If you’ve been researching effective link building methods, you may have come across testimonial link building. However, what is it, and is it effective for SEO?
Leaving testimonials for other products and services is a great way to get backlinks for free. Read on to learn how it works and whether it’s a good strategy for SEO.
Testimonial link building involves leaving reviews and testimonials for products and services you use and recommend in exchange for a link. Let’s break it down to make it simpler:
- You own a blog called SEOBlog.com (these are just examples).
- You use a product called SEOKeywordTool.co.
- You contact the owner of SEOKeywordTool.com and offer to leave a testimonial for the product.
- The owner features your testimonial on the front page of SEOKeywordTool.com while including your short bio and adding a link to SEOBlog.com.
It’s pretty simple, really.
As opposed to broken link building or other link building methods, testimonial link building offers a greater incentive to the site owner to link back to you. That’s especially true if you have some authority in your industry, as featuring your testimonial on their site will lead to increased customer trust for them.
Besides, it doesn’t take a lot of work – unlike guest blogging, which may require you to write articles of 1,000 words or more. To get a significant number of backlinks, you’ll end up writing a lot of words or spending a lot of money hiring someone to do so.
Testimonials, on the other hand, are short and sweet, and they typically have a greater chance of being posted, with fewer guidelines and rules to worry about.
Absolutely. However, it does depend on the site you get your link placement on.
It’s best to target sites in your niche and which have a high Domain Authority ranking. I’ll talk more about the criteria you should use when targeting sites for testimonial link building a little later in this article.
At the end of the day, if you’re getting links from high-quality sites, it will boost your SEO efforts and likely increase your rankings. Backlinks do matter – in fact, they’re among the most important ranking factors overall.
Besides assisting with your SEO campaigns, testimonial link building comes with several other benefits.
The first is increased traffic. If you’re getting placements on high-traffic sites – landing pages that get a lot of visits – you’ll drive more traffic to your own site.
That can result in increased sales and an improved bottom line for you.
Furthermore, testimonial link building can also help boost your authority and relevance in your niche.
If you manage to get your testimonial featured by a trusted blogger or service provider in your industry, customers will start respecting you. After all, the service provider values you and your recommendations enough to highlight you on the front page.
So, are you ready to get started with testimonial link building? It’s not complicated, but it requires you to dedicate some time to figuring out which sites to write testimonials for, reaching out to them, and writing the actual testimonials.
There are only three simple parts to testimonial link building. Let’s get into them.
The first step is finding products, services, tools, and websites to write reviews for. You can’t just select random products and write testimonials for them.
There’s a science to this. Let’s go over several factors to consider when determining whether to put a site on your list of sites to reach out to.
The product or site must be relevant to your niche. If you sell an SEO course, writing a review for a dog food product doesn’t make any sense.
Not only will it drive the wrong visitors to your site – who likely won’t take any action or become customers of yours – but the backlinks won’t help as much if at all. Google wants relevant backlinks, not random ones.
The more relevant the product is, the better. Let’s go back to our example of dog food products.
If you’re a blogger who reviews different dog food products and brands, providing a testimonial for a dog toy or leash can work. However, it’s better to leave a review for a dog food product, as it’s more relevant.
When you leave reviews and testimonials for products, remember that your reputation is on the line! Don’t leave a testimonial for a product you can’t actually vouch for.
You don’t have to limit yourself to leaving testimonials for products you used already. You can always try out new products and leave testimonials if you feel you can stand behind them and recommend them in good faith.
However, try to leave testimonials for products you would actually use yourself. Never leave a testimonial if you doubt the quality or value of a product.
If you’re selling a product or service, your best bet is to leave testimonials for products with a similar target audience. You don’t have to leave testimonials for competitors, but the more similar your target audience is, the better.
That way, the person you’re leaving the testimonial for will basically end up doing free advertising for you. They’ll be working hard on driving traffic to your page – traffic that is likely to convert.
It’s best to leave testimonials on websites that get a lot of traffic. Backlinks from low-traffic websites may still be useful for SEO, but you’ll be missing you on the conversion side of things.
Furthermore, look for sites that have a high Domain Authority ranking. If it’s over 50, that’s awesome!
The higher, the better, but don’t look exclusively at DA when determining a site’s worth. Other factors you should consider include website age, the amount of content on the website, and overall website authoritativeness.
Finally, you’ll probably get a better conversion rate if you target sites that already have testimonials on the homepage or which have a separate testimonials page. This isn’t a requirement, but sites that already feature testimonials may be glad to put more up.
Once you’ve made a list of websites you think it’s worth getting backlinks from, it’s time to start reaching out to them.
Write a short, personalized email to each site owner. You can usually find contact information quite easily by looking for a contact page or googling “URL + contact.”
Personalizing each email by including their name and mentioning the specific products and services they offer and the type of testimonial you will leave will help you get more responses.
Some marketers send prewritten testimonials to the sites they want to get placements from. While this can be very effective at times, it comes with some significant drawbacks.
First, you can’t be sure that the site owner will agree to feature your testimonial on their site. While they stand to gain, just like you, some site owners simply won’t respond or just aren’t interested in including testimonials.
If you write a testimonial specific to that product, and it never gets published, you will have worked for nothing. It’s not even like a guest article that you can recycle, as you need to write each testimonial with the specific product in mind.
Furthermore, some site owners will include the testimonial, but they won’t include a link back to your site. You’ll still win if they at least mention your brand name, because brand mentions also help for SEO, but that might not be enough to make the time you invested in writing the testimonial worth it.
Wait until the owner gets back to you and agrees to feature your testimonial in exchange for a backlink. Try to get a regular dofollow backlink if possible, but I’d be happy with a nofollow backlink as well.
That’s because nofollow tags are merely suggestions and not hard rules. Google does crawl nofollow links often.
Finally, once the site owner has gotten back to you, it’s time to write the testimonial, along with a short bio and a link back to your site. Then, send it to the site owner and wait for them to publish it.
Rinse and repeat with other sites to get even more backlinks.
If you have time, and if the site owner agrees, you can even create a short video testimonial. Video testimonials get more engagement, and they may drive more traffic back to your site.
Testimonial link building is a safe and effective link building method.
It helps you boost your SEO rankings in a time-efficient and cost-efficient manner, and it’s a win-win for both you and the product owner you’re writing a testimonial for.