If you’ve been in the SEO game a while, then you already know…
Link building takes a lot of hustle and persistence.
Sending emails day after day and getting few positive replies can bring down even the best of link builders.
But not every link building method leads to a 1% response rate. Some tactics perform a lot better.
Reverse image search link building is one of those tactics.
Here’s how it works.
How does reverse image search turn into backlinks?
You’re probably wondering how a reverse image search can turn into a link building campaign, so let me explain.
If you create original images for your site – graphs, illustrations, photographs, etc. – odds are that many sites have copied them.
And when other sites use your images, they usually don’t include an image source link, and that’s where the link building comes in.
You can reach out to every site that’s used your images and request they include an attribution link to the original source.
Unlike most outreach tactics, you don’t have to link in exchange, create new content, or pay for these links. All you have to do is ask.
Tip: You’ll get an excellent response rate from this type of campaign because they’ve already gotten value from you and want to avoid any potential legal action.
Even better, these are high-quality backlinks and give you an opportunity to build deep links to your inner pages.
And this entire process is made simple with the right tool.
How to build links with reverse image search
Even though this tactic is highly effective for building links, it’s underutilized because it’s so tedious.
Google’s image search works great, but you have to search one image at a time. Not to mention, you’ll have to regularly repeat every single search, or you’ll never know if someone copied an image the next day.
We built Image Prospector to fully automate this process and make reverse image search link building a viable tactic for SEOs.
Here’s how it works.
Upload your images
In order to find out where your images have been copied, you’ll need to reverse search them. To do this, you can upload all of your images via the Images page.
Image Prospector is powered by Google’s image search engine, so you’ll find the same results as you would manually reverse searching your images but in a fraction of the time.
In a moment, you’ll get back your results, which you can review in the Prospects table.
Sort your prospects
The next step is to sort your prospects in preparation for your email outreach.
Since Image Prospector was built for SEOs, we call the results “Prospects.” These are all the pages where your images were found.
You can click on any prospect to open it in a new tab and make sure it’s a page where you’d want to get a link. If it looks like a good prospect, you can select it and move it into the Will email category.
When you find a low-quality result, you can move it into your Ignore category instead.
When you ignore a prospect, you can choose to ignore it from all future searches, so it doesn’t come up again.
You can repeat this process for each site until every result has been moved into Will email or Ignore.
Then it’s time to begin your outreach campaign.
Send your emails
There are two approaches you can take to email your prospects.
First, you can send the emails manually and manage your progress via the Image Prospector dashboard.
If you choose this method, you can move contacts into the Emailed category after reaching out to them.
Then, based on their reply, you can move them into the Got the link category or the No link category.
Alternatively, you can export your prospects and manage your campaign in the outreach app of your choice.
To export your prospects, use the checkbox at the top of the page to select them all, and then either copy the list of URLs to your clipboard or download the CSV.
If you export the prospects, we still recommend categorizing them in Image Prospector to keep your workspace tidy. You can move them into the Got the link and No link categories after your campaign is complete.
The best part is that you can use this tactic to continuously build new backlinks to your site.
Repeat your outreach
Your first campaign is going to be the biggest, but not the last.
Every month, Image Prospector searches your images again and sends you an email report with how many additional prospects were found.
Then you can repeat your campaign using the new prospects and build additional backlinks to your site.
Given the fact that a single backlink costs $192.23, this is an awesome way to build new value every month as an SEO.
Once you get the hang of reverse image search link building, you can scale it.
Note: we have pre-written email scripts you can use for your outreach.
Scale this tactic
Reverse image search link building isn’t just effective and repeatable; it’s also scalable.
There are a few ways to increase the volume of backlinks you get from this tactic each month.
Track more images
First, you can create and track more images. Generally speaking, the more images you publish on your site and track with Image Prospector, the more outreach prospects you’re going to find.
If you’re building links for a photography website, then you’ll probably always have new images to track. However, if you need help scaling your image creation, you can use an unlimited graphic design service like Kimp or Design Pickle.
Optimize your images
Second, you can optimize your images to rank higher in Google Images. Most sites that copy your images find them there, so gaining visibility will lead to more image credit link opportunities.
Search different types of images
And lastly, don’t forget to search for different kinds of images. Images created for your blog posts are good, but you can also upload your company logo and personal avatars to find interesting link reclamation and marketing opportunities.
Get your first 10 images for free
If reverse image search sounds like a good link building tactic for your site (or your clients), you can signup for free here:
Your first 10 images are on the house, so give it a shot and see how many links you can build.
If you have any questions about building backlinks with reverse image search or using Image Prospector, you can post in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!