right way is the only way to go about it if you want to be successful. A site owner will be much more likely to not only post your link, but reference you to others if you stick to this approach. Just as you have a job to do, so does the human on the other end of your outreach. Help them realize that you understand this and your work will be much more efficient and fulfilling.

Communication as a link builder is crucial. Not only can it make or break the acquisition of a link, but it just feels better in an industry that can be viewed as shady. Presenting yourself as a human, sticking to relevant intentions and being appreciative are legitimate ideas to build a foundation around. The rest of this SEO strategy is up to you.


Peter Buffington can’t play chess and doesn’t really want to learn. When he’s not reading different versions of the same news story he writes for Page One Power, a relevancy-first link building firm based in Boise, Idaho.

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