6 Link Building Strategies for Startups that Get Results

If you’re working on getting backlinks to your website for your startup, you’re on the right path.

Link building plays an important role in ranking your site high enough to be included in search results when people search for phrases related to your niche.

You need backlinks to establish enough authority with Google to get targeted traffic from organic searches, but there’s a right and a wrong way to acquire those links.

There’s plenty of advice online regarding how to get good backlinks, but it’s not all sound.

In addition, link building for startups is inherently very difficult. You don’t yet have brand-recognition and there may be little or no reason to believe.

This article will help you understand the startup link building strategies that actually work.

First, let’s dive into what makes a good backlink v. a bad backlink.

What are the qualities of a good backlink?

  • The link is editorial. An editorial link is one that is placed inside of content, like a blog post or news article. It’s not a link posted to social media or a directory website.
  • The link is dofollow. A ‘dofollow’ link is one that search engines will follow and give ranking credibility based on its algorithms. When a link is designated ‘nofollow,’ search engine crawlers ignore it and as such, it won’t help your website rank. Nofollow links aren’t entirely bad because they will still help you generate relevant traffic if the link is placed properly, but dofollow links are far more valuable.
  • The website has authority. The websites you get your backlinks from matter. Ideally, you want backlinks from websites that are well-established in their niche and have a good reputation. Search engines often treat new websites like spam and new sites won’t pass much “link juice” to your website.
  • The website content is relevant. Link relevance is critical. The content that contains your link should be related in some way. For example, if your link goes to a page about how to garden, the content should be relevant to the page that contains your link. The whole page doesn’t need to be about gardening, but the text that contains the link to your site should not be random.
  • The link is likely to stick. Links are a dime a dozen (and sometimes much cheaper), but that doesn’t mean they’re going to stick. Sometimes links only last a few months to a year before they’re wiped out, either because the content was deleted or the website went down/got blacklisted. To improve the chances of your links sticking, you need to acquire high-quality links from reputable publishers.

What are the qualities of a bad backlink?

There are many signs of a bad link, but it can be boiled down to links that come from spammy or low-quality websites that won’t generate traffic or pass any link juice to your website. Those factors will make your backlinks useless.

6 Effective link building strategies for your startupstrategies for startup

Now that you know the difference between good and bad links, you’ll have a better chance at selecting link building strategies that work.

The following is a list of the top 6 most effective strategies. But don’t take our word for it. Develop your own link building tactics and add them to your link building process. 

  1. Selective manual outreach

Using manual outreach for building links to your website is becoming outdated as a main method, but it’s still important and has a place in your SEO strategy. Manual outreach is when you acquire backlinks from other websites one at a time by finding sites you want a link from and then contacting the webmaster to ask for that link. Obviously this strategy takes time and effort, but the results can be extremely rewarding when you get links from top websites.

The downside is that getting links with manual effort won’t yield as many links as other strategies, so it’s not going to be suitable for large quantities. However, if there are a small number of reputable websites in your niche, it’s worth pursuing link building opportunities from those sites because it can send a lot of solid traffic your way in addition to helping your site rank higher. These types of “editorial links” can be extremely effective. 

If you choose to do manual link building, just make sure you target the right websites and don’t waste your time on sites that may not be responsive or that don’t have enough Domain Authority (DA) or readers to make a difference for you.

  1. Content marketing

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of various forms of content across a variety of channels in order to increase brand awareness, generate sales, and increase engagement.

When considering your digital marketing and SEO strategy, three of your main priorities are to reach your target audience, get them to engage with your brand, and rank higher in the search engines. Generating backlinks through content marketing can help you accomplish all of these goals when they’re sourced from  targeted, relevant sites.

There are many facets to content marketing, but the basic idea is simple:

You generate backlinks to your website by publishing additional articles on other people’s websites. Those articles contain a link back to your website. The articles you publish on other websites are specifically written for those publishers, and the link to your site is integrated into the content naturally.

Content marketing is more powerful than ads

There’s no doubt that advertising works, even though people say they hate ads. However, most people today prefer to read informational content in order to make purchase decisions. Ads can be successful when shown to the right target audience, but it’s getting harder to reach people with ads in the first place. According to the 2022 PageFair Adblock Report, 290 million people use an ad blocker that blocks ads on all websites, including YouTube.

Content marketing isn’t a replacement for ads, but it can help you generate a better ROI. It’s not that ads don’t work – it’s that you can reach more people through content and you have a better chance at persuading them with educational, informative content. Studies have already proven that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising and generates three times more leads. If you skip content marketing, you’re leaving money on the table.

  1. Guest posting

Guest posting can be an effective way to generate links, but it needs to be used intentionally. You don’t want to get links from any and every website that offers guest posts, and you need to be careful about sites that charge for posts. Google often de-ranks and de-indexes entire websites if they believe they violate the Webmaster Guidelines and each new algorithm update drives poor quality sites further underground.

Unfortunately, if you buy posts or links from these sites, it won’t help you rank. There’s no way to know for sure if a site has been deranked, so you need to be careful about the guest posting opportunities you pursue.

Quality guest posting opportunities are usually found on established websites in your specific niche with a call for submissions where you can share your expertise with an engaged audience. If a site looks too bland or poor-quality, and it’s clear there is no readership, it’s probably spam and won’t do you any good. Seek out guest posting opportunities from established websites that hold guest authors to high standards.

  1. Broken link building

With broken link building, you identify web pages that have broken links and get the webmaster to replace that broken link with a link to your website. You either need to have existing content that would be a perfect replacement, or create it prior to making the request. The latter is a gamble with your time because you can’t predict whether or not you’ll get the link, but you can’t have too much high-quality content, so even if you don’t get the link, it’s still a win.

There are several types of broken links, but the ones that are most likely to get you backlinks are the pages that return a 404 error. This happens when a webpage is either deleted, moved, or a website’s entire directory and page structure is altered, like going from an HTML website to PHP or ASP.

Having a lot of broken links can hurt a website, so webmasters will have some motivation to consider your offer. If they accept, it’s a great way for you to earn backlinks on websites that are well-established and get links on pages that already get plenty of traffic.

Engaging in broken link building campaigns can be an effective tactic of getting quick wins from authoritative websites.

  1. Create shareable, linkable assets

Linkable assets should be a top priority in your backlink building campaign. This is the type of content people are most likely to share in emails, on social media, and on websites. These are the assets that provide immense value to people in a given niche and once someone knows about it, they’ll link to that piece of content when needed. Linkable assets also help you score links through manual outreach because there’s more value than if you asked someone to link your homepage.

Examples of linkable assets:

  • Infographics
  • Useful online tools
  • A collection of research findings
  • Blog posts
  • List posts
  • Product reviews
  • Statistics collections
  • Case studies
  • Videos

All of the above types of content end up being linked over and over again, sometimes naturally, simply because of the value. For example, when someone needs to cite statistics, if you curate a collection of good stats, your page is likely to be linked. The quality of the content needs to be top-notch to generate organic links, but it is possible, and that’s how many websites get hundreds of effortless backlinks.

Linkable assets tend to maintain their value over time as long as the information stays relevant. Over time, those assets can also gain higher rank in the search engines and as more people find them, more people will link to them.

  1. Work with a professional link building agency

Last, but not least, the most effective link building strategy is to hire a professional. There are so many components to an effective link building campaign that it’s impossible for a single person to do it all. If you’re not experienced in link building, you’ll also run the risk of violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines if you acquire bad links even by accident.

To get big results and avoid getting penalized by Google for an innocent mistake, you need a team of experts working on your behalf, enabling to double or triple your link building efforts.

Link building for startups can require a great deal of patience and waiting for the algorithms to catch up to what you are doing. That’s where a strategic link building partner can help.

If you’re looking to acquire high-quality backlinks that will help your website rank higher in the search engines and bring you targeted traffic, get in touch with us today for a free evaluation.

Samuel Edwards