Chapter 7

Planning and executing a link building campaign

This is going to be one of the larger sections of the book 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, your boss, 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 at the start of the process and perhaps be refreshed later on at some point. 

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.