Scoring a link from an authority blog is a surefire way to skyrocket your website’s organic traffic (assuming you’ve got your other SEO bases covered, of course).
In fact, one relevant, authority link increased my brand new blog’s traffic by 3711.4% in just 6 months.
Seriously, take a look:
And the best part?
I didn’t have to write a guest post. Believe it or not, the owner of the blog happily placed the link in an existing post for me.
Today, you’re going to learn how to replicate the exact strategy I used to secure the link so you can skyrocket your traffic as well.
The guys over at Authority Hacker define an authority site as:
“a content-driven website that is a respected and trusted source of information. It is a larger site that delivers real value through its excellent editorial standards. This makes people trust the advice and recommendations from the site.”
Everyone and their mother – or in this case, Google – is talking about authority.
Google loves authority, so if you want to rank for a competitive keyword with tons of traffic, you better hope they see you as one.
But why is authority so important?
Let’s take a look at things from Google’s perspective:
Their main priority, above all else, is serving the best results for their users.
If someone wants to answer a quick question – like “why is the sky blue” – Google will show them a featured snippet, most likely from a question and answer style blog post.
This type of post best matches the user’s search intent.
Check it out:
Notice that NASA – a trusted authority on the topic – is ranking with the featured snippet (and position 1).
If instead they’re looking for the best lawn mower for a small yard, Google will show them a product review, list style post:
This time a website all about lawn care is ranking. They’re an authority on this topic. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why Google likes authority sites.
An authority in any niche has the highest chance of being correct, which is critically important to Google.
Take the health niche, for example.
If you’ve ever used the internet as your doctor (as we all have), then you’ve visited these sites time and time again:
Google ranks these sites because they’re huge authorities in the health niche.
According to Google’s new YMYL policy (Your Money Your Life), being an authority is especially important if you’re in the health or finance niche.
That’s because if someone is looking for help with their health or their money, it would be a terrible shame if they found something totally incorrect.
Even if you’re not in either of those niches, being seen as an authority is crucial for your success. Authority sites get a ton of impressions, clicks, and of course, conversions.
An authority link is any backlink from one of the biggest players in your niche. In the SEO space, for example, a link from Backlinko or Neil Patel are both great examples.
Any blog in the SEO space that lands a link from Brian over at Backlinko is going to see a massive spike in organic traffic.
Authority links, pass a lot of, well, authority.
Google uses links to measure trust and relevance. They’re basically like votes of popularity.
The more you have, the better, right? Not so fast.
Think about it this way:
If you were running for president, you’d obviously want endorsements. If someone openly supports you, odds are more will join them.
That being said, an endorsement from the current president would do you a lot more good than an endorsement from Joe Shmoe.
I know you’re not here to talk politics, so let’s get to the point:
Quality matters more than quantity. One link from an authority site will pass so much more authority, relevance, and trust than even 50 links from small, irrelevant websites.
If Google notices Brian Dean from Backlinko – one of the biggest names in the SEO space – linking to a post on Webris, that must mean the post on Webris is pretty darn good.
Google cares more about what Backlinko has to say than 10 random websites.
I started a blog in May of 2017 – it was called Easy PC and it was all about computers. I mainly covered gaming computers and cryptocurrency mining hardware.
I managed to get a link from Buy Bitcoin Worldwide, one of the biggest websites in the Bitcoin niche at the time, to my page on Ethereum mining hardware.
Take a look:
As you can see, it’s a pretty powerful site.
Just 1 month after the link went live, my Ethereum mining hardware page was ranking #1 in Google. Oh, and so did ALL of my other cryptocurrency mining hardware pages.
In fact, my traffic increased by 3711.4% in just 6 months:
Aside from creating awesome, helpful content that matched search intent (which is the most important part of SEO), that quick growth is largely due to the link from the authority website. Google saw the link and recognized my website as a trusted source of information.
Authority matters, plain and simple.
Now let’s talk about how you can get an authority link for yourself and nail your off-page SEO, which is one of the most important types.
Look, if you want a link from an authority blog, you need to get the owner’s attention.
And no, that doesn’t mean spamming them on every channel of communication possible until they angrily tell you to leave them be and block you.
This is the most important part of the process, and it’s the thing most don’t understand.
Look at how much traffic Brian Dean is getting according to Ahrefs:
Keep in mind that his real numbers are much, much higher.
Any blog worth getting a link from – that is, any blog with actual authority – has a ton of traffic. They have a lot people contacting them asking them for guest posts and links, every single day.
You don’t want to send another cliche outreach email – it’ll go straight to the trash.
If you own a blog, you’ve probably gotten this one before:
“Hey Joe Schmoe, love your website! I saw you wrote a post on *insert topic here* and it’s awesome! I couldn’t help but notice you linked to *insert his competitor here* in the post. I actually just wrote a longer, more informative guide on the topic and would really appreciate it if you could check it out! Might even be a good replacement. Either way, keep up the good work!”
Yuck. It hurts reading that – I can’t tell you how many of those I’ve received. Unfortunately, I used to send them too.
There’s one MAJOR problem that jumps out at me.
The email (aside from being like every other link outreach email) doesn’t offer any value to the recipient.
Here’s the deal:
We’re selfish people. If you’ve ever read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, you know if you want to influence someone, you have to make them feel important.
This is a harsh example, but you’d probably care more about a pimple on your face than a stock crash that affects the lives of hundreds of investors.
Yes, they lost a ton of money, and yes, they may not be able to pay for their home anymore. But we hear unfortunate events all the time and in the grand scheme of things, unless it directly affects you or someone you know, you’ll move on with your life.
On the other hand, a pimple on your face makes you feel self-conscious and embarrassed. People are going to stare at it, you can’t leave the house or go on that date… how terrible!
My point is, if the authority blog owner doesn’t see anything in it for them, they won’t care. How does that person benefit from taking time out of his or her busy day to change that link for you?
Exactly! They don’t.
They’ve got a million emails to process each day, not to mention the million other things they have to do. If you don’t add value, they’re not going to reply.
As you know, getting replies is really important if you want a link.
So, how can you catch their attention? What will make them reply to you, instead of throwing your email in the trash with the rest?
No, I’m not talking about money. You need to offer them something that they want. It can be almost anything really:
Those are just four examples, but there are a ton of other possibilities. This is where you need to get creative – you know the niche you’re in (or at least you should) – use that to your advantage.
Take some time to research your targets as well. Get to know them and what they like.
When you email them, firstly make sure you’re emailing the right person and using their personal email address. Next, let them know you’re familiar with their stuff by giving them a unique compliment.
Remember what I said earlier?
People love to feel important, so make them feel important. You’d be surprised how many people have an entire page on their website about them.
Read it, and reference it in your email!
Then, after you give them a genuine compliment, it’s time to send the pitch. And no, not the pitch for a link. Your initial email shouldn’t ask for anything. Instead, only offer value.
Here’s an example of a cold email I sent for a client to the owner of a 62DR website about stress:
I read one of his articles about using laughing exercises to release stress, so I mentioned it in my email.
In addition, I saw that some of his blog posts didn’t have many headings or images, and the paragraphs were very blocky.
By simply adding more headings, images, and eliminating big chunky paragraphs, his blog would be much easier to read.
As you know, an easy-to-read blog is good for the user experience, which translates to higher rankings and more traffic (remember Google’s #1 priority).
With a few suggestions, I helped him out and he thanked me a ton for it, despite him not knowing me.
When you offer someone something instead of asking them to do you a favor – someone they don’t know or care about – it’s much more likely they’ll respond.
That’s the key here by the way: getting a response. You don’t need to get a link as a result of the first email. In fact, you shouldn’t.
Instead, get a response. Start a conversation. Build some rapport. Offer value.
Trust me, the link will come later.
Assuming you did the first part correctly, you should get a response like this:
Now that you’ve gotten them to reply, it’s go time. They’re interested in your offer, and you’ve caught their attention.
Next, you need to pitch the value exchange.
Here’s how I did it:
“My pleasure man. A lot of it has to do with the way you’re using headings and images. Also, noticed you’re not using many images or custom graphics, and your paragraphs are pretty chunky as well. Overall, the formatting is hard to read. I have some more suggestions for you but it’d be easier to show you in a screen recording video. I’d be happy to send over a quick tutorial video for you to show you how to fix these issues. Would you mind linking to a page on my website in exchange? Let me know and I’ll send it over (to either you or your tech guy).”
He happily agreed to the deal – why?
It wasn’t a one way street. I offered value first, before asking for anything in return. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a link, as long as you don’t do it like everyone else.
If you send the same generic email that doesn’t offer anything upfront, you’re not going to get a reply, much less a backlink.
Link building is one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign. But it’s not necessarily about the links themselves – authority is the name of the game.
If you’re going to be spending your time and money on link outreach, you ought to target websites that’ll actually pass genuine authority, not small PBN networks or irrelevant sites that won’t help you.
Getting authority links isn’t easy, nor should it be. But with the right approach, scoring a link from an authority site is easier than you might think.
All you have to do is:
Easy as 1, 2, 3!