Acquiring Links to your website and Illustration of Return on Investment

The number of inbound links from high quality sites is one of the factors that can affect the ranking of your site. Though it is an important factor, you must ensure that you don’t  leave footprints, as search engines have a way of determining if the link has been obtained by black hat methods and if so, your website may be flagged.

Now, there are many high authority sites that may have a broken link. How do you approach them and ask them to link to your site instead?

  1. Pick a latest blog in your website.
  2. Choose the relevant keyword for your page. If you are using WordPress, this would be the ‘focus keyword’. Let’s assume your article is about ‘inbound marketing’.
  3. Google search for your focus keyword.

Acquiring Links to your website and Illustration of Return on Investment

Make sure your search results show 100 results per page and not 10. For this click the ‘settings’ below the search box as seen in the screenshot above, click ‘never show instant results’ and move the slider below it to show 100 results

  1. Choose any site from the top 100. The high ranking ones are preferable.
  2. Eliminate your direct competitors. Keep a list of competitors handy. For the other websites, analyse for missing links.
  3. Pick any 3 websites per week.
  4. Use a broken link finder tool like  and find all the broken links.
  5. Let the tool scan about 50 results and then copy the links to a spreadsheet.
  6. The sheet will now have a list of 3 * 50 = 150 broken links.
  7. Analyse the sheet and find the best 15-20 links that suit your purpose.
  8. These links should be relevant to the topic of your blog.
  9. Email the website owner with the template given below.

Mail template:

Re: Title of their blog post

Hi _____,

I was looking for a few resources on _________________ and I came across your very informative guide: [Title]

I noticed that one of the resources you mentioned in the guide no longer exists.

I recently created an extensively researched guide on ____________: [Link]

It might make a good addition to your article. What do you think – can you link to us?

Either way, keep up your insightful articles, appreciate your work.



Remember that this is not a quick strategy and may take about 6 months to start showing results. Some of the tasks that need to be done:

Task 1: Research Find Websites that have similar content to your site and may have broken Links (~2 hours / week)

Task 2:  Aggregate Make a list of websites, pages, and broken link and choose the ones we can reach out to (~1 hour / week)

Task 3:Outreach Send them email to replace broken link with our site link. (~1 hour / week).

Make sure you are not sending out mails to all at once. Let’s say if you find 15 links that match our requirements. Reach out to site owners alternate days and target only 5 links in one email.

Schedule [Total = 4 hours/ week]

You should manage your schedule based on your own pace. This is one example.






Research (2 hour)

Aggregate (1 hour)

Outreach (20 mins)


Research (2 hour)

Outreach (20 mins)

Aggregate (1 hour)

Outreach (20 mins)

Outreach (20 mins)


Research (2 hour)

Outreach (20 mins)

Aggregate (1 hour)

Outreach (20 mins)

Outreach (20 mins)

Return on Investment (ROI)

Total outreach emails sent in 6 months = 15 per week X 26 weeks = 390

Assuming 10% success will mean you will have 39 backlinks in 6 months

Cost = (4 hours per week X $5/hr employee pay ) X 26 Weeks = $520

Backlink Acquisition Cost = 520/39  = $13 Per backlink

Optimizing ROI

Some points

  1. You must try to develop mutually beneficial relationships through outreach email. If you will send out ~400 mails ( assuming 5-6 links from one website) you will be contactingh 60-70 people.
  2. Always try to be efficient and bring down the cost per backlink
  3. Initially it will take time to get used-to but after 1 or 2 weeks it will become easier.
  4. For higher success rate you can automatically send follow up emails with a gap of 4-5 days between emails.
  5. Best outcome can be to develop a relationship to have articles linked to their network of sites. Anyone running one such website will also have other websites .

Final thoughts

Try not to cross link between the same websites. For example, if you get a backlink from to then reciprocate by linking back from other sites like and not from

Link building strategies that comply with Google guidelines are:

  • Links that people give willingly without trying to hide and which are ‘dofollow’.
  • Moz Local or similar listings of high quality.
  • Industry connections – being listed as associated with a well-known business as a partner, for eg.
  • Unclaimed mentions – where someone mentions the brand name on their website but doesn’t add a link, it will make sense to contact the person to add a link.
  • Broken links – where someone has misspelled the website URL
  • Host an event which will make others mention your website.
  • Use to reach out to journalists who are looking for information on your area of expertise. They will be willing  to give a link.
  • Contact the people who already link to you and ask them what else you could write to help them. They will link to the content you create on their request.
  • Create content that is 10 times better than anything else on the web on the chosen topic. Check Yahoo answers/quora for questions related to your subject. People will voluntarily link to your site without even you asking for it.