Complete Guide to Link Building for Business, Tech and Finance Industries

Link Builder

Link building is one of the pivotal aspects of digital marketing, or more accurately: of off-site SEO. If you still haven’t included at least some kind of a link building strategy in your SEO campaign, chances are you are missing out on major opportunities - especially if your clients come from business, finance or tech niches.

While it might sometimes seem like a long and arduous process with seemingly low initial payoff, investing in link building brings long term benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Improved rankings in organic search
  • Improved organic and referral traffic
  • Targeted exposure to qualified audiences
  • Creation of lasting relationships with industry influencers
  • Domain Authority, but also genuine authority amongst your industry peers
  • User engagement, brand awareness boost, etc.

In order to properly tailor the SEO strategy according to the specific needs of your client, you must first get to know their business and the niche they are operating in; and closely examine the current state of their marketing strategy, while thoroughly researching their most relevant competitors. Only then will you have a clear view on where to start your link building endeavors.

Formulating your link building strategy

Even if you have other clients in these niches, you can’t just jump straight in and start building links. There are three things that you first have to get to know much more about:

  • Your client
  • Their competitors
  • Their audience

Of course, a lot of this research will overlap, and it technically never ends - not even when you’re already several months or years into building links for this client. This means that it’s of great help to have prepared template spreadsheets with allocated columns for every bit of information you might need later. This makes data gathering much faster, and ensures much smoother and effective linking opportunities prospecting. Here are some of the main things you’ll need to keep an eye out for.

Client

If you want to build links for a client, taking stock of their current linkable assets, their tone of voice, values, goals and standards is the first step towards helping them improve their online visibility.

Among other things, this includes:

  • A detailed content audit - to identify client’s content which needs to be removed, updated, expanded, promoted more aggressively or completely repurposed.
  • Discussion of their goals - which keywords are they most interested in ranking for, which of their competitors’ campaigns are they most impressed with
  • Which tactics are they willing to invest in, and which sites meet their quality standards
  • Apart from their website and content on it, what are their other assets? Do they have valuable industry connections or partners with large audiences? Are they in a position to offer something that market needs and that nobody else is currently offering?

Competitors

A careful and honest analysis of your client’s competitors will not only reveal which tactics you are most likely to succeed with, but also which goals you’ll never be able to reach and shouldn’t waste any time or resources on.

Aside from getting you a ton of prospects on its own, competitor analysis also informs your other prospecting efforts and forms the basis for the rest of your strategy. So, what do you have to keep track of?

  • Backlinks. Of course. Aside from the sites linking to your competitors, you should also make a note of the best ways to contact them as well as of pages characteristic for that kind of website. For instance, if the site in question is a blog, you’d also save the blogger’s contact email, as well as the blog’s “write for us" page - if they have one. Finally, make sure to take note of any broken links on the sites you come across. You’ll see later how this information can be absolutely invaluable.
  • Keywords and anchors. You shouldn’t just examine competitor’s anchors on incoming links, but also how they used them in internal linking, or when linking from their other assets. Of course, don’t just keep an eye out for keywords you want to rank for, but also for those that will help you with prospecting later. This includes the names of well-known people or companies in the industry, specific events etc.
  • Content. Which of their posts have attracted the most attention, either in terms of likes and shares or in terms of actual, organic backlinks? What makes those posts special - information they hold, the way it’s presented, the way they’ve been promoted?
  • Their other assets. If you want to replicate tactics your competitors used, you have to make sure you’re actually equipped to do so. Of course, you’re not only looking for their strengths, but for yours as well, i.e. things that none of your competitors are offering, but that you can.

Audience

You probably already know which segment of the audience you are targeting, but do you know:

  • what kind of content do they enjoy the most
  • what tone of voice do they find the most appropriate
  • which social networks are best for reaching them
  • how do they formulate their queries when looking for what your client is offering
  • which influencers do they trust the most, and why

Every bit of insight on your audience that you can gather is going to help you in the long run. From looking at your audience behavior report in Google Analytics, to reading their comments on social networks, related blogs, or forums; there is no shortage of places to look for this information, you just need to be diligent in recording it all.

Link building tactics for tech, business and finance websites

Like we said, you’ll already get a ton of prospects during competitor analysis part, as well as everything you need for the remainder of your research. This is the part where we show you how to use that info. We’ll explain how to do this in Dibz, but you can use the same examples in Google search, if you think you have the time for it.

Guest posting

We’ll outline the three main ways to find interesting business, finance or tech blogs to guest post on, and give you examples of searches you can use directly in Dibz or Google. We’ll cover looking for tech, business and finance blogs by looking for ‘write for us pages’, pages with published guest posts, and simply looking for relevant blogs, which may or may not be publishing guest posts.

1 Look for 'Write for us' pages

Sure, you can just look for relevant blogs, which is exactly what we’ll describe in the third section of this part, but by focusing your search on ‘Write for us’ pages, you are ensuring that the sites returned as results are accepting guest posts (unless in rare instances where they have an outdated ‘write for us’ page, or one informing you that they no longer do this). Here’s what you need to do in each step of Dibz search to find these pages.

Step 1 - Keywords

Since you’ll use step two to indicate that you want blogs, specifically, their collaboration pages, you need to use the first step to describe the type of blog you’re after. In order to do this, you need to observe the ‘write for us’ pages of blogs you know to be a great fit for your campaign, and see which keywords they tend to use there.

There are three main groups of phrases that they often mention there, which help you define the niche:

Broad topics - most of these pages will list broad topics contributing writers are supposed to write about, so terms like:

  • Investment advice
  • Money management tips
  • Innovative businesses
  • Tech news
  • Starting a business
  • Financial management
  • Web design
  • Martech stack

Example topics - aside from giving you broad topical categories, these pages will often list some of the exemplary guest posts they received, along with their full title. Simply look for topics you know are common in the niche you are interested in:

  • 1..100 Best Tools for Project Management
  • Investment advice from experts
  • Best Wordpress plugins for

ADVANCED PROSPECTING TIP:

Two periods next to each other (..) are used in Google to signify range, so in the example above - 1..100 best tools, you would get results including any number between 1 and 100. Of course, this works in Dibz as well.

Their audience - most ‘write for us’ pages will try to define the audience that guest bloggers will be writing for, which means you can use keywords like:

  • Business owners
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Startup founders
  • Webmasters
  • Software developers

Like we mentioned, these keywords should be entered in Step 1 in Dibz, so if you wanted to cover blogs in all three of these niches, you could do something like this:

Link Builder

Step 2 - Advanced parameters

To make things simpler, we use the term "advanced parameters" to describe the operator/footprint combinations you can find (or create) in Dibz. Like we mentioned, for this search, you need to use parameters that will instruct Dibz to look for collaboration pages on blogs.

ADVANCED PROSPECTING TIP:

If you don’t know which footprints to use for any kind of search, take a look at the sites you already know are great prospects, see what phrasing they’ve used, and add that to your list of footprints.
  • inurl:/article-submission/
  • inurl:/contribute/
  • inurl:/get-involved/
  • inurl:/guest-blogging-guidelines
  • inurl:/guest-post/
  • inurl:/submit-article/
  • inurl:/write-for-us/
  • intitle:“Submit Guest Post"
  • intitle:“Submit an Article"
  • intitle:“Contribute to our site"
  • intitle:“Articles wanted"
  • intitle:“Become a Guest Writer"
  • intitle:“Guest Post Guidelines"
  • intitle:“Submission Guidelines"
  • intitle:“Editorial Guidelines"
  • intext:“Your article will be published"
  • intext:"We don’t accept topics related to gambling"
  • intext:"Write your article and send it in Word or Google Docs format"
  • intext:"Your post must be original"
  • intext:"NO advertising, NO promotion, NO commercial"

These are provided in the second step of Dibz Search:

Link Builder

ADVANCED PROSPECTING TIP:

If a phrase you are interested in has a number of similar combinations, you can include them all in one query with the OR operator - ensuring Dibz, or Google, will check for them all. For instance, in the case of ‘write for us’ pages, you could create a string like inurl:"write us" OR inurl:"writers guidelines" OR inurl:"write for us" OR inurl:"submission guidelines" OR inurl:"contribute an article" OR inurl:"submit an article" OR inurl:"writing guidelines" OR inurl:"publish a guest" OR inurl:"guest post"

As you can see, using all of these keywords and parameters can cost a fair bit of credits in Dibz, so combining them with OR ensures you are covering various options, and still keeping the number of results retrieved (i.e. credits spent) more manageable. Since you are presented with the highest-ranking websites for these searches, this is a great way to raise average result quality. So just by combining some of these operators, you get a cheaper search, with all the best websites still there:

Link Builder

2 Pages with published guest posts

Another way to find relevant tech, finance or business related blogs likely to publish your guest posts, is to look for those that have been publishing them before by looking for something on a page which indicates that it is a guest post on a tech, finance or business blog.

Since we covered how this would work in Dibz and in Google in the last section, we’ll simply list the best example search queries and footprints for finding guest posting blogs.

Keywords:

Since you are looking for pages with the posts themselves, good keyword choices include:

  • The names of popular and prolific authors in business, finance and tech niches
  • The names of popular companies, events or laws often mentioned in the niche
  • The most common keyphrases specific to your niche, anything that could appear in the title of a post that you might pitch yourself, or that could show up as a category on a relevant blog

Potentially interesting keywords include:

  • webmasters tips
  • professional development
  • sales and marketing software
  • stock trading
  • task management
  • thought leadership
  • business AND tips OR advice OR mistakes OR lessons

Parameters

Since most of the footprints used for this kind of search are found in the text of the page, you can just provide them without an advanced operator, or you could modify them with intext: but there is no real need to do so.

  • "contributing writer"
  • "guest blogger"
  • "guest contributor"
  • "guest column"
  • "guest post courtesy of"
  • "guest post was written by"
  • "community post, written by one of our"
  • "following guest post"
  • "guest post is from"
  • "guest post was written"
  • "guest article"

ADVANCED PROSPECTING TIP:

AROUND operator allows you to specify within how many elements of the first one does the second one need to be. You can use this to create a search like: Microsoft OR Dell intext:"guest post" OR intext:"guest article" AROUND(5) intext:"provided by" OR intext:"contributed"
Link Builder

3 Look for relevant blogs in general

A lot of blogs that you would be thrilled to have your post published on might actually be willing to publish it, but don’t really advertise that fact. A lot of your best business, tech or finance guest posts are likely to be published on blogs that don’t necessarily have a ‘write for us’ page, but that are open to a well-researched and presented guest post pitch.

You have a lot of freedom to improvise here. You can use roughly the same keywords you used before, and try them out with footprints common for blogs. Since a lot of the best blogs in this niche will be on sites of various companies or agencies, you can also include the keywords describing these businesses.

ADVANCED PROSPECTING TIP:

Doing this kind of broader searches in Dibz is a great way to quickly find which keyphrases or footprints are getting the most results in your industry. Simply take a look at your search queries in a completed search, and compare the keyword/advanced parameter pairs. In other words, note how many results a particular keyphrase returned when combined with different parameters; or, how many prospects a particular parameter returned with different keyphrases.

Keywords

  • entrepreneur OR entrepreneurship OR startup OR start-up
  • business AND software OR intelligence OR management OR news

Parameters

  • inurl:/blog/ OR inurl:/insights/ AND inurl:/2018/
  • inurl:"about our company" OR inurl:"our team"

Forums

Like we said, forum links don’t have to be spammy if you don’t make them that way. Forums have a wide range of convenient footprints:

  • inurl:showthread
  • inurl:forum
  • intext:"powered by SMF" OR intext:"powered by Phbb" OR intext:"powered by IPB" OR intext:"powered by MyBB" OR intext:"powered by PunBB" OR intext:"powered by vBulletin"
  • inurl:/community/topics/
  • inanchor:"Forum Rules"
  • intext:"0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users"
  • inurl:forum.php?
  • inurl://forums *

To find relevant forums, simply combine some of these operators with keywords describing your niche; with a common customer/user question that you have a good answer for; or with nicknames of people you’ve seen frequently posting on forums you already know about (from competitor research, for instance).

Since one of the main benefits of forum links is the fact that they can attract people actually interested in becoming customers, you need to make sure that you are only targeting forums in locations where your client is offering their products or services, so adding location-specific keywords is usually highly recommended.

Local citations

Like with forums, local citations link building is sometimes described as a black-hat tactic, most often by people who seem to assume that if you are going to do something, you are necessarily going to overdo it as well.

Not only are local citation links not always black-hat, in some niches, most definitely including the business niche, you actually need them to prove your legitimacy, help Google recognize you as an entity, and perhaps even attract a fair amount of qualified traffic.

Link Builder

Aside from this, higher-quality directories with hundreds of listed businesses in your client’s industry are a great way to find blogs to guest post on. Simply examine the listed business which seem relevant to what your client is doing, and check if they have a blog they might need some content for.

Here are some of the footprints you can use to instruct Dibz (or Google) to look for business, finance or tech web directories.

  • inurl:/business-categories/
  • intitle:directory OR inurl:directory
  • inurl:submit intitle:directory
  • "free business directory"
  • intext:"review your listing" AND directory

The keywords or keyphrases you need to provide with these parameters can include the names of your competitors; your location; your exact niche, or niches related to yours; common services in your industry; etc.

Resource pages

Since all three of these niches are brimming with highly specialized expert research materials, books, case studies, whitepapers and the like, resource page link building for business finance and tech websites can be a very effective tactic. While you really need something special to get good response rates, the sites linking to you will often be quite authoritative. Some of the footprints you can use to find relevant business, finance or tech resources pages include:

  • inurl:links intitle:"link resources"
  • inurl:resources OR inurl:"favourite resources" OR inurl:links OR inurl:"favourite links"
  • intitle:"suggested websites" OR intitle:resources OR intitle:"recommended sites"
  • intitle:suggested OR intitle:recommended OR intitle:additional AND intitle:resources OR intitle:reading OR intitle:links

Complement these footprints with keywords describing the topic you have an interesting resource on; names of respected authors in the industry likely to show up in properly referenced research; names of the laws, techniques or services unique to your industry, and so on.

Broken links

When looking for interesting tech,business and finance related resource pages, you are likely to come across a number of broken links. Take note of these dead pages, see how many backlinks they have, and if it seems like it might be worth it, create a well-researched and written post that you can offer to webmasters as a replacement for the one that is no longer available.

Of course, you can also look specifically for broken links that are discussing a subject you already have an amazing resource about, saving even more time and money. The entire process is perfectly laid out in this Broken Link Building post by Ahrefs.

Link reclamation

If you’ve been promoting your website for some time, chances are that you have not only created a ton of links to it, but that a fair portion of those links may have been removed at one point. You can use a scraper to check the health of your incoming links, find the ones which return a 404 or some other kind of error, and see if the webmaster might be willing to return your link if you informed them about the issue.

Unlinked brand mentions

Instead of searching for tech, business or finance websites which have a non-working link to your site, this tactic involves you looking for unlinked mentions of your brand name; of prominent members of your staff; of a valuable resource you have created or anything that might deserve attribution or that would be made clearer and more user-friendly by the addition of a link.

You can look for these mentions with Dibz and either manually examine which of them have a link to your site and which don’t, or compare the list with an export of your entire link portfolio from Google Search Console. Of course, if you have an Ahrefs account, they offer a much more streamlined way to do so, and we warmly recommend it for this tactic.

Outreaching business, tech and finance websites

If you want to do link building for a business, finance or technology related website, you need to be forewarned that these are among the most demanding niches when it comes to how you’ll formulate your outreach.

Link Builder

Instead of hypothesizing about what may or may not work as perfect outreach for finance, business and tech link building campaigns; we decided to simply ask the people who know the most about it - our link builders.

Here is a summary of some of their recommendations, along with an example email template. While we will talk mainly about outreach for guest posts, most of the advice below is applicable regardless of the exact link building tactic you decided to leverage.

  • Write short email subjects, without mentioning the phrase ‘guest post’. Attempts at humor in the subject of your outreach email are completely out of place if doing outreach for a business or finance site, and probably best avoided if you are promoting a tech-related client.
  • The text of the message should be short, to the point and pedantically formatted. You are dealing with detail-oriented people, whose time is precious and patience short. Sending a needlessly long or messy email may not only prevent your respondents from reading it through, it will set the expectations for the quality of content that you would send if your pitch was accepted.
  • The email should show that you know what you are doing. It should be addressed to the right person, and mention them by name, and even position, if available and relevant. The email should clearly show that you have been reading the blog for a while, which means that you must also take great care not to offer them a guest post on a topic they have already covered before.
  • Since most websites in business, finance and tech niches probably have at least some kind of a general plan for their editorial calendar, it is often better not to suggest a topic for the post in your first email, but allow them to list the subjects that are most interesting to them at the moment.
  • Most of these sites deal in complex subjects and they need some assurance that you are up to the task. You can provide that assurance by creating an online portfolio with links to the best articles on related topics that you have previously written and published on authoritative sites in the niche. Listing them directly in your email would take too much space and increase the chances of that email being labeled as spam.
  • Don’t try to be duplicitous or manipulative, as bloggers, especially those in these niches, are likely to recognize this. Instead, state your offer clearly; accentuate but don’t overestimate its value; and stay true to your promises if you actually secure the post
  • Mind the attribution and other legalities. While blogs in other niches may be a bit more lenient when it comes to you properly sourcing images or other materials you’ve used in your post, business, finance and tech blogs don’t take this kind of thing lightly, and neither should you.
  • Always follow up. According to our internal statistics, introducing regular follow-up emails improved our response rates by 20% in the finance, business and tech niche, which is nothing to scoff at. Naturally, you shouldn’t keep pestering the bloggers and ruin any chance of a future collaboration, but sending one or two follow-up emails is highly recommended.

To see this in practice, here is an email template similar to what we would use for business, finance or tech guest posting outreach.

Hi [blogger’s name]

[Name] here. I'm a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. I also write actionable posts about business and marketing, as it allows me to reach more people and help them on their business journey.

Besides being a regular contributor for [a blog you frequently post on], I occasionally write guest posts for other websites and I think I could make a valuable contribution to your blog [insert blog name] as well. Here's a link to my portfolio so you can get a taste of my writing style. [online portfolio link]

Let me know if you're interested in collaborating with me and if you'd like me to send you some topic ideas.

Looking forward to your reply!

Kind regards, [name]

Putting it all together

Sure, creating backlinks for finance, business and tech websites is not the easiest job in the world, but this guide should be more than enough for you to drastically improve your efficiency in this regard.

From link building tactics like guest posting, local citation building, link reclamation or looking for unlinked brand mentions, to specific prospecting and outreach advice, this post attempted to cover all the specifics of trying to build links to business, finance or tech related websites.

Of course, seeing how this subject is not one that can easily be exhausted, if you feel like there is something we’ve missed, or haven’t explained in sufficient detail, do let us know, and we’ll rectify that error. In the meantime, enjoy your prospecting!