5 Ways to Get More with Less Through Link Building — Whiteboard Friday
The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
As we enter 2023, several businesses are being squeezed because of rising costs. Customers are simultaneously struggling to cope with their living costs, which in turn affects companies and what products they can sell, so agencies and in-house teams come under more pressure to get more results, with limited budgets.
In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Paddy walks through a few tactics to meet those needs by getting more (from less) when it comes to your link building efforts.
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Hi, Moz fans. Welcome to Whiteboard Friday. I’m Paddy Moogan. I’m the CEO of Aira. Today we’re going to talk about link building, and we’re going to talk about five tactics to get more from less with your link building. Before we go into those, I’m going to set some context about what we mean by more from less.
So at the moment in the world, in the UK, and in the US, lots of businesses are being squeezed because of rising costs. Customers are struggling to cope with their living costs as well, which is affecting companies and what products they can sell. So what happens as a result is agencies and in-house teams come under more pressure to get more results, but maybe from less budget, or they won’t get the budgets increased because companies are worried about rising costs.
So what we need to try and do as agencies and in-house teams is think of tactics to get more from less. And what I mean by that is inputs are normally around time, resources, budget. Those are the things that drive the work that we do. And the outputs are normally links, traffic, revenue, conversions, those kinds of things. What we need to try and do is not need more and more of this to get more and more of that. So we can actually use the same amount of inputs or lesser inputs to drive the same outputs in terms of links, traffic, and revenue. That’s really, really good for our stakeholders. If you work in-house, your bosses will be really happy about that. If you’re an agency, your clients will be really happy about that as well. So here’s five ways to think about doing those things, all focused around digital PR, link building, and content marketing.
1. Repeatable content ideas
So number one, try to favor repeatable content ideas. So when you’re coming up with ideas in the ideation process, try and look for ones that you can repeat over and over again. So, for example, can you plug in some new data for 2022 then for 2023? Can you put some new information there, some new facts, rather than having a campaign that has a fixed start and end point? If you have a fixed start and end point, once the end point comes, you can’t keep outreaching. The results you’re going to get from that content are quite limited by time. Whereas if you can keep that content going over and over again and keep refreshing it with new ideas, new data, and new data points, you can keep refreshing it, keep getting links, and keep getting more from that content, rather than relying upon building new content every single time.
2. Don’t stop outreaching content
Number two, don’t stop outreaching content. We see this quite a lot. So 25% of SEOs outreach content over and over again, leaving 75% that just leave content behind once they’ve gotten a few links to it. What normally happens is you launch a campaign, get some links, then you move on to the next one. These campaigns that you’ve already outreached, if you can keep going with them, if they’re working, just keep doing the outreach, because whilst you’re building new content and launching more campaigns, you can keep getting links to the older content and keep getting results for that content as well, which, again, means you’re getting more from less. From the same inputs, you’re getting more and more output.
3. Look for existing link-worthy content
Number three, look for existing link-worthy content. So when you start working on link building and launching content, it’s really tempting to still launch brand-new content, launch brand-new campaigns. Whereas sometimes there’s content sat right there on the website that is already link-worthy. You may already have some links going to it. So rather than diving off and creating new content, take a quick look at the website itself, see which pages have got lots of links to them, see why they’ve gotten links, and see if you can pick them back up again. If you can, the nice thing about this is you can keep building links to the old content whilst you’re launching brand-new campaigns. So you don’t need to not launch brand-new campaigns, but try not to default to launching new ones and forget about what could be right in front of you with the existing content.
4. Simplify your execution
Number four, I’m a big fan of simplifying execution. Again, it’s really tempting to think of an idea and think of the most complex, the most shiny, interactive way to launch that content. And sometimes that’s fine, that’s the right thing to do. But don’t let your mind default to that, because that is expensive in terms of time, resources, and budget. So try and simplify as much as you can. If you’ve got a good idea, it can be launched inside a blog post or just a very, very simple graphic, or even a short few lines of text with some data. Just focus on that rather than worrying about design and development resources, because if the angle is good enough, it will still get links. And you don’t need to worry about going viral. If you spend just a couple of hours launching a blog post, it gets a handful of links, that’s still a good result compared to spending 6 or 8 weeks on a big, shiny, interactive piece to get maybe 10 or 15 links. So don’t worry too much about going viral. Focus on the angles. Focus on keeping things simple.
5. Look for internal linking opportunities
Number five, this is a really overlooked area in SEO in our experience. So look for internal linking opportunities. If you have pages that have gotten lots of external links pointing to them, you need to try and filter the equity from those pages through to your commercial pages, because usually the homepage gets the most links, but then you’ve got categories and products which aren’t normally that link-worthy for most websites, so they don’t get a lot of links pointing directly to them. But they’re the ones we want to rank right. They’re the ones that drive revenue. So if you have links going to your content, your campaigns, it might be a blog, it might be some guides, try and filter that link equity from those pages to your most important commercial pages, to your products and your categories. Then track the results. Track the rankings, track the traffic, and you’ll see that filtering that link equity makes those pages rank a bit better. And again, you’re getting more from less because that’s just internal linking. You don’t need more design, more development, and you can still drive more outputs with pretty minimal inputs.
So that’s it. That’s five ways to get more from less with link building. As we move into this era of businesses being a bit more picky with their budgets and may squeeze a little bit more, these are going to be really, really important to think about. And even when we come out of recessions and things are going well again, these are still good things to be thinking about. No stakeholder will be unhappy if you’re trying to get more from less when it comes to budget.
So I’m Paddy Moogan. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m @paddymoogan. I really hope that was useful, and thank you for watching.