Link building remains one of the most important pillars of any SEO strategy—it’s a crucial element of off-page SEO.
Let’s be honest, though—link building is often neglected. The process takes a lot of effort, it can be tedious, and the response rates can be vanishingly low. That’s no excuse to avoid building backlinks, though—if you want to improve your rank, you need to build links.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to build high-quality backlinks—by using AI. In this article, we’re going to teach you how you can leverage ChatGPT or other large language models (LLMs) in conjunction with SEO tools to build links.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is, to borrow a definition from Ed Burns at TechTarget, “the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines”.
That’s an extremely broad definition.
For the purposes of this article, we’re talking about something a bit more specific: Generative AI. Generative AI analyzes large datasets and then uses those datasets to predict desired outputs. Think of how your smartphone will automatically predict which word you want to type next—it’s like that, but way, way more advanced.
In particular, we’re talking about LLMs, which read unfathomable amounts of text and identify patterns in that text using machine learning. They use those patterns to generate responses to questions, requests, and more. ChatGPT is the most notable LLM, and it’s what we’ll be using for all of our examples of how you can use AI in link building.
Potential Use Cases for AI in Your Link-Building Process
Automation of Tasks
AI can help automate almost every part of your link-building strategy, from finding prospects and relationship-building to creating content and optimizing anchor text. Here are a few things AI can automate for you:
- Finding the target keywords you’ll want to gain backlinks for
- Finding prospects to build content or ask for links from
- Building the content you’ll use as guest posts
- Creating prospecting emails
- Creating follow-up emails
- Responding to emails
- Optimizing anchor text
- And more!
You can give ChatGPT a seed keyword and ask it to generate relevant keywords or anchor texts related to that keyword. Here’s an example:
Pretty impressive! We can also prompt ChatGPT to find us prospects:
These sites are quite big, but we could ask ChatGPT to find us more niche prospects, like so:
You can keep going forever, asking for dozens of sites instead of 10 if you want. Highly scalable, highly customizable, highly automated—that’s ChatGPT.
As we progress in the article, we’ll cover many of the other tasks you can automate with ChatGPT. Keep in mind that all of these processes are essential for boosting your search engine rankings; they’ll help you gain valuable backlinks and increase website traffic.
Anchor Text Optimization
No matter what type of link-building efforts you’re engaged in, optimizing your anchor text is key. Anchor text is a ranking factor, and optimized anchor text is critical to the success of both your internal links and your backlinks.
You might hear a lot of talk about the best anchor text—whether it’s an exact match or a partial match—but that leaves out a key part of the conversation. The best anchor text is:
- Keyword dense
- Relevant to the surrounding text
- Natural looking
The last point is especially vital when you’re building guest posts—you don’t want editors to remove or nofollow links to your properties.
AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can help you optimize anchor text in a few ways. First, they can generate potential anchor texts for a given article, like in this example:
They can also help you make anchor text appear more naturally in a phrase. Imagine you wanted an exact match anchor text to an article about AI-enhanced link-building strategies. You might write the following sentence:
“Another way to improve your link building is to use AI-enhanced link-building strategies”.
Then input it into ChatGPT with a prompt like this:
The beautiful thing about ChatGPT is that you can use prompts of any size—some users prefer short prompts, but even the more complex prompt in this example yields excellent results.
You can also prompt ChatGPT to spin existing anchor text, shorten or increase the length of anchor text, or even provide potential uses of anchor text in an existing article. To get meta about it, here’s a prompt that includes the text that you’ve just read:
You can also ask ChatGPT to re-spin a whole chunk of text to create more opportunities for anchor text:
Powerful stuff! Your anchor texts will never be bland or unnatural looking again.
One of the hardest parts of the link-building process is outreach; it’s not unusual to have extremely low response rates to outreach emails.
This happens, in part, because sites with high domain authority (DA) tend to get a lot of link-building outreach emails. Most of these emails are generic—and we can use that fact to our advantage.
Using ChatGPT for outreach emails
You can find prospects using backlink gap tools, broken link-building tools, and other link-building utilities offered by platforms like Semrush and Ahrefs. Once you’ve created a list of viable candidates, you can tell ChatGPT about the article you’re writing and the site you’re targeting, then ask it to generate a prospect pitch based on those parameters. Here’s a simple “link begging” version:
You can, of course, get much more detailed outreach messages by including the recipient’s name, your own contact information, and even details about your writing style or brand. You can also use this technique to create emails for guest posting or other link-building opportunities—it’s highly customizable!
Other AI outreach tools
While they don’t technically fall into the domain of outreach personalization, tools like LinkHunter can help you find backlink opportunities and assist you in crafting emails using campaign templates. You could use this tool to prepare templates and a list of prospects, then use ChatGPT to personalize the template to each prospect, simplifying your entire link-building process!
The Advantages of Using AI in Link-Building Campaigns
Improved Efficiency and Automation
From outreach messages and content creation to finding link-building opportunities and optimizing anchor text, there’s a lot of work that goes into off-page SEO. AI tools like LinkHunter and ChatGPT streamline these processes, allowing you to rapidly build and optimize content.
As we’ve demonstrated, you can copy and paste text wholesale to automatically find potential anchor text. You can even ask ChatGPT to find link-building prospects for you—all with just a few prompts.
Improved Link Quality and Relevance
With higher-quality anchor text, better prospecting and outreach emails, and prospects with more authoritative websites, you’ll get better, more relevant links. Even your internal links will be more relevant, making it easier for search engines to navigate your site.
You know what that means—higher rankings. That’s what we’re after—and it won’t happen without quality. The text generated by ChatGPT can be spun into link-worthy content in just a few steps—let us know if you’re interested in an article on AI-generated content to supplement your link-building endeavours through automated guest posts!
AI allows you to quickly find dozens or hundreds of relevant websites to earn backlinks from, allowing you to create personalized outreach messages for all of them in minutes instead of hours. As your website grows in scope, your link-building efforts will need to as well—but AI allows you to automate these processes so effectively that messaging hundreds of prospects and creating dozens of pages of content will take far less time than it used to.
You can and should use AI tools to enhance your link-building strategy; our SEO agency certainly does. As you can see, a lot of work goes into it even though there’s automation available. Don’t feel like keeping up with AI and doing all that work yourself? Contact us—we’ll build links on your behalf.
Jacob Kettner is the owner and CEO of First Rank Inc., a digital marketing agency based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He currently sits on Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisor Council which assists people grow their small businesses in Manitoba.