brand building strategies

Brand Building Strategies for Modern Day Link Building

Brand building is the new link building.

Keyword-centric link building is long gone. Focusing on a large percentage of exact match anchor text usage on inbound links will do more harm than good for your website.

The way to win in search nowadays is to start thinking brand-first.

brand building strategies

Over the years, search engines and user favor brands that have a strong presence online. Think of a product you need right now and remember a brand that sells a kind of it.

The long-term effects of building your brand through links are overwhelming. It's not instantaneous, but can illustrate a slow yet gradual increase of benefits as soon as the leverage starts kicking in (think link building flywheel).

flywheel link building

For small websites with inadequate size, budget, and resources to win over their competitors, the only way to strengthen their brands is to build the right types of links.

branding-circleBelow are four strategies to effectively help you with your link building campaigns that aims to build your brand.

1. INVEST ON BIG CONTENT ASSETS 

Publishing content assets that are big enough to cut through the noise requires both resources and creativity. If you don't have the former requirement, double down on the latter - creativity.

Start by identifying topics that are frequently searched by people in your industry.

ahrefs sleep for kids keyword

Ensure that there's a substantial amount of pages linking to the pages ranking in your target keyword. This guarantees that there's an audience of publishers that might possibly link to your content asset when you reach out to them.

sleep for kids ranking pages links

[textbox]Pro-tip: Observe niche websites that are focused on a particular topic and are targeted to a specific audience. For example, this website is particularly centered on providing information to parents and teachers on the importance of sleep for kids and how to get them sleep better.[/textbox]

sleep for kids homepage

A couple of pages have been published on the site as well that may seem be better to consume if they are on a single page (on a big content piece).

sleep for kids indexed pages

So, we've created a comprehensive content on the topic - encompassing all big points covered on the website as well as topics we may have to incorporate that are not included yet on the original source.

sleep for kids ultimate guide

It's also important to Identify how to position your content asset as a differentiator in your industry by including content types your competitors haven't built yet.

For example, the sleep sheet page I've found can be best turned into an infographic - making it easily consumable by the audience.

We've created one for that.

add infographics sleep for kids

And we gave credit to where it is due.

Add table:

add table sleep for kids

Embed videos:

embed videos

Always remember in creating big content assets:

Treat your content as a product.

Like a product, before your content asset goes out to the world, you tested it for quality assurance. You may want to check out this content quality checklist from Siegemedia to guide you with the post-content creation phase.

Start reaching out to websites linking to the niche website and get high-quality contextual links:

first link sleep for kids

second link sleep for kids

Other Useful Resource:

10X Content Ideation and Creation Process

2. BE MISSIONAL IN YOUR OUTREACH

In their latest content trends study, Buzzsumo shows that majority of content published online gets zero backlinks and no social shares.

backlinks to content

That's a harsh reality, but it's true.

It's easy to create content. But the hardest part is acquiring links and social shares to it.

Just like a product, the market decides if your content is good enough or not.

To break that content promotion anxiety, one has to come up with an effective approach.

Years ago, I stumbled upon the idea of mission-based marketing at CitationLabs. It speaks about identifying a mission in content creation and outreach.

Primarily, a mission can impact your content marketing campaign in so many ways:

  • It creates a genuine purpose.
  • It enables buy-in from influencers and experts in a meaningful way.
  • It justifies sudden existence in someone's inbox.

When that happens, it's easier to execute parts of your outreach campaign, such as:

  • Identifying potential linkers to your content (linkeratis)
  • Crafting email templates that gets an above average email open rate
  • Engaging publishers/webmasters/link-curators that reciprocate your actions in the end.

Let's dive in a little bit and see how mission plays a vital role on each one above.

IDENTIFY POTENTIAL LINKERS 

There is no actual mission if there's no target people to whom a special purpose is catered to.

With my earlier example, our main target audience are parents who're having a hard time getting their kids sleep. We could target both parents and teachers (on how to teach the importance of sleep), which of course could expand our reach - more link opportunities!) but that would deviate from our focus mission from the very start.

By having a clear target audience, we were able to populate our initial list of link opportunities by reverse engineering similar content assets.

ahrefs similar content assets linking to them

Searching deeper, we've found out pages linking to those who've linked to competitors' assets.

CRAFTING EMAIL TEMPLATES 

By putting mission upfront in your outreach, it brings excitement and passion in crafting your email messages given that you're thinking of how to get buy-in from outreach prospects to your purpose.

Clearly define ways on how other people (webmasters, link curators, bloggers, publishers), can contribute to the cause on your initial pitch. Your subject line and first sentence of the email should encourage collaboration. Through this, they (publishers) can help you in so many ways, such as:

  • Providing suggestions and feedback to your content asset
  • Connecting you with any of the influencer/expert within their organizations
  • Sharing your content piece through other channels (social media, email, etc..) that are aside from linking to your page
  • Contributing data insights that can improve your existing content piece (e.g. calendar, graph, directory, list)

Getting your outreach prospects to buy into your mission is one of the best ways to naturally attract links to your website.

ENGAGING OUTREACH PROSPECTS 

Bringing value upfront differentiates you from the pack of people sending off link requests all the time.

For example, if you practice broken link building, when you elicit responses from webmasters after you've told about their link errors on their resource pages, you immediately suggest pages (including yours) as replacements to their defunct links.

One approach we've found to be highly effective in helping webmasters fix their links is to look for the best replacements for each broken link.

There are three things that we normally suggest to them as replacements.

A. New page (redirected page)

By using the advanced search operator "site:domain", we look for the new page where the old information is now placed - which is published on the same website.

homepage link response

found right page for replacement

In some cases, the new page is a redirected new website where the webmaster has transferred all details of the original information.

B. Homepage

If the old information isn't published anywhere on the website (i.e. a new page) or it couldn't be seen on other sites (or new website), the next best replacement is their homepage.

best replacement is homepage

C. Remove the link

There are broken links that are non-evergreen (i.e. news, article, pdf), of which homepage is not a good replacement - the best suggestion to the webmaster is to actually remove the link.

For a more detailed guide on how to find the best replacements for broken links, you can check out my older post on broken link replacements.

3. COLLABORATE WITH INFLUENCERS FOR GUEST PUBLISHING 

Relationships are vital in acquiring high value links from top industry publications.

It would be easier for your pitch to standout amongst hundreds (if not thousands) of guest contributor emails bloggers are receiving daily in their inbox if they are aware of your brand (you) and the kind of value you can contribute to their website's audience and followers (through your content).

Easier said than done, but bloggers who're still starting to build their own brand may not have the popularity and authority needed to generate interest from target publishers.

One approach that you can use to capture attention of your prospect publishers is to associate yourself with influencers or experts in your field.

The process can begin by Identifying influencers whom you can help out by getting them more exposure on bigger sites/brands.

You can start with popular bloggers who host interviews on their blogs (use Google search - ex. "interview series" + "industry" or "podcast" + "industry").

leadxorg homepage

Check the list of experts being interviewed on the hosted website. Pick those who have their own blogs given that high value links to their websites will be your main value proposition of your pitch to them (more on this later).

leadxorg guests

From there, you can find and collect their email address. List them all in a spreadsheet to have an easier process once you start reaching out to them.

The second part of this process is to pitch industry publications with content topics that haven't been covered yet on their blogs.

initial pitch collaborationWhat you should be offering for them is a content that can rank on keywords that they haven't ranked yet and that includes a high-value information based on your expert's (interviewee's) answers to your niche-specific questions.

send topics pitch

The only answer you'll expect from your initial pitch is their chosen topics for your guest content.

selected topic response

The next part of the method is to reach out to influencers or personalities (from the first part of the process) and try to do an interview with them.

interview content pitch

Come up with questions that are related to the chosen topic of your target publication so it'll be easily integrated to the draft piece you'll be creating (given your guest content is also about the chosen topic).

Once you've received their answers to your questionnaire, you'll then create a highly informative content that you can use as a guest entry for your prospect publication sites.

content collaboration

include insights to content

The great thing about this approach is that it's very easy to generate this type of content and definitely a win/win situation for all parties: the blog hosting the content will publish a content that includes experts' insights (and potentially can rank for informative keywords), the interviewee (expert) acquires a quality for his/her blog (and gets more exposure) and you, as the contributor, build a brand presence and authority on other blogs (which can translate to additional traffic and more potentially linking opportunities).

4. HAVE A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE 

When doing link acquisition, it's imperative that you think long-term. You avoid shady link building tactics that leads to short-term behaviors and benefits.

Instead, you target the right types of links that will have a lasting impact to your website.

By providing useful content (industry guides, cheatsheets, data infographics) that gets visibility over time through its ability to rank for secondary/primary keywords, you increase the possibility of attracting links even without doing manual outreach.

Ross Hudgens shared their repeatable blog promotion strategy at SiegeMedia that allows them to increase their client's monthly visitors by hundreds of thousands (month over month).

optimal blog strategy

Targeting keywords where your website has the ability to rank (by creating comprehensive content and manually building links to it), you'll soon be able to level up to more difficult topics/keywords.

Repeatedly doing so can slowly build your brand as an authority publisher of useful information in your industry.

For further reading, you can check out these two guides on building authority links and content writing tips


guide-broken-link-building

The No Non-Sense Guide to Broken Link Building

Broken link building has been around since 2010. From that time on, a lot of things had happened that changed how we approach this link building tactic. Nuances in methodologies, additional best practices, and questions of whether the said technique is still working now, are just a few things we will cover in this post.

guide-broken-link-building

Table of Contents

WHAT IS BROKEN LINK BUILDING?
WHY BROKEN LINK BUILDING?
WHY BLB ISN'T WORKING FOR ME?
STEP BY STEP BLB GUIDE
1. FIND A TOPIC THAT SERVES A SPECIFIC GROUP OF LINKS PAGE CURATORS
2. CREATE CONTENT ABOUT THE LINKABLE TOPIC
3. PROSPECT FOR LINK OPPORTUNITIES AND QUALIFY THEM
4. FIND BROKEN LINKS, CONTACT PERSONS AND EMAILS
5. CONDUCT OUTREACH
6. MONITOR LINKS

Before we get too far though, you might want to know how we define broken link building.

what-is-broken-link-building

Broken link building is a link building tactic where a person contacts a webmaster who has a broken link in his or her website and recommends a replacement of link/s that include his/her target page.

That seems a very simple thing by definition but actually, the work to execute all steps behind that takes a lot of effort.

Though it may be time-consuming, if you understand the value that broken link building can provide to webmasters, it'll give you confidence of its effectiveness as a link building tactic and that it can also be implemented to many websites, if found to be fitting to use.

why-broken-link-building

Broken link building helps fix the web by letting webmasters know of their broken links and its best replacements.

Broken links (or linkrot as some refers to it) happens when a web page becomes permanently unavailable, due to one of many reasons:

  • Expired links; temporarily created for a short-term purpose (for example: sponsorship page)
  • Content is intentionally removed by the webmaster.
  • A website where the broken link is hosted may be closed or taken down by the owner.
  • A website changed its domain name (some links are not redirected to their corresponding pages in the new website).

No one wants to have broken links in their websites which users would find to be of no value because they don't see the exact resources they are looking for.

page not found

If you have helped someone fix his/her links, you will be reciprocated by adding your recommended resource on his/her page (which most of you will recommend a link to your target page).

Reciprocity matters in link building. Value to value. If you help someone, you will be helped. That's why broken link building works.

why-blb-isnt-working-for-me

This question has been raised several times. From a perspective of a link builder who practices broken link building, there are some common misapplications I see of this technique.

First is tying any content type to links pages curators.

Who is a link page curator?

A links page curator is a type of linkable audience (from the term itself) curates links in a specific page about a particular topic for the sole purpose of giving its intended website visitors references and resources that they can use either for personal consumption or business research.

A link page curator is attracted mostly to educational guides or academic driven content.

Suggesting to them an infographic to be added as a resource to their links pages is less likely to accomplish its linking purpose, unless it has a text section (beneath the image) that has comprehensive information about the topic.

The best way to increase likelihood of acquiring resource links is to produce educational or academic-driven type of content that are more comprehensive than what other publishers create (more on that later in this post).

educational guide

Second reason why people think broken link building doesn't work for them is the difficulty to find a linkable topic that fits your brand.

There are cases wherein you wouldn't find a topic that is both highly linkable (i.e. there are a lot links page curators linking to content on the topic) and that also fits directly to your brand.

The solution here is to think of a specific linkable audience and brainstorm ideas how you can best serve them. Check if it's tangentially relevant to your site. (I'll show you exactly how you can execute that part later).

For now, let's dive into how you can implement broken link building tactics to your website.

step-by-step-blb-guide

There are a lot of published resources on executing the exact process of broken link building. But one thing I noticed is that these don't give you the exact picture of implementation from diferent role perspectives.

So as you go through each step below, you'll see some tips on how to do the exact process based on your current role.

if you are an agency marketer/SEO

if you are an In-house SEO

if you are a business owner

If any of these phrases is not included, the tip applies to all.

That avoids you saying, "I can't do this because I'm not ___."

Note: If you have any questions how you can do that yourself or with the help of someone, feel free to contact me.

Let's start with the process.

find-topic-specific-group-links-page-curators

You don't have to go too far. Start first with your informational keywords.

If have keyword excel sheets in place. Begin with that. Go through your list and find top of the funnel keywords.

Use the inurl:links.html as your litmus test to check if a topic is serving a number of links curators.

Why links.html? Because most links pages are in their html page, not adding .html may leave off some good numbers.

So what's a good number of indexed links pages to find?

Anywhere from ~300 to ~500 is feasible. More than that is highly linkable.

For example, if you searched for inurl:links.html "sleep apnea", you'll find that there are 552 vailable links pages indexed in Google (as of the time of this writing).

links curators litmus testing sleep apnea

For the topic, "bruxism", the number of indexed links pages is 272 (as of the time of this writing).

links curators litmus testing bruxism search

WHY LINKS CURATORS LITMUS TESTING IS IMPORTANT?

If you find there are enough links curators who are waiting to link to your content asset from their links pages, you can ensure that the topic you'll be creating is worth of your investment to create.

No waste of time and money. That doesn't means it always attain success, but at least there's a confidence of results when you pursue a topic that is linkable because it has an existing audience giving you links. You are proving linkability in your content.

WHAT IF THERE ARE ~300 LESS LINKS CURATORS AVAILABLE ON MY TOPIC?

This question may arise, and there are two answers for that.

One is doing a Google search for the topic. This is to ensure that there are still links page curators that are available who couldn't easily be discovered through Google search and could only be found through reverse engineering - more on this later. 

Going back, if you use Moz, you can see immediately the number of referring domains each page on SERPs is getting.

referring domains links curators litmus testing

If you find that each page has at least 20 plus unique referring domains, you can further investigate its linking pages.

Otherwise, you find another topic keyword and run it through the process again.

Further investigation involves finding at least 100+ links pages that have the specific page on the topic. The reason for doing so is to ensure that when you promote a content piece, there's an available audience dying to link to your content.

How to do that is to simply grab each URL in SERPs and check using a link checker tool if there are links/resources pages linking to the URL. 

links pages to url content ahrefs

My tip here to quickly find links pages is to use the search function of Ahrefs.

Type in links or resources to find resource pages with links or resources in their titles. 

backlinks list ahrefs filtered

Collect every links page you find and qualify as you land on the page or choose to qualify them later. You can skip to this section of Link Qualification stage.

Make sure you create an Excel sheet purposefully for those links pages.

spreadsheet links pages

If you have collected at least 100+ links pages (qualified), then the topic is suitable for broken link building.

WHAT IF THERE ARE ~300 LESS LINKS CURATORS AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE SEARCH AND ~100 LESS LINKS CURATORS THROUGH REVERSE ENGINEERING ?

If you find less links curators on the topic, you can still create a content piece but you won't expect much links from links pages given that not all of them would link to you. There is a conversion rate of around 3-5% to be expected from this topic depending on the number of emails you send to qualified links pages.

create-content-linkable-topic

Hopefully you now have an idea with identifying if a particular topic is suitable for a broken link building campaign. Now comes the hard part - actually creating the content.

You know this, you don't just have to create a content. It has to be 10x better than other content pieces on that subject matter.

How can you do that?

If you are a business owner or if you are an agency marketer/SEO, you can try hiring academic industry writers from freelancing websites.

You probably have done this because it is way cheaper than hiring full time in-house writers. It may not be feasible at first, to hire a full time in-house writer given there's still less bandwidth of work for content writing.

Academic industry writers can produce educational guides better than Fiverr generic writers. The cost of hiring the former may be higher than the usual rate you pay for a writer, but you can expect a higher quality output from them.

Now the question is, how can you find an academic industry writer?

There are a hundreds of ways on how you can look for them but there are methodologies I've found helpful in looking for the right academic industry writer.

HIRING ACADEMIC WRITERS IN UPWORK

First is by using Upwork as your hiring channel for writers.

upwork

Upwork is a top freelancing website wherein you can post a job that can run either hourly or project basis and that targets freelancers in a specific industry, skillset and level of skills you're looking for.

The process of hiring in Upwork is simple:

  • Identify who you need to hire.
  • Post a job board.
  • Interview people
  • Hire your preferred freelancer.

For a more detailed reference on how to post a job on Upwork, here's a resource from the website that you can check out.

To give you an insight of how it works specifically when hiring an academic industry writer, below is an example of a job post that I posted.

upwork job post blb content writer

Simple note: The writer I was looking for was specifically tasked to write product reviews and informational articles, but later on, was assigned to create educational guides for BLB.

As you can see above, the post is very simple. It covers almost everything you need to know about the job.

But what I'd like you to take note are the following points:

  • Title - the key here is to be very specific with the kind of writer you're looking for. Cater the job title to a niche writer, that would mean not just a health writer, but someone who knows specifically about sleeping or psychology - as another example.
  • Fixed price - depends on where you're more comfortable with, but if fixed price is what you prefer, you can even negotiate that further to cost per word (e.g. 0.027cents per word).
  • Level - you need someone who is an intermediate or an expert on the subject to write comprehensive and academic content pieces, particularly on jargon-heavy topics.

INVITE FREELANCERS TO A JOB POST 

One trick to ensure you're making the shot of hiring a great industry writer is to find freelancers and invite them to apply to your job post.

Instead of waiting for freelancers to apply to you and start filtering which ones deserve the slot, you can initiate looking for the best ones and negotiate

Most skilled freelancer writers are not applying massively to relevant job posts, but some even are getting inbound potential clients that hire them.

So if you proactively invite people to apply for your job, you increase the possibility of getting skilled freelance writers.

upwork invite freelancers

Once you've hired a freelance writer based on a certain skillset and expertise, it's time to create the content.

CONTENT CREATION PROCESS

If you're an agency or in-house, there are other roles in the team you should consider who can aid you with the content creation process - starting from research down to publishing.

It's critically important not to overlap tasks of each others' roles to get an easy flow of work and to excellently complete each content writing project.

As a small team, the SEO “the one who actually did the research” creates the outline and then just send it to the content writer for completion. If the content requires creative work, our designer has to come in and collaborate.

jayson bagio gobiggr

 

 

 

- Jayson Bagio, Founder of Gobiggr

The distribution of work depends on the internal process of a team.

However, the quality of output should be checked if it's going to be a linkable content.

One way to ensure the quality of your content piece is to use a framework where you will base its success probability.

USE A QUALITY-CHECK FRAMEWORK

One framework that has been mostly considered is the Made to Stick's SUCCESs model.

The idea is to run a quality check of your content based on these six factors:

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credible
  • Emotional
  • Stories

made to stick model

If you're a business owner, you may not have the luxury to go over each content piece and run it through a quality success framework. But having someone to look after the writer is advisable, either you get a senior editor or copywriter just to ensure the content piece can pass a certain standard of quality.

Aside from internal checking of quality, it's also important to ensure your content piece is far more comprehensive than other content assets on the same topic.

You can check what's lacking in other content pieces that you can add and emphasize to your own content piece.

For example, we've recently created a guide on types of sleeping disorders.

By looking at other content competitors, I've seen that they haven't had a huge list of sleeping disorders with their respective categories. They also lack customized visuals to entice social sharing.

With those things in mind, we've produced one that's far more comprehensive than other content assets - not just bigger, but better.

comprehensive

Note: If you do well know of your industry, you need to provide key points to your content writer as to the format and flow of messages based on how you think your content can be best consumed by your target audience.

prospect-link-opportunities-qualify

You may have a linkable content asset, but without a list of link prospects to reach out for content promotion, your content may not see the light of the day.

So where can you collect a list of link targets?

RESOURCE LINK PROSPECTING METHODS

A. Save your link targets as your early list

It begins when you run a link curators litmus testing.

As soon as you are checking if there are existing links/resources pages on the topic, you can immediately create a list out of that. Save them as your early targets.

You can use Ahrefs or Majestic when checking links pages or resources pages on pages ranking for a topic you are targeting.

ahrefs links to ranking pages

B. Reverse engineer content competitors

Content competitors are content assets that discuss the same topic of your content piece.

Find them either by using a Google search or by looking at related resources on a target page for links.

content competitors

Once you find them, go and check all backlinks using a link checker tool.

Grab only resource pages. You may use words like "links" or "resources" on the Ahrefs search bar to quickly find them.

reverse engineering content competitors

C. Check for broken links on your initial list of resource pages.

You may find that there are other external links on a specific section of the resource page wherein you want to get a link from.

See if one of the external links is broken either by clicking on them or by using LinkMiner to scan the page for any broken links. linkminer finding broken links

If you find a broken link, check if there are referring domains linking to it. It's a good opportunity then to find more resource pages.

D. Use Google search queries to find resource pages in your niche.

This is the most common type of link prospecting and one that will give you tons of link opportunities if you use appropriate search terms and advanced search operators.

There are many link prospecting search terms to finding resource pages.

But to help you with this process, I've shared a spreadsheet tool below that semi-automates the activity of using advanced search ops (specific to BLB) h/t to Jayson Bagio.

blb-query-generator-spreadsheet

All you have to do is to insert a keyword/topic on Column A and click on Column F to direct you to the search result.

When you land on each search result page, you'll find relevant links pages. Go and check each one and quality according to your metrics (Section: Qualification Metrics).

E. Use Citation Labs Link Prospector

If there's one tool I'll recommend in finding hundreds even thousands of links pages,it is this Link Prospector by Citation Labs.

It's nothing new to advanced SEOs out there, but if you're starting out in broken link building, the said tool can help you maximize your prospecting efforts and save hours of time spent.

Here's a tutorial video that shows you how to use the tool properly.

QUALIFICATION METRICS 

Before giving you metrics to consider when qualifying resource pages, the reason why I didn’t' separate Link Prospecting and Qualification, is that you can execute them simultaneously.

When you land a resource page, you can quickly qualify it according to your metrics.

This saves you a lot of time in qualification, as you don't have to assign a team member to do this task alone - qualifying each resource page you've collected.

Though it requires practice to do that, it's something I'd recommend SEOs to master over time.

Going back, there are qualification metrics need to be considered in broken link building.

A. Relevance - top priority!

There are three aspects of relevance we need to talk here.

First is page-level relevance.

A links page that is highly relevant to the topic of your content piece increases your chances of getting a link from that resource page.

Let's say, you own a content asset about the types of sleeping disorders. A highly relevant page for that is a resource page on sleeping disorders or sleeping issues. In this case, it makes sense for the webmaster to link to your content asset because it actually what he covers on his page.

sleep resources page

Second is category-level relevance.

There are resource pages that don't cover specifics for your content topic but has a section for it.

In my given example, a category-level relevant page is a resource page about disorders. It's not necessarily about sleeping disorders but if it has a section on sleeping disorders, then it could be considered as a good link prospect.

B. Use tool ranking scores

Moz has DA and PA. Ahrefs has DR and PR (know how their new DR is calculated).

moz metrics

It's been a discussion in the SEO community which one to use for link qualification. Is it Ahrefs metric or Moz metric?

To be honest, I personally don't have a specific answer to that.

Given Moz has built its brand and its metric is dominantly used by SEOs. If you're an agency, you'll talk with clients that highly considers Moz metrics as their metric.

You may have to educate your clients to consider relevance as your sole metric or sole metric + other tool ranking scores.

If you're in-house and if you're a business owner, you can have your own list of metrics, i.e. relevance alone, Moz DA + relevance, Ahrefs DA + relevance, or others.

Note: Later, I'll show you a visual resource on what metrics we use for broken link building.

C. Ask yourself, can I really obtain a link from this page?

Not all highly relevant .edu DA70 resource pages will give you links. But there are signals on a resource page you have to see that will help you determine if that page is obtainable for a link or not.

C. 1. Last Updated

There are resource pages that explicitly note the date their page was last updated. If you reach out to a webmaster that has a resource page last updated in 2008, there's a little chance you'll get a link from that.

The more frequent an update on a resource page, the more receptive it is for new resources or links.

C. 2. Matched Content

Are the external links on the resource page match the content you want to build links to? Are they page-level relevant or category-level relevant? If you say yes to these questions, you have a chance to obtain a link.

C. 3. Explicit Notes

Sending pitches to webmasters with no clue of whether they entertain new resources or not is difficult. But there are times when resource pages explicitly state that they are open to add new links or new resources to their links page.

It increases your chance of getting the link, given that the webmaster is open for any link suggestions. Though not a guarantee of link success, but definitely increases your obtainability.

So those are signs that you can acquire a link from a resource page.

Now let's move on to some red flags that once you notice or see on a resource page can immediately give you an idea that's it's not a fit for your content piece or it is low-quality.

Red Flags to look for:

  • Too many outbound links (150 links or higher)
  • Outbound links pointing to low-quality or spammy websites (e.g. .blogspot websites)
  • Page isn't properly designed 
  • Page linking to general lists or resources (no specific topic that they cover 
  • Page linking only to professional organizations, .edu or .gov pages.
  • Old version of HTML page signals that the owner no longer updates it. 

When you landed on resource page, you can immediately see some of these red flags. You may hover your mouse to check pages' URLs for glance.

You can always move on to your next link prospect on your list if you found the current one is not a good fit. 

This simple activity to add to your process is helpful for two reasons: first, you ensure that links that'll be added to your link list is definitely high-quality and second, it saves you minutes/hours of time - otherwise, reaching out to them will add up to your outreach hours.

For more visual learners, and to provide a resource for this process, we’ve created the following handy flowchart for your decision tree on whether or not to collect the resource page.

Case to case basis, there are other factors to consider but this guide should give you the thought process of link qualification.

find-broken-links-contact-persons-emails

Now that you know how to prospect for resource page opportunities and qualify each one of them to suit your link objectives, it's time to find any broken links (if there are existing ones on a page).

FINDING BROKEN LINKS

You don't have to manually open each external link to a new tab to see if they're working or not. It’s pretty time-consuming if you do that.

There are tools to help you with finding any defunct (broken) links on your prospect page.

First is LinkMiner. It is created by Jon Cooper of PointblankSEO which only requires a click on your toolbar then the tool itself will automatically check the entire page for any broken links and highlights them in red color.

linkminer

Next is AtomSEO Broken Link Checker (h/t to Jayson Bagio). Another Chrome Extension tool for finding broken links which you can also run using a keyboard shortcut.

atomseo link checker

Note: It's important to check again the external link if it's a 404 or a live page. Those aforementioned tools aren't perfect, they may at times, highlight links as red (meaning its 404), when they're otherwise not.

CONTACT FINDING

Next is to find the right contact person and look for his or her email address.

There are a lot of advices about this matter. Many SEOs recommend using a contact finding tool to scrape any available email addresses on a given website and all you have to do is to choose one or two you can use for outreach.

I've been doing outreach for years and I'd say that one factor to a failed outreach campaign is reaching out to the wrong contact person.

No matter how linkable your content piece is, if it's not seen by the right contact person who actually manages the resource page, it won't acquire the desired link.

The best way to find the correct contact person and his/her email is to manually search for on the page/site.

I'm currently working with a VA whose role is to find broken links (if any) on resource pages and look for the right contact persons with their respective contact emails.

If you have a document process, it'd be easy for you to delegate this task to a team member/VA whether you're an agency SEO or in-houseSEO.

So here are two document processes for contact finding and broken link finding that I personally use.

broken link finding process

conduct-outreach

This section focuses on conducting outreach in Gmail. It is geared towards SEO teams with ~2 link builders and those agencies who prefer a low-cost approach when doing outreach.

If you're currently using premium outreach tools, I recommend reading this outreach guide in using Buzzstream at PointblankSEO.

For Gmail users, continue reading.

gmail for outreach

First off, Gmail is fascinating because it is free and is easy to use. The orientation for its usage is so low that if you hire someone for outreach, you don't have to spend lots of time to train him/her on how to use the platform. 

However, if you don't have setup a workflow process that organizes everything from initial pitch to converting the links, you'll end up wasting time in identifying outreach status level of every conversation.

The key to make Gmail organized for outreach is to use Labels.

Labels

Labels is a cool feature of Gmail that allows you to “segmentize” your emails by their current relationship status. It means that when you see your email inbox, you know that a thread is for a particular link building campaign (client), a thread has gotten a link or a thread is waiting for a response from the recipient.

gmail labels

Organization in Spreadsheets

Given that you don't have a platform to collect your link targets (unlike with Buzzstream), you should have a spreadsheet for collecting link prospects and for tracking your outreach relationships when you pitch them.

For example, at SharpRocket, we've been using colors to highlight a certain row in Spreadsheet and know if it's been reached out already, needs a follow-up or we had just acquired a link from a resource page. This allows our outreach specialists to know which stage a prospect is currently in.

spreadsheet rows

We also created a column for the status of a link.

status relationship level spreadsheet

These two micro-activities to our outreach workflow helps us to avoid confusion and manage our link builders' performances properly.

Once you've setup labels and spreadsheets, it's time to pitch your outreach prospects.

Personas

You don't start your outreach by creating email templates, though that is important and should primarily be used to scale sending off your initial emails.

However, if you want to create initial emails that are relevant and that catches the attention of your link targets, you first have to start with defining your outreach personas.

Outreach personas are commonly used to better understand a certain industry’s' outreach market's behavior based on demographics, needs and interests.

For example, Jayson Bagio at Gobiggr use four personas when reaching out to contact persons of .edu websites.

gobiggr outreach persona

As you can see, these four student personas have different needs and interests when pitching link curators on .edu websites, whether it's for a research or project purpose or simply just recommending a resource they've found useful on their behalf.

The other reason of using outreach personas is to test which persona is more receptive to outreach prospects and could more likely acquire links in the process.

By doing so, you can replicate the same process on other link building campaigns (not only for BLB) to increase your response and link acquisition rates.

kaiserthesage outreach personasOnce you're done with creating your outreach personas, your next stop is to start pitching your backlink targets.

There are two outreach methodologies that you can use: broken link outreach and content suggestion.

Broken Link Outreach

You are applying here the law of reciprocity. That is when you tell to the webmaster which of his/her links aren't working (and sending appropriate link replacementsl), he or she will be more likely to return a favor to you - that is, to include your content asset as an additional resource to his page.

If you're eyeing for a template in this post, here's one good example from Jon Cooper that we've been using effectively for initial resource link pitching:

Initial template with broken links:

Subject: Found an error on your [Resource Page Template]

Hi [First Name],

I was browsing the [Page Title] page on your site when I encountered a few broken links. I didn’t know if you’d be interested in knowing, but if you are, I’d be happy to point out which ones I stumbled across.

-[User First Name] [User Last Name]

Keys to Success:

  • A/B test your initial emails' subject lines (you can use Found a problem on your {Resources} page or Found a 404 on your page).
  • Not aggressive, but polite and brief email message - coming off as a real human.
  • You can customize based on your persona but the principle of baiting a response by saying you've found errors is still the same.

By this time, you're expecting responses like, "Please let us know which link is broken".

give me errors email

Your response to that is based on his/her response. But basically, you can use a semi-template to answer the question, "Which page are you referring to and which link/s is/are broken?".

Template response with broken links:

Thanks [First Name],

I’m happy to send them over. The ones I encountered were here ([Linking From]):

  • [Broken Link #1]
  • [Broken Link #2]
  • [Broken Link #3]

Hope that helps. Also, is there any chance I could make a quick suggestion? *CRAFT CUSTOM FROM HERE*

Well, if I come across any other website errors, I’ll be sure to reach out.

-[User First Name]

Here's what this template looks like in actual outreach:

sending errors emailContent Suggestion

Your main value is offer a content asset that is worthy to be added on the resource page, and that is dependent on how comprehensive and educational your content is.

Below is a template you can use as your initial pitch for links pages without broken links:

Hi [First Name],

I was checking out some of the resources listed on the [Page Title] page of your website, and I noticed that I knew of a couple resources that might be worth adding. Would you be interested if I sent them over? If not, I totally understand, just thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

-[User First Name] [User Last Name]

We've encountered several responses wherein they don't accept new link suggestions from outsiders, so another way to start your pitch is to ask if they're still updating their page (A/B test these two initial outreach templates).

Hi [First Name],

Just saw your note on your Resources page about new suggestions, so thought I’d check and see if you’re still updating the page. If you are, I'm happy to pass along a few new resources for review. If not, can’t say I didn’t ask!

-[User First Name] [User Last Name]

When the webmaster replies, your response should be as direct and short as possible, but ultimately explaining how valuable the content asset that you are suggesting.

Response without broken links:

Thanks [First Name]!

*CRAFT CUSTOM FROM HERE*

Well, thanks again for your time, I really appreciate your consideration. Anyways, hope you have a great rest of the week!

-Jon

An example of an actual response that got us a link is here:

live link email

For many reasons, some webmasters will not respond to your initial emails. You then need to follow them up.

Your follow-up isn't to harass the person to get back to you immediately. We are human beings and as you come off as polite as possible, you're more likely to receive a response from them.

This template below is easy to customize when you send it to your prospects who didn't not respond initially.

Follow-up:

Hi [First Name] – just checking to see if you ever got the below. If you have, my apologies!

-[User First Name]

monitor-links

Your prospects may tell you if they've added your content link to their resource pages.

link added email

Some aren't kind enough to tell you, so that leaves you to monitor links prospects that you pitched them and have added your link without saying.

You can manually check each resource pages' source codes and find your domain there.

view source code

That might consume a lof of your time, so I highly suggest to use MonitorBacklinks where you can upload all your links prospects and it'll ease the entire process of telling you if there is your link is active on the page.

monitor backlinks

Over time, you'll see the results of your hard work. One way to monitor the link performance of your content piece is to use Ahrefs page level section.

new backlinks monitor

Most linkable assets designed for broken link building are supporting sections of middle and bottom-of-the funnel pages by internally linking to them. That being said, links generated for those linkable assets can lift the authority of the overall domain one way or another.

If you've been wondering if broken link building can work for your site, or if you haven't gotten through the entire process I've shared above, you may consult us for link building analysis.

We are also looking for potential clients whom we can work together for our blogger outreach services.


types-of-links-how-to-get-them

9 Types of Links And How to Get Them

The types of links that you build matter as much as you execute your link building strategies tactics.

Just like knowing what kind of salt and pepper to use for your recipe, your cooking becomes more effective when you actually know what ingredients to use and why you need to use them.

So, if you want to be an effective link builder, you need to understand these 12 link types.

Here we go.

types-of-links-how-to-get-them

1. NATURAL-EDITORIAL LINKS (CONTENT)

Natural-editorial links are by-products of link earning.

This type of link is acquired organically - meaning there isn't any form of outreach initiatives from the side of the person who gets the link.  The webmaster or publisher initiates linking to a certain piece of content.

Link-wise, it's close to impossible to get the similar link type unless there's a high-level reason why a particular person would link to your website.

In my experience, there are three primary factors on how you can earn natural-editorial links:

A. CONTENT RANKED FOR REFERENTIAL KEYWORDS

Not all keywords that you target can get people to both search for it and link to the top ranking piece (or whatever ranking page they'd find worth referencing to).

For example, if you search for what is link building, you'll find that most people would end up typing the exact question, getting the answer and leaving the page right away. 

But there are keywords that people both search for and link to as a reference for their own content works. These are called "referential keywords".

Here are some examples of referential keywords:

I. TOPIC TEMPLATES

Any niche template is highly searchable and is worth linking to. The reason is simple - it makes life easier. If you can have a template to create your own resume without having to write the whole thing from scratch, it actually saves you minutes (if not hours).

Therefore, templates keyword is one content type that is worth referencing in a blog post because it gives value worth finding for.

Popular examples of this niche-type keyword are job search templates and web design templates (CSS and HTML).

job search templates serps

Other template keywords you may also create content around that can fit in your industry are the following:

  • Christmas tree template
  • meal plan template
  • door hanger template
  • macaron template
  • travel itinerary template
  • weekly lesson plan template
  • wedding seating chart template
  • real estate flyer template
  • family budget template

Pro tip: Use Ahrefs or SEMRush to search for a specific type of template you could invest a content piece around in your space.

You can use the tool's search volume to type in a keyword + "template" to find niche template terms.

ahrefs parenting template example

II. TIPS/STRATEGIES/HACKS

A writer wants to include more tips in his content and so, if you have an extensive guide on co-parenting tips, there's a good chance it could be used as a reference on other blog posts.

Example: photography tips, first date tips, rhetorical strategies, camping hacks

III. DATA

Industry/topic data can serve as a credible source of information for a content you're writing about. It builds trust from your readers and thus, this is a type of content that has high likelihood of being linked to by publishers as a reference.

Example: real estate data, snapchat data usage

EXCEPTION:

There are niche-type keywords one wouldn't ever think of being referenced by potential linkers. Such are the case with question keywords.

Normally, a question keyword, what is a watchdog? for example, can be easily answered and doesn't require you to reference to a post about that specific topic.

direct question search results

If you're the writer, you think it's only a bit-sized information and you could either list it down or use your opinion if you can answer the question properly.

However, there are cases that require expertise to answer a question and thus, gives content creators an opportunity to create content from it that doesn't just serve the need but have data/facts to support the answer.

You'll see this happen in health niches. One should have a scientific/medicine background before he/she can answer a question.

For example, the search query, "Is snoring a hereditary?", requires content that is written by a person with strong health background(PhD graduate).

Is snoring a hereditary google search

With these niche questions that are best served with expertise-based content, there are cases when a question keyword can also be a referential keyword. This means that content ranking for such keyword can also be used as a reference by other publishers in their posts.

B. WORD-OF-MOUTH BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL PAGES

Another factor that could help you earn links is when your community users, brand evangelists, and those people who know your brand link to you naturally from discussion websites.

What makes it worthy of earning is the amount of conversions you can get from those discussion sites - not just links.

forum links assisted conversions

Forum links that point to your bottom of the funnel pages, i.e. to your product pages, is really valuable from a business perspective - as it can generate sales over time. 

C. STRONG BRAND AUTHORITY

Building your brand authority in your space requires consistency in messaging and delivery of high-quality offering.

Whether that's a great product/service, a great brand ambassador, or the length of company existence (with strong brand presence), the more you could establish any of those factors consistently on your site, the higher the possibility of earning links this way.

For example, Tim Soulo recently published a post on how they grow exponentially at Ahrefs from a MRR/ARR metric perspective.

ahrefs growth

How that possible is their ability to focus on one thing - to improve their product best. The product itself allows them to earn links from SEO or internet marketing publishers.

(If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you see that I've been linking to them almost all the time, when I want to share a tool that can be used for certain link building activities).

This isn't something that is scalable in nature, for sure, and the market decides if you have the great/best offering.

But if you're choosing clients to cater with your SEO or link building services, it's something that you have to consider. A brand authority could easily help earn links because it's the community themselves - publishers and products' existing users linking to the organization naturally.

2. MANUAL OUTREACH LINKS (CONTENT)

As implied, manual outreach links are executed with manual efforts - from finding relevant link opportunities to identifying an irresistible offer (something that's valuable to end users) and to sending emails to appropriate contact persons.

This is the most common type of links on the web given that not everyone has the ability and authority to earn links when starting out.

That being said, manual outreach link building can bring guaranteed range of number of links per month (e.g. 6 to 10 links per month) if done right and consistently throughout a period of time.

There are a lot of ways on how you can build manual outreach links, and here are some resources that can help you get started:

For this post, I'd like to share with you something that's been overlooked when doing manual outreach link building.

First:

PICKING UP NEW COMPETITOR LINKS

If there are only a few inches away in beating up the competition, knowing what your competitors are working on based on their new links being acquired is essential to maneuvering your website to better links.

For this reason, you can use Ahrefs to check your competitors' new links.

new backlinks ahrefs

You can even filter indexed links based on a specific period of time (past month, past week, or past day).

filter new competitor backlinksPicking up new links of your competitors will you give insights as to which link building tactic they're currently focusing on (either niche scholarships or discount programs for example) and if they are pursuing blogs/sites from other verticals (but definitely still relevant to their brand).

Given their recency of linking, new links acquired by your competitors has high chances of converting into links when pitched since they are more receptive to link pitches. 

LINKABLE MARKETS FOR CERTAIN CONTENT TYPES

A certain type of content is serving a particular linkable audience.

For example, an educational guide caters to resource linkers while bloggers are more receptive to infographics and entertainment-driven article.

Meanwhile, news editors are looking for more data-studies type of content.

content fits linkable market

via SiegeMedia

In essence, if you're manually reaching out to certain linkable audience and you're not giving them a suitable content type, you're less likely to acquire a link from an editorial perspective.

That's not to say there's no chance of linking. But for every content type, there's a specific linkable audience it does serve.

3. SELF-CREATED NON-EDITORIAL LINKS

Not being editorially given, self-created non-editorial links tend to carry less weight than other link types. They get lesser clicks to their referring pages as compared to links placed within the body of content. Therefore, from a lead generation perspective, it's not worthwhile to put all your efforts in self-created non-editorial links.

self created non editorial links

Here are some examples of this link type that I've seen still being built up to this date:

    • Not moderated blog comments
    • User profile pages
    • Forum signatures/profile links
    • Not moderated directories

Get this type of links to diversify your link profile, but not too many, given that they don't provide as much link value as compared to editorial links.

The type of self-created non-editorial links you should definitely get are social links.

Here are a few social sites where you can build free backlinks:

4. DISCUSSION-BASED LINKS

Links coming from discussion websites and online boards are proved to be valuable in terms of driving referral traffic and assisted conversions to a website.

Both benefits are a strong proof of how powerful that link type is, as you're hitting two birds with one stone: traffic and conversions.

To benefit much from discussion-based links, one must consider the following:

    • Identify sub-niche boards from community discussion and niche-specific forum sites.
    • Consider more of quality than quantity (e.g. if you own an eCommerce guitar website, a brand presence on a guitar forum with 5000-ish users is better than a music forum with almost 50,000 users).
    • Participate in discussion boards/threads where you think you can provide value with your expertise. Take note that your goal is to drive traffic through clicks from links. If your participation doesn't engage the users well, it's more difficult to drive traffic to your website.
    • Don't insert links pointing to your commercial pages with no relevance to threads. You may be flagged as spam or be banned from the community site.
    • Add hyper-relevant links to discussions. If you think a category page is more suitable than a product page, then consider more to adding it.

Here are a few examples of websites where you can build discussion-based links:

QUORA

Quora is a a question-and-answer site where people benefits from answers to specific queries.

Search for Quora-sub threads that you can follow and find questions from it. Spend 10 minutes of your time providing genuine and valuable answers or solutions to niche-relevant questions.

quora question and answer

Last year, I've put a daily practice to answer one relevant question every single day. It drove not just traffic, but potential clients to our agency.

COUNTRY AND LOCAL-SPECIFIC FORUMS

If you're doing local link building, it's important to not just get relevant discussion-based links, but also hyper local.

For example, if you're targeting Aussies, Whirlpool is a forum site in Australia you’ll love the most as users (mostly from tech niche) are highly engaged.

Identifying a forum site like this is worthwhile to spend minutes, if not hours, of your time. Genuinely provide solutions to recent questions that will best result to more traffic and leads to your website.

whirlpool forum

NICHE-RELEVANT FORUMS

Don Rhoades shared a credible idea on how to penetrate niche forums for traffic.

He coined the term, "forum participating rubric", which is a method of using criteria to make decisions on participating in forums and online conversations that mention a need for your products.

Here's how it looks like:

forum participation rubric

Here's what each row means:

Timely: I like to try and stay current as sales opportunities can go from hot to cold very quickly. Online conversations can change focus just as instantly. As an online retail salesman, you must be ubiquitous in “the showroom,” which any good salesman knows is everywhere he is. You can use this method for current press hits as well.

Collaborative: Agree or disagree, supporting another user’s statement helps you build a relationship, and that’s what link building really all boils down to. Keep in mind, the first few interactions you make will most likely not be a good time to drop a link. This is a situation that calls for patience and being genuine in your responses. Remember, this is not about ranking sites and scaling the shit out of a process. This is about adding value to a community.

Education: This is most likely the best facet of this approach. Every product, no matter how much like other products it may be, has unique features, advantages, and benefits. These are the selling points of your product over others. Your on-site content should communicate these FAB’s and offer the G, which stands for Grabber (ask for the sale, without asking).

Clarity: This is one of my most common 4’s on the scale. Having an opportunity to address a misprint or correct an opinion formed by the reader is a blessing in disguise. This is also where it pays to have assessed all of your press mentions and link profile. Many times, I have found opportunities to place links to other sites that already have links that generate sales. BOO-YAH! Some press hits from 2 years ago had no inbound links in the body, but after giving a clarifying statement (with an informational page link), they still bring in significant monthly sales.

- Ecommerce Link Building Using Rubic by Don Rhoades

5. SPONSORSHIP-BASED LINKS

Getting this type of link isn't groundbreaking. You only need to be a sponsor of an event, organization, charity or any cause, and in return you'll be receiving a link from a specific page.

Here are steps on how you can build sponsorship-based links.

First is to identify niche-specific sponsorship link opportunities.

If you're targeting a local city, it is best to also filter opportunities based on its locality.

You can use this search query (inurl:sponsor "INDUSTRY") or (inurl:sponsor "INDUSTRY" "CITY") to look for sponsorship pages in your industry.

The more hyper-relevant your opportunities are, the better link value you can get from them.

sponsorship links

Next is to create a list of these sponsorship opportunities in a spreadsheet.

This way, you'll be able to check each page later on and prioritize which sponsorship opportunity is more suitable to your website and to your budget.

Finally, reach out to each contact person in the website/organization with a value offer that suits for them.

6. MEMBERSHIP-BASED LINKS

This type of link is a by-product of being part or affiliate within an organization.

Acquiring membership-based links is based on the idea that if you have joined an organization, whether you're coming off as a personal or corporate, you will have a chance to get a link from a specific page of that organization website.

membership based linksIf you're working for a client for link building, it is best to check your company's existing collaborations, partners or affiliated organizations.

Do a research if there is an existing membership/affiliate/partnership page in that organization.

See if other companies have links to their respective sites. This is important as you won't be able to get a link from them if, in the first place, they haven't given links to other companies.

When you see one, reach out to the particular organization and ask if you can give you a link from that specific page.

7. Edu & .Gov LINKS

Links coming from .edu and .gov links are highly trusted by search engines, and therefore, is a high-quality link type you should aim to get for your website.

These links are difficult to acquire, but certainly there are many ways on how you can score them. Below are some tips on how to get .edu and .gov links.

    • Provide a scholarship opportunity for students, make it more relevant to your brand (e.g. scholarship for disability students if you're selling medical supplies).
    • Offer an educational content to .edu and .gov site that is worth linking to from a relevant resoure page.
    • Get links from summer housing, internship and off-housing pages of .edu sites (best fit if you're a real estate site - apartment).
    • Acquire links from "new to an area" page of .edu sties (things to do, local attractions in [CITY], quality schools in [CITY], moving and relocation in [CITY], etc..).

things to do in city pages

Here are some more resources you can read on building .edu and .gov links:

8. EVENT-BASED LINKS

As implied, these links are acquired using events - either you create your own or just participate.

Here are some ways on how you can maximize events to build links to your website.

Host your own event (whether local or niche-specific).

This requires that you have a set of brand followers (offline or event, much better if it's both) or simply have built an expertise around a certain niche/industry. This way, it'll be easier for you to sell tickets or get people to book slots for the event.

host local industry conference

Invite people who have linking intent, i.e. publishers of a local media team, bloggers, influencers or content creators/PR of different companies to come at your event. Give some free passes or reduce their sponsorship fees if they're a huge win for you (i.e. a big local media site). 

If your event is to provide information/content to your audience, it's also important to invite industry experts to speak. This will give you some links, as some of them may also promote your event from their own blogs.

Get your event listed on local or event listing websites/directories. Here are some search queries you can use to find these low-hanging link opportunities:

  • [CITY] inurl:event inurl:submit
  • [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:submit
  • [CITY] [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:submit
  • [CITY] inurl:event inurl:add
  • [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:add
  • [CITY] [KEYWORD] inurl:event inurl:add
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit an event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "add event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "add an event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "add your event"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your workshop"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your course"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your class"
  • [KEYWORD] [CITY] "submit your conference"

Pitch to become a speaker at an event

Companies hosting events normally have pages on their sites dedicated to that purpose. By pitching yourself to become a speaker at a local or industry event, you may ask organizers to include a link to your website from their event page.

Take a look at this contextual link I got from a local events page.

local speaking pitch 1

local speaking pitch 2

To find speaking opportunities within your region, this newly built platform by Bryan Harris is a great help.

agent speaking agent

The platform has a filter function that helps you sort out speaking pitch opportunities that are only relevant to your expertise/industry.

Moreover, here are some websites where you can create events, list your events, participate, or even pitch to be speaker:

And down to our last type of link - relationship-driven links.

9. NATURAL-EDITORIAL LINKS (RELATIONSHIPS)

Another kind of natural-editorial links is a link that is built through relationships.

Relationships, if started and strengthened through authentic and continuous connections can really help someone acquire a natural link.

There is one attribute that allows relationships to result into links.

Reciprocity.

The principle is that when you offer value to a person, it's but natural for that other person to give back something in return.

The question now is not how to build relationships, because that obviously is natural for every person, but how to know what value to offer to a person.

Here are some tips on how you can identify and bring that value to a targeted audience in your space (which give you ton of opportunities to earn natural links in return):

    • Make a list of people who you can help and can also help you in strengthening your brand.
    • Build conversations with them around industry communities (forums/community sites) and social networking sites. Don't come off as a spammy by sending out generic Tweet DMs.
    • You can start by sharing their latest content (best if you can customize your tweets to make it unique and enticing for clicks from your followers).relationship driven links
    • Promote your best content to them (by giving so, you let them see resources they can use as references to their works).
    • Influence other influencers. By doing so, you can capture audiences of other influencers when they start sharing content and you've built strong connections with them as well.

Overall, those are the 9 types of links that you need to remember. Not all of them you will build, but the links you should prioritize are ones that can drive traffic and conversions to your website.

If you liked this post, subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on @venchito14.

Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.


image link building

9 Powerful Image Link Building Strategies (That Actually Work)

If there's one under-utilized content asset of any website today for link building, I'm pretty sure it's images.

Most of you think it has lesser link acquisition value than other content types - probably for two reasons: One, it doesn't catches longetivity.  Unlike a typical 3500-word utlimate guide, normal images don't inform a lot of messages.

Two, it's plain, simple and most of the time, it's commercial-context. If a visual asset originates from your company for example (i.e. branded team photos), you would think it's not usual for a blogger to link to such a particular piece. And your next problem is, how can I can remove the commercial intent in these images?".

These examples of link builder's dilemma causes you not to believe much in the power of image link building.

I hope that at the end of this post, you would have plently of ideas how you can use images to build links for your site.

Below is a list of 9 image link building strategies that we had the most success with. They can be used in conjuction with others in order to increase the value of the proposition for outreach.

1. SKYCRAPE OLD INFOGRAPHICS

If the word "infographics" is for sale in the SEO market, I think it's sold out already (and perhaps a best seller).

Just kidding..

Infographics are abused in almost all industries. Try searching for your "industry" + "INFOGRAPHIC" as your keyword phrase in Google, and you'll start seeing tons of infographics published.

Not all of them are giving much value to users, ofcourse.

One way you can do to breakthrough the noise is to observe your industry's visual market and see which visuals previously gained success and which ones didn't worked out well.

By doing that you can start digging into old and most-linked images. When you see one, you start to strategize how to update it and give a revamp.

Skysrape an old visual asset.

How can you do that at scale?

Use Buzsumo and its "infographic filter" and go search for a topic that's relevant to your industry.

buzzsumo search filter

filtered infographics search results buzzsumo

You enter industry keywords and look for previous infographics that gotten shares and links, some just earned shares, and it's okay. In visual marketing, there's a neat probablity shares could result to a few links.

Further Reading: 4 Intermediate Tips to Improve Guestographics

2. UTILIZE EVENT EXPERIENCES LINKS USING FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHY

Events become memorable because of great experiences. No one will deny that he wants go back to certain events where he had a great time with, at the same date and same place, if possible,.

It's classic. And what would make someone remember those events?

Photos.

If you can utilize event experiences with freelance photos, there's a huge link opportunity that awaits you. Get someone to cover an event with freelance photography.

Instead of sponsoring bucks or free pizzas for after-event parties, hire a freelance photographer to cover that event.

Get those high-quality captures and upload them on a specific page on your website - and dedicate that page just for that event.

event photos

Reach out to event organizers and let them know that you have captured great experiences on your website, and these are publicly available for republishing/resourcing. Politely ask those who have used your photos to credit you as the original source.

Depending on vertical markets, if there are niche bloggers/marketers/PR professionals who may have attended the event, there are more link opportunities that you'd see coming from participants' own websites.

3. CREATE CONTENT FOR "QUOTES" KEYWORD

People love inspiration. And getting quotes from anywhere is one way to hype up one's day.

fitness quotes

Knowing that, if you take industry quotes (e.g. parenting quotes) to a keyword research tool, you'll see that there's an immense opportunity to cover a content specific to that.

parenting quotes

Though most industry quotes that you'll see is just a compilation of all sayings/wordings from different sources or people, there are sure-fire ways to help your content get more visibility and definitely help it rank on search.

Ross Hudgens shared that in a post on ranking for "quotes" keyword:

  1. Aim for the Most Quotes on the SERP - which means if you see 80 quotes, try to aim for 120 or 150 for example.
  2. Make Shareable Images for Some Quotes - shareability is important to get more visibility to the content.
  3. Use Longtail KWs as H2s or Filters - to rank for related keywords, like "parenting a child with disabilities" quotes", you can categorize quotes based on different audience intent.
  4. Add Share CTAs on Individual Quotes - add customized tweet-to-share buttons to individual quotes to increase social shares.

In addition, here are some more actionable tips to maximize quotes content for link building.

First is to include sayings or statements of your industry influencers.

By having them at your blog spotlight, there's a reason for them to share your "quotes" page as you give them exposure upfront.

One way to find their best statements is to check their top-performing/best articles. Get one or two statements they said powerfully (and probably would be found valuable to other people in your industry).

Create an individual graphic just for that. Then, reach out to those influencers and share your content.

Second is to make it part of a big post.

If you're creating a content that you think one quote from your "quotes" page can best fit, make it as part of that content. By doing so and including a link to your "quotes" page, you increase its visiblity - that more people wil visit and check the page.

4. REPOINT SLIDESHARE LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE

Whether it's a personal brand or corporate profile, if there's a brand ambassador, marketer and industry practitioner in your organization that gets invited to speak to different events, then chances are you'll have a library of slide decks.

You may haven't uploaded them yet on your own website or on public platforms like SlideShare.

But if you do, congrats! Otherwise, there's a missed opportunity there to get links. In fact, in industries where there is a huge demand for expertise information, slides are strong assets for links.

If you have uploaded your slides in Slideshare, track how many links it organically receives. You can semi-automate this process by creating alerts to give you email notications when a link to a specific page has been found.

Ahrefs can help you with this.

slideshare links

You can go deeper by tracking mentions of a popular slide you have uploaded (which you probably have the confidence that it'll get shared massively and earned links based on its initial visibility).

Say, if it has been viewed thousand times without much promotion, you may be expecting it to be seen more organically and if boost it with manual promotion, there's a high chance it can receive some links.

Your next action then is to send emails to publishers who have embedded your slide/s in their content and ask if they could link to your website.

Nudge bloggers with specific anchor text that they may use, i.e., you can state lines like this in your emaill, "You may link to [domain.com] with texts like, via "Brand/Persona".

via link slideshare linksBy doing so, you increase your conversion rate, as you remove the commerciality intent of your pitch.

This link building tactic is simple yet undertutilized by link builders for clients with strong speaking portfolio.

Further Reading: The Definitive Guide to Link Reclamation

My fifth image link building tip is connected to the method above.

5. CURATE CONFERENCE SLIDES

One clever way I've seen in company blogs doing to get more site visibiity is publishing a curated list of slide presentations of all the speakers when they have organized an event.

search love 2017 slides curation

Some SEOs may just look at it as a simple marketing strategy, but it's a crafty newsjacking idea to put a list of visuals that often have high demands for consumption.

How many people have asked speakers this question, "will you upload your slide presentation online?".

There's many of them - attendees who are always looking for speakers' decks.

And if they've found the organizer's blog that puts up a page for those resources, would they not be willing to share or link to it?

The essential here is that you have to be the organizer yourself and been able to publish slides first among every other else (because speakers tend to publish theirs on their own blogs as well).

Besides creating a page that is dedicated to those slides, it's also important to upload those pieces in your Slideshare account to get more organic visiblity (as they have chances to rank for long-tail industry keywords).

slideshare links rank page one

Imagine if there are 3 to 5 slides (just you curating it) has earned links from blogs in your industry. It's 5 or 10 links acquired with just simple method!

Just reaching out to them and reclaiming those links, asking if they can credit you as the source of those visual assets.

6. TRACK MENTIONS OF FLICKR ACCOUNT

Flickr maybe an old platform for people uploading photos online. But it can still be a gateway for links in respective industries where images are heavy-indexed, like travel, lifestyle and home improvement.

flickr links account

Flickr profiles with customized photos are getting links from time and time - and if you've got one, find out who used your images.

You email the contact person and ask if it is possible not to link to your Flickr profile, but to your direct website itself.

There are strong signs of linking, such in the case with links that have via [Name] or Photo captured by [Name] below the embedded slide deck.

photo captured by link

You can insert lines in your email that say, You may provide a source of link in your caption text (via domain.com).

If you got it right, that's a few homepage links you'll never just easily get from other link building methods.

7. RANKING OPPORTUNITIES WITH VISUAL CONTENT USING PINTEREST

When ranking your website in Google, it's imperative to find low-hanging keywords you can easily rank without much due diligence in promotion, especially if you're a relatively new website.

Those keywords are goldmine opportunities that may only require you to put a content that is only 2x better than other pages in search results.

And be mindful that you don't have to create 10x content just to rank. With an average DA of your domain, it's possible to steal those easy organic traffic.

One brilliant tip to find those visual ranking opportunities (h/t to @dan_shure) is with the use of Pinterest.

Pinterest pages rank for keywords you may haven't thought that are relevant to your industry. Some keyphrases even have high link intent, which gives you enough confidence for manual outreach.

How to start this content creation approach?

Put Pinterest into semrush.com. (I prefer SEMRush than Ahrefs when filtering millions of organic keywords straight on the platform without exporting CSV files).

domain pinterest.com

Your next step is to filter keywords by your topic + "ideas" or "images".

industry ideas semrush

Then filter again with keyword difficulty.

Do this method every month to find newly suggested or searched keywords and you'll have endless visual keyword opportunities you can rank content with.

For example, "backyard fence ideas" keyword has Pinterest pages with good link intent (20+ average linking root domains).

backyard fence ideas

That keyword opportunity alike, given in your respective industry, is something you can grab and create 2x content with it which passively helps you earn links when you rank.

8. REVERSE ENGINEER IMAGE SITE LINKS

Image links, for some of you who don't know, are links pointing to your site not with the use of an anchor text, but with an image.

Image links are acquired from different approaches. Here are some common examples:

Image directories 

Example link

indulgy

Loyalty cards

Example link

loyalty card image site link 1

loyalty card image site link 2

Partnerships or Sponsors

Example linkpartnership or sponsor image link -

Professional Organization Links

Example link

professional organization image link

As you can see, these are legitimate links, that are mostly executed from a traditional partnership perspetive, i.e. the case with professional organization. You join a partner group and they give you link from their partners/association page.

In most cases, these links are hard to get by just doing outreach, and requesting for a link.

You don't do that. for sure. These are gold mines. You think and plan how to acquire the link properly.

But with good approach and if your brand permits you to sponsor/partner/join or even create a loyalty card for customers, it's not only a branding opportunity. But along the way, you can create image links.

How did it started?

Put up a competitor's domain to a link prospecting tool.

competitor link analysis

Go to its Backlinks profile and export a backlink report (CSV).

csv backlink report

Filter the list with words containting "Image" to only find image links, either do-follow or un-follow.

image type filter

Search through potential link opportunities. Understand how your competitor acquired links. Some may take manual outreach, others may take weeks to partner for a program. But there are a few that only requires to create a profile and upload images, just like this one.

polyvore image link

9. IMAGE SHARE WITH OTHER WEBSITES

Honestly, not all image link building tactics can best fit for your website.

But if there's one tip that is very simple to do to build links through images is you approach publishers and give them permission to use any of your visuals.

By giving them permission, you provide value upront that sets you apart from other link pitches, that say, "give me a link".

Jason Acidre established a solid image link building strategy of creating a private gallery/library of images and cinemegraphs and offering it to bloggers in exchange of links.

cinemagraph example

With more bloggers caring more about the design of their content, they'll likely perceive your pitch as highly valuable, especially if it's given for them intentionally and for free.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to do them, you should probably find someone who can. Learn more about our link building services.


contextual-links

7 Insanely Actionable Tactics to Build Contextual Links

Guest blogging is not the only contextual link building tactic. There are several which you are yet to figured out.

But first…

What is a contextual link?

Here's a good definition from Jason Acidre:

A contextual link is a type of link that’s usually found within the body of content and is in context with the idea surrounding the link. It can be both natural (voluntary links from other websites – ex: link bait) and artificial (manually built – ex: one of your guest posts that links back to your blog/content).

Building contextual links can benefit you in so many ways which include

Targeted traffic. Leads. Online brand presence.

They are all good, but only seem "to be too good to be true" if you don't know the exact how-to's of building the right contextual links.

Today, I want to give you 7 ways to get contextual links for your website.

 

1. MAXIMIZE TARGETED OUTREACH

Targeted outreach is basically sending out emails to prospect linkers of a very specific content - most are existing articles with the same topic, with a hope to get reference links back to the site.

Let's say, you have published a post on "how to stop my husband from snoring". If you want to get contextual links, you may reach out to articles that rank for terms like, "how to stop snoring", "how to stop snoring of your partner", or even "top snoring apps".

how to stop snoring search results page 1Because they'll find your article to be relevant to use as an additional resource (i.e. including your content on "you may also check out this article on" or "for further reading"), there's a good chance you'll acquire a link.

But it's not a guarantee that it works all the time. You have to understand the context of the linking page and your content, so you could determine if there's a good linking chance.

Here are some tips to guide you when assessing these link opportunities:

First, check the primary focus topic of the article/page.

Ask yourself, "Does the prospect article I'm trying to get a link from cover a much larger subject compared to the topic of the content I'm pitching with?".

contextual-linking-2

If you are pitching your "top snoring apps" to an article about generic "how to stop snoring" content, there's a good chance to get a link from that because the linking page covers a wider subject and perhaps has a subsection about snoring apps - which then provides you an opportunity now for a link.

But how about if it's vice versa? "how to stop snoring" to "top snoring apps," would you get a link?

contextual-linking-1

The answer is, "it depends."

Depending on how the article is structured, if the article covers exactly "top snoring apps" and your page isn't about apps, there'll be misalignment on his part to link to you. But it's not always the case.

If your article speaks about a subsection on snoring apps which hasn't been discussed/included in the prospect existing article, there's a good chance you'll get a link.

The logic is that the blogger would want to give a reference link to a page that explains more about a topic/word/phrase mentioned in his article but have yet to be expounded.

Second thing you need to do is to assess external links on a page.

If you see a homepage link on an article and it's referencing a product/service, not as a recommendation just like brand mention (see example below) or a product review which obviously links to a commercial page, there's a less organic linking chance to it.

external links audit

The reason there's a link there is either the webmaster/blogger is affiliated, partnered or is compensated with for the effort of linking or simply, the product/service is an authority in the space - undoubtedly being linked to in most blogs.

Third thing is to identify if the page is dynamic or static.

dynamic page

What I mean with dynamic is there are pages that frequently updates over time and there are others pages that are not. Those pages that require updates of links are dynamic.

If you're reaching out to a dynamic page, there's a high probability to acquire a link, as the need itself looks for new resources or references. In other words, they'll be linking to your content if it will make their content piece better.

A post on snoring apps for 2017, for example, can be dynamic if its URL isn't targeting snoring apps 2017 phrase. If it's just snoring apps resource article, it gives space for new links to resources.

The more dynamic the existing page is, the higher is the likelihood you'll get a link. Otherwise, if it's static, they should have reasons to link other than the timeliness of the topic.

So, there are three ways to check if an existing article/page can potentially link to you.

Second tip:

2. GENERATE EASY LINKS FROM RELATIVELY NEW AND LOW AUTHORITY PUBLICATIONS

You aim links from DA30+ blogs, but from sites with lower metrics (<DA30), you probably don't.

Not pitching low authority sites is kind of a short-sighted thinking.

If you aim for traffic and clicks from links, there are low-authority sites with upward trends in organic growth that you should be getting because they actually increase the value of links when you get them.

DA21 website

More importantly if these are blogs that are still new in the industry (use archive.org to check), you'll find that after a few months or years, they'll have increased their followers and linkers.

Thus, if you have build relationships with them upfront, it will not be difficult to convince them for you to contribute posts on their blogs.

Note: If you have an authority brand, you should aim for top-tier industry blogs. But if you're starting to grow your link profile, pursuing even low authority blogs can be effective for you.

To check if a low authority blog is worthy of your link efforts, you can use Ahrefs or SEMRush to basically check the site's estimated organic traffic.

The slope of the organic traffic trend signals the site's growth. The steeper the slope upward, the better.

upward trend traffic

Once identified if a low authority blog is link-worthy, you'll then reach out to them with whatever offer you have - either a content asset worthy of a link or a visual asset ready to be republished.

3. EVALUATE SIMILAR PAGE LINKS FOR HOMEPAGE ASK

You probably heard that tip from Ross if you religiously consuming content from SiegeMedia.

In my experience, that's one way to assess your chance to get the link.

If there are commercial links (i.e. one link is pointing to a product page) on a page, then you have chances to get a homepage or commercial link as well.

History of linking to similar page types is one true sign of a possible link.

external links homepage ask

However, that's not to say that it is always a guarantee. With proper assessment, you may know if a homepage ask is worth pursuable.

Here are some true signs of a potential homepage link:

  1. Keyword-optimized anchor text - very few you'll find a link with the exact target keyword/phrase as the anchor text. So seeing one (except for Exact-match-domains where brand names are exact ranking keyword) is an intent to link to a commercial page.
  2. List of partners - you normally see this in eCommerce space; retailers, manufacturers,, suppliers and other business partners types are mostly homepage as linked pages.
  3. Recommended products/services - top X tools in 2018 is one example where homepage ask is feasible

Even if you've got a great content piece published recently, if you think a homepage would be best fit, that's something you should pursue to be linked to. The opportunity cost is high if it's not, given that a homepage link is way more difficult to acquire than top-of-the-funnel pages like industry guides.

4. LINK EXCHANGE EXCLUSIVELY FOR LINKABLE ASSETS

When you have a great linkable environment in your space, you'll start receiving emails from other bloggers or webmasters wanting to get their links to their own sites.

link exchange for linkable assets outreach

Three or five asks of this kind every month is a good opportunity to link exchange.

Depending on cases, you'll find that it's okay to exclusively link exchange for both linkable assets.

It's natural to find a page that references good content and a page from another site links out to your good content.

Here, you don't get links mutually to the same pages (page A to page B, page B to page A). That's a 2008 link exchange. Rather, your content A gets a link from his page A and his content B is linked on your page C. 

Below are more tips to guide you with this tactic:

A. Check if the linking partner is a good fit.

You will receive different emails of an ask to link (link exchange): some pitches include direct links to their preferred pages/content, others didn't have.

If the email is handcrafted well (with your name personalized), it's a sign of a good linking fit.

However, there are emails that start with Dear Ma'am/Sir but still has a good relevant content piece. The person reaching out just doesn't know how to outreach properly.

So, always check the email and the website they have. Assess if the page or website itself is semantically fit to your brand.

B. Assess their preferred linking page.

If it's a content page they're building links to, it's a potential fit.

Otherwise, for commercial pages, consider if the product/service could be highly recommended on your website.

As Ross Hudgens says, "Building natural links to landing pages with commerciality built in is pretty close to impossible with cold outreach."

C. Identify which page you could put their link.

Unless you're willing to put a new page/article to give them a link, you could simply search an existing page in your own website that best fits them. 

If you have a recommended readings page, that's one choice you can pick as you can simply include a link to their content if there's a section that fits their topic.

D. Check if you could also get a link.

I suggest you choose one page that you'd like to improve more ranking visibility by getting more links to. Then by doing a site search on Google for their domain, site:hisdomain.com "topic", check if they have a page that fits the topic.

site search for link exchange

Once you start attracting potential linkers, link exchange exclusively for linkable assets can be a low-hanging fruit tactic that can add new links to your website,

5. USE TWITTER TO NUDGE BLOGGERS ABOUT BROKEN LINKS

Perhaps you've found broken links on a target resource page and you thought, "maybe I could tell this to the webmaster to connect easily, with the hope of getting a link".

So you easily go to your outreach tool and craft an email to be sent to the webmaster, with the note, "I've found errors on your page".

He doesn't respond so you send a follow-up.

Nothing happens so you proceed to your next outreach prospect.

This is an opportunity cost..

No response doesn't mean there's a huge problem with your link prospecting and outreach approach. There may just be a little tweak needeed to properly connect to your outreach prospect.

How about sending a direct message on Twitter to connect?

Most bloggers are active on social because they care about their community (their followers) and consistently curate industry posts through social posting.

For that reason, if you send a direct message to a blogger to tell about their broken links, there's a high chance you'll get noticed.

Twitter-outreach

The methodology isn't perfect but it could make you stand out in a world of really basic, boring email templates, even a messy BLB pitch like this one:

broken links common pitch

Once you've connected on social, you have a choice to stay in the medium for the conversation or redirect messaging to email. The latter best works if you've asked the person about his personal email.

6. FIND INDUSTRY LINK ROUNDUP TERMS TO INCREASE CONVERSION RATES

Right when you do a search for "contextual link building" or "contextual links", you'll find articles on the first page of search results that say, "get links from link roundups."

You know that the tactic has been written several times on many SEO articles so you know how the process works.

Step 1: Use search operator, "link roundup" "INDUSTRY" or "roundup" "weekly" OR "monthly" "INDUSTRY" to find industry-specific link roundup opportunities.

Step 2: Create a list of blogs with link roundups and find contact emails of webmasters.

Step 3: Reach out to them with an email template that says, "I've found your "ROUNDUP NAME" .. and thought you might be interested to see this recently published on TOPIC — <insert your link to the post>" or anything similar to that.

It's an effective tactic but not everyone could get results from it immediately.

What's missing in this tactic is how to really optimize prospecting for industries where there are little-to-no outreach market for this rare type of link targets.

What do I mean?

Not all link roundups have titles of "best links of week/day/month" or "industry link roundup", most of you would discover that sites named their roundup series with weird names, i.e. "blog party," "link party," or "blog hop."

travel link up

 

They may sound black hat 2008, but these are exact terms blogger use in reference to what we call "link roundups."

So, how do you find exact link roundup titles in your industry?

I recommend you start identifying an authoritative industry blog (one with DA60+) that publishes regular high-quality content pieces.

For example, if you're in the wine industry, one popular wine blog that consistently produces high-quality content is WineFolly.

They publish a diversity of content assets - from 10x guides to visuals, they do it on a regular basis.

By checking their top content of all time (top content with highest number of social shares, not by # of links), you will see this post on pairing wine and cheese. Take a deeper look at its referring links, you can immediately see roundup links, including this roundup post -  GrapeCollective Wine News.

grape collective link roundup

Dig into other top content's links and you'll find more roundup links like Grape Wall Daily.

grape wall link roundup

You understand the pattern. Find a top industry blog that produces high-quality content pieces. Check the site's top pages based on social shares (you can use Ahref's top content feature, not top pages). Check if the most-shared content has gained roundup links. If yes, grab those link opportunities and gather more link round targets by reverse engineering the site's other content pieces.

7. INVITE CONTRIBUTORS USING DIFFERENT OFFERS

It has been proven time and time again that getting contributors for your blog can help increase its number of referring domains.

For example, Joshua Dorkin was able to grow his real estate blog - BiggerPockets by putting out high-quality content pieces from regular contributors.

That strategy allows his blog to become one of the real estate authorities today.

biggerpockets

In his comment at Kaiserthesage blog, he said that he gets 30+ contributors to write for BiggerPockets every week while he ensures that they put out 2-3 good pieces of content through his content marketing team.

Today, BiggerPockets for sure has more blog contributors. Maybe double, triple or 10x their site traffic because of that strategy.

biggerpockets organic traffic

That's just for one industry, but there are also other niches with massive blog community that have gained more exposure and more links simply by getting regular contributors for their blog.

Getting started with inviting-contributors is easy. You send emails to potential contributors and ask if they're interested to write for you.

The hardest part is getting them onboard.

If you can answer "what's in it for me" for bloggers, you'll have high chances of enticing them to become your regular contributors. 

Below are some valuable offers to make for bloggers:

  • Increased exposure to blog through additional social following, email subs, and referral traffic. Got a DA45+ blog? Reach out to new bloggers (DA20 or less). This is more realistic than pitching top authority bloggers (DA70+ blog).
  • Premium product subscription. I wrote for Ahrefs in 2013 in exchange for monthly standard subscription plan of their product. This works for your niche too, if you have a great product to offer.
  • Content collaboration. Less work for the blogger. Gets more credibility for both parties if both of your blogs have an immense following on social and emails.
  • Compensation. Best is to target part-time bloggers. They charge cheaper than full-time ones. One tip is to check if their about/media/press/hire-me page. If they include $ per article/hour rate, they wouldn't go cheaper than that.
  • Relationships. This matters most if you want to bait bloggers to write for you. No need for additional offers, as they wholeheartedly would write for your blog.

Once you have invited bloggers to write for your blog, you may constantly check new bloggers in your industry you can potentially reach out to be added to your contributors' list.

new blogs author contributors

So those are 7 ways to build contextual links to your site.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to do them, you should probably find someone who can. Learn more about our link building services.


link-building-2018

Link Building 2018 - Observations, What Still Works, My Appeal to Link Builders and More

2017 is over. And I'm sure you'll start seeing posts or tweets on SEO predictions/trends for 2018, or something similar like best SEO/link building tips/strategies.

Instead of giving you another round-up post today, I'll share to you some of my observations for the past year 2017 and what I've been looking forward to see this year. I added a few rants appeals to link builders today- hopefully a few of them help improve your own process.

MY OBSERVATIONS IN 2017 (AND PREDICTIONS IN 2018)

1. WEBMASTERS NOT APPRECIATIVE OF THE VALUE OF ON-SITE SIGNALS BEFORE LINKS 

For the entire year, I've heard many business owners say that links don't work for their sites.

Sad to say, but the root cause of their disappointment is not that their acquired links are of less value, but rather their websites themselves are broken from an on-page perspective.

creative manila

Too many sites have duplicate or thin content, there are important pages (even linkable pages) that aren't index in search. So on and so forth.

I'd highly recommend to fix your site first. Get someone to do technical audit. See if there are pages that are broken. Get it optimized before reaching out to link building companies and asking for help for additional links.

Links won't solve your on-page/architectural issues. They should be fixed first before you build links.

2. WEBSITES WITH MORE BETTER LINKS WIN 

Both quantity and quality of links are important. It's not an or, but both.

The reason you need more links, even if you have just acquired 25 high-quality links this month is that there is link attrition - meaning 5 or 10 of links you've built last month may have fall off the link graph after 6 or 8 months.

There are link losses.

lost links ahrefs

If you're in a competitive search space, this becomes critical. You should start taking a look at your top competitor sites. Plug them into a link building tool and know instantly that they have an ongoing link building campaign, month by month.

So if you can outpace your link losses by generating more links every single month (or even every week), you'll likely to get more value from links --especially today that more businesses (not just SEO agencies) are outsourcing work for links.

You know that more business owners are seeing the value of investment for link building. Some even have a separate budget for it besides content and technical SEO.

Maximize low-cost and low-hanging link opportunities to get consistent links for your site. Check your past content and start re-optimizing them. You might have increased their rankings and start earning links from a natural approach (publishers start referencing content that ranks for topical keywords).

Quality and quantity.

3. PRIVATE PBNS STILL WORK 

This is probably your first time to see this included in a white hat SEO post.

Unfair as you can see, but I've seen a lot of ranking pages in different niches where direct referring domains are considered to be part of a private blog network.

There are PBNs that are easy to figure out by only checking if websites have similar webpage design.

Some aren’t difficult to get by. Each website/blog has unique page design, with unique content pieces.

Google could easily identify obvious PBNs but for ones with invested content and are really optimized for search and users, it would take years before they could get caught.

4. LINKS DON'T COME NATURALLY TO SITES IN GIVEN NICHES (AS IT IS SAID OTHERWISE MULTIPLE TIMES) 

For the past few years, a lot of SEOs are shouting link earning. Create good content and links will come. That is true for some niches, but not all.

There are markets where you literally have to build links manually first before you start ranking and earn links. Some don't even have to rank, but because of referring links, potential linkers could naturally see and link to the content.

But that strategy doesn't happen overnight. 

If you are starting and are outpacing your competitors with huge content assets (linkable ones), you have to grow your link profile from the ground. That could only happen if you do manual link building.

That means you have to pitch linkers with your irresistible offer (unique value proposition) that'll make them link to you.

Naturality of link acquisition depends on niches and types of sites. The more commercial your site, the lesser the probability you could acquire links naturally. But that doesn't mean you can't.  You sometimes just have to build links manually first.

5. LINK OPPORTUNITIES PITCHED OUTSIDE OF EMAIL INCREASES LINK CONVERSION RATES

Email inboxes of publishers/linkers are exploding because of several link pitches. Knowing that, I've seen a few link building veterans who start experimenting on other ways to connect to the person in charge for the target link/site/page besides sending him an email.

Going after your outreach prospect with nothing but an email template you've passed on to several others, won't improve your outreach process.

Our team uses several other platforms to reach out to potential linkers and get noticed. Some may just initiate engagements on social at first, but the returns are worthwhile as we are able to obtain what we desire.

Twitter-outreach6. SEO POSTS ON TWEAKS TO OLD LINK BUILDING TACTICS WILL INCREASE IN 2018 

The cool thing about me being a blogger and not just a link building practitioner is the idea that I get to hear a lot of link building campaigns from my email subscribers, followers, and even SEO authorities who get their hands dirty on link building.

In 2018, I'll be seeing more posts from SEO authorities who continuously test different aspects of prospecting, qualification and outreach.

No, you probably won't see a new BIG link building strategy coming over. But there will be tens, if not hundreds of tweaks/changes (must say, improvements) to old and current link building tactics that we have right now.

A few examples:

Those subtle things that you do in prospecting, outreach, and even link building principles in general can do wonders in results for your campaign.

Note: Below this post, I listed down blogs and twitter profiles you should definitely follow for link building advice and tips that bring results.

7. LINKS FROM TOP DIRECTORIES (NICHE/LOCAL), SOCIAL SIGNALS AND PROFILE LINKS STILL WORK

When starting out, adding trust signals to your site is important to your initial ranking success.

Sadly, I've seen new websites don't even have basic social profiles and relevant directories.

I know it's 2008 when you talk about directories. But there are a few legitimate ones that can be valuable to your website. BOTW for example is a good directory - not every new websites would dare to submit homepage links to it.

botw directory

Get your website submitted to legitimate directories. Create profile links.

Those link types still work.

8. 10X WILL BECOME 20X IN 2018 

As more people (more marketers) are getting educated on the current trend of SEO and content marketing, there would be a long-line of high-level content creators who would try to dominate each serp in respective niches.

That being said, if you have a market that's fairly new, it only waits a few years before someone can rank a page dedicated to topics covered in that industry.

A niche search result pages that have tens of ultimate/definitive/best-of-all guides will soon be replicated to other search markets.

The bar of standard quality for content increases as more marketers gets skilled in creating user-satisfying content that also being loved by search engines.

It may take months or years. But 10x will become 20x.

9. MORE WAYS TO GENERATE BOTTOM-OF-THE-FUNNEL LINKS IN 2018 

Second-followups for homepage ask and building landing pages with blog content are just a few of the things we will be seeing by next year.

Building links to commercial pages is difficult. But with a few tweaks to outreach and by maximizing tp-of-the-funnel pages, there will come a few more tactics that could help scale building landing page links. 

So, that's the 9 things I observe throughout the past year - 2017 (and some predictions for 2018).

Next is I'll be sharing my appeals to link builders in 2018, particularly those who want to reach their next level link building.

Here we go:

MY APPEAL TO LINK BUILDERS 

1. CREATE YOUR OWN EMAIL TEMPLATE WITH YOUR UNIQUE OFFER

If you are starting, getting a ready-made email template from an SEO blog is good. But if you want to level up, you need to create your own email outreach templates - ones that reflect your client's offer/USP and one that is personalized but scalable.

If you're still using outreach template examples that are read by thousands of SEOs around the world, you may have not understood yet the basic principles of outreach.

common outreach email guest posting

It's good to start with a basic email outreach template. Tweak some elements of the email (body/subject). Start from there and make changes based on results.

Have an internal A/B testing in outreach if you have a team. This also helps avoid outreach repetition that occurs when one of your team member sends personalized pitches to outreach prospects day-in and day-out.

It's not that creative task if you do that overtime.

But when someone creates an email template from scratch, it gives room to creativity and allows internal testing to be made for certain outreach campaigns.

2. THERE IS NO ALL-IN-ONE LINK BUILDING TOOL 

There are link building tools that some considered to be all-in-one SEO or link building suite. But if you take a deeper look, you wouldn't see one that best fits all your needs.

Knowing that, you may want  to start creating your own internal tool (either just purely for prospecting or outreach or even both).

For example, my good friend Jeff Oxford created his own internal link building tool for his team at 180 Marketing (which is now publicly available for subscription). Having tried several outreach platforms and link building tools that are available in the market, he has decided to create one that solves both link prospecting and outreach efficiency issues.

link hunter

I'll write a review about his link building tool in the coming weeks or months.

But the point is, if you haven’t had searched for one link building tool that can sustain all your needs as a link builder or link building team, you may explore creating a tool for yourself.

If that sounds costly to you, you may simply just use different tools in the market and try as many as you can. I recommend ones that are free because, at times, they could give you little fixes to things that you need (e.g. VoilaNorbert for contact email finding).

Pro tip: Save monthly premium cost by using Ahrefs export service on Fiverr ($5 only for exporting backlink, organic keyword, referring domains, top pages and top landing pages of 10 domains).

fiverr ahrefs export

3. PAY YOUR SCHOLARS ON TIME  

Scholarship links have been around for a long time.

For a time being, you can get high-quality edu links right off the bat.

Create a scholarship program and publish a page specifically to that. Reach out to .edu student personnel. Send scholarship information. Done, you get links.

Some even get better value of links if their scholarship program is niche-specific (for example: legal scholarship program).

legal scholarship program

Easy links for most SEOs, right?

Unfortunately, many link builders and webmasters abused the tactic.

If you're doing this tactic at scale for all your clients, it's unethical not to pay your scholars. There are students complaining about companies who fail to actually pay out their scholars and/or didn't event release an announcement about whose students actually won the scholarships.

This reality happens in the SEO community where link builders just bait scholarships for edu links, but aren't willing to pay what is due them.

Pay your scholars on time.

4. FIND THE CORRECT PERSON TO CONTACT AT A GIVEN ORGANIZATION  

This may not be an appeal obviously, but this is worthy to say as we start the year.

Many webmasters rant that link building is dead, only to find out that they haven't fixed issues in specific aspects of link building that may somehow the reason why their link building doesn't work for them.

One issue I have seen multiple times with SEO agencies is their high level reliance on automated tools to find the correct person to contact at a given website or organization.

Those tools are great. They give you several email addresses at hand, some even choose one contact email among tens available. But considering that you're looking for one person to address your needs, you should probably look for him/her and not randomly get it from the tool.

For example, if you're running a scholarship program, contact a financial aids / students guidance contact person. If you're aiming for a link from a specific page, check the page itself for any visible contact email and get that. Want to get your infographic published on the site? Look for the blogger's contact email, and not admin@domain.com, or sales@domain.com - these emails won't reply either or forward your email to the right person - if you're lucky.

Sometimes you have to spend a few minutes to match name (which you've found on the site's about page) and domain name by using Voila Norbert just to get one contact email. It takes hard work even in manual contact finding.

clearbit finding email address

It's more efficient to get someone whose role is to find the right contact person and his/her respective contact email, which could definitely increase your email response rates, than rely solely on automated tools giving you contact emails that could either not respond to you at all or just forward your email multiple times to multiple contact persons (but not the correct one).

I hope most SEO agencies get this right by this year. 

5. PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN AND DO THE WORK  

When you are willing to put in the level of work that is needed to get the quality links that you want, you don't just get the results alone, but you are able to spot problems, and even reflect things to improve along the process.

To give you an example:

I've shared this in my local link building post, but I want to throwback a little bit. There are a few local tactics not everyone has tried yet for their local websites, but pretty simple and effective as well.

First, job board pages. There are a lot of this type of links pages that can be acquired legitimately for your site. Prospect them through Google searches like the following:

  • "job search" "resources" [CITY]
  • "employment" inurl:resources [CITY]
  • "job hunting" resources [CITY]
  • nurl:careers [CITY]

Second, local "new to an area"pages. Get these types of link prospects through the following searches:

  • local laws in [CITY]
  • quality schools in [CITY]
  • tourist information [CITY]
  • local attractions [CITY]
  • things to do in [CITY]
  • how to get here [CITY]
  • volunteer listings in [CITY]
  • moving and relocation in [CITY]
  • my neighborhood in [CITY]

Third, local housing resources. Want to get this kind of link targets? Search using:

  • "off-campus" housing [CITY] "resources"
  • "student housing" [CITY] "resources"
  • "internship housing" [CITY] "resources"

And more…

You don't find these link opportunities by simply reading a newly published SEO post today. You've got to put in the work.

How?

Learn to decipher link patterns. Once you've found a new website worth checking out for links, get that immediately into a link building tool. Look at the backlinks profile. Analyze their new backlinks. If you see the same link type over every month in his backlink report, that's a sign they constantly building that type of links.

Is that a current link building strategy you know? Or is it something else? Test it if it's new and see if it works for your site as well.

Go and check the website's top pages (you can use best by links or best by link growth feature of Ahrefs if you're using it). What type or format of content has been gaining several relevant links?  Do you see also see the same type of content in other relevant websites? How about with your competitors? Is there a pattern that you see?

When you build that kind of habit, there's no place you won't find any relevant link opportunities in your space. The advantage? Those links may probably be so difficult to build, your competitors couldn't replicate easily.

But then again, it takes hard work to do that.

link building work

LINK BUILDING RESOURCES TO READ IN 2018 

Here are some link building readings you may have missed in 2017 but are definitely worth checking out:

  1. Link building case studies, myths and fails by Paddy Moogan
  2. Category page link building for e-commerce sites
  3. When the big links aren’t on the table this is the link building advice you need to read
  4. 11 Lessons Learned from Failed Link Building Campaigns
  5. The Essential Guide to Building Local Relationships and Goodwill, Nationwide
  6. How to Get Homepage Links from Resource Outreach
  7. How to Quickly Find Unlinked Mentions and Build Links
  8. Creating Influencer-Targeted Content to Earn Links + Coverage
  9. 8 Actionable Ways to Loot Your Competitors’ Backlinks
  10. Why ‘fresh prospects’ are your hottest prospects
  11. Is the phone the most underused tool in link building?
  12. Broken Link Replacements for Better Link Conversion
  13. 7 Hard-Hitting Local Link Building Tactics for Small and Large Businesses
  14. How to Build Authority Links to Your Website
  15. 13 Advanced Link Building Strategies You (Probably) Haven’t Used
  16. Image Link Building

LINK BUILDING BLOGS TO SUBSCRIBE IN 2018 

  1. SiegeMedia
  2. Kaiserthesage
  3. Builtvisible
  4. SharpRocket
  5. Moz (still produces great link building resources from time to time)

LINK BUILDING INFLUENCERS TO FOLLOW IN 2018 

  1. Jon Cooper
  2. Cyrus Shepard
  3. Jason Acidre
  4. James Agate
  5. Ross Hudgens
  6. Paddy Moogan
  7. GarrettFrench
  8. Glen Allsopp
  9. Melanie Nathan
  10. Julie Joyce

If you liked this post, subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on @venchito14.

Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.


23 Actionable Tips to Get Backlinks in 2016

23 Actionable Tactics to Get Backlinks in 2018

23 Actionable Tips to Get Backlinks in 2016

As a company who loves building backlinks, it’s a must to do for us to come up with new innovative link building tips, not for the sake of posting something new here on the blog, but for keeping continuous improvements on how to get backlinks to our clients.

How to Get Backlinks

Here are some tips to get backlinks to your site in 2018.

1. PRIORITIZE AUTHORS' FAVORITE LISTS

author favorite lists

You might have used “list-type” of queries to find backlink sources. However, the problem with some directory sites listing “top industry blogs” is that they are outdated and often include bloggers’ other websites (private blog network) – when overlooked, this might actually lead you to low-quality backlink prospects.

Instead of getting quick backlink sources from “top x” blog prospecting, you can look for author’s personal recommendation of websites by using simple Google searches like “personal [industry] blogs I recommended”. With this, you’ll find an updated and topically-relevant list pages of recommended blogs. This is  actually part of personalizing search queries for a targeted link prospecting approach.

personal finance blogs recommended

Adding a few lines to your email like, “I stumbled upon a list of personal recommended blogs from domain.com and saw that you’re part of it” could make outreach significantly more effective. When you are giving people an idea where you got their contacts, you are instantly building connections with them.

2. USE CMS ATTRIBUTION TO QUALIFY PROSPECTING

cms attribution

Using footprints to make backlink research easier has been a common practice in the internet marketing space. If you typically prospect with “guest post-related queries”, it becomes less hassle to find blogs that are accepting contributed content pieces.

Of course, do this sparingly if you don’t want search engines to detect backlinks with only one keyword in place – i.e. “guest post finance”.

That’s not to say that footprints aren’t of good use for link builders. The best practice is actually using them as a backlink qualifier.

For example, you probably have seen blogger attributions at the footer section of every website (“powered by blogger” or “powered by wordpress”). Websites with this type of attribution are personally developed by sole bloggers or those who are at their newbie blogging phase – not with company sites, they’ll likely remove this default attribution and replace it with something else, “Designed by [Web Company” or “Copyright 2017”.

If you’re seeking blog opportunities, you can use CMS attribution to separate blogs from company sites – giving you better response and link acquisition results.

3. RECONNECT TO EMAILS WITH AUTOMATED RESPONSES

out of office email

When you send pitches to webmasters and get automated responses, it’s fairly easy to ignore them and proceed to another prospect in the list. However, if you spend time finding these potential backlinks, it would be best to reconnect again and build bridges to them.

For this reason, you can check the exact date the person is likely to return to work – 100% of the time, this is visible in their automated emails (see the email above).

Schedule follow-up emails at return dates, and use the same value proposition you’ve initially pitched.

4. LEVERAGE TWITTER LISTS FOR BULK PROSPECTING

twitter list personal finance

Marketers talk about using Twitter solely for content promotion all the time. However, on a link building perspective, you can actually use this social platform to prospect for blogs that aren’t just giving you social shares, but also qualified backlinks.

Start your Google search with query, site:twitter.com inurl:lists inurl:members inurl:finance “finance blogger” and prioritize Twitter lists that are labeled with recommended experts, influencers, top bloggers and titles alike, so you would spend less time qualifying linking websites from Twitter profiles in lists based on link metrics.

twitter list google search

This works more efficiently if you can automate this link prospecting process using URL Profiler. You can check out this step by step guide to scrape Twitter lists to for bulk prospecting.

5. USE FACEBOOK FOR CONTENT AGGREGATION

facebook content aggregation

James Norquay introduced me to this idea of generating content ideas through the use of Facebook page. A simple trick like asking a relevant question to thousands of followers (if the client happens to maintain this growth) can ease the difficulty of brainstorming a content theme that resonates a target audience.

Having said that, this is a powerful workflow a content marketer can repeatedly execute, not only for content creation, but also for increasing the chances of promoting the content. If you aggregate answers from followers, you can effortlessly ask them to share the content piece, once published.

Facebook allows for more content visibility when people get nudged for every comment that is added to the post, as it pushes back to the timeline every time – giving some feedback to every answer, i.e. saying thank you also provides extra nudge.

6. BUILD PERSONAL BRAND IN WEB COMMUNITIES

inbound ama

Generating backlinks from web communities is tough. If your main strategy is creating individual profiles from each of these community sites and inserting backlinks to your brand, you’re missing out huge potential equities you could derived from them.

The best 2017 link building practice is to impress members with contributed content, interesting questions and immediate submission of 10x content. If you repeatedly do this, you’ll create a flywheel effect that builds an impressive online presence, which will eventually result to backlinks.

One pro tip here is to observe Ask Me Anything-like opportunities and become the first one to grab it – while moderators qualify based on expertise, there is a higher probability to be included in their line-up of AMA experts if you become the first to pitch them.

This strategy works for us at SharpRocket, as we’re able to build high-quality backlinks from Reddit (DA70) and Inbound.org (DA90). Not a surprise – this drives converting visitors to our sites who became our current clients today.

7. BUY-IN CONTENT GAP

content gap

Content matters, but it’s not actually the king – value proposition is. What keep pages ranked for a long time is their ability to satisfy users with information they’re looking for.

When you stumble a keyword with high search volume, but with high content gap from any ranking pages, you have spotted a goldmine there. This tip is actually inspired by Dan Shure’s post on Twitter - that is executable when targeting informational searches with nothing to compete in the SERPs.

By giving content chances to rank in low-competitive non-commercial keywords, it’s very possible that many publishers and researchers will pick up the page when it gets ranked and use it as a reference to their content works.

If you can create different content pieces that easily rank in search, of course, you earn high-quality editorial backlinks over time – doing less efforts in outreach.

8. ALIGN OUTREACH WITH HIGH TRAFFIC PERIODS

high traffic periods

If you’re pitching webmasters with right timing – early morning on peak days of the week, you probably see good results in your outreach response and conversion rates. Even if content can speak for itself, when an email isn’t read on days and hours when people are likely to see it, you potentially lose the likelihood of hitting a link.

Having said that, there’s also one best practice that supports right timing – that is, aligning outreach with high traffic periods.

If your most visited days in your newly published content are Tuesday and Thursday, it would be best to reach out to people where there’s higher probability that the relevant outreach market is ready to link to your page. If you’ve got an access to client’s analytics, track the highest traffic periods and match this up when scheduling emails. You can check out this guide for a complete setup on the blogger outreach process.

9. CREATE SUCCESS STORIES-TYPE OF CONTENT

success stories

When working on a round-up post, it’s pretty easy to start emailing industry influencers with a question – what is your best X strategy in 2017?, then end the email with a straight call-to-action, “mind sharing the post?”. This strategy works for some content marketers, but there’s a higher probability that this may not resonate to verticals who understand what this game is – influencers might answer the question but won’t be enticed to share the curated piece.

However, there’s a more advanced way to come up with round-up posts that are likely to result to shares and high-quality links – which only a few content management teams dare to create…. success stories.

Have you encountered a case study that walks you through the entire process on how to do a thing? This immediately takes you to action, right? and encourages you to share the piece to others even without testing it first.

Combine success stories with a round-up post and you’ll end up with a 10x content that is worthy of social shares and high-quality links.

One best example of this is the annual success stories (2013, 2014 and 2015), produced by the content marketing team at PageOnePower. These linkable assets combine different success stories from top link building experts on areas of content promotion, relationships, publicity and mentions, innovation and creative and business-oriented links.

Success-type curated content is unique, comprehensive and repeatable – there’s unlikely contributions will be the same since they’re based from own experiences. Experts combined into one post make the content also comprehensive – making it repeatable given that there are actually new stories to tell every year.

10. INCORPORATE PROSPECT LISTS TO SEARCH QUERIES

xy prospecting

The ability to construct productive Google search queries will separate success from failure in link prospecting. The more concrete and specific a search query is, the better search-driven pages it would yield – after all, it’s about the quality, not quantity. If you see 5 million results from a particular search query while not being sure if most of them pass your link metrics, then it would make sense to get more particular with your link prospecting keywords to discover high-quality link targets instantly.

In our day-to-day tasks of finding and qualifying blog targets for our clients (an average of 500 each client), we’ve noticed that list-type of content dominate the search results.

If you take a look at them, they are constructed in such a way like this:

              • 10 keyword tips for industry
              • 21 reasons why industry
              • 16 rules for industry
              • 27 ways on how to keyword industry
              • 18 types of industry
              • 8 lessons learned from industry
              • 10 steps to keyword
              • 8 facts about keyword

The secret to expanding a list of outreach prospects is using above keyword-formats along with the intitle:”1..300” advanced search operator (hat tip to @pointblankseo)– the first and last number serves as the start and end point, respectively. For example, if you’re looking for blog posts with 10 or more photography tips, you can use the search query: intitle:”10..300 tips” “photography”.

Take advantage of this when you have content – product or resource that is perceivably useful to the audience, which is likely be included in a list-type of content.

11. PREDICT LIFETIME LINK VALUE

Like in other areas of digital marketing, maintenance is critically practiced in link acquisition to ensure link values won’t deteriorate. Backlinks could potentially lose their values for many reasons, such as:

              • When they are placed in off-topic pages or in websites with multi-categories.
              • When they are placed in solely-trending pages (top 2015 best practices) – as time passes by, these pages aren’t perceived as valuable to visitors.
              • When backlinks are temporary placed for particular listings – i.e. sponsorships / annual rented paid links.
              • When backlink growth goes downward – implicating that the webmaster isn’t building links to its webpages anymore.

When link value depreciates, the overall backlink profile could negatively affect the site’s top ranking pages - pulling them down to lower pages of search results. This often happens when backlinks is a differentiating ranking factor to compete in a certain vertical.

Having said that, lifetime link value considers to be a standard metric when qualifying if a link on a particular page/site can offer long term value to the linking brand.

Making the above reasons opposite are the exact tips to ensure backlinks appreciate in its value:

              • Prioritize websites/pages that are topically relevant to your niche – avoid multi-category sites as they have diversified topic values.
              • Invest in getting backlinks from evergreen content or pages that’ll get updated often times due to the demand of the topic. Pages unlikely to be extinct are valuable pages that can rank for in search as well, which translates to constant flow of referral traffic to your site – once you acquired links from them.
              • You can use CognitiveSEO to check the site’s backlink growth and link velocity – if the graph goes upward, it’s a good signal that the webmaster acquire backlinks to its website over time.

When you can predict the lifetime link value of a backlink from a particular domain/page, it’s easy to prioritize outreach prospects – looking at the highest return of investment you could get even from a single backlink.

12. MANIPULATE LINK LISTS WITH LINKCLUMP

linkclump link lists

I’ve been using Linkclump for almost a year now, and it’s a guaranteed of big help for link builders trying to expand their link lists in less time. The tool enables you to open links on search results or custom lists in new tabs or new windows - with a simple drag using the right mouse button on the target area.

Linkclump also allows multiple links to be bookmarked or copied to clipboard for immediate or future use. Smart select opens done this way, when combined in several minutes is a huge time saver for bulk link prospecting.

There is still one particular use of Linkclump that others aren’t familiar with, but definitely provides great value - filter links that contain or exclude particular words. For example, if you’re working on a guest blogging campaign – with no particulars on sponsored posts, you can add the words, sponsored post, sponsored, paid post as words to be excluded when manipulating link lists. With this, you won’t open links that contain particular words that aren’t relevant to a link building tactic you’re using – another time-saver tip.

13. LEVERAGE CONTENT REUSAGE

content reusage workflow

Content reusage, commonly termed as content curation coined by Aleyda Solis, is the process of organizing and presenting outside content in a new, meaningful way either through updating, expanding, reformatting, curating and refocusing a particular content piece.

Utilizing content reusage as part of your entire link acquisition campaign drives significant advantage to determining an outreach market. For example, an outdated content piece with 100+ referring domains linking to it, can be revisited and plugged in to a favorite backlink research tool (Ahrefs, OSE or CognitiveSEO) to see which of the links are obtainable. Once the updated version of the content has been published on your site, it’s easier to build backlinks to the page given that there’s an available and qualified backlink prospects to reach out and to acquire backlinks from.

14. USE TAXONOMIES TO EXPAND LINK LISTS

categories

There is one advantage when competing in non-marketing heavy verticals – some bloggers and webmasters aren’t taught of non-indexing pages to avoid duplication issues and help the website maintain only quality pages as part of the site’s search-driven pages.

While this is unfortunate to some publishers, you can use this to your own advantage by constructing search queries with taxonomies, such as tags and categories.

Based on our internal research, we’ve found out that using the above search queries generate more qualified backlink prospects than using normal searches like how to x in industry – being more specific with keywords when using inurl:tag (i.e. inurl:tag “startup tips”) are more topically relevant than generic tag keywords.

inurl tag google search

15. COMMENT ON POSTS LIKELY TO RANK

Comment marketing is one of the overlooked and misused link acquisition techniques, primarily because most SEOs don’t see the benefits one can gain from this simple link building trick like setting yourself as an expert in the industry, being invited to become a guest contributor, building relationships with other authority publishers, so on and so forth.

Most importantly, one comment nudge from community-based blogs like this and this can generate hundreds of referral traffic to a site, which may lead to actual assisted conversions without actually spending much time to execute the entire link building tactic.

referral traffic

Be the first one to comment on an authority blog (use RSS feeds plus email to get you notified immediately if there’s a new post that has been published) and make it as part of your regular content efforts with the intent of getting clicks from blog readers (see example above).

Target pages that are likely to rank in search – content assets that are targeted with keywords or content themes instead of plain theories, so when you build a link from these pages, you can constantly send relevant traffic to your site.

16. GENERATE LEADS FROM SOLUTION-BASED BACKLINKS

Increasing visibility in search results through proper link building while getting leads from referral visits (conversion link building) is hitting two birds with one stone. While this may not always happen, but if you can actually anticipate that links built from a relevant site/page could drive potential customers/clients to your brand, this is something you must prioritize in your link development campaign.

Find and participate on topically-relevant discussions that people are actually searching for when looking for recommended products/services. Here is a list of example Google search queries that you can try:

              • Where should I buy / where to buy / “keyword” + inurl:forum
              • Where to get / where can I get / where can you find “keyword” + inurl:forum
              • Who do you recommend “keyword” inurl:forum

Another link building trick here is to find commonly-asked questions with commercial intent on AnswerthePublic and utilize them as search queries with combined search operator inurl.

answerthepublic

Additionally, if you’re targeting multiple verticals or you’re handling a set of clients with the same target audience (i.e. Australian-focused), you can acquire backlinks from multi-category forum sites like Whirlpool. This type of sites often get visited by people who can easily be converted into customers/clients – so it’s a big win to earn backlinks from them.

whirlpool forum

17. PROSPECT EASILY WITH MILLIONSHORT

million short

Link prospecting consumes a lot of hours, three times more than time spent for outreach. So it’s a definite need to use link prospecting tools that filter sites better in less time but still providing relevant pages.

There are a lot of this kind of tools, but one I highly recommend is MillionShort. From the name it derives, it ignores the 1 million most popular websites on the internet, which makes it easier for link builders to find less-authoritative blogs. Needless to say, this is not actually fit for high-level development campaigns, specifically targeting huge online publication sites.

MillionShort has a drop-down list that also provides you the option of removing only the top 100 or the top 100,000. Definitely fit for low to medium-level link development campaigns, the search engine tool helps the entire link prospecting process focused on pages derived from long-tail searches.

dropdownmenu millionshort

18. ESTIMATE LINK PROBABILITY

When you can predict if backlinks are obtainable from a certain page/site, it’s actually easy to decide whether or not that link prospect is worthy to spend minutes of outreach. While there’s no guarantee of exact percentage of link probability, you can estimate it based on a number of indicators, which are listed below:

Consider the context of a link and purpose of page when qualifying prospects. The page may be exactly relevant to your vertical (gardening to gardening) but only offers to demographic-based visitors. For example, in this particular resource, you’ll have less chances of acquiring a link from it if you have a Texas gardening resource page given that the purpose of the page is to provide research-based information to Georgia gardeners – take note that cities of USA have different gardening and landscaping atmospheres/areas.

gardening resource page links

Another indicator to look at is link type – determining if link is local, national or general-focused, contextual or site-wide, resource page link or blog link. If you have an AU-focused html page and is itching to get a link, you will immediately reach out to the owner of this resource page and request for a backlink. But you’ll likely end up in failure because the page mostly links out to pdfs and publications sites.

gardening resource page

Make sure these considerations become part of metrics so you can save time in your outreach process and most importantly, helps you personalize outreach emails with the right context.

19. REQUEST EDITORIAL LINKS FROM SOCIAL LINKERS

Publishers and content creators often reference co-authors in their content assets by mentioning their social profiles (see image above). These social content can actually earn more backlinks than any page in the website, which is a lost equity if you have many of those but are not pointing to your website.

With the use of link tracking tools (see image below), you can discover pages currently linking to your social profiles. Some social links aren’t convertible into editorial links, such as those that are included in a list-type content (top 50 SEOs to follow on Twitter).

ahrefs twitter links

However, there are backlinks that of good use like those that referenced your content, quotes/statements – Brian Dean shared an actionable advice to… and stolen your assets – copied infographic that linked to your social profile, not to your website.

Once you’ve filtered high quality domains that can benefit your site, you can use this email copy to reach out to them:

Hi [Name],

I noticed that you mentioned my content about [topic] in one of your blog posts at [SiteName]. I appreciate you linked to my Twitter profile.

Just wondering if there’s any chance you can link instead to my profile page in my website.

Thank you again,

[Your Name],

The key here is to create a branded page in your website so it’ll be easy for publishers to link to you.

20. RE-ENGAGE DOMAINS THAT REMOVED BACKLINKS

Not all backlinks remain for a long time, some are actually lost or deleted due to webmasters’ preference – either they removed the link in the content or replace it with another content source.

Lost backlinks aren’t easily recovered since the webmaster may actually abandon the site – leaving no rooms for re-engagement. While removed backlinks can still be recovered by doing an outreach to webmasters and asking if they can add back your link or acquire another link from a different page in the same website – both are best ways to get backlinks.

You can start this link building tactic by using Ahrefs to grab websites that removed your backlinks and put them in a list – since these links are normally labeled removed, you can easily identify them in the Ahrefs dashboard.

links removed

Once you’re done with the link list, you can get their contact details and reach out to them. A few ways to make your outreach works more effective:

              • If the page doesn't exists anymore, you can ask current linkers if they are interested in republishing the page but with updated information this time, and if they did say yes, collaborate with them for the new version of the content.
              • If  the page still exists but your link was removed, there are higher chances that the publisher is looking for new and updated resources. Go back to your content and update it, then loop back to the publisher and ask him to let the resource be included.

Given that you’ve built previous relationships with these webmasters in your initial pitch, you would get a better response rate compared to pitching cold emails to new outreach prospects.

21.GUEST POST PROSPECTING USING BRANDMENTIONS

Guest blogging still works, but how it is practiced differentiates great content marketers from newbies. If you’ve been prospecting in search using the same and only footprints in 2012 (guest post by, sponsored post, etc..), you are missing out a lot of other opportunities that could easily be converted into links.

One way to prospect for guest blogging opportunities is through the use of web mention tools like BrandMentions or Mention to find recently published guest posts that are relevant to your industry.

Finding these link targets makes a lot of difference in your link acquisition results given that they are more receptive to outreach compared to domains gathered through search footprints.

22. EARN LINKS USING SLIDE DECKS

In a content-based link acquisition process, it always start with finding the available resources a client/business have. Whether it’s online or offline, these assets if used extensively, can entice publishers and niche-like content creators to link to your site.

Offline events like trainings and seminars have slide presentations that are ready to be uploaded to Slideshare. If you’ve got a client with these assets, you’re reaching a goldmine others won’t consider in their own link acquisition campaigns.

If you take a look at Rand Fishkin’s Slideshare profile, he had 100 different slide presentations on his account, which if you’ll plug in over to your favorite link building tool, you’ll discover 3,778 total links from 252+ different LRDs – linked by publishers in three different ways:

              • Directly linking to the presentation
              • Linking to the Slideshare profile
              • Embedding the slide deck on their websites.

slideshare links opensite explorer

Export a list of linking sites or create your own and filter them based on quality. Once done, you can brainstorm link building tactics on what to execute for each filtered domain, below are some examples:

              • Create your own page in your website with all presentations embedded then pitch publishers to source link to that particular page.
              • Offering them exclusive write-up about your upcoming events or overview of presentations and they’ll get the benefit of exposure on your client’s talks (e. featured on this news site/publication – one slide).
              • Ask bloggers if they’ll be interested to conduct an interview with your client in relevant proportion to his slide presentation.
              • Propose a guest post idea to the publishing site that expands the content theme of the slide deck.

The main advantage of these slideshare link opportunities is that they convert better than other asset link sources, as some (event participants) had actually interacted with your client.

23. PERSONALIZE EMAILS TO GENERIC EMAIL ADDRESSES

generic emai -addresses

If you know a person runs a website but can’t find a particular email address, you’ll likely send a generic outreach email to a generic email address – asking the person if he can forward your email to the right person. You won’t be aware but this type of emails often get deleted instantly. The webmaster may only be using the generic email address for personal conversations.

Additionally, if you are not doing outreach for generic emails and proceed to another prospect on your list, you’ll miss out the link that could be converted through a conversation with the person behind the generic email-ad.

Needless to say, always use the name of the webmaster or publisher as part of your greetings – personalizing your email even for generic email addresses.

OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES:

HAVE WE BEEN HELPFUL?

Want to take your link building to the next level – — but don’t know where to start, and are feeling overwhelmed by this post.

We are here to help you. SharpRocket is a team of link building specialists who love building high quality backlinks.

To learn more about how we can help, take a look at the services we offer.


link prospector

Link Prospector: How to Get 3000 Prospects in 5 Minutes

In my work in SharpRocket, I often am asked what is the "best link prospecting tool" to scale link building campaigns for clients.

This post aims to answer that question.

Disclaimer: I'm not an affiliate of the tool that I'll be sharing with you - it's just that I highly recommend you try it out if you struggle with link prospecting.

There are only a few link builders that I respect in the industry because of their deep expertise and love for sharing insights that will best help the SEO community. Garrett French is one of them. He is the founder of Citation Labs, a link building agency and creator of Link Prospector Tool.

His tool can help semi-automate the search-query prospecting process that will definitely save hours of doing it manually.

Here's a walkthrough of how you can use Link Prospector.

If you already know how to use the tool, jump in straight to Feature Tips to get some goldmine tips.

Step 1: Create a Campaign

As soon as you sign up and login, you can start creating a campaign. I recommend that you name it after your Client or your Website so as not to get confused if you have several clients to work for in the future.

create new campaign link prospector

Step 2: Choose a Specific Link Type

Next is to start finding link prospects. Click on Find New Prospects in the Navigation bar.

find new prospects link prospector

Select the report type that suits your link building needs. For example, if you want resource or links pages, then choose links pages (pretty easy right?).

report type link prospector

Click on Create Links Pages Report

create links pages report link prospector

Step 3: Name Your Link Report and Set Advanced Options

I suggest naming your report under a niche such as snoring or flood planning. You can always go back to specific reports when you have another very specific client in the same industry or have a content asset on the same topic. 

report name create link prospector

ADVANCED OPTIONS

If you want your link prospects to be very targeted, I suggest you choose customize search features on advanced settings.

Click on Show Advanced Options.

show advanced options link prospector

Let me pause a few seconds here.

You need to strategize your prospecting based on these options.

advanced options link prospector

Let's check each one of them:

    • Report Update Frequency - if you want your reports to be updated with new link prospects, you can choose update frequency as weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. But if you're doing an ad-hoc campaign, I suggest you choose Run Once.
    • Language - don't change the default (English) unless you're tapping into Non-English markets.
    • Select Region - choose the location you want searches to be queried from. This is best customized for country-specific link prospecting campaigns (e.g. tapping .co.uk backlink targets).
    • Select Scope - leave it default if you're not targeting news pages.
    • Select Depth - this allows you to choose how many results you want from each query. For example, if you type 4 custom queries and you choose a depth of 700, you'll get 2800 total results.
    • TLD - choose the top level domains preferred for the results. They can be .edu, .gov, .org, .com, .us, .mil or other.
    • Date Range - choose whether you want to get results from the past 24 hours, week, month or year.
    • SafeSearch Filters
    • Send Email Notification - choose whether you want to be sent the report to your email address or to another email address.
    • Exclude Domains from - click or unclick Global Exclusions or Campaign Exclusions (more on this later).
    • Research Phrases - include topical keywords to yield better search results. For more insights on non-SEO keywords, watch this video below:

Step 4: Start Prospecting and Wait For Your Report

When you have customize your report based on your needs in the advanced options and have included research phrases, the tool will give you its equivalent report cost, and show your available credits.

When you have decided your options are final, click on Start Prospecting.

report cost start prospecting link prospector

Once you've submitted a report, wait for around 10 to 25 minutes for it to be ready. Do something else while waiting. The report will give you a number of results based on the number of research phrases and in-depth scope. For example, for 5 queries (research phrases) with 700 in-depth, it will give you 3500 prospects.

Here's what individual report will look like:

link report link prospector

When you have run a few reports, your campaign page screen will look like this.

niche prospects link prospector

It shows you how many prospects you have for each report.

Step 5: Export Paths/Domains to Get Your Report

You'll see two options at the upper right side of your report screen, "Export Domain" and "Export Paths".

export domains paths unique link prospector

Export Domain feature gives you a list of the domains found in the report as a CSV file (e.g. sharprocket.com.ph) while Export Paths gets you a list of all the URL paths found in the report (e.g. sharprocket.com.ph/links-pages).

For each domain, there may be two or more URLs found that are queried based on your link types. See example below.

paths to domains link prospector

When you click on the number drop down, it shows you two URLs within the website.

I suggest you choose Export Paths for page-level link opportunities (resource pages, guest posts opportunities, sponsorships, etc..) and Export Domains for domain-level link targets that doesn't require you to target a specific page to get a link from (e.g. content promotion blogs).

Once you've exported URLs (for Export Paths), your CSV file when downloaded will look like this:

csv file link prospects link prospector

LINK PROSPECTOR FEATURE TIPS:

This section is to give you some tips on how to use Link Prospector more effectively helping you provide better targeted link opportunities.

The first tip is:

1. USE NON-SEO KEYWORDS AS RESEARCH PHRASES

If you have watched the video I've shared earlier, Garett French emphasized heavily about using non-SEO keywords or words as your research phrases in the tool. The reason is that the topical keywords can give you more page-level link opportunities, as they are more informational than commercial in nature.

One method that you can use is by doing a Google search for research phrases to check if they are more topical than commercial. If most webpages on the first page are commercial pages, you're less likely to get links.

research phrases link prospector

If you are struggling to add more research phrases, I recommend that you do a Google search for one topical phrase. And have a simple look at page titles and descriptions of URLs on the first page search results.

You'll then uncover phrases you haven't thought of relevant to your topical phrase that can be used as research phrases in Link Prospector.

other research phrases google search

Useful Resource: 4 Advanced Link Prospecting Techniques for Increased Efficiency

2. LEVERAGE .EDU AND .GOV TLD SEARCH FILTER

If you've been very specific with your prospecting, I recommend that you utilizeTLD advanced search option of Link Prospector.

For example, if you only want to find .edu and .gov links pages, it's better to choose .edu as your preferred TLD to filter results to only yield .edu link targets.

tld edu link prospector

It's plain and simple.

3. MAXIMIZE GLOBAL OR CAMPAIGN EXCLUSIONS

Here's my recommendation:

Before you start creating a report, make a list of sites or pages you need to exclude from searching. These may include social sites like Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter or even the site of your client.

This aids you with the cleaning up process.

For campaign exclusions, I recommend that you get your list from backlink reports of your website generated from a link building tool like Ahrefs - the report is a list of links that you have acquired already for your website.

Make sure you exclude lost links in your campaign exclusions as you may still want to reacquire them in your outreach.

4. PROSPECT FAST BUT QUALIFY BETTER

The hard work isn't exerted in using the tool, but primarily on what you do after you have collected thousands of link opportunities in your hand - that is qualifying them.

Prospect fast but qualify better.

The tool gives you the edge of scalability. But the work doesn't stop there. You have to qualify each and every link target based on relevance Otherwise, it'll be difficult for you to acquire links from them (irrelevant to your niche) or most of your link opps will be too bad (not authoritative websites and spammy). 

In addition, it's important to know the estimated number of quality link targets you can quality from a big report of links.

For example, in my list of 10,000+  unqualified pages, we've generated only 400 DA20+ niche-relevant link opportunities.

On average, we qualify 1000 prospects based on relevance and obtainability within 15 to 25 minutes. So the total time it took us to conduct relevance test for 10,000 pages was 2 1/2 hours to 5 hours.

That may be time-consuming to some of you, so I suggest that you hire a virtual assistant to do the task (a VA with basic skills charges $3 per hour).

With a good documentation/process (.doc) on how to quality each link opportunity, you can generate targeted possible links from thousands of unqualified ones.

5. PUT MORE EMPHASIS ON RELEVANCE THAN DA THRESHOLD

When qualifying link opportunities, some SEOs are heavy on DA numbers as their threshold. It's okay if you've got clients who look at and measure your deliverables based on that.

However, if you have the luxury to strategize on yo ur campaigns and its results, I suggest that you give more emphasis on relevance over DA because if not, you'll miss out on good opportunities.

Tip: Educate your clients regarding link metrics.

In conjunction to this topic, Jon Cooper killed it with his tweets:

jon cooper tweets

If you liked this post, subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on @venchito14.

Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.


broken link replacements

Broken Link Replacements for Better Link Conversion

Effective outreach requires giving value to link prospects. When you identify their WIFM (what's in it for me?) in your pitch, it gives you an edge over the competition.

Now you're not just milking the person for a link, but trying to give that person value upfront.

One that offers much value to webmasters and have been done effectively is finding replacements to broken links.

You've been told that when you do broken link building, you tell a webmaster about his broken links and suggest your content piece as a replacement to one of the defunct links.

Providing one replacement to one broken link is good, but what if you try to give replacements to 2 or 3 broken links you've found on the page?

The value of your pitch increases. It's much better when you proactively look for other replacements to their broken links than just sending your content piece as a replacement to one.

Before I share with you how to find broken link replacements, here is how you can check first the resource page if it has any broken link(s).

 

LINKMINER - RECOMMENDED BROKEN LINK CHECKER

There are many tools out there to check a resource page for broken links, but one that I recommend is LinkMiner.

You have to install it on your Chrome browser.

By clicking the LinkMiner tool, you can run the page to check for any broken links.

This simple tool created by Jon Cooper has an advanced feature that lets you see the number of referring domains that a specific broken links has.

linkminer checking broken links

This allows you to check further external pages if they have been linked to by other related links pages (giving you more link opportunities).

To keep things organized, my suggestion is to create columns on your spreadsheet to place broken links you've found on each links page.

broken links spreadsheet

This saves you a lot of time when responding to positive replies of webmasters (like this example email below).

tell me where is the broken link email

You don't have to check the links page again through LinkMiner when you already have listed its broken links.

Include at least 2 or 3 broken links, preferred ones that are under a section where you want to get a link for your content. Let's say you want a link under a Resume Writing & Cover Letters section, check if there are broken links beneath the section. If you can't find one under your preferred section, you can get ones from other categories.

Before putting broken links with their corresponding anchor texts to your database (or spreadsheet), check if they are actually broken. What I mean is that sometimes, a link highlighted as red by the tool (supposed to be broken) is just redirecting to a new page/site or the link is actually functioning properly (the tool misses it).

WHAT REPLACEMENTS FOR BROKEN LINKS WILL YOU SUGGEST?

When you receive a response from a webmaster saying, "Can you let me know which link you found that is not connecting?" or  "Thank you for letting us know.  Can you point out which hyperlink is broken?", your next response is to send broken links with their respective replacements.

Here's how to find replacements for defunct links. 

1. USE SITE INTERNAL SEARCH OPERATOR 

The easiest way to find a replacement for a broken link is to actually look for the newer version of the broken page. Most of the time, the broken page has its new page published in the same website.

To check, use the search operator, use site:domain.com "Page Title".

For this example, this defunct category link found on this links page is not redirected to their new category page. The blog section is removed and yet no redirection to the new link.

Another example is this 404 page supposed to be redirected to its new URL.

By using the above search operator, you can easily find the new link of the broken page.

site search operator page title

There are cases when you unquote the keyword and can find the new page.

2. DO GOOGLE SEARCH FOR "PAGE TITLE" OR "ANCHOR TEXT USED" 

If the broken link doesn't have a new page within the same website (it's been killed by the webmaster already), you'll sometimes find that they now have a new functioning website.

By doing a Google search for the exact page title, you can then check if it's placed on a new website.

anchor text used searchFor example, there is a broken link here with anchor text on its resource page. The best replacement is a page on another website with the exact information

3. CHECK IF HOMEPAGE IS A BETTER REPLACEMENT 

There are times when you can't find the new page with similar information inside and outside of the website. And the best replacement is the homepage.

For example, this error page here for teacher recruitment service can be best replaced with a link to the homepage. It's the safest replacement given that there's an easy search function on the website one can use to find out more about schools services.

4. SUGGEST THE LINK TO BE REMOVED 

Sometimes, you'll find broken pages that are not evergreen, i.e. in the case of news article and is put down by the webmaster.

If the page is no longer available and there's no good replacements for it, the better help for the webmaster is to tell him to remove the broken link from the resource page.

This also avoids confusion for visitors redirected from the links page.

SUGGEST YOUR CONTENT PIECE AS A REPLACEMENT

There's one thing you don't want to forget when doing broken link building, that is suggesting your content piece to be added on the resource page.

When you give assistance up-front, it's easy to suggest something of additional value to them, especially if the content you're offering fits to one of their categories/topics on their links page.

If you liked this post, subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on @venchito14.

Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.


guestographics

4 Intermediate Tips to Improve Guestographics

Guestographics is publishing visual assets on external industry blogs with the hope of getting contextual links pointing to a website.

Coined by Brian Dean, the said link building strategy has been abused used in acquiring legitimate links to their sites. It's effective in industries where bloggers want to delight their audience with new content type (visuals), or want to share data/story/message that deserves to be heard.

A lot of SEO case studies have been published about guestographics. Here's one article where a blogger used guestographics to grow his pet blog's organic traffic by 975% within 6 weeks.

To execute this link building strategy, Brian Dean shows a five-step process that you can run smoothly in your industry.

Step 1: Post an infographic on your site

Step 2: Find sites that write about your infographic’s topic

Step 3: Show them your infographic

Step 4: Offer them unique content (“the bribe”)

Step 5: Get your contextual backlinks

I recommend you read Brian's entire guide to get further details on how to execute each step above.

But for you to get something new today, I'll show you 4 actionable tips on how you can improve the strategy further and also share with you other areas where it can also be applied.

Here we go.

1. UTILIZE EMAIL FRAGMENTS IN VISUAL CONTENT OUTREACH

It's easy to copy and paste an outreach email template from an SEO blog and replicate it on your own outreach campaign. However, without knowing the principles why it worked in the first place, it can only give you initial success.

Emails like I like your blog and found you on [insert link source] or I stumbled upon you on [source] and thought that you'll be interested in my infographic hammered many inboxes of industry bloggers and publishers. They mostly go to spam folder and don't help get returns in email outreach.

The way to stand out in email is to use a compelling, short, and personalized subject line such as this SiegeMedia's subject line format:

[ASSET TYPE] for [WEBSITE]: [POST SUMMARY].

The reasons it's effective is because publishers can easily glance what content type you're trying to pitch to and what your asset contains by simply reading your subject line.

One-punch line can help improve your emails' open rates.

But effective outreach doesn't stop there.

It's important to include specific details that only that website has (Ross calls it email fragments) which gives a personalize hook to your email that will make it look like a one-time sent off email rather than a blast-off one. . 

To test how important email fragments are in linker outreach, I sent a bad outreach email to a high-authority industry publisher with their Website Name not correctly spelled out. Scheduled it to be sent at peak hours.

Then after a hours, I received a response from the editor.

wrong email fragments

Negative.

Five months later, I sent a similar pitch (but with the correct spelling of the website's name) to the same editor.

This time, I received a positive response wanting to publish the visual asset that we've created. They are asking for a custom intro and jpg/png version of the infographic.

correct email fragments

That may be a lame test (just one email) but I believe there are hundreds (if not thousands) of publishers checking their email inbox and choosing which email deserves a response based on how the pitch is structured and personalized.

The more you include email fragments in your pitch, the better results you'll get.

2. LEVERAGE INFOGRAPHIC PROMOTION WITH EMBED BOXES

Publishing your infographic is finishing the first half of the battle (content creation). You have to put more eyeballs to it in order to get traction and naturally earn links - that's the second half (content promotion).

As you know, people put embed boxes after infographics. This allows other bloggers to republish the exact visual asset on their own blogs without asking for permission from the original publisher.

This approach initiates the promotion of the visual asset.

Now take this step to the next level by giving a code to bloggers that'll allow them to put their own embed box on their blogs when republishing your visual asset. The publisher who then embeds the asset will also have an embed code with your details.

When bloggers look at your republished content and are interested to do the same on their own blogs, it's easy for them to republish it.

That way, it multiplies the promotion two times without having to reach out to bloggers who have read/connected with republishers.

When you pitch bloggers, you only give them an attachment of the image (png/jpg) for them to upload it on their sites. But it'd be much easier for them to publish the asset it you just send them a code.

The code should contain not only the image but also an embed code after the image. The code should look like this:

Let bloggers share the opportunity of links with you in the embed code. It looks like they've partnered with you in the promotion (co-marketing) when the visual asset is republished on another blog.

Customize the code by replacing Blogger with the Brand Name of the blogger and Your Blog with Your Brand plus links back to respective sites.

It's a win-win situation. You get a link, the blogger acquires a link as well.

3. SLICE OUT INFOGRAPHICS INTO MICRO VISUALS

I normally see long infographics that require several mouse scrolls to see the entire image. It's tiring to look at it on your screen, right?

While this denotes authority in some industries (because it's filled with a lot of data), what I've realized is that not all visitors will dare to check all the details inside the image. They only check the title and get the important facts.

One approach that you can do to not overwhelm your audience with too much content is to slice out a long infographic into two to even four micro images that won't break the entire message of the content, but rather help visitors pleasingly get each detail on a micro level.

However, it may not be applicable to all types of infographics, such as the case with instructographics or how-to visual assets because it obviously breaks the process of how to complete/do a "thing" (e.g. how to choose a bottle of wine).

how to choose wine instructographics

Nonetheless there are infographics that you can break down into micro pieces, like those with five or more data points, that are contextually related but can be divided into two. For example, "How Technology in City1, City2 and City3 Impacts Teen Dating and Women Violence", you can create micro images for Teen Dating and Women Violence. This is the case when both these two main data points can stand out independently in messaging.

4. LOCALIZE VISUAL DATA

Local-targeted links still play a huge role in ranking a local website for city-specific keywords.

There are a lot of link building strategies out there that helps you build local backlinks, such as local sponsorships (events, local clubs, schools), local alumni, student, and employee discount programs.

I’ll let you in on a secret. There's one link building tactic that is underrated in the SEO community - that is, local infographics creation and promotion.

It's common to see an industry-specific infographic, but having both industry-specific and local-targeted visual is rare.

Now the question is, how you can localize industry-specific visual data?

The first step is to find a local content source. You can use your company's internal data if you have one. But if you're looking for external source, you may search for available content in public data sites below:

Scour out these sites using local and industry keywords and see if there's a local and relevant public data source.

As an example, we've sourced out a research study about teen dating, abuse and bullying in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania by using the keyword, "bullying".

nacjd public data source website

The next step is to assess the relevance and credibility of the public data piece by looking at the version history. This helps you check whether the information is updated for the current year.

Lastly, transform the public data into a visual data either by hiring a freelance infographic designer or designing it yourself.

teen dating infographic

I hope this four-tips article gives you some spark in using guestographics effectively as one of your main-go link building strategies.

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Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.