High-authority backlinks are extremely powerful ranking tools, with 58.1% of SEO experts agreeing that they substantially impact search results.
Research has also uncovered that the top-ranking pages on Google have more backlinks than lower-ranking pages, reinforcing the need for effective link-building campaigns.
Yet, obtaining high-quality backlinks is challenging, involving countless hours of outreach, research, and content creation.
That’s a big reason why link insertions (placing backlinks in existing posts on relevant websites) have become popular recently, as they tend to be easier to pursue than other tactics.
However, link insertion outreach is still very much a thing, and it’s something you’ll need to get the hang of if you want to snag desirable link placements.
Whether you’re replacing a broken link or are offering money for a link insertion, your email outreach needs to be on point.
That means writing an attention-grabbing subject line, making a convincing case for inserting your link, and then highlighting the benefits of the link to the webmaster (i.e., money, freshening up an old piece of content, exchanging one backlink for another).
Besides that, finding the right websites to target is half the battle.
In other words, your outreach emails will have more success if you choose relevant websites that will genuinely benefit from adding one of your links.
Since there’s a lot to know, we put together this guide containing 4 steps that break down the link insertion outreach process – so read on to learn more.
Why Are Link Insertions Worth Pursuing?
Until the last few years, link insertions weren’t very popular in the link-building world. In fact, they went by the not-so-flattering name link begging, and they carried a negative stigma.
That began to change once SEOs realized that it’s actually an effective way to acquire high-authority backlinks, and it’s a simpler technique than others – such as guest posting.
For instance, with a guest blog post, you first have to find a relevant website that accepts guest posts.
After that, you have to send a cold email explaining who you are and why you’d like to write a post on their website. Should you get a yes, the work still isn’t done. You’ll have to create an informative, well-written blog post from scratch before you get to place one of your links on their website.
Not only that, but the backlink won’t directly impact your SERP rankings until it’s indexed by Google, which can take weeks.
Compare all that work to pursuing a link insertion.
Instead of limiting yourself to sites within your niche that accept guest posts, you can target virtually any website in your industry.
As another bonus, you don’t have to create any original content. All you have to do is write a bit of anchor text for your link insertion, and you’re done!
Additionally, you’re placing a link in an existing article that’s already performing well in the search – meaning that it’s already in Google’s index, so the backlink will impact your SEO profile straight away.
What’s Link Building Outreach?
If you’ve never conducted a link-building campaign before, the outreach process is likely brand-new to you.
Essentially, whenever you find a link-building opportunity like a guest post or a broken link, you need to reach out to the website owner via email and persuade them to insert an outbound link pointing to your website.
Since your goal is to get other websites to link back to yours, you have to communicate and network with other site owners to make that possible.
After all, you can’t hack into a site and place links without their permission, so you need to play nice and build relationships with other websites, blogs, and forums in your industry.
Link outreach typically involves sending emails, although phone-based outreach also exists.
Unless you have existing connections in your niche, you’ll have to start with cold outreach – which involves emailing website owners that you’ve never spoken with before.
While this can be a bit intimidating and time-consuming, the quality of your outreach emails will determine the success of your response rate.
The more attractive you can make the link-building opportunity sound for the website owner, the better, so don’t forget to include what’s in it for them.
Outreach email best practices
Here’s a brief look at the components that make up a high-quality link outreach email:
- An attention-grabbing title. Titles like ‘Requesting a Backlink’ are too generic and boring and will likely get ignored. Instead, frame it as an ‘exclusive offer’ or a question. If possible, include the primary benefit for the site owner in the title (as well as their company name).
- Display knowledge of the website. Make it clear that you’re a fan of their website and are very familiar with what they do.
- Highlight the benefits. Include how you plan on providing value to the website owner, either through a valuable guest post, money, or freshening up their old content with new insights.
- Make it personalized and exclusive. The last thing you want is for your outreach emails to read like form letters that you send to countless website owners. Instead, personalize each message and frame the link-building opportunity as exclusive to them.
These best practices apply to all link-building emails, not just link insertions – so be sure to include them when conducting outreach for guest posts, broken links, case studies, and link exchanges.
How to Conduct Link Insertion Outreach in 4 Steps
Now that you know a bit more about backlink outreach campaigns, it’s time to learn how to target link insertions in particular.
While the outreach for link insertions is more straightforward than other link-building strategies, it still involves a level of nuance.
For instance, if you obtain a link insertion on a website that’s A) not relevant to what you do or B) has a terrible domain rating – the link placement may wind up hurting your SERP rankings instead of helping them.
Or, if your emails aren’t professional/convincing enough, you may miss out on golden link insertion opportunities.
That’s why you need to know how to conduct proper link insertion outreach, and that starts with finding the right websites to target.
Step #1: Finding the right content for your link insertions
The first step is the most critical for the sake of your SEO profile, as targeting irrelevant or poor-quality content won’t do you any favors.
For a link insertion to positively impact your SERP rankings, it has to appear on a high-quality website that’s directly related to what you do.
If you sell pet supplies, then placing links on blogs and websites related to pet ownership is the way to go. Inserting your links on websites that sell sporting equipment, on the other hand, won’t carry any clout.
Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to published blog articles for link insertions either.
You can insert links on forums, social media posts, videos, podcasts, and infographics – as long as they’re all relevant to what you do.
How do you find relevant content?
The easiest way is to use a search engine like Google to find relevant websites. Going with the pet supplies example, you could search for phrases like ‘pet lover websites,’ ‘social media groups for pet owners,’ and ‘pet videos’ – just to name a few.
Finding relevant content tends to be the easy part, as after you accrue a list of websites – you’ll need to vet their SEO metrics.
In particular, ensure each website has a favorable domain rating (anything at or above 60). It also doesn’t hurt if they generate lots of traffic each month and have an overall sound SEO profile.
Step #2: Finding webmaster contact information
By now, you’ve got a list of relevant websites to target.
You’re ready to start sending out emails now, right?
The only problem is you don’t have the contact information for each site owner, which is definitely an issue.
The good news is that finding webmaster contact information doesn’t have to be difficult.
Your first step should be to search the website itself, particularly the About Us page and website footer.
If you can’t find anything there, you can check the domain registration history to uncover the owner.
The WHOIS records hosted by ICANN contain each domain owner and their contact information, which is a huge help.
By going to the ICANN Lookup and typing a domain name into the search bar, you’ll get to see who owns it and their contact information.
Step #3: Create email outreach templates
Now that you’ve got the contact information for each site owner, it’s time to start drafting some email sequences.
What’s an email sequence?
It’s a series of emails that you send out to prospects at set intervals. For link outreach, the most popular email sequence consists of a pitch and a few follow-up emails.
If you have a tool that enables marketing automation, you’ll be able to automate your email sequences, which saves a lot of time.
If not, you’ll have to send each outreach email from your sequence manually.
For your initial pitch, make sure you follow the best practices mentioned earlier for the subject title. In particular, mention the website’s name, and include your primary value proposition (i.e., money, a link exchange, etc.).
The body of your email also needs to focus on the benefits you’ll provide to the website owner.
A big mistake SEOs make when sending link outreach emails is they make it all about them.
They go on and on about the quality of their posts and links but fail to mention what’s in it for the website owner.
If you want the site owner to click on your email and actually read it before deleting it, you need to dangle a carrot in front of them first.
That’s why you should include your value proposition as early in the email as possible. That will catch the site owner’s eye and will increase your chances of landing a link insertion.
How do link insertions provide value to website owners?
A challenge with link insertions is how you’ll provide something of value to the site owner in exchange for placing one of your links in their content.
That’s because adding one link to an existing post isn’t enough to make it relevant & rankable again.
As such, you’ll have to get creative when convincing website owners to add a link insertion.
The easiest and most obvious way is to offer money in exchange for the link insertion, but that’s not always the best option – especially in light of Google’s recent Link Spam Update.
Instead, here are some popular value propositions you can use to obtain link insertions:
- Find ways to update the existing post. If you’re adding one of your links to an aging blog post, try to find ways to make it relevant again. That could be updating old information, adding new insights, or including a supplementary video.
- Offer a free trial of a service or product. Do you offer a SaaS platform or another type of service? If so, offering a free trial (or a free product) is a great value proposition for link insertions.
- Link exchange. Another tactic is to offer the website owner a link insertion or guest post on your website to repay the favor.
Step #4: Personalize each message before sending
Last but not least, you don’t want to send out your email templates in their raw form, as they’ll be too generic.
Instead, you need to personalize each email – and that goes beyond just stating the website’s name.
Try to mention a few specifics from their website to make it sound less like a run-of-the-mill email template and more like an exciting, exclusive offer from a real person.
If they create great content, compliment them on it, and bring up actual examples from their blogs and videos.
This type of personalization will increase your chances of getting a response and forming a relationship with a site owner in your niche, which is always a good thing.
The Wrap-Up: Conducting Link Insertion Outreach
A big reason why link insertions are so popular is due to how easy they are to target, but that’s not to say that link insertion outreach is a cinch.
In fact, this type of outreach can be even more challenging due to how creative you have to be with a value proposition.
Guest posts come with a built-in value prop, but you have to think outside the box with link insertions.
Do you need help conducting link-building outreach at your organization?
Then don’t wait to check out our stellar link outreach services from The HOTH. Our link-building gurus will handcraft a winning outreach campaign for your backlink profile, so don’t wait to get in touch now.