How to Build Links for Your SaaS Business

last updated on Sep 25, 2020

The benefits of owning a software as a service (SaaS) company can be huge. Building your own software, filling a hole in the market and then putting the software out to the world to use is a big accomplishment with endless financial benefits.

You still need to market the product, though. There are tons of ways to do this: PPC, social media ads, cold outreach and SEO. We’re huge advocates of SEO because while other ad driven tactics take massive monthly investment, SEO can yield passive leads/customers.

That’s where we come in. We specialize in the software market. Software clients make up the majority of our client base – so not only have we built thousands of links in the software niche (from some of the best publications on the web) but our clients have seen some amazing results.

This article is all about teaching you exactly what we’ve done to build those links so you can replicate it for your team.

Brand Mentions

As your SaaS product starts to gain traction – as people start to use it, it will get talked about more within the communities of people it serves. It’s important to monitor these mentions to leverage them into links.

There are a ton of tools out there to monitor these (linked & unlinked) mentions: Google Alerts, Mention.com, Awario, Ahrefs, etc.

I’m going to show you how to find these unlinked mentions on Ahrefs, then craft an email (using a template I’ve actually used to land a link) to do outreach with.

Step 1: Open the Content Explorer feature on Ahrefs, and type in the brand name to search for. For this, we’re going to search for a popular SaaS outreach tool named Mailshake.

Ahrefs will also give you the option on where you want it to search, similar to Google search operators, it can be: “in title,” “in URL,” “in content,” or “everywhere.” The more popular the product is, the more results you’ll likely get. Since Mailshake is a reasonably popular product, I want to limit the results a bit so that I only get pages where Mailshake has been mentioned in the content.

Step 2: Choose the “highlight unlinked mentions” feature above the search results after you search for the name of your brand, and then put in the exact URL you want Ahrefs to search the page source for:

Then hit apply. What you should have now is a list of websites who have mentioned your product, and the ones who don’t link to you on that page should be highlighted, like this:

Let’s take a look at this one: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/top-startup-growth-marketing-influencers/ – this site is a DR90, the mention is in a real, editorial article, the traffic trend is healthy, the the Ahrefs’ traffic estimate is around ~225,000/month. This article mentions Mailshake, but they don’t link to it. If I’m tasked with building links to the Mailshake website, I’m going to leverage this unlinked mention to get proper attribution for the website in the form of a hyperlink.

Step 3: Email asking for proper attribution. Here’s an email exchange getting an almost decade old mention of a site I was working on turned into a (DR64) link:

It’s not pretty but it worked. This particular site hadn’t done outreach in quite some time, but they had 20+ years of unlinked mentions all around the web that I had to at least try to get. Imagine using this method for a new website with freshly monitored mentions and using this same process. It should be a supplemental tactic for any SaaS company.

HARO

At this point, almost everyone who builds links is familiar with HARO. I’m not going to spend too much time breaking the process down; honestly, it’s simple: you sign up for the service, you find a relevant query, you submit a well thought out pitch, you get a link (hopefully).

The thing about HARO is: it will always be viable. Journalists will always need expert opinions on topics.

Here is a pitch I submitted recently:

The query was about how businesses can avoid bankruptcy. My response is maybe 300 words, it took 7-10 mins to write and no research because it’s a first hand account of specific business decisions that were made for a project. These types of queries can be answered all day for your SaaS product.

Here is the outcome:

That’s a live link on LegalZoom – a popular US based legal website (DR81; 1.1M traffic/month). At dofollow.io we’re investing a lot of time & energy into our HARO team because we believe it’s a strong supplementary method for both brand exposure and links.

Local Resource Pages

A lot of times, for your Saas company, you’ll either have an office with a physical address or at least an address where the LLC or business entity is registered. You can leverage this address to get links that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get on community resource pages.

Essentially, these are links you should be able to get just by walking across the street and talking to your neighbor.

Let’s look at a few examples for my hometown: Kansas City, Missouri.

The first search query I’ll try is: kansas city “community resources”

Let’s have a look at this page: https://info.umkc.edu/diversity/get-involved/community-resources/

There’s even a nifty section here at the bottom:

So they’re actively looking for additional resources to add to the page. This would be an excellent place to get a link for your business if you lived in this city.

Using a slightly different query: kansas city “resources” – I found a few more solid places where Kansas City based businesses could get links on local resource pages.

Here is another Kansas City based resource page: https://www.kclibrary.org/alphabetical-list-of-resources/

It might be a long shot to get some SaaS products listed here, but definitely still a shot for anything in the career, education, accounting, etc. realms. There are tons of local resources like this to find in your own city.

Give to Get

Last year while my business partner Sebastian and I were in Nice, France on our company retreat, we decided that we wanted to start giving back to causes we care about. During this process I saw (even though it’s an old tactic) how beneficial donating can be both for the charity and for your site.

Dofollow.io partnered with One Tree Planted to plant 1,000 trees. We did this simply because we care about the cause, but we ended up getting a link from it as well:

This is a link on an indexed page with a great backlink profile on a DR80 site. Sure, we paid for the donation which got us the link, but these are absolutely not the type of paid links that would get you in trouble.

There are tons of charities and causes out there that you can donate to, this will help the charity first and foremost, this goes so far, but it can also yield a link on a great site and good brand exposure as well. It’s just a really good way to give back to the community while elevating your brand a bit as well.

Podcasts

One of the best ways we’ve seen new SaaS companies get exposure and links is through guest post engagements. People are always looking for content for their podcasts, and providing your expert perspective on industry topics can help land these opportunities.

Let’s say you want to build links for your content marketing website or service. Outreach for podcasts is just like any other type of outreach; you need to build the prospect list, craft a template and send the emails.

Let’s start prospecting. There are several ways to prospect opportunities for podcasts, but we’re going to start just using Google.

Prospecting using Google saves quite a bit of time. There are curated lists of podcasts related to the topic, but there are also individual podcasts listed as well.

Another way you can find good prospects is looking through backlinks of larger sites in your niche.

This is Authority Hacker, for example:

All of these are curated lists of content marketing related podcasts. Plus, there are individual podcast opportunities you can go after as well:

Tons of opportunity.

From here, it’s simply building your prospect list, uploading into your outreach software, and asking to contribute to their podcast.

Where to go From Here

All of these tactics can and will yield links for your SaaS company. They can be implemented easily using your in house team. However, we have teams built around this if you want to outsource it. If you want to have a chat about getting links and exposure for your SaaS company, we invite you to contact us to see if we’d be a good fit for each other.