Link Prospecting – Strategy

Link prospecting is a great way to take your SEO agency forward. Generally, it is a part of every good online advertising strategy. Chances are your competitors have an intricate meshwork of links that they use to broaden their social networks. Here’s an introduction to link prospecting, in case you missed it.

You need to find good online pages that you can put your links on. There are many ways to find good links online. One of the most commonly used methods is google searches and backlinks from your competitors.

Once you acquire these links, you should be able to organize them. It is hard to keep a check on all these pages unless you have an organized system for it. Google tools are highly recommended for people who have a huge database of links that they need to organize.

Google searches are vast, and it is not viable for you to go through each one of them for link prospecting. However, there are tools available that you can use to skim through these links efficiently. SERP research tool is a recommended tool that you can use to expand your database.

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Another lesser-known yet effective way for link prospecting is examining outbound links for specific domains. You then target the most common links and select them as prospects.

If you are new to this process, it is advised that you start right from the beginning. Well, here is everything you need to know about creating a link prospecting strategy for an SEO agency.

Start by setting up your campaign

Link prospecting, as mentioned earlier, has a vast database. If you want to successfully create a network that works, you must get organized. There are many tools online that you can take help from. However, one of the most recommended platforms to use is Google drive.

Here is everything you should know about Google Drive and why it is your best bet at the organization. Continue reading to find out ways in which you can organize your work better and be more efficient.

(Source : Google Images)

Introduction to Google Drive

When you build an SEO agency link prospecting strategy, it is not limited to one single operation. You will have a ton of things to manage and look after. You cannot be managing multiple applications for a single client in such cases. This will only make your job more difficult, and you will have a hard time keeping track of your progress.

Google Drive has all the necessary tools to make sure you have everything you need. You will not have to juggle between different tools when you use this platform. It makes your work more convenient, and it is very easy to operate.

Here are a few features of Google Drive that make it the best tool to use when working on a link prospecting strategy.

· Everything under one roof

This is one of the most important features of Google Drive. You will be able to manage all your operations using the link building tools and other essential tools provided to you by this application. It cuts down on a lot of tedious work and helps you save time.

· Open workflow

Another key feature of Google Drive is its open workflow. All the work you do on this platform is very fluid. This is because it is integrated with a number of other applications like Gmail and Google Calendar.

Google Drive also helps you work as a team. All the members of a team can access data at any time without too much hassle. This feature also makes it easier for you to manage freelancers and all your clients! It does not sound like much, but these small details save you time and effort and ultimately make you more efficient.

Use Google Drive for all your clients

Google Drive is not just great for link prospecting when it comes to new clients. You can manage the data of your entire business with a single client on a google sheet. The best way to do that is by simply creating a new folder for your client.

(Source : Google Images)

Make a folder for every client you have on Google Drive first. This way, the content and the details of each client are already separated from the other. You can then create sub-folders within these client folders.

You can start by making a content folder inside the client folder. This folder will have all the detailed content written by professional writers for your client’s website. The content for link building generally includes guest blogs, PR submissions, website blog posts, etc. However, this completely depends on what your client is looking for.

After this, you can create a google sheet within the main client folder. Now you have two elements in this big folder, namely the content folder and the main Google Sheet.

This Google Sheet contains all the important information that you will need for your client’s project. This sheet will have 6 separate tabs that will be used to observe the progress of all the tasks you undertake closely.

These are the 6 tabs that you can incorporate in your Google Sheet too to make sure you have all the information in one place.

1. Project plans

This is essentially the command centre of the project. It contains all the important information regarding the project and its minute details. This tab will have the due dates, the project details, the plan of action, team heads, etc.

The Google Sheet allows you to assign tasks to different members separately. Once you assign a job to someone, this Google Sheet will send them a personal email, notifying them about this task. You can plan for your work at least a year in the future.

The link building project plans tab will be shared with your client. This way, you do not need to give them updates too frequently, as they can just go through this page. This way, your work is even more organized. This is just an example of one of the many features of Google Sheets. There are many other techniques on sheets that can make you more efficient in your work.

2. Live links

You will be creating certain links for your client’s website as an SEO agency. You must track the progress of all the links that go live. This tab on your Google Sheet ensures that all the live links are updated and are all present in one place.

You will not have to check each one separately and increase your workload. Moreover, once you share this with your client, they can also check up on all the live links simultaneously.

This tab will contain the information you get after you are done contracting opportunities. Once your link goes live, you put up this information on the tab for your clients to see and understand. You can include the date on which it went live and how much it cost you in case it did.

These two could be separate columns on the live links tab. In addition to these, you can also add a section where you put the link of the page you have backlinked to on the client’s website. Opportunities, links went live, move it to the live links for link building tab, so the client sees. Moreover, you can also add the anchor text present on the link on this google sheet.

3. Opportunities

The opportunities tab will have almost just as much data as the project plan tab. This tab will have all the details of the links and the updates on the links that you are pursuing. This tab will also have the dates on links contacted and whether they have reverted or not.

The opportunities tab is an empty spreadsheet filled by a link prospector. This member is responsible for finding prospecting link building opportunities online through Google searches, Twitter searches, etc.

For instance, they find guest blog writing services online that could potentially be very helpful. Then, they collect all relevant information that needs to be put up on the Google Sheet so that these links can be pursued by another professional.

This information generally includes website URL, contact information such as email, guidelines for guest blog writing, etc. This tab also has a column where you can update the status of the link.

4. Writers

As an SEO agency, content is a crucial part of your work. No matter what you do, more often than not, your client will request you for content. You can approach this situation in two ways. You can either hire full-time content writers for your job or outsource this part.

There are many affordable freelance writers that specialize in various SEO content. Before you begin working on a project, you must connect with an expert content writer. Get all their details and hire them. Then, you can fill their details such as email ID, name, rate, etc., into the writers’ tab on the Google Sheet for reference.

5. Targets

This tab will have a general overview of your plan. Here you can mention what all you need to do for your client. For instance, write down how many landing pages, blogs, guest blogs, etc. your client needs in this section.

6. Passwords

The final tab will only have the passwords your client uses. This is for internal tracking, and it is personal information and must be protected. However, having passwords to different portals in one place makes it easy to access any important information.

These are the important tabs that can make your work processes easy. However, when it comes to link prospecting, you can never be too organized. Make sure you follow these tabs and modify them as per your needs for a better experience.

However, there is a lot more that you need to learn before you start curating a link prospecting strategy. Here are some important pointers that you must pay heed to. Continue reading to find out more about link prospecting strategies through link prospecting tools like Google Drive.

Client site analysis

After you are done creating a basic structure of your approach with the client, you can take your research forward. Before working on anything new, you will first need to assess what the client already has.

Your job as an SEO agency is to amplify or enhance your client’s website. You have to revamp it, but your work becomes easier if you are able to salvage useful content from things that already exist on the client’s platform.

You can go ahead with two different types of analysis of the client’s website to understand what you are working with. Content analysis and link profiling of the website can be a great place to begin this analysis.

Here are two different types of analysis.

Content analysis

As you may know, content is very important in anything that you do. The first thing you need to analyze on the client’s website is its content. This will give you a better idea of what you are working with.

Why is content important for link building

Content is essential for everything you do. However, the most important reason why you need good content on your website is that it broadens your link building prospects. If you want to link your website on other platforms, you need to offer something to them in return.

Link building prospects are centered around providing value in some form or another. You need to add value to their website by either giving them guest blogs, infographics, etc. anything that drives more traffic to their platform.

You can also add value by engaging their audience. If you have great content on your website, you can drive the traffic to your platform easily. However, you are under no compulsion to force your client into putting up more content on their website.

Even boring websites are capable of driving traffic to their platforms. You just need to build a strategy that works and keeps switching it up, depending on your clients and their needs.

You can start by assessing your client’s web content to know where they stand. Here is why you must do it and how you can do it easily.

How to know if there is pre-existing relevant content

Be sure to go through all the blogs, web page content, PRs, etc. Anything you can find that could be turned into an asset. You should know that content determines the quality of the website and makes link prospecting opportunities much easier for you.

The best way to analyze if the content on your client’s website is good by checking the number of shares it gets if there are ways in which they optimize it, etc. You can also check to see if they use a distribution channel to get the word out on their content too. These techniques are very small; however, they generally go a long way.

So, if your client already has good content that you can use, your work becomes significantly easier. Link building simplifies when you can find good content on the website. As long as you can link back to this page, you are good to go. However, backlinking is only possible when you have relevant content to present to the customers.

In case you do not find good content

If you cannot find any good content, you must let your client know. They need to understand the importance of investing in this aspect of their business. If people cannot connect with them through their words, it will become very difficult for them to build trust within their customers.

Tell your clients that you cannot generate links and link them back to their website unless there is genuinely good content present on their website.

Once you have separated the good content for link building from the mediocre ones, you need to input it into the Google Sheet. You will take the good content and copy its link on the targets tab of your google sheet.

You can list out this quality content and turn it into a resource record. This will help you get a clear idea of how many changes you will need to make later on. Make sure you input this information along with the links and tag them as content. Do not tag them as products but only content on your targets tab.

Link profiling

Link profiling is the second step, followed by content analysis. By now, you already know what the client’s website has to offer in terms of content. You can go ahead and assess their links and see what kind of assistance they will need.

This is important because unless you know the client’s requirements, you cannot move forward with your plan. However, link profiling is extremely easy, and it does not take up much of your time.

Firstly, you do not need to focus on link profiling or the kind of links your client has unless they have faced any issues in the past. You might need to focus on their links if they have been penalized in the past for this.

You also do not need to worry about aggressive link profiling campaigns as long as everything you do is ethical. Make sure you build these links the right way and follow all the guidelines. If you fail to do so, the client’s website might end up getting penalized.

The best way to conduct link profiling for a client is by using the Majestic SEO browser plug-in. It makes this process very easy and saves you a lot of time. All you need to do is enter the link in the search bar with this plug-in on and hit search.

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You will receive a detailed analysis of all the things that you want to know about this link. This is especially helpful when you are unsure if the page is over-optimized. You do not want to link to target pages that do not have a clear history.

The best way to conduct this search is by looking at the number, quality, relevance, and anchoring of the inbound links to that target page.

Additionally, you need to look for URLs that have brand names in them. This, along with naked URLs, could be extremely beneficial and are a great find when link profiling. It is important that the target page you look at does not just have keywords. This could penalize it.

As long as you take your links from ethical sources, you do not need to worry about anchor text optimization. Just make sure your website is credible and is of great quality. You also need to be mindful of your client when you are launching a link prospecting campaign.

You do not know what tour the client is capable of. If they go ahead and launch an aggressive link building campaign in the future, their page will be penalized. So, make sure you leave enough room for the changes your client would want to make.

How to assign target pages for a campaign

One of the most important factors that come into play when you run a link building campaign is the targets you assign to it. You will need to assign different keywords and targets to pages throughout this campaign.

It is very important to have keywords that can promote your client’s page and give it the boost it needs. However, you will need to follow a strategy to make sure you only give your clients what is best for their website.

Finding the right keywords

The first thing you need to do is pick the pages you want to rank. There are going to be a large number of web pages for you to choose from. However, you must find out the most promising ones and choose to promote them.

Chances are, your client already has a clear idea as to which page he wants to rank. The only problem that arises here is that he probably does not know what is best for his website. So, you need to let him know about the pages that are worth ranking.

The best way to ensure your pages are getting ranked high is by taking low hanging fruit pages and optimizing them. These pages are not the top-ranking pages, but they are also not too low on the list. This means they have potential and just need a little brushing up. You can target these pages first.

It is advised that you choose pages that rank between 6 and 35. This means they are not very good in terms of ranking, but they are not too bad either. You can figure this out by using online research and link prospecting tools like SEMrush.

(Source : Google Images)

All you need to do is search for your client’s website on SEMrush. After clicking on organic research followed by positions, you will get a detailed organic search result of the website’s performance. This data includes everything you will need to know to rank the website. You can then export this data to an excel or CSV file.

Once you know what pages you want to rank, you should begin your keyword research. Rank the keywords in terms of traffic and look for their search volume. For a small company, you can remove everything below 400. However, for bigger companies, you can take it a step further.

After this, all you need to do is take the link for good keywords, paste them in your link tracker sheet. Do not forget to label them as content because links for content are very different from links for products.

Building the project plan

The project plan in your Google sheet is the command center of this operation. There is more information on this tab than any other and for a good reason. Your entire team and your clients closely watch this sheet to stay updated on what is coming up.

You can create a project plan tab any way you please. However, if you are dealing with a large number of clients, having a set template can be very useful. The template can include the date for completion of a task, the person in charge of doing it, the link for the task, and the status on it.

This link building project plan has all the details needed. Your team members can work alongside and stay updated on their tasks. Meanwhile, your client can just have a glance at this sheet and know how this work is progressing.

It is beneficial to have project plans because they let you create project plans in the future. Even if you are starting out slow with a particular plan, your client will be assured that there is more in store later. This sheet will let them know that they will get their money’s worth eventually; they just have to trust you!

Make sure you create a new project plan for each client because every client has unique and contrasting needs. If a client has a product-centric website, you will have to focus on guest blogs and PRs mainly. However, if it is content-centric, you can write blogs, and linking becomes easier!

To sum up

Link prospecting strategy may sound like a monumental task. However, once you break it down and follow the steps, you realize how easy it is. The templates and the guidelines given are just a draft framework of how you can approach this process as an SEO agency. However, you must do what is best for you and whatever works for your business!

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