Link building service: Exactly how we build links?

Research, research, research...

First, Ideation Project:

Ideation Project: we come up with a content plan for the next 6 months and build the outline document that will be used by a professional writer.

Second, Prospect Listing:

Prospect Listing: we build your list of prospective site owners and blogs that might link back to your website.

Third, Backlink Outreach:

Backlink Outreach: we run a personalized email and telephone campaigns in order to get those valuable backlinks from the list created.

Content Building

Also known as content building, the ideation project is run monthly as follows:

There are two types of content that we work with:

  • Text-based Content
  • Webtool for online use

Text-based Content

Articles published in your website or blog can offer useful insights to your prospects. That is the secret: Useful content is the goal here.

I will write an outline document for each and every piece just before you read it and approve it.

Your writer (or our's if you don't have one) will be able to put together a well-crafted article of 1000 to 3000 words for us.

Making it interesting

We need to always give it an edge to the text. Remember, this is not a sales copy, it is a soft sell article that needs to offer useful stuff.

The way we come up with an article that is linkable is this: we add tangle the subject with "community argument". We talk about artificial intelligence, smart cities, veganism, anything that could make sense to your prospect and instigate them to share it on social networks as well.

It is a fascinating, creative work.

Webtool for online use

(Outcome: Widget ready to use on your site)

Normally ignored by other link builders we come up with a tool your prospective clients can use.

This can get complex so the trick here is to keep the development time within 40-80 hours.

We have developers we manage and trust. They don't come up with ideas though, they develop it for us.

Usable widgets that attract backlinks

This type of content is incredibly useful and can attract a lot of backlinks from influential people all over the world.

This is our main differential and key value proposition: we develop web tools for your business, focusing on link building, and that means you will not be allowed to license it or charge for its use. You may ask for an email address before offering it to your visitors, thus using this piece of content for building a list as well.

Prospect Listing

Handshake Links is the only firm in the UK that applies PDCA on its link-building campaigns for constant improvements month after month and to attain this goal, we follow the steps detailed below:

(Once you have your site registered with Google Search, Google Maps and Google News - if relevant to your business - we are able to start building links starting from the research phase described below.)

This is probably the longest phase of all; it is divided into seven analysis steps:

  1. Pages analysis
  2. Anchor text analysis
  3. Content analysis
  4. Social analysis
  5. Links analysis
  6. Search keywords and operators
  7. Guest post and Sponsored content

1. Pages analysis

(Why are you getting impressions but not clicks?)

Questions that should be answered:

  • Which are your most popular pages?
  • Which keywords rank on the second and third pages? (We call that "quick wins" because we could see improvement in those rankings with very little effort)
  • Are there "hidden gems"? (Pages with a lot of impressions in the search results but with very few clicks)

2. Anchor text analysis

(Sometimes you have backlinks that look fishy)

"Fishy backlinks" means that the anchor texts are all well crafted by you (or your former link builder) and that needs to change.

Tools like SEM Rush, Moz Pro, Ahrefs or Majestic SEO help to analyse your backlinks so you can tackle if it looks unnatural. And we do that by diluting it with more natural looking anchors such as "here" or your company name, for example.

3. Content analysis

(Which assets can we work with?)

Building a business is all about building assets. Your website content is an asset and a potential linkable asset.

Ideally, you will give me a content budget that I can use monthly to build new content for your site and for prospective sites that will link back to yours.

At this phase, we must now answer the following questions:

  • What are the best pages on your site that I can use to build links?
  • If you don't have content to work with, can we come up with something together? (I would have a list of prospective site, what is interesting for them to link to?)
  • If you don't have a writer, can you hire one? (Shouldn't cost more than 30-50 pounds per article)

4. Social analysis

(What resonates best?)

This step is interesting because it gives us more insights into the content that your targeted market is sharing and making a buzz about.

We need to answer these questions:

  • How many social shares does each piece of content get?
  • Do you have distribution channels built out (email list, social following etc)?

5. Links analysis

(What backlinks you already have.)

Listing the backlinks you already have can help to answer the following questions:

  • Number of nofollow and follow links
  • Your web page with the highest numbers of backlinks
  • Some other metrics (when necessary) like TF (trust flow), CF (citation flow), DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority)

6. Search keywords and operators

(Last research to understand time needed for every task afterward)

Now that we have all the information we need, we can fill in the gaps in our system and start approaching the linking targets.

With the list of keywords and URLs from your site, we need to find sites that can link to yours. (An interesting tool to work with when doing keyword research is Google Keyword Planner.)

Now is the time to use operators to search Google for those targets. Operators are the second keyword added at the end of the original keyword, for example:

  • Original keyword (from the image above): cleaning tips
  • Keyword with operator: cleaning tips inurl: resources

The way we do this is:

  1. Add an operator at the end of every keyword
  2. Run search one by one to copy linking prospects that appear
  3. Classify the results and register which ones require payment to link back to you or not

This list forms the basis for the campaign.

7. Guest post and Sponsored content

(The most powerful backlinks there are)

Sometimes we need to be smart about link building because your site might not have enough niche sites out there to link back to you or you don't have enough content.

The best thing to do in those situations, trust me, is to create content placements on other sites, local blogs, or on my secondary niches (e.g. like linking from a web designers' sites to my SEO company, something that complements but is not immediately obvious).

If we go for guest posts and content placements, we don't create content for your site, we create smaller pieces of content to go on someone else's. (This piece of content will have a link to your website and that is how we increase your online presence.)

Link Building Project Plan

We are now ready to build the project plan and track activities. We use a spreadsheet that is shared with you in a private Dropbox folder. This keeps you constantly updated on what I have been doing for you and will be doing in the next few months.

This is how the next few months will look like on our project plan:

Communication Plan for ongoing Link Building Services

Below you will find an article from our blog where we explain the importance of having a communication plan and how we do on our projects:
Link building process infographic

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Statement of Work

What is Link Building?

Tired of building content that doesn't attract new visitors?

You need to build links back to it!

There are several types of links you can have; some are harder to get and for this one you need relationship marketing techniques.

Some other links are easier (depending on your market) and for those, we use the best tools in the market.

For excruciating details of the steps we have and systems we use, please refer to the statement of work.

Do you want top service for a moderate cost?

Handshake Links is a boutique firm, which means that we can only take onboard 5 UK clients at any given time and this allows us to focus on you and provide the best possible service.

Below are the promises we make to you right now that we know we can deliver (and over-deliver) to all of our clients:

  • Build links and analyse the results afterward
  • Come up with kickass ideas for content (articles, dynamic web tools or market research) that other people will want to link to

Link Building Strategy

  • Where and when to focus the efforts during the whole length of our contract?
  • Which types of links should we campaign now and which ones make more sense to work on later on the work?

All of those questions will be answered and it all depends on the maturity of your site and how you position your business (startup, local business, news-related site, etc.)

Link Types Selection for new websites

This slide shows a high-level view of the project plan, giving different priorities to link types depending on the maturity of your website. (This is our strategy recommendation for new business or new websites.)

Types of links we work with

There are primarily 18 types of links to work with:

Link roundups

People and companies all over the internet are sharing posts that they think their audience will be interested in. If you have something that they will like, I simply will discover them for you. A good niche study is necessary for the success of this type of linking campaign.

Resource pages

This is a page with a list of sources (or resources) around their content. If you have a piece of content that could be mentioned as a resource, I will pitch your content as such on prospective resourcing pages.

Guest posting

Best used when you don't have a lot of content available, I will approach other sites that accept other people's content on their site. I, then, have an amazing article written. They benefit from having an excellent piece of content for their visitors and you benefit by having a contextual, relevant link back to your site.

Sponsored posts

These ones cost money. There are sites that accept money in exchange for writing about your service or product, like a product review, for example. This is a great way to get links on a site that your competition can't get in.

Link reclamation

I will look for sites that have linked to yours in the past and removed it. I will politely remind them that you are still around and would appreciate the link to be made active again. I also look for sites that mentioned your brand or product without a backlink and ask them to replace that mention with a link.

Bridge method

We look for businesses that are related to yours in some way but not in direct competition with you and ask them for a link.

Online PR

Do we have a piece of content or some information about your company that is worthy of the attention of local newspapers, online news sites, Buzzfeed, etc, if so, it is completely possible to track down these journalists and get them to add your link to either a past article or an upcoming one. (You may have to pay a couple of hundred pounds but, if you have to, it is a valuable investment to get into the main media for a change)

Local blogger

Sometimes, just by being neighbours with a blogger can get you a link. If you don't have a compelling reason to get a backlink from them, money often talks. (They are often more than happy to take a few pounds to add your link to a 2-year-old blog post that they had forgotten about.)

Manufacturer links

For ecommerce only. If you sell a product manufactured by another company, you can easily get a backlink from their site because you are a representative or a distributor.

Video links

You can have a link from your own videos published online or you can ask for an existing channel for their product review (or a website review) and you get a backlink in exchange.

Directory links

If there are any directories specific to your type of business, then; you SHOULD be listed on them (as well as Yell).

Professional organisations

There are generally professional organisations for most types of business (if they exist for yours), they often reward members with links back to your site.

Conference and event

If you attend events or speak at conferences, they usually put up a link back to your website.

Blog and forum commenting

If used correctly, it is an extremely effective way of building both links and traffic. You also have the opportunity to build a relationship with the blogger (or author) you are commentating for. For example, if you disagree with what is being said and have a blog post as a retort, then link to it in comments, along with a well written and thoughtful response.

Wikipedia links

One of the most trusted sites in the world, yet entirely user-generated, it can be used to add links to your site. These links need to be extremely relevant and useful or they are quickly removed.


If you are in an industry that has nice sets of statistics or data to present, then infographics are a great way to catch some attention. Sites that are writing about that topic will often embed your infographic (along with a link back to your site).

Skyscraper method

This is a method that has been around for a very long time but has recently come back into prominence, thanks to Brian Dean. It is a method where you find a piece of content that is being linked to a lot, and then create something better or more up to date, approaching all of the people who link to the original piece and asking them to link to your "better" content as well.

Broken link building

This involves finding something that has been linked to but no longer exists. You then either recreate the original piece or create a comparable version of your own. Approach the sites that link to the original post and asking them to replace it with your link.


All clients are different and all services we provide are carefully designed to your needs.

The price of our services could not be any different!

Please fill in the form below and you will receive a quote online, via email.

Min. 6 months contract

You receive...
☀ One crafted article
☀ Link Building System
☀ We won't stop until we get 10 links each month!
☀ Investment: 1.000,00 per month (VAT included)

Custom SEO service

Request a quote when you need:
☀ A one-off service to build links to content you already have
☀ Help with your content marketing and planning
☀ Monitor backlinks you already have
☀ Investment cost will be provided in a quote

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