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The internet is a capitalistic place; it’s a battle ground of competition and there are very few handouts. Call it digital Darwinism, because one of link building’s most daunting truths is that the fittest survive.

It’s too often that businesses anticipate the internet to be a socialist or communist place. They expect that  just because they are entering the playing field or asking for something, out of fairness, they will receive something. This is hardly the case. I imagine nearly ever webmaster has received an email like this-

new bad email

Instead of going over what’s wrong with this email and what would make it right I would like to gloss over some pointers and tips I have found to help when conducting outreach for my clients.

Most of the clients I manage here already have an excellent web presence- they are mentioned on blogs, their logo is on their affiliate’s pages and there are a number of news sources mentioning their activity.

So I would like to disclaim that these tips are going to be most effective for companies that have a well-established web presence however some will be general enough for any audience.

Reverse Image Search

Preforming a reverse image search with your company’s or your client’s logo is my favorite, and in my opinion the most efficient way to find mentions or linking opportunities. In almost all cases you can rightfully ask for your logo on a third party website to carry a link back to your website. Here is an example of an email I sent just the other day to someone who had an unlinked image of one of my client’s logos- Good email 1 I understand this email has its flaws and might come off as a passive aggressive ultimatum, however I have found that one of the greatest advantages in doing link building for a well-established company is the asset of being able to leverage reputation.

If someone is putting your client’s or your company’s logo on their site, it means they know who you are and feel that having your logo on their site will improve their image and credibility; you are just simply asking them to make their interface more user friendly or give proper attribution to your intellectual property.

If this email is not responded to, follow it with something like this (This is the email I sent Kevin two weeks after receiving  no response, Kevin is an authorized dealer of the service my client provides)- Good email 2

Branded Email and Signature

Obviously obtaining a branded email when preforming in house SEO work should never be a problem, but if you work at an SEO firm, some clients might be protective of their name and reluctant to give your firm a branded email.

When I say branded email I am talking about an email address that includes the companies name in the suffix of the email. For example- [email protected]  as opposed to [email protected]

When clients are reluctant to give you a branded email, your next best option is usually resorting to creating a Gmail account with some variation of the company name for the prefix. In the cases where this has happened to me, I usually pick something like [email protected]

Whether you are you using a branded email or not, how your signature looks is going to be crucial to how professional your email looks- especially if you are not using a branded email (you need all the help you can get). If you are using a Gmail account and your signature is not professional looking, you are even more likely to be regarded as a spammer or just someone who is up to something shady.

My signature here at Big Leap looks like this-

Signature I’m of the opinion that a signature should include your name, position and some sort of contact information. I like to think that the logo and the small font disclaimer are the icing on the cake. I particularly love the disclaimer, to me it just says, “I mean business.”

Ego Stroking Content

Ideally, the best way to do link building is to not ask for it, but when people take the liberty of doing it themselves. You are an expert at you’re business so get creative with how you can leverage your knowledge specifically for link building purposes. One of my account managers shared with me how a home security company did exactly that.

This company did some research and compiled a list of the 50 safest cities in the nation, they then put that information on its own page on their website. After it was completed, they emailed city regulated .gov sites letting them know that their city had been awarded a spot on the list of the 50 safest cities in the US. Many of these .gov webmasters complied and linked back to this security company’s website due to its flattering content.

This was a brilliant idea. Not only did the idea attract high authority and link juice passing websites, but it was linked to by many .gov sites so the links essentially act as an undercover endorsement from a very credible source.

Consider these tactics foundational and use your creative capacity to make them individual and unique to your strategy. Happy link building my friends

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director