The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building

The currency of the web is links

Understanding link building can be difficult to understand if you are new to SEO.

Others will insist on strategic link prospecting and focused email marketing, while still others will give you a mysterious smile and say only one word: PBNs. Some SEOs will advise you to develop excellent content and wait for links to arrive naturally.

Whom then ought you to listen to?

Is it possible that I simply made the situation even more unclear?

Do not fret. This link-building tutorial was written with complete novices in mind, and we took care to provide it with practical suggestions that you can start using right now.

Let’s start now, shall we?

Contents

1. Link building basics

2. How to build links

3. What makes a good link? Best link building strategies

4. Best link building strategies

5. Link building tools

Part 1

Link building basics

It is only fair to begin with the very beginning as this is a beginner’s handbook.

What is link building?

 The goal of link building is to increase your pages’ “authority” in Google’s eyes so that they rank higher and receive more search traffic.

In general, you can boil most “white hat” link-building strategies down to two simple steps:

  1. Create something notable (and therefore worthy of a link)
  2. Show it to people who own websites (and thus can link to it)

Why is link-building important?

Links are one of the three main ranking variables in Google, according to Andrey Lipattsev of Google. Therefore, links are almost probably necessary if you want the pages of your website to appear higher in search results.

Links from other websites are viewed as “votes” by Google and other search engines. These votes assist them in determining which page on a particular subject (from thousands of closely related ones) merits being displayed at the top of the search results.

Pages with more Backlinks typically appear higher in search results. A page’s Google search traffic is strongly positively correlated with the number of websites that link to it, according to our own analysis of one billion pages:

Links aren’t the answer to everything

It may seem from this introductory chapter that all it takes to rank #1 in Google is to amass more backlinks than the pages that are already there.

While to some extent it is accurate, the situation is actually a little more complicated than that.

Search engines consider a number of other factors in addition to the fact that not all links are created equal (we’ll cover this topic in more detail in Chapter 3). Additionally, the combination of these factors may differ depending on the kind of search query you wish to rank for.

Don’t hold this guide responsible for your poor rankings if you build many links to your page. Look at any additional ranking elements that can work against you.

Part 2

How to build links

Conceptually, most link-building tactics and strategies fall into one of the following four buckets:

Add. Manually add links to websites.

Ask. Reach out to website owners directly to ask for a link.

Buy. Exchange money for links.

Earn. Get organic links from people who visited your page.

(these come together into a totally un-memorable acronym – AABE)

1. Adding links

It is referred to as “adding” a link if you can visit a website that is not your own and manually post your link there. The following strategies fall under this category most frequently:

Business directory submissions;

Social profile creation;

Blog commenting;

Posting to forums, communities & Q&A sites;

Creating job search listings;

etc.

Using those strategies to build links is fairly simple. And for that reason alone, Google tends to give those connections very little weight (and in some cases can even be flagged as SPAM).

These links hardly give you a competitive advantage aside from that. Nothing prevents your rivals from doing the same if you can manually add a link to a website.

You shouldn’t, however, completely disregard this category of link-building strategies. In fact, each of them can be very helpful for your online business for reasons other than link building.

I’ll explain a few instances:

Business Directories

To obtain more links, you should resist the impulse to submit your website to every single business directory.

You should definitely add your firm in a local business directory, for instance, if you’re a small business owner and you’ve learned about it. This is where other business owners obtain their leads. And that single link would likely provide you with significantly more “SEO value” than simply submitting your website to a list of generic business directories you found on a random SEO forum.

Social profiles

It’s a good idea to quickly claim your brand name on all key social media platforms (such as Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram, and the like). Otherwise, squatters might take them if they become aware of your brand.

Spending some time and energy on relevant social media platforms is a smart method to build a fan base and market to them. Unfortunately, the links themselves from social profile pages have very little to no direct SEO benefit. Therefore, after joining up with a few dozen social networking sites, don’t anticipate a rapid ranking boost.

Blog comments

An excellent method to catch someone’s attention and begin a relationship with them is to leave thoughtful comments on their articles (which might lead to all sorts of good things). However, leaving comments just to force a link to your website into them will only enrage blog owners.

In addition, links from blog comments are typically nofollowed, so they might not be considered “votes.” Therefore, don’t leave someone a comment merely to include your link there.

These three examples should help you understand how to “add” your links to other websites without coming across as spam.

SIDENOTE.

You may come across strategies that mention “web 2.0s” and “bookmarking sites” while seeking more ways to “add” connections to other websites. You shouldn’t waste your time on those things now even though they used to function about fifteen years ago.

2. Asking for links

As the name implies, this is the process when you get in touch with the website’s owner and persuade them to link to you.

This category of link-building strategies absolutely requires “compelling reason.” Unless you’re a superstar, the individuals you reach out to aren’t interested in you or your website, therefore they have no reason to assist you.

Therefore, think about what’s in it for THEM before you ask them to connect to you.

Here are a few link-building techniques and methods that fit into this category, along with a succinctly stated “compelling reason” on which they are predicated:

Guest blogging. Create useful content for their website.

Skyscraper technique. Show them a better resource than the one they’re linking to.

Link inserts. Show them a resource with more information on something they’ve briefly mentioned.

Ego bait. Mention them or their work in your own content in a positive light.

Testimonials & Case studies. Give positive feedback about their product or service.

Link exchanges. Offer to link back to them if they agree to link to you.

Resource page link building. Show them a good resource that fits their existing list.

Broken link building. Help them fix a “dead” link on their page.

Image link building. Ask to get credit for using your image.

Unlinked mentions. Ask to make the mention of your brand “clickable.”

Link moves. Ask to make changes to an existing link.

HARO & journalist requests. Give an “expert quote” for their article.

PR. Give them a killer story to cover.

All these strategies seem quite exciting, right? But as soon as you send your first email request you’re likely to face the harsh reality—your “compelling reason” isn’t compelling enough:

Your guest post isn’t good enough.

Your resource isn’t unique enough.

Your “Skyscraper” isn’t “high” enough.

etc.

You see, in order for these link-building strategies to be successful, you must develop a page that is actually remarkable and that others would want to connect to. Or, if you command a lot of respect and reputation in your industry, that can make up for your page’s lack of notoriety.

Given how difficult it is to get unrelated parties to link to you, several SEOs started looking for ways to make the offer more enticing:

Offer to share their content on Twitter & Facebook.

Offer to promote their content in an email newsletter.

Offer free access to a premium product or service.

Offer a link in exchange.

Offer money.

However, providing these kinds of “additional benefits” puts us in the gray area of what Google’s definition of a “link scheme” is:

There you have it, then. The success rate of legal link requests is quite low, but the moment you try to “sweeten the bargain,” you enter Google’s minefield.

It might seem at this point that I’m trying to talk you out of employing the methods and techniques in this collection. I’m not. In an effort to prevent you from giving up after sending your tenth outreach email and receiving no response, I’m simply attempting to set the proper expectations. Obtaining connections using these strategies while abiding by Google’s rules requires a lot of work.

3. Buying links

Let’s be clear up front: We do not advise you to purchase links!

At best, you’ll probably squander a lot of money on irrelevant links that won’t help your rankings; at worst, your website will be penalized.

However, if we didn’t let you know that many people in the SEO field do “purchase” links in a variety of ways and manage to get away with it, we’d be putting you at a disadvantage.

Therefore, if you’re prepared to take a chance with the health of your website and buy links, please look for instruction on how to do it “safely” elsewhere, as we don’t teach that at Ahrefs.

4. Earning links

People, however, are unable to attach to objects that they are unaware of. Therefore, you will need to invest in promoting your page, regardless of how fantastic it is

Here are a few tactics and strategies that fall into this category:

Linkbait (or linkable assets)Data studies, infographics, maps, surveys, awards.

Podcasts / interviews / expert roundups.

Content promotion.

etc.

Undoubtedly, earning links is the best approach to acquiring them.

Instead of working on a series of difficult link prospecting and email outreach activities in the hopes of constructing links to a subpar page, I’d much rather put my time and money into producing quality pages that will generate word of mouth and pick up links organically.

You might argue that it’s easy for Ahrefs to advocate earning links naturally with linkbait, given that we have:

Lots of proprietary data, which we can use for publishing research studies.

A team of skilled professionals, who can help us create valuable resources.

A trusted brand, that automatically gives credibility to all our work.

A fairly large audience to promote our content to (and kickstart word of mouth).

Yes, all of these features DO make earning connections much simpler. However, even if you’re just getting started, there are still ways to produce quality content on a shoestring budget and acquire links naturally. The “secret” is that you must put 10 times as much effort into your content as your rivals do.

Bonus: Preserving links

Technically, maintaining the links you have worked so hard to obtain does not truly qualify as “link building.” However, we still believe it merits a brief mention in this manual.

There are only two methods for maintaining links: repairing 404 pages with links and link reclamation.

Should you even bother with it, though?

Actually, there is some evidence to support the idea that Google may continue to transfer some of a link’s value even after it is no longer active (this phenomenon is often referred to as “link echoes” or “link ghosts”).

Therefore, you shouldn’t usually bother trying to restore your lost links. Only when you lose a crucial connection that was driving traffic to your website or acting as “social proof” should you worry about getting it back.

How to Get Backlinks: 7 Tactics

How to Start a Link-Building Campaign Fast

Blogger Outreach Guide

9 Outreach Lessons

What’s the Cost of Buying Links?

Part 3

What makes a good link?

Nobody is certain of the specific methodology Google uses to determine each link’s worth. However, the SEO community holds certain broad notions about link evaluation to be true.

Authority

Relevance

Anchor text

Nofollow vs follow

Placement

Destination

1. Authority

There are two different kinds of “authority”: that of a single page and that of a whole website.

Page authority is related to the original Google PageRank algorithm, whose fundamental tenet is that the page with more links pointing at it has a more significant vote.

That’s why a lot of SEOs try to get connections from outdated pages that have solid backlink profiles. A link from one of these pages is thought to be more valuable than a link from a recently released page without any backlinks of its own.

On the other side, a freshly published page can eventually gather some high-quality links. Therefore, over time, the value of a link from such a page can really rise.

As a result, rather than specifically looking for old pages with strong backlink profiles, the general approach is to try to gain connections from notable pages that have a high possibility of attracting backlinks over time.

Website authority – Google employees have continually denied the existence of any form of system-wide website authority metric. A link from the New York Times should, however, be worth more than a link from your neighbor’s website, according to many SEO experts, who believe this to be very logical (unless of course, your neighbor is Jeff Bezos).

However, what if “website authority” is just a high concentration of authoritative pages on a certain website? Unfortunately, no one can provide you with a conclusive response.

At Ahrefs, we use a statistic called Domain Rating (DR), which is solely dependent on the strength of a website’s backlink profile, to gauge website authority. Imagine a system similar to PageRank, but for entire domains

Neglecting link chances from low-authority websites as if they are somehow harmful to your SEO success is a classic newbie SEO mistake. They aren’t. Similar to how newly published pages can gain backlinks over time, increasing the worth of links coming from them, a low-authority website can grow significantly over the course of several years.

Therefore, the proper application of a website authority metric like DR is to determine the proportionate amount of effort that should be expended in order to obtain a link from a particular website.

For instance, if the proprietor of a DR20 website requests a succinct quote for their piece, feel free to oblige! Nevertheless, you might want to reserve that for a DR60+ website if they ask you to write a 5,000-word guest post.

2. Relevance

Imagine you own a coffee blog and write a review on your favorite coffee grinder. Two of your pals ultimately decide to link to it afterward. One is from their piece on the “10 Best Coffee Recipes,” while the other is from their post on the “10 Money-saving Tips.”

Given that both of these pages have equal authority, which one would Google consider to be casting a stronger vote?

which is more pertinent!

It seems sensible that you’d prefer to seek coffee advice from a fellow foodie than from personal finance professional.

According to SEO experts, relevancy also applies to websites. And on Google’s “how search works” page, there is really some supporting documentation for that:

A solid indication that the content is of excellent quality is if the page is linked to by other well-known websites on the subject.

This implies that rather than pursuing each and every link opportunity that presents itself, you should try to gain links from websites that are somehow related to yours.

3. Anchor text

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “anchor text,” it refers to a clickable passage of text that carries a link to another page.

In many instances, the anchor text explains the topic of the linked page. Simply look Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Google analyzes the terms in anchor text to determine which keywords the cited page should rank for. In fact, Google’s original patent makes a clear reference to this:

So how do you use anchor text to your advantage while creating links?

Of course not. The more you try to control which pages link to you and stuff all the “correct terms” into your backlinks’ anchor texts, the more likely it is that Google will punish you for it.

Furthermore, you have little to no control over the anchor text with the majority of white-hat link-building strategies, which only keeps you from accidentally shooting yourself in the foot.

4. Nofollow vs follow

The link attribute “nofollow” informs Google that the connecting website would prefer not to support the page that it is referencing.

In the past, Google did not take into account votes from “nofollowed links” (or so they said). Then, in 2019, they made the switch to the hint model, which now allows some “nofollowed” links to have an impact on your search ranks.

They also introduced two new link attributes with this announcement:

  • rel=“UGC” should be applied to “user-generated” links, e.g., blog comments and forum posts.
  • rel=“sponsored” should be applied when the link is part of an advertisement, sponsorship, or some other compensation agreement.

As a general guideline, you should focus on creating “followed” links because these are the ones that are expected to cast votes (i.e., links without any of the aforementioned properties).

But you should definitely take advantage of the chance if you can gain a nofollowed link from a relevant, high-authority page.

Wikipedia is a nice example, where all outbound links are nofollowed. Given how challenging it is to obtain a link from Wikipedia, many SEOs are of the opinion that Google values these links highly.

5. Placement

The reasonable surfer patent by Google discusses how the likelihood that a link will be clicked may impact the amount of authority it transmits. And one of the few elements that can impact a link’s CTR is where it is placed on a page.

Consider a website that has three different sections: the content, the sidebar, and the footer. Links within the content will typically receive more clicks because visitors focus on the content block the most.

The position of a link on the page can also have an impact on its click-through rate (CTR). Links at the beginning of the article are more likely to be clicked on by readers than links near the finish.

Finally, the more links you have on a page, the more they will vie for clicks, and, as a result, less authority will be given to other pages.

Similar to anchor text, the majority of white-hat link-building techniques allow you little to no control over where the link is placed.

However, you should definitely make an effort to encourage readers to click on your links if you’re writing a guest post for another blog. Not only will it increase the links’ SEO value, but it will also send you some excellent referral traffic.

6. Destination

When building links to your website, there are three destinations where you can point them:

  1. Your homepage;
  2. Your linkable assets;
  3. The pages that you actually need to rank high in Google.

And frequently, the pages you need to rank highly are also the most difficult to obtain links for. This is due to the fact that individuals favor linking to informative pages over commercial ones where their audience is more inclined to part with their money.

Thus, “How to rank dull pages” is one of the most frequently asked questions in SEO.

And while there isn’t a single correct response to this topic, everyone agrees that you should use internal linking to boost the ranking of your “boring pages.”

In other words, create as many links to your linkable assets as you can, then use internal links to direct all of that “link juice” toward the sites that you actually want to rank.

Additionally, bear in mind that the value of your internal links is also influenced by factors including placement, relevance, and anchor text.


Part 4

Best link-building strategies

We provided you with a list of about a dozen link-building techniques and methods in chapter two. But which of them is the most superior and efficient?

Here at Ahrefs, we’re big advocates of the following four:

  1. Pursuing competitor’s links
  2. Creating linkable assets
  3. Content promotion
  4. Guest blogging

1. Pursuing competitor’s links

One of the most essential aspects of link building is competitor link research. Consider this: the top-ranking website for the search term you want has all the links that Google needs to believe it is superior. You can determine what strategies to employ to obtain comparable connections and outrank that page by looking at its links.

And in this situation, an SEO tool like Ahrefs is a must-have.

Simply enter the keyword you wish to rank for in Keywords Explorer and navigate to the “SERP Overview” section. It will display the number of backlinks (and You can view a report with a list of all the links by clicking on any of these numbers.

From here your course of action is two-fold:

  1. Try to get links from the pages that link to your competitors.
  2. Study how those links were acquired and use the same tactics to get more links than your competitors.

2. Creating linkable assets

With enough energy and persistence, you can create connections to any page, but having content that people want to link to makes things simpler.

When talking about linkable assets people tend to think of very specific things like:

  • Online tools & calculators
  • Infographics, GIFographics & “Map-o-graphics”
  • Awards & rankings
  • Studies & research
  • “How to” guides & tutorials
  • Definitions & coined terms

Even in the dullest businesses, there must be a way to produce intriguing content that will draw links. Therefore, it’s wise to research the websites of your rivals to determine whether they contain any linkable materials that you could use.

Simply enter their domain name in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and navigate to the Best by Links report to accomplish this. You can see which of their pages has the most links by looking at this.

Three of the top five most linked sites on the Ahrefs Blog (apart from the homepage), as seen in the screenshot above, are data-driven research projects. You can see from that what sort of material does well in our niche in terms of links.

The most common form of linkable asset in your particular area can be entirely different—infographics, online tools, surveys, ego bait, etc. It’s your responsibility to identify it and use that information to produce linkable content for your own website.

3. Content promotion

No matter how “linkable” your pages are, no one will find them unless they are first linked to. In other words, link building requires promotion even for the most linkable assets.

Generally speaking, there are just three ways to promote content:

  1. Advertising
  2. Outreach
  3. Communities

Advertising

This sounds very simple, don’t you think? For traffic to your website, you can pay sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also get in touch with pretty much any website that your target market frequents and work out an advertising arrangement.

The likelihood that someone will link to your material increases the more people you advertise it to.

But there is one issue. It is really difficult to link the links you have obtained to the advertising spending you have made (even though we tried).

So it’s not like you can guarantee your employer ten relevant connections to a page in exchange for $1,000 worth of Facebook advertisements.

However, the page to which you want links undoubtedly has some sort of commercial purpose as well.

Because it enables them to draw in, cultivate, and keep customers, businesses invest in content marketing. If your piece of content contributes to any of those goals, you shouldn’t have any trouble asking for funding to market it.

How did you justify spending the time to generate the material in the first place if it doesn’t seem to have any business value?

In other words, you should promote your content because it will help your business expand and will result in links (if your content is good enough).

Outreach

The greatest technique to get your material in front of “linkarati”—people with websites who can link to you—is definitely through outreach.

A well-written personal email would be far more beneficial if you want to boost your chances of gaining a link from them, even though you can probably contact those same people through advertising.

There are several resources available that can teach you how to create effective outreach emails. On this topic, I also expressed my opinions on the Ahrefs Blog. But if I were to give you one piece of advice about outreach, it would be this:

Try to impress them with your content and entice them to check it out rather than blatantly asking someone to link to you right there.

In order to get them to include something from your material in a future piece, you should subtly implant a novel notion in their minds. This is what I did in order to promote my tiny research study here:

Communities

Communities may be excellent tools for reaching the right viewers with your content. Any industry you work in probably has a subreddit or a few Facebook, Slack, or Discord groups where individuals who share your interests congregate. In some niches, you could also come across some independent community websites.

But it’s not as simple as it would seem to promote your content in these groups. You can’t just join a group, leave your link there, and disappear. You’ll be expelled without delay.

Before you may advertise your material there, you must join that community activities and earn the respect of its members. To avoid upsetting the community’s members and ruining your reputation, you shouldn’t post every new piece of content you create here. Make sure to save that for your best work only.

Another tactic is to start your own community, which would be delighted to be notified whenever you publish new information.

 Here at Ahrefs, we give people three options to connect with us:

  1. Follow us on Twitter
  2. Join our blog’s email newsletter
  3. Join our private Facebook group

Those three “channels” give our newly published articles quite a bit of initial traction. But it took us quite a few years to build them up.

4. Guest blogging

Every blogger wants to provide excellent material that benefits their readers, right? But maintaining that is really difficult. This contributes to the fact that many blog owners welcome guest posts on their blogs.

In 2014, Matt Cutts, the former leader of Google’s webspam team, notably predicted that guest blogging will soon become obsolete due to its extreme popularity and widespread abuse.

And yet, here we are in 2021, and every link-building expert I’ve spoken to still believes that guest posting is one of the best ways to increase links.

Selecting legitimate blogs and providing them with information that you would be glad to publish on your own website is all you need to do to stay in Google’s good graces. It is no longer sufficient to pay someone $10 for a 500-word essay and send it to a subpar site with no readers or traffic.

But here’s the issue: Reputable blogs don’t require your guest posts. They are “legit” since they are succeeding fairly well on their own.

How then do you convince people to share your content?

Well, aside from really having something important to say, along with some expertise and experience in copywriting, I have two sound suggestions that should be helpful.

1. Build your way up

Unless you have a proven track record of articles published on blogs that are similar to those in your business, the top bloggers in that area are unlikely to take your pitch seriously.

Try to get published at site #2 first, then pitch the #1 blog in your niche. Additionally, attempt to get published at #3 before pitching #2.

Do you get where I’m going with that? You must begin with some lesser-known blogs in your sector and work your way up over time.

And if you have trouble locating those lesser-known blogs, you can use our effective tool, Content Explorer.

Just follow three simple steps:

  1. Search for a word or phrase that blogs in your industry are likely to mention in their article titles.
  2. Set the “Domain Rating” filter to a 30-40 range.
  3. Use the “One page per domain” setting to see just one article from each blog.

Searching for the term “steak” yields 9,227 pages from websites with DR ratings ranging from 30 to 40, as seen in the screenshot above.

All that’s left to do is look at the blogs where they are and gauge your prospects of being published there. You may always change the DR filter to find the ideal level of blog “authority” that you feel comfortable pitching if the blogs strike you as being either too weak or too powerful.

Try using the “Website traffic” filter to focus on blogs that receive a specified quantity of Google traffic in order to further refine your results (as estimated by Ahrefs).

2. Make an irresistible offer

Every blogger wants to write valuable information that will benefit their readers, as I already explained. Therefore, the better your content is, the more likely it is to be published.

Nevertheless, the majority of well-known bloggers receive dozens of similar guest post pitches each week promising them “high quality, unique, and relevant content”—content that is, in actuality, of zero quality. How therefore can you separate out from the crowd and convince a well-known blogger to accept your request for a guest post?

Finding a “content gap”—a hot topic that attracts lots of search traffic to one of their competitors but isn’t addressed on their own blog—is one of the greatest methods to achieve that.

We offer a helpful tool at Ahrefs called Content gap that makes it easy to identify content gaps between websites.

Imagine that you chose to suggest a guest post to Brian Dean. This tool might be used to determine which subjects Brian hasn’t addressed but which generate a lot of search traffic for the Ahrefs blog.

  1. Enter Brian’s site into Site Explorer.
  2. Go to the Content Gap tool.
  3. Enter the Ahrefs Blog as a competitor.
  4. Hit “Show keywords”.
  5. Look for keywords that pique your interest.
  6. Hit the caret on the page to check organic traffic.

There you have it, then. You discovered a fantastic topic that wasn’t yet addressed in the Backlinko site, yet gets 11k monthly visitors to the Ahrefs blog in a couple of seconds.

When compared to a generic “I can write a high-quality article for you” style of guest post pitch, bringing up this specific issue to Brian and describing how your piece will stand out will significantly increase your chances of getting published.

Offering to update one of their outdated and underperforming articles is an intriguing method to differentiate your guest post pitch from the competition


Part 5

Link building tools

Although it is theoretically possible to acquire links with just a little brain work and an email account, there are a variety of link building tools that will make the process considerably simpler.

Let’s review five kinds of tools that might help you with building links:

  1. Backlink research tools
  2. Content research tools
  3. Link prospecting tools
  4. Web Monitoring tools
  5. Email Outreach tools

1. Backlink research tools

As you are already aware, researching the connections of your rivals is quite beneficial when creating a workable link-building plan for your own website.

Site Explorer from Ahrefs is frequently cited as the industry’s preferred backlink research tool.

Any website or URL can be entered to obtain a comprehensive list of all backlinks going to it, along with a variety of useful metrics and filters to assist you in identifying chances for effective link development.

Moz, Majestic, and Semrush are a few more SEO tool businesses that run their own link index.

2. Content research tools

Using content research tools eliminates the guesswork involved in producing shareable and linkable content. They can help you identify content topics that have attracted a lot of links and shares so you can build on those discoveries when developing your own content.

With the aid of Ahrefs’ Information Explorer, you can quickly find significant content in any industry thanks to its extensive index of over five billion pages.

Simply conduct a topical search in the page titles to find what you want to write about, then sort the outcomes by referring domains (linking websites). You may learn a lot about how to improve your own content by looking at those pages and the links that lead to them.

Buzzsumo is a different tool with slightly comparable features. However, it gives social media shares precedence over SEO indicators.

3. Link prospecting tools

You can use link prospecting tools to locate and rank the most pertinent websites to send your link pitches to.

Many SEO experts use Google’s search results to scrape a list of keywords relating to the subject of their page in order to find potential links. Some of them use an SEO toolbar with an export search results option to do it manually, while others use semi-automatic tools like Link Prospector or Screaming Frog to complete the task.

However, I contend that the best link prospecting tool available is Ahrefs’ Content Explorer.

Assume you wish to create some connections to your article, “10 Best Mechanical Keyboards,” which you wrote. In Content Explorer, a search for “mechanical keyboard” yields over 188,000 pages from across the internet that contain this phrase.

Your list of potential link partners drops to only a few thousand after applying filters to remove low-quality pages (and spam), but there are still a ton of options.

Finally, you select “Export” to transfer that list of link prospects to your preferred email outreach program.

4. Web monitoring tools

Web monitoring tools notify you when new sites using your keyword are published or when one of your competitors gains a new backlink. These two notifications are both excellent resources for link-building opportunities.

Backlink alerts and keyword mention notifications are handled admirably by Ahrefs Alerts.

You might wish to try Google Alerts, Mention, and Brand24 as additional site monitoring tools.

5. Email outreach tools

You may manage and track link-building initiatives with the use of email outreach tools. Additionally, they make it easier to discover prospects, make outreach templates, send follow-up emails, and more.

There are several solutions available, but the best one for you will rely on your budget, operational scale, and tactics and processes.

Here are the suggestions we received after asking our Facebook community for their favorites:

Neverbounce and Clearout.io are a couple of intriguing email outreach solutions that weren’t highlighted by our community.

Let’s wrap this up

Despite the fact that this article ended up being approximately 7,000 words long, we have barely touched the surface of what link building includes.

However, we hope that our tutorial has helped you understand a lot of things and provided you with answers to most of your pressing queries concerning link building.

To wrap up, I’d like to express my gratitude (and provide a link) to a number of dedicated link builders who were gracious enough to join a call with me and respond to my challenging questions on link building:

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By MuhammadJunaid

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