You must own a SaaS company that needs some backlinks.
Is that why you’re here?
Or you must be the SEO guy working for a SaaS company?
No, wait, you’ve heard about what we do at SayNine and wanna learn how we do it.
Welcome on board! You’re at the right place to learn about SaaS link building. We know it’s a huge struggle, but we also know how rewarding it can be, right?
The traffic, the DR, the ranking… Ahh, the SEO paradise.
Alright, we’re getting to it without making the intro unnecessarily long.
This guide is all about building backlinks for SaaS websites. First, it will cover the differences between backlinks from SaaS and only-content websites. Next, you will learn about the three biggest link building strategies and the most effective ways to approach them. We also have a sweet ‘bonus tips’ part as a reward if you get to the end.
(Or you can scroll down now)
But if you do, you’ll lose all the real examples, small case studies, and templates we have for you.
So, buckle up, and let’s get to it!
Building SaaS backlinks from SaaS vs. only-content websites
First, why is link building important anyways?
Simply put, Google crawlers not only analyze the content on your web pages but also check how many authoritative domains have linked to yours. So many businesses are trying to strengthen their backlink profiles and rank better on Google search results.
Besides finding the right people, organizing a successful outreaching process, and keeping in great touch, you should also be able to pick domains carefully.
When it comes to SaaS link building, there are two main ways you can go:
- Getting backlinks from SaaS website blogs
- Getting backlinks from only-content websites
Put shortly, the first one is a legitimate business that offers tools and/or services, has distinctive features, pricing, and a separate ‘Blog’ section. At the same time, the second option includes websites that only offer content around different topics.
Some SEOs also go for directory and forum websites, which is not the best option, to be honest. But we’ll talk about that later.
Now, you might ask, “Why would I need a backlink from only-content websites? It has no value compared to SaaS domains”. Well, that’s not exactly true.
Instead, let’s see what works better for your SaaS link building process.
To make it easier, here’s a quick comparison.
- SaaS backlinks bring more authority and make your website look more trustworthy. It’s like other SaaS websites ‘vote’ for yours, and Google chooses to rank it higher since it has more ‘votes’.
- SaaS backlinks increase your website traffic faster. In other words, for example, getting 10 backlinks from different SaaS domains can have the same impact as getting 50 from only-content websites. While the comparison numbers will vary, the logic stays the same.
- Based on the two previous advantages, SaaS backlinks can ensure your website’s better ranking.
All the benefits that SaaS backlinks can bring are great. But this doesn’t mean that only-content websites have no role in the game.
Here’s when you should consider collaborating with such websites and doing link building for your SaaS website with them.
- Build only-content backlinks if your niche is too specific. In comparison, if you have HoReCa software for bakeries, for example, getting SaaS backlinks from an email marketing or social media scheduling website won’t have the best effect. On the other hand, if you can find some websites that share content about baking, recipes, restaurants, and similar topics, you will build relevant backlinks, and Google will recognize you as an authoritative business.
- Speaking of Google, such an approach when your SaaS business is niche-specific will also positively affect rankings. Relevancy is important for search engines since they need to ensure users get the right search results for their queries. So, if you can build industry-relevant backlinks in a considerable amount, only-content websites don’t sound so ineffective.
Phew, that was a lot to consume!
But this section will help you get an idea of what domains you should build your backlinks from for the best results.
Now, let’s get ready for the nine strategies we use when it comes to SaaS link building.
Nine SaaS link building strategies for successful campaigns
What is SaaS link building like?
‘Cause we were like, “woaaaah.”, and I was like, “woaaaah.” and you were like, “woaaahh…”
Just like the wise Crush the Turtle, we’ve also had some ups and downs.
(Still, we’ve built over 5K SaaS backlinks.) Duuude!
Here’s what we’ve been doing to make the live link magic happen.
1. Link insertions to existing blogs
The most widely-spread method for SaaS link building is simple link insertion. This is when a SaaS website links to yours from their blog section.
How does the process go?
You can choose three methods for reaching out, so let’s review each separately.
a. The “Please, add my link” favor way
Put simply, you directly ask another SaaS website to link to yours. Without giving them backlinks in return.
First, make sure to collect a list of relevant domains in your industry that could possibly link to your website. In this process, it’s also important to find credible websites with good domain ratings, traffic, and other SEO metrics. This way, you can be sure of your SaaS link building success.
Small trick: Look for the domains that have linked to your competitors because they are more likely to be added to your list.
Next, you should pick some relevant spots for your links. If you have already done keyword research, you may have the ones you intend to rank for. Or maybe there’s a new product you want to build links for. Whatever the case is, being relevant can help ‘convince’ other link-builders that your website link is the perfect fit.
Another way to ask for and receive backlinks is brand name outreach. When digging into your data more, you will come across some websites that have already added your company’s name in their blog articles as a tool or as a service.
Here’s the email template with a brand name we use.
However, this is not the simplest way of building links for SaaS companies because you’re just asking for a favor. And you may not get lots of positive responses.
Unless you want to get backlinks for a very popular tool or service or can build them naturally, this option may seem a little complex.
What to do? Try the next method.
b. The “Add my link, and I’ll add yours” way
A direct SaaS link building strategy is like a contract between two companies to give and receive backlinks. In other words, you reach out to industry-relevant domains with the message, “Give me a backlink from your website, and I’ll give you one in return.”
…You know I got it
Also known as reciprocal links, these backlinks can help build your website’s authority and rank it better. How do Google crawlers jump from one link to another? They simply follow the path you’ve created. In other words, if you’ve built backlinks with the help of two partners (which is the 3-way exchange,) crawlers go from A to B to C and don’t notice anything suspicious. However, in the case of direct exchanges, they go from A to B and vice versa, which doesn’t look very natural to them.
Let’s say you want a backlink from website B and your website is A. So, it’s a direct A-B link exchange. And here’s what it visually looks like.
Once you get a positive response from the domains you’ve reached out to, it’s easier to keep building links for your website. Later, you can try other methods, such as publishing a guest post, so you don’t lose the connection with them.
On the other hand, if you work for a few clients and build backlinks for their websites, the domain you do A-B link exchanges with can become your SEO partner. Trust us; as a link-builder, you should never underestimate the power of loyal SEO partners and connections.
Does the A-B exchange sound suspicious?
Will it actually screw up your SEO?
Well, chances are never zero.
While you can build a couple of backlinks through direct exchange, you shouldn’t overuse this approach. Instead, after a few exchanges, move on to the next strategy on our list.
c. The “Add my link, I’ll give you one from another website” way
Working in the sphere of link building means that you will form many relationships and long-lasting partnerships. This is both a short- and long-term strategy for improving your website’s Off-Page SEO.
If you have little time, it can help with tasks such as building links faster, completing your reports, etc. Imagine when you need a quick SaaS backlink and know someone who can add it ASAP. Pretty cool, right?
In the case of long-term goals, indirect link exchange is the perfect choice for the following reasons:
- It’s more effective in terms of ranking and website authority
- The process can be repetitive
- You will satisfy Google
- You will build long-lasting partnerships and network with other link-builders
Again, if we take the previous example, you want backlinks from website B for your website A. In this case, you also have access to or work with website C, which is considered one of your SEO partners. From this website, you can provide backlinks for website B.
Here’s a visual representation of how this works.
Plus, we have some SaaS link building templates for you:
- The short one
- The engaging one
- The fun one
As sweet as indirect exchange sounds, there are some small downsides to it. If you’ve been in SEO long enough, you’ve definitely come across directory and forum websites. Some link-builders use them in their strategy, but this is a big no-no if you listen to us.
Avoid such websites for building SaaS backlinks to provide the highest quality in your work. First, they are accessible to everyone, so they don’t make you special in the SEO world. Another reason is that they won’t bring the same value as getting backlinks from another SaaS website or even news magazine websites.
Wait, this is not all with link insertions.
We actually have a small trick for building the ‘impossible’ backlinks.
d. The text modification way for link-insertion enthusiasts
The website you’re building links for definitely has its priority anchors and URLs. In other words, there are some keywords it plans to rank for.
Imagine you’ve found the perfect domain with your dream DR and traffic metrics. But you can’t find a relevant anchor text for your URL. Luckily, there’s the option of text modifications and paraphrasing.
Working with a diverse list of clients has made us find solutions for everyone. There are clients with the simplest anchors to the most complex ones. Thanks to the text modification option, we were able to build backlinks even if they had the hardest anchor text. In this case, you’d need the help of a content specialist to create some natural space for your anchors.
So, the next time you can’t find the anchor text you’re looking for, simply ask your SEO partner to add a sentence, change the paragraph, or make other types of text modifications to their blog articles. SEOs understand the struggle of link building, so they’re usually ready to help other SEOs out.
2. Guest post publishing
Link exchanges may not be your favorite thing due to different reasons. But where else can you go?
Luckily, SaaS link-builders have many great options for constantly improving their strategy, which includes guest posts. If you’re new to this, here’s what it is. Guest posting or guest blogging is publishing a piece of content on another website’s blog. It’s a great way to generate more website traffic, gain brand credibility, and build more backlinks over time.
This strategy engages them in content and blogging from the guest post hosting website’s perspective.
Guest posts can help you:
- Rank better
- Be seen more often as a brand
- Boost your brand reputation
- Get featured by other SaaS businesses
- Build backlinks
From the publisher’s perspective, a well-researched and professionally written guest article can be a great addition to their blog section. It can also help them generate more traffic to their website and rank higher on Google, thanks to relevant content.
Again, you can have different approaches to guest posting.
a. The “Please, publish my guest post” method
Even though not all websites are open to accepting blog articles from external sources, many domains are willing to collaborate with guest bloggers. Moreover, some even have dedicated ‘Guest post guidelines,’ ‘Write for us,’ and similar sections.
So, opportunities are everywhere.
Even if you have nothing to offer but great content.
First, determine all the domains that are currently open to guest posts and are relevant to your industry. In addition, you might want to keep track of important SEO metrics such as DR, Traffic, keywords the domain is ranking for, etc.
After collecting a list of relevant websites that will potentially accept your article, it’s time to plan the outreach process. There are two options you can choose from:
- A mass outreach will help you send an offer to a large number of domains in a small period. In this case, you can use an email automation tool or software.
- A personalized outreach gives you the chance to customize your pitch and make it more relevant. If you go with this option, there’s more manual work to complete and more effort to put into it.
Both of these methods have their advantages, so it’s up to you and your expectations from the guest post outreach. While the first one is perfect if you have the budget and don’t want to spend much time, the second one allows more room for creativity and an individual approach to each domain on your list.
With the process explained, we also have some important guest posting rules to follow.
- Be relevant when offering titles.
- Follow the guidelines properly.
- Show additional skills such as keyword research, writing meta descriptions, etc.
- Share your professional background.
- Ask for priority keywords or topics on their content calendar.
Now, all you have to do is to come to an agreement with the website you’ve reached out to and start working on the guest article. The good news is that you can include your brand name and link to your homepage. There’s a lot you can take from this strategy, including more traffic, better brand reputation, industry authority, etc. Moreover, if you keep in good communication and build friendly relationships with other SEO experts, things like making your link do-follow or linking to your homepage will become easier.
What if this doesn’t work?
*cries in SEO
Anything is possible, but getting rejected for guest post publishing shouldn’t stop you.
Instead, get ready for our next strategy.
b. The “Publish my guest article, I’ll publish yours” method
SaaS link building is mostly based on exchanges. Guest posting is no exception.
The guest post exchange strategy takes us back to the A-B exchange. Now, imagine you build links for website A and need a backlink from website B. You can create some space on your website’s content calendar for a relevant and informative guest post. Remember that there are many other link-builders looking for guest post opportunities.
But… You may not be so open to an external article for your blog. This is okay, and we’ve got a solution for this too.
Another scenario would be to simply provide backlinks from your website in exchange for publishing a guest post. The more options your guest post offer includes the more chances you have to succeed.
Quick note: don’t try to build links for your products, services, or landing pages right from the beginning. Instead, try to build links to your blog articles as well.
With a different strategy comes a different template, right? We’ve built the template experience so that you don’t have to.
To make things easier for you, we’ve created a simple guest pitch template you can try out.
In any type of exchange process for SaaS link building, you need to consider the benefits of both sides. Show your previous experience with guest posts, share the value it can bring to their website, and make your pitch as natural as possible to succeed. In case you haven’t published any guest articles before, you can simply share a blog article example and be honest that it’s your first time.
If you’re someone with a big network in SEO, the next technique is just the right one for you.
c. The “3-Way” guest post exchange method
Don’t get scared by the terminology. This is simply a three-way exchange between three domains.
If the above-mentioned strategies didn’t work or you can’t carry them out for some reason, you’re at the right part of doing SaaS link building through guest posts.
The scenario is that you build links for website A and have reached out to website B. However, this time you have many SEO connections who can help with the Off-Page, including accepting guest articles. We will call them website(s) C in our indirect exchange method.
So, while you offer a guest article to website A, in return, you can offer to publish a guest article from them to website(s) C. First, this allows you to offer more options to website B, which makes things easier. Second, you will be able to improve your reputation as a link-builder and take a step forward in your strategy.
But it’s soooo much work!
*cries harder in SEO
- Spreading your brand name
- Building your network
- Getting that backlink
- Doing Google-friendly SEO (avoiding being suspicious)
With these indirect guest post exchange benefits in mind, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Again, you must be relevant, follow their guidelines, and complete all the steps mentioned previously.
Additional tips (we kept the good stuff for the end)
We always have more tips to share so let’s get straight to them:
- Look for relevant domains that accept guest posts with one of the following search options:
- your keyword ”guest post”
- your keyword ”guest post guidelines”
- your keyword ”write for us,” and similar
- Make sure to send a follow up email after some time. To get more responses to your follow-ups, consider using GIFs or out-of-ordinary email messages (like this one.)
- “Follow up Follow up … Don’t be angry with me it’s just a Follow-up”
- Share any guest posting or link building experience you have through live links or via your LinkedIn profile, for example.
- Keep things clear when it comes to your author bio and the guest post outline.
With all of these covered, let’s get to our last SaaS link building strategy.
3. Broken Link Outreach
Some SEOs believe this tactic works, others don’t believe its power due to their experience.
Whichever group you’re in, keep in mind that link building itself is already hard to carry out.
Let alone building SaaS backlinks through a broken link outreach strategy.
We got you here though!
There are different ways to approach this method, and the only way to find out which one works best for your case is to try.
The trick is that you find blog articles that include a non-working external link and let the domain’s SEO specialist know there’s an issue. First, you do them a favor because they hadn’t noticed that broken external link. Moreover, you suggest a solution with your website’s backlink, so it’s more than just an email outreach.
you deserve a cup of coffee
Whether you want to just try out this strategy or plan to make it your primary method for SaaS link building, there are some important points to keep in mind.
- Find your competitors’ broken backlinks. When searching for broken link building opportunities, the first step is to take a look at your competitors. Such an approach will save you much time which you can use for research or planning the outreach. Also, this way you will find more relevant spots for adding your fresh and working backlinks so the whole outreach will make sense for both sides.
- Look for certain topics and blog articles. In this case, you approach the broken link building strategy from the other side: by looking for relevant content. Maybe there’s a new blog article you want to build links for or your SaaS software has a new feature. You simply have to look for industry-relevant blogs that have articles with broken links. And, here you have a great option for offering a replacement.
- Send your email messages to humans, not to domains. The key in any of your SaaS link building campaigns is to stay human and treat the other side empathetically. Show that you care about their blog’s issue with the broken link and offer your solution in a friendlier way rather than from the link building perspective. The number of your potential partners will grow more effectively and your positive response rate will go higher.
Now that we’ve set the basics, let’s go over the three ways you can approach the broken link building strategy for your SaaS company.
a. The “I’m here to replace you broken link” method
As mentioned before, broken link outreach is kind of like a small favor to the domain you’re trying to communicate with.
You show them an issue they’re not aware of.
In previous cases, where you’d reach out to different websites and simply ask them to add your backlink or publish your guest articles, this is a bit different. With such favor in your pockets, your chances to get that backlink without giving anything else in return get higher.
Some details to keep in mind:
- Be friendly to connect better
- Tell them why your article/product page would be a great replacement
- Stay relevant with your offer
- Use a screenshot of the broken link
At the end of your message, let them know that you wanted to be helpful instead of being promotional. Even though all link-builders understand the meaning behind your broken link outreach, you should still keep it as simple as possible.
And, let’s get to the next option.
b. The “Replace your broken link with mine AND get a backlink” method
With the direct exchange option, things get a little better.
You offer them:
- a solution
- a replacement
- and a backlink all at once.
Imagine you get an email directing you to a dead link on your website, suggesting a replacement, and also giving you a backlink. For people in SaaS link building, this may be SEO heaven.
So, find some good backlink spots for your SaaS business, reach out to them with a direct link exchange offer, and improve your Off-Page with less effort.
Yes, you may not get thousands of replies to your emails. As SEO specialists, we’ve all had that unpleasant experience. But it’s still worth a try.
Quick note: Just a reminder that you shouldn’t focus on direct exchanges too much because Google doesn’t really love them.
c. The “Replace your broken link and get a backlink from a C website” method
The three-way link exchange works for broken link outreach strategies as well.
When sending your pitch, you already have the basic three benefits (a solution, a replacement, and a backlink.)
But there’s more.
When you send out your broken link building emails, offering an indirect SaaS link building option can help make backlink exchanges repetitive and ongoing. This takes us back to our old example of the A-B-C link swap.
You’re website A and reach out to website B for adding your backlink instead of an existing dead one. In exchange, you provide them with a backlink from website C, which can be your SaaS link building partner or another domain you have access to.
Visually, it should look something like this:
Feeling lazy to craft a template? Here’s a broken link outreach template from us.
Bonus tips to improve link building for SaaS (and to keep you longer with us )
This is the part where you think the movie’s over.
But it isn’t.
We meant more SEO stuff.
At SayNine, we’ve used different link building methods. Some have worked, others were a huge mistake. So, based on our experience, these are our top favorites.
- Keep in good touch with your link building partners. It’s all about being human and treating your SEO partners with respect and care. If you ask us, this is probably the main element that has helped us build so many backlinks.
- Personalize your emails. Adding the recipient’s name in the subject line and in your email message, complimenting their website blog, and things like these make your recipients feel special. In turn, they’re more likely to collaborate with you.
- Be detail-oriented. Even the smallest errors can mess up your whole email outreach. A tiny slip-up, and you just lost hundreds of link building opportunities. Instead, be careful about details and all important elements in your Saas link building strategy.
- Use LinkedIn. Since link building is mostly about connecting with other people, LinkedIn is the perfect place to find other link-builders and network. To go pro on this platform, post actively, share your published guest articles, and keep connecting with people.
- Be fun. GIFs, emojis, funny images, and some humor-these are just examples of how you can make your outreach more creative and less boring. A cold outreach doesn’t mean you should be all serious. This is SaaS link building, and we’re all in the same boat.
Guess we didn’t forget anything.
(I must have an incredible memory according to scientists)
Implement these tips slowly into your strategy, and the results won’t disappoint you.
Also, if you have anything else to add based on your experience, we’re open to fresh stuff.
Well, the movie’s over now.
But we’ll come back to SaaS link building tips, strategies, and tools more.
Key takeaways from this guide:
- You can build SaaS backlinks through link exchange, guest posts, and broken links. Each one can be done as a favor, through direct, or indirect exchanges.
- Using the help of only-content websites can be effective if you’re a niche-specific SaaS business.
- Otherwise, you should find industry-relevant SaaS websites to link back to yours.
- The more you personalize your pitch, the better results you will get.
- Relevancy is essential.
- Exchange some A-B links, but focus more on A-B-C exchanges whether it’s a backlink or a guest post.
- Don’t underestimate the power of being human because it can directly affect your SaaS link building strategy’s success.
So, with the techniques, templates, and examples in your notes, you’re all set to begin a good SaaS link building strategy.
If you work in the SEO industry and struggle with building links, we’d love to hear about your experience and suggestions.
Got questions? Contact us for more details so that we can show the whole process from A to Z.