When it comes to SEO link building, there are two main ways to go about it. One is to create amazing content where other people voluntarily link to it on their own accord.
The other is to simply reach out to influencers and ask for links. If you’re just getting your legal blog off the ground and don’t really have an established audience, this is something you’ve likely considered.
But how do you go about it the right way? For this post, I’m going to offer some advice on how to ask for links with tact.
Is Asking Okay?
First things first, is it considered good etiquette? Is it a practice that you should make part of your SEO campaign?
Or is it something that’s bothersome and will only annoy the people you reach out to?
There’s a great article on Search Engine Land that talks about this. Long story short, yes, it’s generally considered okay to ask for links. Journalist and SEO analyst Danny Sullivan writes in a tweet, “I don’t think people who create content should be afraid of asking for a link.”
But he adds, “The more it’s positioned as a demand with specific requests, the more it starts to tip to ‘are you doing this just to rank.’ And the more wary it might make publishers.”
Asking the Right Way
What Sullivan is saying here is that it’s usually fine to ask for a link after you’ve completed a fantastic piece of content that delivers real value. That’s a critical part of increasing your exposure and getting your content in front of your audience.
But you shouldn’t use super detailed requests like asking an influencer to use particular text for a hyperlink. That’s when you start to border on “a link scheme,” which obviously isn’t good.
A better approach is to say something along the lines of…”Hey I just finished this article, and I think your audience would enjoy it. Would you mind linking to it if you think it provides value?”
What you wouldn’t want to do is say…”Link to this post on [X page of your website], create [X number of links], use [X keyword] for the anchor text, and so on. In other words, you don’t want to be overly detailed about it because it comes across as being spammy and flat out annoying.
Using Common Sense
There’s a super simple question to ask yourself when deciding your approach—and it largely boils down to intent.
“Does this add value to the web and benefit users or am I doing this purely to manipulate search rankings?”
As long as users are legitimately benefiting and you’re not being manipulative about it, you should be in good shape. So keep this in mind the next time you’ve just wrapped up an inspiring piece of content and are inclined to reach out to an influencer and ask for a link.
This should ensure that you do it the right way, and it can potentially help you build key relationships.