Link building does not have to be hard.
If you know the right tricks of the trade, you’ll be well on your way to building hundreds of backlinks to your SaaS website.
The trick here is to know the exact link-building tactics that work exclusively for the SaaS niche.
That’s because some link-building tactics that are effective for, say, an affiliate website, are not going to be as powerful for SaaS.
In this article, we’re going to give you a detailed account of all the link-building tactics that help us build backlinks for our SaaS clients. Here’s what’s included:
- How is Link Building for SaaS Different?
- 14 Best SaaS Link Building Tactics
- 4 Essential SaaS Link Building Tools
- Free SaaS Link Building Outreach Template
Let’s get started!
How is Link Building for SaaS Different?
Link building for a SaaS is not significantly different from conventional link building – the processes are pretty much the same.
You prospect for leads, send personalized emails, and build backlinks to your website.
The main difference when it comes to SaaS link building is that specific tactics work significantly better.
For starters, as a SaaS, you have the option to rely on PR to build a ton of backlinks at once. If you have a newsworthy story, for example, and you get picked up by TechCrunch, you’ll gain dozens or even hundreds of backlinks without having to do a ton of outreach.
Alternatively, you have the option to give away something else than monetary compensation in exchange for a backlink. You can, for example, offer a free annual pass to your software in exchange for a backlink.
In this article, we’ll talk about the link-building tactics that work exceptionally well for SaaS websites.
14 Best SaaS Link Building Tactics
#1. Create Link Bait Resources
Link bait is a piece of content or resource that’s engineered to drive new backlinks to your website.
Link bait doesn’t necessarily have to be a conventional article – it can also be:
- An infographic
- Interactive web page
- Research-backed study
- A micro SaaS application
- An online calculator or some other type of tool
- A very comprehensive guide or resource
Or any other type of resource that’s useful for a very large number of people and something interesting for bloggers or media outlets to write about.
A good example of a link bait resource is this interactive web page about why brains curve.
The page is very insightful, interesting, and well-designed, which is why it has generated over 205,400 backlinks.
So, how can you go about creating link bait content? Here are some ideas:
- Using Ahrefs content explorer, look up keywords associated with your niche and find pages that have the most backlinks.
- Using this tool, look up the most popular posts on HackerNews. Find what they had in common and base your link bait content on that.
- Look up link bait examples online. Brainstorm how you can create something similar in your niche.
#2. Give Value to Your Prospects
These days, everyone knows the power of a backlink.
So, why would anyone link to your website if there’s nothing in it for them?
The backlink prospect has to check their email, vet your website (to make sure you’re legit), log in to their CMS, add a link to your site…
This wouldn’t be particularly bad if the very same prospect didn’t receive hundreds of other emails from other link builders.
So, what are we getting at with this?
To effectively build backlinks for your SaaS website, you’ll want to offer something in exchange for that backlink. Here are some examples of what this “something” can be:
- Backlink exchange. You give the website a backlink in return. It’s only fair, after all.
- Sponsorship fee. You pay the prospect a certain sum of money in exchange for the backlink.
- An extremely cool resource. The resource you’re offering to the prospect is SO cool and useful for their audience that they’re happy to link to it without asking for anything in return.
- A very well-written guest post. The keyword here is “well-written,” not just a generic 500-word article that everyone’s read before
- Free access to your SaaS. If your prospect is also someone who’d use your SaaS, then you can repay them with a free subscription for a few months, or credits to use on your software.
#3. Guest Posting
This one’s old but gold. Even after Google’s numerous warnings about guest posts being devalued, guest posting remains one of the most effective ways to do SaaS link building.
Now, the “how” of guest posting in the SaaS niche is relatively straightforward:
- Decide on what type of blogs you want to guest post on.
- Look up blogs that fit your criteria on Google.
- Create a list of all such blogs you uncover.
- Check out their guest posting criteria and send out a personalized email with your pitch.
Alternatively, you can use the following Google query to find blogs that accept guest post placements: “[niche]” blog “guest post”
The query will, specifically, pull out websites that have a page related to guest-posting guidelines.
Want to get the most bang for your buck with your guest posting? Partner up with other SaaS businesses and link to each other’s websites in your guest posts.
This way, both you and your partner end up getting significantly more backlinks while doing the same amount of work!
Looking to build backlinks without guest posting? Check out our dedicated article!
#4. ABC Link Exchange
An ABC link exchange is exactly what it sounds like – a link exchange with a twist.
Instead of this:
- Site A links to Site B
- Site B links to Site A
You do this instead:
- Site A links to Site B
- Site B links to Site C
- Site C links to Site A
Since Google isn’t particularly fond of link exchanges (categorizing it as a “link scheme,”) this tactic is a much safer alternative to the conventional backlink exchange.
As the three websites are not directly linked to each other, Google can’t detect the exchange and penalize your website for it.
#5. Create Engaging Infographics
Infographics are a very effective way to build backlinks to your SaaS.
The beauty of infographics is that they’re very easy to distribute.
If you were doing guest posts, for example, you’d have to create a unique blog post for each website where you’re submitting one.
With infographics, though, things are a lot easier – you can submit the very same infographic to hundreds, even thousands of websites without any extra work!
Novoresume, one of our clients, managed to drive over 70 backlinks by creating a resume infographic of Elon Musk and promoting it online:
The “how” of infographic SaaS link building is pretty straightforward:
- Use Ahrefs content explorer to find infographics that got a ton of backlinks in the past.
- Come up with unique infographic ideas.
- Work with a designer to create the infographic itself.
- Promote it to bloggers and journalists all over the web.
#6. Try HARO
HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a platform that matches journalists with potential sources.
The way it works is pretty simple:
- Journalist submits a description of the type of information/source they’re looking for.
- Users sign up as sources and receive a daily email with requirements from dozens of journalists.
- The source (you) reaches out to journalists that are a good match and pitch their story.
The SEO benefit of this is quite clear. The journalist gets expert insight from you and you get a backlink to your SaaS website in exchange.
#7. Create Statistics or Trends Reports
Want to create backlinks to your SaaS websites on autopilot?
Then you’ll love this SaaS link-building tactic!
Think fast – when writing a blog post, what kind of sources are content writers most likely to link to?
Why, statistics and data pages, of course. Whenever the content writer claims something, they need to back it up with a link to a quality source.
This means that they probably end up Googling a keyword like:
- [Niche] trends
- [Niche] statistics
And linking to whatever article has the most interesting facts.
This (incredibly effective) SaaS link-building tactic involves creating statistics compilations articles, ranking them on the front page of Google, and driving backlinks on autopilot when websites eventually end up using them as sources.
Let’s cover a quick example of how a SaaS used this link-building technique to build backlinks.
Kenjo, a B2B HR SaaS, created an article that covers 30 of the most interesting human resources statistics.
While this article doesn’t drive a lot of traffic to the website, as you can see below, it DID manage to get over 50 backlinks!
Awesome, right? All you have to do is create a list of statistics or trends keywords in your niche and create your compilation articles!
Once they rank, they’ll be very powerful link magnets for your brand.
#8. Claim Unlinked Brand Mentions
An unlinked brand mention is when someone mentions your SaaS website in a blog post (or web page) without including a hyperlink.
The tactic here is straightforward: find websites that mention your brand without a link and reach out asking for that backlink!
What makes this SaaS link-building tactic so effective is that the website owner has to put almost no effort into giving you that link. All they have to do is log on to their CMS, add the link, and they’re done!
As such, you’re a lot more likely to get positive replies than if you were doing, say, guest posting.
To learn how to uncover unlinked brand mentions, check out this article by Ahrefs.
Another way you can use this technique is to reach out to websites that are already linked to your website and ask them to further collaborate with you.
For example, you can ask them to link to your brand new blog resource, if that’s something you’re actively building backlinks for.
#9. Go on a Podcast Tour
These days, podcasts are more popular than ever, with over 383.7 million podcast listeners globally.
How is this relevant to SaaS link building, you might ask?
Well, for each podcast you get to attend as a guest, you’re usually allowed to get 1-3 do-follow backlinks to your website.
Because the average podcast episode lasts just an hour (plus-minus), this makes for a very effective method for building backlinks to your SaaS website.
And the icing on the cake? Sometimes, these podcast episodes get syndicated to other websites, which results in even more backlinks!
As for how to get featured on podcasts, you have two options:
- Create a list of podcasts in your niche and reach out with a pitch. Show them what makes your story exciting and it’ll be very unlikely for them to say no.
- Hire a podcast booking agency and get them to do all the work for you.
#10. Get Featured in Roundup Posts
A roundup post is a type of article that covers products, influencers, or companies that fit certain criteria.
- X Most Influential SaaS Founders in 2022
- Y Best CRM Solutions
- Z Essential SaaS Tools to Manage Your Business
A lot of websites that publish such content are usually open to including new entries in their article, as long as you ask and provide content that they can simply copy-paste.
That said, they’re also likely to ask you to give them something in return, such as a backlink or a sponsorship fee.
The process for getting featured in such posts is the following:
- Create a list of articles that you’d like to get featured in. Make it as comprehensive as possible.
- Reach out to them with a personalized email. Explain why you think YOU should get a feature.
- Make sure to mention that you can deliver all the content they need, while all they have to do is copy-paste.
- If you want to boost your chances of getting featured, offer something in return—a backlink, money, free access to your SaaS, etc.
#11. Pay for Backlinks (When It Makes Sense)
Paying for backlinks is a bit of a controversial topic in SEO.
Google’s stance on it is very cut-and-dry: paying for backlinks is considered to be a link scheme, and as such, Google will penalize you if you do it.
Practically speaking, though, paying for backlinks is a very standard part of SEO.
In fact, in some niches like CBD, gambling, VPN, and others, paying for backlinks is the only way to go. No one’s going to link to your website unless you incentivize them with a certain sum.
So – how does this apply to SaaS link building?
When you’re doing outreach, in a lot of cases, you’ll have your prospect reach back to you with an offer: we’ll give you the backlink but we want to get paid for it.
In such a case, you should accept their offer if they meet the following criteria:
- Their website is legitimate. They’re a real brand that gets read by real people with nothing shady going on in the background.
- They’re not a backlink farm. A link farm is a type of site that’s created for the sole purpose of selling backlinks. Links from such sites don’t count for much.
- The website has a decent number of referring domains. Anything over 1,000 is usually good.
There’s more to evaluating whether a backlink is worth it or not than what we just covered. If you want to learn more, check out our post about assessing backlink quality.
#12. Take Advantage of Inbound Backlink Requests
If your website’s been around for a while, chances are, you receive about a dozen plus backlink requests every month yourself.
And, until now, you’ve probably just been disregarding them – after all, what’s in it for you, right?
Well, here’s a SaaS link-building tactic you can use to take advantage of all these backlink requests.
Instead of ignoring them, reply and ask for something in return for that link insertion or guest post.
You can go with something like this:
Thanks for reaching out! Sure, we can add the link to your site in our resource.
We’d need you to help return the favor, though. I saw that you guys have a blog post on [Topic] and I think a “further reading” link to our post about [Topic] would add a lot of value to your readers.
Is this something you’d be interested in?
#13. Product Reviews
Want to get new users to your SaaS AND build backlinks at the same time?
Try this one:
Create a list of tech blogs that review SaaS products (or have reviewed your competitors in the past), and reach out by offering something in exchange for a review.
This something can be:
- Free access to your SaaS for a few months or a year.
- A sponsorship fee. Depending on the blog size, this can be anything from $50 to $1,000.
- Affiliate partnership. You give them a tracking link and pay a % of all paid customers you get from their blog.
#14. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is another effective SaaS link-building technique.
Here’s how this works:
- You create a list of websites that you’d like a link from.
- You input the sites on Ahrefs and find broken outgoing links.
- You reach out to these websites and ask them to replace the broken link with a backlink to your website.
Alternatively, you can also find resources or websites that have a ton of backlinks (but were taken down) and reach out to all websites that link to them.
SaaS Link Building Services
In theory, SaaS link building is simple.
You pick out some of the SaaS link-building tactics we covered in this article, implement them, scale them up, and voila…
Not really. There are a TON of things about link building that you can only learn from practice.
- What kind of email templates work best in specific SaaS niches?
- Should you use your internal email domain to do link-building outreach or a third-party one?
- What kind of strategies can you use to make sure your outreach emails get delivered to your prospects?
To learn the answers to all these questions, you’ll end up experimenting with SaaS link building for a month before you finally get to the point where you’re building backlinks consistently.
Want to skip the learning process and start building backlinks tomorrow?
Use our SaaS link-building service! At MintSEO, we’ve worked with dozens of SaaS companies, helping them reach 6-7 digits in monthly organic traffic numbers. Check out our case studies here, or get in touch with us for a free consultation.
4 Essential SaaS Link Building Tools
Now that we’ve covered all the best SaaS link-building tactics, you’ll need the right tools to uncover prospects and do your outreach.
Here are the 4 tools that can get the job done:
- Ahrefs or SEMrush. This one’s non-negotiable – if you want to do link building right, you’ll need either one of these tools. Both of them help you with: doing competitive backlink audits, uncovering link prospects, and coming up with link bait content ideas.
- Snov.io. Snov is the best bang for your back when it comes to link-building outreach software. For just 33 USD a month, you get credits for email discovery, 5,000 outreach emails, email warmups, and so much more.
- Pitchbox. If you’re in an industry where link building is very competitive, you’ll want to invest in the best outreach tool on the market – Pitchbox. It’s noticeably more expensive than other similar tools, but you get the most features out of it.
- BuzzSumo. This one’s more of a nice-to-have, but if your primary strategy is to build link bait content, BuzzSumo will be your new best friend. The software can look up the most viral content by keywords, allowing you to come up with content ideas that are very likely to get you a ton of new backlinks.
Free SaaS Link Building Outreach Template
Need some inspiration for your outreach email? Here’s a template that you can use!
Subject: Quick question, [Name]
I was looking up some of the best blogs in the [Topic] niche and stumbled upon your website. [Genuine Compliment].
My name’s [Your Name], and I’m [Role] at [Company]. I was wondering if [Website] is open to collaborating on backlinks with us.
If you can insert a link back to our site in one of your existing blog posts, we can give you one of the following in exchange:
● A backlink from one of our upcoming guest posts
● Shout-out to your brand on our social media (X+ follows on Twitter)
● X USD one-time sponsorship fee
Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in, [Name].
Thanks for reading our article! Hopefully, you should have all the information you need to start building backlinks to your SaaS website.
Now back to you! Pick out some of the tactics we covered in this article and start doing your outreach.