Learn how to do SaaS link building scalably in this ultimate guide.
It is a proven fact that people who do perform a search typically stay on the first page of Google results to find the product or service they will use.
Statistically, 91.5% of all search engine users never go past the first page of results. For businesses, this means that you have to strive very hard to get the best ranking for your company.
SaaS (Software as a Service) companies understand that they have a lot of competition, so knowing how to get high rankings for their site is essential to their success.
One of the most impactful ways to improve your search engine rankings is to build high-quality and relevant backlinks.
Why is link building important for startups?
Link building for startups is one of the ways that can help you have a better ranking on Google search.
Search engines like Google look at the links associated with the site and rank them by relevance and authority.
If you have high authority and relevant links, your site will automatically rank higher in search.
For new companies, this is crucial to getting the exposure you need to launch your service.
You want to be able to be found on the first page of search, or at least the second page at first, to ensure that you are getting traffic to your new website.
Why should I do link building for my SaaS?
Consistently building backlinks to your startup's website will help it increase its exposure to the search engines and potential clients.
When you are link building, you create contacts with other businesses that may also become your clients. Link building has benefits on many levels.
Looking for a SaaS link building expert?
If you're looking for a SaaS link building expert, you're in the right place.
I've been building authority links for a variety of SaaS companies for the last 2 years, and I'm ready to do the same for your business.
Schedule a call with me today to learn about the SaaS link building services I can offer you.
How hard is link building for SaaS?
If you are not sure how to begin link building or are unfamiliar with what types of links you need to give your site authority in the eyes of the search engine, it can be a difficult task.
However, when you read through this guide, you will learn everything that you should look for in links and what types of links to avoid.
This guide can help you make finding and securing the right links for your site a much easier task.
Is it okay to buy links?
Some people look to services that sell links. While this may seem very helpful, in the long run, it is not.
Purchased links might not have the authority you are looking for your site or may end up placing too many links on your site at once.
Either one of these issues can compromise your rankings with Google.
Google will penalize sites that it feels "cramming" links on its sites to unnaturally boost authority. It will also penalize sites that have irrelevant links.
For example, a SaaS site with a high authority link from a credible website about a relevant topic will increase your website's authority.
However, a high authority link from a site that has no relevance to your site, like a site selling mattresses, is going to penalize the site for having bad links.
Since you are never sure where the links are going to come from when you purchase them, it is better to do the work finding good links than risk the sales and exposure you lose when your site is bumped back in rank.
Does SaaS link building still work?
Absolutely. High-quality link building remains one of the top 3 Google ranking factors. If you want to have your site outrank the competitors, your website needs to have quality backlinks.
How many links should you build?
You will want to average between two and three links per page on your site. Your main page should have a minimum of three, while secondary pages should have at least two links per page if possible.
The links on each page can drive traffic to specific products or services while having more credible links on your main page will help your overall site rank higher in search.
Don't go overboard, however, because this will get you penalized. Google will deduct points from your site review if they think you are purposefully putting links on your site.
They believe this gives the site "false" authority. The links need to seem naturally occurring and must be highly relevant to the content on that page.
21 Proven SaaS Link Building Strategies To Implement Today
Now that you know how important it is to have authority backlinks to your website, it is time to start finding and building backlinks.
You may be able to find many sources for your links using the list below. However, it is crucial to ensure that the links you establish are credible or from an authority source and relevant to the page.
The first thing that you should do before you even begin to build the links is set up a Google News Feed with your company name or product as the keyword.
This will notify you any time that another business or entity mentions your company or service in something they published. This will help you find your links faster and establish their authority.
1. Unlinked Brand Mentions
There are times when another website may mention your company or service in their article without creating a link. For example, they may have written a paragraph such as:
"Have you seen the new SaaS product XYZ Services? This is one of the newest software services to emerge on the market and offers many great benefits."
Here's an example from Squarespace, where the company was mentioned but not linked to in an article:
The article may be written by another software company, a service industry that you are targeting as clients, or even a computer-based site. All of these would be great authority sites for your page. However, without the link, the mention of your service is lost.
You can look up who wrote the article on the website and send an email. Explain that you have read their review and thank them for including your site in their informational article.
Then ask if they would be willing to post the enclosed link to your name in the article so that their clients may follow up on this information at your site. You will be pleased to know that nearly everyone says yes to this request.
2. Linked Brand Mentions
Many times, you will be notified that your company or product is mentioned, and you will find that they have placed a link to your site.
This is great news. However, once you have read the article, you believe that the link may be better directed to one of your service pages instead of your main site.
While the link to your main page will give you an authoritative link, you may rank even higher if the link is attached to the page about the service it is reviewing. What do you do?
This is when you contact the author of the article. Thank them for the great review of your site, and then ask if they could change the link they have posted to the one you have included.
Let them know that this will allow their clients to link directly to what they have written about instead of searching for more information.
Most authors are happy to help and will change the link. Having good links in their articles that are more beneficial to their clients is also beneficial for them.
Their readers will be more apt to return and read more if they know that the links they follow take them directly to additional information.
3. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is a creative way to build links to your site.
What you will do is visit other relevant sites that you would like to have links from and check some of their articles to see if any of the links are no longer working.
Then, once you establish the link is broken, you contact the article author and request that your link be used instead.
It should be understood that this is a very time-consuming way to find links for your site. It can also be even more work-intensive if you have to create new content for the author to connect to when they add your link.
In the long run, this can be an effective way to build links if you have used all of the other tips and you have some extra time on your hands to do the necessary research to find the broken links.
Podcasts have become exceptionally popular. People like to listen to podcasts because they are informational and entertaining at the same time. Being a part of a podcast can help your site grow in many ways.
First and foremost, a podcast is often listened to by a large audience. You may reach potential clients that you may have never expected to reach or thought of targeting.
Here's an example of how Hubspot used this strategy to build a contextual backlink to their own show:
Being able to interact with the host of the podcast will give you the ability to talk outright about your product and services and answer questions. It is a great experience in marketing.
Second, and more relevant to this post, all podcasts have websites. A majority of podcasters will use their website to post upcoming events and transcripts of their previous podcasts.
They also will post links to the websites of the people or businesses they have interviewed. If the podcast has a large following, you have a great link for your site because their site will be seen as an authority.
5. CEO Interviews
CEO interviews are another great way to build links to your website.
Much like podcasts, there are individuals or businesses that are focused on interviewing CEOs of different companies to introduce them to their clients.
There are also several websites that will publish transcripts of written interviews with CEOs.
As part of your link-building tasks, you can contact many of these sites and ask if they would be interested in interviewing the CEO of your company. This will then create links back to your main page website or the About Us page.
This is actually an important type of link to seek because many people are now very interested in what the founders of a company stand for to determine if they want to do business with a company.
Having authoritative information about your CEO is a way to reach this portion of the public.
Infographics have become a very popular tool for websites. Many people simply scan websites for relevant information, and that is all they read.
However, these same people will stop and read an infographic because they are designed to be eye-catching and provide the most relevant information on the subject.
With this in mind, think about whether you can create an infographic about your product or service. If so, make sure that this is something that you have on your site in a relevant location.
You can then send out information to current links that you have that there is now an available infographic so that they can refresh your link, or contact potential people that you would like to link with and announce that you have an infographic.
Additionally, you can create an infographic that is relevant to your product or service but is focused on another aspect of your business or will match the information contained on an authoritative site.
You can then contact the author of the site or article and tell them that you have a relevant infographic that would complement their article.
Offer to supply the infographic for their site as a way to help them and, in return, ask for a shout-out on who created the infographic with a link back to your site. It is a great way to enhance the rankings of both sites.
7. Image Credit
Have you found pictures or graphics from your site on other people's sites or in article postings?
This is not unusual on the Internet. However, many people that use the image from another site may give credit for the picture or graphic but do not provide a link.
Contact the site and thank them for using your picture or graphic in their article or on their site.
Then ask them if they would be willing to add a link to the credit they gave your site for the picture.
Most people are willing to link to you in return for continuing to be able to use your photo or image for their article.
8. Affiliate Program
Creating an affiliate program for your product or service is another way to generate sales and improve your site ranking.
Affiliate programs will help generate a lot of links to your site because your affiliates are actively promoting your product.
Affiliate programs should be monitored, however, so that the promoters are not connecting your service or company name to things that you are not comfortable with for your company.
So, when you launch an affiliate program, make sure to schedule a time to follow up on where they are placing your links.
9. Product Reviews
Having detailed product reviews of your product and services published on other websites is a great way to get authoritative backlinks built to your site.
It is also an excellent way to boost the publicity of your company by having popular influencers/bloggers/journalists write reviews.
The best way to have your product reviewed by popular review personalities or sites is to offer your service to them for free for a three-month trial period.
Give them full access to the service so that they can try all parts of your service. Make your condition to use the product for free that they must write a full review of your product two weeks after gaining access.
In many cases, you also gain another client by allowing the personality to use your service for free. Many of these people will end up subscribing to the services that they reviewed.
10. Integration Partners
If you have farmed integration partnerships with any other company, make sure that you are getting backlinks from their site.
You will want to make sure that any mention of your company on their site is properly linked to yours.
It is also advisable that you create a guest post on the partner site that introduces your product or service that is being integrated with the proper links back to your page.
Each time you integrate your service with another company, make sure that there are appropriate links to your site.
Also, it is important to be reciprocating to your partner company and place the appropriate links to their site on your page.
11. Free Tools
Do you have free software tools that you can distribute that work with your software or complement your services. Distributing free tools to the public allows you to build more links to your site and generate more organic visits.
Many people that try free tools convert to paying customers. Using the free tool method is a smart way to increase sales while building links and raising your site in search.
Everyone enjoys having their products reviewed, including the business, products, and services that you personally use. Think back over the last month how many things you have used or purchased.
Try reaching out to these businesses and ask them if they would be interested in you posting a review about their product or company.
Tell them that you will gladly post a comprehensive review if they will allow you to place a link within your text back to your site.
Many companies will eagerly agree to this because they understand that most people read the reviews on a product or service before they will even commit to making a purchase.
Business conferences offer several opportunities to promote your business. If you sponsor an event, you will be able to have a high authority link on the event website to your main page.
All events will link a page directly to their sponsors. They may even provide a brief history or look at your company on one of their side pages with an additional link.
If you speak at a conference, you will have links from the event page to the page of your choice on your website. This is standard practice. This type of link is also very beneficial to pass around to anyone you are trying to encourage to attend.
Conferences also hold a lot of potential for meeting potential clients and similar businesses that you may be able to work with in the future. Overall, it is a great way to increase sales while improving your site ranking.
14. Product Embeds
Product embeds are links created by other sites after placing a widget on their site.
For example, when people embedded a Typeform, they also include a link back to Typeform's contact form maker page, which in turn boosts its rankings.
For example, if you have a "Contact Us" form that you have created a widget for, many sites can place this widget on their site, and the link will go straight to your page.
This is more commonly known as widget links and is a great way to drive traffic to your site.
Google also ranks these links very highly because they feel that websites would not connect directly to another site unless they believed it was a valid product or service.
Some of the types of product embeds that you can offer include:
- Trend Reports
- Infographics, GIFographics & “Map-o-graphics”
- Coined Terms
- "Definitive" Guides And Tutorials
- For More Information buttons
15. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, is an online resource that many journalists use to find current and relevant information about the stories they are writing.
Most of these journalists are willing to place a credit or link to your site in their article if they use the information you have on the site.
This is a free or paid-for service, and it is up to you which would suit you better. HARO is definitely something that you should consider being involved with because journalists from many major news sources come to this site for information.
This can lead to very high-authority sites linking to your SaaS's website.
16. Guest Posting/Blogging
Guest posting is one of the most common and one of the easiest ways to build links to your site. All it takes is a little research on your part, to begin with.
Once you find sites that are in your same niche, you will contact them and ask if they are interested in a complimentary blog post for their site.
Present to them a few topics that you could write about and wait for them to approve a topic. Once they approve, write a very professional post that includes links back to the product or service you are writing about.
This is a great way to help your niche partner improve visits to their site for having high-quality articles available. It gives you authoritative links because the site linking to your page is within your industry niche.
17. Resource Page Link Building
Resource pages are articles that are designed to provide readers with as many resources or links as possible about a specific topic or service.
There are thousands of sites with resource pages that you can reach out to and build links from.
You will want to find the resource pages that are focused on SaaS services and begin to make connections with the authors of these pages to have your links included on their sites.
Make sure you do a little research so that you are being placed on the same pages as your competitor, or hopefully now instead of your competitor.
18. Opinion Pieces
Everyone has an opinion, and opinion pieces can benefit your business.
If someone is writing an opinion about the benefits of software systems like yours, it will be important to try to attach yourself to this opinion piece.
Contact the author of the opinion piece and see what you can do to be linked to their article.
Many authors are grateful to have a following and appreciate their articles being followed by businesses.
19. Thought Leadership Pieces
Thought leadership is a marketing technique that helps your business establish itself as a leader or authority in your industry and service.
It is a way of connecting with your current and potential clients by addressing their questions about your service in a comprehensive manner.
Thought leadership places your business in a different venue than similar businesses.
You address questions and concepts about your industry with current and future beliefs. This is a great way to inspire your clients as well as set goals for your business and the industry you work in.
Many people could share your "thought leadership" articles, which could result in high-quality backlinks and referral traffic.
20. Pitch Your Article Against Weaker Content
Have you ever read an article about your industry or niche market and thought, "that was really lame?" Chances are that other people reading that article are thinking the same thing.
Poor quality content can have a negative effect on an entire industry if the public begins to feel that this niche market is really nothing to get excited about.
When you come across an article like this, you have an opportunity to promote your business. Create a similar article that is relevant and interesting, and then contact the site owner of where you saw the original article.
Offer to provide them with updated content for their site to replace that article for free if they will allow you to link back to your site from the article.
Since most site owners want the most current and relevant information on their site to draw more visitors, they will almost always say yes.
21. Create Newsworthy & Controversial Content
Sometimes you have to take a little bit of risk to boost your links and ranking.
To do this, you may want to put out an article that is newsworthy or a little bit controversial.
This type of article is often shared over and over, and the link to your article will draw a lot of attention.
This big draw to your article can help boost rankings because Google views this as your site is very popular.
However, when you are writing something controversial, be careful it is not too controversial.
Content should never be offensive, hurtful, or otherwise demeaning to any person or business.
Mistakes To Avoid In SaaS Link Building
1. Not Building Links To The Home Page
When you are link building, make sure that you build enough of your links to your home page.
While it is important to have your other pages viewed and ranked high if these pages are all ranked high, and your home page is not, you will lose rating points by the search engine.
Your first focus should always be your main page, then your secondary pages.
2. Targeting Competitive Keywords
Using keywords associated with your product is more important than only using targeted keywords that your competitors are using.
While it is important to use both, you want to establish some keywords that are really relevant to your site so that you can rank higher when these keywords are searched.
3. Over-Optimizing Your Home Page
You want your home page to be an informational page with just the right amount of keywords and graphics.
When you overcrowd your main page with information, graphics, and links, you are essentially creating chaos for the search engine spiders, and they will penalize your site as being overcrowded.
You want to make sure that you spread out your information through subpages so that your site always stays fresh and uncluttered. Google views "cluttered" sites as non-authoritative sites because they are not user-friendly.
4. Focusing On Quantity > Quality
The final thing to remember is that the links you are building for your site should be from authority sites, not just a random blog or a random website that Google does not view as an authority.
It is essential to focus on gaining credible links more than the number of links you have.
Remember to be an authority in an industry. You have to have the support of other authorities. Choose your SaaS backlink strategies wisely.