Looking for a scalable link-building strategy? You should use this resource.
Building links to resources pages is nothing new. It’s still one of the most widely used link-building strategies out there.
How common? In 2016, 435 SEO experts were surveyed by Moz. The second most common link-building strategy among respondents, resource page link building is employed by 56% of respondents.
Why so popular? Three reasons:
It’s relatively easy.
I’ll outline three easy steps in this instruction for how to create links from resource pages.
But let’s check to see whether we’re on the same page first.
What is resource page link building?
Link building on resource pages is the process of obtaining backlinks from websites that curate and link to helpful resources for your sector.
This page compiles and links to outside sources of design information.
So, if you had a top-notch design resource, you could get in touch with the page’s author and ask them to include it.
Why it works
The value of a resource page is completely based on the caliber and quantity of the external resources it connects to. When you contact the authors of these pages and offer them helpful content, you are assisting them in making the page better.
The majority of resource page authors encourage users to contact them with recommendations, and many even provide a submission form like this one:
… or a contact email address for suggestions:
This implies that it usually doesn’t take much persuasion to get your link added. Most individuals are willing to add a link if it enhances the page.
How to build links from resource pages
Before we begin, it’s crucial to understand that unless you already have content deserving of a link, there is no purpose in continuing with this strategy.
This is typically a blog post, tool, or another educational resource, but it can also be your homepage (if your site is valuable in general).
Lacking that? Read this article.
If you’re good to go, then the process is pretty straightforward and goes something like this:
Find relevant resource pages
Vet the pages
Reach out and suggest your resource
Let’s start at the top.
The key aspects of link-building are the link-building tools. Here are The Only 8 Link-Building Tools You Need (Free & Paid) you must know.
Step #1. Find relevant resource pages
There are a number ways to locate resource pages, but using Google search operators is the most popular.
If you’re not familiar with them, these are essentially sophisticated search modifiers that let you access a more focused set of Google results. And they hold the key to discovering a sizable pool of prospects for pertinent resource pages.
So, let’s imagine you manage a website for fitness:
When searching on Google, use something like paleo intitle:resources inurl:resources.html.
Don’t stop there though. To identify more prospects, you can also utilize a variety of other search criteria, such as:
Make careful to use a term that applies to your website or web page for “paleo.”
By employing the same operators but switching the subject significantly, you may then increase the number of potential customers even further. For instance:
Generally speaking, it’s preferable to keep your keyword searches very broad. Going too precise (for instance, “best protein powder for ladies”) may make it difficult to obtain results that are pertinent.
You can copy my preferred resource page search operators from this page if you want to expedite what we’ve discussed so far.
It’s quite easy to use: enter up to 10 keywords in the cells that are highlighted, let the sheet a few seconds to perform its magic, then click the “Results” tab:
Boom. Hundreds of search operators are now available for use.
The next step is to gather the search results for each of those queries into a single spreadsheet using scraping software. By doing this, you will have all of your prospects in one location, ready for the following step’s screening and vetting.
There are several methods for doing this.
a) Manual scrape
You may have seen the “SERP link” next to each query in your copy of my spreadsheet.
Any one of these links will take you straight to Google’s top 100 search results for the relevant question.
But how precisely are these results going to be extracted and imported into a spreadsheet?
Using Ahrefs SEO toolbar:
Installing the Ahrefs SEO toolbar is the best and simplest option if you use Ahrefs. By using row credits from your plan, you can extract Google search results that include Ahrefs SEO data.
Now, if you’re performing this for a large number of distinct searches, you’ll eventually have a large number of CSV files.
Fortunately, there is a quick cure. Simply upload Merge-CSV.com with all of the exported CSV files.
This website merges many CSV files into a single master file, as it says on the tin.
If this process sounds like too much hard work and you’re on a multi-user Ahrefs plan, then copy these instructions and send them to your VA:
Install Ahrefs SEO toolbar.
Log in with these credentials: *insert your login credentials*
Open this Google Sheet: *insert link to your sheet*
Click the first link “SERP link” in the tab labeled “Results.”
Click the download button on the Ahrefs toolbar to extract all search results to CSV.
Repeat this process for the rest of the “SERP links” in the sheet.
Once done, upload all CSVs to merge-csvs.com.
Send the final “master” CSV file to me, and bill for your time 🙂
Using the SERP scraper bookmarklet:
Not a user of Ahrefs? No issue. Install this bookmarklet to scrape SERPs.
This is a bookmarklet rather than a typical Chrome extension. So, adding it to your bookmarks bar is as basic an installation as it gets.
The SERP can then be downloaded to CSV by just clicking the bookmarklet.
b) Bulk scrape
You can use a tool to bulk-scrape the outcomes of hundreds of searches if you want to save some time.
There are a handful of them, but the following two are the most well-known:
The self-described Swiss Army knife of SEO is Scrapebox. Enter your search terms in the “Keywords” box (top left corner) of Scrapebox to scrape Google search results.
You’ll need to buy proxies if you want to do this in large quantities. That not only adds to the cost ($10–$20/month at least), but it’s also frequently more trouble than it’s worth.
Citation Labs Link Prospector:
Every time I want to scrape Google search results in bulk, I utilize Citation Labs Link Prospector.
There is no requirement for proxies because it is 100% cloud-based and costs between $1 and $5 to scrape the top 100 search results for up to 149 keywords.
It is fairly easy to use. Simply click Find new prospects > Custom > Create custom report, and then put the spreadsheet’s queries there.
To alter the scrape depth, select “Show advanced options” (note: this will affect the number of credits needed for a scrape).
This is normally set to 100.
Step #2. Vet the pages
You now need to screen the prospects after scraping what amounts to potentially thousands of resource pages from Google.
This is a two-step process:
Metric-based filtering and elimination, followed by:
Simply said, this entails pulling in a variety of SEO analytics to screen out the unwanted visitors without ever having to visit those pages, carefully assessing the prospects that are left, and then getting in touch with them.
If you want to create resource page backlinks on a large scale, this is the most effective course of action.
a) Metric-based filtering and elimination
You’ve had a head start on this process if you exported SERPs using the Ahrefs SEO toolbar in the previous stage, since you should already be able to view Ahrefs’ SEO metrics in your final CSV.
IMPORTANT! You won’t have “connected domains” as one metric. You don’t need that, but it does make weeding out ineffective leads much more effective. So, to draw in that measure, I advise continuing with the procedure as it is described below.
If not, you must first retrieve these metrics for your prospect list.
Using Screaming Frog:
Through our API, Screaming Frog is integrated with Ahrefs, enabling you to retrieve Ahrefs SEO analytics for as many URLs as your account limits permit.
Open Screaming Frog and make sure List mode is selected before proceeding. Select Mode > List from the menu bar to do this.
After that, link your Ahrefs account. Go to Configuration > API access > Ahrefs to accomplish that. Your Ahrefs API credentials, which you can obtain here, will then be required.
Once you’ve finished, click Upload, paste your list of URLs to be scraped, check your list of links, and then click Start Scrape. To obtain the results in CSV format after the crawl is finished, select Export.
There will be a ton of data in here that you won’t need, so your best option is to clean it all out before moving on.
Keep these columns, and delete the rest:
Ahrefs URL Rating
Ahrefs Domain Rating
Using Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool:
No concerns if you don’t have Screaming Frog. Simply enter your prospects in batches of 200 into Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool, select “URL mode,” and export the data to CSV.
Once the exports are complete, use merge-csv.com to produce a “master” CSV file.
You won’t need all the data in this CSV, so delete all the columns except for:
Whichever tool you use, the next step is to apply the following filters to your list of prospects:
Status code = 200*
Unique outlinks / Linked domains > 3
DR >= 10 (optional)
UR >= 5 (optional)
Only the Screaming Frog export makes it feasible to use filters with an asterisk (*). If you don’t have these, don’t worry; it won’t matter much.
The outlinks filter is the most crucial, therefore I bolded it. A page is only linked to internal resources if there are no external outlinks on it. In that scenario, you should delete this target since it is highly unlikely that they will link to you.
The end product ought to resemble this:
To exclude pages from specific websites, such as Pinterest, Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, etc., you can filter the URL/target column.
b) Manual vetting
Most of the undesirable prospects on your list ought to have been removed by this point.
The remaining pages will then be manually reviewed to find the top prospects to contact.
The simplest and quickest approach to do this is to manually evaluate the sites after opening up the URLs in batches of 5–10. Openallurls.com can help make this process simpler.
This process is somewhat subjective, but in general, you’re looking for pages that:
Link out to external resources
Link to other topically-related resources
Look like someone cares about maintaining them
But more significantly, you should try to figure out which pages will benefit from having your link added. Make an effort to achieve that, and you’ll see a dramatic increase in conversion rate.
Put a “x” in the URL/target box for any prospects that don’t fit your criteria to indicate that you don’t need to pitch them.
Step #3. Reach out and suggest your resource
Finally, once you have a list of qualified prospects, you need to get in touch with them and ask whether you can add your resource to their page.
It’s true, this is the simple part.
The proper individual only needs to be informed that your content exists if it is a relevant match and adds value to the page.
That goes something like this:
Just came across your list of resources here: [link]
We just created [x]
It might make a worthwhile addition to the page.
I purposefully rephrased this design so that you would be inspired to add your own artistic flair.
Here are some pointers to maximize your efforts:
Tip #1: Respect their preferred contact method
Your best buddy when it comes to mass email outreach is a mail merge. However, you shouldn’t ignore their chosen form of contact just to make your life a little bit simpler.
When someone explicitly requests that you offer more resources via the page’s contact form, like the site’s owner does, you should respect their request.
Respect is a two-way street, and in my experience, if you treat people with respect right away, they will be lot more willing to connect with you.
Tip #2: Email the person responsible for the page
Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org can typically be avoided.
Be not such a marketer. Make an effort to identify the page’s owner, and then get in touch with them. You’ll be grateful to your conversion rate for it.
I understand that it’s not always possible to locate these emails. My argument is that sending out generic emails ought to be a last resort rather than your initial impulse.
Tip #3: Tell them where the link should go
When it comes to outreach, there is an unwritten guideline that states something along the lines of: Don’t make the other person think any more than they have to.
How do resource pages fit into all of this? On these pages, the links are frequently broken up into smaller sections.
Make the other person’s life easier by letting them know exactly where you believe your link should be added.
This is beneficial; it’s not overbearing or patronizing.
Tip #4: Point out broken links on the page
There are a lot of broken links on resource pages.
This is undesirable since it devalues the page and negatively affects user experience. Any self-respecting website owner should wish to get rid of them because of this.
If there are broken links on the page, the fact that they’re still there tells you one of two things:
They don’t care
They don’t know the broken links exist
Since you can’t be certain which one applies, it’s safest to presume that #2 is the case.
You step in here, obviously.
You may quickly check for broken links while personally analyzing each page to tailor your outreach emails. With the LinkMiner Chrome extension, this is done in the quickest and easiest manner possible. After installation, all you have to do to make every dead link on a website become red is click the extension icon in your browser.
Use our free broken link checker as well.
After that, you can inform the website’s owner by email of any broken links.
Here’s what might look like in practice:
Just came across your resource page.
Couldn’t help but notice the link to [x] no longer works.
You might want to remove it.
We just created [x]
It might make a worthwhile addition to the page while you’re there.
I’m intentionally paraphrasing once again. Always make an effort to customize your outreach communications.
Emails like this encourage website owners to amend and improve the page, at which time the likelihood that they will also include your link should be fairly high.
To speed up this procedure when using Screaming Frog, select Bulk Export > Response codes > Client Error (4XX) Inlinks.
The data can then be added to your main prospecting file using some spreadsheet magic (VLOOKUP, QUERY). Utilizing custom mail-merge fields in well-known outreach platforms like Buzzsteam, Pitchbox, and Mailshake makes it simple to template outreach letters.
Tip #5: Don’t pay
Don’t bother if the website owner requests payment in exchange for a link. Why? Because it implies that payment in full is the only need for inclusion. In other words, if the price is good, they’ll likely link to any old garbage.
This implies that the connecting page’s quality degrades over time.
The worst-case scenario Your SEO could suffer as a result of the link, not benefit.
Additionally, keep in mind that purchasing links is against Google’s policies and may result in a manual penalty that destroys your business.
How to find even more resource pages with ease
In most niches, if you follow the advice in full, you should be able to secure at least a few resource page connections. However, why end there? There are numerous different ways to locate additional resource pages.
These three are provided:
1. Search the backlink profiles of sites with known resource page links
Links from other resource sites are likely to be found on a page that has links from one of them. Because this is a typical link-building strategy, it is likely that some, if not all, of a site’s resource page links are a direct result of outreach efforts.
So here are some options for you:
Put the resource pages on your approved list back into Screaming Frog. This time, under Configuration > Spider, be sure to check the “Check external links” box.
Crawl through these pages, then select “Export” from the “External” option.
Your whole list of resource pages’ external links will be exported to a CSV file using this method.
Next, use a domain name extraction tool like this one to copy and paste the whole list of URLs from the Screaming Frog export.
Make sure the “Remove duplicates” checkbox is selected.
The list of domains that appears is copied, and you can put it back into Screaming Frog. Before going to Configuration > Spider > Limits > Limit crawl depth > zero, make sure the Ahrefs API is linked.
Start the crawl and once finished, export all internal links. To sort the “Ahrefs RefDomains” column from high to low, open the generated CSV file.
What you now have is a list of websites with Ahrefs’ SEO metrics that you know have at least one backlink from a resource page.
The idea is to paste any pertinent domains into Ahrefs Site Explorer one at a time (ignore major sites like Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr, etc.), then examine the “Backlinks” report.
Repeat this procedure for the additional pertinent domains in your CSV.
2. Search for less “traditional” resource pages
When it comes to resource page link development, the majority of people completely overlook the variety of resource pages that exist.
Imagine you wish to create some resource page links for a fitness monitoring app to demonstrate what I mean.
If you use standard search terms, you’ll undoubtedly discover a ton of pages similar to this:
but probably not in this manner:
It’s unfortunate because these pages list and link to a variety of external resources, making them “resource” pages in and of themselves.
Use search operators like: to locate such pages, but be sure to modify them appropriately. For instance, I typed “fitness” into the search bar then typed “best AROUND(5) apps” to discover the list of fitness app resources above.
Visit our complete list of Google search operators to learn more about the AROUND(X) operator.
These kinds of pages can also be discovered using Ahrefs Site Explorer. Simply enter a rival, select the “Backlinks” tab, and then look for phrases like “best” in the referring page’s title or URL.
3. Search for pages with resource sections
For a page to, well, list some resources, it need not be completely devoted to doing so.
Using this page as an example, you can see that the “further reading” section includes a list of a few helpful outside sources on the subject at hand.
So, just like you do with “normal” resource pages, you might request that something be added to this page if you had any relevant content that would be a valuable addition to this “micro list.”
Again, search operators can be used to locate these possibilities at scale. Here are some excellent examples:
You simply need to load up each search result one at a time and use CTRL/CMD+F to look for the corresponding footprint. Opportunities may occasionally make sense:… and occasionally they won’t:
I’ll be honest with you: this strategy has advantages and disadvantages when compared to “conventional” resource page link building.
The good points:
Fewer people are doing it (less competitive).
The links will often be of higher quality than those from “traditional” resource pages.
The bad points:
Not always a lot of these pages around.
Unlike “traditional” resource pages, these people probably aren’t looking for your suggestions or feedback, which leads to lower conversion rates.
However, that doesn’t make it a bad strategy; you just need to put in a little more work.
Some of the above-mentioned drawbacks can be addressed if you can get to know the site owner or at the very least offer to be helpful before making the “ask.”
Resource page link development is among the simplest link building strategies, which is why so many SEO experts continue to employ it year after year, even in a world of skyscrapers and shotguns.
Aim to become an expert in one link-building strategy at a time if you really want to scale your efforts. and creating links on resources pages is probably the best one to start with.