Link building for Startups is easy. Yes, you read it right. It really doesn’t matter whether the company is a SaaS startup or an eCommerce site, the basic pillars of backlink building remain the same.
This article helps you to come up with solid link building strategies how to maximize your SEO results and outperform your competitors. Take your time to read this carefully and make your notes. All of these methods might not be relevant right now, but all of these are very effective methods if you use them in proper way.
Why startups need link building?
This is a question that pops in very often. We’ve heard so many times statements like “We don’t need to do SEO since we’re a B2B company” or “Back link building is dead. Why should we focus on SEO”.
The cold truth is that SEO and backlink building is far from dead. Another fact is that a fresh company has zero authority in Google’s eyes. Whether you wanted it or not, but you mean NOTHING to Google until you show signs of reputation and authority.
The best way to build SEO authority is to get backlinks from authority sites in your niche. For Google, the best way to believe that a site has valuable content and authority, is to see that a site is getting trust from a site that is already high-authority site.
Often startups have either massive SEO competition or nearly zero competition. Whatever is the case, you still need to optimize your site for Google. If you’re facing a fierce competition, it’s best to focus on long-tail keyword optimization instead of broad. On the other hand, with low competition, you could easily dominate SEO in your niche with the very basic SEO work.
Link building strategies for startups
Most of the link building articles you find are either outdated or full of vague BS advices. Most of them are purely waste of time in startups since usually these growth companies lack of time, money, and other resources. However, SEO requires time and money.
The keyword is: Prioritization
Since startups most likely don’t have a dedicated in-house SEO professional working full-time for them, you need to be smart and efficient.
In order to plan your search engine optimization (SEO) action steps, you need to do a proper research on what you are facing in terms of competition. Your product or niche might not face high competition, so it would be stupid to miss the chance of grabbing the low-hanging fruits. But, a proper SEO and link building strategy is even more important when you’re facing fierce competition in the market.
Your first step should be competition research. You can always research and spy your mightiest competitors manually, but I highly recommend using an SEO tool that does the work for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best SEO tools for startups. The list was created especially from Startups’ point-of-view.
You don’t necessarily need any SEO tools, but to be honest, every single company that is looking for growth online needs them. Search engine optimization is something where you should be efficient. Since basically “everyone” is using tools, you don’t want to be the one who is racing against Ferraris with a bicycle.
SEO link building is a long process that will take years to get significant results. However, we’ve listed the most efficient ways to do it FAST. Bear in mind that whatever is your link building strategy, you should always seek for scalable and efficient process to minimize the work but gaining the most benefits of your chosen strategy.
What is the best way to build links for startups?
1. Guest posting
Guest posting is usually an article that is written by 3rd party contributors. The main goal is to provide content for another website while putting a relevant backlink pointing to your site. Usually, companies either outsource the process or just write these articles by themselves. Often time is spent more efficiently if you have funds to outsource the process.
I’ll make it clear. Guest posting is the most efficient and easiest way to build links and boost your SEO. There is a lot of information about guest posting being “dead”, but we definitely disagree with that. Guest posting can be done properly or in a horrible way wrong.
Be honest with your intentions. Nobody wants their inbox full of spam and requests for guest posts. Make personal connections, introduce yourself and get to know people. Show people that you have a valuable information to share and most likely these people are more than happy to link to your website.
2. Create shareable and linkable content
“Content is king” is a phrase you find basically everywhere! It is the truth.
By creating high value content users simply cannot leave your website without a feeling that your content was useful for others. Whatever you produce and create, make sure it’s easy to share it online. The better you fulfill visitors’ intents, the more you get value from them in terms of links and shares.
Provide infographics, high quality images, videos, and value!
3. Contact your connections and customers
Using your existing connections can be a very great source for high-quality backlinks. In case you have friends, colleagues or acquaintances in the same industry, you could easily get backlinks from their websites, blogs, social media profiles, etc. Remember, while this might not give you 80+ Domain Authority links, it all matters.
Even “lower quality” links can bring you visitors, that afterwards find your content and product so valuable that they are happy to share it with a link.
4. Check your competitors’ backlinks
Are you aware of what your competitors are doing? Most likely they already have a solid back link building strategy for their startup. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel by finding linking websites from nothing.
You can easily do this by using for example SEMrush’s backlink auditing tool. If you don’t have it yet, you can test it for free and use it immediately. Competitor audit is a must thing to do to get a general view of your competition level.
When you’ve checked and analyzed your competitors’ backlink profile, export the list of the most relevant and the most authorative backlinkers and create an outreach strategy to pitch your guest posts to these websites.
5. Start with long-tail keywords and key phrases
If you’re operating in high competition market, it’s always wise to prioritize your SEO efforts to create content for long-tail keywords. Your competitors might not have all the resources to optimize for these keywords since they go for higher volume.
Start your on-page optimization by keyword research and use SEO tools to do that. Target especially for search keywords that are high intent keywords. This means that you don’t want to target for “shoes”, but instead focus on “the best high-heel shoes for ladies”.
This might not provide you as much traffic, but the traffic is still high-intent traffic to buy the shoes you are selling.
The beauty of this method is that once you start to get organic traffic, it becomes way much easier to get backlinks in the first place. If no one knows or visits your site, it is extremely difficult to get them organically. By combining this method with high-quality content, links should start coming naturally.
6. PR (Public relations)
Use every single PR opportunity you can. Use your connections with media, journalists, and industry leaders to promote your company always when it’s possible. In case you’ve got an investment, pitch the news for media. Take advantage of the hype and make your best to get links to the articles that are going to be published.
Remember to use all of your opportunities. These can be:
- An announcement of your product launch
- VC investments you’ve got
- Statistics of your growth
- Success stories of your customers
Outsourcing SEO and link building for your startup?
While link building is a crucial part of SEO, it’s still just a small fraction of the whole package. In many cases outsourcing the SEO and link building can be a viable option if you and your team either don’t have the knowledge to do that or if you and your team have more important stuff on your plate.
Whenever the need of outsourcing occurs, we highly recommend using trusted digital marketing agencies that really know what they are doing. By choosing a cheap freelancer or agency without references you might have a risk of getting Google penalties or just pay huge amounts of money for nothing. Often it’s cheaper to hire a professional or a well-known agency than picking the cheap option.
Milking the benefits of your startup link building
After implementing these top link building strategies, you most likely have a great number of backlinks coming each month. What to do next? Is this enough for rapid growth?
Often link building and SEO is perceived as one monolith that you either have done it or not. This is definitely not enough. In order to get the most out of it, you need to improve your on-site actions to move towards your KPIs.
Building a high authority site with lots of backlinks and organic SEO traffic doesn’t make any sense if you cannot turn these visitors into leads or customers. The next step of your SEO plan is to make sure you actually get value out of these visitors.
You need to design your landers and website in general in a way, that there are lots of opportunities to convert as a customer or lead. This can be done by collecting leads or having some kind of eCommerce platform integrated on your website.
Very often companies decide to use 3rd party services, like landing page tools to collect their leads. You can either use different tools to get lead opt-ins or create landing pages to drive the traffic. The main purpose of these landing pages is to design it for conversions.
Conclusion – Link building for startups is not difficult
Even though the methods mentioned in this article might seem difficult, don’t panic. Just pick methods that are easiest to implement in your case. Remember that link building and SEO takes time and there are no shortcuts run master it in legit ways.
In case you need more tips or free consultation around the subject, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and more detailed guidance.