Here is exactly what we do for you when you become a client.
In short, what we do is build high-quality and safe backlinks to your web page.
…there are many ways to build backlinks.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
We build backlinks doing manual and bespoke outreach to real businesses and websites, aka the good way.
We are so confident in our way that we are 100% transparent towards you!
This means that as our client, we give you access to everything!
This includes our extensive project plan with all the prospects we dig up and qualify, all link opportunities (free & paid), partnership opportunities, and a progress tracker showing the day-to-day actions.
It will be accessible to you 24/7.
We are a small agency with only a select few customers and our capacity is currently pegged at 10 clients/campaigns (1 customer can run 1 or more campaigns concurrently).
Therefore, with the aim to overcome any objections you have to become one of our selected customers, below is exactly how we do things.
But listen… It is a looong piece of content.
So let me entice you with a screenshot of a reply which is not uncommon when we do link building “the Sniperlinks way”:
Have a read of the full page, and then get in touch to see if we are a good fit for each other.
If you are already convinced, then send us an inquiry today!
First, we have a chat over the phone, Skype, or Zoom.
We need to know and understand your business and market, and what are your goals for working with us.
I will ask a set of questions, ranging from your perfect buying personas/visitors, previous link-building efforts and experiences, important keywords, your competitors, what kind of links you want (if there is a preference), and more.
Once we have gotten a deeper understanding of your business, we will custom tailor a plan with the goals and expectations for the agreed-upon term.
Even though the outreach is done manually and bespoke, we use a set of tools to help with research, analysis, and execution.
These are, but are not limited to
- Screaming Frog
- Google Sheets
The first step of any campaign is to create a Gmail account that uses the persona of the business owner (or in larger organizations other personas).
I will use this email to contact the link targets which I find.
The benefit of using the business owner is that it is much easier to get links when people think you are the business owner, rather than someone you hired to build links.
Yes, I will pretend to be you!
The side effect of this can be that I establish communications or new connections in the industry, and even new customers.
I need to have a look at your current situation in terms of content on site. Are there any good articles or guides we can build links to?
Basically, I seek to find answers to:
- What do I have to work with?
- Are you actively creating content?
- What is going on in social channels?
- What content distribution do you have (email, social following, etc)?
- Are you willing to invest in content creation?
I will create a list of all good content URLs in order to have easy access when I am approaching prospects.
If you do not have any of the above, do not fret.
This is more common than you would expect.
What we need to do then, is to come up with a plan to create the needed content, or adjust our link building a bit.
If you have a subject matter expert or a “content person” in-house who can create content, then great! If not, we have those resources and can help create great content for your site (extra costs).
Also, in general, if you have an in-house writer, they will often write better content than external writers if they are not subject matter experts.
Ideally, if you don’t have a writer, you have a budget assigned for content.
I will run an audit of the incoming links that you currently have.
With this, we try to uncover if your domain is clean (spammy or unnatural links), your anchor text ratio, use Ahref’s backlink checker to get a clearer understanding of the domains standing, including your metrics like UR/DR, referring domains, and more.
Ahref’s DR (and UR) metrics have almost become a defacto metric in the SEO industry when judging the “backlink popularity” or “strength” of a website (yours or a target).
Check anchor text ratio
I will Ahrefs to analyze your incoming links and the ratio of their anchor text.
If your site has too many links with anchors that are exactly matching the keywords you try to rank for, it will look unnatural, and you are at risk of a Google penalty and lost rankings.
It is important to create links using a natural anchor text ratio in your backlink profile. This is what Google wants to see.
Therefore, it is important that your backlink profile consists of a wide array of anchors from exact match (1-5% max, better 1-2%), to branded (your_company_name), phrase-match, and URL.
Depending on what your backlink profile looks like, I may need to build links with anchors that water out an unnatural anchor text ratio.
And by the way, you should think of exact match anchor text as a last resort, not a first option!
Generate a list of search operators
I have a list of Google search operators which I will use to find link targets related to the keyword or niche we are trying to rank.
If you were a dentist and wanted to rank for veneers, the search operators could look something like these (there are many more):
There are 52 advanced Google search operators in 2021.
Select types of links based on content we have, budget, and willingness to add content
Based on the previous analysis we will decide what links to go after in the campaign.
Basically, the content on your site, the budget you have (f.ex for paid placements or sponsored posts), and the willingness to add new and optimized content to the site will dictate what we can do for you.
Some industries may not have a lot of “interesting” content to build links to, or it is hard to write relevant or useful content pieces. Or you simply do not have an SEO team or time to focus on creating a brilliant blog on your domain.
In many instances, it will be best to create content for placements on other relevant sites, blogs, industry news etc. The content piece will have a link back to your site with the appropriate anchor text, where it fits into the article.
These are commonly referred to as Guest Posts.
If there are few industry blogs or webpages to get placements on, we can also use adjacent industries, or what we often refer to as “shoulder niches”. Think of a plumber placing a post on a roofer’s site.
To be honest, we love guest posts. Not only is it a great option when you do not have remarkable content on your site. It is also a great opportunity to get your name and expertise out on relevant sites – much like a brand-building exercise.
Even though guest posts for link building do not require the content on your webpage, as general advice, we would say that having a webpage without useful content that tells Google what your site is about, is a bad idea.
Even though we only build links, we both know content marketing and how powerful it is. But we also have lots of industry connections and we have a few partners we can connect you with if you want or need them.
Create a project management plan
Now that we have done our analysis and gotten to know your business and your industry better, we start creating the project management plan or the roadmap for the next few months.
In the reporting document, we create a separate project management tab that outlines our work and the status of the work at any given time.
You will have access to this document and can check progress in real-time whenever you wish.
This is where you follow along if you like to be detail-focused.
Campaign creation and list segmentation
At this point, we move on to campaign creation.
We know your business/industry, your content, your keywords, your competitors, your rankings, etc.
And with this in mind, we create a highly segmented campaign and prospect list.
What does this mean?
With a narrow focus (segment), we can compartmentalize our work, and personalize outreach considerably more than if we just “blast out emails” to everyone and everything that are within “your niche”.
Our experience shows that a narrow targeted and hyper segmented target list makes us able to get better results! We use industry jargon and current events within the segment to stand out in the receiver’s inbox. We stand out, we are relevant and get higher open rates, and build rapport.
But what does all this fancy talk really mean?
If you are an outdoor brand selling various equipment for outdoor enthusiasts, one segmented campaign target could be RV companies – both manufacturers and rentals.
The following campaign (after 1-2-3 months) could be something like mommy bloggers (that could talk about camping with kids for example).
We use various tools to find these link targets, including the advanced search operators mentioned above.
We compile prospects in batches, typically around 50-100 targets at a time. Then we MANUALLY qualify them by a set of criteria, the most noteworthy being “is this a real business”. The ones that pass the first “eyeball test” will be run through various tools to check a wide range of metrics from the authority of the site, to links going in or out to the site, traffic the site gets, and more.
We will go back to this process as needed throughout the campaign.
Finding targets emails and qualify them
Once we have run through the qualification process, we move on to finding the actual contact details of the prospects.
This part of the process is to a large extent automated using various tools like Hunter or Snov.io and the like.
Tools will find many email addresses but are far from perfect.
When the tools fail, we move on with a manual process that involves checking Facebook pages, Linked In, TOS, and others.
If we are unable to find email addresses at all for the domain, we will consider doing the outreach using a contact form on the webpage.
This we evaluate on a case by case basis.
Once the prospect list is complete with the email addresses of all targets, we will run the prospect list through a tool that will qualify and automatically rinse the list and check if the emails are in fact real.
Currently, we use a tool called Clearout for this.
Having a list that is qualified and with real email addresses will protect both the email address and the domain from being flagged for spamming.
The amount of emails we send out in a day is very low compared to most any measure, and especially other link builders or link building tactics. Segmentation and manual outreach make sure we do not “burn” any emails and avoid being flagged as spammers.
The amount of emails that will go out during a day/month is very low and most likely lower than most of the employees of your company.
Manual and personal outreach
The next phase of the process is what separates us from most other link builders out there.
We will manually email each of the prospects in the complied list, with a personalized email that is highly relevant and familiar to them and the business they are in. We will write the email using his/her name if we have it.
To craft “the perfect outreach email and pitch” is as much of an art as it is science.
Our approach is that we are friendly, personable, funny, offer value, and we are to the point.
No faffing about.
By drawing heavy inspiration from how comedians deliver their punchlines at the right time and the right place, we experience not only digging up unlikely links but also open the door for building real relationships for you and your business.
How we craft our outreach and how we communicate with the targets is the “magic dust”, or our superpower if you want.
I am sure you have received a ton of requests for links and experienced how exceptionally bad some of them are.
Maybe you have tried outreach yourself, only to either get an R-rated reply or not get any reply at all?
Here is a real example of replies we get doing link building our way:
And this one…
How do you think getting replies like this vs. “go to h*ll” does for your brand?
An added benefit, as you can see with the first target, was that the article got shared on their social channels, giving our client extra exposure!
Link building done right has benefits beyond the link itself. Done wrong, well, that’s just scary…
Make sure it is done right and don’t ruin your brand with spammy automated link building!
Although different outreach requires different outreach tactics, the core of what we do follows the same principles about being personable, relatable, funny, and giving value.
Although we will tone down the use of humor when we do Digital PR style outreach, like HARO, we still try to stand out in the inbox of the journalist in a positive and personal way.
Often an overlooked part of the process is the follow-up!
But you will find that this is where the magic happens!
In sales, statistics tell us that only about 2% of the sales happen based on the first contact.
Without following up, you are potentially losing out on 98% of your prospects/link targets!
People are busy and can receive 100s of emails each day. It is extremely easy to overlook, forget, or simply not even read all emails you receive on a daily basis.
We will follow up on the targets we do not hear back from 2 times.
The emails we send out the 2nd or the 3rd time will vary greatly from the previous.
But again, manually, personable, and fun!
So, what can you expect?
The aim of any link building campaigns should be to:
- Referral traffic growth
- Organic traffic growth
The links we have earned for you are on topically relevant sites where your potential customers visit or hang out.
The people who click on the link, do so because it is highly relevant to them. It makes for hyper-target customers that will convert more easily into fans or customers than other traffic.
The other benefit lies in both the fact that the links are placed on topically relevant sites, and that these types of links (on relevant sites) are especially powerful as “Google food”. They add or confirm to Google and other search engines what your site, service, and product are about.
In SEO we talk about optimizing content to be topically relevant, to “tick all the boxes” that Google wants to see in order to reward you with higher/better SERP rankings.
Links on huge authority sites like Forbes and Entrepreneur are all good and well. But the magic of links really lies in the intersection of high authoritative sites and their topical relevancy to you.
To hammer home the point once more – we build safe and topical relevant links manually on real websites of real businesses.
Therefore, the links will be placed accordingly!
One campaign is 10 links/month.
The first month we may need a few more days to reach the goal, due to startup, getting to know you and your industry, etc.
However, when we said we will deliver 10 links, we do!
Although there is a strong focus on DR/UR as a KPI in the SEO industry, having links on topically relevant sites (again!) is really important as well, and will affect your website in a positive manner.
In other words, DR is not driving our campaigns exclusively. Relevancy is in the driver seat, DR takes the second chair…
Reporting and tracking
All the reporting and tracking is done in a single document – The Project Tracker.
This is a Google Sheets document that is updated on a daily basis.
You will have access to this document 24/7 and it is yours to keep, even after our partnership will eventually end.
In the project tracker, you can see the project plan, the stage we are in, the link targets, the content we use, any passwords and usernames we have set up for the campaign, live links, potential partnerships, and a range of other information you surely will find useful.
You can probably stop reading from here.
However, if you want to know even more, as in what kind of links we build, read on…
We have an arsenal of about 20 types of links we can build.
However, we tend to focus on 2-3 of them.
Guest posts (content placement)
Guest posting is simply the process of posting an article you write on someone else’s page, with a link back to your site as a resource.
A way to build links to your site when you have limited or no content on your site of value.
But it is also a great way to build links and awareness about you or your business. We place these articles on topically relevant sites where you, your product, or your service is a suggested resource for further reading or solution to a problem.
This is a very natural way of building links, as you will have a link naturally placed inside content that is talking about your niche or product, or service.
Sponsored posts are often not very different from guest posts. But they involve a financial transaction, in another word a “paid for link”.
Sometimes (or rather often nowadays) sites know their value for link builders or other site owners. A link is “digital gold” and some sites will flat out reply to our outreach with a price list.
Some sites will just take money and add a link inside existing content, or you pay a fee to place your content piece on their site.
Niche edits, link inserts
Niche edits, or link inserts, are basically paying money to get your link with wanted anchor text placed on an already existing content piece.
Paying for links is against Google’s terms of service. So be aware!
Many link-building agencies offer these kinds of links.
When done properly, they are generally quite safe, despite there is an inherent risk involved in using this tactic.
If you are comfortable with the risk, we may consider using it for a campaign. But only by agreement.
NB! It is also possible to get link inserts for free, but they are getting few and far between.
This is a rather underutilized type of link.
Lots of sites are aggregating valuable content into a daily, weekly, or monthly roundup of what happened in their industry, or “what happened in July” type of posts.
Link roundups basically involve a process of getting your valuable content shared in these roundups.
If you are continuously producing great content this is a great way to both build brand awareness and earn links.
Expert roundups are somewhat similar in concept to the link roundup.
However, this is a roundup where you (we) reach out to industry experts or influencers in your niche and ask for comments or answers to 1-3 questions.
The answers are compiled into a long expert roundup article on a particular topic within your industry.
Everyone who contributed will be sent a link to the article and encouraged to share it on their social channels and on their blog with a link back to your site (the article).
You are never guaranteed that the people featured will link back to the roundup.
However, this typically falls under what we call “ego baiting” and people like to “brag” or share with their network when they have been featured someplace. It “stroke their ego” and makes them look good and can position them as an expert in their industry.
This campaign takes quite a lot of time to do and therefore is something we would use a full month’s campaign to pull together.
Another word that is often used for this tactic is Ego bait. We already mentioned this in the previous tactic.
However, awards bait typically involves making some sort of award where a link target is listed as one of the “best X” in the industry or similar.
If you somehow were involved in entertainment and/or magic, an example could be an article called “The 15 Best Magic Blogs in 2021”.
The article would talk about the award and feature the 15 best magic bloggers and their specialty etc. We may throw in some social numbers for good measure.
Next, we create a Best Magic Blog Award 2021 “Badge” (an image).
Then we reach out to the blogs to inform them they have been awarded one of the best magic blogs of 2021. We give them an embed HTML code for them to add to their site. This code pulls the badge from your image resource and has a link back to your site embedded on the image.
If they do not wish to use your embed code, they can simply link the award article in a post they write on their blog.
Most common is however to display the Award badge, as it builds “authority and trust” for them towards new and old readers.
Most of them will typically also share their award on social channels.
Digital PR is where SEO meets traditional PR. Therefore Digital PR is, in many ways a creative way to build backlinks through coverage in online media such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, and more.
There are various techniques for this, from “Newsjacking”, to planned editorials, to jumping on trends, and much much more.
The full spectrum of Digital PR we do not currently do and we are at this point of time, limiting our Digital PR work to HARO and Creative Commons Image link building.
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. In short, HARO is a service that connects journalists with contributors or subject matter experts on various topics.
A journalist needs a quote or answer to a question and uses the HARO service to find people who have an answer or knowledge on a topic.
HARO is an email service where an email will go out 3 times per day with a collection of sometimes 100s of journalist requests for quotes or answers.
When the email goes out, it becomes a “pitch fest” from receivers, which can be anything from PR agencies, site owners, business owners, subject matter experts, link builders, and more.
The links one can land using HARO can be anything from large sites like Forbes, to more local bloggers and anything between.
We will sometimes include HARO work in our link building campaigns, but we also offer HARO link building as a standalone service. For more info read about our HARO service here.
Creative Commons Images
This is a link building strategy where you basically build up an image bank of pictures related to your industry and/or products and publish these on various stock images sites for free use under a creative commons license, where the requirement for use is an attribution link back to the image owner.
As simple as it sounds, it does require lots of work in both analyzing what images work, where they should be published, chasing correct attribution use, and more.
When done right, it is a highly effective link building / Digital PR strategy.
A lot of online publications or businesses have a page dedicated to sharing useful resources with their readership. This can be a trade publication that has a resource library of recommended suppliers or other useful information.
If your industry or topical relevant sites have standalone resource pages, you should be on them.
It is quite common that pages that a site links to, breaks, and gives a 404 code.
The reason for this can be that the original page that was linked, either was removed or the site was closed down, etc.
Broken link building is generally a strategy where we will identify link targets that have links that are pointing to other pages or resources which are broken/gone. We will reach out to the sites try to convince them to link to your resource instead.
Great opportunities often lie in combining broken link building with resource pages.
Sometimes site owners remove links on their pages for various reasons.
Link reclamation is the process of reaching out to those sites saying that “we still exist” and could they please put the link back again.
Unlinked brand mentions
Often you will find that publications or sites will write about your company, or your product or service, without linking your brand to your website.
This link building strategy is basically about chasing down these unlinked brand mentions and asking the site owners/publications to link to you so the reads can easily find your company/product/service.
There are millions of blogs online. And I bet there are hundreds or thousands of local bloggers in your town or city too.
The thing with these bloggers is that they very often do not make any money from their efforts.
With this in mind, these bloggers can often be easily incentivized to link to you or write about you on their blog or add a link and a section to an older article on their blog.
This is generally a tactic that could operate a bit in the shadowlands. But it can be very cheap and win you links relevant to your home area.
Most universities these days have Alumni associations. If you as the business owner, and/or your top management attended a university with Alumni, we may be able to get a powerful edu link from there.
The Alumni will often either feature former students’ success or make a profile on previous students. Some Alumni pages will also have profiles of former students where it is possible to get a link back to your business/place of work.
This strategy does not scale well, but university links (.edu links) often hold very high authority and it is well worth chasing down these opportunities. If any of you went to an ivy league university, it will usually hold even more power.
Edu links / scholarship links
This strategy is very closely related to the previous one. But as a tactic, this was misused by a lot of SEO’s some years back and Google took notice and struck down on the practice.
It still works but should be used sparingly.
The short of it is that you establish a scholarship of x-amount of $$ where students can apply and hope to win/get it.
The university will have a scholarship resource page where they list all available scholarships which their students can apply for, with a link to the organization/company and the application rules, etc.
This is a yearly link and you will need to actually give out the scholarship to one student each year to keep the link live.
However, the trick is to make it a general scholarship (not only for students at a particular university), so you will get links from several universities for the cost of the yearly scholarship.
But beware, too many of these links could put you in Google jail.
Professional and industry organizations
There are professional organizations in most industries. Many of these organizations will have an overview of their members and/or allow profiles, or articles from their members on their blog.
If such an organization exists within your industry, it may make sense to join it to earn a link from them, one or the other way.
This is a method that can work especially well if you are an eCommerce brand.
The manufacturers of your products (if you sell other’s products) often have a list of distributors or who sells their products.
It is worthwhile checking this and work to get on them.
A relatively new, or uncommon strategy where we would offer a site to create a video summary of a popular article which they can post or embed in their article.
In return, we ask to have either a paragraph added with info and link to you, or ask to have a link to a resource on your page where it fits in the article.
The benefit for the site is that video in general increases dwell time, or “time on site”, which is a ranking signal and shows Google that the visitor likes the information enough on the site to stay there long(er).
Video consumption is outdoing reading articles, especially on mobile. And all statistics show that we access the web using our mobile devices more than our computers. Adding a video to an article is therefore a great idea and increases the value of that article.
A win for them, and a link won for you.
If there are any directories specific to your type of business then you SHOULD be listed on them as well as some of the most popular ones that are well known for various different industries.