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Building a solid online presence is crucial for SaaS companies. When it comes to boosting your SaaS website's visibility, link building is a strategy that can't be ignored. Acquiring high-quality backlinks can improve your search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and increase your conversion rates.
In this guide, we'll dive into various link building techniques and strategies tailored specifically for SaaS companies. From understanding the basics of building links to the ins and outs of tactical backlinks, authority links, and other strategies, we'll provide all the info you need to understand the basics of starting a link building campaign.
At its core, a backlink is a simple concept: a hyperlink from one website pointing to another. But its implications are vast. Think of backlinks as endorsements or references in the world of the internet. If a reputable website links to your site, they essentially say, "We trust this source and believe it offers value."
This 'vote of confidence' is noticed by search engines. They interpret these links as signals, helping determine the credibility and relevance of the linked-to website. So, suppose your SaaS website garners several of these votes, especially from esteemed sources. In that case, search engines are more likely to regard your site as trustworthy and relevant to users, potentially boosting your rankings.
While individual backlinks play a pivotal role in SEO, understanding the concept of referring domains adds another layer to the equation. A referring domain is simply the unique domain that contains the backlinks to your website. So if website ABC links to you five times, you still have just one referring domain—ABC.
Here's why it's significant: Obtaining backlinks from diverse, unique domains usually has a more pronounced impact than accumulating multiple links from a single domain. Think of it this way: A hundred people praising your work is often more credible than one person praising you a hundred times. This diversity signals to search engines that various sources find your content valuable.
The most impactful strategy is securing links from relevant, high-authority unique referring domains. Not only does this approach amplify your domain rating and authority, but it also underscores the breadth of your content's value across the internet landscape.
To put it simply, while increasing the sheer number of backlinks is beneficial, diversifying and growing the number of unique referring domains should be a cornerstone of your link-building strategy. Prioritize quality and relevance, always seeking out partnerships or collaborations that make sense for your SaaS product's niche.
The digital landscape is vast, and the internet is filled with millions of websites. Not all of them, however, are trustworthy or of high quality. As a result, search engines have become smarter, focusing on the quality of the backlinks rather than sheer numbers.
Imagine you're seeking a job recommendation. Would you prefer ten recommendations from acquaintances and strangers or one strong recommendation from the top expert in your field? The latter, of course! Similarly, having fewer backlinks from authoritative, trusted websites is more advantageous than a multitude from questionable sources. Low-quality or spammy sites can harm your reputation and SEO rankings.
Domain Rating (DR) is a term you'll often come across in the realm of SEO and link building. Developed by Ahrefs, DR is a score (ranging from 0 to 100) that provides a predictive measure of a website's ability to rank on search engine result pages. Websites with higher DR scores are seen as more authoritative and influential.
When aiming to acquire backlinks, targeting high DR sites can amplify the impact of every single link. But DR isn't the only consideration. Relevance is equally critical. For instance, if you run a health and wellness website, a backlink from a renowned medical journal would be more beneficial than one from an unrelated domain like automotive repair.
In essence, it's not just about getting any backlink; it's about securing backlinks that make sense in the context of your content and industry. By aligning with sites that are authoritative (high DR) and relevant to your niche, you bolster the efficacy of your link-building efforts.
Like constructing a durable building requires a solid foundation, establishing a successful link-building strategy is rooted in fundamental groundwork. Without these foundational elements, your link-building efforts could be in vain, no matter how advanced or sophisticated your tactics might be. Here’s a deeper dive into these foundational cornerstones:
The internet is inundated with content, but not all of it is worthy of attention, let alone a backlink. This is where the renowned saying, "Content is King," gains its significance. But what makes content "king"?
Remember, when you consistently produce high-caliber content, you invite backlinks and build brand authority and trust.
Pro-tip: Create free, user-friendly micro-tools related to your main offering on your website. These can not only attract a large number of quality backlinks but also help you rank for vital keywords. This strategy can drive top-of-funnel conversions, growing your email list and providing opportunities for remarketing.
Having great content is one thing; you must also make it easy for users to find the information they're looking for.
In the vast sea of online content, keywords act as the lighthouse, guiding users to your shores. They represent what your potential audience is actively searching for.
Link building is more than just a strategy for gaining higher search rankings. For SaaS companies, it can play a pivotal role in enhancing online visibility, building brand authority, and driving targeted traffic. Let's delve deeper into the manifold benefits:
To reap these benefits, you must remember that link building is not a one-way street, it's a link exchange: a negotiation of placing your link on another's website. That carries a lot of uncertainty, both in terms of your backlink success rate and the effectiveness of search result rankings. How can you be sure your SaaS link building efforts bring value? The answer lies in two core strategies: tactical and authority.
Tactical link building focuses on acquiring keyword-focused links from multiple sources to influence rankings for specific keywords directly. This is often done via guest blogging or working directly with bloggers and contributors at niche publications to link back to your keyword-optimized landing pages or a blog post from highly relevant external pages.
The beauty of tactical building is the control it offers over the content linked. You know the referring domains, where the link will appear on those pages, and what content it will link to. This is particularly useful in SEO, where explicit signaling to Google is crucial. The drawback is the success rate for building links can be low depending on the methods you employ and the authority of the sites linking to your content.
One effective approach to tactical linking is to leverage existing relationships and simply ask for more links to your content. Send a clear proposal to happy clients, partners, and affiliates, then start negotiating. These connections already have a favorable opinion of your brand, so getting backlinks from them should be simple.
Guest posting is another great link building tactic. You can establish yourself as an authority in your field and gain valuable backlinks by writing excellent articles for relevant websites in your industry. Both parties benefit from this strategy: the website hosting your guest post receives valuable content, and you get exposure to their audience and the chance to demonstrate your expertise.
The real challenges with tactical link building are ensuring your content aligns with the editorial standards of the website linking to you and identifying willing host sites that are reputable. You want platforms with a strong online presence, high domain authority, and a target audience that aligns with yours. This ensures that your guest posts will reach the right audience and have a greater impact on your efforts.
The key to tactical link building is to focus on quality content and legitimate referring domains. There are no shortcuts to success here, and if you monitor your metrics, you'll see definite positive results over time.
Not all tactical links are created equal. Links from low authority or low-quality sites can be frowned upon by Google and other search engines, resulting in a neutral or negative weight on the link. Similarly, links from unrelated websites are considered low quality and should be avoided.
In your campaign, avoid the pitfalls of poorly optimized tactical links, such as the excessive use of exact match anchor text, placement on private blog networks (PBNs), and improper contextual use of links in articles. Make an effort to make sure that your tactical links have a strategic purpose and efficiently inform Google about the applicability of the URL of your website for particular keywords.
Tactical SaaS link building is complicated and constantly evolving, but it has enormous potential to help your company. You can improve your website's visibility, authority, and organic search rankings by taking a sound approach to links. Consider these suggestions as you evaluate your backlinking efforts.
In contrast to tactical, which emphasizes building many links from mid- to high-quality sources, authority link building emphasizes acquiring links only from websites with the highest possible authority. These websites typically have a significant impact on your industry, a strong online presence, and larger audiences that span the globe. You can raise your website's authority and search engine rankings by obtaining backlinks from these websites.
One of the key differences between tactical and authority building is the latter is more difficult to control. It will never be as easy to obtain links from worldwide leaders as from smaller or niche publications. Making useful resources like white papers, case studies, or industry reports, promoting them, and hoping high-profile publications link back to your website are the main ways to get these links. For some SaaS companies, it seems hit-or-miss, but if done correctly, it can be incredibly effective.
No authority-based link campaign is complete without a sound content strategy. SaaS companies should thoroughly understand the problems their target audience faces to produce infographics, videos, and perhaps even one or two helpful blog posts that offer solutions. A good place to start is with easily readable, visually appealing, and excellent thought leadership content. You should also keep a full calendar of regular SEO content releases with a good long-term content strategy.
To earn those authoritative backlinks, you also need to promote this content. Building relationships with influencers and thought leaders in your industry can significantly boost your authority-building efforts. By engaging with these individuals through social media, attending industry events, or collaborating on projects, you can establish connections that may lead to valuable backlinks. Furthermore, influencers are more likely to share your content with their followers, expanding your reach and increasing the likelihood of acquiring authority backlinks.
Another strategy for authority links is guest blogging. You can demonstrate your expertise and reach a wider audience by submitting high-quality content to reputable websites in your industry. Ensure to include relevant and contextual links to your website when writing a guest post to increase your authority and traffic.
Authority links require a well-rounded approach. A followed mention from a relevant publication can significantly boost your business. However, securing such links from major publications like Forbes or Entrepreneur is often unrealistic due to their 'nofollow' policy. These links are important for search engine optimization, but they don't directly enhance the metrics of a page. When building authority links, then focus on elevating the authority of your URL by linking with relevant publications with higher site authority than those used for tactical links.
While creating valuable content and building relationships are essential, monitoring and analyzing your backlink profile is equally important. Regularly auditing your backlinks allows you to identify low-quality or spammy links that may harm your website's reputation. You can maintain a clean and authoritative backlink profile by disavowing or removing these links.
Because authority building is about quality over quantity, you may need to shift your thinking about approaching your strategy. Use the tips below to adjust your approach and increase your chances of outreach success.
While we've covered the main and most effective strategies for SaaS companies, it's important to understand other approaches. Below are a few link building strategies that may or may not become part of your long-term outreach and backlinking efforts.
Broken link building involves finding broken links on websites within your niche and offering to replace them with relevant links to your content. This helps the website owner fix broken links and provides an opportunity for you to acquire a valuable backlink.
While broken link building was once a popular strategy, it is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Not only does this method fail to produce natural backlinks, but it often fails to enhance your site's authority. Google may even penalize it if the original pages change or are restored. For most SaaS companies, there are better uses of SEO time than hunting for expired pages that provide minimal, if any, actual value.
Content syndication involves republishing content on relevant platforms, such as industry-specific websites or online publications. By reaching a wider audience through syndicated content, you increase the chances of acquiring backlinks from these platforms.
Syndication does provide both authority and links, but it's generally a better tool for building brand awareness. Similar to leveraging digital PR, this method may work for many companies, but it shouldn't be considered a must-deploy strategy for all SaaS businesses.
Engaging with your audience on social media platforms can also lead to valuable backlinks. Building relationships with influencers or industry thought leaders on platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn could result in them linking to your content or mentioning your brand, boosting your online visibility. The viability of this strategy entirely depends upon your SaaS business, including your target audience and the resources at your disposal.
An extremely effective link building strategy for SaaS companies is to pair up with complementary businesses. Seek out non-competitive businesses in your industry that offer products or services that complement your own, establish partnerships, cross-promote each other's products or services, and acquire backlinks from their websites. This approach expands your online reach and allows you to tap into a new audience segment that may be interested in your offerings.
If you're a SaaS company, for example, that provides project management software, partnering with a complementary business such as a time-tracking software provider or a task management tool can create a win-win situation for both parties. By cross-promoting each other's products or services, you can expose your offerings to new potential customers who are already interested in tools that enhance their productivity and efficiency.
Another valuable strategy, especially relevant for SaaS companies with client-facing tools or features, is the "Branded Embed Link Building" method. At its heart, this strategy is about integrating branded links within the functionalities or badges you offer to clients. Familiar examples include chatbots, surveys, widgets, or any other embeddable feature your solution might provide.
Consider how often you've seen "Powered by [Company Name]" or similar phrases on various tools across the web. Such embedded links can significantly boost the authority of your overall domain when done correctly.
However, it's crucial to tread carefully here. This strategy should primarily be utilized for branded links, and not for heavily anchor-text optimized ones. Overdoing it or trying to sneak in overly promotional or keyword-rich anchor texts can not only sour your relationships with clients but could also land you in hot water with search engines, leading to potential penalties.
When done right, the branded embed link building approach can offer two-fold benefits: it solidifies your brand's presence on client websites and provides consistent, authoritative links back to your domain, especially the homepage. It's a testament to the symbiotic relationship you share with your clients and the trust they have in your solution.
Incorporating this method into your link-building repertoire can be a game-changer, but it's essential to always prioritize trust, brand integrity, and the value you offer to clients above all.
In today's online world, having a strong presence isn't just nice to have—it's essential. Link building plays a key role in boosting your SaaS website's visibility, trust, and organic traffic. By diving into the basics and using both tactical and advanced strategies, you can position your brand as a top player in your industry.
Looking for some expert help? Our link building experts at SimpleTiger are here for you. Hire link building consultants from our team and tap into our specialized link building services. Implement these strategies and see the difference they make for your SaaS business.
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