SaaS Link-Building: 28 Strategies to Dominate Google | Get Me Links

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SaaS Link-Building: 28 Strategies to Dominate Google

Global cta alex

Written by

Alejandro Meyerhans

Published on

12 January 2024

Last Updated on

05 March 2024

24 minutes read

Contents

SaaS link-building is no easy task.

The competition is fierce, and you’ll find yourself against SaaS companies with 6 figure budgets just for SEO.

So how could you get some quality links in that space?

We have been building links in the SaaS industry for over 5 years now, and in this article, I’ll show you exactly what you need to do to get links.

This isn’t your regular “do guest posts” guide. I’ll share with you our own SaaS link-building strategies, templates, and SOPs.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Why Is SaaS Link Building So Important for SEO?

SaaS link building is important for Search Engine Optimization because, at the most basic level, SEO is nothing but content and links.

Without a proper link-building strategy, you won’t reap the full benefits of SaaS SEO, such as increased brand awareness, higher organic traffic, and more sales.

The 28 Best Link-Building Strategies for SaaS Companies

1. Utilize Brand Mentions

While it’s a common practice to link to the services or tools you’re talking about, sometimes authors just don’t.

This could be because of editorial guidelines, not wanting to give out free links, or good ol’ laziness.

The easiest win you could get as a SaaS link builder is to find those unlinked brand mentions and ask the authors to link to you.

How to find unlinked brand mentions? You might ask.

You can find them for free using this Google Search Operator:

intext:[Brand Name] -[Brand Domain] -twitter.com -facebook.com -pinterest.com -youtube.com

This will show you a Google result page with all the pages that mention your brand name excluding pages on social media platforms and your own website.

Another more convenient way is to use a tool like Brand Mentions to find and filter through them quickly.

This technique has the highest conversion rate of all link-building strategies out there, so make sure to get those easy links before investing resources into any other strategies.

Agency Tip: You can take brand mentions one step further by asking them to link directly to your services page instead of the home page. This will help you get relevant backlinks to boost service page rankings for free.

2. Leverage Integration Partnerships

Software integration partnerships are a gem for SaaS businesses.

They don’t only help make your product more appealing to potential customers but also give you a golden opportunity to earn two backlinks from each partnership — one from a blog post announcing the integration and another from their help documentation.

If your product already integrates with other services, make sure to reach out and offer to create free content for their websites and newsletters

This earns you a super relevant backlink while positioning your product as a beneficial tool for their users.

You really can’t go wrong with that!

If you're just starting and don’t have any integrations yet, a great place to start is with services like Zapier.

You could also identify potential integration partners by seeking out companies offering complimentary services to yours.

For instance, if you're a SaaS company specializing in online marketing tools, partnering with a website design service could be a great fit.

As you promote each other’s products and services, you can secure increased website traffic and more backlinks

Agency Tip: Consider hosting a webinar together. This can really open the door to a larger shared audience.

3. Utilize Product Embeds

This strategy doesn’t apply to every SaaS tool, but if you can implement it, it can secure valuable backlinks.

By enabling your SaaS tool to be embedded in users' websites, you can generate backlinks while providing value to website owners.

Here's a step-by-step approach to leverage product embeds to get the most out of your SaaS link-building efforts:

  1. Identify Embeddable Features: Determine which features of your SaaS product can be embedded into external websites, such as calculators, chat widgets, or data visualization tools.
  2. Create Embeddable Code Snippets: Develop user-friendly code snippets that website owners can easily insert into their websites to enable the desired functionality. Ensure the embedded code includes a backlink to your SaaS company's website.
  3. Promote Embeddable Features: Showcase the benefits of embedding your tool to your target audience. Highlight how it enhances website functionality, improves user experience, or provides a valuable service. Create tutorials, case studies, or examples to demonstrate the value of embedding your product.
  4. Offer Customization and Branding: Allow users to customize the embedded feature to match their website's branding. This enhances the user experience and increases the likelihood of them retaining the backlink to your SaaS company's website.
  5. Monitor and Engage: Regularly monitor the websites where your product is embedded. Engage with website owners, provide support, and encourage them to share their positive experiences. Building relationships increases the likelihood of maintaining the embedded backlink.

Add an Example of an embedded tool

4. Partner With Educational Institutes

Microsoft offers the basic version of Office 365 Education for free to anyone with a student email.

How many backlinks do you think they’ve got for that?

And not any links!

Most of these backlinks are from ".Edu" sites, which have super high DR and search engines love and trust.

If your SaaS tool can be used by students or teaching staff, don’t hesitate to contact educational institutes, and offer them a special discount.

It’s definitely worth it!

5. Add Shareable Links

This approach involves allowing your users to share parts of their projects on the internet.

For example, if you’re an email outreach tool, allow the users to easily share their link-building outreach campaigns response rate.

If you have a productivity tool, let the users share how productive they were this week.

We also encourage you to add gamification techniques to your SaaS tool, such as adding streaks, badges, points, leaderboards, etc.

This will entice your users to share links to your tool everywhere — gaining you free backlinks and social signals.

6. Consider an Acquisition

Do you know how many technology blogs are out there?

Here is your answer: Millions.

If you have the budget, I recommend buying a relevant blog in your niche.

The keyword here is relevant.

Don’t just go buy any tech blog and redirect it to your home page.

We are trying to make a strategic acquisition — like a real business.

Think of the New York Times when they bought Wirecutter.

That’s exactly what we’re trying to do.

The ideal blog will be super relevant to your niche, have good content, get at least a few thousand page views per month, and have some good quality links.

You buy an asset with a good SEO foundation and work on it.

Expired domains also work really well.

Not as good as they used to be in the past, but if you can find a super-relevant domain, it’s definitely worth it.

7. Start Your Own Affiliate Program

There are thousands of websites and YouTube channels dedicated to reviewing tools and software.

These websites are mostly monetized through affiliate commissions.

In other words, they only get paid when one of their readers buys your product or service through their unique affiliate link.

There are many benefits to building an affiliate program for a SaaS company, including:

  • Free marketing. Once the affiliates join the program, they’ll do a lot of marketing on your behalf.
  • You only pay for results. There are no fees of any kind. You only pay the affiliates a percentage of what they make you.
  • You earn a ton of inbound links without actively building them. While most of these backlinks will be nofollow links, they'll still help your brand grow.

Making an affiliate program is also really easy. You can build it in-house or through an affiliate network for a few hundred dollars.

8. Reverse Engineer Your Competitors

One thing that I love - and hate - about SEO is that you can always steal all your competitors' hard work.

Well, let’s not use the word steal, maybe hmmm borrow?

Anyhow, your competitors did all that hard work prospecting links, outreaching, negotiating, etc till they finally built their mighty backlink profiles.

All you need to do is plug your competitors’ domains into the Ahrefs Backlink Gap tool.

This will output a list of all websites that are linking to your competitors but not you.

Filter them by DR, traffic, or whatever metrics you want, then export the list.

Congratulations!

You’ve built a curated list of hundreds of high-quality websites that are super likely to link to you in less than 3 minutes.

Just plug the list into your favorite link-building outreach campaign tool, and start shooting emails.

Now, there is a slight problem you might encounter.

Most of these websites will be linking to your competitors’ articles, and it makes no sense to link to you since you’re not providing any value to them — which brings us to the third and my own favorite SaaS link-building technique.

9. Build a Freaking Blog!

Do you know how much you’re missing by not creating a blog?

Well, let’s take a look at HubSpot — ever heard of them?

Their blog alone is generating 14M page views per month with over 2.9 million links.

Maybe HubSpot is a bad example because it’s “too big.”

However, there is absolutely no excuse for not having a blog with all the AI tools out there.

You can basically generate an entire SEO-optimized article with just one click. 

All you have to do is make someone edit and fact-check them.

So, do some keyword research, and start pumping content TODAY!

10. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

The average journalist writes 4-5 pieces per day.

Each story must be factually correct, engaging, and delivered on time.

For this reason, many journalists rely heavily on platforms like HARO to help them with their work.

HARO is a platform that connects journalists with subject matter experts — just like yourself.

Every day, HARO sends you 3 emails with hundreds of queries on an extensive range of topics, covering everything from business and finance to travel and lifestyle.

If the journalist likes your answer, they’ll feature you in their article with a link back to your website.

I’m talking about links from major publications like the New York Times, Forbes, The Guardian, and many more.

Now, HARO is a numbers game.

You need to answer as many queries as possible to increase your chance of earning a link.

It doesn’t matter what news outlet you’ll get a link from.

Whether it’s a cooking blog or a gaming website, a do-follow or a nofollow, a link is a link.

We’re here after the trust signals these links provide, nothing more.

HARO isn’t the only platform that connects journalists with experts, there are many other platforms, such as:

  • SourceBottle
  • Terkel
  • Muck Rack
  • Prowly
  • OnePitch

For more information, check our detailed article on how to get links from HARO.

Agency Tip: Leverage AI. Many link builders are now using ChatGPT to craft high-quality answers to the journalists’ queries, and it works!

11. Consider PR Link Building for SaaS

A carefully curated PR Campaign can win you not only industry accolades but also a plethora of robust backlinks that will skyrocket your SEO efforts.

The thing is, PR campaigns are very hard and expensive to pull off.

In fact, a well-crafted campaign can cost you over $10,000!

So the question is: is it worth it?

Honestly, I won’t do a PR campaign unless I exhaust all other link sources, and I want an extra edge over my competitors.

So unless you have a very intriguing story, I won’t recommend wasting your resources on one. At least, at the beginning of your link-building for SaaS journey.

If you want that extra edge, here is a PR tip that is a complete game changer.

Instead of writing compelling stories and hoping they get traction from major news outlets, why don’t you reverse-engineer one of the big authors?

Follow an author who writes a lot about SaaS news, know what type of content they like, craft a story that will mesmerize them, and then reach out directly to them.

If they like your story, there is a huge chance that they’ll feature it.

And once a big publication features your piece, you’ll find yourself with tons of links from many news outlets.

12. Ask For an “Honest” Review

Many bloggers and influencers love to stay updated with all the new industry tools and innovations.

Reach out to those influencers in your industry and ask them to review your tool on their platform.

Agency Tip: The trick to this technique is to make them feel special.

Show them how much you value their opinion, and offer them a free trial of your SaaS tool with access to all future beta features.

They want to create content that helps their readers, so give them a reason to say yes.

13. Be a Guest Blogger

Guest posting is arguably one of the best SaaS link-building tactics for a reason.

It freaking works!

There are, however, two obstacles most people face when conducting a guest post campaign.

The first one is finding blogs that accept guest authors.

You can find some opportunities using your competitors' backlink profiles, Google search operators, websites like Alltop, or even listicles of websites that accept guest posts like this one.

The second obstacle is getting website owners to accept your guest post offer.

After all, they receive 10s of requests per day, so why would they accept yours in particular?

This is why you should make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Here is how we do link building for SaaS businesses using guest posts:

First, start by finding 2-3 blogs in your space that have weak backlink profiles but getting decent traffic.

After that, plug your prospect’s domain and the 2-3 weak blogs into the Ahrefs Content Gap tool. This will show you a list of all the keywords the weak domains are ranking for but not your prospect.

Next, choose 3-4 of these keywords.

Finally, email your prospect showing them how much they’re missing for not targeting these kws and how easy will it be to outrank those weak websites with their amazing domain authority.

Then, offer to write a guest post covering one of these kws for them.

This SaaS guest post strategy takes a little more time and effort, but it works like a charm.

14. Become a Podcast Guest

Why become a guest author when you can become a podcast guest?

Podcasts aren’t only a great way to talk to your target audience and market your services but also build high-quality links.

There are estimated to be over 5 million podcasts in various industries — most of them have websites with pretty high domain authority.

When you become a guest on one of these podcasts, you’ll receive a link from the episode page on their website, making it an amazing opportunity for any SaaS business.

15. Use The Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique is all about creating much better content than your competitors, then emailing all the websites linking to your competitors and asking them to link to you instead.

While this technique used to work really well in the past, the results aren’t that great nowadays.

Why? Because most people simply don’t care if you have better content. It’s just not worth logging into WordPress and updating the article.

That’s why you must offer them some sort of value.

Whether it’s an “editorial fee”, free subscription, access to beta features, or whatever. Just make it worth their trouble.

16. Offer an Article Update

Imagine this: You’re a website owner with a busy editorial calendar.

You had one article that was ranking on top of Google for a few years but now it’s outdated and you lost your SERP positions.

How likely will you accept a free article update from a subject matter expert?

Exactly!

This technique works very well because you’re actually helping the website owner improve their website and reclaim their lost traffic.

You can find many outdated articles using Ahrefs Content Explorer or this Google search operator: site:[Website Domain] intitle:[Year]

Agency Tip: Choose articles that have many backlinks pointing to them, as this will make the link you’re getting way more powerful.

17. Utilize The Broken Link Building Strategy

There is a lot of debate on whether broken link building still works today.

But one thing for sure is that it doesn’t work as it used to.

You can, however, still earn some powerful links from a broken link-building campaign.

It’s all about finding the right opportunity.

For SaaS broken link building, we use Ahrefs Content Explorer to find dead pages with many high-quality links.

We vet those pages and choose the ones that have links from pages with decent traffic.

We write a much better version of that page and then start shooting emails.

Since the linking pages have some value, authors will be more likely to accept our page as a replacement.

It may not be the most efficient SaaS link-building technique, but it’s definitely worth the shot.

18. Create Infographics

There are 2 ways to build links with infographics:

The first one is to create infographics for your own articles, and outreach to people asking them if they want to use yours in exchange for a backlink.

This approach works, but it’s as effective as the method I’m about to show you.

What really works is turning other people's articles into infographics for “free.”

We start by finding articles that are pulling off some decent traffic from Google, then we email the website owner telling them how much we love the article and whether they would be interested in a free infographic for it.

Since the webmaster already cares about the post, they’ll be much more willing to accept our offer.

19. Create Unique Images

This strategy is all about creating unique photographs, vector illustrations, or other graphics, and freely distributing them under the condition that the users provide a link back to your website as credit.

It's a win-win situation: they get high-quality visuals for their content, and you get valuable backlinks.

Here's how you can implement this:

  1. Create an account on popular free stock photo websites like Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay.
  2. Create or commission unique, high-quality photos relevant to your SaaS product or industry.
  3. Upload these photos on the platforms, making sure to tag them appropriately for better visibility.
  4. Regularly run a reverse image search using tools like Google Images or TinEye to track who's using your images.
  5. Reach out to these users, thank them for using your image, and politely ask for a link back to your website as credit.

This process might seem a bit time-consuming, but the potential rewards are worth it. Especially if your photo ends up being used by a high-authority website, the backlink you gain can significantly boost your SEO.

20. Use The Great Job Technique

The “great job” technique is pretty simple.

Whenever you mention someone in your posts, reach out to them saying how much you loved their article, and that they’ve done a very good job on this piece.

The trick is not to ask for a link right away.

Build a relationship with them first, then when they’re already familiar with you and the quality of your content, ask if you can write a guest post for them.

21. Do Interviews

Many websites interview SaaS CEOs for their intakes on current industry topics.

Most of the time the interviews won’t be live, instead, they’ll send you a list of questions that takes less than a minute to answer.

You send the answers back to them and voila!

You’ll get featured in the article when it’s published with a link back to your website.

22. Harness the Power of Resource Link Building

Resource pages are well-curated pages that are designed to be the go-to place for people looking for the best tools, services, or information.

Your job is to get your SaaS product listed on resource pages that are relevant to your industry.

Start by finding resource pages that are relevant to your tool using this Google search operator:

[Keyword] inurl:resources

For example, if your SaaS product is a project management tool, you might search for "project management inurl:resources"

Next, craft a personalized link-building outreach email explaining why your SaaS product is a good fit for their resource page and how it can benefit their audience.

Remember, the goal is to show them that including your product will enhance their resource page.

Resource link building for SaaS companies might not be as glamorous as some other strategies, but it's a solid technique that can yield great results. It's all about providing value and positioning your SaaS product as a useful resource.

23. Conferences and Webinars

Conferences and webinars are the bustling crossroads where knowledge-sharing meets link-building.

Hosting or participating in these events not only positions your SaaS business as a thought leader in the industry, but it's also an incredible opportunity to earn quality backlinks.

These events usually have a dedicated webpage where they list event details, hosts, and participants, with links leading back to their websites.

24. Give Testimonials

Testimonial link-building is a strategy that is often overlooked, but it's a simple and effective way to earn high-quality backlinks for your SaaS business.

Start by making a list of products or services that you use in your business. These could be tools that help you manage your operations, software that you use for specific tasks, or services that you've found valuable.

Once you've identified the products or services, pitch them introducing yourself and how much you love their tool, then ask them if they want a testimonial from you.

If they said yes, write a genuine testimonial about them. Share your experience, how the product or service has helped your business, and why you recommend it. Make sure to include your business name and website in the testimonial.

Agency Tip: Don't limit yourself to only writing testimonials for products or services. You can also write testimonials for books, courses, or any other resources.

25. Get Featured on Industry Roundups

Industry roundups are similar to resource pages, but the difference is that roundups are typically posted on a weekly or monthly basis.

These roundups basically cover what happened in the industry this week, acquisitions, new SaaS tools, must-reads, etc.

You can find many relevant opportunities using search operators, such as [Keyword] inurl:roundup and [Keyword] intitle:roundup

The trick to this link-building tactic is to pitch the author with a good story BEFORE they create the roundup. They won’t update an existing one just for you.

26. Answer Your Inbox

Check your SaaS website inbox now.

How many guest posts and “collaboration” requests do you find?

A lot — am I right?

Many of these requests are from legitimate link builders who are trying to grow their websites in the SaaS space, so why don’t you work with them?

In addition to 1:1 and 3-way link exchanges, you can utilize the “scratch my back and I'll scratch yours” technique.

Ask those link builders if they’d like to collaborate.

Every time any of you land a guest post, they insert a link to the other SaaS website as well. It’s a win-win.

27. Reclaim Your Lost High-Quality Links

Over time, it's natural for some backlinks to disappear due to various reasons, such as the removal of your link from the host page, the host page being removed or redirected, or Google no longer indexing the linking page.

This is why you should always track and try to regain any lost backlinks.

Luckily, link reclamation is fairly effective and easy to do.

The site owner linked to you in the first place because they thought your content was valuable or they already have a relationship with you.

A quick email should be enough to reclaim that link, so go after lost links if you’re looking for quick gains.

Agency Tip: Prioritize your link reclamation efforts according to how many people are trying to access your site through each broken link. This can be tracked using Google Analytics.

28. Create a Linkable Asset

In the realm of SaaS link building, creating linkable assets is a strategy that stands out.

These are not just any content pieces, but high-value, in-depth resources that naturally attract backlinks from other websites.

They are the secret sauce to getting links on autopilot.

Here are a few types of linkable assets:

  • Original Research or Data: This could be a survey, study, or any original data that you've collected and analyzed. Because it's unique and can't be found anywhere else, it's highly linkable.
  • Statistical Reports: Because of their data-driven nature, statistical reports are often cited in articles, blog posts, research papers, and other publications, making them a great asset for link-building.
  • Tools or Calculators: If you can provide a tool or calculator that's useful to your audience, it can become a strong linkable asset. For example, a mortgage calculator on a real estate website.
  • Expert roundups, and thought leadership articles are other types of linkable assets you can create. These assets not only attract backlinks but also position your SaaS company as an authority in your industry.
  • E-books or Whitepapers: These are in-depth guides on a specific topic. They are often used in B2B industries but can be applied anywhere. They are downloadable and usually require an email address, which can also help with lead generation.
  • Webinars or Courses: Educational content like webinars or online courses can be a great linkable asset. They provide value to the user and position you as an authority in your field.

Creating linkable assets is not a one-time effort.

It's about becoming the go-to resource for information in your industry, the website that others naturally want to link to.

Agency Tip: Creating valuable content is only 30% of the work. The other 70% is promoting it. Reach out to as many influencers, bloggers, and other relevant websites in your niche. Let them know about your asset.

Link Building Measurement and Metrics

  • Domain Rating (DR): Aim for links from websites with a DR of 30+.
  • Website Relevance: Links should come from sites relevant to your niche.
  • Traffic Analysis: Look for sites with positive traffic trends, relevant traffic locations, and quality keywords.
  • Link Acquisition Trend: Favor websites that consistently gain new links.
  • Outbound Links Quality: Avoid sites that have dofollow links to low-quality or questionable niches.
  • Domain Outbound/Inbound Links Ratio: The ideal ratio should be lower than 1.5.
  • Moz’s Spam Score: Choose sites with a Spam Score under 3%.
  • CF/TF Ratio (Citation Flow and Trust Flow): Aim for a CF/TF ratio of less than 2.
  • Number of Pages on the Website: Be cautious of sites with many pages but low traffic.
  • 'Write for Us' Page: Be wary of sites heavily reliant on guest posts.

If you want to learn more, check out our article on the factors that make quality links.

FAQs

What Is SaaS Link Building?

SaaS link building is the process of getting backlinks from other websites to improve Software as a Service (SaaS) companies' search engine rankings.

What Are Some SaaS Link Building Tips?

Here are some SaaS link-building tips:

  • Utilize SaaS Product Embeds
  • Partner With Educational Institutes
  • Start a SaaS Affiliate Program
  • Get on Podcasts
  • Add Shareable Links to your SaaS tool

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Link Building?

It takes anywhere from 3 to 12 months to see results from SEO link building.

How fast you see the results depends on many factors, such as how often Google crawls your website, the quality of the links you’re building, and many more.

Should I Hire an Agency to Do Link Building for My SaaS?

You should hire an agency to do link-building for your SaaS if you’re serious about your business growth. Link building is very time-consuming — especially if you don’t have a lot of experience doing it.

This raises a huge opportunity cost issue, as you could invest the link-building time into other projects that would yield a better ROI.

Conclusion

Getting links for your SaaS business is all about using the right link-building techniques.

In this guide, we provide you with 28 strategies that actually work for SaaS companies.

We also provided you with valuable insights from our own dedicated link-building team.

If you want an experienced team to handle your link building, feel free to reach out to us.

We offer consultation for SaaS businesses free of charge.

So just book a courtesy call now, and let us help you become the next 7 figure SaaS company.

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