How do backlinks help a B2B start-up?
So you've acquired a few hundred backlinks.
Enough prospects organically stumble upon your website every month to fill your sales pipeline and you're able to pay your employees decent salaries.
But you want to grow.
To generate demand, you need more prospects to see your website. You can do that by making it easier for them to find your website in search rankings.
What's one of the ways you can do that?
By getting more backlinks from reputable websites. These websites don't need to have a ridiculously high domain authority (DA) for your rankings to go up in search engine results. As long as they're relevant to your industry and/or product, these ideas for getting backlinks will help you immensely.
For these specific backlinking opportunities, they're not only easier to acquire, but they help you build your local relationships with people in your industry who already have big audiences. Growing a start-up requires you to have a solid growth strategy.
What does that mean for you?
Online organic traffic + Word-of-mouth marketing = Squiggly line on your Traffic Analytics Board goes up!
Now, let's get into it:
- Local Industry-Specific Podcasts
- Understaffed But Growing Local Media Companies
- Speaking at Local Industry Meetups
Local Industry-Specific Podcasts
Podcasts are quickly becoming a popular medium.
With more Canadians listening to (and watching) podcasts, more companies are throwing in their content marketing dollars into the medium. They’re also making sure to invest into podcasts for the longterm so that it’s not about acquiring leads, but about amassing a loyal following and attracting people with similar values. After all, the more people listen to you, the more likely they are to trust you and eventually buy from you.
Google search results are also making it clear that podcasting is here to stay. They’ve made it a lot easier for searchers to find the most relevant podcast episode by making featured snippets for podcast results.
That’s incredibly good news for you: the person who’s going to reach out to podcast hosts in your area.
With that being said, what should you look out for when you’re pitching to a podcast host?
The “DoFollow” Rule
1 - When you look through the website of a podcast you want to get featured in, check the links. Make sure that when podcast hosts include links about their guests, they’re “DoFollow” links so that they count towards your authority rank. DoFollow/normal links look like this:
You can find out that information when you inspect the page source. If you see that there’s a “rel=nofollow” after the link, then that backlink won’t do much for increasing your domain’s authority.
2 - Pitch to as many local podcast hosts that are relevant to your industry as you can, however, start with the ones that are still relatively new and are actively looking for guests. It’s a lot easier for future podcast hosts to accept you if you already have a few episodes to show off.
Here are a couple of examples in the Toronto tech industry:
The Art of The Fail is great for entrepreneurs and innovators who have a unique story because they focus on conversations that, “are real, raw and unfiltered while addressing their f*ck ups, hardships and failures.”
If you’re in a startup anywhere other than Silicon Valley, chances are that podcast hosts want to know your story and how you made it. It’s always incredible for listeners to find out how people get to the top with fewer resources and an environment that’s not yet fully equipped for the startup lifestyle.
The more unique the story...the better they look as a podcast host because they’re giving their listeners a new insight into the industry.
Some podcast hosts have contact forms so that you can directly apply through their form, such as the Startup Talk Podcast above.
With other podcasts, you might have to dig a little deeper. They don’t mention anything about applying as a guest on their website, but it doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and ask. You can easily do so by searching up “host of [podcast]”.
Start by looking up “[your industry] + podcasts + [your city]” and you’ll be on your way to finding great opportunities to get your backlink on a podcast site. You’ll also be on your way to creating local relationships which will make it a lot easier to meet up with people in your industry.
Understaffed But Growing Local Media Companies
Media companies, especially early-stage ones, have big pressure to pump out lots of diverse content. Make it easy on the editors and pitch them something with an angle they’ve yet to think of. It can be exhausting to constantly have to think of something to engage your audience, especially when you’re in competition with more established companies.
Some companies make it really easy for you to find out who to email like the DailyHive:
With other companies, you’ll have to do some more digging.
But editors get A LOT of pitches. Terrible ones and great ones alike.
Make it easy for the editor to see that you’re going to give them something great by…
- Making your subject line stand out
- Giving them a step-by-step breakdown in bullet-form of your piece with a choice of 3 headlines
A standout subject line doesn’t have to be ridiculous or clever.
It needs to make the reader curious enough to open.
I’ve used subject lines such as:
[Editor’s name], you’ll like this one most
Oh lawd, another pitch
You like avocado too?! + a pitch on [topic]
Pitch: [your topic]
Editors will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to look up their interests, therefore making it clear that what you’re pitching isn’t some copy and pasted email for every publication out there.
If you can’t find anything personal about the editor at all (believe me, it happens), you can always just be direct. If the topic is in line with what they publish then you’ll get your email opened.
Once you’ve chosen which subject line to go with, make sure to get directly to the point.
You can tell them that…
- You’ve read past similar articles
- Your article will be the perfect add-on to what they’ve already published about the category
- You can be ready to send your article in x days
Include a summary that shows them how your article tackles a seemingly over-done topic with a different angle.
Again, don’t forget to check that the links are DoFollow.
Backlinks through speaking at Local Industry Meetups
Yes, I’ve included an offline, IN-PERSON approach. Gasp.
But this is the fastest way to build your local relationships and authority, while also getting at least one backlink. I say at least one because if you provide a stellar presentation, then you’re not just going to have a link on the meetup website. You’re going to have backlinks on websites by people who attended your presentation and found it valuable enough to report on.
If you want to become a speaker at one of these meetups, you should search “[your city] + [your industry] event/meetup/group/presents”.
Try searching variations of those combos in:
- Search Engines
Ask your colleagues, too! Maybe they’ve already gone to one of these events.
Check your local libraries as well, whether they’re in the city, or the surrounding fifty kilometers around you.
Event marketing is crucial for B2B companies to generate sales pipeline. Here are the various event types that will generate significant revenue.
Don’t forget to follow up. If you emailed in the afternoon, try following up at a different time, such as the morning before people start their workday.
Persistence always wins.