Written by Craig Tuttle
This is how I built 21 of the most powerful backlinks ever to bring my client to the top of the SERPs for their money keyword.
All with less than 3 hours of work.
Sound like something that you would want to hear more about?
The first thing that we have to understand is the number one ranking factor in SEO.
Brian Dean, the genius behind Backlinko, did a study of over a million search results to find out what really is the number one factor when it comes to ranking a website.
What he found was astounding.
The number one ranking factor, by a landslide, is backlinks.
And it’s not even close.
We can have the prettiest website in the world. The most aesthetically pleasing website to its visitors, with all the bells and whistles, and all 500+ on-page ranking factors finely tuned perfectly.
But if there is no off-page SEO…aka backlinks, coming to the website, then all you’re going to have is a perfectly set up website hovering in Never Neverland where no one will ever see it.
But this is not Earth-shattering news.
I mean, we all know the incredible importance that Google has placed on backlinks.
But the secret sauce, and what separates the true SEO experts from the pretenders that represent 99% of the industry is in how they get their backlinks.
We all know the sad reality in the SEO world…there are a ton of people who claim to be the real deal. Who claim to be able to rank your site. The truth is that most SEOs suck at ranking websites.
If they were half as good at ranking websites in the search engines as they were at selling people on how good they are at ranking websites in the search engines, then the SEO industry wouldn’t have such a stinky stigma attached to it.
But every single client I get gives me horror stories about how their last SEO provider promised them the world but delivered a big fat goose egg.
So what is the secret sauce that separates the Big Boys from the chumps?
It’s not PBNs.
That has become a naughty word in the SEO space lately.
Of course, you do have your black hat warriors who still live and die by PBN links. And I’m not saying that they can’t help your site when set up correctly, and you don’t get caught using them.
But why take the chance?
Here’s a secret that most SEOs don’t even consider…Traffic is a very big indicator as to the popularity of a website.
So if you sit there and construct your Private Blog Network…the one that you don’t want getting caught…are you really going to try to attract a lot of attention to it with traffic?
You keep it tucked away. Hidden, hoping it goes unnoticed.
In fact, you may even be using software on the site to block it from even being crawled and noticed by SEO software bots at all.
At this point, all you’re really doing is relying on the power of the site. Which will diminish in time.
But isn’t there a better way?
A more ‘white hat’ way?
What I’m talking about are Guest Posts.
There is no better way to link to your website than using REAL websites.
Sites that get REAL traffic.
And the beauty of it is…you don’t have to tuck it away and hope it goes unnoticed. Actually…you want people to see it.
To visit your site from it.
That’s the point.
Guest posts are the best way to get powerful, relevant links to your site that will actually help move you up in the SERPs.
It’s how I was able to take my client to the top of the search engines for their main keywords without having to spend countless hours and wasted effort.
I also didn’t have to spend a fortune either!
So do you want to see how I did it?
This is what I call GuestReach.
It’s a play on a guest post outreach method I learned from Ryan Stewart from Webris.
First I will list off the steps for you, then we will go into detail as to how it’s done.
- Strategize the Congruents
- Prospect for Abundance
- Sweep the Leg
- Designate the Assignment
- Go for the Glory
Ok…I admit. Some of these are really cheesy. And you may not like them…but they help me remember every step and their importance.
Every step of the GuestReach sequence must be performed with surgical precision.
Nothing can be overlooked or neglected.
Each step has its own set of tasks that are equally important to the success of the campaign.
So let’s dive deep into each step and go through why this is the best link building method you’ll see.
Guestreach Step 1: Strategize the Congruents
The first thing you have to do is really drill down your niche that you’re targeting.
While it was OK in the past to get links from a website about cat socks linking to your dental client’s website, as long as the cat socks website had good metrics, it’s just not the case anymore.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to ranking today is relevance.
I’m going to say that again.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to ranking today is relevance.
Relevance is more important than metrics.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you want a website with no metrics at all. You still want to look at things like Trust and Authority.
But what is going to move the needle more than that is whether the site linking to your site is relevant to that site’s subject.
The other things I look for when it comes to getting backlinks are referring domains and traffic.
Without going into too much detail on this, if you have a site that is a barren wasteland that no one ever sees or visits, what kind of link are you really getting?
The same thing applies to how many links that site has itself.
And what type of links.
You want to get links from a site that has solid links coming to it.
So let’s imagine a couple of scenarios and you decide which site would be better to get a link from.
You are working on your dentist client’s site and trying to get links for them.
One website that you can get a link from is the cat sock site. It has a TF of 35 and DA of 27. Not bad metrics.
The site has 6,742 total backlinks from 12 referring domains. It averages about 17 visitors per month.
Now the other website you can get a link from has “dentist” in the domain.
It has a TF of 14 and DA of 17. It has 321 backlinks from 107 referring domains. Most of the referring domains are in the dental niche.
The site averages 1,643 visitors per month.
Which site would you rather have link to your site?
The relevant one. Of course!
This example goes to show you that metrics are not the end all be all that they once were. Or what some SEOs still swear by.
So now that we have explained relevance…and I’ve gone off on a little tangent…let’s get back to business.
Strategize the congruents.
So this step is basically you figuring out the niches you would like to get links from. Then figuring out the sub niches. Or the congruent niches.
The thing is, not all niches are going to have a ton of RELEVANT options for us to get links from.
So we have to be fairly savvy here.
For example, one of my clients is a podiatrist.
I’m going to tell you that there are not a TON of sites out there about feet. And the ones that are there, that I can get links from, are not getting a ton of traffic.
So I have to strategize the congruents.
What are niches that make sense that would still give me relevance to a podiatrist?
Medical sites would work. It would make sense that a medical site could have an article about foot or ankle pain.
Footwear or athletic sites would work. We could angle the article around the best footwear to combat plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis.
Health and nutrition sites would work as well. An article about the best ways to stretch to avoid arch pain during a workout.
These are all sites that are not directly about a podiatrist, but you can see how we can get some relevance here.
And more importantly, the audience of the site would accept an article about this topic and read it and maybe even give us a visit through the link on the site.
So what you want to do is have a brainstorming session.
Whatever way works best for you.
Mindmaps. Outlines. Good old fashioned pen and paper.
Write out the main niche(s) of your money site. Then what other sub-niches make sense.
What you want to do is think of the links coming from the same strength website. These backlink sources are all going to have the same metrics, referring domains, traffic, etc. Not in reality….but while you do this exercise.
Consider the cat socks and dentist site. If they both had the same exact metrics and traffic, which one would you want?
So think of all of the sub-niches that would MAKE SENSE for a link to be coming from them.
Once you have them, think about what people are typing in the search engines to find those particular sites.
You don’t necessarily need “dentist”. That’s what everyone else would be doing.
But think about “teeth whitening” or things like that.
The goal is to not make yourself like everyone else.
Once you have some solid queries to go on, move onto the next step.
Guestreach Step 2: Prospect for Abundance
Now that you have your list of queries that people use to find websites relevant to your money site, you want to search for sites that offer link opportunities.
For this step, you want to use what are called “Search Engine Operators”.
This is basically a way for you to type something into the search engines so that they show you sites that offer link opportunities in the niche that you’re looking for.
For example, if we are staying with our podiatrist, and we have congruent queries like “athletic shoes”, we would type this into Google:
What this tells Google is that we are looking for websites that have to do with athletic shoes, but that somewhere on the site the words “write for us” are present.
The words “write for us”, in that order, would not be on the site unless that site is accepting what are called guest posts.
Guest posts are ways for a website to have someone else come in and contribute to their site by adding content. Typically, you will get a link back to your site when you write a guest post.
Obviously, that is your main goal.
Guest posts work for the site because they get high-quality, fresh, unique content without having to write themselves. (Because who in their right mind wants to sit and write a really long, solid piece of content, right? 🙂 )
This also allows for the website to expand on their expertise that they offer their readers. The site owner may not know a lot about the best footwear to alleviate foot and ankle issues. But our podiatrist is an amazing “expert” to bring in and add value to their website.
So the biggest goal is to find these win/win scenarios.
We want to actually add value to the site, but we also want to get a solid, RELEVANT link back to our money site.
So what you do for this step is go through and log all of the possibilities.
You want to exhaust every option.
There are a TON of search engine operators that you can use. Here are just a few.
List of Search Engine Operators:
- Write for us
- Submit post
- Submit article
- Contribute to our site
- Become a guest writer
- Writers wanted
- Guest post by
- Become a contributor
Those are just a few that I have used in the past. You can imagine how many there are that would bring results. This is something you can play around with.
Now that you know what search engine operators are, come up with your own. There really is no limit to what you can do here.
But you want to find as many potential backlink opportunities as you can.
And you want to keep track of all of them.
I like to use a spreadsheet. Google Sheets or Excel work tremendously. I personally like Google Sheets because I have my whole team on there and can just give access to whoever is going to be doing the Prospecting for Abundance step.
Yes, this is most certainly something you can outsource or train someone on your team to do.
But it is essential that whoever is going to be doing this step gets it right and does not skimp out on any part of it.
When you are recording the potential link opportunities, you have to make sure you record everything. This will benefit you in the long run.
Don’t just record the website and be done with it. That’s not enough information.
You want to record EVERYTHING.
The date, the website address, the address to submit content to, the niche, the requirements for content to be posted on their site, the type of links they offer, the metrics of the site, the traffic of the site, the contact info, etc.
You also want to make sure you record something unique about the site to help with the shmoozing portion in the later steps.
You want this all recorded in a spreadsheet.
This is all you are doing for this step. You are only recording the link opportunities.
Once that is finished, move onto the next step.
GuestReach Step 3: Sweep the Leg
In other words…NO MERCY! (Gotta love the Karate Kid references)
So this step is something that takes patience and diligence. My suggestion to you is to create a new email address for this step based on the niche that you are targeting.
This is something that a lot of marketers overlook, but it can make a big difference. These folks offering link opportunities get approached pretty regularly.
And mostly by marketing companies who are only in it for the link.
You want to present yourself as the actual owner of the website you are linking to.
So in my case, I want to present myself as someone who is either the actual podiatrist, or someone who works in the office.
And don’t hold back here. Create a persona. Use their image in the gmail profile (of course ask their permission). Connect it to their Twitter or Linkedin account and put that in your email signature.
The goal is to make it look as realistic as possible. You don’t want to give them any reason to ignore your outreach.
If you decide to use your own personal business email, you will most likely get ignored.
In fact, many of the submission requirements state that if you are a marketer or SEO to not apply for content submission.
Again…don’t give them a reason.
So once you have your email created, it’s time to start going after the spreadsheet.
Make sure you pay attention to the submission requirements. Many of them will require you to do something besides just send an email. This is why it was so crucial for you to take good notes in the previous step.
If they do require an email to request submission of your content, make sure you are personable.
You don’t want to make it look like you’re a robot. Or that you are sending automated submission requests.
If you want positive results…you have to take your time. Don’t be lazy and throw everyone into an automated email sequence. You will be ignored and wonder why this method doesn’t work for you.
This is why taking a note of something unique about the site in the previous step was so crucial. This is where you include that in your email.
You want to let them know you took the time to look at their site. Even if you didn’t!
This is the schmoozing part. You have to butter them up. Stroke their ego a little bit. Tell them how great you think they are and make it seem like it would be this tremendous honor for you to add some content to their fantastic website.
Go right down the list and contact every link opportunity that is on the spreadsheet.
You don’t want to leave any stone unturned.
You also want to add to the spreadsheet that you contacted this website on such and such date. Note the method of contact as well. You just want to make sure you keep track of everything.
This way, the next time you go through this list, you have a track record of everything that had been done in the past.
Once you have exhausted the list, it’s not time to sit back and wait for the responses.
That is when the next step comes into play.
(NOTE: You may have to go onto the next step just to submit a request. Some websites will require you to submit your request WITH content in hand. If that is the case, this next step is something you want to already have done.)
GuestReach Step 4: Designate the Assignment
So now you have a need for content.
You’ve contacted your link opportunities and you’ve either gotten a response for content submission or you may just need content in order to submit the request in the first place.
Either way, you need some kickass content.
But herein lies the question. Where do you get high-quality content fast?
You could write it yourself. But if you’re like me and you need 21 pieces of content fast, there is no way you are going to sit and write it yourself.
You can hire outsourcers on sites like Upwork to write your content for you, but my experience with them has been hit or miss. And most of the time they are more expensive than the method I want to show you.
The method that I use for high-quality content.
I actually use iNeedArticles for my GuestReach content!
But there is a certain method to my madness.
Here are the steps I take when ordering GuestReach content through iNeedArticles:
- Log in and go to the “Request” section. Choose “Articles”.
- Now, since we filled out spreadsheet out immaculately (hopefully!), we will know exactly what we need for our articles. Fill in the keyword we want to target (I typically do these one at a time).
- Make sure you have the minimum word count and it matches the requirements for the particular site you are submitting this article to. (NOTE: There has been research that states that longer articles have a 10-15% higher success rate for SEO purposes than shorter ones.)
- Tick the “Guaranteed four or five-star writers only.
- Tick the “In-depth research stipend” box if you want the article to be really high quality. This is optional, but I typically use it for really good link opportunities.
- Tick the “Extra fee to allow specific article style requests in the instructions” box. This is something I always do so I can tell the writer what I want the writer to focus on. For example, in my case, I am writing for an athletic shoe company, but the keyword to be “best running shoe on feet”. If I don’t tell the writer how to style the article, who knows what I’ll get. This way, I’m assuring myself that I will get the kind of article I am looking for.
- Next, I go up in the second box, the “Article Instructions and Details” box and I tell the writer how I want this article to flow.
- Tick the bottom two boxes if you agree with the statements and order your content.
That is how I order my content at scale.
I know that a lot of SEOs are skeptical of ordering content in this manner, and I used to be as well.
Believe me, I would never do this a year ago.
But since the new ownership of iNeedArticles has been in place, they have really put a focus on the quality of the content they provide.
Plus, with all the options to really tailor the content the way I want it, I get high-quality articles every time.
And it saves me a ton of time since I don’t have to write it.
But you have to follow these steps to ensure you are getting high quality content.
Once you have your content written, it’s time to go on to the final step in the process.
GuestReach Step 5: Go for the Glory
We are almost to the finish line!
Here is where you want to make sure that everything is in order.
The more you do this, the more you will have the routine down to a tee.
But you still want to make sure that you are following everything the way the link opportunity wants it.
So before submitting your content, go back to the spreadsheet.
Make sure the content meets all the requirements for that particular website. The last thing you want at this point is to have come this far only to not have enough words in the article, or have it not be in the first person, or whatever silly rule you may have overlooked.
Make sure you have all your ducks in a row!
This is very important…MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR LINK IN THE CONTENT!
Remember why we went through all of this hooplah in the first place!
The last thing you want is to have wasted all of this effort and forget to add your damn link in the content. You don’t want to have wasted all that time and effort. Not to mention the shmoozing. I’m not a shmoozer, and I don’t particularly enjoy shmoozing. So if I’m going to shmooze, I damn well better get something out of said shmoozing!
Once you are satisfied with the quality of the article, and that you have met the requirements, and you have your link in there (with the right anchor text), go ahead and complete the submission process.
Make sure you log this into the spreadsheet as well.
You should get a notification that your content went live. But make sure you check back periodically.
The very last thing I like to do is send some links to the content once it’s posted.
Most times the article will not have any power to it since it is brand new. So we want to boost it up a little bit.
Share it on social media. Try to get some traffic to it. And link to it as well.
Remember, you want as much traffic coming to this article as possible.
So don’t leave it out there to fend on its own. Power it up!
But that is it!
That is the GuestReach Method.
This is how I was able to obtain 21 extremely powerful links with just 3 hours of work that brought my client’s website up to the number one position for their main keyword.
If you like this method make sure you give it a share on social media. And comment below to keep the conversation going!