How to Rank on Google with Link Insertions [in 2022]

Written By

Nick Zviadadze

Nick Zviadadze

Founder at MintSEO


In theory, link insertions are one of the simplest ways to build backlinks to your website.

All you have to do is gather up your prospects, run a personalized outreach campaign asking bloggers to include a link to your website in their posts, and voila!

Fast and simple, right?

Well, not really. Link insertion link building is far from easy.

You need to pick out the right prospects to reach out to, know when to pay for a link insertion, decide whether a backlink from a certain website is worth it, and so on.

Fortunately, you’ve got this article to guide you through every step of a link insertion link-building campaign!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What’s a Link Insertion?
  • How to do Link Insertion Link Building
  • Should You Pay for a Link Insertion
  • How to Evaluate a Link Insertion Prospect

Let’s get started.

What is a Link Insertion?

A link insertion, also known as a niche edit, is the process of getting a website owner to include a backlink to your website in one of their existing posts.

Link insertions are a popular link-building tactic because of how easy it is for a website owner to place a backlink in a post.

All they have to do is open up a post on WordPress, add a link, and voila – done in less than a minute.

If you were offering up a guest post, on the other hand, things would be much more complicated. They have to upload your guest post on WordPress, make sure it looks good, format it, add meta tags, and so on.

How to do Link Insertion Link Building

The process for getting link insertions is as follows:

  • You create a list of websites that you’d benefit from getting a backlink from.
  • You send a personalized email asking for a link insertion from that website. Sometimes, you can offer up something in exchange for the backlink. E.g. money, free product, a backlink for their website from another domain, etc.
  • If your email is compelling enough, the website owner will grant you a backlink, or ask for something in return.

Now, let’s dissect these three steps one by one.

#1. Prospecting for Backlinks

First things first, you need to find websites that are actually likely to give you a backlink.

There are a ton of different tactics you can use for this, but three of the most effective ones are:

  • Audit Your Competitor’s Backlinks. Pick out your top five competitors in your niche and analyze their backlink profiles via Ahrefs or SEMrush. Reach out to anyone who linked to them, asking for a link insertion.
  • Find Websites That Accept Guest Posts. On Google, look up blogs in your niche that accept guest posts. If they’re willing to accept a guest post, they’re probably also OK with a link insertion.
  • Google Link Insertion Opportunities. Manually Google for articles that you think you’d benefit from getting a backlink from. E.g. if you’re looking for a backlink to your post about “link insertions,” you could look up articles on related topics like “link-building strategies,” “should I pay for backlinks,” “how long does link-building take to get results,” etc.

For each link-building campaign, we recommend you collect anything between 100 to 300 prospects.

#2. Personalized Outreach

Step #2 – you need to send personalized outreach emails to the prospects you gathered in step #1.

First off, we recommend using as your outreach tool – it has the most bang for your buck out of all the outreach tools we’ve tried so far (and we’ve tried almost all of them!).

Then, do drip outreach. Don’t just send all your emails in one go – that way, some of them are bound to end up in spam.

Rather, send out around 20-30 emails per day at different times during the day.

Finally, make sure that your outreach copy is compelling. Here are some tips on how to make that happen:

  • Personalize your subject line. If it includes your prospect’s name or brand name, you’ll get better open rates.
  • Offer up something in return. Why should the website owner give you a link insertion? Is it because your content is very high-quality and useful to their readers? Because you’re offering a backlink in return? Or maybe because you’re willing to pay them a sponsorship fee?
  • Be creative. Website owners get a TON of spammy backlink requests. So, it’s essential that your email copy is creative enough that it gets their attention and cuts through all the noise.

#3. Link Placement

Finally, if you did everything right so far, you’ll get an answer from your prospect.

If they agreed to a link insertion, awesome! You’re good to go.

Sometimes, though, you’ll get a counter-off. The prospect might ask you for monetary compensation for the backlink placement.

Wondering whether it’s OK to pay for a link insertion? Read below.

Should You Pay for a Link Insertion?

Generally speaking, paying for a backlink is against Google’s link-building guidelines.

google on paying for link insertions

In reality, though, things aren’t as cut and dry.

These days, any website owner worth their salt knows how much power a single backlink can have.

So, it’s not very uncommon for them to get back to you with a request for monetary compensation for the backlink.

This holds especially true if you’re in a competitive SEO niche such as finance CBD, gambling, insurance, VPN, and others.

Now to answer your question – should you pay for a link insertion backlink? Here’s what we think:

  • Yes, if it’s a real website, with a real following and valuable content.
  • No, if the website looks shady, is a link farm, PBN, or has signs of any black hat SEO techniques.

In order to understand whether a backlink prospect is legitimate or not, you need to learn:

How to Evaluate a Link Insertion Prospect

Not all backlinks carry the same weight.

So, to decide whether it’s worth paying for a certain backlink, you should be able to evaluate what’s a good backlink and what’s a bad one.

Here are the top factors we look at when evaluating backlink quality:

  • Website topical relevance. Is the website in a niche relevant to yours? Getting a backlink to your marketing blog from a parenting blog won’t have much impact on your rankings.
  • Post topical relevance. Is the post you’re getting a link insertion from related to the page you’re building a backlink for?
  • Website organic traffic. If the site you’re getting a link insertion from ranks on Google and drives organic traffic, that’s a very nice green flag. 
  • Wherever the website is a link farm. A backlink farm is a website created for the sole purpose of selling backlinks. Because these websites have so many outgoing links, backlinks originating from there have almost no impact on your rankings.
  • If the backlink is do-follow. Google does not consider no-follow backlinks when evaluating a website’s rankings.
  • If the link is marked as “sponsored.” Some websites mark backlink insertions as “sponsored,” especially if you did pay a sponsorship fee. Like no-follow backlinks, sponsored links don’t carry much SEO weight.

Struggling With Link Insertions? We Can Help!

Other than what we’ve covered in this article, there’s still a ton you need to learn to successfully build backlinks to your website.

Things like warming up your outreach emails, getting the right anchor texts for your backlinks, and more.

Want to skip the learning process and start building backlinks right away?

We can help! At MintSEO, we’ve built thousands of backlinks for our clients and have helped drive millions in organic traffic.

Head over here to check out our white hat link-building services!

Nick Zviadadze

Nick Zviadadze

Founder at MintSEO
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