Link prospecting is one of the fundamental activities in link building given that it initiates the process of the link building campaign by finding relevant and high quality links which are potential to be acquired using certain actions like manual outreach and link requests.
This initial phase of link development requires a good understanding of the relevancy, value and obtainability of link targets. These three link qualification factors affects how you differentiate a good link from a bad link. Good link prospects for you are links that have PR3+ value but for others, DA50+ link sources can provide more link value their site/page.
In the above example, you can notice that different link builders have different mindsets when it comes to qualifying linkable targets and how they can be used for various link opportunities.
In this post, I’d like to simplify the process by giving two important link prospecting elements:
Assets are webpages that you want to builds links to and help them rank high on search results using different link acquisition methods. Whereas, opportunities are linking partners or sites where you want to place your link.
Below is an asset-opportunity relationship examples to help you understand how this simple link prospecting process works:
Homepage = Directories, Profile Pages, Social Profiles, Partners/Membership Pages, Business Directories
Ebook = Ebook directories, product review blogs
Money = Sponsorship sites, grants pages, paid product reviews sites, events
Blog post = Guest posts, Round-ups
Team Members = Interviews, Unlinked Brand Mentions
You may notice that the more you understand the link value of your assets, the more you can create a list of linking opportunities targeting a specific content asset.
This can further amplify the reach of each of your asset since you’re building a wide array of link building opportunities that are highly obtainable and relevant to your target page.
Keyword-based link prospecting
This is the easiest way to get an initial list of link prospects since most of these pre-qualified link targets can come from your client’s contact list or recommendations.
You can widen your list of link prospects by applying the following tips:
Search for highly related websites (which should not be your competitors in the space) by doing a Google search using your target keywords and related industry phrase/terms.
Get more linking targets from search results by discovering new niche-specific terms that are closely connected to your link prospecting queries (scan the meta titles/meta descriptions of other content pieces).
Here’s a video to explain on how to apply this link prospecting method:
Link building queries
Link building queries are essential to limit the number of pages that will show up in the search results for specific keywords/phrases. Prospecting using link queries are more efficient by combining useful advanced search queries in a single search.
For instance, you have a huge budget for paid link building tactics. You can build high quality backlinks to your homepage by finding sponsorship opportunities where you can donate money in exchange for links.
Using this query: inurl:sponsor OR donate OR partner OR grant + finance, you can find high-valued link targets that offer link placement in exchange for a certain amount of money (ranging from $5 to $50) and are related to finance niche. These are easy to acquired links using different link acquisition methods such as linker outreach with an incentive approach in the link outreach templates.
Here’s a video to explain this method:
Tools to Speed Up Your Link Prospecting Activity
Here are the link building tools that you can use to ease your link building searches for a specific link building strategy:
Ctrl + W
Note: This is my first time to create video tutorials so forget about all the mistakes I’ve made in each video.
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