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

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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.

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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.


advanced-link-prospecting-techniques-increased-efficiency

4 Advanced Link Prospecting Techniques for Increased Efficiency

As I've come across several resource prospecting campaigns, I always notice little things that makes part of it more efficient. Efficient prospecting means producing a highly targeted output with the less amount of consumed resources (labor, time and cost of tools).

That itself requires experience through observation. So, here are four advanced prospecting techniques that hopefully can improve efficiency of your campaigns and help expand your list of link opportunities.

 

1. WEBSITE CATEGORIZATION

When starting a new outreach campaign for a client, the first initiative is to scour new link opportunities on the web from scratch. While this is good if it's a new industry you're taking on, isn't it wise to go back first to your previous list of industry-relevant opportunities and check which ones could be reuse for the new campaign?

Not only does it save time, it also saves a lot of labor consumption prospecting for links.

Website categorization does help with this. By using tags, you'll be able to categorize prospects from a topical perspective.

What you need here is a defined hierarchy of topics to begin with. For me, I recommend BOTW as starting point, given that they have four or five deeper-level topics such as Pro-Choice Abortion (Society) and Eating Disorders (Fitness) which is extremely important if you've got clients from a very-specific niche.

botw directoryMake sure that your team agrees on certain topics to avoid any confusion when filtering your list. Having several but similar terms (i.e. I.T, Information Technology and Technology) as your tags is a trouble.

The next time you need automobile blogs, you can pull them off from a list within a few minutes.

2. CHECK DESCRIPTIONS IN LINKS TO EYE SEO'Y CONTENT 

Backlink research is the process of identifying current and potential competitors and getting pages/sites that linked to them for link opportunities.

SEOs normally identify these competitors through Google search by checking which pages are currently ranking for target keywords or creating a list of competitors' sites coming from clients themselves (as they already have ideas which brands to compete with).

While these two approaches are best practices to find your most relevant competitors, you may still miss out some SEO'y content (as what Ross Hudgens coined it) that you should reverse engineer on.

SEO'y content are pages or content pieces already linked out from a resource page you're trying to reach out to, that have earned tons of links from several linking root domains.

Looking for SEO'y content can expand your vertical prospecting, either from a horizontal or vertical perspective, as they aren't easily found through Google search or normal prospecting.

One way to identify these SEO'y content is to check discrepancies in description of links. What I mean with discrepancies is that there are resource pages with full descriptions for each link and there are some with links with unusual descriptions.

I got this idea when I received a response from a webmaster putting a link to our client's page from their resource page.

local link outreach

If you skimmed the email above, you'll notice that there's nothing uncommon with the email, only does it implies that the webmaster is in a hurry not to include a description for our link - the reason she requested if we can create one for them.

Discrepancies in link descriptions—either the description is not complete or not in format with other link descriptions (see image below)—are signs that the resource page had recently given a link to an SEO'y content. TigerMobiles.com and US Dish links have Titles as their descriptions while other links have longer texts that describe what those pages are about. 

links pages with unusual descriptions

It means that these SEO'y content are actively pursuing relevant link opportunities (primarily resource pages) in the same manner that you do. If you could scour their existing links (some may have been recently just acquired), it will help you gain link targets that are receptive to content suggestions. Thus, giving you higher link acquisition rate in your outreach campaign.

Clicking on SEO'y content links and assessing if they have relevant links you can potentially use as link opportunities is a great activity you can add to your link prospecting process. 

The best way I recommend to initially check if these SEO'y content has good number of linking root domains is to run them through LinkMiner.

The tool checks all external links on the resource page and highlights how many domains are linking to a certain external page.

3. USE LINKCLUMP TO UNOPEN DOCUMENT LINKS 

In link prospecting, the more you spend time checking for unnecessary links, the more you waste time that should've been otherwise spent pursuing for the right link opportunities.

What I've noticed with newbie link builders is that they often click on document links (pdfs, words/spreadsheets ready to download, etc..) that are consuming seconds (if not minutes of their time) which are all useless if your main targets are links or resource pages.

The recommended approach is to use a tool that'll automatically unclick these document links once you start qualifying your list of link targets.

For example, if you have a list of pages ready to be qualified for certain metrics (DA, relevance, obtainability), copy and paste them in an opened tab tool (e.g. URLOpener.com).

urlopenerThen install Linkclump and use the filter option to add words that'll exclude links when it opens new tabs (pdf, doc, xls, etc..).

Once you right click and drag external links from URLOpener, the action itself won't open document links as new tabs given that you excluded certain words in the tool's setting.

exclude words linkclump

4. UTILIZE NICHE PHRASES TO EXPAND LINK LIST 

If you are familiar with your industry, it's easy for you to know what phrases are commonly used as titles in resource pages. For example, in the transportation industry, you'll see a lot of "getting there" pages. These are phrases that are only specific and be applied to a certain vertical.

But one question that may arise here is, what if it's a new niche I'm taking on, how can I identify niche phrases I can use for expanding my prospecting approach?

The best way to do that is to collect the titles of your first set of resource pages (I'd recommend that you get 80 or 100 links pages from your list for optimal results).

Use Wordcloud to see common niche phrases.

word cloud

 

Ensure that you click phrases only and display frequencies checkbox. Phrases only feature does what you need from tool - to give exact niche phrases while display frequency shows you the number of times a phrase appeared in the list.

word cloud settings

If you are clever enough about using niche phrases, your list of link opportunities will expand.

Other Useful Resources:

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


four-reasons-why-you-dont-get-resource-links

4 Reasons Why You Don't Get Resource Links

Every pitch receives a yes or a no. In resource outreach (more often known as broken link building), a "no" isn't a direct response of "no". Instead, a "no" is a reason of so many reasons why a webmaster or the person managing the page couldn't give your desired resource link.

 

1. NOT CURRENTLY UPDATING THE PAGE 

not updating currently

No matter how good the content is, if the page you're pitching to isn't currently open to any link updates, you won't be able to get the link.

So instead of crafting a lengthy email to describe your guide, try sending a short pitch first to ask if they're open for new link suggestions. An email may look something like this:

Just saw your note on your online job hunting 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!

The reason this is important is because you're starting a small conversation first, not taking advantage immediately of the link opportunity  with a heavy pitch. You respect the person's time by asking if he or she considers resource suggestions, thus, you come off as less aggressive.

The sooner you get a "Yes" response from this approach, that's the time you can now describe how your content can best fit their links page and their audience.

2. REQUEST OVERLOAD AND SUFFICIENT RESOURCES

With so many SEOs building links to their sites/clients using the same link building strategy (broken link building), it's highly possible that a resource page is getting pitched almost every single day.

Take a look at these emails we've got:

(Request Overload)

overload requests(Sufficient Resources)

sufficient resources

Obviously there are hundreds, if not thousands, of webmasters receiving similar messages like the one above. It's a reality that you're not the only person pursuing for the same link opportunity. A competition among SEOs/link builders gunning for the same link prize is considered to be a problem, but can also be an opportunity.

If you consider this dilemma problem upfront, you can give yourself an opportunity to ask yourself questions regarding your content before actually pitching them to your link prospects.

One question you can ask is, "Does the content I'm suggesting have competing/similar content pieces on the links page?". What I mean with competing is if you have a "resume templates" guide, does the links page have resume links too? If you cater to both niche audience with the same information, but don't necessarily mean you're competing for the same keywords, that particular content piece is your content competitor.

You may as well check what keywords in URLs those resume links are trying to rank for. If they target the same as your content piece, it may also be considered as your competing content.

Two reasons why you need to check for competing content assets:

A. Know if your content asset fits a subtopic/sub-section of the links page.

This is a good idea because you know that there's a reason for the webmaster to insert a link to your page, as it fits into a category. It's less likely that a webmaster will create another section of the page to just give you the link if in case your content piece doesn't fit to any section.

subtopics resource page

B. Check if you can fill an informational gap.

To fill an informational gap, you can either create a better version of the content than anyone else (10x content) or provide a unique value (either in format/angle of the topic).

Place yourself in the webmaster's shoes. Ask yourself, why do I need to add the suggested resource on my links page considering there are two or three resource links covering the topic already?.

This question sets the bar of your content's quality - increasing your chances to get

For overload requests, the difference-maker in getting the resource link is your content's comprehensiveness and utility that fills in the gap in the category/information of the resource page.

3. NO CURRENT PERSONNEL TO ADDRESS 

no current personnel

It's frustrating to know that the reason you don't get the resource link is not because your content sucks, but there's nobody currently taking care of the resource page.

While there are some high-authority websites with ready-correct department - a group of people who ensures every resource link is reviewed to pass certain standards before they actually go live, there are a lot of other links pages with no current personnel handling them.

We've found that one way to ensure you're not missing those link opportunities is to mark the resource page or create a new tab that includes all of the link opportunities with no current personal addressing them. Then you can set a schedule time to follow up these links after two months.

You've done a lot of work to prospect the opportunity and write an outreach email, so it's a failure to get the potential equity it'd have been developed if you didn't follow up the person.

4. SOON TO DEATH RESOURCE PAGE 

soon to death

It's easy to jump off to another link opportunity when your target links page is going to be killed either because it's of no use to the webmaster or the department/personnel is not updating it anymore.

It happens, but there's a chance they might be creating a new links page with the same topic.

I recommend sending a follow up after a month, asking if they have a new resource page your content might be a good fit is a less work but can gain a return in outreach.

Other Useful Resources

So, those are the four reasons why you don't get resource links and tips on how to pre-solve those problems.

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


Scalable Link Building Tips

4 Scalable Link Building Tips

For the past few years, the debate about quality versus quantity in link building has been subsiding as more SEOs and business owners have gained a deeper understanding that it's the quality of links that matters over quantity.

Given that, some link builders still find it difficult to consistently acquire relevant links on a monthly basis.

But it's certainly possible with the right approach and improvements in processes to provide solid high-quantitative link reports.

Agencies like Citation Labs, based on their 2015 slide presentation, can accommodate a total of 300 resource backlinks every month to their clients.

Our team at SharpRocket is able to supply links ranging from 6 to 30 in volume to each client on a monthly basis.

It may not be a big number to most readers, but using sweat-and-blood approaches in link building, it's the highest quantity that you can achieve with a handful of resources you have.

Scalable link building requires speeding up phases in the area of link qualification, link prospecting and targeted outreach. Subtle changes that you can make to each phase can tremendously impact your campaign's efficiency.

For the past several months, we've noticed and tested a few approaches that if done well, can create success for your next link building campaign.

1. SOURCING MICRO AND MARCO CONTENT FROM INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS

Content creation for external distribution (or guest blogging) is easy to scale if you've got a team of in-house writers or outsourced freelance writers to accommodate your content writing needs.

However, if you're in scarcity of resources, one approach that you can use to facilitate guest blogging is by interviewing industry influencers and using their Q&A content as external assets for distribution.

Initially we start sending outreach emails to productivity publishers who might be interested to accept any of these two content formats:

  • "How-to" [ topic ] interview content
  • Guest post on [ topic ] (that includes a few insights from productivity experts)

The key to make this pitch standout is to highlight that you'll be including insights from industry experts in your guest article. Given that publishers would normally ask for high-quality guest posts (as we always request for outside contributors for our blogs), the approach of emphasizing the credibility and value of your content up-front can improve your chances of getting a response and eventually increase your closing rate.

Then you can throw-in topics of content that they can choose from.

influencer outreach emailTo generate a content idea, you can do a Google search for site:domain.com with any of your targeted keywords or topics (e.g. "personal kanban") and check if these are topics they haven't covered yet.

search results content ideasProviding unique content ideas can increase the chances of letting them buy-in on what you can offer.

Further reading: How to Improve Your Link Outreach Success Rate

When they've chosen a topic to write about, it's time to create the content.

There are two ways on how you can approach content creation: create content with validated insights from influencers or use Q&A content with an influencer and format it as an external asset.

A. Validation To Your Insights

Instead of providing one generic round-up question to your target influencers and compiling them into one big post (just like what you normally read see in most round-up posts), you can ask influencers for insights to questions being discussed in your article draft.

Statements from influencers can serve as a validation to your article points that adds credibility to the overall content.

As an example of this approach, we've looked for productivity bloggers/experts to get their expert opinions on different subjects of productivity.

In my earlier example, the topic that the publisher wanted us to write is "personal kanban" - a personal productivity system.

We had to look for industry bloggers who have personally experienced using such productivity tool in their professional lives.

To speed up the entire blog prospecting process, we chose an authority website that has outside content contributors and that interviews niche influencers on its podcast show (these influencers/contributors were then our target prospects for interviews).

authority website to source links to

industry experts

Using URL Profiler to scrape data from author and podcast pages, we've managed to create a list of 20 industry influencers (who are past and current contributors of LEADx.org's blog section and who became guests in their podcast show).

You can also do this process manually, if you're not a subscriber of URL Profiler.

In estimate, the manual approach will only take you 25 to 30 minutes.

Your next step is to gather contact details of your target interviewees to prepare for the outreach campaign.

As for the outreach, it's important to ensure that your authority bloggers will also benefit from the content partnership you're proposing. Reciprocation in a form of getting a link on a guest post written on a top-notch industry blog can increase the chances of getting positive responses from them.

Here's the exact email template we used for this kind of outreach:

Short interview with you [Name]

Hi [Name],

I'm [Your Name], a blogger and productivity enthusiast. I've found you on one of the podcast episodes of Kevin Kruse at LEADx.org and learned great insights from your conversation with Kevin.

I'm fascinated and wanted to conduct a short interview with you. I'll ask a few questions, compile your answers and use it as a guest content for a top-notch productivity site (not mine).

I greatly appreciate your response in advance.

Thanks,

- [Your Name]

From 20 authority bloggers we pitched for interviews, we managed to get 14 positive responses.

Here are some takeaways why the outreach campaign worked:

  • Used prospects' name and their websites' name.
  • Included the source where we've found them (I've found you one on of the podcast episodes …) - helps strikes a more personal approach on the email.
  • Stated the value proposition to easily catch the interest of the outreach prospect (use it as a guest content for a top-notch productivity site). It helps secure confidence that their answers to questions can reach more audience.
  • Straightforward subject line to get the message across.

You may want to check out this guide on blogger outreach to get more tips on how to effectively craft email copies specifically for blogger outreach campaigns.

Finally, you have to submit your finished content with great insights from niche influencers for content approval.

Then, acquire links:

A link to the influencer's website (for his contribution):

live link oneA link to our website:

link to our website

B. How-to Interview Content

There is another way to maximize interview content besides using it as a validation to your article points - that is, utilizing the entire Q&A content as your guest post.

It is best to format it as a "how-to" article rather than just compiling expert's answers into a Q&A format and submit it directly to your target publisher.

You also have to structure the content in a way that is easy to scan and read, and that emphasizes the "specific topic" you're discussing about.

So the title can be something like, "How to [Topic] with [Influencer's Name]".

how to interview content

2. SCALE BLB PROSPECTING WITH CITATION LABS

For the past several months, I've been using Citation Labs heavily to scale prospecting for resources pages (or links pages) for our broken link building projects.

Disclaimer: I'm not an affiliate marketer of this tool.

Given that broken link building requires tedious work on prospecting especially if you're working on several BLB campaigns, using a tool to prospect thousands of relevant link opportunities is definitely a big help.

Using Citation Labs for a broken link building campaign, we've managed to create a list of 22,000+ job and career-specific link prospects with Domain Authority of 40 and above.

keywords usedcitation labs platform

The list is further qualified to pass the relevance test, which resulted to 400 targeted prospects out of the first 10,000+ unqualified pages (4% qualification rate).

400+ link opportunities

On average, we can qualify 1000 prospects based on relevance 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.

Assuming you have a newbie link builder and he manually searches for link opportunities, it'd probably take him 3 to 4 hours to find 30 to 40 links pages qualified based on relevance and certain metrics like Domain Authority.

So for 400 qualified prospects, he would consume 40 hours equivalent to 1 week of work.

Notable advantages of utilizing Citation Labs for bulk link prospecting are:

  • Improved efficiency in prospecting - as it requires less hours to manually prospect for link opportunities, so time can be spent on qualifying link targets based on relevance and obtainability.
  • Expand link lists for untapped link opportunities - pages discovered by the tool aren't necessarily ranking for linker-based queries  (inurl:resources "topic").

Besides searching for links pages, Citation Labs can also help link builders to find other type of link opportunities such as review pages, forums and professional organization sites.

other types of link opportunities

3. HIRE VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS FOR MENIAL TASKS

Apparently, outsourcing is a cost-effective strategy that can improve your link building campaign's efficiency. By giving menial tasks to freelancers, it helps you allocate more time on other important activities, which can help elevate individual and team's output and productivity.

Basically, the tasks that you'll be outsourcing are ones that'll only require basic knowledge and skills and can somehow be executed right away even without much deeper training.

Here are a few examples of link building tasks you can outsource to:

  • Contact finding (name, email address, contact forms and social profiles - if email address is not available).
  • Finding important page or site-level details (page tilte, article title)
  • Initial pitching (sending your outreach emails using an email template with only a few tags to replace details with)

As an example, we recently started hiring virtual assistants locally (freelancers who are based here in the Philippines) and from other countries like Bulgaria to help us with bulk link building activities.

Instead of posting online jobs to facilitate hiring, we use Linkedin as a platform to manually search for freelancers who had previously worked for a similar company (either a full SEO service agency or a link building company).

linkedin hiring

The advantage of doing so is we were able to hire freelancers who can deliver more output than someone who just undergo a training process.

We also checked their work histories if they handled previous link building campaigns or any associated tasks like contact finding and daily checking of emails.

Before jumping straight to outsourcing, we created simple step-by-step documents that walks them through the entire process of executing the task to avoid recurring questions we'll then received from them, as they work on each campaign.

We use GDocs to easily share documents to our freelancers.

broken link building processes

This outsourcing approach can certainly improve your campaign's efficiency with the right people and processes.

Further reading on outsourcing:

4. PERSONALIZED EMAIL MERGE

As quoted by Jason Acidre on his SEO blog, "Outreach is probably the most tedious component of our marketing discipline because the activity primarily intends to build relationships."

I couldn't agree more with this statement, as we've done hundreds of outreach campaigns and to only succeed is to put the hardest work in creating the best offer (value prop in emails), in prospecting for highly targeted publishers and in sending email copies that'll mutually benefit both parties.

There's one subtle approach we've tested to improve the efficiency of our outreach campaigns - that is using a personalized email merge tool.

We initially start by installing Yet Another Email Merge to Google Spreadsheet as an add-on tool. It allows us to send 50 emails in every outreach account for free (there's a premium price if you're sending 400 emails a day).

yet another mail merge

Unlike the typical mail merge system that blast off email spams to publishers, this email merge tool allows us to personalize email copies while semi-automating sending off emails and scheduling them at the right time when prospects will likely to open.

schedule emails - draft

Note: When using this approach, it's extremely important to set intervals in outreach, not to trigger Gmail from spamming your account. Instead of sending 400 emails one-time off, you can divide them into 5 or 7 days with intervals if possible, and just send 40 emails a day.

Here are a few advantages that this tool can bring to your outreach campaign:

  • Enables scheduling features for different timezones.
  • Tracks open and response rates as well as how many emails were sent and bounced back (or had errors in sending).
  • Failed messages (bounced back emails or emails with technical errors) can be replaced immediately with secondary emails which streamlines your follow-up or second-pitch processes.
  • One-click away from Google spreadsheet to schedule emails.

email tracking report

The said outreach tool requires a draft email which serves as your outreach copy to send or schedule emails. Using tags ($/Name/$) in your draft email is important to extract data from your spreadsheet and produce personalize emails.

This outreach approach can benefit you in so many ways, such as:

Initial-pitching using successful outreach copies

If you've tested a couple of outreach templates and one of them has successfully earned the highest open, response and closing rates (or even just the highest closing rate), you can use your most effective outreach template as your email copy in Yet Another Email Merge function for your next outreach campaign.

Follow-Ups

It would be more efficient to send short and straightforward follow-up emails using Yet Another Email Merge tool, which only takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete, than manually sending/scheduling all follow-up emails using your outreach accounts.

follow-up email

Considerations When Using Yet Another Email Merge

As you get your hands on to this tool, you may experience a few mishaps that can be avoided if you've taken a note of them.

Semantic Breaks

Ross Hudgens discussed semantic breaks in his outreach best practices post that should be noted carefully if you want to secure positive responses in your outreach campaigns.

A good example of this is when you send an email to a person with a tag, "I saw your post on venchitotampon.com blog" and you're addressing it to the blogger himself, "Venchito Tampon". A normal person would rather say, "on your personal blog" instead of naming the whole domain.

When you start using the tool, you might create a column for Website/Blog Titles that includes all branded names of your target link sources.

If not carefully checked, you might put the whole domain (venchitotampon.com) instead of inserting "personal blog" or "personal website".

Leaving off blanks

The tool requires you to create columns for Names, Email Address and other tags such as, Blog Name and Asset Title to further personalize your email copies.

necessary input

All columns should be filled out with necessary input. Otherwise, you might see an email sent that sounds like a spammy build blast.

My trick here is to input the word "there" to blank cells in the "Names" column for email addresses with no available and visible names.

The final email copy will look like this:

hi-there-email-2

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Local Link Building Tactics

7 Hard-Hitting Local Link Building Tactics for Small and Large Businesses

In the Post-Pigeon era, local links have become more valuable as signals for search engines to assess a site’s local relevance in the organic search results.

In fact, the recent Local Search Ranking Factor study by Moz proves that the two most important local ranking factors are on-site signals and local links.

There are in fact hundreds of articles that share about the different local link building strategies you can use to play in the local scene this 2017 (and beyond).

But regardless of which local link building tactic you use today, there are a few considerations to take while executing each phase in a local link building campaign:

  • Prospecting: The volume of local link prospects isn’t huge enough compared to target sites of large-scale link building campaigns, so putting a lower threshold on metrics like Moz’ DA is necessary to collect a higher volume of local link opportunities.
  • Qualification: Quality can’t be determined solely by Moz’ DA or other link metrics- the referral traffic that local pages can generate should be considered (local professional organization pages for example, that are less DA30 are frequently visited by local users and therefore can refer the most engaged traffic to the site.
  • Outreach: The more localized in context your approach is, the likelihood of increasing responses and link conversions for local outreach campaigns is higher.

With these things in consideration, you can now start implementing a local link building campaign with the right fundamentals in mind.

Below are seven (7) local link building activities that you can immediately use right now which can certainly help impact your business goals:

 

1. UTILIZE JOBS PORTAL FOR QUICK LINK WINS

When building links for our clients, one of the first few questions we ask is, “what's the existing content asset in the client’s website we can use as USP for linker outreach?”.

This question breaks the “content mental block” that is often experienced when strategizing what link acquisition tactics that require content to create in order to acquire high-quality links.

Interestingly, we’ve discovered that there are existing under-utilized pages published on client’s sites that we can use to show/provide to publishers and content creators to get them link to the client’s page.

A great example of this content is “jobs portal”.

A “jobs portal” is a directory/curation of all job positions available in a local area.

Your brand can even curate available positions available for a specific industry  (e.g. “tech startup jobs in New York”).

boston tech jobs

For some local brands that I’ve audited, jobs portal is inherently the first few pages published on their sites which serve as a content hub for their local partners like local professional organizations who are looking for new hires for their teams.

Jobs portal caters specifically to the “job seekers” linkable market which has a lucrative number of links pages.

Link prospecting for this strategy is pretty much the same with how you’ll normally do it for a resource page link building or broken link building strategy, but the difference is just that you are only looking for a local linkable market - “jobs links/resources pages in Boston” for example.

You can start prospecting using Google search with any of the following search queries to collect your initial set of local link opportunities:

  • “job search” “resources” “CITY”
  • employment” inurl:resources “CITY”
  • “job hunting” resources “CITY”
  • inurl:careers “CITY”

Expand your list by reverse engineering other local job portals or other local job board sites.

By checking which pages link to local-relevant job board sites on this page, I was able to collect a few more tens of local links pages.reverse engineer resource pagesOnce you have generated your list of prospects along with their contact details, you can then start engaging them through your outreach campaign.

Spend a few extra minutes to check if there are broken links on a prospect page.

If all links are working, simply request to be included as an additional resource on their links page.

I’ve found it helpful to add subtle changes to email copies to emphasize the local relevance of the jobs portal or any other local content pieces I’m building links to. I usually add lines for:

  • The best section on the resource page to add the client’s local content
  • Who is the target audience of the content?
  • A few recommendations for the content that serves as a social proof

 

email outreach jobs resource pages

With proper execution, we were able to acquire links:

resource page link first example

resource page link second example

2. CREATE LOCALIZED VISUAL DATA

Visual data link building (infographic-based link building) is getting more saturated, as more brands try to pick up on it. But with the right audience targeting along with accurate data and impressive design, visual data can still prove its effectiveness in getting high-value links especially if it’s been massively promoted through different content distribution channels.

One way to get started with this approach is to find a local piece of content created by other publishers who had an extensive research on a particular subject matter and transform it into a visual asset.

To give you an example, recently we’ve been looking for a piece of content that we could well turn into an infographic.

By searching for available public data on different trusted sites, we’ve found a research study on teen dating, abuse & bullying with respondents based in  New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

nacjd public data source website

Side note: here are a few public data sites you can source information from for your visual assets:

We’ve checked if the public data is still relevant in the current year, as we want to get the most recent study as much as possible (the latest we consider is 2016).

One way that helped us assess the relevance and credibility of a public data piece is by looking at the version history section. For example, the research study we considered was initially published in 2012 but it has been updated for 2016 (indicated in the version history section).

Then we strategize how the public data content can be turned into an infographic without cursing the target audience with knowledge.

Given that the research study has two sections: teen dating & abuse and teen bullying, we’ve decided to choose teen dating & abuse and keep the latter for future content references.

concised research study

The hardest part of visual data link building is content creation.

As an agency, there are two ways to attack this: outsource to a freelancer or hire an in-house graphic designer.

We chose the latter simply because it’s time and cost-efficient.

Produced the visual data (partial image below):

teen dating infographic

Then we’ve spent most of our hours looking for potential link partners or content publishers who’ll be interested in the content piece we produced.

We begin prospecting using the following local-centric queries in Google search:

You can also use Reverse Image Search or Tineye to find and track any local-based infographics for local bloggers and publishers who distributed these pieces on their blogs.

If in case you’ve been running out of prospects, you can tap other industries and look for local publishers who still cater to targeted audience of your content.

In our case, we tapped local legal publishers with injury/sexual harassment category on their sections.

sexual harassment injury blog

As for the outreach, make it easier for your local prospects to know the interesting fact on your visual data. It is best to state some numbers and your target audience to build the context relevance and credibility of your content piece.

visual link building outreachYou can test the two-blogger outreach process to initially capture your prospects’ interests then eventually sending the link pointing to your visual data (or attaching it in your email conversation) if they’ve positively respond to your initial pitch.

3. REALIZE OPPORTUNITY IN “NEW TO AN AREA” PAGES

For local link building, what I’ve found to be most quantitative (high amount) in links/resource pages are those that cater to audiences who are relocating/living to a new area or city.

Typically, these are pages that provides lists of resources/references that a person who’s new to an area would definitely find.

Here are some examples of local “new to an area” topics:

  • Quality schools in [City] or finding the right schools
  • Local laws in [City]
  • Tourist information, local attractions or things to do in [City]
  • How to get here
  • Volunteer listings in [City]
  • Moving and relocation in [City]
  • internet & cable
  • my neighbourhood

If you are marketing a brick and mortar business, a local attraction, a local professional organization, or a utility company (i.e. internet cable), it’s best to get your initial set of links from this type of resource pages.

things to do in city pages

You can start prospecting by using “page-level” qualifier queries (which I highly recommend if you’re looking for “new to an area” topical pages) through Google search.

If you're prospecting for "things to do in [City]" pages, here are the following search queries that you can use:

  • inurl:"things to do" [City]
  • intitle:"things to do" [City]
  • inurl:links activities in [City]

An above approach is an alternate option to the basic link prospecting queries for resource page link building (i.e. using inurl:resources OR inurl:links “keyword”).  It expands your search for link opportunities that don’t necessarily have the title tag or URL qualifiers (intitle and inurl).

The next step is to reach out to webmasters of these links pages and offer your website to be included as an additional resource on the page.

I’ve found it helpful to prepare short lines/description to be added to the links page along with your link. It can help take away webmasters’ burden of thinking what texts to add, that describes your brand/website (e.g. best description of your local attraction).

area to pages link building outreach

If you’ve executed properly, you’ll definitely get a link.

attraction resource pages

4. GET RESOURCE LINKS FROM SUMMER/OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING [CITY] PAGES

Summer housing/off-campus housing pages are resource lists of available housing options for both students and interns in a local area.

This type of webpages can positively generate exposure to brands they’re linking out to as well as provide possible leads for brands’ services since the purpose of the page is focused on recommending rental offerings currently available in the area.

The closest vertical that can benefit from generating high-quality links from summer housing [city] pages, obviously, is real estate, particularly local apartments brands, housing and rental services companies.

National brands with apartment rentals in different cities can also take advantage of this link acquisition technique by acquiring links from summer housing resource pages available in cities they cater offerings to. The more cities they’re marketing to, the better they could take advantage of this local link building tactic.

national apartments

You can start this link approach by creating a list of targeted link prospects from Google search results - using any of the following search terms:

  • “Off-campus” housing [city] “resources”
  • “Student housing” [city] “resources”
  • “Internship housing” [city] “resources”

Populate your list by checking broken domains for any inbound links from summer housing pages. A simple plug to your favorite link checker tool can help quickly assess the number of unique referring domains pointing to these dead websites.

For example, this extinct site that is used to be an apartment rental site has a 75+ unique referring domains that includes solid .edu sites links pages. A quick look on it can reveal tens of potential summer housing pages that can be added to a link list.

ahrefs summer housing reverse engineering links

Then craft email copies you can use for your local outreach that are straightforward and easy to personalize.

Finally, acquire the link:summer housing link

5. SERVE FSQ WITH LOCAL CONTENT 

Creating content that’s really hard to do and that is better than its competitors is definitely one of the best ways, not just to stand out as an authority publisher in the industry but also to acquire high-quality in-content links from other content publishers on the web.

In addition to that, making sure that the content piece has well-served its audience by providing their needs through the useful information found on the page can increase the chances of building as well as earning backlinks from highly relevant sites.

For local content creation, here are topics that are frequently searched (FSQ or frequently search queries) by local audience and linked to by local publishers:

  • Street occupancy and moving permits
  • [city] neighborhoods
  • Helpful moving tips or things to do before you move
  • Resources for landlords & tenants
  • Homeowner resources
  • Voter registration
  • Address change

The main key to succeed in creating local content is to be succinct while being so much helpful in providing the details that the local audience needs.

Coming up with a guide that sums up all of the items mentioned above for people who’re looking for direct information is an extremely useful content asset that has high chances of earning links from local content creators.

moving resource example 1

moving resource example 2

moving resource example 3moving resource example 4

 

6. SEED ANSWERS TO LONG TAIL ONLINE DISCUSSIONS

Conversation marketing is a highly effective brand building tool for local business owners, marketers and/or those who’re in agency that market local clients - who don’t have a huge budget to spend to build a strong brand presence online.

While it’s certainly time-consuming, the amount of effort put into value-added conversations can invaluably bring momentum and exponential growth of links as well as drive referral traffic and potential leads for the business.

One of the best ways to start this approach is by joining online communities where your local target audience are participating and looking for direct information.

For example, if you’re promoting a local attraction site, answering questions on StreetAdvisor can be an initial jump to your conversation marketing efforts.

seed forum link building

Below are some ways that you can do to leverage and scale conversation marketing for your local business:

  • Do Google searches for direct questions that people are seeking to find local businesses and/or attractions (e.g. best [product/service] in [city/area]) and spot on local and niche-specific forums that are currently ranking in the first two or three pages in search results  - these online pages still receive a few tens/hundred of organic traffic and may bring valuable traffic to your website.
  • Choose an in-house team member who has a strong knowledge on the product/service you’re offering and let him/her spend 20 to 30 minutes daily, participating in local online discussions.

You can check out this post by Jason Acidre to learn more on how to use conversation marketing effectively for your local brand.

7. LEVERAGE REDDIT FOR LOCAL PROMOTION

Reddit is a community news aggregator site that has its own ranking algorithm to decide which referring link deserves to be placed on the front page for a specific subreddit.

If you’re launching a local content that contains a compelling story/data and design-driven images, such as infographics, then Reddit is definitely a place that you can utilize to put more eyeballs on your content (increasing the amount of traffic you’re getting).

You can start by identifying specific subreddits that are relevant to your local brand. Do a Google search for site:reddit.com “keyword” OR “city,” manually check each subreddit and see if they cater to the audience with the same demographics you’re targeting.

Create a list relevant subreddits along with their current number of subscribers and online users (photo credit: Siegemedia).

siegemedia reddit promotion

It is best to take a few minutes checking referring links placed on the front page of each subreddit to assess content types (images/videos/data) that best resonate the subreddit audience. You can add a column for Notes or Remarks in your spreadsheet to mark content formats/types.

Once you have the Reddit data to base your content upon, you can now produce niche-specific content pieces that are context fit to those local subreddits.

You may want to check out this comprehensive post on creating content by building traffic source backward from Reddit.

The next step is to customize social buttons on your content by adding a Reddit button, for example, to make it easier for Reddit users to upvote your content.

Another approach that you can make to increase the likelihood of ranking your story on the front Reddit pages is by reaching out to like-minded individuals in your industry or sharing your subreddit link in an online group of marketers to get more upvotes for your client’s content piece.

inbounders facebook group

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