Manual link building is the process of obtaining links through outreach and relationship building. For many, this is the only method they use to build links in the current SEO climate. At WeOutreach, we believe it’s the only method you should be using.
The key to link building campaigns is understanding that link building isn’t a “get rich quick scheme.” It takes time, effort, and a little bit of luck to get the high quality backlinks you want.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what manual link building is and why we believe it’s the only method you should use to build links.
What is Automated Link Building?
Automated link building involves using software to build links for your website. There are a number of tools and software that you can use to do this, but there are a number of reasons we recommend against using this strategy.
Before we get into that, let’s talk about some of the automated link building techniques SEOs used in the past to generate links this way.
Social bookmarking: This involves using software to automatically submit links to social bookmarking sites, such as Reddit and Digg.
Blog commenting: This involves using software to find blogs related to a particular topic and leaving comments on those blogs with a link back to the website.
Forum posting: This involves using software to find forums related to a particular topic and posting messages in those forums with a link back to the website.
Link directories: This involves using software to submit links to link directories, which are websites that list links to other websites organized by category.
What is Manual Link Building?
Manual link building is the process of building links by using outreach and building relationships rather than tools and software. The best manual link building techniques require you to reach out to the site owner and ask them for links.
The key to this type of link building campaign is providing value to the recipient and only reaching out to high quality sites that are relevant to yours.
There are a number of ways to do this which we’ll get into. Of course, this process can be time consuming but it’s the best and most effective way of increasing your rankings in the search engines without having to worry about wasting your time or dealing with a penalty from Google.
Automated vs Manual Link Building Techniques
Now let’s take a look at both of these link building tactics to help you understand why we recommend choosing one over the other.
First of all, automated link building is outdated for a reason. It’s an old school method that people used to use to generate a ton of links all at once using sketchy and spammy tactics. Strategies like this simply don’t work anymore.
Google rewards those who put in the effort doing manual link building, it’s as simple as that.
Automated link building can be an effective way to generate a large number of links in a short period of time, but the quality of those links will be dramatically lower than the types of links you could generate using manual tactics.
Of course, manual link building is more time-consuming, but the links you obtain are higher quality and can increase your rankings in the search engines faster – so the work pays off.
The risk is another important factor to understand. Not only can your automated link building efforts result in absolutely no ranking benefits, you could even find yourself penalized by Google for using shady tactics like this.
Automated link building can be risky, as search engines may penalize websites that engage in it. Manual link building carries less risk, as it is less likely to be seen as spammy or manipulative.
Ultimately, manual link building is the only option if you want to get more links. You need to build high quality links if you want to generate organic traffic. Using manual link building strategies will ensure you obtain the most benefit for your efforts.
Choosing the Best Manual Link Building Techniques
If you understand the importance of manual link building, you’ll need to know how to get high quality links and what strategies to deploy.
At WeOutreach, we believe that manual outreach requires you to have a good foundation of content and branding on your website. If you’re going to reach out to other websites and expect them to give you a link to your own website, you need to make sure you look professional and have quality content on your site otherwise they won’t want to give you a link.
Here are three of the link building methods we use:
Value-Rich Guest Posting
One of the most effective ways to get links is by reaching out to site owners and asking them if you can submit a piece of content for free in exchange for a link pointing back to your site.
This is almost always a win-win because they get a great piece of content and you get a valuable link.
A link exchange is a process in which two websites agree to link to each other’s websites. This can be done as a way to improve the search engine rankings and visibility of both websites.
The simplest way to do this is by finding another website that is willing to give you a link in exchange for you giving them a link. Of course, this requires you to have a high-quality website with high domain authority. This isn’t always the case.
Chances are, if you’re trying to get links you’re reaching out to websites with higher domain authority than you. So, why would they want a link from your website if it does nothing for them?
A more effective strategy we use is called a three way link exchange. This involves you finding a website that wants a link and is willing to give you a link.
Instead of simply offering them a link from your website, you tell them that you’re willing to find them a link from another high-quality website. This sounds a lot more enticing and many site owners are willing to agree to this.
A link insertion is another popular strategy used to acquire links and provide value to the site owner. With this method, you’ll make a list of prospective websites within your niche. You’ll go through their site and find a page or two that you think your piece of content can add value to.
When you reach out to the owner, you’ll pitch your piece of content and convince them that it can add value to their page and see if they’d be willing to link to it.
In most cases, you should expect to pay for this type of link exchange. The ultimate goal is to provide value to the owner in whatever way they expect. They might decide that they want you to write a guest post instead. If that’s the case, be flexible and willing to pivot to whatever they want. This is the best way to build relationships and generate links at scale.
How to Perform Outreach Link Building: Step-by-Step
If you want to rank higher in the search results using this strategy, you’ll need to reach out to site owners and ask for links. Here’s a quick break down of how we do this:
1. Find Contact Information – You can use tools like Hunter.io to find the emails and contact information of websites you want to obtain links from.
2. Compile Your Prospects – Build a large list of prospects in your niche that you can reach out to for links.
3. Narrow Down the List – Within your huge list, there are going to be some opportunities that don’t make the cut. Make sure that the websites you’re reaching out to have their own traffic, have quality content, and aren’t simply existing to provide links to everyone who reaches out to them.
4. Write Great Emails – You want to make sure your emails are short, sweet, and to the point. Express the value you intend on providing to them right away and make sure you have a call to action in your email.
5. Be Flexible – If they’re not willing to do a link insertion, have a plan B. Maybe they’d rather a guest blog post or perhaps they’d be more enticed if you can get them a link from a different website?
Final Thoughts on Manual Link Building Strategy
Building manual links is all about cooking low and slow and maximizing the chances of obtaining a link for every bit of effort you make.
Remember that it’s important to use the right methods even if it takes a little more time because the benefit will be worth it in the long run.