Link Building ·

How To Sell Link Building And Why You Need To by Aaron Haynes of Loganix

Bernard Huang

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We hosted Aaron Haynes, CEO of Loganix for a webinar on how to sell link building to your managers and clients to get buy-in across the organization.

Aaron covered:

  • How to convey the importance of link building

  • How to set expectations about links

  • How to demonstrating value of links and report on them

  • His link strategy (types of links, where to use them and how)

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Watch the full webinar

Check out Aaron’s slide deck (specifically the notes section for additional value) here.

Listen to the webinar as audio only on your favorite podcast platform:

About Aaron Haynes:

Aaron Haynes is an entrepreneur, digital marketing enthusiast and YEC member. With over half a decade's experience in business development, Aaron is the CEO of Loganix.

Follow Aaron on LinkedIn:

About Loganix:

Loganix provides action-focused SEO/SEM solutions for agencies and businesses to optimize and simplify their internal processes and deliverables.

Read the transcript

Aaron: I'll get a little bit more into Loganix and actually I think you might see my notes now. Yes. Yeah. Well, let me, might just roll that way. How to sell links and why you need to. And I think one of the, the top points I wanna make here is that this is a general discussion, general presentation that I think can be a lot more dialed in depending on the type of business and type of client.

But I wanted to keep it sort of central and not go into too much detail. That's something I'm more than happy to do, kind of more on a one-on-one basis if anybody ever wants to book time with me or just speak with anybody at Loganix. But in general, for link billing, we're gonna kind of cover some of the key points we want to focus on as far as selling links and what you need to emphasize and, and think about.

So I'm gonna use my notes here. One thing also I mentioned to Travis earlier, is that we're gonna share this overall deck with you guys after, and I think part of the. Part of the meat and potatoes basically actually are coming from my notes. So it's gonna be a good piece to be able to read after if you want as well.

Another piece real quick, yes, I do have long hair if anybody else noticed that. I tend to speak kind of quickly. So if I do blow through anything, you will hopefully have the the notes then as of tomorrow. And then I think if we just go step by step if anybody has any questions or Travis if you want to jump in, that's cool.

And then like you said later on, we can also have a longer question and answer. So without further ado, a bit about me. Yeah, I don't look that way anymore. Basically that's a, I think a 12 year old wedding picture that turned into a caricature, basically c e o of Loganix. I'll talk a little bit about me.

I do have that 13 year background, maybe 14 years in seo loosely. Link building has been a big part of that for. I don't know, at least 10 years. So it's something that I have done personally. I've outsourced we've built teams on, we've tried and, and tested all different types of link building.

And then we've brought that into Loganix about eight years ago and started really scaling and figuring out what worked, how to reproduce it and using kind of tried and true methods and selling that to our clients. So if I go a bit more into who we are Like Travis Orain, we're an SEO agency.

But I think what makes us somewhat unique, and actually I'm gonna use the next slide here, is that we have an online dashboard basically where you can create an account and go in and order stuff. So we basically are a backend for SEO teams. So you could be an in-house team, you can be an agency you can be a consultant.

You can also just be the direct business itself. The S M b, you create an account. If you can see over here on the left, we sell link building citation related work SEO services, content, pay per click. But in this capacity, you're not paying anybody for the fluff. There's no management hourly services, none of that.

We just basically, Cut right into the deliverables that you would need to put together a successful campaign. Part of that is actually the link building. And so we've broken down links into productized services in a while where we can maintain quality but also scale. And so I think one of the things about link building is that.

There's a huge wide swath of different types of links, different types of providers. There can get really super high quality links that aren't really scalable and take a lot of effort to, to get and achieve. Or you can a lot of times get really crappy links fiber, other providers, although there is some good stuff on fiber.

And what we wanted to do was figure out through testing and experience what works, what moves the needle what we can basically replicate and scale, and also what's not gonna be Dangerous or a liability of the client, cuz that is potentially an issue. So kind of long story short, we did productize link building.

We do have a number of different types in here. I think mainly the two different types that I'm gonna talk about today are at reference are guest posting and niche edits both of which are Loganix products, but again, just kind of different types of links to put us all on the same page.

Guest posting basically means that we're going to find a publisher a website when we have a, a client order or just if we wanna build links in general. And we're going to that's gonna be based on relevance to the client site and certain metrics that we're looking for. And actually we're doing this in scale.

So there's gonna maybe be, let's say a hundred sites that we potentially would wanna publish on. They have blogs, they meet our criteria. We're gonna pitch them. Hey, we like your blog. Are you interested in some free content? We'd like to write a post for you. Out of the a hundred, maybe two or three say Yes.

We go back, write the content, insert the link into the content. Our links have whatever type of natural configuration we have there. Come back to the publisher and get that post to go live. When the post go live you get the link from that site to the client's site. So that's basically a guest post niche edits on the other hand.

Our existing content. So same type of blog post, it's just that you're basically going into an existing blog post on a site, getting the site owner, publisher contributor, who it might be to modify the content a little bit and add actually link in. The cool thing with niche edits is that same thing, metrics.

We're looking at minimum standards and also they have existing traffic. So a guest post is a brand new post, and it's said it is existing post, which part of the difference there is that it's already been indexed, it already has traffic, not only on the site, but actually a lot of times in that individual post.

And as I'm gonna talk about a little bit later, traffic organic traffic is one of the pieces that we sort of hang our hat on as far as quality goes. Any determining a publisher or a quality link. So a niche edit, you kind of just jump right, cut to the chase basically and get that, that kind of higher quality link.

So that's a bit about us. Let's go to the next. Here we go. All right. So yeah, the importance in place of links as part of an SEO service plan. Links matter, period. This is true. There is a lot of caveat to it, and there's a lot of it depends, which is one of our favorite phrases, as we all know, in seo.

Basically you can throw up content, informational content, blog post long form content and a lot of times rank without links and that's cool, that's great that we don't necessarily need links. Once you start getting into commercial certs and you're trying to rank product pages, surface pages category pages, your homepage, whether that's in local certs your e-commerce, your service-based, whatever it might be you basically need.

Link building. Same thing is true with or links. Same thing is true with more competitive informational type SEARCHs. And basically it's just saturation up at the top of the search results. Blog posts, content strategy, you can build a lot of long tail in there. Again, you don't necessarily need links.

You start trying to go for your quote unquote money, keywords and related. Everybody else there is in part. Doing the same thing you are. They're Guinea links, they're building links and they've probably been there for a while. And so it's just a stronger signal in commercial certs. So we've basically found that it's a requirement.

I, I, when I think about this myself, I think it's kind of funny because links have been around for a long time, 12, 13, 14 years. And it used to be that you could go into I dunno if any of any of you harken back to this day, but you could go into Wicked Fire Warrior Forum or different communities and buy all different types of links.

And I'm saying to my partner last night, isn't it funny that you used to buy links and actually buy the keyword result? You'd say, I wanna rank for this keyword, that keyword, the other keyword. And it wasn't really about the quality of the link. It was they'd go and the link provider would do their job and you'd start to rank for whatever keyword it was.

So they've been around in different forms and they've always been important. That type of link building isn't really used or shouldn't be used anymore. But links have always served that important point. So again, links matter period. And then the blog post versus service and category and product pages.

The other part about link building that's important is I have site authority for rankings. So links push equity. They're basically votes from one site to another. And from an algorithmic standpoint and the more you have, the better you tend to rank. Again, lots of kind of caveats and relevance and type of site and link velocity and a lot of other pieces there.

But in general, the more we have, the better we tend to rank with. Site authority. You're not just getting individual links to a specific page that might then help that page rank for the targeted keywords it's optimized for, or it's kind of relevant long tail. But you're also building equity to the site.

And I think most of us are familiar with Dr. DA domain rating or domain authority. And the more authority you build the better different pages on your site are gonna rank basically, right? So it's not just links to an individual page, it's gonna be links to the site in general. So if I'm acquiring links in whatever form to my blog post, to my service pages or product pages to my homepage I'm slowly gonna build my my D R D A up higher and higher.

And that's going to, I always screw up this expression, but the whatever it is, rising waters float all boats or whatever it actually is, that's gonna help every page on the site whether it's existing or new. You throw up a, a new blog post on a DR. 60 site. That blog post is going to rank faster and better, basically for more terms than that same blog post on a DR.

20 site. So links as a form of equity, building the overall authority. Of a particular website. Super important. In fact, a lot of times we'll have clients coming in and part of the recommendation after they tell us what they want is, yes, we can build links to some of these service pages or product pages, but additionally we want to build, we wanna have a dr play.

We basically want to build site authority and there's different types that we would use for that type of thing. And then the next point, link links as anchor of results in recurring revenue. Now some might argue with this, and again, this is a, another place where you could say it depends, but. Link building after you kind of make it through the initial work for onsite.

So if you get a project in and you need to do onsite strategy, you're doing all the basic stuff the research the on page titles page meta descriptions, header tags technical speed, ma content strategy, everything else that you kind of build out and say, all right, I'm gonna make all OTs crossed and I dotted after you do that as a project, it's can be difficult to find ongoing on page s e o to basically do to the extent where you would have a a large amount of work.

Now, the exceptions might be big projects, big sites, millions of pages. There's always something to do. But on a smaller website, relatively, or a medium website, once you've done that initial work, there's a lot less. To be done in that on page capacity. So one of the cool things with links is that not only does it actually produce results, it's a lever that you can pull to build higher rankings, but it's a good source of recurring revenue for those of you who are actually agencies or, or consultants, actually gonna sell links there.

So if I have, let's say a, a project where I do $5,000 worth of on page upfront with whether it takes a month or two or whatever it is, and the client is willing and able to pay, then $5,000 monthly, I'm gonna run out of one time work that I can basically do in that $5,000 retainer and links is a great home potentially to secure that.

And I guess it doesn't have to be revenue, it could also just be, Hey, I'm an internal guy and I have budget. Push it towards links in some form because it's a value add and quite honestly it's expensive. Part then the horse. And that basically means onsite dialed in, content strategy addressed, and then links is the engine.

So I kind of said this, but just to say it a little bit differently and I'll, I think I say it a few different times during the presentation. We can push links to any site. When I say we, I mean all of us collectively building links no matter what Sta status that's in. But they're gonna have a much better impact if the OnPage is actually dialed in.

So those basics of seo strategy based on research on page signals and targeting content on those in individual pages, potentially a separate content strategy blogging, for example, if it's applicable. With all those things being done, links are a great, and I'll say necessary piece of it.

If they're not done and you don't actually have a lot of that dialed in and we're building links, they're just gonna be watered down. The results won't necessarily work as well. So it's something that we want to make sure that we have an order basically before we really push too much link building.

So how to sell and convey the necessity of link building to your client's, manager or boss? I think one of the challenges that we have in getting buy-in for link building budget or just selling in general is that it's not trusted in a certain sense or, and maybe in a large sense, it depends who, who you are and who you're selling it to, but like a lot of seo there's mistrust around it.

So a big part of getting buy-in to begin with is kind of establishing trust. And so, and that's like seo, right? People are skeptical and or have been burned. I hear that a lot of times on calls. I've been burned x number of times by, you know, is this gonna work and where are you getting them from?

And so there's a lot of skepticism. I think that's one of the big challenges. One of the things that we've, we try to do, and I'll do literally on a call or subsequently speaking with a lead or a prospect about links. Is trying to turn it into their vernacular, what are links to them? Now we do use specifics.

We do go into quality and, and kind of give a more formulaic way of describing and selling and, and pitching the links and trying to get the buy-in there. And I think I go into some of some details here in a bit. But basically we want to turn it into what's gonna be important to them and that's gonna vary.

So this isn't like amazingly novel ideas. I think the same thing applies whether it's seo, link building, paper per click, any type of marketing. But you want to speak in general and say, Hey, cause and effect, we're gonna basically work on link building, which should push. Ranking improvements to these pages.

Here's these pages that rank for these keywords. Here's the amount of volume for those keywords the search volume, and as a result, you'll get a bigger piece of that, which will then turn into traffic. Traffic hits your site. What are you interested in? You're interested in the sale? Sign up. A phone call, whatever it might be.

So we need to translate it into something that's not just SEO speed, but something that's tangible for them. Right. Although there's a, a flip side of that down the road on a different slide. So again, understanding what they care about early on, and it may, again, it's gonna totally vary. We have people that come in and they know what links do, and they are very specifically caring about the metrics around or the type of link.

So we have to focus in on what it is that they're telling us. Hey, I understand link building. I've been burned before. I want this exact type of link. I want this quantity, I want the content to reflect this or that. And so hearing what it is that they need or they want whether they're super educated and familiar with link building or totally novice and don't know a thing translated into their.

Language and then make that valuable. And then link building should be seen as a means to achieve a metric that matters to the client or the, the kind of sh stakeholder and makes a difference. One of the things here is that we do need to establish a benchmark and show them kind of where they are at or yourself, where you are at with your link building on a particular page and how you might need to get somewhere in order to rank better.

So I think I go into an example on a bit, but If you're looking at a particular URL and you want that to rank better for X keywords, and it has y number of links, you're gonna need to demonstrate where they're actually at maybe where the competition is at and how for trying to rank for the same type of keywords and what that gap is.

So you can turn where a client or your own website is at by doing the analysis around link building and then where they want to be and show that that sort of discrepancy. And that metric literally is gonna be either D R D A and the difference there, or a quantity of links. Hey, we think that it will take 10 links built to this page loosely And you'll basically now be on the first page of Google for these particular keywords or something like that.

So again, it should be a metric that matters to the client, but also then is translated into something tangible from an SEO standpoint. Another part emphasize the long-term benefits rather than the one-off work and the short-term gains. I do get people coming through and they basically say, Hey, I have three months and that's it.

And that's okay. We can build things for just a few months. It is very not only cause and effect but this is somewhat formulaic. There is an engineering aspect of seo, which I personally love. And so you can predict, forecast, and actually look through again, what the results might be and kind of how to get there and forecast out how long it might take based on the quantity of links that you need to a particular page or a domain overall.

And in doing all this, it takes time. So one of the things that we want to emphasize is not just the data and the forecast and sort of how to get there, the goals and all that with like building but this, that this is an investment. So I was thinking this is similar to we're doing some work on, on my house.

And you know, if you have the end goal in mind, you're like, okay, cool, here's what we're this. Is it gonna actually look like this is what, why we're doing this work? And then the contractor comes that day or whatever and starts tearing a wall down or something. You don't jump in and say, why? What are you doing?

Why does this look this way? Because you're paying them to get to the end result. You don't jump in right away and expect those results. Once they start tearing the wall down, y you're paying them to do the work to get to the, the end result. And I think it's similar with link building. It's that you have to put everything in context and that each step is valuable piece and really an investment in whatever that end part is.

So it's an investment in your site to build the links even if you don't see the results yet. Basically reasonable cost for links. This is a bit all over the place. We know we sell link building. So I'm gonna speak a bit to us. I'll say that. In general, you're looking at a range from around the $100 link all the way up to a thousand dollars a link.

You could go on a I don't know, a forum or like I said earlier, fiber and probably find links for 10 bucks. You could also go in on the opposite end and probably find links for $5,000. The cost to me is less important than the quality. And in fact, just to have a, as a quick story, we have an agency that orders from us and they had a budget per client and they just kind of came in and allocated, I forget what it was exactly, I wanna say $500 a month per client.

And so they were like, okay, cool. What's the best bank for my buck? And they spent I think they got like two or three links or something per client, had it all, all set. And they month over month of a month and then they booked a call. They had, I had never spoken with them. They booked a call. And I chatted with them and they're like, well, you know, we're not moving the needle as much as fast as we, you know, what's, what's going on here?

So I looked at their orders and looked at the link profile and, and everything else. They were ordering a, a decent quality link, but it wasn't really the right link for them. And the basically, long story short, they went from getting two or three links a month to getting one. And that one link was a higher quality link that they were getting than those two or three, which seems self-evident for the same price.

And so we tend to hang our hat again, more on the right links, the right quality. Now that might be a slower path for that, that example client I just gave to get to where they want to go. But that one more quality and impactful link is actually going to be far better than the two or three lower quality so to speak, or lower metric type links.

So it, it totally depends. Budgets kind of depends on your budget, the type of URLs you're targeting, how competitive the ses are. But I would generally say that you're probably in the two to $500 per link range. There's some that are higher, there's some that are lower. And I would just kind of do your due diligence and look around at the, the metrics and kind of the quality there in that way.

Link cost separate or included in how to budget for links. We generally say that after you do OnPage, links tend to eat up maybe 70 to 80% of total monthly link or SEO spend. As I was saying before, links are a great way to add in a recurring value. So. To an ongoing SEO plan. So after that one time work is done, we see a lot of times that basically the majority of the SEO budget goes into links.

So I'd say about 70, 80%. And then link costs separate or include an SEO cost. I always like to keep links separate as a separate deliverable if it's just cleaner. It's the result. Yes, they work in tandem to on page and content, but really making sure that links are separate is a great way to kind of continue that budget on and say, Hey, this is making a difference.

This is how much it costs, basically. And then selling links with data versus comparison and ego. We're gonna, I think, get into this in the next couple of slides here, but one method and that we always go to is that comparison method, like I said before, Where you're gonna look at what the competition is doing, what their link profiles are like how many links they have, what the SES actually looks like for where you want to build links to to get those results and try to build out a path and show client or stakeholder how to get there, why you're not there, and why the other guys who are there, are there, and what you need in order to get there.

And that you can tell it's sort of a data-driven story. The other way, very simply put, is ego. A lot of times people want to be on page one, they want to be in a certain position for a certain result. And we can basically use ego in a sense to say, Hey, if, if you want to be here, this is what it's gonna take and therefore this is what it's gonna cost.

Along that, those lines a little bit in terms of educating the buyer. I think one piece that I want to, I'm gonna blow through some of these, but first thing would be setting expectations. So I'm gonna go bottom right here. What links actually do and to getting clear with the buyer or the buy-in person about what we're doing and getting on the same page.

And part of that too like I mentioned, the key is transparency. This isn't smoke and mirrors. I think there's an aspect we don't wanna share. We don't wanna give too much detail because then they're gonna hold us accountable for things that are not important necessarily, or basically micromanaged, but a hundred percent we want to be transparent and clear with what we're doing, how we're doing it, and what to expect.

So the first part of that with expectations. One question. We get a lot. Or misunderstanding. And I would be pretty sure that most of you know this, but maybe not everyone referral traffic versus PR versus equity in terms of what link building and links actually do. We get people coming in in and saying after they purchased a link a few weeks later, after it's live or whatever, hey, I'm not getting traffic from the link.

Like, yeah. That, that's not how it works. You, you don't get traffic from links. I mean, you can, but this is again, an equity play. We're acquiring links from quality websites in order to get those votes, in order to get that page to rank higher and or the D R D A to be bigger to grow. You can get traffic through social links.

You can get traffic through quote unquote PR links where you have like an agency or a PR campaign. You're trying to go viral, you're trying to have an interest piece piece. It goes up on New York Times or somewhere and people come through that, that link can come to your site. Cool. That's not scalable.

Really? That's not like link building. That's not the goal that we're after here. So no traffic, that's not an expectation. It is an equity play though. The other part I said about link building takes time to show noticeable results. They need to buy into that. We'll generally say that you should be looking at a minimum of three months assuming that you're actually building for three months.

And then you could stop. And that's a fair place to stop and take a step back assuming that you've done your due diligence in the right, the competition of the ses, how many links do you have, the right pages and everything else. Three months is the fair place to turnaround. Look back, what did we do?

Where are we at? Are we at least moving? Are we moving in the right direction? I think in general, I mean, we're link builders, so of course I'm gonna say this, but you want links ongoing. Six months is a lot more. I'd say well a lot better. And then just kind of ongoing link building. But that taking time piece is key.

A lot of times I'll use the I'll describe Link building in a sense where you're taking. Salt and trying to put salt into water. And you don't see it. So I'm building links. I'm not necessarily seeing it, putting salt in the water. At a certain point you can see the salt in the water because it crystallizes and link building is a little bit the same.

Yes, it's formulaic. Yes, we can use data but it does take time. We have to have a little bit of faith there, which is why again, we hang our hats on the quality piece. And then educating clients about the components of, whoops. Whoa. We have mentioned we have the. OnPage basically. So again, they need to understand the OnPage has to be dialed in, that you can't just throw links at a site.

We do have people coming in and saying, okay, I read that link building's important. I just built my site. You know, I have no, no links, no rankings, and I wanna spend $3,000 a month on links. And we're like, no. You need to age the site a little bit. You need to have rankings organically, the site needs to be targeting properly, et cetera.

And then you need to decide what's natural. Can we start to build links to the homepage? Can we do maybe press releases in a sense to start getting some diversified anchor text out there? So there is that, that context there. Goals I think are also pretty important in terms of being clear and setting expectations.

It's a combination. I was saying before the piece about getting all the buy-in and speaking in the the stakeholder or the prospect's language this is a place actually where we want to flip around a little bit and not necessarily be held accountable for their metrics. So yes, you rank higher, you get more traffic, you should get more signups, you should get more sales, you should get more calls.

That's the whole reason we're doing this. But this at the end of the day is a link building campaign. And so we're accountable for the traffic related pieces and the quality and the links themselves. So we want to say, this is the specific number of links that we're going to build overall or per month, or on average or whatever.

As a result, these are the keywords. If we build these that we're trying to rank higher for, this is where you rank now, this is where we think you would get to roughly in the search based on that number of links. So kind of having agreeable KPIs traffic rankings, improvements and then the links themselves.

I think past that starts getting a little bit into cro r o and other parts off the site that sh while totally related, shouldn't be deliverables or necessarily the initial measurement of link building. I think also it's important to basically stay in touch and set. Timeframes where you say launch, I was saying before three months, when it works, six months definitely works.

But to basically be in front of whoever it is that you need to be in front of consistently. Cuz again, there's a little bit of a, a gray area or kind of maybe lack of trust sometimes with seo. And we wanna say we're not doing anything wrong or bad. There's no tricks here. This is what we're doing.

We're building high quality links. Expect this number at this time. Here they are. So we want to be in front, clear upfront proactive maybe with how we deliver and report on links. So with reporting. I think another part, like I just said, is actually setting the periods for review. We use data Studio Booker Studio now to report on links.

So we pipe in like g4, data, conversions, all that other stuff. And then we actually put live links a lot of times. We use just Google sheets too there where we're basically every month the links that go live will show like the the pro the sites that we're trying to pitch to. Basically the prospects the publisher and the expected live date.

And when the link actually goes live, it pops up in the sheet and so the client can see who they're gonna get, when to expect it, and then when it actually goes live. But it's still good to be sane at whatever period. Hey Here's your live links pointed out, having a discussion around it. So, and the other part about, again, making yourself available people don't trust.

So kind of putting yourself more up on the forefront I think is important. We've noticed that the more proactive you are about actually talking about link building and what's going on, the more receptive people are to to continuing to do it. So it's not just the results, but like anything else, you're available, you're accountable and you're visible.

Traffic growth and then the actual numbers of links and keyword rankings. Again, with whatever that period is, we wanna basically say, Hey, we've noticed that you have improved in rankings from here to there. I'll show a a slide here in a second of that. And we wanna point these things out. We wanna highlight the results as we go, not just the goals they want to see.

Like we've moved that boulder. It may not, may not have moved to the destination across the yard, but it's moved a couple feet. Eight, check it out. I think that's partly what we're trying to show here. So as a result, just kind of cause and effect. This is just a ATR screenshot. I think, and this works really well in a lot of different ways, whether you're doing it live on a call, you're doing it in retrospect after you've built.

But let's say link billing starts to happen around here. The blue line here are referring domains. So basically acquired links. And they start to grow really here at the beginning of the year. Well, what else starts to grow here? Well, traffic, and it's pretty, at the very least there's a correlation.

I'm gonna say there's causation. And then we say this from quite a bit of experience. Whoops. And similarly, you actually the keyword profile. So here's page one rankings, but in positions four through 10. And then as the traffic starts to pop, they're getting outta the way around, they're getting top three position rankings as well.

So links grow traffic. Can keywords grow? Does it always happen like this? Is it magical? Yes, it's magical. Does it always happen like this? No. We sometimes, you know, we have to go back to the drawing board, but it happens a lot. Nine times outta 10, maybe eight times outta 10 high quality links, right number right type.

Page better rankings. And so clients love this. And it's, you know, there's a reason why. Here's just the keywords for that respective screenshot. We just were looking at a second ago FinTech related keywords. Not crazy competitive, but you know, national, decently competitive. And in that time, going from like position 10 to position one position 12 to position four, 12 to six, et cetera.

So Watson improvement, and again everything else being equal on page quality of content, et cetera. This is that big lever the link building here. So

link strategy, what types of links to use and in what way? I think this is sort of the meat and potatoes of. Of the link building campaign. Everything up to here has been sort of talking and context and sales. I mean that with whoever it is that you're speaking to. Quality. I'm gonna define basically as relevance and metrics.

Relevance basically is how related is the publisher that you're getting a link from that site to your site or your page or your client's page or whatever. And there's, this is, there's a spectrum here, but in general, you know, am I getting a link from if I'm a, I don't know, an attorney, am I getting it from a legal site or something that relates kind of what I'm doing or is it related to I think my go-to example is a chicken counter build, chicken coop site.

Well, relevance obviously would tell us that we want the link from the, the prior examples and not from the chicken coop site. There's some caveats there too, but in general, relevance is super, super big. I will say though, that SEOs, in my opinion, place too heavy of an emphasis on everything needing to be a hundred percent relevant.

There are not only levels of relevance, but there's times when relevance, in my opinion, takes a backseat to metrics. So metrics then, For us are basically D R D A of the site that you're getting a link from. So what is the domain rating of the site you're getting a link from? But it's a bunch of other stuff too.

For us it's gonna be not only the link profile of the actual publisher, but it's going to be the types of links, the link velocity and sort of the equity that's hitting that particular site. We wanna make sure that those are of a certain standard and a certain quality. The big one that I mentioned earlier on is traffic and organic rankings.

That's huge. You can game DR Links and a few other things so that somebody's like, oh, I got a link from a DR or 65 site. Cool. It's got no rankings in traffic. I don't want that link. So the rankings and traffic are a great indicator in general of the quality and value of that site. And we've seen it time and time again that sites that have traffic and have rankings.

And make it through algorithm algorithmic updates. If you have links from them, you too make it through algorithm. Algorithm updates. If those sites tank, cuz maybe they don't have the they're gaming something or Google doesn't like them for whatever reason during an update and you have links from them, you don't necessarily tank in a punitive way, but you're gonna lose the link value that you had from those sites.

So we want to find sites that have strong traffic, strong link metrics and not only that, but they're actually potentially growing in both ways. So you kind of look for growth in links and traffic from a particular site. Again, there's a lot more details around metrics and relevancy, particularly in metrics.

Some of those details are on our site as far as how we go through and, and vet the process there. One of the things I'll say there too with Mel metrics and relevance is that The, one of the caveats is that I think that metrics well, so as an example, we have a product called Brand Links and it's DR.

70 plus links. It's mostly on SAS tech marketing type sites. And so we'll have clients come in and say, I don't want links from those type of sites. It's not relevant to mine. I'm C B, D, I'm, you know, women's clothing or whatever. Well, what we'll do a lot of times is put relevance into The context of the article.

And so the content we've pitched to that Dr. 70 plus site, who's super pissy and particular about the type of content, Hey, it's gotta be 3000 plus words. You gotta write really, really well. Gotta be researched, blah, blah, blah. We can't go in there and, you know, say, oh, link to our c b D point in whatever way we have to write it and say, all right, we're gonna write a post on the top 10 best practices for cro r o in Q2 of 2023.

And then in there we're gonna cite different examples of. Some of those cro O best practices. Well, a natural way that we can link to that CBD B client or an attorney or something like that might be to look at our client's site and see how they're doing c r o and then come back and say, oh, here's one example in our post for c r o of how to best do conversion rate optimization.

And then we can cite our C B D or our attorney client in that post. So in that way, it becomes less about the relevance on a domain level and in the sense even on a page level, but you make up for it by, in a sense, by getting the DR 70 plus, you're getting a pretty awesome equity link. So my point is yes, relevance?

Yes. Relevance. But there's sometimes when higher metrics are great and we want to go after them and we can get them like that. How many you need and SSP analysis. This is again, another area and I haven't been able to show my sticker yet, but you guys can see my sticker. So.

We, when we get quotes, we get people, I again, on a lot of different calls and people come in, they say how do we how many do I need, how much it's gonna cost? And I turn around and I give some information to our sales team and our SEOs. Long story short is kind of what I've alluded to or referenced all this whole time.

Basically, if you're using a tool like ATR or s e m Rush or whatever, and you're looking at link profiles, you're looking at whatever the CS are that you're trying to target, and you're saying, okay if the DRS are loosely equal, first example, let's say that you have a DR. 40 site and everybody on page one is close to DR 40 but you're not on page one.

Then you can kind of look and look at their profile and say, first of all, how many links do they have? Okay, they have 12 links. Or maybe the, the big guy has 12 links pointing at the specific result, and you have two. Well, I mean, it. You need 10. It's basically that simple. On the flip side or a little bit deeper, you need to go into their link profiles and look at the specific types of links they have.

Are the links, those 10 links that they have that you do not in quantity, what are the DR RDAs of those? Are they in are they guest posting links? Do they look more like niche edits? Are they super relevant? Are they less relevant? Are they just directory links? So analyzing the link profile itself, but you're starting with that quantity piece, assuming that the D R D A is similar.

And then you can kind of forecast out and say, all right, per page, this is the, the discrepancy. This is how many links I am behind those who are on the face first page. These are the types of links I need. So you could turn around and then say, I basically need 10 over here. I need two over here. I need six over there.

Whatever it might be. And. You'd get a total number of links and then in a sense, you could even turn into a budget and be like, all right, I need 50 DR 30 links, let's say over time to build at these different pages to get up onto the first page. And I know if I go to Loganix, cough, cough, or wherever those costs, whatever, $300.

And so now I know I'm gonna spend $15,000 this year loosely. So you can figure out what it's gonna be loosely based on the number of links and then the provider that you're using or if you're doing it yourself. The only other way I was gonna give an example here is that if the DRS don't match. If you're going up against sites that you're DR 30 and they're DR 60, and you have that 10 link gap, they have 12, you have two you kind of need to make up the DR gap as a function of links.

So I'd first start with doubling whatever the number is. So again, if you're 10 length short and they're DR 50 or 60 and you're DR 30, you probably need to go 20 links minimum to kind of keep, compete or make up for that discrepancy in the, the larger DR. Gap. These are estimates, again, it's approximate.

I should my, it depends sticker just to, to buy myself a little bit of an out. But again, it works pretty well with looking at link profiles, the variance in quantity, the variance in D R D A and then gimme a pretty good idea of what you need to be able to get there. Metrics versus relevance. We more or less talked about that.

Both work really air with relevance for 70, 80%, sometimes relevance and metrics metrics, relevance from sites that have good metrics, I guess is what I'm trying to say. But then that 20, 30% if you have some kick ass sites that aren't necessarily as relevant. But the metrics are good, a hundred percent go for those.

And then mitigating and avoiding penalties and other issues. I think the important part here is that if you've done loosely everything that I've talked about here and really focused on both metrics, relevance, and again, the metrics piece is the organic traffic. I'd say that's kind of the safety part.

You basically should be fine. Manual penalties while they do occur. Are are rare. We don't really ever see them. So I wouldn't worry about that from a link building standpoint. I would worry about things like, don't over-optimize your anchor text when you're building links. We don't want to use keywords in there, really.

Let the links be contextual and natural, and that's a good way to avoid penalties. Another is don't use all bad neighborhood stuff. Don't use PBNs of course. And just build high quality links and match what's actually going on in Google. I think the last thing I'll say is that we monitor the traffic of the sites that we get links from.

So after we've built a link to a client site, actually for all our clients, we're monitoring those publishers. And if they drop in traffic after an algorithm update or something, we remove them as partners. We're not gonna link use them ever. Well, we're not gonna use 'em again because they've dropped in that actual traffic.

If you have a link profile again, where you have some links from sites that lost traffic from an algorithm, algorithmic update, chances are you're gonna drop in the rankings again, not because it's a penalty, but now those links that counted and we're hel helping you don't anymore because they lost that traffic basically.

So I would say also monitoring your links that you have to see not only are they live, but that the sites they're coming from haven't dropped is another good way to get an idea of what's going on. So if you did see drops in, in rankings, check that out first or proactively monitor it like like I just mentioned.

There's a little bit around, more around penalties, but I think that's not anything that we are too concerned at, with just a little bit of it's not humble brag, so like cocky brag. I guess it would be. I do get a lot of calls from people coming from other agencies, other link building agencies who said, yeah, I, I went with them first and now I'm here because I dropped in the last update.

And quite honestly, we don't get a lot of our own clients saying, Hey, your links made me drop. And I can say, oh, look how great we are. But I, I don't it to me it's not that to me, a lot of this is really common sense. If you follow metrics, relevance, and again, the traffic piece of that and build high quality links.

Definitely penalties are something that you really shouldn't, wouldn't be worried about. And drops are something that if they occurred should be only, I don't know, 10% of your link profile. Whereas if you're not paying attention to those things and 50 to 60, 70% of your link profiles made up of sites that are a little bit on the edge there about quality as far as traffic and stuff goes, if they drop in an update, you're gonna drop big time.

So quality, quality, quality. All right. That's a lot of talking. Thank you. The, you can just throw that in your browser at any point and it pulls up my calendar and you can book time. If you wanna just chat links. I'm happy to continue the discussion. I'm also happy to speak specifically about your site and what we see.

We can throw up hres together and kind of look at what's there and I can actually. Go through some of what I talked about specifically with your site. And then also for this, anybody who is here or is watching this after we're throwing up a one-time usage coupon through June. Like I said, we're an online dashboard.

So basically at checkout you could use a code clear scope and get 20% off any particular order. Oh, one thing my partner wanted me to mention we're looking for an seo, we're looking for SEO help. So if you know anyone, you could send them our way. I think that's

Travis: about it. Awesome. Awesome.

Great job. Aaron. We do a couple questions. If anyone else has more questions drop into the q and a but again, I kick it off. What are some of your favorite ways for Securian back links if someone didn't want to, uses like

Aaron: Sure. Well, I mean, so I'm gonna keep on going to that. It depends thing. And, and, and it, I'd say that.

The, well, the two ways that come to mind would be swapping. And guest posting. So the problem with guest posting is we all get those emails in our inbox, like, excuse me, sir, I they've read your blog, it's great. Would you be interested if I wrote a post, blah, blah, blah? And that's what we do at scale.

So I'm kind of making fun of us. But you have to be able to do it in a way at scale where you will get results. Cuz with us, we only get it maybe, like I said, two to three out of a hundred. But guest posting works and it's mean, it's content that you control to an extent, even though it's going on another site.

And if you've vetted the, the proper publisher like again, traffic metrics, relevance, everything else, you can add value to their site, which is only gonna help you and you're gonna get a link out of it. So I think try it and true. I'm gonna why not just say guest posting? The other one that I like a lot, and this involves a bit more work is swapping and swapping could be done both with niche edits like we talked about earlier.

War was guest posting. Or basically same thing. You need to be able to re vet sites, reach out. But in this case, instead of just saying, Hey, I'm gonna right content, you might actually say, Hey, could you modify your content? But in return you're going to swap and give them a link back. It's not like old school where what is that called?

Link exchange, where you're like, I'm gonna link to your site and you link to my site. It's more where you start to develop sort of a, a network of different publishers and you understand that if I can get this, this guy to swap, then I can get him a link from this other guy over here. And if you scale that out where you have, I don't know, 10 partners, 20 different partners, more than that, you can start to get them to kind of swap with each other, so to speak.

But you are the. Not the moderator, but you're the manager of those swaps. None of them connect to one another. They don't speak with none one another. You're just sort of organizing who links to who, knowing that this guy is this type of site and this gallery here is that type of site. And what you can do in that swapping is start to get client links in there.

So it's a great way to get super high-end links. It's also quite a bit of work. That's why I'd say you didn't ask what was the easiest way. He said one of my, my favorite ways. And I'd say those.

Travis: Awesome. Yeah, that's perfect. And occasionally you'll see some SEOs talk about like a ratio of backlink types.

Do you have one as far as like, including brain names, images, naked U URLs? Is there something you should watch out for, kind

Aaron: of track? For, for, for anchor text? Yeah. Or no. So I mean yes and no. For anchor text Again, that was like one of my stories from, you know, 10 or 12 years ago. And everybody used to be like hey, I'm not gonna pay for the number of links I'm gonna pay for the number of keywords I wanna rank for.

And at that time it was all anchor text cuz there was no penguin or panda, there was no updates, no penalties around any of that. You could just basically manipulate the shit out of Google by using anchor text. I've personally swung to the complete opposite end of that spectrum where I don't recommend using any keyword anchor text whatsoever.

We personally kind of say, Hey, you should be doing your optimization on the page itself. That's where all the keyword targeting the signal should come from and let the links kind of speak for themselves contextually naked like you said brand name. It, I don't kind of care how, what the, the anchor text port percentages are of those things.

It's more just do it naturally. Whatever makes sense. We have people coming in and saying, make this a naked url. Well, in the middle of a blog post, you can't just go, okay, https s www dot, they don't wanna see that in with words, right? Mm-hmm. So I'm not trying to craft percentages of anchor text as much.

Now, one little exception to that is sometimes if we wanna push the needle and experiment a little bit and you have a supernatural anchor text portfolio, we might use a keyword name. So we might say, oh, okay. If it's for our link billing page, And we have a supernatural anchor text percentage, I might say, Hey, throw in link billing services.

So we might throw one or two in there to see if we're just not getting the nudge that we want and we think the profile is cool, then we might start using it. But as a method, like proactively, we don't use keyword anchors.

Travis: Nice. Awesome. And this might be the last question, but do you have a formula for calculating the kinda the worth of a backlink for say, a site that's wanting to get backlinks and trying to make a decision on which site to follow trip to get that backlink?

Do you have a way of kind of calculating the worth of that for a site?

Aaron: Well the two things that come to mind so like the value from a monetary perspective, we've organized our products and we say, you know, Dr. This to that this much traffic cost this much. So we've organized Value into a cost which is a little bit different.

As far as the value from if I'm reaching out and trying to do my own link building or just assessing the link building and what the impact would be. Yes and no. So again, there's a lot of, there's no standalone formula that you can just apply anywhere. Our formulas are a bit more about what's in the search results and like that, that process I was describing before where you're looking at.

The, the number of links that you have for the page or site that you want to rank versus who else is there in those certs and how many links they have, as well as the DR and then the discrepancies, and you're trying to make those things up again. The DR is equal, then you can more or are more or less.

Then you can more or less look at their link profiles, try to build the same types of links overall in the same quantity. And nine times outta 10 you end up in the same spot. If the DR is not equal, then you need to build more maybe double the amount there. It's hard to consistently have a formula to measure the value of links.

Just as a, a, an aside kind of There are sometimes when relevance, I, I kind of downplayed some of relevance. When relevance is super awesome and relevance can actually trump metrics. And there's not really any formula for that. You just, it kind of comes with the experience where if you got a awesome link from a site that has a little metrics, but it's super, super, super relevant and then in a great post that might be worth sometimes twice the number of high quality relevant metric links that you would normally get.

So unfortunately, no, I don't have a magic formula. It really is a lot of sort of qualitative review and, and testing.

Travis: Super cool. I think people will find that very helpful. That kind of wraps up all the questions we have. Again, thank you for your time today and again, opening up your calendar and the coupon code for Loganix as well.

But any last parting words before we give everyone their day back?

Aaron: No, I, well actually, yeah. What I will say is Practice and action. I think for the longest time so much SEO is about talking, talking, talking, and whoever has to share this on Twitter or say that here or that. Totally.

But what actually matters in our experience is practice and actually doing the thing, right? So with link building, you, you gotta, whether you're paying somebody to do it or you're doing yourself, you gotta put the work in, do it, fail, do it again, succeed. It's gotta be about action.

Written by
Bernard Huang
Co-founder of Clearscope

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