We hated link building, so we built a better way: the Ranking Raccoon story


David Pasztor

JUNE 24, 2024

Let's admit it: traditional link-building is a real grind.

For my other businesses, starting early with SEO proved a budget-friendly strategy. SEO allowed us to evolve into a fast-growing UX design agency whose clients are some of the most famous global brands. At some point, we decided to create our own SaaS products for other designers, architects, and marketers, and SEO was the key to growing these businesses as well.

These launches had their ups and downs, but there was one particular issue that kept showing up.

Once we solved it, we went from failure to success.

What was it? Let me tell you a story.

From spam hell to SEO heaven

One lesson I learned from launching Copyfolio is that content alone, no matter how well-researched and resonating, isn't enough to drive traffic.

Our marketers went the extra mile to create dozens of exceptional blog posts - but we struggled to gain visibility. Despite our optimization attempts and in-depth keyword research, our content wouldn’t rank. No visibility, no users.

So we rolled up our sleeves and started with backlink building.

Eventually, our team’s efforts did bear fruit. We managed to secure several links from reputable websites. The blog posts long buried by Google were suddenly in the top 10, then the top 3 in search results.

We achieved that without ever involving in shady practices like getting featured on a backlink farm or buying backlinks.

Witnessing our content rise to the top of search results was a huge reward and confirmed that backlinks still play a big role in your SEO success. And your SEO success, in turn, brings you visitors, clients, and business prosperity.

We started having users - a lot of them - after securing quality backlinks.

But there was one issue.

Building backlinks was probably the most painful part of the work for my team.

I’m sure many of you can resonate with it: finding relevant websites, trying to source the right contact, crafting an email that doesn’t land in spam, populating your Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of rows - only to never hear back from 95% of your recipients. It took us weeks to get a single backlink from a trusted resource, and we waited months to see the first results.

Our marketing team felt that the manual grind was a waste of not just their time, but their talent. There were bigger, and let’s be honest, more exciting tasks they wanted to do.

And it was not enjoyable in the other direction either. My inbox was flooded with 5-10 low-quality link-building emails every day. Most of them were deleted without a second thought, simply because it took too much time to find one or two real proposals in the ocean of spam.

So we could not help thinking: does link building have to be so painful, spammy, and time-consuming? Or is there a better way?

Making link-building great again

We realized that cold emails for link building are dead, or, at least, not worth the days and weeks you waste on them. The average response rate on cold emails is below 5%, according to Klenty. In all honesty, no masterclass, template, or AI tricks can help you raise this rate significantly.

Tired of emails, we tried joining communities with SEO experts so we could reach out to them directly. There are, in fact, dozens of them on different platforms. But most of these communities were full of spammy, shady offers.

That’s how the idea of Ranking Raccoon was born.

Our team did market research and talked to dozens of SEOs, content, and digital marketers. These conversations confirmed the thought that link building is indeed a struggle, ‘a necessary evil’ for many marketers and SEO experts. It feels time-consuming, spammy, and impersonal - and often, too expensive for the value.

“After learning about the struggles marketers and SEO professionals face when building links, we got super motivated to create a product that could help make their jobs easier. Building and improving Ranking Raccoon has been a rewarding experience, especially when we hear from users about how easy it is to build links here.”

Paola Zardo

Product Designer at Ranking Raccoon

So, we envisioned a platform that would revolutionize how link builders connect and collaborate. We aimed to create a place for genuine SEOs to build high-quality links with trusted websites in their niche way quicker than they’re used to, but also to forge meaningful, long-lasting collaborations. Our dream was to make backlink acquisition fast, easy, transparent, and completely spam-free.

"What I love most about working at Ranking Raccoon are the fun technical challenges we tackle every day. Plus, we make decisions quickly and always aim to move fast. There's a lot of ambition here, and being part of a team that's so driven and dynamic is truly exciting.”

Fülöp Kovács

Full Stack Developer at Ranking Raccoon

Link building demystified

With Ranking Raccoon, your link-building campaigns are no longer a dreadful task, but an exciting (and rewarding) adventure.

You sign in and submit your site. The site gets verified by our expert team within one business day. Once in, you can browse other verified websites in your niche and message the site managers directly. The other person gets notified about a new message by email and can reply in one click if that’s a good fit. Once your link-building buddy states that the link is published, we instantly check the page for link presence and confirm it, so you don’t even have to look for it manually. That’s it!

"For me, what makes Ranking Raccoon stand out is how easy it is to use. Users get a reply so fast that it makes link-building much less painful and even enjoyable."

Gergő Radeczki

Full Stack Developer at Ranking Raccoon

To ensure you grasp every link-building opportunity, you can invite colleagues to manage the same site.

Curious to learn more? Check out our How it Works page.

Real people, real results

Now, you may wonder if Ranking Raccoon actually helps link builders.

We craved to know that, too. And there’s no better way to find out than asking users directly.

It is heartwarming for us to hear how marketers and link builders have become more productive thanks to Ranking Raccoon. They love the speed and the much higher probability of getting a reply than cold emails provide.

“I’ve always wanted to market a product that makes a difference, and my dream came true when I joined the Ranking Raccoon squad. We’re a small but dedicated team, all driven by the goal of making link builders’ lives easier. And it’s a balm to my soul to see that the platform actually helps them do their job better.”

Natália Tóth

Product Marketer at Ranking Raccoon

And as it turns out, Ranking Raccoon also allows you to foster fruitful collaborations with sites that you’d hardly come across otherwise.

“I love how empowered I feel by Ranking Raccoon. Link building can be very daunting: I would do all the research, run my numbers through Ahrefs, send emails, and never hear back. With Ranking Raccoon, I got 12 strong backlinks within a quarter and did that three times faster than I'd do with cold emails. I was able to find websites that I haven't heard of yet or I wouldn't consider otherwise. And since other users are also open to backlinking relationships, I know I’ll most certainly get a reply. All in all, Ranking Raccoon takes the guesswork out of the link-building process. It's a platform that's needed to be around.”

Kate Super

Sr. Content Marketing Manager at PrimePay


If you feel like the link-building process is too complicated and intransparent, Ranking Raccoon will make it much clearer for you.

"The backlink process tends to get expensive and lacks transparency, because of the way many middlemen bid. That makes most backlink processes unreliable for me. By contrast, Ranking Raccoon adds a lot of value. It's not only for SEO experts; founder-led companies, small marketing teams, or beginners can use Ranking Raccoon for their backlink strategy and connect directly. The tool is very easy to use: you instantly know what information to add about your company and see the link-building opportunities in just one click. I've started a collaboration with 5 or 6 companies so far and am curious to see what comes next."

Zeynep Serra Avan

Product Marketing Manager at UserMotion

Another plus?

No more guessing whom you should send an email with a link request. Sometimes, it’s just impossible to find the blog admin who can make a decision and add a link to your site. On Ranking Raccoon, you know for sure who you should talk to, and then you can message these people directly.

It makes the entire process much faster.

“I know I have to care about backlinks, but dealing with all the back-and-forth emails with link builders is painful. I love that Ranking Raccoon lets me exchange directly with other in-house marketers and avoid the go-between. I got around ten backlinks within a couple of weeks, which was way faster and infinitely better ROI than the usual way of doing link building."

Content Marketing Lead at a SaaS company

So if you are:

  • Struggling with finding relevant, reliable sites in your niche
  • Tired of endless cold emails that feel spammy and don’t bring a reply
  • Frustrated by poor ROI on your link-building efforts
  • Just want your link-building process to bring more results in less time

Then Ranking Raccoon is your place to go. Just give it a try for free and see how it works for yourself.

Stop link-building drugdery - embrace ranking magic

We're on a mission to make link-building a breeze, not a chore.

Imagine this: an SEO pro logs in and sees all their websites and hundreds of potential partnerships in one place.

Need an SEO strategy or help with finding the best opportunities? The Raccoon filters out competitors and suggests perfect matches, including exact pages to ask for a link. Requesting a link is a breeze with pre-filled forms and AI-powered personalized messages. Responses come within a few days. The Raccoon even suggests link placements for reciprocity and filters incoming requests. Collaboration boards and link tracking keep everything organized. No more cold emails or tedious LinkedIn outreach - the Ranking Raccoon app lets them manage links and build connections on the go. With new strong backlinks, they see their online visibility go up quickly.

It sounds like magic, but it’s simply the better way to build links.

At Ranking Raccoon, marketers who build links and SEO experts are our heroes. We conduct user tests and interviews every week to understand your pain points, so we can build the ultimate link-building outreach tool.

Our team is obsessed with improvement, and guess what – many of our best ideas come from expert link builders like you. So, if you have any suggestion, don't hesitate to tell us. We hear every voice because we want Ranking Raccoon to be your go-to platform for link-building outreach.

Ready to crush your SEO goals and maximize your ROI?

Join the Ranking Raccoon community today – we've got your back (and your backlinks)!


David Pasztor