Link prospecting is a challenging, time-consuming task in link building. To create a natural link profile, your prospecting activities must generate accurate targets and leads for your campaign. Getting started is easy. You run several Google searches that provide you with plenty of content-rich websites in the target industry. However, the activities beyond the initial search can be a challenge.
Here are the top tips to pinpoint a large set of high quality, relevant blogs, and websites in various industry sectors.
1. Advanced search queries
Start with advanced search queries as a quick, straightforward method for identifying opportunities for collaboration projects, guest blogging, and sponsorships. These methods include Inurl searches, exact phrase searches, and wildcard searches. Using at least two of these methods will provide refined results and specific prospects to use for link building.
2. Look at directory and blogroll links
When you find a high-quality blog that you want to use for linking, go beyond contacting them. A reply may take too long. Instead, look for a blogroll or links page to identify other bloggers for additional links for your website. Also, check your competitors’ links to pinpoint other websites that may have good links and ideas for you to use.
3. Use Twitter tools to identify niche bloggers
Building relationships on Twitter can generate surprising opportunities. By consistently communicating with other bloggers in your industry, you are creating a network to use for obtaining reviews, product launches, and guest blogging.
4. Reverse image search
If you use your images on your site, regularly run a reverse search for it. If another website is using it, take it as an opportunity to ask them to add a link to your site as the source of the image; this is a free method of link building, and it optimizes your images while generating additional opportunities. Google has a reverse search function, or you can use tineye.com.
5. Ask questions
After establishing a relationship with an industry professional or blogger, ask which news sites and blogs they follow. It takes very little time, and it can be a rich source of new websites and blogs for prospecting. At the same time, you will expand your network even more.
6. Use what already exists
Analyze your competitors’ websites for inspiration and opportunities. If they are relevant websites, you will likely find good links to emulate; for instance, checklists of top bloggers in your industry to see if they link back to that site. If they link back, you can begin to build your list of most influential bloggers. Ask them to link to your new release. Most will say yes.
7. Use PPC advertising as a method to identify advertising opportunities
Launching a short, inexpensive PPC campaign is an excellent method to identify link building opportunities. When your PPC ad is live across a multitude of related blogs, contact the owner to alert them to the advertising and offer it as an opportunity to look at other options. It helps to complement their blog content and ask for one or two guest submissions. When you have obtained the number of links you want, you can turn off the ad campaign to save money.
8. Use BuzzStream
BuzzStream is a streamlined, straightforward CRM tool that will save you a lot of time and effort. It offers a feature that identifies link prospects. In addition, it has BuzzMarker. This feature collects a huge quantity of data with one click. The information includes social media accounts, whois information, data from SEO metrics and contact details. The CRM makes the information available within the system itself, and you may add to or edit at any point.
You may also have success with the BCC feature in BuzzBox as you send emails to prospects; this automatically adds the emails into the BuzzStream CRM.
9. Optimize existing relationships
If you have been involved in your industry for a length of time, you most likely have a well-developed networking list. Use this network to identify blogs. Then ask your networks for introductions. You know many people. They know many people. Take advantage of professional relationships just as they take advantage of networking. The resulting links will be high quality, natural and hard for competitors to mimic.
Follow these link prospecting tips consistently, and your link building will become a natural process that results in high-quality links.