Link inserts is one of my most favourite link building strategies. Why? Cause it converts really well and it’s super easy to do. It’s so easy that even I am willing to do it.. (remember, I’m super lazy).
The Core Idea
All the strategy is, is that you find a bunch of sites in closely related niche to yours and reach out to them asking to place a link into one of their articles.
What’s So Special About It?
You can get links fast and rather cheap.
No need to negotiate a topic that they might be interested in, no need to write or have someone write the article. My average cost per link has been $40, average DR 35.
90% of the sites that respond to outreach e-mails ask for money. Getting a link this way is just a faster way of doing it.
Also, what I do is try to get many links from one site, provided that there are good opportunities. And, because I currently have a number of sites that I’m building, I’ll check if any of my other sites could get a link from that site.
Getting links in bulk will usually allow you to get a much better deal.
The last pro that I’ll mention is that you can pick articles to link out from, that already have links themselves. Usually, if you get a guest post link, the domain rating of the site might be decent, but in most cases, the UR or the specific article won’t have much link juice going to it.
People don’t even tend to place internal links to GP-s, so Google might not even be able to find your post.
What are the Drawbacks?
If you only get these kinds of links, it might be too obvious and unnatural to someone reviewing your backlink profile. If it’s a competitor, they can easily reach out to the same sites and get a link by themselves.. but if it’s a manual reviewer from Google, you might be in trouble.
You can decrease the odds of that happening by asking for placements that seem as natural as possible. I usually try to get a link that fits well into the article.
Also, it’s easy for Google to see that the link was placed there way after the article went live. If the majority of your links are built this way then again, it’s unnatural. So I try to keep my percentage of link insertion links below 30%.
My Exact Process of Landing Link Inserts
1. Go to ahrefs’ Content Explorer and type in a keyword that’s related to your niche. Try to make it as relevant as possible.
Let’s use the example of trying to build links to a blog about dobermans, a specific dog breed.
Choose “In title”. It usually improves the relevance of the sites that you get back. Otherwise you’ll get a myriad of sites that just happened to mention the dog breed somewhere in the article.
This would also be OK, but as you’re getting too many prospects anyways, I like to make it more specific.
Now from the results tick the box for “one page per domain”, “skip the homepage”, “Exclude subdomains” and choose “English” from the language section on top.
Then I add a filter for Domain Rating from 20 to 69. The reason for these specific numbers is that it’s usually a waste of time trying to get a link insert from a very high authority site, so I just skip anything that has a DR of 70 or above.
Sites with DR of below 20 aren’t too powerful in terms of link juice, so I’ll skip those as well. And if my site is already above DR 20, I will set the minimum to be my site’s DR +5.
2. Export the results to .csv or excel.
If your ahrefs subscription is limited to only exporting 1000 results at a time, the trick you can do is play with the DR filters to get the results down to below 1K and export in pieces. Just mark down what you’ve already exported.
3. Find contact information for the prospects.
I use Hunter.io for that. It’s currently the best way to do so based on my experience. Hunter usually finds about 25-40% of the e-mails. There will still be a lot of prospects left on the table.
What I do then is hire a prospector from fiverr.com (I use this guy). They will use additional tools and do manual research to find e-mails. You can also give this task to a VA, if you have one. You shouldn’t pay more than 3-5$/hour for this sort of task.
In regards to checking the sites manually to qualify them. I don’t do it before I receive a response from the site. Only then I spend the time to check through the site for quality. As about 5% of the prospects respond back, I don’t want to spend time on qualifying 95% of the sites that will not respond to my e-mail.
4. Verify the e-mails.
I used to skip this step, but it was seriously hurting my e-mail deliverability. I use neverbounce for this task. What they do is check if the e-mails that we found are working or not.
If you send too many e-mails to addresses that are not working, spam filters will flag you and your e-mails won’t land into the inbox. This means that your prospects will not find your e-mails and never respond back.
Verification only takes very little effort and it’s cheap, so I recommend that you do not skip this step.
5. Start your outreach campaign.
There are many tools for this. I’ve used Gmass (20$/month) and Mailshake (59$/month) in the past. But now that hunter.io has their own inbuilt e-mail sending feature and that I’m paying for hunter anyways, I just use that to save on costs.
Also, with hunter.io you can add different accounts, with Mailshake for example, each additional outreach account is going to cost you 59$/month. So it gets expensive fast.
What to write to the prospects?
I won’t give you an exact template for obvious reasons, but I’ll give you some overall pointers:
- Write a short and sweet title for the e-mail. Make sure it’s enticing them to open the e-mail.
- In the e-mail copy itself, just get straight to the point. Tell them that you’re looking to advertise on their site by way of placing a link into existing content.
- Use follow-up e-mails. All the tools I’ve mentioned above allow you to add follow-ups. Do use them. I get 50+% of my responses from follow-up e-mails. Seriously guys. They’re so easy to set up and give you 2x better results.
Prices for the Link Inserts
Always try to negotiate the price down. It’s super easy for the webmaster to place a link. It takes a maximum of 10 minutes to do so. And they have infinite capacity to add links in most cases.
So keep that in mind and negotiate the price. I’ve had occasions where I was quoted 500$ and I managed to get a link for 40$. Getting down from 200-300 to 50$ is more common.
These are the rates I usually pay based on DR.
- 20 to 50$ for DR 20-40,
- 50-70$ for DR 40-50,
- 70-100$ for DR 50+
How to Find Places to Add Your Link
Here I do two things.
First, I check their site with ahrefs’ top pages report to find pages that have links and get traffic. I just check the headlines and try to understand if it would make sense to get a link from that specific page. If you’re not sure, click open the article and check it through.
If I’m unable to find anything relevant, I do a google search for the site instead by using this form.
Replace pawbuzz.com with whatever domain you’re looking to get a link from. What this search does is that it looks for this particular term on the site and gives you a list of results where the term is mentioned.
By doing so you’ll be able to find specific anchor text opportunities from their site.
Many opportunities on that site 🙂
- Use different headlines for different campaigns. Try to test different options and mark down the results to find out which option works best.
- Use different e-mail copy. This will help to keep you out of the spam folder for longer.
- Warm up your e-mail account. Don’t send more than 10 e-mails per day in the first week and then grow by 10 each week (20 e-mails the 2nd week, 30 on the third, etc). Don’t go over 100 e-mails per day.
- If you’re getting a lot of 550 errors or replies that say your e-mail didn’t go through due to high probability of spam, reduce the amount of e-mails you’re sending each day.
- Use multiple e-mail accounts, if you want to speed up the outreach process.
- Do not track opens or clicks in the e-mails. This feature will add a small invisible picture, but spam filters will pick it up and decrease your chances of landing in the inbox. I use response rates instead to track my campaign success.
So that’s that, happy hunting! 🙂
Let me know in case you have any questions. You can comment below or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org