Archive for the ‘New Features’ Category

How to Find and Review Link Building Opportunities with Moz’s Open Site Explorer and BuzzStream

Moz recently released a new section of Open Site Explorer to help people find link building opportunities. There are three sections:

  1. Reclaim Links – finds pages on your site that have 3XX, 4XX, and 5XX errors
  2. Unlinked Mentions – leverages Fresh Web Explorer to find other sites that have mentioned (but not linked to) your site
  3. Link Intersect - lets you plug in two competitors to find sites that are linking to both of those competitors but not you

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 11.05.12 AM

Moz’s redesigned Open Site Explorer.

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BuzzStream Product Update: Customized Workflows & Exchange Integration

Each of your projects is unique. Some require a custom workflow. Others require a custom set of fields to track. One-size-fits-all solutions simply don’t work if you’re trying to do content promotion and product reviews and journalist outreach all at once. That’s why we’ve added the ability to create custom fields for individual projects in BuzzStream. This means you can create a dropdown menu to track whether or not you’ve shipped products for reviews in one project, and then create a checkbox list to track competitors mentioned in another project.  You can color code them all (and relationship stages, too) for easy viewing.   custom-fields-for-projects

New: Create custom fields for individual projects in BuzzStream

  We’ve also added Exchange integration for our Premium and Plus customers. (Details on that at the bottom of the post.)

Custom Fields for Projects

You can now easily add dropdown menus, checklists, date, number, and text entry fields to individual projects in BuzzStream. Simply click on the column header and choose “Add Columns.” Then select “Create New” next to custom fields. Add the details and you’re all set. (more…)

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Qualify & Research Opportunities Even Faster: Introducing Keyboard Shortcuts for the BuzzBar

We know that content promotion is time consuming. Sorting through sites, researching new opportunities, and reaching out to busy people all take up valuable hours.

So we made it easier with our newest feature:

Introducing Keyboard Shortcuts in the BuzzBar

The BuzzBar now has keyboard shortcuts to make qualifying, research, and working with link/promotion prospects faster and easier.  (You may have seen the beta version, quietly hiding in the upper right corner of the BuzzBar.)

Now you can zoom through lists of prospects, approving, disapproving, adding notes, viewing metrics, and even doing otureach – all without ever your mouse.

You can see all of the new keyboard shortcuts here:

shortcuts

 

Prospect Faster

With the BuzzBar, you can sort through sites in your prospect list faster. You can use the new keyboard shortcuts to mark sites as qualified, disqualified, or blacklisted.  To do this, just hit Alt + ↑ to make a site approved, and then hit Alt + → to go to the next contact in the list.  You can also mark contacts disapproved with Alt + ↓, or blacklist them with Alt + Delete.   (As always, the Approve/Reject/Blacklist Prospect options are available in the prospecting module.)

Qualify Faster

You can also use the BuzzBar keyboard shortcuts to cut down your research time.  You can see metrics in the BuzzBar by hitting Alt + M and view pages on the site you’ve added to BuzzStream by hitting Alt + L.  You can also edit the About field (for when you research a site) with Alt + A, and add people and contact information with Alt + P and Alt + C.

Connect Faster

You can use the new keyboard shortcuts to do better outreach from the BuzzBar.  You can open the open the outreach module with Alt + O, and add notes about new activities like calls or in-person meetings with Alt + N.

Now you can be more effective with BuzzStream.  And whether you’re sorting through junk sites looking for the good ones, researching prospects and understanding what they’re looking for, or reaching out to them, you can do it faster.

Please let us know what you think – drop us an email at support@buzzstream.com, or tweet us @BuzzStream.  We read every single message, and we’d love to hear from you as we continue to make BuzzStream more powerful and easier to use.

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Introducing Follow-Up Reminders: Never Forget to Follow Up Again

Today, we’re excited to announce Follow-Up and Reply Reminders in BuzzStream.  Now you’ll never forget to follow up on placement opportunities – and dramatically improve the percentage of opportunities that convert to placements.

Why Follow-Up Emails are Important

Experienced outreach professionals know that polite follow-up messages get great results:

“Always, always follow up on your outreach. I can honestly say that on most link building campaigns, I’ll get more links as a result of my follow ups than I do on the first round of emails.”

- Paddy Moogan, Consultant at Distilled,  Author of the Link Building Book

James Agate’s team at SkyrocketSEO found they received more than 30% of their positive responses on the second or third followup:

james agate follow up percetanges

Time and time again, outreach professionals have found a friendly, brief follow-up message can dramatically improve response rates.

Follow-Up Reminders in BuzzStream

To make follow-ups easy in BuzzStream, we’ve added a couple of new features:

Reminder Notificatiosn

There’s a new icon in the top right corner of your BuzzStream screen:

new icon

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BuzzStream Product Update: Starred Items and Improved Multi-Select

BuzzStream Product Update

We’ve added two features that should help you with activities like list building and activity tracking.

Starred Items

If you’re a gmail user, you may have noticed that the familiar “starred items” has been added to BuzzStream.

Starred contacts

Starred items give you a way to quickly mark a record as one that needs follow-up, merits attention, etc.  So, for example, if you’re going through your master database and evaluating contacts’ relevance to a campaign you’re planning, you could star them as you qualify them and then continue evaluating your contacts.  Once you’re done, simply click ‘Filters’ and click ‘Starred’

filtering starred contacts

Then select all items and copy them to a new project, add tags, etc.

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BuzzStream Product Update: Improvements to Backlink Discovery and Link Monitoring

BuzzStream Product Update

We have a number of new features to talk about that should make your link building efforts more efficient.  Let’s take a look.

Auto-Discovery of Links

We’ve made it easier to manage your existing backlinks in BuzzStream by automatically discovering them when you first set up your account and when you add a new project.

To auto-discover links for a new project, follow these steps:

  • Go to ‘Settings’ (top right-hand corner of the app) and click on the ‘Projects’ tab
  • Click ‘Add Project’ in the top left hand corner
  • In the websites section, enter the websites you’re managing and make sure that “auto discover inbound links to these sites” is selected.

Auto-discover backlinks in BuzzStream

That’s all there is to it! 

This is just the first step for us in this area…expect the following improvements in the near future:

  1. In addition to the initial discovery of links, we’ll add continuous discovery so your account always has the latest backlinks
  2. We’re using the SEOmoz Links API to discover your backlinks.  We’ll add additional sources to discover your backlinks in the near future (to fill in gaps in SEOmoz’ link index) 

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BuzzStream Product Update: Automatic Email Tracking

When you’re conducting outreach to a lot of people across a lot of touchpoints, it’s easy to end up in scramble mode.  Have I already emailed this blogger or webmaster?  When did I last contact them?  Did they reply?  Are they due for a follow up?  Has anyone else on the team contacted them?  By not having this information at hand at all times, you end up wasting time searching through email and excel, you reach out to people who other team members have already contacted, and you miss out on follow-ups that could lead to links and buzz.

To help with this, we’re happy to announce a major improvement to the way that BuzzStream helps you keep track of your communications with your contacts.  BuzzStream now integrates seamlessly with Gmail, MS Exchange and other standards-based email servers, so all emails sent between you and your contacts are automatically added to their contact records.  No need to remember to bcc or forward emails.  No need to manually add notes to BuzzStream contacts.  Once you enter your email information in BuzzStream, just send your emails and BuzzStream will take care of the rest. 

 

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to the My Info page in your Settings, select your mail provider and enter your mail settings. 
  • Once you’ve added your credentials, BuzzStream will periodically check for new emails between you and your contacts (approximately every hour)
  • Any emails that are found are automatically attached to the record in BuzzStream

That’s all there is to it!  For more information about setting this up, take a look at the FAQ.

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Product Update: Improvements to the Import Utility

We work hard to make it as easy as possible to work with your data in BuzzStream, but there will always be times where you want to import in some data and you want it to update existing BuzzStream records.  We’ve now enabled this in the import utility.  Just click on import and put a checkmark next to “auto-update existing contacts.

BuzzStream import - update existing contacts

A couple of things to note.  If the column in the import file is empty or if the value in the import file is the same as in the record, it won’t be changed in BuzzStream.  If it’s different, in most cases it will add the new value to the BuzzStream record (the existing value won’t be removed).  So, for example, if ‘John Doe’ in BuzzStream has an email address of ‘jon@doe.com’ and the import file has the email address ‘jon.doe@doe.com’, after the import, it will have both addresses.

There are a few cases where the existing value will be replaced.  To see a full list of how each import column is treated, check out our help file:

Help for import in BuzzStream for Link Building

Help for import in BuzzStream for PR and Social

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Product Update: Bulk Edit of Custom Fields and Usability Improvements

Three very helpful usability enhancements to talk about this week:

Quick Edit Bar

If you look in the far right-hand side of the first column, you’ll notice a small icon:

Quick edit icon in BuzzStream

When you click on this icon, you now have a number of the common edit tasks available to you without opening the record.

Quick editing in BuzzStream

Resizing Columns

Up until now, you could resize all the columns in your list of contacts, except the first one.  I found this particularly annoying, because this column often had a long name or URL in it.  We’ve fixed this, so now, just hover over the right edge of the column header and increase the width to your heart’s content (assuming that’s what makes your heart content).

Increase column width in BuzzStream

Bulk Editing of Custom Fields

Adding custom fields to your account gives you the ability to track extra information about your contacts and links.  Now, you can edit the values for a group of contacts or links at once.  To do this, just select the set of contacts that you want to edit:

Select contacts in BuzzStream

Click ‘Edit->Custom Fields’

Bulk edit custom fields in BuzzStream

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Another Free Tool to Help Build Outreach Lists

A couple of weeks ago, we released our first set of free link building tools, and we promised that more were on the way.  Shortly after announcing the tools, we started getting “you know what would be a cool tool” emails from our customers.  Well, one came up repeatedly…we liked the idea and so we rolled it out.

This new tool is pretty simple…paste in some HTML and it will generate a CSV file that includes each link in the HTML, the domain for each link and the anchor text.  There’s lots of ways you can use this, but I’ve found it particularly helpful for building outreach lists.  For example, suppose I’m trying to build a list of SEO bloggers for a campaign I come across TopRank’s Big list of SEM and SEO blogs.

TopRank Marketing Big List of SEO and SEM blogs

This is a great starting point for my list building, but manually cutting and pasting all 400 of these blogs into a spreadsheet would be a pain.  Instead, just do the following:

  • Select the content that includes the links you want
  • If you’re in firefox, right click and select ” View Selection.” In chrome, select “Inspect Element.”
  • Copy the text into text box in the “Extract Links” tool and click “Create CSV”

Now you have a CSV file that looks something like this:

Free link building tool - extract links from HTML

That’s all there is to it.  Once I have this list, the next step I’ll want to take is to collect information about each of these blogs to help me prioritize my efforts.  If you’re a BuzzStream subscriber, here are a couple of additional things you can do to help with this effort.

  • Import the file into BuzzStream. If you’re using projects, you might want to create a project that’s simply called “Opportunity Research.” If you’re not using projects, you can either include a tag in the import file or create a custom field.
  • Sort by metrics. BuzzStream will collect metrics for each domain and you can utilize this to help you prioritize them.  Once you’ve decided on the priority, select the contacts you want to prioritize and click “Edit>Overall Rating.”  The Rating will be set for all of these contacts at once.
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