On Thursday, April 9, we hosted our third edition of #LinkaratiChat, our biweekly Twitter chat dedicated to all things link building.
For our third edition, we spent the hour talking about link prospecting, the process of finding and analyzing link opportunities for a link building campaign.
Like our first two chats, we asked six questions all tied to that particular topic. Once again, we were thrilled by all of the thoughtful answers.
So without further ado, let’s look at some of the responses.
What Research Needs to Be Done Prior to Link Prospecting?
Linkarati staff writer Andrew Dennis kicked us off by saying:
A1: AUDIENCE RESEARCH! If you don't have a deep understanding of your target audience, you can't do any link prospecting #LinkaratiChat
— Andrew Dennis (@AndrewDennis33) April 9, 2015
Google’s end-goal is to rank sites that do their best to improve the online experience for users. They want to reward sites that provide a valuable service. Because of this, it’s important to understand your audience. What kind of sites are they looking at? What are the content/service gaps they’re thirsty for?
A1: Industry research. Know your client's industry well enough to ascertain relevance, especially if it's something jargony. #LinkaratiChat — Tim Hand (@timwhand) April 9, 2015
Not all link builders are in-house. As such, they might not have a solid understanding of the nuances of the industry. In this case, it’s important to simply read up about best practices and history of that industry. Indeed, as Tim Hand points out here as well, knowing the industry vernacular will go a long way.
What Are Your Favorite Site-Finding Methods?
This is what Linkarati’s managing editor Cory Collins had to say:
A2: I also think social platforms are widely overlooked. Digging around in G+ communities and Twitter lists is huge #Linkaratichat
— Cory Collins (@Coryrcollins) April 9, 2015
Just about every authoritative and influential site has a social media presence. Indeed, social media is an avenue in which many sites gain such authority and influence. Targeted searches on platforms like Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest can potentially return a hefty list of link opportunities.
@Linkarati A2. Read a lot, click on links, see if those are good sites to target :) #linkbuildinghack#imlovingit#linkaratichat — Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook) April 9, 2015
Engagement is one of the most lucrative link prospecting methods available. The more you comment on other blogs or interact with other influencers in your niches as Rohan Ayyar suggests, the more audiences you will be exposed to. This is not only good link prospecting - it’s sound marketing in every sense.
What Are Your Unusual or Creative Link Prospecting Tips?
Mike Wilton had this to say:
A3. I use @helpareporter & @SourceBottle daily to find potential pitch opportunities for clients. #LinkaratiChat
— Mike Wilton (@mwilton13) April 9, 2015
Help a Reporter Out and Source Bottle are not only useful to journalists, they are great sources for link prospects as well.
A3. A super helpful tip that I use is Google Alerts, I set it up by keyword and brand and it opens a lot of opportunity #LinkaratiChat — Direct Online Mktg (@directom) April 9, 2015
Direct Online Marketing is right when they say that mention monitors like Google Alerts will help you to find fresh mention link opportunities. When sites mention your brand or your keyword(s), Google Alerts will notify you. After that, you can outreach to the webmaster to see if they will insert a link back to your site (if they didn’t already).
How Do You Determine Site Quality While Prospecting?
Annalisa M. Hilliard responded with:
A4: site content and layout can be a key indicator of knowledge and authority #LinkaratiChat — Annalisa M. Hilliard (@ahilliardm) April 9, 2015
Would you want a link on a site that was slow to load and filled to the brim with misspelled words? If a site is an actual niche authority, they have the time and resources to invest in user-friendly design and grammatically correct content.
A4: 3rd party metrics like DA are worth ignoring. Low DA sites that are highly relevant can be up and coming! Get in early! #LinkaratiChat — Nicholas Chimonas (@NChimonas) April 9, 2015
Many SEOs use domain authority as a crutch. That’s not necessarily wrong, but Nicholas Chimonas is correct when he says that a low DA isn’t a death knell. It can take a long time for a to accrue an impressive domain authority, even if that site consistently creates phenomenal content and has beneficial, unique qualities. Don’t let a low DA ward you off.
How Does Your Site-Finding Change for Local Link Building?
This was Sean Malseed’s answer:
A5: Local link building is more personal. Phone, face-to-face, network. Make friends, make links. 7-pack is your rolodex :) #linkeratichat — Sean Malseed (@seanmalseed) April 9, 2015
Too often, link builders and SEOs limit their outreach mechanisms to email and social. When engaged in local link building, it could be even better to leave these methods in the dust and to get more personal.
A5: A world of local events and connections opens up. What's this area up to? How can your client relate to it meaningfully? #LinkaratiChat
— Kate Smith (@SmittyQ14) April 9, 2015
As Kate Smith points out, local link building opens up opportunities that aren’t available on a national scale. If your business is hosting an event, there might be several community calendars that would mention/link to it. On the flipside of that, there might be events around the community that you could sponsor or help to organize. Not only is that an effective display of altruism, but it will culminate in links from other local websites.
What Are Some of Your Favorite Link Prospecting Tools?
Cory Collins listed the tools that make up what I like to call the link builder’s utility belt.
A6: I love @BuzzSumo, @BuzzStream, @SEMrush, @Moz, @Majestic, Twitter, G+, Google itself. #LinkaratiChat
— Cory Collins (@Coryrcollins) April 9, 2015
There are more tools on top of these, but this set will help any and every link builder in their path.
A6: Honestly, sometimes I just use a new search string and go straight to the 10th page and start there. Lame answer... #LinkaratiChat — Meghan Cahill (@PageOneMeghan) April 9, 2015
Despite her self-effacing, Linkarati staff writer Meghan Cahill has a great point here. Not only is Google one of the best tools available, but so is the human brain/creativity. She doesn’t say that explicitly, but her tip of starting at page ten is unorthodox. It can also prove to be incredibly effective. No amount of tools are going to cover a lack of ingenuity in a link builder.
See You Next Time!
Just like our first two chats, we had a lot of fun talking with other link builders and SEOs. But Twitter chats aren’t only for fun - they’re useful for relationship building and sharing useful advice. So we hope to talk with you again on Thursday, April 23rd! As of now, we don’t have a topic established, but we will share it out on the Linkarati Twitter feed when we do. And one last time, to everyone that participated in our chat on the 9th: