Backlink Outreach Tips: Link Building Etiquette

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We’ve all heard the saying that anything worth having takes work; unsurprisingly, this also applies to link building. The best backlinks are worth a little research and thought, and reap positive results. If the responses to your link building efforts have stalled, it may be time to take another look at your outreach approach. Take note of these backlink outreach tips and avoid common back link faux pas to get the most out of your outreach.

Mutually Beneficial

How can the website benefit from linking to your product, service or guide?

This is one question that every link builder should ask themselves when approaching an editor or domain owner for a backlink. Yeah, it’s great that your Google ranking may improve, but what do they get out of the deal? After all, they have to take time out of their day to correspond with you and link to your site. Make the offer good so  tantalizing that they jump at the offer, or at least understand the reasoning of why they should add a hyperlink to your site.

Don’t just ask, sell the idea. This isn’t Facebook where you can link up with ‘friends’ en masse. Find what makes your product great, and use that to your advantage to pitch a meaningful offer that will add value.

Can your guest post provide a unique and fresh take on a topic? Will a link to your site add credibility? These are all things you should consider when conducting link building outreach.


In addition to creating a backlinking request that is mutually beneficial, the request should also be reasonable. As said before, the editor or domain owner has to take time out of their day to add a hyperlink to their website. The offer in return should be just as good, as the request. Don’t expect them to add five hyperlinks to articles dating back years ago for the measly offer of your deepest gratitude. Not only do they have to take time out of their workday to dig through archives, but also edit the content so that it’s appropriate for your offer.

The best indicator of whether a request is reasonable is your intuition. Would you go through the hassle of corresponding, and editing for little to nothing? If the answer is no, get back to the drawing board. If the answer is yes, but the editor or domain owner still declines it can be appropriate to negotiate if they don’t give a reasoning behind their decision.

A Gentle Reminder Is All You Need

You’ve approached an editor or domain owner with a backlink request and reasonable offer, but they haven’t gotten back to you in weeks. In situations like this it is appropriate to follow-up on the first request with a gentle reminder of your request and offer. The average worker receives about 120 emails per day, it’s likely they overlooked the first email or that the email ended up in their junk folder.

In cases where you’ve sent multiple emails a change in subject line or message may do the trick; however, if weeks have gone by it may be time to either seek another point of contact or call it quits. Knowing when to throw in the towel is just as important as the offer. Save yourself the hassle and focus your attention on other potential sites.

No Means No

While some might be flattered by your outreach, if the offer is good enough, others may vehemently renounce the idea linking back to your website. Take these in stride because there are sure to be more than a few that can’t be bothered with your outreach. Also, understand that a site may have regulations that restrict their ability to hyperlink to your website.

Whatever their reasoning, politely thank them for their time and document the interaction to avoid email remarketing blunders. If they said no politely the first time, they may not be so nice the second time around.

Link building is a useful tool, but without the correct approach can prove to be ineffective and a waste of time. Use these backlink outreach tips to improve your efforts. The forethought and work put into your link building outreach will pay off later on.

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