Chapter 7

Planning and executing a link building campaign Introduction

This is going to be one of the larger sections of the course and probably the most hands-on. Within this section I’m going to go step by step through the process that I use when doing link building. I’d encourage you to go through this process with a website of your own and follow the steps as closely as you can, but, at the same time, remember that no two websites are the same – and you shouldn’t be worried about changing things to suit your situation.

Here is a top-level outline of the process we’re going to go through:

  • The sales process: selling a link building campaign
  • Kicking things off: questions to ask yourself or your client
  • Identifying the business goals and how link building will help reach these
  • Identifying your assets, resources, and USPs that help with link building
  • Running analysis on your existing link profile and competitors
  • Identifying the techniques you plan to use
  • Prioritizing your techniques based on time and resources
  • Planning your activity over the next few months
  • Preparing or creating your link building asset
  • Finding and prioritizing link targets
  • Conducting outreach
  • Following up
  • Reporting on a link building campaign and learning how to improve

At first glance, this looks like a lot. But not all of these will apply every single time you engage in a link building campaign. For example, identifying your assets and USPs will probably only happen once (or rarely).

Processes are great, but don’t let them restrict you if you come across a good opportunity. One of my most successful pieces of link building didn’t fit into this process much – it was very ad-hoc and last minute. I just did what was necessary to get links and it happened to work. I share the details about what I did in a case study later in this book.