Are you looking to improve your search engine rankings? Whether your current content strategy isn’t achieving the results you want or you’re just looking for ways to expand your brand visibility, link building can help.
When it comes to SaaS, you’ve got to be on top of your game to keep up with the countless competitors vying for the top position on SERPs.
Cookie-cutter content won’t cut it. You need to stand out with content that makes it easy to build and earn links. Without them, you’ll fall behind.
Backlinks play a significant role in the amount of authority Google and other search engines credit you with. You simply can’t ignore link building and earning if you want to “win” at SEO – and you do.
However, it takes more work to thrive in B2B SaaS because earning authority links is harder. There’s a lot of time-consuming outreach and not as many open opportunities to target. You have to create your own opportunities.
Get ready to overhaul your backlinking strategies to help you make the most of new and existing content, grow your authority, and rise up through the SERPs with link-building tactics that work.
Does Link Building Still Work?
Yes, link building still works in 2023. But it takes more work to do right.
Link building has been one of the pillars of search engine optimization for years – and for good reason. If your content is referenced and used by others, it’s more likely to be good content that provides value to searchers, which is what search engines want to show.
However, the priorities for link building have changed.
Previous SEO practices involved building extensive backlink farms that focused on creating as many backlinks as possible. But volume is no longer king – quality is.
Successful link building in 2023 includes curating backlinks from high-quality sources. You can accomplish this by creating valuable content that they want to reference.
Low-value content from low-value sources doesn’t mean much anymore. Your focus should shift to achieving high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources.
Your backlinks must also be relevant. You need references from a source that search engines understand to be an expert for your content if you want to maximize the benefits of backlinking.
Think of it like this: would you rather have a personal letter of recommendation from Bill Gates for a position at Microsoft or a letter from each of your high school teachers?
Why Link Building Is Needed For SaaS Companies
SaaS, like most other industries, requires link building as part of a comprehensive SEO strategy because it helps you build the necessary authority to stand out in the search results. The more authority you can establish in the eyes of Google and other search engines, the higher you appear in the SERPs.
As you already know, high-ranking positions on SERPs drive more clicks. Searchers choose one of the top three-ranked results 54.4% of the time, so utilizing link building to improve your position is crucial for more conversions. But as we said earlier, backlink farms won’t cut it.
Instead of aiming to receive as many backlinks as possible, your focus should shift to achieving high-quality backlinks. Earning backlinks from authority sites reinforces the quality of your content and acts as a “vouch” from a site that search engines already trust, showing you can be trusted too.
Knowing the Difference Between Link Building vs Link Earning
Link building and link earning are two elements of backlinking strategies that are used to improve your rankings. In some cases, they’re combined and referred to as a “link-building strategy” due to their similar end goals and complementary strategies. However, they each have a different approach to achieving backlinks.
Link building is a mostly outbound strategy that seeks out opportunities for placing backlinks on other sites. You might pitch your unique research or exclusive industry leader interview to other publications for their content to earn a backlink. Or, you could reach out to an authority site to create a guest post that secures a backlink for you and adds more content to their site.
Link earning is an inbound strategy where you let your content do all the work. Your goal is to create content that provides expertise, insight, and value to the industry as a whole so that other sites can’t help but link to your content.
In many cases, you’ll use link building to help jumpstart your link-earning efforts. Your content is harder to find when you’re just starting out, so outreach can start to generate more buzz and offer opportunities to establish yourself as an authority sooner.
Once you’ve gained that authority and continue to generate high-quality content, it becomes easier for others to find you and create earned backlinks without your involvement.
Understanding the Link Building Landscape for SaaS
SaaS is a highly competitive space both in terms of the number of companies and the quality of the competition.
The tech space as a whole is full of tech-savvy people that you’re competing with to reach the top three positions in search results.
These aren’t “Mom & Pop” shops that hire an SEO company to write a blog post once or twice a month. They’re experts who are constantly refining their strategies to fight for as many clicks as possible.
You need to create content that sticks out and is high-quality enough to separate you from the rest of the startups and tech companies. Only then can you earn your position as an authority site that continues to build trust with search engines until your competition begins to create backlinks for you.
High-quality and original research, statistics, and case studies are just a few pieces of content that go a long way in SaaS. They’re highly shareable and can provide new insight that other companies leverage for their content, which is likely to earn you backlinks.
In SaaS, if you’re not link building and earning, you’re falling behind. So, it’s essential that you create and implement SaaS link-building techniques that position you to rise in the ranks and grow your business with more views, clicks, and conversions.
Best SaaS Link Building Techniques
When it comes to building and earning backlinks, there are an array of techniques you can employ.
The most effective strategy will employ multiple techniques, but the best choices for you will depend on your specific industry and expertise. You might also need to experiment until you find the approach that achieves the best results, so don’t be discouraged if one doesn’t work.
Here are some of the best link-building strategies for improving your authority and position on SERPs.
Unlinked Brand Mentions
Sometimes, your company is mentioned in articles, product reviews, round-ups, or other content from other sites. While it’s great that you’re getting recognition, it doesn’t do nearly as much for your link-building efforts as a backlink would.
If you find mentions that don’t have a link, consider reaching out to the site manager and asking them to include a hyperlink on your business name.
Ahrefs has an article that can help you locate these mentions quickly.
Broken Backlink Building
Similar to unlinked brand mentions, identifying broken pages and links on other high-value content gives you a path to earning a backlink.
It’s hard for larger sites to oversee all of their content integrity over time. If you’re researching for a new piece of content or checking out the competition for a high-value keyword, look for any hyperlinks.
If you find a hyperlink that applies to your business and has a broken link, reach out to the site and offer your link as a replacement. You’ll save them time and earn yourself a backlink.
Link Magnet Content
Some content is just built for earning backlinks. Original research and statistics are naturally going to be link magnets because they can provide justification for a wide range of claims.
For example, you could compile statistics from your business that identify a specific trend, like higher conversion rates with dark mode enabled versus light mode for your audience.
Web designers could use this information to explain why darker color palettes are more likely to convert, while SEO and conversion rate optimization tools can reference it for on-page optimizations and justify pushing A/B testing. Either way, you have a chance for a backlink.
Link magnet content should also be built around specific but common search terms. “SaaS conversion rate statistics” or “light mode vs dark mode conversion rates” would direct people looking for statistics to your content, leading them to cite it for you.
Data is a crucial element of both SaaS and link-building strategies. Similar to link magnet content, compiling data, drawing conclusions, and generating reports have a high potential for earning backlinks because of their unique content.
When large companies like Hubspot create industry reports like forecasting future marketing trends based on their compiled data and collaboration with industry experts, they provide a resource that can be used by anyone.
SEO companies, SaaS businesses, eCommerce applications, and many other sites can reference the information in articles about many topics to push their sales pitch, which earns Hubspot backlinks.
When possible, creating industry reports with unique data and insight is an exceptional tool for link earning. Aim to make it valuable and optimize the content for visibility similar to link magnet content as well.
Becoming a respected thought leader in the SaaS industry is very valuable for SEO. People gravitate towards those who push the boundaries, drive innovation, and provide valuable insight.
Generally, thought leadership will come from a CEO or industry expert with recognition and accolades that make their opinions more valid in the eyes of others. It’s a form of link earning that’s easier once you’ve created an effective backlinking strategy and gained some authority.
You can make thought leadership content by conducting research, analyzing trends, making predictions or forecasting, and taking data-backed stances that people want to stand behind (or refute) in their articles. Their analysis of your content then generates a backlink.
It’s no secret that expertise and experience draw more attention than the average contributor. Companies want insight from those who have been successful, so attaching the title of “expert” helps to build trust and establish the authority of their opinions.
You can reach out and connect with different experts in your industry to collect exclusive information, feedback, or opinions about important topics. Then, you’re able to publish the content with their names, creating the chance that another site will reference what they say and link to your post.
Outreach is the foundation of backlink building, and LinkedIn is the social hub for professionals. So, it makes sense that connecting with other site owners through LinkedIn outreach can offer some benefits to your backlinking efforts.
While you shouldn’t go in expecting a backlink, it doesn’t hurt to try. Begin by interacting with their content with meaningful contributions. Then, reach out and connect with them about a mutually beneficial arrangement like link exchanges, guest posts, or broken link amendments to see if you can secure a backlink.
Referral and Affiliate Programs
Affiliates and referral programs offer mutually beneficial arrangements with site owners and individuals for getting your content out but also have the added benefit of creating backlinks.
When your product or services are included in reviews or roundups, you’ll usually get a link to your site. This both improves your ranking and sends qualified traffic over to your site – a win-win.
Citation building is an older strategy that includes submitting your website to directories that list your information for their visitors to see. It’s especially effective for driving local business because many directories are based on location.
So, if someone searches for your business type in your city, you’ll show up. This can drive targeted traffic to your site along with adding a backlink.
Sponsorships are a multi-faceted link-building and marketing strategy that can greatly improve your company’s visibility.
Sponsoring an event is likely to earn you a backlink on any articles referencing the event as well as the organizer’s site. Plus, you’ll increase awareness by putting your company out to a curated audience.
If you’re innovating, creating high-value content, or have an exceptional professional reputation, people will want to read what you write. In the case of LinkedIn, it becomes easy for other professionals to find and share your content.
You can earn backlinks to your LinkedIn page or your site by creating thought-leadership content that provides value. In-depth analysis, case studies, and original research are a few post types that resonate well with the platform.
Podcast and Webinar Appearances
Getting involved with your community is always beneficial for brand awareness and marketing, but it can also secure backlinks for your site.
If you’re part of a podcast or webinar, you’re often going to receive some publicity. This attention can come in the form of social media shoutouts, on-air pitches for your business, and backlinks from announcements of your appearance or any articles referencing it.
Similar to appearances, interviews are an opportunity to secure backlinks on high-value sites that might not reference your content otherwise.
You might be a part of a group interview where individual business owners share their opinions about certain topics or have an individual interview if you’ve made big enough waves in your niche.
Either way, it’s likely to come with a backlink to your site and maybe even your personal accounts to improve your reputation for future opportunities.
Press releases are how you share important news and updates about your business. If you’re a larger business, these press releases are likely to catch the attention of companies in your industry and may generate a backlink if they talk about your latest developments.
Alternatively, you can use content syndication to post your press release to multiple sites yourself to generate more backlinks. However, you should be careful about where you post to avoid creating low-value links or excessive duplicate content.
Visual content is the most shareable form of media there is – and infographics excel in SaaS.
Taking concepts that are usually complicated and creating an infographic allows you to share information in a way that’s impossible with text alone. You can distribute them through your site’s blog, social media, newsletter, and other outlets to gain visibility. Plus, they’re easy to spread through reposts to further extend the reach.
If someone uses your infographic, it’ll likely come with a backlink or citation to your original content.
Have you created something really unique and valuable? Is your research going to shake up your industry? If so, consider pitching it to a publication like Forbes.
Major publications are always looking for interesting and valuable content to share with their audience. If your content matches that profile and you can convince someone to use it, you can gain an authority backlink. Plus, any other businesses reading their content can cite your research as well to expand your reach even further.
Beta Testing Communities
All hype is good hype. If there’s a way to get your product out to more people, it gives you the chance to generate more buzz, get more eyes on it, and potentially have content written about it.
You can also offer exclusive access to your product to a respected outlet or authority site in return for a review of the beta, allowing you to potentially get a high-quality citation.
Speaking Events and Conferences
Conferences and speaking events are similar to podcasts and webinars but in person. Once you’ve established a reputation for your business or yourself, you may be invited to major events that are hosted by authority sites or major brands within your industry.
Along with this role, you’ll often receive personal and professional references on social media and in press releases that lead to citations.
Backlinks can come in forms other than hyperlinks in text. Visual elements like badges can also include a link to your website that helps increase your authority – as long as you can convince other sites to use them.
If you’re partners with another company or a featured integration for other services, those sites can add a badge to their site to provide you with a backlink. You’ll often see this with Hubspot’s trusted partners, who proudly display their badge and provide a backlink to Hubspot.
Free Tools like Calculators
One easy way to convince others to link to your site is by offering them something of value. Tools like calculators, conversion tools, image editors, text checkers, and other small samples of your product or services can be helpful for the site’s readers.
Embedding these tools within an article or on their site can provide a backlink to your page. Plus, if it provides value, others will embed it as well to expand the number of backlinks.
Build Link Partnerships with Other Sites
Mutually beneficial partnerships within your industry can be a helpful way of growing each site’s authority. In the case of content creation, coordinating with other sites to utilize each other’s content for backlinking and citations can help elevate everyone’s authority. Just be sure you’re using them in relevant situations to avoid penalties from Google.
Tool Integration Strategy
One of the benefits of SaaS is that many products offer unique solutions for specific problems. As a result, combinations of products are quite common – especially through integrations.
If your product is integrated with another product, you can ask them to include your name and link on their integrations page. If they don’t have one, ask them to make one. You can also add them to your integrations or partners page in return.
Monday’s marketplace page is a good example of including integration backlinks.
Resource Page Link Building
Resource pages are usually collections of valuable information, data, reports, and infographics that are relevant to the site or its industry.
If you know of a site that has a resources page, pitch your assets to them to see if they’ll include them with a link.
Focus on Testimonials and Case Studies
Results speak volumes. Case studies are a way to show your research and show off the results of successful product experiences. You can use these results, as well as testimonials, to make your case for why people need to pay attention to your business.
If you’re lucky, your reports might be enough to have an article written about them that links to your research.
Not all content creation link-building activities are about writing fresh articles or blogs to post on your site or as guest posts. In fact, you can actually gain backlinks from existing posts with little work required.
Niche edits are when you make an edit or addition to an older page or post instead of publishing new content. It takes advantage of the page’s age and existing authority to provide greater initial benefits than a new post would. Plus, it takes far less time.
For a niche edit to be effective, you’ll need to change or add enough content to trigger Google to see it as refreshed. This might mean a few new lines to include your target keyword and backlink or a larger rewriting of the article.
You can use niche edits for your own posts on other sites or ask site owners who you’ve written guest posts for to let you refresh the article for a backlink.
Product Review Backlinks
Reviews are an important part of social proof for businesses of all sizes. In the case of product reviews, they provide a recommendation and in-depth introduction that helps potential customers better understand your products. So, they’re a win-win.
If you’re in the business of reviewing products or recommending integrations and complementary products, you should consider offering a review to authority sites. In return for an in-depth review, they might provide a backlink to your site when it’s clicked, similar to Ahref’s review section.
Email Marketing With Your Data
You might not think of email marketing as a form of link building, but it’s one of the best ways to get your content out to a targeted audience. In fact, email marketing is one of the best channels for B2B SaaS marketers.
If you’re creating valuable content, some of your subscribers (who are likely involved in your industry) may end up using the content you send them in their own blogs and posts and give you credit.
Run a Competitor Analysis on your Competitors
Not sure what strategy to try? Why not try what your competition has shown to work?
Competitor analysis gives you valuable insight into what others are doing that you’re not. During your research, you’ll likely find the strategies they’re using and any partners they’re working with, as well as what kind of content they’re making that’s performing.
Once you have some insight, you can implement similar strategies while trying to one-up them in quality so that you outgrow them.
Collaborate with Industry Leaders
Exposure is an important part of link building because it means more people can see your content, reports, and assets. If more people see them, there’s a higher chance that someone will use them for your content and earn backlinks.
Working with industry leaders and high-profile individuals within your niches can give you massive exposure to new audiences. You’ll need exceptional content that attracts them to collaborate with you, but once you can work together, there’s huge potential for adding backlinks across the entirety of your industry.
Partner With Trusted Link Vendors in the Space
Working with third-party link builders can be risky because you never know what kinds of tactics people rely on. Google has been coming down hard on link manipulation, and a lot of link builders are still using black hat strategies, so using a trustworthy vendor is essential.
Collaborating with a trusted link vendor can allow you to build high-quality, relevant backlinks more efficiently and at a lower cost. However, choosing the wrong vendor can damage your site’s authority and cause issues with future SERP rankings.
When considering a partnership with a link vendor, it’s crucial to only consider vendors who adhere to Google’s guidelines for link building. Google places a strong emphasis on the quality and authenticity of links, so look for someone who focuses on quality over quantity.
Frequent Updates and Content Creation
SaaS products often receive regular updates and improvements to stay competitive. These updates provide ample opportunities for creating fresh and engaging content that can attract backlinks.
Whether it’s showcasing new features, discussing industry trends, or sharing user success stories, SaaS companies should have a constant stream of relevant content to offer.
You should also revisit old content and update it accordingly to ensure that search engines still treat it as relevant content.
SaaS products often foster user communities and forums. These communities create an engaged user base that can contribute to your link-building efforts.
Users may share their experiences and insights, leading to discussions and shared content that can naturally generate backlinks.
SaaS companies aim for long-term customer relationships. This focus on customer retention means that they have ongoing interactions with their user base.
These relationships can be leveraged to encourage user-generated content, reviews, and testimonials – all of which can contribute to your link-building efforts.
Creating Exceptional Content
SaaS is competitive, so your content really needs to stand out. Gone are the days of plain blog posts that rehash the same content already appearing at the top of the SERP. Creativity now plays a significant role in gaining traction.
While your blog is still an essential component of your business and SEO lead generation strategy, you need to go above and beyond to provide real value if you want to create the kind of shareable content that will generate backlinks.
Instead of pure text, consider creating eye-catching infographics that simplify complex topics, engaging videos and webinars that showcase your expertise, and detailed case studies that demonstrate real-world success stories.
The key is to offer something unique and valuable. Address pain points your target audience faces and provide practical solutions. When your content genuinely helps people, they’re more likely to link to it organically.
Guest posting and outreach
Guest posting (aka guest blogging) is an invaluable strategy when it comes to SaaS link building because it helps you reach established audiences and add quality backlinks to your profile.
Many SaaS products are complementary and can work together as well, so it’s easier to find opportunities for collaboration.
To kickstart your guest posting campaign effectively, begin by identifying blogs within your industry that openly accept guest contributions.
Once you’ve found these platforms, it’s crucial to not only engage in personalized outreach efforts but also to try to build relationships that can benefit both sites.
To do this, you need your outreach emails to articulate precisely why your content aligns with a website’s audience’s interests and why it would be a valuable addition to their blog. For example, you might have products that would work well together or be interested in similar data and reports to improve your strategies.
Building relationships with industry influencers is another pivotal element of a successful outreach strategy. Engaging with these influencers on various digital platforms, in blog comments, and through content sharing can help you establish credibility and rapport.
By actively participating in conversations and discussions related to your industry, you’ll gradually become a recognized and respected figure. As a result, when you eventually approach these influencers with guest post ideas, you’ll find it significantly easier to gain their interest and support.
A note about guest post prospecting and outreach
While you should make sure you are reaching out to websites that are going to be receptive to your outreach efforts, it is vitally important to make sure that those sites have the kind of domain metrics that are going to provide you with real link equity.
A lot of sites with a “write for us” or “become a contributor” page are just looking for money. Google has been cracking down hard on these kinds of link manipulation tactics, especially when done by spammy sites that give little care to editorial standards and quality.
Building an Internal Linking Strategy
Internal links play a pivotal role in optimizing your website for both search engines and users. In addition to your external link-building efforts, effective internal linking enhances your website’s structure, improves navigation, and ensures that you can boost the authority of your most important pages.
If you want to make the most of internal linking, it’s essential to organize your website logically, ensuring that users can easily find the information they’re looking for.
Strategic use of anchor text is another crucial aspect of effective internal linking. When incorporating internal links, choose anchor text that is descriptive and relevant to the linked content.
This not only aids search engines in understanding the relationship between pages but also helps users by guiding them to related or additional information, enhancing their overall experience on your site.
The concept of “link juice”
A key strategy in internal linking is to channel traffic from your informational pages to your primary service and sales pages. This approach allows you to pass on the link equity or “link juice” you’ve accumulated through your external and internal link-building efforts to your critical commercial pages.
By doing so, you bolster the SEO strength of your main pages, ultimately increasing their visibility in search results and potentially boosting conversions.
Utilizing PR and Media Outreach
Your reputation goes a long way in SaaS – both personally and professionally. Effective PR paints your business in a positive light and helps establish you as a thought leader – two very important elements of effective marketing and link-building tactics.
In addition to announcing important company events and developments, leveraging public relations and media outreach strategies can significantly enhance your link profile and overall online presence.
If you can build a strong relationship with tech journalists, other tech sites, and relevant industry influencers, those connections can help you to grow your business’s influence. You’ll be more likely to score interviews, have more guest post opportunities, and slowly become an expert in the eyes of your industry.
As you and your business grow, further opportunities will follow and present themselves to earn you backlinks. Authority sites will become more accessible, and you’ll begin to generate your own backlinks just due to your brand presence, helping to solidify yourself as an authority site and industry leader.
You can also work on personal public relations by lending your voice as an expert. Free digital PR platforms like Cision’s Help a Reporter Out (HARO) can earn you some credentials and backlinks by connecting you with journalists and bloggers seeking expert opinions and insights for their articles.
By consistently contributing your expertise to relevant queries on HARO, you not only position yourself as an industry thought leader but also increase your chances of being cited and linked on other sites. This not only improves your link profile but also drives targeted traffic to your website and nurtures your online reputation.
Why It’s Hard to Build Links for a B2B SaaS
Link building is a part of all businesses and industries, but it’s particularly difficult for B2B SaaS due to the competitiveness of the market.
Getting started is incredibly difficult because you have no authority to leverage for additional opportunities. It’s hard to get your content out and seen by the right people if your search rankings and brand awareness are low.
As a result, you’ll need to focus more on outreach than other industries.
Unfortunately, there are also not as many publications for you to target to increase visibility as other less competitive industries. Those that do exist may also have other relationships with sites that are vying for the same guest post, broken backlink, or product review opportunity to improve their authority.
So, there’s only one option. If you want to stand out, build your brand, and earn additional opportunities for backlinks, you’ve got to create exceptional content.
Then, you need to find a way to put your original articles, data, and reports in front of authority sites and industry leaders.
It’s an uphill battle, but our recommended strategies above will help.
What to Avoid When Doing Link Building For Your SaaS
You might think that any opportunity for more backlinks is one you should seize. However, you’d be wrong.
Not all backlinks are created equal – some can actually hurt your authority instead of helping it.
Here are a few of the mistakes you have to avoid when formulating and implementing your link-building strategies.
Building Links on Content Farms
Content farms are sites that are used to create a massive number of backlinks or generate ad revenue from traffic. The content is generally recycled, low-quality copy that is written (or generated) only for SEO purposes, making it difficult to read.
They’re similar to link farms that were previously a significant part of search engine optimization and link building. However, both strategies are not viable anymore.
It may be tempting to try to get a few cheap and fast backlinks from content farms, but it’s not worth it. Google can recognize content farms and negate their benefit as backlinks or penalize you for using them for your site.
Avoid Buying Links, Especially from Shady Dealers
Link building is a time-consuming, costly, and complicated process that is completely worth the investment to do right. However, some businesses would prefer to take a shortcut by buying links.
Buying links is a practice that is incredibly risky but still used by a number of blackhat SEO companies and businesses that don’t want to wait to achieve domain authority.
It involves working with a “link dealer” who will find you opportunities for niche edits, guest posts, and other link-building strategies. You’ll then coordinate with the dealer or site owner to add your backlink to their article, post, or page for a fee.
Alternatively, you can also buy links directly from the sites you’re targeting by sending an email. Many won’t sell you links, but there are some that will – often for a significant fee.
In some cases, it can be hard to tell what’s a paid link and what’s not. However, most link dealers, especially individuals, are offering low-quality backlinks that are easy to detect.
Link buying should be avoided due to the simple fact that it violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This means that they can decide to negate the link or apply a penalty to your site if they discover that you’re buying links.
Deviating From Your Brand Voice
Link building isn’t just about building your backlink profile – it’s also about establishing your brand voice.
Just like your logo, slogan, and product titles, your voice is an identifying feature of your business. For proper branding, it needs to stay as uniform as possible throughout all communications because they’ve come to expect it from you.
If you deviate from your brand voice when creating content, it’s going to confuse your readers and make it harder to build an audience or community for support.
For example, if your articles are professional, formatted, and written in third-person, changing it up to include gifs or casual language can impact your image and segment your audience.
Getting Links From Low-Quality Directories
No element of your backlinking strategy should include “low-quality” as a descriptor.
As we mentioned earlier, link and content farms that produce low-quality content are useless for your domain authority and SEO. The same goes for directories, where you submit your site’s URL to receive a backlink.
While some directories like Clutch.co can be valuable, many of them won’t be.
Make sure that any directories you’re listing with are relevant and have the potential to drive traffic. Otherwise, your time is better spent on other link-building strategies.
Focusing Only on Dofollow Links
When it comes to backlinks and search engine optimization, dofollow links are crucial. This type of backlink forwards the “link juice” of the host site to the source of the backlink, helping to improve authority and rankings.
However, they’re not the only type of link that should be a part of your backlinking strategy.
Nofollow links don’t pass the “link juice” like dofollow links do. But, their presence can act as an indicator to Google that you’re not a spam site, which improves the equity of your other links.
Nofollow links can also be used for user experience instead of SEO. They are effective at driving referral traffic that can provide a different but significant value to your business, making them a useful addition to your backlink profile.
Using Google’s Disavow Tool
If you’ve already worked on link building in the past, but it hasn’t gone well, or you’ve just realized you used a link or content farm for backlinks, you might be concerned about past efforts hurting your authority today.
However, in most cases, you don’t have to worry about using tools like Google’s disavow tool to try to hide backlinks you aren’t proud of. Your time is better spent finding ways to earn new, high-quality links for your profile.
Google’s SpamBrain algorithm has the ability to review your backlink content on other sites and evaluate it for quality. If it’s considered spam or low-quality content, the tool can automatically negate the link so that it doesn’t help or hurt you.
If you receive a manual penalty from Google, you might need to use the disavow tool for those backlinks, however.
Building Links Too Quickly
By now, you’ve probably realized that link building takes time.
It’s a complicated and tedious process that requires regular commitment to generating valuable content, nurturing relationships, and implementing effective strategies to grow your brand awareness.
To cut down on the time it takes to see results, it would make sense to spam out as many backlinks as possible as soon as possible to start building authority, right?
Sadly, you’ll have to be patient when it comes to building your backlink profile.
Building links too quickly can lead to penalties or nullification of your links due to the potential of spam content. Take your time and organically build and earn backlinks over time to avoid problems.
How Long Does it Take to See Results From Link Building?
Everyone wants to jump to the top of the SERPs immediately. But link building isn’t PPC marketing – it takes time and effort to do it correctly and create sustainable results.
Link building is generally a long-term strategy that you employ over time to build authority, improve brand awareness, and grow personal reputations to earn more recognition as an industry leader.
Results may come quickly, but that’s rare and often requires incredible luck or a premium backlink at a top-ranking site.
While there’s no definitive timeframe for how long it takes to see results from link building, there are factors that contribute to how quickly you’ll rise through the ranks.
Producing more content (but not too much) gives you more visibility and more chances at earning backlinks. High-quality content also increases the chance that another site will want to work with you.
Backlinks from sites with higher authority will provide a stronger and faster boost to your rankings, which also depends on your current authority as a starting point.
If you’re creating content that draws the attention of top-ranking sites and you receive a backlink or two from them, you could see results within a couple of days. If you’re just starting out, it could be weeks or months before you see significant ranking.
Best Practices With Link Building
Now that you know the best types of backlinks to build and what strategies to avoid, you’re ready to start growing your backlink profile and raising your domain authority.
Keep these best practices in mind when developing your link-building strategy.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
SaaS is a technical and competitive industry where companies constantly work to uncover critical research, identify the best new trends, and diligently aim to improve their search rankings.
With so much competition, only the best content will stand out.
If you focus on quantity, your content will be lost in the sea of content built just for SEO. You might be able to build more backlinks, but you won’t be earning them from sites that matter if your posts don’t provide value.
Quality is king in SaaS. You have to prove to the competition that you’ve got something valuable to offer. This can be specific data, unique insights, and special products that drive your content creation strategy to develop content that matters.
Your reputation and expertise are also crucial elements of building effective relationships with businesses and individuals throughout the space that allow you to expand your reach. If you become a thought leader, you’ll have far more opportunities available to you.
Relevancy is Key
Not only does your content have to be high-quality, but the backlinks that you pursue should also be relevant to your niche.
Pursuing a backlink opportunity with a high-ranking site that isn’t in your industry or niche won’t do as much for your domain authority as a relevant but slightly lower-ranking site.
In some cases, it can be valuable to work with competition that holds a higher position than you so that you can use their authority to grow yours.
However, partnerships with adjacent businesses that are still relevant but not in direct competition with you are ideal. It’s even better if they can become a trusted partner or an integration with your product to ensure there’s no competition, allowing you to grow together.
Diversify your Anchor Text Profile
When building backlinks, you may be tempted to use only the specific keywords that you want to rank well for as your anchor text. However, this won’t give you the best results.
It’s important to diversify your anchor texts so that Google and other search engines can get a more complete understanding of your pages’ content. Using the same anchor text repeatedly can also come across as spammy to search engines.
You can use direct matches for some anchor text, but you should also use reasonable variations of the keyword so that you can cover a wider range of searches and use cases.
For example, if you’re trying to rank for “best SEO firm in Philadelphia,” you would also want to include instances of “best Philadelphia SEO company” and “top SEO company in Philadelphia” when linking to your SEO page.
Create Link Worthy Content
Building links requires a lot of outreach, but earning them doesn’t.
The best way to become an authority in your industry is to create content that people want to link to and share.
Nobody wants to link just another article that rehashes the same information every other article already does.
Original, thoughtful, revolutionary, and well-informed content will stick out from the rest and capture the attention of those who matter most. These can be infographics, industry reports, in-depth case studies, statistics from original research, and expert insight content.
Be Genuine With Your Outreach
In an industry as competitive as SaaS, working with other companies can be intimidating. However, relationships are an essential part of establishing your business’s authority, creating a diverse backlink profile, and rising in the rankings.
Your approach to the various outreach activities you’ll have to try should always be genuine, thoughtful, and irresistible. You’re asking for a favor – an opportunity, their time, or their trust – so you need to offer something to them so that they take a chance on working with you.
You might offer a link opportunity on your site, exclusive access to data or research you’ve completed, or high-quality content that drives readers to their site as well as yours.
Find the Right Person to Reach Out to
Who you reach out to is just as important as how you reach out to them.
Not every potential relationship, partnership, or opportunity that could help you raise your authority is right for you.
You don’t want to work with spammy, low-quality backlinks or content farms. You should also avoid companies that publish low-quality content or those with a poor reputation so that other potential opportunities don’t apply the same tag to you.
You should also be reasonable about who you reach out to. High-authority sites offer a huge opportunity for your backlink profile, but if you don’t offer something special in terms of content or reputation, it’ll be hard to work with them.
When choosing your opportunities, don’t aim too high, and don’t aim too low. But, of course, never turn down an exceptional opportunity if it arises – they just shouldn’t be your first email.
It also helps to get to know the content manager or whoever is in charge of content and build a relationship with the individual instead of just pursuing opportunities from their company.
Build Relationships, Not Just Links
If you need someone to watch your pet or children, who would you trust more: a family member or someone you found in a classified ad?
It’s no secret that our relationships have an impact on how we act. So, it’s not surprising that building relationships is a crucial part of earning backlinks.
Sending cold emails out to various sites with no personalization and a canned response won’t earn you any meaningful opportunities. In fact, you’ll probably end up being deleted or marked as spam.
Instead, once you identify someone who you’d like to work with, you should begin to address them professionally. Comment on LinkedIn posts and interact on social media so that they get to know your name.
Then, when it comes time to reach out to them about an opportunity, you’ll have a basis of a relationship to leverage. Just don’t ask for too much too soon – you don’t want them thinking you’re just using them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Multiple Links From the Same Site
While it’s true that a wide-ranging backlink profile across multiple authority sites is ideal, it’s not easy to accomplish.
It might seem counterintuitive to get multiple links from the same site, but it’s not.
“Link juice” is not something you squeeze out of a site before throwing it out like a lemon – it’s more like the milk from a cow. If your existing backlinks are ranking well with a single site, it’s perfectly fine to build multiple links with them.
You should diversify whenever a positive opportunity presents itself, but partnering with another site and making multiple pieces of content on each other’s site is perfectly fine. Just be sure to change up the anchor text and not create backlinks too frequently with them.
Prioritize Natural Link Placement
Where you place your links and how you place them are two things that need to be considered for optimal link building.
You want to be sure you’re choosing relevant authority sites that have content where your anchor text will make sense.
It’s also important to integrate the backlink as seamlessly as possible. You want it to seem like your link was placed there because of its unbiased relevance to the post and anchor text it’s associated with.
If it seems like you bought a backlink and clumsily inserted a sentence with the anchor text that is out of place, Google is not going to provide you with the same benefits because it comes across as spam or low-value.
How Brand Building Can Support Your Link-Building Efforts
Branding and reputation are critical in an industry that’s so technically focused.
When you’re trying to build and earn links, you need to give someone a reason or incentive to work with you or link your content.
If you’re unknown, your content isn’t fantastic, and you don’t have great credentials to fall back on, it’s going to be an uphill battle to build authority.
By pursuing relationships with other industry leaders and integrating yourself with the community in your industry, you’re able to develop a reputation and earn recognition. This gives them a reason to take a chance on working with you due to the value you offer as a partner or reference.
Once you’ve got some eyes on you, then you can wow them with your quality.
What Type of Links Are the Best to Go After?
Link building is complicated in a lot of ways. You need opportunities, experience, high-value content, and a lot of luck to thrive in SaaS. Even then, if you’re not implementing your backlinks correctly, you won’t get the most out of link building.
In terms of the link types to use, dofollow links generally provide the most bang for your buck. They transfer “link juice” from the host site to the source site from the anchor text where the link is added, so they’ll help you grow your authority.
Nofollow links are also good for user experience and making the rest of your dofollow links stand out and be more valuable to search engines.
In terms of link-building practices, where you place your links play a big role in their value.
You want to place links on sites that are relevant, in articles that make sense, and within the context of the topic to ensure they’re received as well as possible by users and search engines.
How Much Budget Should a SaaS Allocate for Link Building
SaaS link building is an essential element of any digital marketing strategy. It’s a slow burn in most cases, but it begins to snowball over time until you have a full backlink profile working for you.
Due to its importance, link building should be a significant portion of your SaaS SEO budget to ensure you’re setting your site up with a base for success. The exact amount you should spend will depend on how competitive your market is, your existing authority, and the results you expect.
Generally, we recommend spending about 25% of your monthly marketing budget on link building to ensure you’re covering all your bases without creating too many links.
How to Save Money with Your Link-Building Efforts
Time is money, so aside from not buying paid backlinks from sites, you can save on link building by cutting down on the time you spend on them.
Automation provides a unique opportunity to expedite many of the tedious and time-consuming elements of link building.
You can outsource finding link opportunities, looking for mentions of your business in posts, checking for broken links to replace, monitoring the performance of your backlink-building efforts, and finding the best contacts to try to work with.
However, you don’t want to skimp on your content creation itself. Quality is everything, so saving money on informing and positioning the content is fine, but you’ll need to invest in the actual production of the content itself.
Metrics to Set For Your SaaS Link Building Campaign
SaaS link-building campaigns aim to create tangible results and changes in your business by improving key metrics. You can track these changes to help you evaluate your strategy based on what’s working and what isn’t.
Some metrics to monitor include:
- Domain authority
- Traffic increases
- Ranking increases
- Referral traffic
- Referral sales
- Number of backlinks
- Backlink sources
These metrics make it easy to see the results of your link-building efforts and can inform your strategy going forward so that you maximize your return.
Best Tools to Use With SaaS Link Building
There are a number of different tools available for the various elements of link building.
Hunter.io is a great tool to use for outreach. It excels at finding contact information so that you know exactly who to reach out to or engage when trying to build relationships with authority sites and companies.
Ahrefs offers link prospecting tools that identify the best opportunities to pursue based on domain authority, traffic, and the number of sites they reference to optimize your outreach time.
Good old Google can be used to find unlinked brand mentions alongside Ahrefs’s Content Explorer tool. Both allow you to search your company name and find any instances where it was used. You can then evaluate whether you want to pursue a backlink based on the domain authority and contact the site owner to discuss it.
Creating a Solid Link Building Strategy for your SaaS
Link building for SaaS is complicated, but it’s important because it works. The industry is competitive, and there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into the process. So, if you’re not building an effective strategy to maximize the results you see, you’re wasting your time.
Here are a few key takeaways to remember when building your Saas backlinking strategy:
- Create high-quality content: Your first priority should be to create high-quality content that adds value and encourages people to share and cite it. Reports, original research, and infographics are a few formats that do well and are highly linkable.
Whether you’re entirely new to the space or have struggled with gaining authority in the past, great content always provides you the opportunity to improve your rankings and reputation.
- Use automation to inform your strategy: You’ll also want to take advantage of the tools available to gain valuable insight into opportunities that exist, strategies that work, and how your efforts impact the results you see.
Informing your content creation allows you to write posts that are relevant and capture the attention of the right people.
- Build relationships through communication: It’s important to focus on building relationships within the space whenever possible. There are plenty of opportunities to engage with other leaders and businesses on social media where you can show off your value and expertise.
People are more likely to say yes to you when you’ve built rapport with them, so be as friendly as possible without asking too much in return.
- Place relevant links into relevant content: Don’t be tempted to spam backlinks in every piece of content possible. The relevance of your anchor text, the article topic, and the site it’s hosted on all play a role in how much authority a backlink gains. Integrate anchor links seamlessly for both the search engine and the user’s benefit.
- Avoid buying links and farms: Whenever possible, avoid buying links. Trusted link vendors may be acceptable, but always proceed with caution.
You should also never use content or link farms – they’re, at best, minorly beneficial and, at worst, harmful.
It’s also important to keep in mind that link-building is a long-term strategy. You won’t see major results overnight unless you secure an incredible backlink at the highest tier of authority site, so be patient and continue to put the work in. It’ll pay off in the end!
Looking to Scale Your SaaS Link Building Strategy?
As you can tell, there’s a lot that goes into link building for SaaS companies. It’s not something that you can just blindly go into and see meaningful results – you need a deep understanding of the industry, best practices, and how to bring it all together. In other words, you probably need an expert.
I’m an SEO consultant who specializes in SaaS. I’ve worked with companies of all sizes to help implement cost-effective, results-driven, and sustainable link-building results that generate more traffic, grow authority, and increase recognition.
SaaS link building is too important to put into the hands of anyone but an expert. Let me show you what effective link building can do for your business.