The world of SaaS is extremely crowded, so you need a) a competitive edge and b) good marketing.
The main problem is that most good SaaS companies have those two things. You cannot invent a new technology or a whole new marketing approach daily.
Slow and steady helps you stay ahead of the competition.
Link building is one of those strategies, helping you get more visibility, traffic, and high-quality leads.
This article will teach you the variables to look for when you’re doing link-building and the most effective strategies. And we have plenty of examples to inspire you, so keep reading.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of building links to a website. In other words, it’s making another website add a link that points to a page on your website. That way, you’re showing search engines such as Google that other websites deem yours as a credible resource.
Remember the old way of doing business before the internet and social media overwhelmed human interactions?
Businesspeople would network at parties or events. They would call each other and give recommendations.
Link building is similar to that but happens online.
You will build one-way hyperlinks pointing to your website to:
- Increase search engine visibility
- Build authority
- Advertise your products
These one-way hyperlinks are called backlinks.
Why Link Building for SaaS Matters
Link building for SaaS matters (a lot!) because it’s part of any good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. In fact, link building is essential for search engines to boost you higher on results pages, offering you more visibility.
- You place links pointing to your website on other high-ranking, reputable websites.
- This increases visibility.
- You reach new audiences, thus increasing your monthly visitors.
- If your content writing is good and your products are high-quality, you get more purchases and recommendations.
- This referral traffic will help you rank better in search engines.
- As your ranking increases, you get more organic traffic.
- That organic, relevant traffic increases your domain authority.
- That gives your sales another boost.
And so on, in a perpetual spiral of views-organic traffic-sales.
Warning: Not all link-building efforts bring the same results.
Here are the factors to consider if you want to reap the SaaS SEO advantages above:
- Page authority: Posting links on authoritative pages increases your own website’s authority (aka PageRank). Use Ahrefs to check the authority score (you just have to introduce the webpage address:
- Website authority: Also known as sitewide authority, this variable focuses on the entire website. As you can imagine, it’s better to get a mention on SaaStr or Neil Patel than an obscure blog. Again, Ahrefs can help you determine if a website is a good target to get a link from.
- Website relevance: You aim to generate backlinks to your website from relevant sources, such as SaaS or marketing blogs. A link coming from a fitness magazine – even a famous one like GQ – doesn’t help you much. Unless you have specifically helped them with software and have a great case study about that.
- Link position: Links that appear higher on the webpage are more likely to be clicked. So, even high-quality links can produce less traffic if they're further down the page.
- Editorial links: This is when the editor of a relevant, authoritative website cites your articles without any request on your part. These links boost your visibility more than those you include in paid guest posts.
- Anchor text: Keyword-rich anchor texts appear spammy, even if they point to high-quality backlinks. Make sure your anchors (the words that people click on when they want to get to your website) sound natural.
- Do-follow links: Nofollow links tell Google not to consider your links as endorsements, while dofollow count as endorsements. That’s why you want those dofollow links.
- Avoid link farms - SEO agencies that use black-hat tactics like private blog networks or irrelevant links. Stick to white hat links obtained from ethical link placement.
- Make "quality over quantity" the mantra for your SEO efforts. One high quality link beats 10 spammy ones from low-domain-rating websites.
Link-Building Strategies for SaaS Companies That Work in 2023
You now know the variables to look for when picking the right websites for your links. Let’s also look at some strategies that you can use in your SaaS SEO marketing.
Broken Link Building
Imagine you’re at a party and set your eyes on a charming person. They’re accompanied by someone, so you leave them alone.
An hour later, you see their partner leaving after a heated argument.
That’s when you sweep in.
And that’s what broken link building is:
- You make a list of websites you would like to be on.
- You use software like Ahrefs to check for broken links on their website.
- You send them a personalized message telling them about the problem - no one wants to have broken links on their website. It ruins the user experience and may actually hurt the SEO performance of that website. Make sure you’re e-mailing the right person.
- You point to one of your articles to replace that broken link. Ideally, something with valuable content, even better than the original piece that was linked to.
Why is this an effective link building strategy?
- You notice a pesky problem for a website owner/manager, and:
- You offer a helpful solution.
Let’s say you want in on the Totango blog. All you have to do is use Ahref’s broken link tool like this:
Assuming you have a thorough article about the customer lifecycle, you can send them a message with a link pointing to your resource.
Pro tip: As you can see, Ahrefs has a paid plan to reveal more broken links. You can either use this option. Or you can hire us and we’ll do some broke link building for you!
A-B and A-B-C Link Exchanges
Link exchanges are just what they sound like: exchanging links with other SaaS companies. You (company A) include one of their links, and they (company B) include one of yours. That’s a simple A-B link exchange.
And here’s an e-mail example of how you can potentially approach someone about link opportunities:
The problem, as always, is Google.
Google deems this quid-pro-quo incorrect. And it is a bit tricky to do reciprocal link exchange just for the sake of it, with no relevant content or solution to your audience.
Excessive link exchanges, a poor type of link, poor blog content mess with your link building process.
But it’s also not right to be penalized if you do produce that relevant solution. Here are some solutions:
- The A-B-C link exchange: In this case, company B links to your page from another website (C). Make sure it's still above-board white hat link building.
- The time-lapse: You can do the A-B exchange but wait longer, so Google doesn’t consider it a trick. There is no precise time-frame after which you can exchange links, but SEOs usually wait for about 6 months before giving a link back to someone who linked to them.
- Work with a link building agency: Breeeze is 100% trustworthy. We have helped hundreds of customers with quality link building, such as Monday.com and inBeat. We can help you too - so book a free strategy call today.
The above screenshot with broken links from Totango points to some of their outbound and inbound links.
To see link exchanges that your competitors have used, use Ahrefs:
The problem is you must sign up to leverage their Site Explorer. That means you’d better have a battle plan before using this tool.
Creating Linkable Content
Linkable assets are highly shareable pieces of content or tools. That’s because they:
- Bring a lot of value, focusing on content quality
- Teach people something new
- Help people do something faster or better
- Come up with an innovative perspective
Assets with the highest shareable potential include:
- Free software, such as calculators or other digital tools
- Case studies
- User-generated content
For example, here’s an article in Forbes discussing the best free accounting software of 2023:
If you offer these sorts of free tools, too, chances are more high-authority websites will promote them for free. This link-building tactic brings you visibility and traffic. It also increases your search rankings.
Remember: High-quality free tools give potential customers a taste of what’s in store if they pick a paid subscription.
And here’s OCBC Bank in Singapore, creating a linkable annual report based on their own research. The report is called OCBC Financial Wellness Index, evaluating Singaporeans’ financial health. Although this is a bank and not a SaaS company, the example still stands - and you can copy it for your finance or budgeting app.
Guest blogging is an essential strategy in your link-building campaign. Posting your top-notch articles on authority websites increases your high-quality traffic.
High-quality traffic means you’re not just getting views; you’re getting people who are more likely to purchase your software.
Problem: Google’s algorithm may push your website further down search engine results if you write poor-quality content and include spammy links.
Solution: Stick to the rules of building backlinks:
- Find high-quality, relevant, authoritative websites for your guest posts. A quick Google search for “SaaS write for us” should get you a comprehensive list.
- Check these websites’ stats. Look for variables like:
- Domain Rating (DR)
- Domain Authority (DA)
- Organic traffic
- Send an email to someone who manages their blog, with a personalized offer to write a guest post for them. Make sure to choose a topic that aligns with the content on their blog.
- Write a relevant blog post.
- Don’t include a spammy link to your product, check-out, or contact pages. Linking to blog posts is your safest bet.
- Add your other partners’ links in this article so they can return the favor.
Problem: This tactic is expensive and lengthy. You will need to pay an entire team to produce relevant, high-quality content. Even so, editors may not even publish your content immediately.
- Add other tactics to your SaaS link building strategy.
- Work with an agency that provides link building services. They can point you to the best websites for your business.
Here’s an article written by inBeat founder David Morneau for the Search Engine Journal:
This article was read 2,300 times, making David’s company visible to 2,300 potential leads.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform where journalists ask questions, thus literally helping each other out. You can follow this platform and others similar to it to provide helpful responses.
And add a contextual link to some of your own resources in the process.
Remember: The end goal is for those journalists to cite you on their websites. Therefore, your responses must be well-researched, high-quality, and relevant.
Here’s how you do it:
- Pick the right journalists: Select your specific industry and area in HARO. Don’t respond to everyone; look for high Domain Authority DA and traffic and above all, relevance to your industry and area of expertise.
Pro tip: Don’t neglect anonymous reporters on HARO. Sometimes, very famous journalists hide under this tag. You will realize if that’s the case because they tend to ask insightful questions written in perfect grammar.
- Move fast: The first couple of hours are critical to ensure your response is picked.
- Offer value: Ensure your responses are always on point and helpful.
Problem: HARO is an unpredictable tactic for building links, depending heavily on luck and how quickly you can send in something relevant to the right set of eyes.
- Choose your filters wisely.
- Hone your content as much as possible.
- Use other link building techniques along with HARO.
Participating In Roundups/Creating Roundups
Roundups are groups of experts. This tactic entails:
- Participating as an expert in roundups created by others: You bring visibility to yourself, building authority. The result is generating more visibility and high-quality leads. You will also network with other key figures in your industry, thus building relationships.
- Creating your own roundups: You create valuable content around specific topics and target keywords, citing experts. That’s textbook SEO because you bring value to your customers while using SEO algorithms to boost visibility.
- Leverage social media groups to network your way into industry communities.
- Squeeze the link juice out of old content by having experts weigh in on it.
Follow the example of SaaStr’s Workshop Wednesday, where a panel of experts debates important industry topics:
Should You Try Link Building?
The short answer is yes. All statistics point out that link building has long-lasting benefits for SaaS SEO. This strategy can increase your domain authority and search engine ranking, bringing you high-quality leads that generate more sales.
Of course, you should leverage this strategy correctly. The examples we’ve included above hit the metaphorical nail on the head, showing you which approaches work best.
The truth, however, is that everything takes a lot of hard work and meticulous planning.
If you need more specialized help, Breeeze makes link-building an actual breeze for you. Schedule a FREE strategy call, and we’ll discuss the best approach based on your backlink profile.