Tech marketer Irina Nica, of HubSpot shares her link building expertise by explaining why link building to ‘boring pages’ matters and why it often fails, offering three practical link building tactics that you can try straight away.
Boring Pages vs Sexy Pages
Boring pages are the money making pages of a website, such as product pages or service pages for lead generation, so they impact the bottom line.
Blog posts, studies, games and creative pages earn more backlinks.
In fact, fun or interesting content aka ‘sexy pages’ earned 30,800 backlinks compared to 9,000 backlinks on boring pages, on average.
Working on links to boring pages matters because it:
- Increases brand awareness
- Impacts on SEO performance
- Impacts on leads and sales
Link building generally is hard, but link building to boring pages is really hard!
A few lessons from building 1000+ links to “boring” pages…
What a successful link building campaign looks like:
- Campaign set-up
- Content Type – what type of content are you going to promote? It’s easier to promote a product that’s free or inexpensive compared to a premium product page.
- Content Value – the type of pages you want to promote will influence the campaign.
- Brand Awareness – promoting to an audience that knows your brand will bring more success.
- Research Websites – who am I reaching out to?
- Contacts & CRM – do I have a track record with these people? Am I keeping track of who I approach?
- Message – what do I want to say to my prospects?
- Communication – how am I communicating with my prospects?
Brand awareness and content value are key to a successful link building campaign for boring pages. When reaching out to people who know the brand or previous clients, the content Irina is promoting gives value, with a 50% or higher success rate. Success rate is 2% to 4% for new audiences who have no or little brand awareness.
Mindset: Link building is the art of finding natural connections
Reclaiming unlinked brand mentions is probably the easiest, quickest way to build high-quality backlinks, even to “boring pages”
Look for blogs, newspapers that have mentioned the brand but not linking back to your website.
Look for brand mentions on blogs or in the news and reach out to claim link attribution. Use tools such as AHRefs, SEMrush or Buzzsumo to identify opportunities. You can also use Google Alerts.
- Keep an eye on mentions around product launches, company events e.g. INBOUND
- Look for interviews with company executives
- Look for mentions in review articles e.g. best products
By using your expertise and unique data, you can become a valuable contributor to other publications.
- Pitch guest posts in niche publications
- Target high domain authority
- Write for the audience, not for links – create content journalists and produce content that their audience will like.
If content writing resources is a challenge for scaling guest posting, consider updating & reusing old content.
In a recent project, HubSpot removed 3000+ old articles from its blog and upcycled 300+ into guest posts. If you want to do this, questions to ask yourself are: does it have backlinks? Redirect. Is it still relevant? Turn into a guest post.
- Pitch for becoming a guest on a Podcast
- Pitch the story, not the person
- Look for Podcasts with an audience that fits your product’s audience
- Check out HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
- This service connects experts with bloggers and journalists who are looking for contributors
- On average, two out of 10 answers get picked up
Build premium partnerships with companies that already rank in the Top 10 SERPs for product-intent keywords to build awareness and drive sales.
- Build a list of your best high-intent keywords and check if those trigger articles OR product pages
- Identify ways in which you can build a partnership to get on those articles e.g. Affiliate Programme
- Product led content ‘How to…’
- Product exploration ‘Top products for…’
- Product decision ‘Product vs competitor…’
- Look to build natural connections
- Become a trusted source for other publishers
- Build synergies to lever up your visibility in SERPs