SaaS SEO

SaaS link building: 21 tactics to use in 2020

Not sure how to build links back to your SaaS? Here are 21 tactics you can use to build links in 2020 and beyond. Enjoy!
SaaS link building: 21 tactics to use in 2020
Jake Stainer
by Jake Stainer

Not sure how to build links back to your SaaS? Here are 21 tactics you can use to build links in 2020 and beyond. Enjoy! 

1. Unlinked brand mentions

Unlinked brand mentions are all about reaching out to websites which mention your brand but didn’t include a link. You can set up a Google News alert to regularly find websites which are writing about you and check if they included a link or not. 

Here’s an example from Squarespace, where they are mentioned in an article yet the author did not include a link.

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Research the author, and send them an email or a tweet, and kindly ask them to add a link back to your website.

2. Linked brand mentions

This tactic involves reaching out to websites which have linked to your homepage and asking them to change the link to a more relevant page on your website. 

For example, at Typeform we asked websites to link to our survey maker page, instead of our homepage. By doing this (and combining it with other link building tactics), I was able to help Typeform get above both Wikipedia and Survey Monkey in the SERPs. 

3. Guest posting

Guest posting is one of the most predictable ways to build links.

How does it work?

You build relationships with websites in your niche and ask them if they would like free high-quality content on their blog. After they accept your topic proposal, your team of writers create this content and naturally includes a link back to the page you want to drive more page topic authority to. 

Here are some examples of guest posts we have achieved for our clients at Outreach Humans:

4. Trend reports

Venngage’s most linked blog post is “8 Biggest Graphic Design Trends For 2020 & Beyond [Infographic]”.

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How did they have managed to rack up an astonishing 429 referring domains? 

First, they created high-barrier-to-entry content by heavily researching 2020 design trends. It’s a long form article with more than 13,000 words.

Second, they are 10xing their content by: 

  • Creating custom high-quality infographics using their product 
  • Creating a high-quality YouTube video which has racked up more than 34k views

Third, they update the exact same URL every year with the current year’s design trends. By doing this, they increase the number of domains which link to it, and they defend and increase their search rankings. 

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What trend report can your SaaS brand be known for year over year?

5. Podcasting

Podcasts are not only a great way to create awareness for your brand in the community where your ICP hangs out, but are also a great SaaS link building tactic. 

Let me explain. 

Most podcasts have a website. So when you speak on a podcast, they’ll publish it on their website afterwards and include links back to the websites that you mentioned.  

Here’s an example of how Hubspot built a link back to their own podcast show, after their VP of Growth was interviewed on the popular Everyone Hates Marketers podcast:

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The big advantage of podcast link building is that you don’t need to put effort into building out high-quality written content – you just need to prepare beforehand and speak for 30-45 minutes on a topic you are already familiar with.

6. Product embeds

Product embed links are created when your users embed parts of your product on your website.

For example, at Typeform when people embedded a contact form, they also included a link back to Typeform’s contact form maker page which in turn boosted its rankings.

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Find a way to make your product embeddable, and get your users embedding it on their website and including a Powered By link back to a relevant page on your website.

This tactic is also called “widget link building”. 

7. Shareable links

Here’s a surprising statistic:

30% of Invision’s links are to their projects subdomain (10,700 of them) where they host their client’s prototypes. They are getting top tier links from websites such as Adobe, GitLab, Eventbrite, Dribble, Zendesk, SurveyMonkey and Hubspot!  

How do they do this?

They entice their users to share their Invision projects on the Internet. In turn their users are actually doing 30% of their link building to increase their domain topic authority. 

Here’s an example which was posted on Adobe’s website. See how the button “Prototype Experience“ links back to Invision?

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So allow your users to easily share parts of your product, and educate them to do this through email, in-app and blog content. 

For example if you have an analytics SaaS, it could be as simple as making your in-product reports easily sharable.

8. Roundups 

Roundups (also known as resource pages), are collections of top tools or resources on a specific topic. For example, “top 20 design tools” or “top survey tools”. 

Here’s an example from CreativeBloq:

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https://www.creativebloq.com/how-to/20-best-ui-design-tools

See how in the URL it says 20, yet on their page H1 it says 22? 

This is because people reached out to CreativeBloq asking them to be included in this roundup, and they modified their H1 but not their URL.

How many roundups are there in your vertical that you can proactively reach out to? 

9. Broken links

Broken link building is a tactic where you find a broken link on a website within your target niche. If a website removes a blog article that was being linked to, then this is a broken link.

You reach out to these people offering them to link to your content instead

No one wants dead links on their website – so this tactic is effective but at the same time it’s also time consuming if you have to create new content from scratch.

10. CEO Interviews 

Interview link building is similar to podcast link building. It consists of creating a prospect list of websites who have previously interviewed SaaS founders, and then reaching out asking them if they want to interview your CEO. 

Here’s an example of an interview I did on Voucherify: 

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It wasn’t live, they sent me a list of questions in a Google Doc and I spent one hour answering them before sending them back to be published in a blog post interview format. 

By doing this, I got a link back to my website’s homepage.

How many websites would be willing to interview your CEO?

11. Infographics 

A few weeks ago I got this LinkedIn message, by someone at another SaaS company, asking me if I wanted a free infographic for one of my blog posts:

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They didn’t explicitly say it was a link building campaign, but framed it as a we’ll help you, if you can help us.

This is a powerful link building tactic because you are offering something of high value that will add value to someone else’s article.

Here’s an example of how they secured a link on Constant Contact:

Are there articles on websites in your niche that would include an infographic and mention you in return?

12. Image credit

An interesting SaaS link building tactic is to see who has used one of your website images and ask them for photo credit in the form of the link.

This is an email I personally received:

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By using this tactic, they were able to acquire 44 links back to their website from high authority brands such as Taboola and Springboard:

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How many people should be crediting images that they copied from your website?

13. Product reviews

This tactic not only gets you links, but social proof and potentially new customers too.

Product review link building involves reaching out to bloggers in your niche and giving them 3 months for free of your product, in exchange of a review write up on their website within 2 weeks of gaining access to your SaaS tool.

People love free things. And maybe they’ll become a long-term paying customer afterwards after using your product for free.

This SaaS link building tactic wins on multiple levels.

14. Integration partners

Integrations are a key GTM strategy for many SaaS companies to drive MRR.

They are also a great source of backlinks.

When working with an integration partner be sure to:

  • Make sure they add a link on your integration directory listing
  • Write a guest post on their blog with a contextual link back to a key page you want to push

How many integration partners do you have which are not linking back to you or you haven’t guest posted on?

15. Rankings

Building out rankings is a high-impact way to get brands linking back to you. as they like to brag.

Nathan Latka successfully used this tactic to drive dozens of links back to his SaaS Companies database GetLatka.

How did he do it?

He created a special ranking report of the fastest growing SaaS companies by employee size:

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He then did outreach to these brands asking them to publish this news on their blog. In turn this drove both brand awareness and links.

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What special rankings reports can you create in your vertical to give brands bragging rights?

16. Badges

The most successful instance of “badge link building” is G2 who launch quarterly rankings of software companies.

Top brands add the G2 badge to their website as a form of social proof, with the goal to boost conversions.

Here’s an example from Salary.com. The G2 “High Performer” badge links back to their G2 profile.

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Furthermore, Customer Success Managers at G2 are trained to push their accounts to include the badge on their website and also push to include links.

Another example of badge link building is Mixpanel, who gives you extra usage if you add their badge in your website’s footer and include the link. They periodically run a script to detect if a website has removed this badge and downgrade the account’s usage plan.

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Can your SaaS offer badges that people embed on their website? How can your CS team get your customers adding them?

17. Free tools

Free tool are a great way to attract your ICP to your SaaS website and utilise product-led growth to drive product signups.

Promote your free tool to your communities and get people linking back.

For example, Invision created a free design plugin for Sketch and Photoshop.

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Not only do they generate leads that they nurture into product ignups, they also built 994 links back to their website.

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What free tools are you building?

18. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

Help A Reporter Out is an online tool which gives journalists sources of information for their upcoming stories. In exchange for this information, they are likely to link back to you in your author section on their articles.

For example, SaaS brands have got links from websites such as Forbes and Inc.com. w

It’s free and you receive opportunities every day. With a paid account, you can filter he topics you are most interested in writing about through using keywords.

Here are their plans:

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19. Testimonials

Giving testimonials is an easy way to get link backs to your brand. Think of all of the product’s you’ve used recently, reach out to them and let me know you’ll be willing to give a quick text testimonial in exchange for a link back to your website’s homepage.

For example, by giving a small review on Fomo’s software, you also get a link back to your website:

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And Fomo’s stats aren’t to be frowned upon:

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20. Conferences

Speaking at and sponsoring conferences isn’t just a great way to build thought leadership, it’s also a way to acquire high quality links.

For example, Invision spoke at Oreilly’s Design Conference and gained a link back to their homepage through their author bio page:

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And this isn’t just limited to offline conferences, brands such as Drift are also acquiring links from online conferences such as from the Product Led Summit.

Make sure when you’re speaking at events, you’re also making sure the event pages link back to your website.

21. Q&A Sites

Scratch your prospect’s itch by solving their problems on Q&A sites such as Quora and Yahoo! Answers.

For example, Smartlook was able to get a link by answering the question “Does anyone know of an alternative to ClickTale?”.

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And not only were they able to get a link, they were also able to generate traffic and thus signups from an in-market audience looking to switch from a competitor tool.

What questions is your ICP asking on Q&A sites? How can you help them?

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