As we head into 2021, the work of reclaiming lost connections and building new ones remains crucial. In this week's brand new episode of Whiteboard Friday, SEO expert Britney Muller is back with the second part of her link building series and this time around, she walks us through some tips and tricks for an important part of your link building journey: link prospecting.
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Hey Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today me and my space buns are taking you into the future to evaluate link prospecting, a really important part of link building.
This is part of my link building series. If you missed the first video, be sure to check it out. It's all about easy link building. It's the easiest thing you can do today to get back and score some backlinks for your website. So super helpful. Look at that.
What are your business goals?
At the beginning, this will be a bit overwhelming.
There are so many ways you can find backlinks today that it can get a little intimidating. So if you start walking down a rabbit hole or get overwhelmed, resort to this button here. Just think about your business goals.
What are the goals of your website and is the path you are taking conducive to it? Is it helpful? So this kind will only help you correct the course. I use it all the time and I still manage to walk down tons of rabbit holes. But it can be very helpful.
So there are two ways to find links. One is to evaluate what has worked well in the past. How have websites in this particular industry been linked in the past? The second is where are there gaps in content? Where are some ways to create desired or desired content for a particular room?
Discover competitive backlinks
Let's go down the first one. One of the most popular ways is to use a backlink tool to evaluate competitive backlinks. So not only are you evaluating the backlinks to Competitor A and Competitor B, but you can start doing some fun things with the intersection of those too.
So let's look at: What common backlinks do competitor A and competitor B have that you don't? How does it look? If these websites link to both A and B, then why can't they possibly link to you too? These tend to be more promising backlink prospects.
It's also very easy to use a tool like Link Intersect, my all-time favorite, in Moz Pro to identify these opportunities very, very quickly. From there, you can also rate old or outdated links to content. This is really just a way of setting the stage and getting a better understanding of what has worked well in the past.
What are the top pages referenced for Competitor B and Competitor A? What kind of content is that? Is there something that is incredibly out of date and has a ton of backlinks that you could possibly update on and encourage those websites to link to you? There are tons of very interesting and fun ways to explore this. Link Explorer, I mean, to be honest, so powerful and easy to quickly filter and sort different options there.
Use advanced search operators
Third, advanced search operators should be used. Now, I'm not going to go through all of the operators I've listed here. I have a few nuts. However, a few key points are that these words must appear in search results when using quotation marks. So this is where I'm looking for dog training, and then it has to include stats, tips, resources, and news.
Why am I looking for this in the first place? Because these keywords have a link intent. People who do specific searches for something related to statistics are more likely to link to one of these resulting pages than your average search for dog training, which may be people putting together material or linking to things.
So it's really great to bake your link building plan with keywords that have link intentions. It just makes so much sense. You can also use intext: which just means you show me results adding this to the text and here I have "links". It sounds super old fashioned, but there are still a lot of sites that use links on the page to identify resources that are evolving.
You can also use the minus sign to exclude results from a specific URL. We'll be linking to Moz's Advanced Search Operator Guide. It's super helpful. It has all of this and more. Definitely messing around. Leave comments below if you have any further suggestions. It's great fun to come up with different formulas.
Rate link propensity
Number four is to really evaluate the link propensity of these potential link targets. By that I mean they have been linked to websites in the past? Do they never connect? Isn't that a thing that these particular websites that you find do? It's really important, and in the long run, will help you identify websites that are more likely to link to you. Number five, there are so many fun hacks and tricks for discovering links, and it's one of my favorite conversations on SEO conventions and in general.
Discover fun hacks
Everyone has really fun things in their industry. One of my new favorites is for local SEO, where local links are so incredibly valuable to local SEO sites. One trick I recently discovered is Rand Fishkin's only SparkToro tool that, when you enter a topic and specific area, shows you that the most important media for that particular area is displayed.
It's amazing especially when you work for a local SEO client who is not where you live or when you don't have all the awareness of it. It's extremely revealing. So a fun little trick there. I want to hear your tricks below. There are tons of others. Super fun.
Then just briefly address where the content gaps are. This deserves a very different whiteboard Friday in and of itself. But I've mentioned them before. I'm an insane fan of Fractl and the work they do. They use old school journalism tactics and found they can get offline DUI data and put it online in a really nice Tableau interface and that was very good. You have a lot of backlinks. It was very, very useful to users, and it just made sense. I absolutely love this example.
It's important to look at both of them. Play around and have fun with it. Please also leave tips and tricks in the comments below. I can't wait to read it.
I'll see you all again soon. Thank you for watching.
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