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Link-building is a vital aspect of optimizing a business’ website. To ensure the link-building process gathers high-quality links that improve the site’s rankings, all the steps from keyword research and link prospecting to the final report of the overall performance have to be performed consciously.
In this blog article, we will explore the different aspects of link building, and guide you through the importance of link prospecting and how it impacts the overall link building process. The article will also guide you through how you can do link prospecting and the benefits of link prospecting and link building.
What Is Link Prospecting?
Link prospecting is a crucial aspect of link building. On that note, before we dive into what link prospecting is, we need to understand what link building is. Link building is the process of gathering high-quality backlinks or inbound links from reputed and reliable referring domains. Referring domains provide backlinks to your website, which drives website traffic to your business’ relevant web pages. A successful link-building campaign’s link prospecting tools will undergo 3 critical phases which we have identified and explored below.
Prospecting is the process of gathering link prospects or link targets. Link prospects are the foundation of your link-building campaigns, and ensuring your link prospecting efforts follow a plan directed towards achieving a specific goal will ensure your website gains backlinks from relevant sites that align with campaign and business objectives.
Link prospects have to be qualified for a business to acquire links from their site. You must set certain criteria ranging from high authority sites to relevant sites to your business. Other metrics like the number of outgoing links, and total organic traffic growth generated from the target sites also denoted the quality of your prospects.
Building links from irrelevant and low-quality sites will affect the authority score and reputation of your website which is why your link targets must be qualified to build links with.
Outreach is the process through which you reach out to your identified link targets by sending out particularly personalized emails. The link requests changes according to the target sites, the purpose of acquiring links, and the strategies implemented in your link-building campaign.
For example, link requests for guest posting might be extremely different from link requests for link opportunities through reverse image search. A guest post serves a different business goal and will direct traffic to a different landing page, therefore outreach is highly specific to the link-building campaign.
3 Elements of a Link Prospecting Query
Your link-building efforts will go in vain without finding the right link opportunities. However, before finding link opportunities it is important to research and identity keywords related to search queries for your business, and other elements that are part of the search.
Your target keyword should be tied to your resource links. Therefore, it is crucial that you identify keywords associated with your business, and most importantly your industry and niche to optimize it for the relevant links to your website.
By doing so, you avoid your links showing up for google search results of extremely crowded keywords, and attaining lower search rankings. This broadened keyword research is part of great link-building tactics which will help uncover relevant link opportunities.
The Advanced Search Operators and Queries
The advanced search operator helps you filter link opportunities by locating specific keywords in the URL, title, domain name, and/or to return results of a particular search from only a specific site. For example, the search operator inurl search will help you generate results that contain a specific keyword in any part of the URL. In the same way, the search operator intitle search will generate results that contain a specific keyword in any part of the title.
There are plenty of advanced search operators out there. Learning and utilizing each advanced search operator can help you identify specific link opportunities that have the potential to be highly optimized to serve your link-building campaigns.
These are the terms you can use to locate link opportunities through search engines, mainly Google. For example, for guest blogging opportunities you may use “write for me” using the intitle search operator, or “contribute-to-us” using the inurl search operator, and find guest blogging link opportunities.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to acquire resource links, you may type “resources” as the target keyword. By using relevant footprints, you will be able to locate where these keywords have last left their footprints, and build links appropriately.
How to Do Link Prospecting?
We have established the importance of link prospecting for a victorious link-building campaign. So how do we do it? Link prospecting requires intricate research and planning to locate link prospects that possess quality link-building opportunities that ensure your site lands on top ranking pages on search engines. Here’s how you can do link prospecting to assure a successful link-building campaign.
Start Link Prospecting before Content Creation
You need to perform link prospecting before you create your content. Here’s how you can ensure you create high-quality content relevant to your backlinks.
Identify Your Backlink Criteria
The first step is to establish the criteria your backlinks must fit into without making any comprises. Below we have guided you through basic backlink criteria to support your overall search engine optimization efforts and website health.
Domain Authority(DA)/Domain Rating(DR)
Backlinks from high DA/DR sites are more powerful and increase your rankings faster. Domain Authority or Rating score demonstrates the ability of a website to show up on search results because of its backlinks. It can be challenging to get backlinks from a site with a 50+ score in Domain Authority (or higher).
Your best chance of getting links from high-quality sites is by targeting the sitewide DA/DR score range between 30 and 50. This will give you a variety in both link juice received as well as a higher chance of becoming a higher authority website.
Your list of link prospects must be directed from relevant websites. Google analyzes pages linking from irrelevant links and such links tarnish your reputation, and may even get you fined or blocked from a certain activity for a time period.
Link prospects from relevant websites directing traffic to the relevant landing pages of your site are a terrific combination for your Google search rankings.
A Private Blog Network (PBN) is an evident group of irrelevant sites in possession of and managed by the same domain. This is detrimental to your website, and is best identified and avoided by an SEO specialist.
Know where you want these links to generate from. Competitor sites may use guest posts or even a PBN. You need to ensure you choose a link source that guarantees safety, relevance, and authority.
Analyze the Top Ranking Content for Your Target Keywords
Once you know the type of backlinks you want, take your target keywords out to play their cards. Look for content ranking high for your specific keywords, then curate better content and send out personalized and well-thought-out outreach emails to the sites displaying this content. This helps you find pages that are both relevant and high ranking, so it’s a win-win!
Study Your Competitors’ Backlink Profile
Analyzing the backlink profile of your competitor’s site is a great link-building tool, and there are plenty of platforms and specialists that utilize this tool. This will generate a backlinks report for you to understand how many dofollow links from different and the same sites direct users to a competitor’s site, and the authority score of these sites. Using this, you can choose to reach out to the same high authority sites.
Find Guest Blogging Opportunities with Google Search Operators
Optimize the usage of Google’s multitude of search operators to find the best guest post opportunities. It is one of the most successful link prospecting tools available and has to be prioritized as a guest post builds the credibility of your brand while it increases referral traffic.
Simply optimizing the usage of search operators to find opportunities for guest posts, especially by filtering according to high authority websites can help you gather a list of exceptional link prospects. Using search operators to find opportunities for sites that accept guest posts can simply look like typing the following on the relevant search operator:
- [your niche/topic]+guest post
- [your niche/topic]+become a contributor
Identify Broken Link Building Opportunities
Broken link building is the process of finding existing backlinks directed to pages whose links do not work. Once you identify a broken link, you can reach out to the relevant pages by creating your content and landing page to utilize for the broken link. Finding this might be challenging, so using link-building tools that help you identify broken link-building opportunities is key to maximizing this method of link prospecting.
Find Resource Pages in Your Niche
Resource pages contain the best available resources for a specific subject. By identifying these pages from referring pages of other high-ranking websites’ niche-related content, you can offer your content to the link sources associated.
Look for Roundup Posts for Easy Backlinks
Use terms like “top 10 insert niche-related keyword ”, “best insert niche-related keyword ”, and/or other terms that round up these results for you so you can reach out to these platforms to gather easy backlinks.
Search for Paid Guest Bloggers to Build Backlinks
Utilizing guest bloggers as a link builder is as effective as sending out your guest post. Using search operators to filter out the best-paid guest bloggers for high-ranking content and sites in your niche is a great way to build links, increase credibility and traffic while gaining new partnership opportunities.
Organize Your Research in a Spreadsheet
Keep track of all your information, from your own backlinks reports to your competitors’. Here are some of the information you should be mindful of that is useful for building backlinks.
- The URLs of your target potential backlink-providing sites
- The domain authority scores of potential backlink-providing sites
- Different options of link opportunities (broken link, a roundup post, a guest post, etc.)
- Availability of existing content or necessity to curate content to gain links
- The type of content creation necessary to gain the link
- Contact information of target site owners providing backlinks.
Create Content Based on Your Link Prospecting
Once you have analyzed the type of backlink, the link source, and the other information discussed above, you will know what type of content you need to create according to the prospective link. For example, if you are targeting a broken link-building campaign, you would need to identify the initial post it was associated with. If it was a blog post of 500 words, you would need to offer better content with at least 1500 words to secure the opportunity. Similarly, it is vital to curate content that is of great quality, and relevance to the link prospecting campaign.
Benefits of Link Prospecting and Link Building
Links Give You Credibility
Links are the bread and butter of Google’s ranking algorithm. They act as third-party indicators that your domain has credibility, which in turn helps determine how relevant results will be for users on their site (Google). Google considers how many backlinks your site uses, and the quality of these links to establish your authority.
As a part of your Off-Page SEO efforts, you shouldn’t focus just on building lots of low link juice websites but rather aim high by developing priceless partnerships with authoritative ones that make your website trustworthy and reliable.
Link Building Leads to Higher Site Metrics and SEO Scores
Site metrics like your domain authority or domain rating, your website health, niche relevance, toxicity score, and other metrics are all impacted by your link-building practices. By complying with quality link-building practices, you increase the positive site metrics and reduce detrimental metrics, accounting for a healthy website that ranks high while optimizing SEO scores and increasing your chances to deliver content that shows up as an exact match search for your user’s search intents.
Increased Visibility and Exposure
By gaining quality links, you put your website out in the spotlight to reach niche-related target audiences on a variety of platforms. This increases brand awareness, and credibility, increasing the visibility and exposure of your brand. This in turn brings in immense referral traffic to your business, and the cycle of benefits continues!
Increased Web Traffic Lead to Greater Revenue Opportunities
As quality backlinks drive in highly relevant traffic, the potential conversion rate is much higher than general web traffic brought in through other efforts. This guarantees a higher lead generation consequently producing greater revenue.
Link building is a crucial aspect of Off-Page search engine optimization. A major part of a successful link-building campaign is associated with the link prospecting process. Link prospecting is the art of gathering highly relevant links from the best link sources related to your industry. The benefits range from increased domain authority to higher search engine rankings, brand awareness, and ultimately successful lead generation.
Inquivix SEO specialists can guide you through this excellent Off-Page SEO technique that guarantees success for your business! What are you waiting for? Reach out to us now to let your brand bask in the spotlight.