The 2-Tier Link Building Strategy Every SaaS Brand Needs

link building strategy for saas brands

Backlink science: how using different types of backlinks can build your brand

There is a science to link building. We know because we built over 4,000 of them at Mediaberry! We used a technique that generated crazy results like this 2,772% increase in organic traffic.

So, what’s this technique? I’m glad you asked. 

It can be broken down into two main tiers on a high-level and on a campaign-level basis. 

  1. Link building strategy (high level)
  2. Link type strategy (campaign level)

At Mediaberry, we only focus on relationship-based link building as a high-level strategy. 

Relationship-based link building means that we use our industry partners, friends, acquaintances, and influencer buddies to help us build top-notch links. Yes, this method took multiple years to finesse, but here we are, generating results like this 400% increase in organic traffic

No biggie.

On the campaign level, there are a lot of moving parts that contribute to amazing results like this. Today, I want to introduce to you how different types of links can work in your favor when establishing your brand via link building. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Campaign-level link building: SEO links vs. PR links
  • Which type of link to use in which growth stage
  • Key methodologies when building links
  • How to avoid building spammy links

Let’s take a look at the definitions for different types of links and where you’d need them during a campaign.

Main Types of Backlinks – Which One’s for You?

Not all backlinks are created equal. 

Nope, I’m not just talking about good or bad quality backlinks. When getting started with backlinks, you need to look beyond a simple DR score and think strategically.

Why?

Building different types of backlinks impact your brand in different growth stages. For example, when you are a very early-stage startup, you should set up a diverse backlink portfolio. As you grow, you can move away from using a mix of links to building only SEO links, and then only PR links. Once you’re big enough, you can focus on only SEO links and only from a certain DR range.

This approach is part of our well-oiled link-building machine that we perfected over the years.

There are two main types of backlinks you should pay attention to as a SaaS company: SEO links and PR links. 

Let’s take a look at each.

1. SEO links

What are SEO links? Isn’t every backlink an SEO link? 

Yes, every link placed online has an SEO impact. Yup, no-follow links, too, indirectly.

When we’re talking about SEO links, the emphasis is on the premise. By definition, we expect these links to drive some level of organic boost. 

Why should you build SEO links?

You’re…

  • An early-stage startup
  • An established startup
  • Want to build up your organic traffic
  • Looking to improve your DR score
  • Looking for high-value links

I have created a growth-based table to help you evaluate how SEO links can help you at different stages of your company’s maturing.

recommendations on how to build SEO links by different SaaS brand growth stages

To give you some further context, I have brought you a few examples on how we built SEO backlinks for some of our clients. You’ll not only get an overview of the placement process but also get some insights on the strategy behind each use case.

These links appeared either in guest posts or via link insertions (this means adding links to existing posts that we have access to). In both cases, the average DR score was notably high: around 81. 

Note, that for competitive reasons, we cannot reveal the names and URLs of the below examples. Interested in getting the full report? Grab an instant quote and hop on a discovery call with us! 

Otherwise, review our anonymized backlink analysis below! 

Example 1: email marketing article with revenue angle

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Guest postSEO link84Social media SaaS42,664Lead-gen data SaaS

Our client had a sales funnel and revenue generation article that they wanted to distribute to relevant, high-authority websites. We found the perfect placement for them on another SaaS website with a DR score of 84. 

The topic was on email marketing with a revenue angle so the placement was the perfect fit.

This is what our blurb looked like:

Example 2: social media article about increasing followers

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Guest postSEO link83Social media SaaS28,903Web dev blog

This client had a niche-relevant ToFu article that they wanted to distribute further. We placed this link into a guest post about how you can increase followers on Instagram. The piece touched on adding links to your Instagram profile which provided the perfect link-building opportunity.

Here it is:

Example 3: listicle about sales tools

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Link insertionSEO link82Referral marketing SaaS41,831Web dev blog

Articles about tools are usually a great place to introduce new platforms, even outside of the “x best” that is promised in the title. Audiences reading these listicles are highly interested in getting the scoop on new tools to try. We slipped in a link to our client’s web dev blog to help these audiences set up forms while they optimize their sales funnels. 

This is what their link looked like in context:

Example 4: blog post about inbound marketing with a recruitment angle

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Link insertionSEO link85Recruitment SaaS39,631Marketing platform for entrepreneurs

Here, we used a unique strategy. Our client, a marketing platform for entrepreneurs, had a review of another tool on their blog. Then, we referenced this review in the article by a recruitment SaaS platform. Audiences reading this blog are likely to be interested in learning about tools to make their inbound marketing more efficient, so it was a win-win. 

This is what the citation looked like:

2. PR links

By definition, a PR link refers to a more strategic, or sales-focused link placement. 

Placing a link to a small, DR 40 website where the audience might be small but very relevant to your brand is an example of a PR link.

Another scenario would be an industry-relevant website referencing your brand in the context of research (such as “according to a study conducted by XYZ company, it’s clear that…”).

Why should you build PR links?

You’re…

  • A growing startup
  • Looking to bring in new audiences
  • Looking to increase your conversion rates
  • Looking for strategic links, not the highest possible DR score

I have created a growth-based table to help you evaluate how you should build PR links for your brand.

recommendations on how to build SEO links by different SaaS brand growth stages

Here are some examples of PR links from our backlink portfolio.

Example 5: email marketing article with a small business angle

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Guest postPR link85SMB mentoring platform208,915Business management app

Our client’s interview on their website was the perfect piece to use in a guest post geared toward a similar niche—small business owners. We added their link as the source to a quote by a marketing expert. This way, the SMB mentoring platform’s blog post had a value-add in the form of an expert quote and our client managed to expand their reach to a highly relevant audience.

Example 6: content marketing article about TOFU strategies

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Guest postPR link85Social media SaaS128,169E-learning website for marketers

Round-up articles are an excellent way to gain value-added links. This is exactly what we did with our client in the e-learning scene. We added their link to an article about ToFu strategies. It was a match made in heaven, as the link placement’s niche and the client’s niche were overlapping, yet complementing each other (social media SaaS vs. e-learning website for marketers).

Here’s the quote we used:

Example 7: project management article with a communication angle

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Link insertionSEO link73Project management community121,108Writing service

The link insertion technique here is similar to the one in the previous example. Our client’s roundup about writing tools was the perfect fit to mention in an article about project management—which included tips about writing and grammar.

Example 8: blog post about making more money as a designer

Content TypeLink TypeLink Placement DRLink Placement NicheLink Placement TrafficClient
Link insertionPR link80Portfolio creator platform121,108Sales blog

Our sales-focused client had an excellent article on sending cold emails. This guide was the perfect value-add to an article advising designers on how they can earn more. Most outreach consists of sending cold emails, so we quickly found a way to incorporate the tip with the backlink in the article. 

How to Evaluate Links

Spammy link building is not only about placing links on low-quality websites. Adding a simple backlink to a well-respected industry blog can still come off spammy or “stuffed” if done wrong.

For example, this would be considered a spammy link, where it’s obvious that the writer/editor just added the link to advertise some company.

While in the second example, more relevant context is given which makes it a better link placement.

How can you avoid being spammy?

Here are 3 link building principles that we swear by.

Good backlinks must have…

  1. Relevance & context. Does the link help readers achieve their goals? Does it add value to their needs?
  2. Credibility. Does the link have enough authority in the eyes of the user?
  3. Engagement & flow. Does it flow naturally with the rest of the content? Is it written in the same tone? Is the anchor constructed properly?

How do we ensure that these principles are fulfilled every time? We have processes and multiple rounds of edits in place that always keep us on track. 

Relevance & context

Relationship-based link building means that we know our partners and clients intimately. This allows us to build relevant, contextual backlinks that fit into their marketing goals and objectives. 

Credibility

Having a great DR score is a great way to ensure the inserted backlink is credible and therefore, works for both the client and the high-authority site that’s hosting the link.

Engagement & flow

We have the following tools and measures in place to ensure this principle is completed:

  • Grammarly app
  • Hemingway app
  • Yoast SEO plugin
  • Surfer SEO extension
  • A three-round approval process
  • 2-5-word anchor text rule

Not Every Backlink is Created Equal 

I hope you enjoyed this rundown on Mediaberry’s link-building strategy. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to link building. Your backlink strategy can differ from one website to the next.

You can, however, take advantage of the growth stage-based link-building technique that I showed you here. We’ve had some awesome results with it that helped spring multiple clients into the next stage of their growth cycle. 

Still have questions about the technique? Drop us a line!

Hannah is a SaaS freelance writer for project management and productivity. Her works help SaaS brands become more relatable with actionable tips and relevant stories. Apart from writing project management content and her work with Mediaberry, she’s also an events manager and brand coordinator for a game development company in the Philippines, with four years of experience as a producer for games on multiple platforms.