SEO is a broad concept. To have a better understanding of what it is and how it can contribute to the growth of your business, it is better to break down SEO into three major categories:
- On-Page SEO: This is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks higher on search engines. Website optimization assumes writing quality content with relevant keywords, proper meta descriptions, title tags, meta tags, and so on.
- Link Building: This is the process of gaining quality backlinks through different link-building strategies from authoritative websites pointing to your site. Many businesses outsource link building to agencies, as it can save time and resources while ensuring effective link-building techniques are used to boost your site’s search engine rankings and online visibility.
- Technical SEO: This refers to improving technical aspects of your site to ensure it’s easily crawlable and indexable by search engines. It usually involves improving site speed, detecting and fixing broken links, improving mobile-friendliness, and optimizing site structure.
In today’s article, we are going to cover the second category, as it is sometimes overlooked by many companies.
In fact, link building is considered to be the most challenging part of SEO, according to 41% of SEO experts. However, it is also one of the most rewarding SEO strategies you should take into consideration. Link building is indeed worth trying, and link prospecting is the most actionable way to ensure the highest level of success.
Let’s get into it and learn what link prospecting is and how it can help you nail your link-building campaign.
What is Link Prospecting?
Link prospecting is the process of finding relevant websites to reach out to for your link-building efforts.
This implies that these websites will be in a suitable niche and meet your target domain rating.
If done right, you will be able to find a list of target websites to gain links from. But if you end up reaching out to the wrong websites, it will be highly difficult for you to generate links during the rest of your campaign.
Why is Link Prospecting Important?
Link prospecting is essential for a few reasons, such as:
- By earning quality backlinks, you can improve your site’s rankings in SERPs, which can help you get organic traffic and have higher visibility in search results.
- Getting backlinks from authoritative websites in your niche can allow you to establish your website as a trustworthy source of information.
- Increased website authority can lead to more traffic, increased user engagement, and improved credibility.
- Apart from direct traffic, you also gain referral traffic.
- Link prospecting will allow you to develop valuable and solid relationships in your niche, opening up great opportunities for further growth and networking.
Now that you know why link prospect matters, it is time to dive into link prospecting steps.
Link Prospecting: Six Powerful Steps to Follow in 2023
If you are serious about link building but don’t know where to start, link prospecting is the first thing you should do. However, there are several things you should know to make the most out of your link prospecting.
Below, we have put together a few useful steps you can follow.
Good Link Prospecting Starts With a Clear Link-Building Strategy
The first step you should take to get started with your link prospecting is to decide on the link-building strategy you are planning to use.
This is important, as the websites you are going to prospect will depend on your link-building strategy.
Guest posting and link insertions are popular link-building strategies you can prospect because:
Guest posting is the process of writing articles for other websites. The goal of creating content for other sites is to add external links back to your site in your articles.
List prospecting is an inevitable part of any guest posting campaign. You should find and reach out to website owners to publish your articles.
When searching for suitable websites to publish guest posts on, ask yourself.
- Is this a high-quality website, and if it is in your target niche?
- Is this website open to publishing guest posts?
The first point is crucial because it makes sure you generate quality backlinks that can positively impact your rankings and develop a strong backlink profile.
The second point is also essential because it’s easier to publish articles on websites that are open to guest posting. If a website has signs like “Write for Us” or “Submit a Guest Post,” it means that the website accepts guest post submissions.
However, you need to be careful to avoid guest post farms or link farms. These are spam websites that will charge for guest posts. The worst part about link farms is that they often provide low-quality and irrelevant backlinks that can harm your website’s reputation and SEO rankings.
Apart from guest posting, you can try link insertions. It is one of the most effective link-building strategies to earn backlinks. In fact, 51.6% of link builders use link exchanges to build quality backlinks.
Link insertions are when you ask a website to link to a particular page on your site. Typically, you’ll make a link exchange collaboration. In other words, you cross-link to each others’ content.
Don’t forget about competitor backlinks analysis. It will allow you to uncover new link-building opportunities. This way, you have a chance to learn which websites link to your competitors and define potential partners for your own link-building efforts.
To get started, you will need to do active link prospecting. The more websites you reach out to, the more chances you have to see some great results.
First, look for relevant websites. Then, narrow the list down based on the website’s domain rating. The websites should have at least a DR of 30 for building quality backlinks. It is not worth the time and effort to acquire links from sites with a lower DR than this.
The next thing to keep in mind when doing link exchanges is to avoid spam websites.
There are a lot of low-quality websites and link farms that sell links. But such links have no value, as Google is aware of these sites and neutralizes all the links they provide.
But how to understand that it is a spam website?
There are several red flags indicating that this site should be avoided. Among those red flags are poor quality content, website design, little organic traffic, too many suspicious external links, missing “about” or “contact” information, and so on.
Choose a Niche to Target
Next, you should pick a niche to target. Google pays great attention to whether links are from websites that publish content relevant to your niche. These websites can be in your niche or related to your niche.
All you need is to come up with topics related to your site and create a list of the potential niches to target.
If your niche is technology, focus on websites that cover topics like software reviews, tech tutorials, or gadget comparisons. Look for websites that specialize in technology news, software development, or related industries.
Define Your Target Metrics
Once you have identified your target niches, it is high time to determine the target metrics, such as domain rating and organic traffic.
A general rule of thumb is that the higher a website’s domain rating, the more valuable the link will be. But it can be challenging to generate links from authoritative websites.
Here are some of the metrics we typically aim for at SayNine:
- DR 50
- Organic Traffic 1,000+
When running outreach campaigns, we reach out to websites with a domain rating of 50. This is an optimal rating that will positively impact most websites and lead to good results.
If your website is relatively new or you are a newbie in the world of link building, it is advised to target websites with a lower DR than this. At the early stage, almost any link from a quality website can improve your SEO game.
However, if your website has a mid-to-high domain rating, aim to get links from authoritative websites. As we have already discussed, links from poor-quality websites won’t provide much impact.
Create a List Of Link Prospects
After defining your link-building strategy, target niches, and metrics, it is high time to start building your links.
To do so, you need to create a list of link prospects. At Saynine, we use the method of Ahrefs’ link prospecting.
This is an excellent way to unlock a wide range of websites that publish articles on topics relevant to your website.
The best part about Ahrefs is that it is one of the easiest SEO and link prospecting tools. All you should do is navigate to the Content Explorer tab in your Ahrefs dashboard and then search for your relevant keyword.
The “Pages” tab enables you to find relevant content for potential niche edits. The “Authors” tab allows you to find relevant authors and influencers to reach out to for link-building collaboration.
Ahrefs allows users to filter websites within a certain domain rating (DR) range. This way, you can identify which websites have a lower and higher DR.
We also filter the websites according to the URLs that contain “blog,” as well as websites where our clients don’t have backlinks from. Next, we compare the results with our blacklist to make sure we don’t outreach to poor-quality websites.
Find Contact Information About Your Link Prospects
Finding contact information for our list of prospects is the next step.
After finding relevant websites for link-building collaboration, find the company’s LinkedIn page.
From LinkedIn’s People section, you need to search for employees based on the position you need for outreach. It is better to contact the most relevant people.
Below is the list of positions to consider when contacting employees of X company.
- Link builder
- Off-page SEO specialist
- SEO Specialist
- SEO lead
- Content Marketing
- Digital Content Editor
- Digital Marketer
- Marketing Specialist
If it is a small company/agency, you can also contact the founder or co-founder of the company.
Once you gather all the necessary information about employees, make guesses and try to come up with different email address variations, such as “email@example.com.” Make sure to use an email verification tool to verify the email address before sending an email. EasyDMARC’s Easy Sender email verification tool is great when it comes to ensuring the accuracy of your email lists.
Alternatively, you can use an email finder tool to find a list of emails of a certain domain. Using Hunter’s email finder tool can help you find and gather email addresses associated with a specific domain. However, if you are looking for email addresses by LinkedIn profile, using RocketReach can be useful. The tool allows you to search for email addresses associated with LinkedIn profiles, making it easier to reach out to potential contacts.
Start an Email Sequence
When it comes to effective link building outreach, starting an email sequence can greatly increase your chances of success. It enables you to engage with potential link prospects in a more effective way.
To maximize your link building outreach efforts:
- Personalize Your Outreach: Personalization is important to make sure you get the most out of your email sequence. Therefore, it is highly recommended to thoroughly research your potential link prospects. Visit their website, explore their blog section, and understand their audience. This data will allow you to craft personalized and relevant emails that resonate with each of your link prospects. Another great way to personalize your outreach is to use the recipient’s name in the subject line and express interest in their website or blog.
- Write a Compelling Intro: Your email introduction should be captivating enough to grab the attention of the recipient. So, make sure your opening sentence clearly communicates why you are contacting. Avoid generic or excessively salesy language. It will only turn off your prospects.
- Add a CTA: Ending your email with a strong call to action will encourage your link prospects to take the desired action. Whether it’s requesting a link, or offering a collaboration, make your intentions clear. Provide instructions on how they can contact you or what they need to do to proceed.
- Send a Follow-Up Email: A polite follow-up reminder is a great way to reach out to your link prospects again in case you have not received a response within a reasonable timeframe.
Now that you already know what link prospecting is and how it can benefit your business, you probably want to get started with your link prospecting process.
By following the above-mentioned steps and using relevant link prospecting tools, you will be able to find top-notch and relevant websites for potential link-building opportunities.
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your link prospecting efforts!
FAQ about link prospecting