Link building for SaaS companies

published on 05 December 2023

Most SaaS companies would agree that quality backlinks are essential for SEO success.

In this post, you'll discover the ultimate guide to building links that drive traffic, leads, and revenue for your SaaS business in 2023.

You'll learn proven link building strategies like content marketing, influencer outreach, co-marketing partnerships, and more to capitalize on one of the highest ROI digital marketing channels this year.

Link building is critical for SaaS companies looking to build the kind of authority and organic search traffic that leads to sustainable, scalable growth. In essence, link building refers to the practice of obtaining links from other websites which points back to your own - also known as backlinks.

The more high-quality links you have pointing towards your SaaS product from trusted and authoritative sites, the more Google recognizes your credibility and rewards your content within search results. This in turn leads to higher rankings, increased click-through rates, more conversions and revenue.

With link building being such an instrumental lever for SaaS companies to pull in pursuit of business objectives, crafting a smart link-building plan is essential. This introductory guide covers the fundamentals:

In the world of digital marketing and SEO, link building encompasses a few common tactics:

  • Guest posting - Publishing articles containing backlinks on third-party blogs and publications in your industry.
  • Infographics - Creating visual assets with embedded links as a link building and content distribution tactic.
  • Link insertion - Reaching out to site owners to request placing backlinks within existing pages on their domain.
  • Giveaways - Running contests and giveaways in exchange for participants placing a link back to your site upon entry.

The goal across all link building tactics involves obtaining editorially given links that help share your brand's message while directing link equity towards your site.

For SaaS businesses who stake much of their acquisition strategy on SEO, securing backlinks should be prioritized from the outset. Inbound links signal trust and authority to Google, inform its perception of your brand, and influence page rankings more directly than any other factor.

While on-site optimization establishes a strong technical foundation, the pace of your organic growth will eventually depend on the ability to build referral links at scale. This makes an intentional link building strategy non-negotiable.

With platforms like Moz and Ahrefs, SaaS sites can track metrics like:

  • Referring domains - The number and quality of sites linking back
  • Domain Authority (DA) - An aggregate measure of link authority
  • Organic keywords ranking - Keywords reaching top search positions

As quality links increase over time, observable jumps should occur across all three metrics.

When planning a link building campaign, clearly defined goals and KPIs are needed to benchmark success.

For a SaaS business, smart objectives might include:

  • Obtaining links from 15-20 referring domains in year 1
  • Achieving an overall Domain Authority score over 30 within 18 months
  • Ranking for 10-15 core organic keywords in the top 5 search results

KPIs will vary based on competitive factors within your specific niche. But used together, these metrics reveal the compounding benefits of continually earning authoritative backlinks.

With the fundamentals covered, let's overview key elements of an actionable link building strategy for the year ahead:

Link Profile Audit - Use link analysis tools to audit your current link profile, identifying strengths to double down on along with gaps presenting new link opportunities.

Opportunity Mapping - Explore prospects for guest posts, outreach targets, partnerships and other pathways to earn editorially-given links at scale.

Timeline and Benchmarks - Map out an editorial calendar with milestones based on product launches, conferences, and industry events that spark linkworthy news.

Link Tracking Setup - Implement link tracking to measure ROI and monitor link equity metrics in real-time as your efforts ramp up.

Ongoing Optimization - Continue expanding your site's link velocity, assessing new signals as Google's algorithm evolves.

Once a strategy takes shape, properly tracking links and measuring effectiveness over time is key.

Link tracking platforms provide visibility on:

  • Traffic referred from specific backlinks
  • Conversions influenced by each link placement

Meanwhile, Domain Authority remains a reliable benchmark for overall link equity gains.

Taken together, these indicators help gauge link ROI and inform where to focus ongoing link building efforts.

The ability to secure editorially given, SEO-strategic backlinks will determine how quickly your SaaS breaks through the competitive noise. Using this guide's frameworks, your link building efforts will soon transform into a core driver of sustainable growth and advancement.

Link building is an integral part of any SEO strategy, especially for SaaS companies looking to boost their organic search traffic. At its core, link building involves actively seeking out opportunities for other high-quality websites to link back to your own. These backlinks serve as votes of confidence in your content, signaling to Google that your site offers value.

For SaaS companies, an effective link building campaign can yield tremendous ROI by driving more qualified visitors from organic search. However, link building today extends far beyond just acquiring backlinks. Modern link building focuses on providing genuine value to users through content creation and outreach.

Here are some key things SaaS companies should know about link building:

  • Link building complements your overall SEO strategy. It works hand-in-hand with optimizing on-page elements like titles, headers, content, etc. An effective link building strategy targets relevant sites to improve domain authority.

  • Modern link building relies on creating truly useful, engaging content that sites are excited to link to and share. Low-quality guest posts or paid links can actually damage your site.

  • Relationship-building is critical. Concentrate on developing connections with sites/influencers in your space. Nurture these relationships by providing value, not just asking for links.

  • Diversity of backlinks matters. Strive for links from varied sites like .edu domains, niche blogs, directories, etc. This shows wide interest in your content.

  • Link building takes effort and time to execute correctly. Quick wins or spammy tactics will likely backfire. Focus on slowly and steadily improving your domain authority through high-quality links.

With the right strategy focused on value and relationships, SaaS companies can leverage link building to boost organic visibility and capture more qualified visitors. But skipping corners rarely pays off - sustainable link building requires patience and persistency.

Link building remains one of the most effective strategies for SaaS companies to boost their SEO rankings. As we progress into 2023, some time-tested link building approaches will continue working well while new tactics will emerge.

Of the various link building strategies for SaaS brands, three, in particular, stand out in their potential for delivering results this year:

Content marketing

Creating remarkable content allows you to attract organic links rather than having to actively build or buy them. Useful, informative content like infographics, white papers, and in-depth guides tend to get shared widely, leading to a steady stream of high-quality backlinks.

Make sure any visual assets or blog posts answer questions your target audience has instead of hard-selling your SaaS. The focus should be on providing value - the links will follow.

Influencer marketing

Reaching out to influencers in your niche to create co-branded content or simply get them to mention your SaaS in their own content can generate tremendous exposure. The credibility influencers bring typically results in increased organic traffic and powerful domain authority boosts through backlinks.

When doing influencer outreach, personalize your pitch and clearly communicate the unique value you can provide their audience. Offer to collaborate on resources their followers would appreciate rather than asking for a link.

Guest blogging

Writing and publishing guest posts on reputable websites in your industry remains an excellent link building tactic. Ensure you produce stellar content with useful insights instead of self-promotional filler to increase the chances of getting picked up by authoritative blogs.

In addition to backlinks, guest blogging allows tapping into an existing audience to raise brand awareness. But focus on quality over quantity - even one great guest post on an esteemed site can work wonders.

While no one-size-fits-all solution for link building exists, SaaS companies stand to gain tremendously in 2023 by prioritizing valuable content, influencer partnerships, and guest blogging. The key is providing excellence to earn links rather than buying or building them unethically.

Link building remains a highly effective search engine optimization tactic in 2023 and will continue to play an integral role in content strategies moving forward. The main reason is that high-quality backlinks from reputable websites are still one of the top 3 ranking signals that search engines like Google use.

By building links, you can:

  • Improve domain authority and page authority rankings
  • Earn referral traffic from sites linking to your content
  • Boost visibility and search engine rankings
  • Expand brand awareness and establish thought leadership

In 2023, focus on 3 core areas of link building:

Content Marketing

Creating exceptional content that solves problems for your audience can naturally attract sites to link to your assets. Focus on topics that spur discussion and debate within your niche.

Outreach

Identify websites and publications that would benefit from your content. Reach out to editors and webmasters, clearly communicating the value you provide. Relationship building is key.

Technical SEO

Ensure your website provides a positive user experience. Improve site speed, enrich content quality, and optimize technical SEO factors site-wide. This strengthens the value of links pointing to your domain.

The data shows that high-quality links remain indispensable. By honing your content and outreach approach - and laying a technical SEO foundation - you can secure links that deliver ongoing results.

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Some of the best strategies for building quality backlinks for SaaS companies include:

Leverage social media

A more roundabout way to increase incoming links is to get active on social media and engage regularly with reporters and bloggers in your niche. Creating and building an online presence for your brand will increase your audience size, boost page views, and can even lead to new links over time.

You can also run linkworthy social campaigns that encourage users to share content. This can help earn links. For example, an interactive quiz or poll might go viral within your industry.

Create linkworthy assets

Develop resources that provide value and solve problems for your audience. For instance, create comprehensive guides, ebooks, templates, infographics, calculators, etc. If the assets are helpful and shareworthy, other sites may naturally link to them.

Guest post outreach

Reaching out to industry websites and blogs to contribute guest posts is an effective way to earn high-quality backlinks. Make sure the content provides unique value for their audience. Guest posting takes effort, but done right, it can move the needle.

Get press mentions

Build relationships with reporters and bloggers in your space. Pitch them story ideas related to your SaaS product or service that their audience would appreciate. If they write about your brand, you'll likely get a link. Press mentions lend credibility.

In summary, a diverse link building approach works best. Blend social promotion, asset creation, guest posting, press coverage, and other tactics to build links sustainably over time. The focus should be on creating value rather than quick wins. High-quality links remain one of the best drivers of referral traffic and SEO success.

Link building is a crucial aspect of any SaaS company's search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. High-quality backlinks from reputable websites lend credibility and authority to a site, which Google's algorithm recognizes and subsequently rewards with better search rankings. For SaaS companies especially, higher visibility in organic search results translates to increased product discovery and website traffic from potential users - making an effective link building plan vital for growth.

This ultimate guide covers the most effective link building tactics and services SaaS brands should tap into for sustainable link acquisition.

Content marketing entails creating informative and engaging blogs, ebooks, videos, webinars, and other assets that attract backlinks naturally over time. By publishing content that provides unique value, answers audience questions, and establishes domain expertise, SaaS companies can earn links as industry websites and publications reference this content in their own articles.

Some best practices for content-led link building include:

  • Conduct keyword research to create content around popular user search queries that lack extensive coverage. Fill these information gaps.
  • Produce long-form, pillar content assets like guides and ebooks that become definitive resources on focused topics. These tend to accumulate links over years.
  • Promote newsworthy findings or data from original research studies. Media sites appreciate data-backed stories to cover.
  • Interview well-known industry experts for quote-heavy guest articles. Influencers often share these with their networks.
  • Repurpose content into various formats like videos and podcasts to widen distribution and link potential.
  • Monitor analytics to double down on content that already attracts solid traffic and links. Update these periodically.

While organizing a content production schedule takes effort, over time an expanding content library drives referral traffic and earns links from both niche and mainstream websites. This compounding effect is what makes content marketing one of the best long-term link building channels.

Influencer marketing within a niche involves collaborating with industry experts, bloggers, and publications to access their audiences. For link building, a key tactic is guest posting or contributed articles published on reputable third-party sites. By securing guest author spots on websites with high domain authority and relevance, SaaS companies can earn high-quality backlinks and exposure alongside expert endorsements.

Strategic influencer outreach for link building includes:

  • Identifying sites that rank well for commercial keywords in your space but lack extensive vendor presence.
  • Researching site metrics like organic traffic, domain rating, and current link profile.
  • Curating a shortlist of sites accepting contributor submissions as guest posting opportunities.
  • Crafting personalized outreach that convinces publishers to feature your articles.
  • Ensuring contributed content provides unique value and aligns with site guidelines.

With a targeted media relations effort, brands can build relationships with industry publications to publish articles regularly, allowing for a sustainable source of backlinks alongside thought leadership.

Strategic partnerships with complementary tools or services offer an avenue for securing backlinks through co-created content projects, co-hosted webinars, and cross-website promotion of assets. These collaborative initiatives lead to earned links as partner brands reference and share each other's materials with their respective audiences.

Potential partnership opportunities include:

  • Integration or development partners whose products interoperate closely.
  • Participants in relevant affiliate/reseller programs.
  • Sponsors or collaborators for your content, events, or other marketing activities.
  • Direct competing or complementary solutions that serve user needs in your space.

Partnership link building relies on adding value for partners as well through co-promotion, bundled deals, or revenue sharing arrangements. Maintaining ongoing relationships to sustain links over time is key.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a popular platform many journalists use to source expert opinions or data for news articles on trending topics. Brands can leverage HARO by responding to media queries in their industry with useful commentary, stats, or research findings. Securing mentions in widely-read mainstream publications allows SaaS vendors to gain authoritative backlinks and increased visibility.

Best practices for harnessing HARO include:

  • Setting up real-time email alerts for relevant key terms like your product category, target buyer keywords, or industry news hooks.
  • Responding early to the most promising media requests with tailored, newsworthy inputs.
  • Establishing thought leadership by becoming a reliable industry subject matter expert reporters keep contacting.

While HARO outreach demands consistency, over time it tends to deliver high-quality backlinks at scale to amplify brand visibility and SEO.

Broken link building entails identifying broken or 404 links on other sites that point to missing assets. Brands can then produce their own content to replace these dead pages and proactively reach out to site owners, requesting a link in return. As this offers a value exchange by fixing problems site visitors encounter, webmasters are often keen to update broken URLs with your working content instead.

Effective broken link building techniques involve:

  • Using online broken link checkers to detect dead or removed links across sites in your space.
  • Assessing if sites with broken links are worth pursuing based on domain authority, organic traffic, and relevance.
  • Creating replacement content that closely matches the topic of the original dead asset.
  • Emailing site owners with a short pitch highlighting the better user experience from updating the broken link.

While this link building approach is manually intensive, it reaps high-quality links from editorially-given placements rather than paid links. Executed at scale, this translates into tangible SEO wins.

Through avenues like content marketing, influencer partnerships, co-marketing collabs, media relations, and broken link outreach, SaaS brands can drive sustainable link growth over time. Integrating these initiatives early into product launch plans and ongoing marketing helps fast-track link profiles and SEO visibility long-term. Tracking campaign metrics and expanding highest traction channels is key for exponential gains.

Building high-quality backlinks is crucial for SaaS companies to improve search engine rankings, drive qualified traffic to their sites, and ultimately boost conversions and revenue. However, executing an effective link building strategy comes with numerous obstacles. This guide covers the major challenges SaaS brands face when pursuing links and proven tactics to overcome them.

Creating remarkable content that compels publishers to naturally link to your assets is pivotal for sustainable, white hat link building. Here are tips for developing content that attracts links:

  • Conduct keyword research to identify high-volume search queries your audience uses and the questions they need answered. Target informational keywords rather than commercial ones.
  • Develop comprehensive guides and resources like ebooks, templates, calculators etc. that provide immense value. The more useful your content is, the more likely top publishers will link to it.
  • Create visual assets like infographics, charts, and interactive elements that stand out and get embedded across the web, earning theme-relevant links.
  • Distribute content assets through guest posts, outreach, social sharing, paid ads etc. to extend its reach and link earning potential.

Executing an effective content strategy takes time and testing various formats and distribution tactics. But the compounding benefits of owning a library of high-quality, evergreen content that continually attracts links makes the effort worthwhile for SaaS brands playing the long game.

Earning coveted links from reputable websites with high domain authority in your space lends tremendous credibility and SEO influence to beneficiary sites. But getting placements on such premium publishers poses difficulties.

Partnering with an experienced link building specialist levels the playing field. They leverage existing relationships with site owners in your industry to broker exclusive guest posting opportunities.

Vet specialists thoroughly based on sample secured placements, proven strategies, and client testimonials. Avoid firms making unrealistic guarantees. A steady, monthly pipeline of links from reputable sites in your niche is a reliable indicator of competency.

While agencies have their place securing mass placements, brands should still build an owned media content hub. Created assets complement guest contributions in amalgamating a diversified, sustainable link profile.

Reaching out manually to each prospective site to request a link insertion, guest post, or other co-marketing options becomes highly repetitive and time intensive at scale.

SaaS brands can maintain their sanity by using automation software to streamline various outreach workflows:

  • Email sequencing tools schedule and track customized emails to publishers at scale.
  • LinkedIn automation bots send targeted connection requests and initial messages.
  • Chrome extensions discover publicly shared contact info across the web to build media lists.
  • Email finders uncover direct contact forms and addresses of site owners to enable personalized outreach.

Automation technology handles the heavy-lifting of executing rote tasks so marketers can focus on relationship building with high-value prospects and creative, strategic planning.

Measuring the tangible impact of link building efforts is crucial for continually optimizing strategies and justifying budgets.

Specific metrics SaaS brands should track include:

  • Rankings in target SERPs for focus keywords from secured links
  • Organic traffic to landing pages from specific referring domains
  • Conversion rates from visitors referred via placed links
  • Revenue directly tied to conversions tracked back to links

Link analytics tools like Linkody and Link Miner surface placement data and traffic driven to accurately quantify ROI.

For guest posts, ensure contributors include branded anchor text links to monitor their direct performance.

Quantifiable ROI data is vital when briefing stakeholders on why links are valuable digital assets warranting ongoing investment.

Avoiding Over-Optimization and Penalties

In aggressively pursuing links, it’s easy for SaaS brands to trip various alarms and face manual penalties from Google:

  • Using exact match anchor text repeatedly
  • Landing unnatural amounts of links from the same root domain
  • Failure to diversify link types (editorial, directory, sponsored etc.)

Moderating link velocity and closely monitoring site health metrics helps avoid penalties. Conduct periodic audits using tools like SEMRush to catch risky patterns.

The best defense is building links gradually through high-quality content and genuine relationships, not spam tactics. Patiently earned links from reputable domains hold far more weight than a temporary boost from manipulation which often ends in disaster.

Conclusion

As this guide demonstrates, overcoming link building obstacles requires an orchestrated effort across content marketing, relationship building, automation, and analytics tracking.

SaaS brands willing to exercise creativity, commitment and restraint in improving their link profiles reap the lasting rewards of long-term organic growth not reliant on any single platform.

As we've explored, link building remains an indispensable pillar of any modern SEO strategy. By securing authoritative backlinks from reputable websites, SaaS companies can bolster domain authority, improve search rankings, and attract qualified organic traffic.

Implementing a methodical, ethical, and diversified link building campaign is no small feat, however. It requires concerted effort across teams, relentless testing and iteration, and a commitment to producing stellar content worth linking to.

The payoff for getting link building right? The high ground in the increasingly competitive SaaS marketplace.

  • Link building should be an ongoing initiative, not a one-and-done tactic. Build relationships, provide value, and stay top of mind with publishers.
  • Balance scalability of outreach with personalization and relevance. Too automated or spammy of an approach often backfires.
  • Always provide something useful (great piece of content, new data, etc.) when requesting a link. Never make demands.
  • Having an in-house Content Marketing team gives more control over assets to promote for links.
  • Monitor constantly which outreach strategies and content assets attract links to refine efforts.

Before diving headfirst into link acquisition, lay the foundation:

  • Conduct an in-depth audit identifying where your best link building opportunities might lie based on top pages, quality of entities linking to competitors, and more.
  • Map out a systematic campaign across distinct channels like industry media publications, forums and blogs, influencers, etc tailored to your brand.
  • Set initial benchmarks for new links secured per month and allocate internal bandwidth/resources accordingly.

With the strategy set, start testing proven link building tactics covered in this guide. Learn what moves the needle for your brand and iterate based on data.

Our challenge to you - choose one link building format outlined above and give it an honest test this next week. Whether a personalized outreach email, contributed guest post, or influencer partnership proposal - take that vital first step. Document what works well (and what bombs!) to build initial momentum. With a methodical, ethical approach - powered by compelling content - you will reap the manifold SEO benefits of links over the long-haul.

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