Archive for the ‘Link Prospecting’ Category

Finding and Claiming Links for Content

You can find opportunities to claim links for your content (like ebooks and infographics) similarly to how you find unlinked mentions and links to reclaim for your brand. Acquiring all the links you deserve can move the needle on search and traffic. Here are three common missed opportunities and fixes for each.

Missed Opportunities Image via Lel4nd on Flickr

Missed Opportunity #1: Only Searching for Your Content’s Title

Fix: Also look for the titles that other sites give your content.

When sites like Mashable and HuffPo pick up your content, they’ll usually change the headline to suit their audiences. Then, when smaller sites pick up stories from those big players, they use the same wording.

Sometimes, the smaller sites do their homework and credit you by linking to your original content, but often they credit the sites like Mashable and HuffPo instead.

How to find these opportunities: Look at the post titles and headings that big sites use to describe your content and enter them into a tool like Fresh Web Explorer.

 

Fresh Web Explorer

Here’s an example of a Fresh Web Explorer unlinked mention search using the terms that big sites used to describe this Oscar dress infographic

 

How to reach out: Simply thank the site owner for sharing your content and ask if they’d be kind enough to credit the original with a link back. Whenever you can, use this outreach as an opportunity to build a relationship. Share the post on your own social media channels and offer to ping the blogger when you release similar content in the future.

 

Missed Opportunity #2: Ignoring Sub-Sections and Data Points

Fix: Looking for cropped versions and unique text, too.

 

If you have very large visual content, bloggers and journalists will likely take screenshots and create smaller versions that better fit their blogs’ layouts (or things like Twitter’s 2:1 aspect ratio). As you’re doing your own reporting roundup, look out for these smaller clips.

 

Google Analytics

For example, Google Analytics created a 2:1 image of a recent infographic to optimize a tweet.

 

How to find these opportunities: Do a reverse image search or set an Image Raider alert to find instances of bloggers using the cropped images. Hit the Buzzmarker to check for a link on those pages (or manually check using “View Page Source”).

In you have a lot of text content: If you did original research, look for instances of people sharing your data points and not crediting you.

In you created sub-content like diagrams: Run reverse image searches on those, too.

How to reach out: Again, a polite thank you and request for credit will serve you well.

 

Missed Opportunity #3: Forgetting about International

Fix: Get familiar with Google’s other TLDs.

Even content with a lot of english text can get picked up by non-english sites. Here, too, are many opportunities to earn high-authority links.

 

Infographic

Image of english infographic on non-english site.

 

How to find these opportunities: Run reverse image searches on domains like Google.es and Google.de to find these sites. (If you’re using Chrome, you can hit the “translate” button to understand what the sites are about.) Then hit the Buzzmarker or view page source to check for links.

How to reach out: Since this outreach is short and simple, translation tools work relatively well. However, investing a few dollars in a service like Gengo can give you a much better template to work from (which you can save and use in the future, too).

 

Learn More about Unlinked Mentions and Link Reclamation:

Link Reclamation Whiteboard Friday by Ross Hudgens of Siege Media
Guide to Using Unlinked Brand Mentions for Link Acquisition by Kiala Strong on Moz
Reclaiming Links to Your Infographics and Creative Common Images by Kristi Hines on iAcquire
Monitoring Your Brand — Unlinked Mentions by Sarah Gurbach of SEER Interactive
Link Building 101: Finding Web Mentions by Jon Ball of PageOnePower

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How to Find Golden Link Opportunities

Today’s guest post comes from one of our favorite customers, Brian Dean. Brian is a blogger, site owner, and SEO consultant/trainer. He blogs on just about every link building and SEO site, but can always be found at Backlinko.

 brian dean header image

You’ve probably seen a certain type of post on internet marketing blogs that I like to call, “SEO crack”.

You know what I’m talking about: screenshot-stuffed articles that show you how to download a list of URLs, use Excel to separate the list into tiers and and export that list into a tool like BuzzStream to send emails and get links.

It’s all really cool if you’re a hardcore SEO. But if you’re not, it just looks like a lot of clicking.

What these articles lack is an answer to the fundamental question: “How do I find people to link to me in the first place?”.

Well that’s exactly what I’m going to show you today.

Content Curators

Matt actually recently published a post on content curator link building, but it’s so darn effective that it’s worth mentioning again here.

Keep in mind that when you ask someone for a link they’re doing you a favor. In fact, one of the reasons most outreach-focused link building campaigns fail is because the peoplr behind them just beg for links…without offering anything in return.

That’s the beauty of content curation link building. When you beg for a link, you’re actually adding value to that person’s curated list.

Think about it:

If you were putting together a list of the top 100 gardening articles online, would you rather spend a week searching around the web, or have them delivered via email? I think I know what you’d choose.

So when you find curated content, in the form of…

  • Resource pages
  • Link roundups
  • “Best of” posts
  • “X blog posts about Y”
  • “X blogs about Y”

…present them with an amazing piece of content, you’re actually adding value to that person’s site and getting a link in the process. And as Matt points out in his post, these are backlinks that can also get you targeted traffic.

That’s why I usually start off an SEO campaign by producing one linkable asset and then generating links to it from content curators.

Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering your competitors links is one of the fastest ways to find link opportunities of all shapes and sizes.

After all, if they’ve linked to one of your competitors, there’s a good chance they’ll link to you as well.

However, I see a lot of people new to SEO think that reverse engineering is the holy grail of link building.

It’s not.

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Google is so 2012: Using Social Media to Find Outreach Prospects

Today’s guest post comes from one of our favorite customers, Adria Saracino. Adria is the head of outreach at Distilled, a digital marketing firm with offices in London, Seattle, and NYC. When not consulting on outreach or content strategies, you can find her managing a team of outreach warriors or writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.

If your outreach strategy still relies solely on a Google search, it’s time to catch up with the times and start leveraging today’s social media landscape.

From Facebook to Pinterest and everything in between, social media has become by far the best way to build relationships and community while also establishing authenticity and expertise. But while there’s a lot out there about how businesses should leverage social media for their overall business functions, there’s less so about how individual employees can use social media to be more efficient specifically at outreach.

The following five tips seek to remedy that. Here are a few creative ways to build relationships with site owners in unexpected places.

1. Monitor Influencer Conversations on Twitter

twitter bird

As a place where authentic conversations flow naturally and oversharing is the norm, Twitter is a great place for finding not just customers but site owners, too. Why? Because site owners and contributors are just as hyped about social media as you are, and tend to tweet frequently as a means of driving traffic.

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How to Find Great Opportunities with the BuzzStream Prospecting Module

One of the most powerful parts of BuzzStream is the prospecting module.  However, it’s also one of the parts of the product that’s most frequently misunderstood. 

In this post, I’ll take you through how to use the Prospecting module in detail.

When Should I Use the Prospecting Module?

As the name suggests, the prospecting module helps you prospect for links.  If you have an idea of what sort of links you want, and can create both a search and a qualifying criteria for that sort of opportunity, it’s excellent.  Additionally, because it reruns the searches every week, it’s great for ongoing opportunities, like competitor reviews.

When Should I Not Use the Prospecting Module?

Because the Prospecting Module uses prospecting searches, it’s not good when you don’t know what kind of opportunities you want and what sort of footprint you’re looking for.

Step by Step: The BuzzStream Prospecting Module

 

Step 1: Find the Prospecting Module and Open a Prospecting Profile

The prospecting module is under the Link Prospecting menu in the Add Websites dropdown:

prospecting

Click that button, and then select Create New Prospecting Profile.

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Which Link Opportunities are Worth My Time?

Finding qualified link prospects is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

One question we hear a lot at BuzzStream is: “The prospecting module has returned lots of link opportunities, but which ones are worth my time? How do I qualify a link prospect?”

This is a great question.  And like so many questions in marketing, the answer is:

It Depends.

‘It depends’ isn’t helpful, so in this article I’ll explain how to qualify a link prospect in 2012.

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Keyword Research for Link Building: Lateral Thinking

One question we hear frequently at BuzzStream is “How do I find link opportunities?”

There are lots of ways, but one of the best (and easiest to use immediately) is using prospecting queries. (You can also use the BuzzStream Prospecting Module to rapidly run lots of prospecting queries.)

Stems and Keywords

A prospecting query typically consists of (at least) two parts: a stem (otherwise known as a footprint) and a keyword.

Query stems have been written about extensively on other blogs.  Most people get them right.

So let’s look at the other piece that gives folks trouble: keywords.

Link Building Keyword Research: Your Link Building Keywords Aren’t Your SEO Keywords

The first impulse newer link builders have is to put in their SEO keywords.  If you’re promoting a blog, or something else in a content-rich, cooperative community (like, say, the SEO community), this works great.  But if you’re aiming for commercial keywords, you won’t get much back with this approach. 

Instead of thinking about your ‘money’ keywords, you need to think about the keywords you’d use to described link opportunities.

The Process

When people ask me “What keywords should I use for my link building keywords?” I give them a process like:

-          Make a big list of EVERYONE that could be interested in your product or topic

-          Make it bigger. I mean EVERYONE.  Not just the obvious ones – go beyond. 

-          Google around for some sites/publications in these areas, and make note of how they describe themselves and what keywords they use.  (Sometimes you can use lists like AllTop to find these.)

-          Now take these keywords and use them for link building keyword research.

An Example

Because that’s kind of an abstract concept, let’s take an example.  Let’s say you’re working on a linking campaign for the youth golf section of a ecommerce sports retailer.  Your client sells child-sized golf clubs, bags, balls, accessories, etc.

Well the obvious place to start is golf sites.  So you might start with some guest post prospecting queries for Golf.

But you’ll run out of golf linking opportunities pretty quickly.  And chances are your competitor’s SEOs went out and grabbed all of those golf link opportunities as well.

Lateral Thinking

Now it’s time for lateral thinking: Who else is interested in golf for kids? Might they have websites?

Let’s think:

-          Mommy Bloggers (numerous but have been hit up by marketers so frequently you need to come to the table with serious gift items)

-          Dad Bloggers (a rapidly growing category)

-          Youth sports coaching blogs (not as numerous, but definitely a strong fit)

-          Elementary Schools and Middle Schools

-          PE Teachers

And the list goes on.

 

Let’s unpack that example a little bit and look at PE teacher blogs. 

I immediately find four or five, and they all call themselves some variant on “the Physical Education blog”, so I start with the query “Physical Education inurl:category/guest” to find PE guest blog opportunities.

Happy Link Building, and please leave any thoughts or questions in the comments.

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