Link Insertions: How To Get Good Ones And Are They Even Worth It?

by Mark Whitman

Over the past decade, we’ve done 1000s of link insertions.

Have they all panned out?

Are link insertions still a valid SEO tactic?

Sadly, the answer is complicated.

If you want to stop wasting your time and money, find out what we learned and how we managed to get actual results with this ultimate step-by-step guide to link insertions.

link insertion meme

What are link insertions?

Link insertions, also known as niche edits, are any link that gets placed into existing content.

Typically, it involves requesting a link to your website from published content on another website. So, link insertions are a link-building method that can dramatically improve your SEO.

You shouldn’t confuse link insertion with guest posting!

Guest posting requires that you write content to publish on another website.

Obviously, to score a link back to your website.

In contrast, link insertion requires that you “insert a link” in existing content. That’s where it gets the name from - duh!

Do link insertions work?

I wish we could give you an easy YES as an answer. Unfortunately, like everything else in the world of SEO (and dating!), it’s complicated.

link insertion services

Sometimes link inserts work. Other times they don’t. 

Luckily, we’ve developed a sound strategy to improve the odds of link insertions working over the years.

As long as you follow our step-by-step advice on link building with link insertions, you’ll do fine. 

To improve your SEO, you need backlinks. Link insertions are a relevant and affordable strategy to get backlinks.

Go RAD With Link Insertions!

Here at Contentellect, we’ve developed a 3-step formula known simply as RAD. 

This easy-to-follow SEO strategy makes it easy for anyone to score high authority, relevant and juicy backlinks! You can also use it when searching for a date, but we advise you to stick to link building instead.

link insertions guide

What is the RAD formula? 

RAD is short for:

  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Due Diligence

Let’s take a few seconds to look at each step in detail.

Relevance

The first step when doing link insertion link building is to find other websites or webpages that cover similar topics as your own.

The more relevant the website, the better your link insert will be!

For instance, suppose you’ve got a website about golfing.

In that case, you’ll want to get a link back (or a backlink, how clever!) from a relevant site.

So, in our example, getting a link from a site such as Golf Span will be great because it’s relevant.

link insertion example

Authority

If you read our guide to link juice, you’ll know how vital authority is to your SEO strategy

Generally, the more authority a website has, the more likely your link insertion will return results.

Why does authority matter?

Simply put, if your website is associated with popular websites, it’ll be popular. The flip side also holds.

Like grandma said, if you associate with the trash, don’t be surprised if you start to stink!

So how do you know if a website has the proper authority or is trash?

We measure authority by Domain Rating (Ahrefs metric) or Domain Authority (Moz metric). You could also use Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics from Majestic to measure authority.

All metrics aren't perfect, and can be gamed, but they are better than sticking a finger in the air and guessing authority.

So, let’s continue with our example. When we check Golf Span’s authority via Ahrefs, we find that it has a Domain Rating (DR) of 38. This rating is fair.

domain rating ahrefs

Domain Authority isn’t the only valuable metric, though. You also need to check the webpage’s authority.

A simple way to measure this is to look at the specific web page's backlinks.

referring domains

When we run the specific page URL through Ahrefs, we find that this article about the 6 best golf drivers has 74 referring domains.

That's a solid amount of backlinks for a single page! 

If you get a link inserted on this page, it's likely you’ll get an excellent authority signal. You’ll also get some link juice from 74 other sites linking to this page!

So, in short, when a site has a great domain authority and the page where you want to insert your link has several backlinks - you’re good to go!

Due Diligence

Okay, we’re getting somewhat ahead of ourselves. You’re not yet good to go.

If a website passes your Relevance and Authority tests, you need to check that it’s not toxic.

After all, you don’t want toxic websites to point to your website. They’ll only end up hurting your website and damaging your SEO efforts!

At Contentellect, we do a manual and a software check to see if the target website for our link insertion is worth it.

Here's how we do it.

Manual Check

To perform a manual check of a target website, we check the most recent articles, the homepage, contact page, and even the footer.

We do this to get a good sense of the quality of the website.

Questions we keep in mind while doing this are:

  • Are all the articles guest posts? If they are - run! It probably means that this is part of a Private Blog Network (PBN) or link farm. If you can’t tell a link farm from a genuine website, outsource your link building to one of the top  link building companies.
  • Is there a level of editorial control or are the article topics all over the place? If one article is about photography tips, and the next about mining bitcoin - run! The chances are that this is a link farm, and it’ll only hurt your website. The idea is to have consistent articles on the same topics or industry.
  • How aggressive are those anchor texts? The biggest red flag is finding aggressive, in-your-face anchor texts, such as trading forex online, buy bitcoin, and lose weight today. If an anchor text seems forced into the article - run!
  • Are there actual contact pages etc.? You need to be concerned if contact pages, about pages, and other info are lacking. It could mean that this website is a link farm.
  • Who owns the site? Suppose there are actual people behind the website, real people working on it. In that case, you can assume some degree of editorial control. Chances are they’re not sell-outs, and they care about the content that goes on their website.

You’ll get a pretty clear picture of the target website’s quality when you answer the above questions.

Let’s do a brief exercise to illustrate.

Here’s an apparent, normal-looking website called Knnit.

no editorial control niche edit

When you look at the homepage, you’ll find absolutely no control over the topics.

It’s batshit crazy!

You’ll quickly find that most of the articles on Knnit are paid guest posts or link insertions.

Once the manual check is complete, you need to do a software check.

Software Check

Using software allows you to check the target site’s traffic and history.

Simply put, we want to know where it’s been and where it’s going.

  • Traffic: Does our target site get organic traffic? Is the traffic consistent? At Contentellect, we use Ahrefs to look at a site’s organic traffic. If the site has no traffic - run! If there are sudden drops in traffic - run! Those are all red flags and can only hurt your SEO link-building strategy
  • Site History: Use Archive.Org to learn more about a site’s history. Here you’ll quickly be able to tell if a site was purchased then reused as a link farm or whether it’s got any proper pedigree to its name.

Let’s put Knnit through our software checks.

ahrefs traffic bad niche edit example

At first glance, Knnit has a respectable Domain Rating of 48. That’s pretty good!

Sadly, we find that there’s no organic traffic. Knnit also had a massive drop in traffic in 2020.

Those are all red flags that should tell us to run from this site.

Link Insertions (A Case Study)

Okay, enough with the theory.

Let’s roll up those sleeves and do a proper link insertion case study.

Yes, let’s do a practical example of link insertion that’ll show you how to succeed with your SEO link-building strategy.

Aren’t we nice?

A couple of months ago, we decided to do some link building for our blog writing service page.

Here is what we did to get link insertions with actual results!

Step 1: Identify Targets

We first took the page’s keyword we wanted to get link insertions for and put it into Ahrefs.

By doing this, we found the top-ranking pages relevant to our keyword.

A quick tip: If you don’t have Ahrefs, use Google! Insert the keyword into Google and look at the top 100 results to get an idea of good targets to chase.

For us, the keyword was: blog writing services.

When searching for the keyword using Ahrefs, we found the following results:

link insertion case study

We worked systematically through the results to identify good link insertion targets.

We eliminated competitors (they won’t link back to us!) and focused on “Best Of” round-ups.

We quickly put all the sites through our RAD formula to get our final target list. 

Step 2: Find Target Emails

Use the homepage, footer or contact page to find the contact email and name of the site owner. If your list is huge, then use a email scraping tool like Hunter. 

Step 3: Draft A Compelling Pitch

Time to pitch! Pro tip - don’t expect any freebies, and don’t wax lyrical about yourself.

To pitch effectively to a target for a link insertion, do the following:

  • Keep it sweet and short. Get straight to the point.
  • Find a creative way to add value to them. What's in it for them?

For instance, here's how we pitched our target sites.

email template link insertions

If you want your link insertion strategy to work and get effective backlinks, you need to offer value to the publisher.

Instead of offering cash, we can offer:

  • discount coupons for their readers
  • discounts for them to use our service
  • and lifetime commissions on any referred sales

Keep in mind that you can’t offer everything you own for every link insertion!

However, if it’s hyper-relevant and has exceptional authority - it’s worth going overboard.

When your target site ticks all of your boxes, make it difficult for the webmaster to refuse your offer.

Step 4: Follow-up

Don’t forget to follow up on your pitch.

In our experience, most people only respond to the follow-up! So, send that follow-up email around 5 days later.

Step 5: Don’t Make The Webmaster Work

Let’s be honest. You’re giving the webmaster work. You’re making them go back and edit existing content to add your link.

So, instead of making life difficult for them - help them!

Write some exceptional copy, and tell them they can simply copy and paste it into the existing content.

We did it for a link insertion on BforBloggers (here’s the URL: https://www.bforbloggers.com/best-content-writing-services/)

what is a link insertion example

Step 6: Follow Through

If you snooze, you’re going to lose.

So, the moment you get that go-ahead, you need to move!

Provide them with the copy for that link insertion as soon as possible. If you find that they’re slow, be friendly and helpful. Continue to nudge them to post your link.

Step 7: Rinse And Repeat

Congrats! If you’ve been following along, you’ve just successfully done your first link insertion.

What’s next?

Rinse and repeat!

One link won’t bring you riches nor fame. Several, however…

Link Insertion Results

Okay, time to recap. After all of this hard work, did it pay off?

Sadly, link-building is a slow process, and at this stage, it’s far too early to tell.

From the 15 prospective sites we contacted, 4 added link insertions for us!

Our page has already started ranking for a 33 organic keywords. 

We’ll continue to monitor the results. Hopefully, soon we’ll rise from pages 2 and 3 all the way to page 1 with our link insertion strategy.

results from link insertion campaign

Link Insertion FAQs

Where can I buy link insertions?

When buying link insertions, you need to use a reliable, professional service, such as our service. When you buy link insertions, ensure that they follow the RAD formula, or you could end up harming your website.

Link insertions vs guest posting, what’s the difference?

A link insertion is a minor edit on existing content. You edit this existing content to insert a link on it. In contrast, a guest post is when you write new content with a link to publish it on another website.

What’s the best link insertion strategy?

The best link insertion strategy, be it a niche edit or a broken link insertion, is one that follows the RAD formula. When you have relevance, authority, and due diligence on your side, your SEO link insertion strategy will succeed.

Mark Whitman

Mark founded Contentellect with a single aim - to help online business owners and entrepreneurs scale their content and generate better financial returns. Mark has built a number of 6 and 7-figure online businesses, and credits his online success to quality content and powerful links. In addition to running Contentellect, Mark is also the Founder and CEO of the adventure travel company, Mountain IQ. He holds a Masters degree from Cambridge University.


You may also like

Content + Links: It's That Simple!

Let's talk about how we can scale your content and link building efforts