In the world of internet marketing, there is nothing more important than link building Even with the evolution of SEO and the introduction of social media as a new Google ranking metric, link building is still one of the most important SEO strategies one can employ. How does one go about implementing effective link building? The best way to answer that question is to look at link building as link earning instead. The term "link earning" has been repeated many times over the last few years, especially after the recent Panda and Penguin updates. What does link earning imply? Simply put, it suggests that all links should be properly earned through compelling content generation, which naturally attracts people and ultimately links. How does one go about earning these high quality links? Well, here is a quick step-by-step guide that will teach you how to earn a valuable link (or multiple links).

Step 1: Create A Target List

Before you even begin an outreach campaign, you should have a target list of prospective sites you would like to receive links from. These could be based on content, relevancy or both. This is subjective, but should always be based on relevancy. There are multiple ways you can find prospective sites. The simple (but long hand) process would be to use Advanced Google Operators in a simple Google search. You can use operators such as Keyword + "guest blog." A quicker way to generate a big list would be to use Scrapebox. This is an advanced SEO tool, so it may take getting used to. For novice internet marketers, stick with the advanced Google operators. Compile a large list (50+) sites, so that you do not have to repeat the process for a few weeks at least.

Step 2: Create Unique, Compelling Content

For link exchanges, you must have something to exchange This is where unique content comes into play. And when I refer to unique, this does not simply mean Copyscape passed. Unique refers to topics that have not been covered before in any shape or form. Anyone can rehash an old topic. If you really want to earn a valuable link, try and write on a topic that has not been previously covered. This will surely separate your outreach efforts from the crowd. Everyone loves unique, compelling content. Especially website owners. And it goes without saying, please make sure the content has not been published elsewhere. Website owners almost always check to make sure the content in question has not been published elsewhere.

Step 3: Create An Effective Outreach E-mail

One of the most important aspects of link building outreach (along with content) is drafting a simple, yet effective outreach e-mail to prospective website owners. This is an often overlooked aspect of link building. We have all received link exchange e-mails, which begin with "Dear Webmaster." This is probably the worst way to start an outreach e-mail. Be personal. Show the website owner that you are at least attempting to be unique and not sending out a mass e-mail to hundreds of sites. Start the e-mail with the website owners first name. Make an effort and find out the name if its not easily available on the website. This will help you stand out from the crowd. And please do not start the e-mail with "Dear." This is too formal and best left for a job application. Instead, start with "Hi." Its much more personable and friendly.

Here is an example of a good outreach e-mail (which I have personally used with a great deal of success). Feel free to modify the e-mail and use it for your personal outreach efforts.

Hi (insert website owner name)!

Hope you are well.

I really enjoyed your article on XXXXXXX. It was very insightful and I shared it with a few of my friends.

I also write on similar topics and would like to be a regular contributor on your website. I am currently drafting an article on "xxxxxxxxxxxxxx."

If you like, I can e-mail you a rough draft for a quick review. I am quite certain it would appeal to your readership base.

Thanks!

XXXXXX

And there you have it. A simple, yet effective outreach e-mail. You may want to tweak it a little every time you send it out to a prospective website owner. The goal is to use this as a template, which can be constantly modified. The goal with outreach is to be as personable and unique as possible. This will provide the highest rate of return as you will not come off as a spammer or someone sending out mass e-mails.

And there you have it. Simple link building outreach in 3 easy steps. As always, feel free to leave your comments, suggestions and feedback.

Good luck and may the SEO force be with you!

Zain Shah

Zain has been in the internet marketing space for several years helping businesses of varying sizes achieve on-line results. When he’s not analyzing rankings, traffic and conversions, Zain likes to travel the world and take his motorbike to unthinkable speeds. Zain is also the founder and CEO of Search House Media, which is a digital marketing agency.

Search House Media

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