Did you know backlinks are still one of Google’s major ranking factors?
It’s true. So, no matter what they tell you, remember that link building is not dead. It not only skyrockets your rankings, but also helps you engage your target audience, increase your reach, and drive more traffic to your website.
However, the way we build links has changed. Reaching out to loads of sites randomly can only get you penalized. Instead, you need to focus on finding relevant link building opportunities and build strong relationships with them.
Here are a few link prospecting tactics you will want to use.
Tactic #1: Start with a Simple Google Search
One of the simplest ways to find relevant bloggers in your niche is to conduct a basic Google search. Just like its mere name says, this process revolves around choosing and searching for the right keywords until you make a list of potential link building prospects. The rules are simple. You need to combine your keyword with search strings like “guest blogging”, “writer guidelines”, “write for us”, etc.
Now, the simple Google search is a great way to get your link prospecting strategy off the ground and understand how finding link building opportunities works. Unfortunately, it’s usually not enough to find relevant sites. Precisely because of that, you need to combine it with Google’s advanced search operators, such as:
- The Inurl Search – looks for your keywords directly in the URL of the site.
- The Intitle Search – searches for the keyword in the title of the page.
- The Exact Phrase Search – by placing quotation marks around your keyword, Google will show only exact results for it.
- The OR Search – lets you google multiple terms at once.
- The Site: Search – lets you limit search results to only one site.
Tactic #2: Build Relationships with Influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the most valuable aspects of your link building campaign. There are so many tools and services for influencer marketing in today’s landscape that help make this possible Influencers have lots of authority online and a big following. They can bring you greater exposure, new followers, and help you build trust with your audiences.
Now, there are numerous ways to find popular bloggers in your niche, but social media could be your great starting point. For example, Twitter and Instagram let you find your perfect prospects through simple hashtag searches. Moreover, you can even use the abovementioned Google’s search operators to find your major keywords and hashtags directly on Google (e.g. site:instagram.com + your keyword)
You should also stay on top of relevant and trending conversations and use social media analytics data to gain an edge. For example, use social media monitoring tools that let you set a list of keywords to track your major keywords and influencers and let you know when someone mentions them on social. This is a great way to find bloggers talking about topics relevant to your niche and connect with them. You can also participate in their conversations in real-time to get yourself noticed and start building stronger relationships with them.
Tactic #3: Use Google’s Reverse Image Search
Google’s reverse image search can boost your link building efforts in multiple ways.
First, it’s super-effective for all those sites that create and share quality visual content, such as graphs, infographics, charts, branded images, and so on. All you need to do is extract a link of the image and paste it into Google’s reverse image search and it will give you a list of the sites where that particular image was published. This is an opportunity for you to find sites that used your content without giving you credits and turn your unlinked mentions into awesome backlinks.
Second, you can find authoritative figures in your niche who build their online by publishing content on highly reputable sites. You just need to enter the link of their headshot into Google’s reverse search and it will show you where this headshot is used. This is a great way to find high-quality link building prospects for your guest blogging campaigns.
Tactic #4: Turn a Broken Link into a Link Building Opportunity
No matter how authoritative a site is, broken links happen. Simply put, if a page a blogger linked to doesn’t exist anymore, its visitors will land on a 404 error page. Faulty links can hurt a site’s authority and user experience and that’s why reputable sites strive to fix them fast.
And, this is where you can help them. When you apply the tactics I’ve explained above and find your perfect link building opportunities, use tools like Check My Links, Dead Link Checker, Screaming Frog, or Ahrefs Broken Link Checker to find pages with a broken link.
You just need to make sure that the anchor text and the subject of the broken link match your content before you reach out to a blogger. The next step is, of course, to reach out to a blogger, inform them about their broken link, and offer your relevant content as a replacement.
Tactic #5: Join HARO to Boost your PR Efforts
Public relations are valuable in the digital marketing sphere, too. Just like in offline marketing, your goal is to earn a mention (and backlink) from a recognized resource. And, this is where sites like HARO can help.
Help a Reporter Out, or simply HARO is an online community of journalists and content creators looking for expert insights on a plentitude of topics. When you register, HARO will start sending you updates Monday through Friday. You should track them regularly to find questions relevant to your niche and send valuable insights to a journalist. If they consider your answer relevant enough, they will mention you as a resource and link back to you.
Apart from gaining a quality link, HARO also amplifies your online authority and lets people perceive you as a credible resource.
Over to You
Finding relevant prospects determines the success of your link building campaign. This is exactly why you need to focus your search on identifying highly authoritative sites that are relevant to your niche and that target the same audiences.
And, I hope these tactics will be your great starting point!
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