With a well-laid website design strategy, you've probably been working on creating meaningful content to drive organic traffic, carefully selected colors and typeface, but are you taking the time to build credibility for your site?
If you've never considered starting strategic partnerships with other businesses in and around your industry, now is the perfect time to start.
Northsail excels at building long-term relationships, which is partially because our clients always know they can trust us to deliver projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget. If we can't, we simply won't take the projects on.
However, for new businesses that are just starting to build their website authority, you'll want to start looking into link building opportunities that you can use to help your website rank higher in SERPs.
Before we get to our suggestions for link building tactics, let's talk about what link building is, the differences between link building and backlink SEO, and the benefits of using this strategy.
Simply put, link building is the process of establishing relevant links from external sources back to your website, and vice vers
This may seem simple, but it takes time and effort to find the right kinds of partnerships that are going to provide high-quality backlinks for your business.
Partnering with another business that doesn't have much or any website authority means that the inbound links won't be as valuable, so it's crucial to spend time vetting potential partnerships before you start.
These links can be present in a wide range of types of content, from blog posts (or guest blogging) to being mentioned (and linked) through visual content.
These external links add credibility to your website, which helps your website rank higher when it's being included in relevant search engine results. This typically results in your website moving up the SERPs list, and with some strategic planning, you can use this tactic to improve your brand visibility.
Contrary to what some people think, building links isn't exactly the same as using backlink SEO tactics. Technically, they're two different types of links, which are usually working towards the same ultimate goal.
Backlink SEO only involves one site linking back to your site through an anchor text, which can still improve your website's authority/credibility, but not usually as effectively as a holistic link building campaign.
The one benefit is that there are a number of backlink checker tools that you can utilize to navigate the impact and value of your backlink SEO plans.
Often, backlink checkers are able to give you updated information that's not easily accessible through other SEO tools, which can make it easier to gauge the success of your backlink SEO plans.
Any good link building strategy starts with strong partnerships.
One tactic that works for many businesses is to plan an email outreach campaign to reach out to a number of potential partners with your link building plans/goals, and see whether they're interested in joining you for the mutual benefits.
Make sure that you're only approaching relevant sites with this opportunity, though. You won't be reaching your target audience if you start partnerships with businesses that are serving different types of customers, who aren't necessarily interested in what you're offering.
It's important to note that you'll need to make the partnership valuable for them as much as it is for you, so that you can build trust with these new partners. Providing outbound links for your business is a vote of confidence on their end, as well as a form of social proof that their brand stands behind yours.
Make sure to demonstrate clearly to the link prospect how they will also benefit from partnering with you. Being able to show clear link equity is a great way to start getting positive responses from your outreach emails.
We've already talked a bit about the specific benefits of high-quality backlinks and partnerships that link opportunities can present, but there are some other ways that link building can help your business.
Getting your business mentioned on other sites or being given the opportunity to provide guest posts of your own for new partnerships is a great way to ensure that your brand messaging stays consistent; even when it's being hosted on an external site.
This way, you'll still have content that references your business aimed at the proper target audience, which means that any click-throughs that you see through these marketing campaigns will be more likely to convert.
Ensuring that your marketing materials are being aimed at the correct target market is extremely important for the success rates of these types of projects.
Partnering with too many businesses that only have as much credibility/authority as you do (or less), likely won't be considered expert sources by search engines, which means even with relevant content, you may not see much return on your investments.
One good method for checking ahead of time is to use tools to monitor the SEO performance of websites that you're considering for these types of partnerships.
If they've got highly-linkable content and a strong digital presence, you've probably found a great linkable asset. Now you just need to convince them that your website is worth linking to as well.
That's where the real challenge comes in. And don't be surprised if they'd prefer for you to pay them, rather than create a reciprocal backlinking relationship.
In many cases, this could be the response you get, so it's best to be prepared with a budget that you're prepared to spend on these tactics.
Nothing is more frustrating as a consumer than deciding that you're going to click-through on an external link, only for it to come up broken. It can make even the most loyal customers decide to check out what a competitor has to offer instead.
Almost as bad are unlinked brand mentions in the website content of the partners that are supposed to be backlinking to you. With unlinked brand mentions, even if you've gotten the customers' attention with the referential content mentioning your company, they won't have an immediate way to click-through to your site and check out your offerings.
In the increasingly digital landscape, customers want things made easy and fast for them. You don't want your target audience to have to spend a lot of time going back to a search engine to try and find your website. Odds are, a portion of them will get distracted and choose not to bother.
If you want a clear path to the bottom of your marketing funnel, you need to ensure that all your brand mentions are linked, and that any links mentioning your company remain functional.
SIDE NOTE: This means letting partners know when you make updates to your own website that could affect linked pages, so remember - the ownership is on you as much as partners to ensure you have a working link profile.
Link building is a helpful resource for establishing credibility and authority on your site, but like many other types of marketing strategies, lots of link building with no clear plan in mind is a surefire path to failure (and wasted resources).
Create a concise list of target websites you want to partner with. Do some reading on the major search engines you want to focus on, and look at how they manage their backlinks. Ensure you understand your target audience and their needs/wants clearly; otherwise, you could end up partnering with the wrong people.
Only after you've built a realistic, achievable plan-of-action can you truly find success with link building campaigns. Jumping in and trying to get started before you're ready will only waste time and resources.
If you're having trouble getting started, think about a holistic list of sites that you might want to partner with, and then ask yourself a few crucial questions, such as:
There are lots of great email marketing strategies that you can use to grab the attention of the people on your email list, but you don't want to spend a ton of time creating email templates and then fine-tuning them manually based on first/second rounds of potential partnerships contacts.
When you're working towards creating new partnerships, you need more than a friendly email to introduce your proposal. You need something that's eye-catching, engaging, and professional.
It's a good idea to include branded logos and such in these introductory emails, and then find unique, exciting ways to grab the recipients' attention in the subject line.
Email marketing tools make putting together these introductions much faster, cleaner, and more efficient than trying to create the template from scratch yourself.
In fact, many of these tools have a wide variety of styled templates to choose from, so you can pick something that really speaks to your brand messaging and imagery.
BONUS TIP: Make sure you have concrete goals listed, if you're trying to establish new partnerships. If you want to partner with another business to work on valuable content strategies like link building, you'll want to make sure the value for them and long-term goals for you both are clear from the beginning.
If your business operations afford you the ability to provide industry-specific statistics, or valuable data relating specifically to the products/services that you offer, these can be fantastic resources to share with partners.
Visual assets are an effective method for building engagement, and if there's an educational element alongside the visual appeal of your infographics, they can be an easy fit for partners in their content creation.
Not only can these improve backlink quality, because it drives more engagement and click-through than written links (when used effectively), but these often tend to be some of the more desirable links for visitors to click.
This leads to more traffic on your site, happier link building partners, and ultimately, more conversions for your site.
Even with all the greatest backlinking partners on the web, you can't utilize these benefits (or create reciprocal relationships) without an efficiently designed website of your own.
But for business owners that have no experience in website design and development, this can be a long, costly process. At least, it used to be.
Now you can quickly and easily create high-performance landing pages for your next website project, build and add custom customer data forms, and even design your own widgets, so that your next link building campaign has all the website support it needs to succeed.
Best of all, you can try Horizon for free for 30 days - no obligation or credit card required.
In fact, we're so confident that you'll love Horizon that we won't even take your payment information until after your trial is completed. So, if you're ready to dive into your next website project, without the need for a developer's oversight, what are you waiting for?
We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.
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