Backlink Outreach: How to Maximize Your ROI and Secure Links

Finding and Capitalizing on the Backlinks That Really Matter
Published on 
May 26, 2024
Updated on 
May 26, 2024

You’ve spent the time creating the catalogue of stellar content. Your on-page SEO is pro. There’s no reason why other sites wouldn’t want to send their users your way. The backlinks are going to start pouring in, right? 


Backlink outreach is what makes or breaks organic traffic for most businesses. As a link building service, we have worked with so many clients who have spent a lot of time and effort crafting their content, but who have failed to see any significant gains in traffic because it doesn’t have the backlink profile to increase PageRank and rise up the search engine rankings. 

The fact of the matter is, the majority of all pages on the web have no backlinks. Not a one. Most content languishes in obscurity–even really good content. 

Our backlink outreach has helped take great businesses, with great websites and great content from zero to hero. 

These are the kinds of backlinks our link building outreach lands: 

These are the kinds of organic search results and, ultimately, conversions they bring. 

The long and short of it is: link building is essential if you want to dominate the search engine results page and strategic, thoughtful outreach is the foundation of it all. 

In the below article, we’re going to tell you what we know about backlink outreach. We’ve been at it for a long time. We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t and if you use what we give you as a road map, you should be able to improve your link building over time. 

Let’s get into it. 

Why link building is important for SEO

Despite some major upheavals to Google’s ranking algorithm over the last several years, link building remains a cornerstone of effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, underpinning the visibility and ranking of websites on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Search engines such as Google, Bing, and others rely on intricate algorithms to evaluate the relevance, authority, and trustworthiness of web pages. Backlinks (aka inbound links) serve as indicators of credibility and value. They signify a form of validation from other sites, informing search engines that the linked content is credible and valuable.

The significance of backlinks lies in the authority and trust signals they convey. When a reputable and authoritative site links to another, it essentially offers a vote of confidence, boosting the linked site's credibility. Generally speaking, the higher number of quality, relevant backlinks a website has, the more authoritative and trustworthy it is viewed by search engines.

Search engines retain their users and customers by offering the best search experience, which is mostly a function of whether or not a search returns trustworthy, useful results. If you have been paying attention to SEO chatter for the last few years, you know that a lot of people are increasingly unhappy with Google search results–in a nutshell, too much spam–which has prompted Google to change how it ranks pages. 

Like this: 

And this: 

What hasn’t changed is the power of a structured link building campaign targeting relevant, high authority backlinks. involves actively seeking opportunities to secure backlinks from relevant and authoritative sources within the same industry or niche, followed by outreach to website owners, bloggers, journalists, and influencers, persuading them to link to your content.

This has been the bread and butter of off-page SEO for quite some time and it continues to be one of the most important ways you can signal to Google that your website and content are worth showing to users as one of the first several results people see when they use the search engine. 

Link building outreach best practices

If you want to make outreach work for you and avoid the common headaches, there are a few things that people who build serious links routinely do that set them apart from the masses.

Understanding your niche

It is hard to overstate the importance of understanding your niche, the kind of content that people are reading and linking to and why. When you fully understand the kinds of content and topics that people in your niche want to read and why you have the authority to create that content, then you will start to build the foundation for more and better backlink opportunities. 

Understanding your niche involves immersing yourself in the dynamics, trends, and preferences of the industry you operate within. This means conducting comprehensive market research to identify emerging trends, competitive landscapes, and consumer preferences. 

By analyzing keywords and search queries, you gain insights into what topics are trending and what your audience is actively searching for. Additionally, examining the type of content that performs well within your niche, including formats, tone, and topics, provides valuable guidance for crafting outreach messages that resonate with your audience.

Engaging with online communities, participating in industry events, and staying updated with relevant publications all contribute to a deeper understanding of your niche.

Competitor research in Ahrefs

Utilizing Ahrefs Site Explorer to delve into competitor backlink profiles unveils strategic insights crucial for understanding your niche and enhancing your own link building endeavors. Here's how you can effectively utilize Ahrefs to conduct comprehensive competitor research and refine your content strategy:

  • Access Ahrefs Site Explorer: Begin by navigating to Ahrefs Site Explorer and entering the URL of a competitor's website that you wish to analyze.
  • Explore Backlink Profile: Once the website is entered, delve into the backlink profile section to gain a comprehensive overview of the backlinks pointing to your competitor's site.
  • Apply Various Filters: Utilize Ahrefs' diverse range of filters to refine your analysis and extract actionable insights. Filters such as referring domains, domain rating, and anchor text allow you to narrow down your focus and identify high-value backlinks that contribute significantly to your competitor's authority.
  • Analyze Top Linked Pages: Explore the top linked pages within your competitor's website to discern the types of content that attract the most backlinks. This enables you to identify content themes, formats, and topics that resonate with your target audience and drive engagement.
  • Identify Content Gaps: Compare your own content offerings with those of your competitors to identify potential content gaps and opportunities. Look for topics or formats that are underrepresented in your niche but garner substantial backlinks for your competitors.
  • Benchmark Performance: Benchmark your website's backlink profile against that of your competitors to assess your relative performance and competitiveness within the niche. Identify areas of strength and weakness to inform your link building strategy and optimization efforts.
  • Refine Link Building Strategy: Armed with insights gleaned from competitor backlink analysis, refine your link building strategy to prioritize content themes and formats that have proven to attract high-quality backlinks within your niche. Tailor your outreach efforts and content creation initiatives to capitalize on identified opportunities and strengthen your website's authority.

By leveraging Ahrefs Site Explorer and applying various filters and analysis techniques, you can unlock valuable insights into competitor backlink profiles and refine your own link building strategy for enhanced visibility and authority within your niche.

Understanding your outreach prospect’s business model

To effectively engage with outreach prospects, it's crucial to understand their business models and objectives. Start by identifying the primary goals and objectives of your prospects, whether it's increasing website traffic, improving brand visibility, or generating leads.

Understanding their target audience's demographics, preferences, and behaviours enables you to tailor your outreach messages and value propositions to resonate with their audience effectively. Explore how your prospects monetize their websites, whether through advertising, affiliate marketing, product sales, or subscription models. 

Analyzing their competitors can also provide valuable insights and identify potential collaboration opportunities. Crafting a compelling value proposition that addresses your prospects' needs and aligns with their business goals is key to successful outreach campaigns.

Knowing their content

Familiarizing yourself with the content produced by your outreach prospects is essential for crafting tailored outreach tactics. Whether it's through guest posting opportunities, niche edits, or other link building strategies, aligning your outreach efforts with their content themes and preferences enhances the relevance and value proposition of your proposals.

By understanding the topics, formats, and tones that resonate with their audience, you can position your content as a valuable addition to their website. This is how you demonstrate your commitment to adding genuine value and fosters stronger partnerships based on mutual benefit and shared interests.

Looking for relationship building opportunities

Effective outreach extends beyond transactional exchanges; it's about building genuine relationships rooted in trust and mutual respect.

Identifying opportunities to cultivate long-term partnerships with website owners and stakeholders fosters a conducive environment for sustainable link building endeavours.

This involves engaging in meaningful conversations, providing value through insightful contributions, and demonstrating genuine interest in their success. By prioritizing relationship-building opportunities, you lay the foundation for collaborative partnerships that yield long-term benefits for all parties involved. 

Whether it's through collaborative projects, joint ventures, or ongoing collaborations, investing in relationships has paved the way for our continued growth and success, and it will make a huge difference in your outreach efforts. 

Of course, these relationships take time to forge and nurture, but you might find that a single blog post turns into an opportunity for high quality backlinks for years to come. 

Identifying worthwhile link building opportunities

Backlink outreach requires time, money and opportunity cost. If you spend your resources on chasing after backlinks that you ultimately don’t want and/or aren’t going to be a good fit for your site and pages, you’re doing it wrong. 

That’s why it’s crucial for every link building outreach campaign to be premised on a firm understanding oh what constitutes a good link in the context of your niche and content. 

This understanding is what will ensure you're outreach emails avoid the spam folder and that your outreach process bears fruit. 

Assessing website quality and metrics

Evaluating the quality and metrics of potential linking websites is fundamental to identifying worthwhile link building opportunities. 

Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) serve as key indicators of a website's credibility and influence within its niche, but it goes well beyond that.

 Websites with higher DA and PA scores typically possess stronger authority and are more desirable targets for backlinks, but relevance is another crucial consideration when assessing potential linking websites.

Websites that closely align with your niche or industry ensure that the backlinks contribute contextually to your website's content, enhancing its credibility and relevance in the eyes of search engines. Long gone are the days of simply adding high domain authority links to your backlink profile, regardless of where they came from, and dominating the search results. 

Traffic and engagement as outreach metrics

Additionally, analyzing the traffic and engagement levels of potential linking websites offers insights into their audience reach and influence. Websites with substantial traffic and active engagement signal a thriving online presence, making them valuable allies in your link building efforts. 

Prioritizing websites with quality metrics and relevance ensures that the acquired backlinks positively impact your website's SEO performance while fostering stronger connections within your niche.

Understanding content demand and viability

Understanding the demand and viability of your content in the digital landscape is crucial for identifying valuable link building opportunities. Part of maximizing the ROI on your backlink outreach is gauging market demand for your content and assessing its potential for attracting backlinks and engagement. 

Competitor research plays a pivotal role in identifying content themes and formats that resonate with your target audience and garner significant backlinks.

By analyzing your competitors' link building strategies, you gain valuable insights into prevailing trends and emerging opportunities within your niche. This is especially true when it comes to identifying gaps and areas of opportunity enable you to tailor your content creation and promotion efforts to address unmet needs and capitalize on existing demand.

By aligning your content strategy with market demand and competitor insights, you can position your website as a valuable resource within your niche, attracting high-quality backlinks and enhancing its authority and visibility in search engine results.

Pursuing ethical and effective link building tactics

Adopting ethical and effective link building tactics is essential for ensuring that the acquired backlinks positively impact your website's SEO performance. 

Prioritize websites that adhere to quality standards and ethical link building practice and avoid engaging in manipulative tactics or acquiring backlinks from spammy or low-quality websites, as they can have detrimental effects on your website's credibility and rankings. Google has really expanded on what they refer to as their link spam policy over the last several years and it’s easier now than it has ever been to fall afoul of these requirements. 

Focus on building genuine relationships with reputable websites and influencers within your industry, fostering connections based on mutual trust and value exchange. At dofollow, we pride ourselves on the quality of the relationships we have been able to build over the years.

A large part of what we offer clients is access to those carefully cultivated relationships and the incredible backlink building opportunities they offer. 

What’s more, make sure you are engaging in backlink outreach efforts that prioritize relevance and quality, offering valuable content or collaborations that resonate with potential linking websites. 

By prioritizing ethical and effective link building tactics, you can cultivate a robust backlink profile that elevates your website's authority and enhances its visibility in search engine results while fostering positive relationships within your industry.

Tailoring your outreach based on backlink type

Depending on what kind of backlinks you are trying to build (homepage links, deep links to blog posts and other resource pages), you should know constitutes a good value proposition for each type. 

That is to say, what is going to intrigue potential backlink partners when they open your email–from the subject line to what you’re offering. 

Crafting compelling value propositions for different backlink types

Depending on the type of backlinks you are aiming to build—whether they are homepage links, deep links to blog posts, or other resource pages—it's essential to tailor your value proposition accordingly. Each type of backlink presents unique opportunities and considerations, and understanding what resonates with potential backlink partners is crucial for successful outreach campaigns.

For homepage links, emphasize the overall authority and credibility of your website, highlighting key achievements, accolades, or unique selling points that make your site a valuable resource within the industry. This is about showcasing your website's relevance and alignment with the linking partner's audience, emphasizing the mutual benefits of collaboration.

Deep links to blog posts or other resource pages require a different approach. Focus on the specific value proposition of the content you are offering, highlighting its relevance, uniqueness, and potential to engage and inform the linking partner's audience. 

Clearly articulate the benefits of linking to your content, such as providing valuable insights, offering solutions to common challenges, or presenting fresh perspectives on industry topics.

Guest post outreach

The trick to a good guest post outreach email is highlighting the unique insights or expertise you bring to the table and then emphasizing how your guest post will add value to their audience and enhance their website's authority in the industry. 

Think about it from their perspective, as someone who is serious about their own blog and website. What would someone have to offer you in order for you to want to publish their writing?

If the website is serious about the kind of content it hosts and publishes and respects its readers, it will want to offer them something unique. 

Offer a brief overview of the proposed topic and outline the key takeaways that readers can expect from your contribution. Personalize your pitch by demonstrating genuine interest in the recipient's website and audience, and express enthusiasm for the opportunity to collaborate.

Broken link building outreach

Broken link building is where you find links to broken pages (404 pages), notify the website owner and then offer your content as a replacement. 

To make broken link outreach work, you need to start by determining whether the outreach target understands the implications of broken links and then tailor your message accordingly. 

If it’s a large website that very clearly has a web master and does good SEO, they already know the benefits of fixing broken links–improved UX, better SEO performance, etc.-- and you can get straight into selling them on your replacement content. 

The most important part of this is driving home how what you offer is a better version of what they used to have–more comprehensive, more current.

Niche edit outreach

A niche edit is a small piece of copy inserted into an already published piece of content with the idea being to make the content better. 

Within this piece of copy is where you insert your link. 

With niche edit outreach, you really want to communicate how the inclusion of your additional content and link will improve what they already have. It might be that the page you are suggesting a link to will improve the authority of the existing page’s external link profile. 

It might be that adding a small blurb about whatever topic, service, etc., your target page is covering will make their content more comprehensive than what’s already out there, which means their content satisfies search intent better than the competition. 

Wrapping up

The outreach part of link building is the part that most digital marketers and site owners struggle with the most. Getting other people (usually strangers) to do something that is going to help you (and also them) is no easy task. 

What’s more, not all backlinks are going to be ones you ultimately want. Identifying which actually makes sense to go after is another big and complicated piece of the puzzle. 

At dofollow, we’ve spent years building meaningful relationships with site owners. This is what outreach link building is founded on. 

Get in touch with us today and find out more about how our contract-free, performance-based, user-centric link building can help turn your website into a finely-tuned organic traffic-generating machine. 

Why Trust Us On SEO

Eric Carrell & Sebastian Schaffer have been working in SEO for over a decade, building their own projects - understanding and testing SEO strategy, along with building hundreds of white hat links per month for our projects. They take their learnings and experience and apply them to the strategy that drives our link building strategy for our clients.

Eric & Seb have always believed in quality over quantity, doing things the right way so we future proof our client’s websites against future Google updates and the evolving industry of search.

While Seb handles the company strategy around culture, processes and structure, Eric is constantly working to improve our service offering, customer experience, and following the industry in parallel with Google’s Quality Guidelines so that we are always one step ahead of our competition and aligned with what Google wants to see for your site to rank higher.

In this Article:

Turn your website into a traffic & lead gen machine with the world's most powerful backlinks.  

High-quality backlinks to your business each month with our user centric link building service.

Recommended Posts

Ready to get started?

Book a discovery call and get to know us better. Ask all the questions you have about how we can help you scale your business.