To find our foothold in the digital market, we need to understand the strategies of our competitors and assess them with ours. This does not mean that we will conduct a comparison of our website with that of our competitors.
To run an analysis of your competitors, you need to find the right ones. Whether they are your direct competitors or indirect ones, you need to be sure that they are the ones that you should be looking at.
Link prospecting is the competitive analysis technique used by websites to find new web pages where they can find a link. These link sources are then linked back to their web pages to increase their rankings. To find the relevant links, you can use different tools or strategies that would help you find high-quality backlinks.
The most common way to find the right backlinks for your website is through keyword searches in Google. Here you can find many relevant links that would ensure that your website finds itself at the top of the link rank. But this is not an easy feat at all.
There are many different steps to reach the top of the game, and that is what we will cover in this module. Link building is a major part of link prospecting. Here we will learn the ins and outs of links building and the steps that you could take to build the right links.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process through which you can acquire links from other websites to yours. Google crawls through the web using links, and they will crawl links between different websites and also between the web pages of your website.
The links will be assessed by the search engine to check their popularity. The more searches or votes a link has, the higher they will be ranked. When the rank of the link is high, the parameter for link building will be the domain quality and domain relevancy from where the link is derived.
For the good ranking of your website, link building is a necessary step that you should take. If your website is ranked well, then you will appear on top of the search results. When people search for a relevant keyword related to your website, the search results will display your website, and this will generate more traffic.
Links are currently one of the topmost ranking factors used by Google. The search engine continuously crawls the different kinks, determining the quality of the content that is present in those links, and ranking them accordingly. Not that just, the number of quality external links that are associated with your website will also be taken into consideration while ranking.
Authority – Link Quality
Authority is one of the major factors that affect the SEO performance of your website. There are three different levels of authority – page authority, domain authority, and links authority. These three levels together showcase the trustworthiness of a website and the attention that it needs.
Domain authority is the indicator using which the ability of a domain to rank is measured. The sum of the authority of all the web pages in the website is calculated to understand the ranking capability. There are two factors on which domain authority is based – age & trust and popularity.
Page authority is the same as domain authority, with the ranking of the page considered here. The basis of page authority is mainly three factors – age & trust, link value, and latest update freshness. For domain authority and page authority, you need to have a higher number to get a higher website ranking.
Link authority is the indicator that is used to calculate the ranking power that a link has. In short, the three types of authority need to be high for you to get a high ranking. When you seek links from other websites, you need to measure if they have high authority. To measure the authority of websites, you can use tools such as Moz and Majestic SEO plug-ins.
Relevancy of Links
Google would be able to determine the kind of business you wish to establish by the links associated with your website. Link relevancy is, therefore, a very important part, just like link authority. Link relevancy is the relevancy that the links associated with your site have to your business niche.
For example, if you are a home service website that specializes in providing home cleaning and security solutions, then the links associated to your website would be from the same industry and dealing with similar products or services. If you have linked to a website that provides banking services, then that would be irrelevant.
Through this, Google would understand that your website provides home solutions and would rank your website similarly. When people search for home cleaning solutions or other related keywords, then they would be able to view your website in the top results. Irrelevant linking can have an adverse effect on the quality of your website, and Google can term them as spam.
Find websites with a similar audience base and look at their authority. One thing you need to remember is the link authority, and link relevancy goes hand in hand. One cannot survive without the other, and both these factors are important for a successful link building.
Quality of Links
Since links are an important part of the ranking signal, companies have started to hack the link acquiring process. The links that are hacked are brought from low quality and irrelevant websites. Websites who acquire low quality or hacked links are often penalized by Google.
Just acquiring links is not the end of the SEO process. You need to ensure that the links are of high-quality. The relevancy and authority of a link, along with other factors, determine the quality of that link.
In a rush to increase your ranking, you cannot invest in links that are of low-quality. This would harm the website, and you would not get the desirable results. Opting for the low-quality link would spoil the reputation of your website and do more harm than good.
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is the technique through which SEO marketers try to increase the ranking of a website by violating the terms of service of the search engine. The term today is used to specify the unethical actions that are taken by hackers or companies to quickly make their way in the top of the ranking list.
Once revealed, these practices are penalized by Google and destroy the reputation of your website. Your site can even get banned from Google or any other search engine.
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO, on the other hand, is the technique through which you can increase website ranking by maintaining the terms of service of different search engines. This is an ethical way of gaining backlinks and increasing the ranking of your website in the process.
The practice of White Hat SEO would help in keeping the integrity of our website intact. The process can be lengthy and costly as compared to Black Hat SEO. But the practice of White Hat SEO will in no way harm the reputation of your website.
Determine Link Quality with SEMRush
SEMRush is the primary tool that is used to determine the quality of the link. A high-quality link will be able to provide you with a high rank. To know the link quality, you need to first open the home page of SEMRush. Though it is a paid subscription, this tool will help you in the long run to enhance your website
In the search bar, you will have to paste the website URL and then click ‘Organic Research.’ The first thing that you would look at would be at the number of keywords, the traffic, and the cost of traffic that has been generated by the website. The more traffic that a website has, the better it would be for you.
(Source : Google Images)
The next thing you have to see is the graph displayed in the results. Be aware of any big drops in the graph. This means that the website may have faced certain penalties for unethical practices. If the graph should show an upward slope, then it is good for your website.
The main focus should be on targeting high-quality links. This does not mean that the low-quality links will serve no use for your website.
You may also want to consider some social signals to fill out your link profile, too.
Determine Link Quality with Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is a plug-in that is used for checking the quality of backlinks and is a much simpler tool than SEMRush. Using Majestic, you can determine the number of backlinks that are pointed towards your website or any particular webpage on your website. You can also check the quality of these backlinks to know if they would be useful for you.
(Source : Majestic.com)
There are three sections in Majestic, which are URL, Subdomain, and Root Domain. URL shows the specific page or the link that you are currently on. The root domain is the analysis of all the links that are pointed to your website.
Based on these three sections, there are four types of analysis terms that are mentioned in the plug-in. They are Citation Flow, Trust Flow, External Backlinks, and Referring Domains. Citation flow is the overall link power that points to your website. Trust Flow is the total link quality that points to your website.
External Backlinks and Referring Domain are the total backlinks that are pointed towards your webpage or website. In this, Trust Flow and Referring Domains are the main factors that you need to keep an eye on to measure the quality of the different links.
Follow vs. No-Follow Links
There are two main kinds of links that are derived by Google – Follow and No Follow Links. Links that are ‘Followed’ will be crawled by the search engine, whereas links that are ‘No Follow’ will not be crawled by the search engine. A big example of No Follow links are social media sites.
Follow links are those which are counted as points and boost the rank of the page. These links are necessary for a successful SEO of a website. Follow links will be noticed by Google when they crawl your website. A high quality follow link will be able to pass the ranking power of SEO.
No, Follow links are those that have an HTML tag, which states that they should be ignored by the search engines. These links do not fall under the ranking system of search engines and are of no relevance to you.
There is a plug-in that helps you determine if a link is Follow or No Follow. Links that are No Follow should be avoided by you since they cannot help in boosting your website rank. The whole focus is on the Followed links of high-quality.
Using Search Engine Operators
Search engine operators are commands that are used to refine the search results in search engines. For example, if you use the search operator “site:” then you will only be able to see the results from a particular website in the results of the search engine.
You can put the necessary keywords in the search engine to derive the results that you require. This will help you find the related links that you can use for your website. Once this is found, you can use the various tools mentioned above to check the authority, relevancy, and quality of the link that you have found.
Link Building Team
When you are involved in an extensive link building process, you can hire a team of people who will be able to handle different tasks. There are certain roles that you can hire people for. The team will be able to make the work much easier and faster.
The team could consist of the Lead SEO, Link Prospector, Outreach Manager, and Content Creator. Dividing the word among the team members would involve a proper structure which can incur better results. Each of the roles will have a specific job role that needs to be fulfilled within a given deadline.
If you’d like to have us handle this for you, check out our guest post service!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
(Source : https://majestic.com/majestic-widgets/plugins)
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!
Link Prospecting – Preparing for Outreach
Every marketer has at one or the other time used or thought about using email outreach as their link prospecting strategy. Quite a traditional method of link building, email outreach is very tricky. If not done in the right manner, you will find it difficult to get the desired results successfully.
There are different aspects of this process. If performed correctly, you can provide valuable information to your audience. Not just a strong base of customers, but you also need a proper structure to move forward with this process successfully.
If this is your first time trying out email outreach, you need to understand the basics of this method. In this module, I will focus on the preparation of your email outreach. By the end of the module, you will be able to know how to use the outreach strategy for your benefit correctly.
Importance of a Structured Email Outreach Process
Why do we need a structured email outreach process?
The concept of email outreach is not new, but most of us are not aware of it. If you check your spam folder now, you will find hundreds of unnecessary emails filling up the folder. They are the bad attempts of email outreach and have been directed without following a proper structure.
If you do the same, you will also end up in someone’s spam folder, which is a failure in terms of this method. You need to build emails that people will reply to. For this, you have to grab their attention by following specific rules.
People only notice emails if they want to, which means you have to ensure that you are sending the right message to the right people. Even if you are doing this for your own website or a client, you need to be aware of the target audience.
What is the right way to structure an email outreach?
Make sure that you do not portray yourself as a spammer, which can reflect badly on you or your client’s brand. Let’s say that you want to go on with email outreach as a part of your link building process. The first thing that you need to do is to define the target audience and then start sending emails to them.
With the right email, you will be able to form new business relations that can be profitable for your business. If you can connect to the right people, you can get new links, which will be beneficial for your website as well.
If you have sent hundreds of emails in the last few months and have received nearly one or two replies, then you are doing something wrong. Even with the right outreach process, you may not get a hundred percent replies, the numbers will considerably grow with time.
Create a Niche Gmail
Why do you need a niche?
When you start your email outreach process, the first step that you do is to define your company’s niche. You cannot have fingers in every bowl, especially if you are a new business. It would be best if you had a niche so that you can focus on the needs of your customers. For example, if you are an agency that provides professional digital marketing services, then your niche is digital marketing.
Finding your niche is very important for determining your target audience. Without identifying your target audience, you will not be able to carry out your email outreach process. Remember that, if you want to land an editorial or guest post on a particular link, you need to have a niche and a topic. You cannot be unclear; else, the site would never consider your offer.
What has to be done to create a niche?
Hence, the first thing that you prepare is your Gmail account. The account that you create should be following your niche. Following the example, as mentioned earlier, being a digital marketing agency or an individual digital marketer, you can create a Gmail account like firstname.lastname@example.org or anything on the same line.
When you send an email, people will notice the mail id and immediately understand what service you are providing. This takes you one step closer to your required prospect. Creating personal email accounts that contain your name or agency’s name will not have the same effect as a niche Gmail account.
Connecting With the Prospect
One of the best things that will happen by creating the niche Gmail account is that you will get noticed. Most emails that you send as a part of this process will be sent to someone’s spam. To avoid this, you need to create an email id that will not be considered spam by Gmail.
Your aim should be to send an email that reaches the inbox of the target audience and get noticed. Once you mention your niche, your prospect will be able to connect with you better. Whether you get a reply or not, your main aim should be to make sure that your prospect opens the mail.
If you have a different niche, then you need to create separate email accounts for them. For each target prospect, you need to have a different email id, which includes the keyword of your niche.
Through this, the prospect will understand you are not a robot sending automated emails but a real person who wants to add some value to their site.
Prepping Up the Gmail Account for Outreach
Once you are done creating your Gmail account, you need to warm up the email id before you start your outreach. There are a few settings that you need to check so that the account becomes personalized. For people to understand that you are a value-adding person, you need to have a personal touch in your email account as well.
You have to add your credentials that prove you are a human. Here I have mentioned four of the most important settings that you need to follow. You can make further changes according to your wish to make the account more personalized.
Change Profile Picture
The first thing that you need to do is to change your profile picture. Go to profile and then click on Google+ to change your profile picture. Add a picture that has your face and not your company logo. Even if your email id represents your company, make sure that you include your picture so that people can connect better to it.
They will be able to know who you are and also confirm that it is not an automated email. Company logo as your profile picture will not have the same effect that your face on the profile picture will have. Make sure that you include a professional picture since this is a professional relationship build-up.
Create a Signature
After you have uploaded your profile picture, you need to create your signature. For this, you will have to click on setting, general, and signature. It would be helpful if you put your name, professional title, and company name. This information is necessary for people to know more about you.
(Source : Google Images)
For enhancing your credibility, you can also add links to your social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Make sure that you add links to your professional account where people can know about your work rather than your personal life.
You also need to make sure that you do not include unnecessary information in your signature. The signature needs to be short and clear, with just the right information. You can include your phone number, office address, or email address to the signature if you want.
We will focus on building canned responses gradually. What you need to do in this process is to enable canned responses. For this, you need to click on labs and then select enable canned responses. Once you do this, you can start setting up your canned responses.
(Source : Google Images)
Remember that canned responses are important for email outreach. If you do not know what canned responses are, then they are responses that are predetermined and can be used while sending the same email to numerous recipients.
In the email outreach process, it will be tiresome and impossible to write the same email again and again to different recipients. If you need to send an email now that you may have sent a few weeks ago, you will need to check your sent emails and find out the one that you need.
It becomes a time-consuming process that can be avoided by using canned responses. You will have to save your email as a canned response, and use it whenever you like.
Giving Account Access to Your Team
If you are a widespread agency, then you most probably have a link prospecting team. Even if you are an individual, you will need help since carrying out the complete link prospecting process alone will be not only time-consuming but also tiresome. Hiring a team requires some level of resource management when it comes to staffing.
To carry out the email outreach process, the ones working on it will have to get access to your Gmail account. Though the general idea would be to provide them with your Gmail id and password, the simplest thing would be to grant them access to your Gmail account.
You can do this by going to Accounts and Imports and selecting Grant access to your account. Here you can add the email addresses of the people whom you want to give access. They will be able to operate your full account and send, edit or delete any email.
(Source : Google Images)
You can add or remove people from this section if you want later. This is an important step since you need more than one person to take care of the email outreach process. This way, the whole structure will operate smoothly.
Why Do You Need To Set Up Canned Responses?
As mentioned, email outreach is a hectic process that takes a lot of time and hard work. Not only do you need to think of the proper email content, but you also need to build up new strategies to connect to your audience. In such a hectic process, you need methods to reduce time and effort.
Canned responses not just have one but multiple benefits in the email outreach process. It is a necessary part of email outreach, which will help you carry on the activity with ease. Below are some of the reasons why you should use a canned response.
Imagine you have a list of thousand recipients to whom you need to send emails. You have divided these recipients into three groups depending on their needs. You have to type out three different sets of emails for them, keeping your target audience in mind.
If you had set your response earlier, you could have saved a lot of time. Even if you need to send the same emails at a later date, you need not have to waste time searching for them and then copy and paste the content. You can choose the required email from the canned response, add the recipients, and send them.
Creates Less Stress
Writing an email can be stressful, especially if you have to do it in a very short time. If you have a deadline in which you need to send a certain email to numerous recipients, you may be stressed out finding the right words. You may sometimes miss out on important points, which could change the whole success rate of the email as well.
To avoid these unwanted situations, we use canned responses. Since it is easier to save more than one canned response, you can structure emails earlier and use them according to your requirement.
The most important benefit that you will receive from canned responses is ‘no typing errors’ This happens to everyone and is something that cannot be avoided. When you type your email, you may have at least one typo in the content. You need to proofread your email before you send it, but there are chances that you may miss out on a few errors.
Typos can create a bad impression on the recipient, and they can perceive that you are not professional about this association. Hence, you can only eradicate the problem through canned responses.
When you compose the canned response, you will have to check the content not once but multiple times for any errors. After this is saved, you can choose your desired canned response and not bother about proofreading it until and unless you have made any changes to the email.
Setting Up Canned Responses on Gmail
Now that you have understood the importance of canned responses in your email outreach process, you will now learn how to set up the canned responses. Setting up and using canned responses are very easy and require just a couple of steps. I will elaborately explain each step so that you have a clear idea, even if this is your first time.
You already know how to enable canned responses from the settings tab. Now you will need to compose the email.
Compose the Email
The first thing you have to do is click on compose in your inbox’s upper left-hand corner. The new email box will open, and here you have to write down your email. Now you can go about this in two ways. You can either write your message or even use a template for the same.
The email here can be personalized and written in a conversational tone so that people can find the urge to reply to them. You have to mention what you want from the prospect since they already know. However, it would help if you never used informal or plain language to send across your message.
If you are confident that you will be able to write in the right tone and format, then you can form the email message yourself. Otherwise, you can use templates, which might be a much easier path for you.
(Source : Google Images)
Before you compose the email or paste templates, make sure that you delete the signature. If you save the canned response with your signature, then you will have double signatures when you use the message later. Also, include a subject line that is catchy and describes the rest of the email in a few words.
Once you have written down your response, you will now have to save it. You will have to select more options, then on a canned response, and select a new canned response. The message that you have written will be saved in your canned response. Even if you do not need to use it now, you can check whether it is saved or not.
To do this, delete the message that you have been composing and open a new compose window. Do not delete your signature here and select more options, then canned response. You will be able to view your saved canned response, which you can select and send to the desired recipient.
(Source : Google Images)
Always remember to read the message properly if you are using a template. If you need to make changes to the template based on your target audiences, then do so. Do not just blindly send a template filled with irrelevant information, or the whole effort will go waste.
Link Prospecting – Building a Team
If you are thinking of link prospecting, then you would need the help of a well-experienced team. The need to hire a team would depend on the workload and the budget that you are willing to put up. Link building can be very tricky, and you will need to ensure that you have the right people working with you.
Link building is time-consuming, especially if you are thinking of doing it alone. This is when you need to focus on getting different people on your team so that you can distribute the work among them. Building a team would not only divide the workload, but it will also lead to a more structured development.
Individuals who have different skillsets would be perfect for the team. They can work better than one individual even if the individual is good at everything. Before you build a team, you need to think about the different roles that you have to create. These roles will be decided on the work that you have and if these roles are beneficial for the company.
Most SEO link building teams have four roles, which include the Lead SEO, Link Prospector, Outreach Manager, and Content Creator. These four roles have some job responsibilities, which would require people with different knowledge base and experience.
In this module, we will learn about the need for these job roles and the responsibilities of the link prospector, outreach manager, and content creator. I will also touch base on the different ways that you can hire experienced people for your team.
After covering the module, you will be able to hire people for these roles to make sure you are effectively working on your link building process.
Hiring a Link Prospector for the Team
The first person that you need on your team is a link prospector. The best thing about hiring a link prospector is that they are low-cost employees. You can hire a link prospector for $4 to $8 at a per hour rate. The most basic knowledge that a link prospector needs to have is communication skills.
Link prospectors need no high-end technical knowledge, and you can easily train them about their work. The role of a link prospector is to conduct web researches as well as find good link opportunities. They would have to go through different search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find relevant links for the link building process.
Link prospectors will ensure that the search engine operators are doing their job of finding sponsored pages, guest posts, and other resource pages. Also, handing social media pages concerning link building is a very important responsibility of a link prospector.
Knowing SEO is good, but it is not a vital factor in hiring a link prospector. The necessary factor for hiring is knowledge of link quality. They should be able to acquire a low quality as well as high-quality links for your website.
If you are looking for a link prospector, you can put certain areas that the individual needs to be proficient in, such as link round up, building broken links, and such. The skill required for this position would consist of no more than proper communication, proofreading, and administration skills.
The prospector should also know how to use excel since they have to build up reports regarding their task and results. They should also be able to communicate with the other members of the team and multitask, all the while creating a comfortable work environment.
Hiring an Outreach Manager for the Team
Outreach managers are middle-cost staff and would cost more than a lead prospector. Outreach managers are very important for your team and would be responsible for managing most of the tasks in the team. The most vital skill of an outreach manager is their communication, writing, and editing skills.
They need to be very quick on their feet and need to be able to write an email just within a few minutes. This is because they will be responsible for contacting prospects and negotiating them. Hence, you need someone who has a very strong hold over the language and can properly engage the prospects for your company.
The work of an outreach manager is to set up emails for outreach and create proper personas. The templates for the outreach will also be set up by the outreach manager. Since they need certain existing skill sets, the general cost for hiring them would be around $15 to $30. The rates would be based on the skill possessed by the individual.
Though outreach managers need not have in-depth SEO knowledge, though, someone with that knowledge would be very beneficial for your company. The main idea is to hire someone who can multitask and also handle a large number of mails, especially if you’re doing cold outreach. The manager should be able to meet the deadline for the tasks given to them.
Make sure that you clarify the job role of the individual before you hire. Apart from contacting the prospects, replying to the emails, and managing the virtual team, there is another very important job responsibility of an outreach manager.
The content written by the writers will have to be read thoroughly, proofread, edited, and then submitted for further consideration.
Hiring Content Creators for the Team
Content creation is a necessary factor when you are looking to market your company through link building. Websites that have poor quality content will not be visited by the audience. The main part of the link building process is guest blogging; hence you need to have a strong content base.
There should be unique content that is free from plagiarism and also able to connect to the audience. The other people, such as the lead SEO, link prospector, and outreach manager, are a part of the core team. Content creators, on the other hand, are a necessary part of your team and are more in numbers.
It is hard for one content writer to handle the projects of different clients, so the best thing would be to find individual writers for each client. This way, you can put the responsibility of the clients on different writers, and the quality of the content will also be maintained.
When you find a new client, you will need to hire new writers for that client. For this, you will have to post jobs in freelancing sites as well as social groups. You should find writers who have good work experience.
For a smooth scale of work, you can appoint three writers for each client. These writers should have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. There are three calibers of writers, and the pricing of these writers would depend on their caliber.
The first caliber is for blogs of low quality for which the writer would ideally be paid $20 to $30 for each writer. Medium quality blogs are for $30 to $70 for each article, whereas blogs for top quality are for $70 to $150 for each article.
You can hire both freelancers and in-house writers, depending on the quality and intensity of the work that you get. Straightaway ask for samples from the writers and read them thoroughly. There is no point in hiring writers who are not suitable for your company.
Once a writer is hired, you need to prepare a client workbook. There would be certain tabs where you will record the information of the writer. Assign them the tasks and record their task and article rates as well.
The record book will include tags against the name of the writer. Tags are numbers associated with the writer based on the quality of the blog. The number for the tags is typically from 1 to 5. These tags would also show the quality of the writer.
If you receive a low-quality blog, then you will assign the writer with a low tag, such as 1 or 2. The same goes for a low-quality writer. Typically low-quality blogs will be assigned to low-quality writers and high-quality blogs to high-quality writers.
When hiring low-quality writers, you need to be sure that they have the proper knowledge. Even clients who ask for low-quality write-ups would need those to hold good information. So you need to be very careful when you hire these writers.
These tags will help you understand the kind of task that you should assign to each writer. This will make it easy for you to assign tasks to the writers. You will only hire low-quality writers for low-quality blogs and vice versa.
Tagging is very important for your record-keeping as it will make the content creating process much easier. There will be no confusion or mistakes while assigning projects.
Posting Jobs in Elance
To find content writers, you will need to post jobs in different job sites. There are many premium job sites where you can fill in your criteria and find the best content writers. One such site is Elance, which is currently known as Upwork. This is a very well-known platform where you will be able to find freelancers suiting the job profile.
Here you can put up a job profile that will then be bid upon by different freelancers. When you receive a new client order, you will post a job on the site. Here you will have to provide the complete details of the job. Mention the specific niche for which you require the writer.
(Source : upwork.com)
Here you will be able to find low-quality writers effectively for your low-quality blogs. For the job post, you need to first include the requirement. For example, you can write ‘Searching for content writers for a client in the (niche) vertical who requires 2 to 3 blogs in a week’.
Mention the word count of the blogs such as 500 or more. You do not have to mention the exact word count, even if you know it. Keep a varying range so that you can reduce or increase the requirement if needed.
After this, you will have to mention the knowledge base of the writer that you want. Make sure you have your requirement written in bullet points clearly to make it understandable to the writer.
Ask them to provide a proposal for their work, which will include their sample related to the given niche, their rate per word or article, and the number of articles that they will be able to write every week.
Post Jobs in Social Media Groups
Another very important place where you can post jobs is in different social media groups. You can choose different groups where you feel there will be hundreds of writers searching for a job. When you post in social media groups, you need to be very concise and compact in your posting.
Find the right groups and post your job requirement there. Put the same information that you have done for Upwork. Include the number of articles and the niche in which you want the article. Ask the applying writers to contact in the given number with their proposals.
(Source : Google Images)
If you are not sure which social media groups to cover, you can conduct a Google search. Run Majestic as well as SEMRush using which you can determine the website. You will find many results here, and you can choose the ones that you feel would suit your needs.
See also: Link prospecting strategy.
Use keywords to search for the social media groups where you want to post these jobs. These keywords would be for the niche of the blog, and this will help you connect with the right people. Be very cautious when you choose the writers so that they are suitable for the requirements of the client.
Finding the right content writers is a very important part of your link building process. Without proper content writers, you will not be able to carry on the process effectively. Having content writers is not enough; you need people who can provide you with the best results.
They will help retain the client base, and the more guest blogging you do, the more you can uplift the link building process. Hence, the whole link building team is interconnected and will help you run the process effectively.
If you want to supercharge these efforts, you could consider renting a PBN to supplement your other linkbuilding tasks.
Link Prospecting – All Other Tactics
Link prospecting is finding pages where you can link your website. Many different tactics are used in link prospecting. In this module, you will be learning the rest of the tactics that we have not covered before.
Link Reclamation Method
Link reclamation is the process through which you can find a website that has mentioned your brand and then turn them into links. This is a method that works better for companies who are actively engaged in PR and have a brand reach. If you are a new brand, then this may not be quite successful for you.
Using two tools – mention.com and Google Alerts, you can find the web pages which have mentioned your brand name but are not linked to you. Once you do so, you start sending outreach emails to this site to link with them.
Link Reclamation Process
The process of link reclamation begins with setting up an account on mention.com or Google Alerts by the Lead SEO. You can use both of these sites if you wish. Mention.com is a paid tool, while Google Alerts is free. Once done, your outreach manager will monitor the mentions to find link opportunities.
When the outreach manager finds these opportunities, he or she sends out an email pitch to these links. Following up, the content is necessary to get the desired results. Make sure that you have a monitor schedule where you keep checking for unlinked mentions.
Using Google Alerts to Find Mentions
(Source : Google Images)
Google Alerts is a free tool and may not always give you the desired results. If you are trying the link reclamation process for the first time or have a low budget, then you can use this tool.
Visit the official website and create a new alert for your brand or your client. You can set a frequency for monitoring the mentions and then add the email where you want the results to be sent. Update the alert, and you are good to go.
Using Mentions.com to Find Mentions
(Source : https://mention.com/en)
Mentions.com is a paid tool and gives far better results than Google Alerts. Not only will you receive results for unlinked mentions, but you will also be able to monitor your social media activity.
Set up a new alert in mention.com, just like you have done for Google Alerts. The only difference here is that there are no search operators required.
Give input for negative keywords in advanced settings so that you receive your mentions and not the wrong ones. Negative keywords are the ones that you want to exclude from your search. Give the outreach manager’s email for receiving the results.
Pitch Link Reclamation Opportunities
The link reclamation method is carried out to find good opportunities. When you find a website where your brand has been mentioned, but you are not linked yet, then it is a good opportunity for you.
In such a case, the outreach manager will compose a pitch email and send it to the prospect. The outreach manager has to find the mail id of the prospect to send this email. You need to carry out weekly monitors so that you can keep yourself updated.
Sponsored content is a black hat method where you buy links from certain prospects. However, it is quite different from buying links from a link farm or other low-quality websites. Here you buy links from sites that are active and real, who want to make money through advertisements.
(Source : Google Images)
Numerous bloggers are available who are willing to advertise your website for a price. This method can be expensive since the average range is around $40 to $500 for one post. This is why this method is chosen as one of the last link building resorts.
Process of Sponsored Post
The process starts with the link prospector building a list of opportunities that contains two sections. In this method, you have two opportunities – general bloggers and websites that are looking for advertisers. Once you determine the prospects, the outreach manager sends them a pitch via email and then negotiates regarding the price of the post.
The outreach manager can also get the content written if required. The manager should follow up with the prospect until you have landed the link. Keep this process on for building more and more links every day.
Find New Opportunities for Sponsored Post
To find opportunities for a sponsored post, you can use different search operators. Provide keywords with the search operators to make a more defined search. The keyword will be your niches, such as real estate, legal, or management.
Make a record of the website links and the parameter on a different excel sheet. This helps you keep track of the opportunities you have found and the links you have landed.
Evaluating the Opportunities
Once you find the links, you need to evaluate them properly before you make your pitch. Though safe, it is still a black hat method, and you need to find out if the prospects are legitimate. This is the job of the outreach manager and might take some time.
The manager will have to access the domain authority, content quality, and trust flow of the website. Check if they are accepting sponsored posts and also do a SEMRush check. If you are not satisfied with the results, then you can move on to the next link.
Pitching and Negotiating Opportunities for Sponsored Posts
If your evaluation gives you satisfactory results, then the outreach manager will have to make their pitch. Remember that you will be making a value proposition in terms of money. Make sure that your pitch is of value and can help you land the link.
If you get a reply to your pitch, then you need to negotiate the pricing. Always negotiate and do not accept the price provided by the prospect at one go. Make sure you decide upon a price that is on par with the website quality.
Guest posting is one of the most famous methods of link building and can generate more quality links than other tactics. There are numerous websites where you can post your content. Guest posts are free, and for the website, they are getting social reach.
For you, it is a great way to build links since you will be able to add links to the content that you write for them. Several powerful sites seek guest posts, and posting here can increase the authority of your backlinks.
Process of Guest Posting
The lead prospector will look out for websites that are seeking content creators who want to publish their posts. Once the prospector finds such sites, they will have to evaluate the quality of the prospect and maintain a record of each site.
The outreach manager will then send an email to the prospect. Once this is accepted, the manager will then assign a content writer to develop the post. Keep following up until your post goes live on the site.
Finding Opportunities for Guest Post
Following the same process of using search operators, you can find numerous links. Focus on keywords so that you can find related prospects. The keyword can be your niche, as well as based on which you want to develop content.
You will get results for sites that are accepting blog posts or looking for contributors. Check the links thoroughly to see if they are accepting submissions on their website.
Check Quality of Prospects
When you find the prospect link, you will have to check the quality. Guest posting on low-quality sites will not give you the desired results. You also need to avoid dead sites in the process.
Check if the sites are no-follow or follow and only choose those links which are followed. Do a SEMRush check on the link to see the traffic it generates. Rank them between 1 and 5 in the record book so that you can check the results.
Contacting Prospects for Guest Post
The first thing you need to do is set up a canned response using which you can approach your prospects. Send mails to eight to ten prospects that you have marked as a top priority. Do not send all the mails together otherwise, you may be overwhelmed by too many responses.
If you are not getting too many responses, then you can increase the number of recipients. Keep a record in your workbook under a tab named status.
Managing Positive Responses
When you receive a positive lead, you need to respond to them promptly. The prospect will likely ask for your topic on which you want to write. You need to be ready with content ideas based on the niche of the website.
Keep your content writers ready so that you can tell them to submit the project as soon as your idea gets approved. Provide the prospect and the writer with a deadline. Keep a record of the topics and the prospect links that are being assigned to the writers.
Manage Stripped Links
The most important part of this whole process is to keep track of your progress. Try to meet the deadline and keep constant communication with the prospect till the time your post goes live.
Sometimes you may notice that the links you have mentioned in your post have been stripped. Ask for the reason and make sure that you carry out the appropriate steps to bring the links back into the post. Without links, your link prospecting process will not be successful.
Link roundups are different blogs that feature links of other blog posts for a certain period. These links will be of the same niche as the host blog post. They are a very successful link building tactic.
The best thing about link roundups is that it benefits you as well as the bloggers. You have well-structured content where these bloggers can link their content to. Moreover, you can land more than one link through this process.
As you keep doing this process, there will come a time when you will not have to pitch your content as well. The bloggers will follow the updates related to your content and feature the same as and when needed.
Find new opportunities for this process through social media channels and search engines. You can focus on a particular niche and then pitch your idea for the same when you find the right opportunities.
Once you land the prospects, make sure that you keep track of the progress. Update your profile from time to time so that you can gain newer prospects over time.
A podcast is a great way to link building since most people in current times listen to podcasts. The first thing that you need to do is to develop a strategy that can be done by you or your strategist if you have one. From here, you will be able to find different opportunities. Once you find the opportunities, you need to sort out the clean ones which are good for you.
Like any other tactic, you will need to pitch the prospect based on your niche. To build a successful podcast, you need to be interesting and also have in-depth knowledge of the niche.
Determine certain keywords that you can use for finding necessary prospects. The keywords have to be based on the niche that you have selected for yourself.
The keywords that you have used to develop your podcast strategy have to be recorded in a spreadsheet. Make sure that strategy you have developed is of high quality and is in demand right now. Use the keywords to find quality prospects where you can pitch your idea.
The prospects that you have developed in the last step have to be pitched now. Keep a record of the prospects that you have determined. If you are focusing on different campaigns, then you have to build separate pitches.
The prospects that have been approved are the ones you will focus on. Make sure that your outreach manager develops a solid pitch which the prospect will not be able to refuse. You can send it to multiple recipients using canned responses in Gmail.
After you are done with pitching the prospect, you will have to manage the whole project. The management for the podcast is more complicated than a normal guest post. You will have to meet the schedule of the client to get your podcast live.
One more thing to remember is that it takes an hour to record the podcast. So there should be a proper plan which will let you sync your calendar to your clients and get your podcast recorded in time.
The synonym method is something that I have coined myself, and hence you will not find this anywhere else. The method is quite simple and is self-explanatory. Through the synonym method, you will be targeting different websites that have the same niche. However, these websites are not competitors of each other.
For example, you are an immigration attorney based in California. In this method, you will find, let’s say, a divorce attorney who is also based in California. In this situation, the niche is the same, which means that you are focusing on nice relevancy, though you are not direct competitors of each other.
You can also focus on local relevance, which means that you find links of the same geographical location. Taking the same example, you are an immigration attorney in California. For this relevancy, you can find other local businesses in California. The business can be from a different niche, such as real estate.
You provide the opportunity to create guest posts for them and promote the content using social media channels. Guest post exchange is also a major value proposition where you write content for the prospect, and they write content for you in return.
Finding Prospects for Synonym Method
You can find opportunities using search operators or even social media channels. Focus either on the niche or the location to find these links. You will find numerous links that are relevant to either of these factors.
Do not focus on both these factors at one since it can get confusing. When you find these links, analyze them to determine whether these sites are active and of good quality. Find out the contact information, especially their email, using which you can make your pitch.
Suppose you are finding opportunities in the same niche, then you need to put the niche next to the search operator. The same goes for local relevance, where you need to put the location of the client.
The aim is to find various opportunities which are of good quality. There is no point in using links that are not active and have not been able to generate traffic for a long time. Whether you are focusing on creating content or content exchange, you will have to ensure that the quality of the content is on par with you.
Pitching the Prospects
The pitching process for the synonym method is the same as all the other tactics. For any pitch, you will have to maintain the conversational tone along with the value proposition. You have to mention the different values that the prospect will receive by associating with you.
The pitch email that you send to the prospects should be personalized. Remember that the prospect might receive numerous pitches each day. What sets you apart from the other pitches is the value that you can provide to the prospect.
Resource pages are pages or blog posts that give links to certain favorable topics that the website thinks the audience would be interested in. As a business, you will have to contact these websites so that you can get your link included in their post.
(Source : Google Images)
The most important part of a resource page is that you need to have strong content on your page. You need to have a tool or guide that the prospect would find useful for their target audience.
To initiate the resource page link building process, first assess your website or the client’s website. Here you will be able to determine the resources that you have, which can be used to make your pitch. Next, you will have to find opportunities based on your niche. When you find the pages, you have to check if the links are dead.
Find the necessary pages and send your pitch based on the kind of page that you have determined. Keep a record of your pitch and the type of link type that you are targeting.
This is a very important step of the whole resource page link building process. To make your pitch for a resource page, you need to have some resources. The resource has to be in the form of a tool, blog posts, videos, etc.
You cannot pitch your product page or even your homepage. If you do not have a resource, you can find your prospect and then build your resource based on the niche.
Find pages that are resource pages and are relevant to your target resource. Do not target pages that are linking to content internally since that is not your target. You have to target pages that are linking out.
Record the Prospects
When you find a prospective link, you need to check the number of deadlinks on the page. You need to make a proper record that keeps tracks of the deadlinks and the resource pages which you are going to pitch.
Make sure that you include the website URL and the dead links URL so that you can create different pitches for the pages. If you have no dead links, then you can term it as a Resource Page, and if you have dead links, then you term it as Broken Link.
Proposition for Resource Pages and Broken Links
The pitch for resource pages and broken links will be very different, and the value you provide for them will also be very different. When you are pitching for a resource page, you will provide them with good content that has been created by you.
On the other hand, the pitch of the broken links would include providing them with a solution for fixing their user experience and giving them replaced content. The value proposition for this pitch will be much higher than a resource page.
Pitching Resource Pages
When you pitch for resource pages, you need to first have a quick read about the post of the prospect. If you find that you have a similar resource, then you can send them mail, which contains a pitch. The first thing that you need to do is check if the page that you are pitching for has any broken links or not.
In case there are no broken links, then it is purely a resource page, and you can now go about your resource page pitch. If you already have a resource related to this page, then you are good to go. In the absence of a niche resource page, you can build resource content, after which you can initiate the pitch.
Once done, you can create a personalized email where the subject line would include a part of the post title. Include the link of the resource page you are targeting and your resource page that you want to get a link in the email body.
If you have any additional value proposition, then you can add in the email as well, such as social media reach and such.
Pitching Broken Links
To verify the broken link, you can access the page and get the number of deadlinks that are present on the page. Using these deadlinks, you will pitch the client that you wish to replace the dead links with active links of your own for better audience experience.
(Source : Google Images)
Just like in the resource page pitch, you need to include the title of the post in the subject line. In the body of the mail, you will let the prospect know the exact links that are dead. You will insert the URL of the blog post, the anchor text, and the deadlinks that are related to the anchor texts.(These are also called as Niche Edits )
Next, you can insert your link or the client link that is relevant to the dead links. You can add other value propositions that you think would help land the pitch. It is much easier to land broken links replacements than resource pages.
After you are done, you can record the changes in the workbook so that you can keep track of your progress.
Content Promotion Hacks
Promoting your content is a great way to build new links. I have mentioned different hacks here that you can use to promote content related to your business. Remember that whichever hack you use has to be focused on a niche. This is a major factor in any link building process.
Using Forum Posts and Blog Comments
Posting comments on forums and blogs are a great way to promote your content if you can do it correctly. Remember that this is not a link building practice. You will be initiating a conversation on any forum or blog and then leave your content link on that post.
(Source : Google Images)
The link should be of content and not on your home page. Avoid buying these in bulk or outsourcing it to low-quality vendors since it will be nothing more than spam.
Process of Blog Comments and Forum Posts
Firstly, the lead SEO will access the content on the client site and determine the type of content that can be promoted. The link prospector will then find different opportunities that are related to the content that you wish to promote. They will then record the different opportunities that were found.
The content creators will then create an analysis of the opportunities and see if they are eligible for the promotion. They will then leave a related comment and the link to the content.
Hire Writers for Blog Comments and Forum Posts
For posting the comments and links to different posts and forums, you may need to hire a separate writer. For this, you need some who can write well and also have a good experience. You do not need to spend much for this writer since there are no deep write-ups required.
The writer should be smart and able to dedicate ample time to this project. Hire someone who is quick in their task and trained so that they can do a good amount of link posting per day.
Finding Quality Forums
To make this promotional tactic successful, you need to find active links and of good quality. Posting on forums or posts which do not generate much traffic will not give you the desired results.
Only join forums that are active as well as have proper traffic and make an account there. Keep a record of the forums and blogs that you are using so that you can track your progress later.
Leaving Forum Comments
There will be a niche for the blog or from you have targeted and the link that you are promoting. Make sure that you have a proper idea of the niche so that you can use the appropriate keywords while posting your comments.
You can search the forums and blogs using the keywords as well so that you find the right ones. Find a conversation thread where you can leave the comment. Write a proper comment first, which is in a conversational tone, and then leave the link as a part of the comment.
Leaving Blog Comments
The process of blog comments is the same as forum comments. You will have to find the thread and then leave the comment. Build the content around the link so that it does not seem like spam content.
Whether you are commenting on a forum or blog post, you need to record the exact thread where you have left the comments. This will help you track the success rate of this method.
Promote Content Using Facebook Groups
(Source : Google Images)
Promoting your content through Facebook groups is a very sensitive process since the moderator of the group may filter your content if you try to spam the group. The first thing that you have to do is find relevant groups using keywords and join them.
Build trust with the moderator by posting comments, liking posts, and initiating a conversation on the group for at least 15 to 20 days. You can drop a link along with a proper comment, without it being filtered, only if you have the trust.
Make the post interesting by writing engaging content. Include how the blog is relevant to you and how it may help the other people in the group. The group participants will only open the link if they find some value in it. You can always end the content with a question so that people can connect to your post and open the link.
Promote Content on Quora
(Source : Google Images)
Find the right questions where you can leave the content links by using keywords. Here you need to find questions that have a few answers and also check whether the answers are getting views.
In Quora, you cannot just leave the link with a short answer. You have to ensure that you provide a detailed answer to the question that has been asked and leave the link concerning your answer.
PR and Media Links
PR and Media Links promotion is not just your regular press release but actual coverage from authentic media sites. For this, you need to have an amazing story that people might find interesting.
If you know editors, PR, or writers of any media website, then they can post your content. You can also find a writer to post their content on well-known media websites. You can pay these writers to post your story.
The PR Process
With this process, you can find the right contributors who will post your story on different sites. It is the job of the link prospector to find these contributors that will publish content based on your vertical. The outreach manager will send a pitch email to these contributors.
The pricing will also be negotiated by the outreach manager. If the contributors want pre-written content, then the outreach manager will get it done. Follow up the whole process so that you can track posts that come live.
Find Opportunities for PR and Media Links
Straightway search for target websites where you want to post your content. Here you will have to find contributors who write for your niche. Check the profile of the contributor and see if they write quality content. Make sure that the contributor that you have chosen does freelancing.
You cannot just drop them a direct message to write content for you. The pitch needs to have value in it so that the contributor cannot deny the proposal.
You will have to find several contributors and then follow them on their social media pages. For a few days, you can like or comment on their posts to build a relationship. You can send them a message asking if they are freelancers. Ask them if they can write a few articles for you and pay them for those articles.
After a certain time, you can contact them again, stating that you have a site to post the articles. You can make your pitch here in a sense that you are helping them meet their quota, and they are helping you post the content which contains your link.
You can also be truthful with them that you need to post the work on these sites. This can be a steady income source for them. However, this is a much harder method to get your content posted.
You can use any of the above methods to hire contributors so that they post your content on the sites that they write for. The one thing that you need to remember is that you have to create value for them and build a strong relationship before you make the pitch.
Local Blogger Outreach
You can use this technique for local SEO as well as national campaigns. You will be able to uncover different opportunities by using this technique. Local bloggers are everywhere around you, writing extraordinary content in different niches.
You may not find them on traditional freelancing sites, but you can use local modifiers to find them. The process for landing these bloggers is the same as any other tactic.
The best thing about local bloggers is that they are passionate about their work. They cannot deny working for you if they feel appreciated or are provided monetary value for their work.
Finding Local Bloggers
Use search operators and social media to find different local bloggers. You need to add a city, state, pin code, etc. to the operator to search for local bloggers. Search using the operators in Google, and you will get numerous results.
Make sure the site you choose has regular updates. You do not want to contact a site that does not update its content since the site may not have regular traffic. It will not be too hard to find local bloggers. The best thing is that you will not have to spend much on engaging with local bloggers.
Avoid linking to staff writers since they will charge a hefty amount for the same process.
Pitching Local Bloggers
Once you find the contact of the local bloggers with the above method, you will now have to make your pitch. There are two types of pitches that you can use. For the first way, you can use money as a value proposition. This means that you will sponsor content or provide your link for content on the website.
For the second way, you can use cross-promotion. Here you will be exchanging guest posts or even submit your post directly. This is better if you and your prospect have a good audience base. You need to evaluate the site and then decide which method you want to use.
Pitching for Paid Link Insertion
If you have a low budget, then paid link insertion is another method of local blogger outreach. All you have to do here is find local bloggers related to your niche and check out their old posts.
Contact the blogger that you need to advertise your link on their website without spamming their website. The success rate for this method is quite low since there might be very less traffic on the sites.
Various Link Building Techniques
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are certain other techniques that you can use. Below I have mentioned them shortly to give you an overview of each technique.
Manufacturer Link Building
The manufacturer link building strategy is specifically used for e-commerce websites. Many manufacturers these days do not sell their products directly. Instead, they link out the products so that the audience finds the products on different sites.
You can contact these manufacturers so that they include your link in their directory. This will work only if you have an e-commerce store and not just a content page. You need to be able to sell the products from your site.
Video Link Building
Video marketing is a great way to link building because it is both engaging and informational. You can build a valuable video-based on any topic that is relevant to the services you offer. Uploading these videos on YouTube can be a very easy way to build links.
(Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_7oNohuxgo)
In the description area, you can include the link to the actual content so that the audience can refer back to the content. If you can gain traffic on your video, then this link building process will be a huge success.
Directory Link Building
Directory link building is an off-beat process but can be a good way of building links. You can use different search operators based on your niche to build the directory. The most important thing in this is to find a particular niche without which the whole process will fail.
Find quality sites where you can build your directory. Do not engage in too many directory links at a time. You can go for 10 to 12 links in one month and follow up on the success of the method.
Professional Organization Link Building
Professional organization link building is a very quick and easy method. Through this method, you can gain the trust of the audience and also get better rankings in Google.
For this process, you only have to create a professional profile on any high ranking professional websites such as SEMPO.
Since these are trusted sites, any link from these sites will eradicate spam.
If you are unable to write the content yourself, then you can search for bloggers who will write the content for you. You need to search for bloggers based on different niches. Searching for local bloggers will be beneficial in such cases.
All you need to do is pitch them your idea about freelancing for them and also pay them to post on their website or the website they are writing for. We have already covered how to pitch local bloggers earlier; hence you need to follow the same process.
Reverse Engineering Opportunities
There are many posts where you will find quality links which you can take or, in simple words, steal for your content. You will have to use tools such as Ahrefs to find those links. If you find a relevant blog post, then you simply have to copy the link of the post.
(Source : https://ahrefs.com/backlink-checker)
Once done, you will now paste it on-site explorer and go to inbound links. You will find all the referring domains, and you can check them one by one to find the one that you may use.
Infographics are a great way to link building and have a huge success. There is nothing much that you have to do to create a valuable infographic. You need the right data and arrange the data with relevant images.
Be creative in your approach and make sure the infographic is relevant to the content. Conduct appropriate research to ensure that you can focus on the needs of the audience.
Destination of Different Link Types
Above I have mentioned different types of links along with the destination that they should be added to. Here is a summary of the whole structure to clear your confusion and provide a better idea of the same.
You cannot make a link building process successful if you are unable to place the link types in the right destination. Here the destination is what the prospect would link your content to. For example, if you have pitched an infographic to a prospect, they will link your homepage with that infographic.
There are three main destinations on your website –
- Home Page
- Product or Service Page
- On-Site Content (Video, Blogs, Guides)
Below are the different link types with their destinations –
- Link Roundups – On-Site Content
- Resource Pages and Broken Links – On-Site Content and Product / Service Page
- Guest Posts – Product / Service Page and Home Page
- Sponsored Posts – Product / Service Page, Home Page, and On-Site Content
- Link Reclamation – On-Site Content and Home page
- Press Links – Home Page, On-Site Content and Product / Service Page
- Local Bloggers – Home Page, Product / Service Page, and On-Site Content
- Infographics (Pitching) – Home Page
- Meetups, Podcasts, and Speaking – Home Page
- Profile, Submissions, Donations, Videos – Home Page
- Comments and Forums – On-Site Content
Using Automation Tools for Outreach
Here I have mentioned one tool that you can use for outreach – Pitchbox. This is a paid tool and can be quite expensive. If you have a good budget, then you can use the tool. Here you can set up different projects and also a campaign.
(Source : https://pitchbox.com)
There is no limit to the number of campaigns that you can set up for one project. Sync the project to your email account. If you are doing outreach for yourself, then you can use other tools that are much cheaper.