There are tons of methods out there for identifying link building opportunities, but I wanted to highlight some for those who are new to link building.
Most of old school SEOs will know about these methods or use similar tactics to find the same info, but this list may be useful to businesspeople and hoteliers looking to try their hand at hotel marketing and who want to take the next step with their skills.
Below you’ll find a variety of tools that will help you find out where your brand or niche is being mentioned.
This post is meant to show you how to find opportunities. It is up to you to figure out the best way to create relationships, and eventually turn those relationships into link building opportunities.
1. Google Alerts
Using Google Alerts is one of the best ways to find out who is mentioning topics relevant to your business. The set-up process is simple.
1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
2. Enter a search query you wish to follow
3. Identify which results you wish to see.
4. Repeat for other queries related to your content.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you have a piece of textual content that explains “How to build a paper airplane” in a step by step process.
1. Create a Google Alert for “How to Build a Paper Airplane”.
2. Use quotations around the query if you want an exact match.
3. Choose Result Type – Video.
4. Choose language, region, how often and how many results you want.
Now when a Google Alert comes to your inbox you can reach out to the creator of the video and explain that you have some supporting content on How To Build a Paper Airplane in text form, and suggest they link to it. You may need to give them a reason to link to your content. Maybe you have some paper airplanes in your content that are not covered in the video, or your content could still help the user if the video wouldn’t play for some reason. You will need to figure out a reason why your content would be a good support piece.
Now this is a very basic example of finding related content, but you can replace “How To Build a Paper Airplane” with actual content you have created. The point here is to find other forms of content that are very similar to your content, and offer your content as an addition to what they already have.
ProTip: Google Alerts are also great for content creation ideas. Seeing what others are saying about your valuable keywords can spark ideas to create your own content around that topic.
2. Fresh Web Explorer
Moz subscribers can take advantage of their “Fresh Web Explorer” tool.
2. Enter the keyword you wish to see mentions for
3. Use Search Operators (mentioned below keyword field) to refine your search
4. Select date range
This will spit out all the results Moz has found for mentions of your keyword for your given date range. Now it’s up to you to find your linking opportunities.
An easy way to find linking opportunities with Fresh Web Explorer is to find exact match mentions of your brand name. If a site has mentioned your brand, but has not yet linked to you, reach out to them. Thank them for mentioning your brand and ask them if they would include a link along with the mention.
3. Competitor Links
This is an old school link building tactic to some, but it still works. The idea here is to find sites that are linking to two or more of your competitors and figure out how you can also get a link.
There are myriad tools out there like majesticseo.com and ahrefs.com that will show which sites are sending links to your competitors. You can download these lists and put them into an excel file. Next you will want to identify which sites are linking to your competitors but not linking to you. You can do this by identifying duplicate values in your excel sheet.
There are also some tools out there that will allow you to enter a few competitor domains and will give you a list of sites that link to one or more of your competitors which makes this process much easier.
Once you have determined which sites link to multiple competitors, you then need to determine where those links are coming from. Is it a list of related sites? Did your competitors blog for that site? After you figure out how they got their links, pursue the same path and get a link for yourself.
4. Finding Brand or URL Misspellings
Typos are inevitable. Everyone makes them now and again. But when someone misspells your brand name or URL you may be missing out on a valuable link. This tool http://tools.seobook.com/spelling/keywords-typos.cgi is awesome for finding common typos.
Start by entering your brand name and selecting each of the common typo fields. Copy that list and enter it into an excel sheet. Next put your TLD in the second column and concatenate the first and second columns into the third column.
Now copy that third column and enter it into MajesticSEO.com Bulk Backlink Checker and sort by # of external back links.
Find which of those misspellings have links pointing to them and reach out to the site owner for a correction. For a detailed explanation of this tactic check out http://tlcseo.com/brand-link-misspellings/
5. Using Search Operators
Another old school tactic that’s still effective is using search operators. (more info on search operators http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2229574/Advanced-Search-Operator-Tactics) You can use search operators like “inurl:keywords” to find URLs that contain your target keywords, or use “intitle:keywords” to find sites that have your keyword in their page title.
By using search operators you should be able identify pages that are similar to yours, or at least focus on a related topic. You may have some additional content to offer, or content they could link to, or you could possibly even write for their site if they allow it. It’s really up to you to figure out the best way to get a link from a related site.
6. Using Directories
Submitting your site to a directory isn’t the only way to use them. You can also use directories to find related sites. Since directory submissions were still big in SEO a few years ago, many companies have submitted their sites and labeled them under certain categories, or submitted to niche directories.
Identify major directories like DMOZ and find other sites that are listed in your category. You can also search for directories that focus on your niche. These directories will give you a list of sites that fall under the same category as your site. Once you have a list of related sites, check them out and figure out how you could possibly earn a link from them. This part is very much like using search operators. You will end up with a bunch of sites that are related, but it’s up to you to determine how you’re going to get that link.
7. Monitor Social Media
Socialmention.com is a great way to see who’s talking about your business or niche in real time. Simply visit their site and enter your brand name or any of your top search terms to see who’s talking about you and where.
Once you find out who is talking about you or your niche, you can reach out directly. Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or other social platform. Establish a relationship with those interested in your business and you could possibly earn links from them in the future.
This is perfect for implementing Jay Baer’s “Youtility” tactic. Socialmention will allow you to see if someone is asking a question on social media that your brand can answer or solve, go help that person!
If you’d like to automate this, SocialMention also has alerts similar to Google Alerts that will send you a daily report of their findings.
If you are focusing on twitter, or just want to see who’s tweeting about the things you care about, check out Twilert.com. Twilert lets you stay on top of what’s being said about you on twitter by letting you track tweets about your name, brand, product, hashtag or twitter handle.
Followerwonk will allow you to dig deeper into your twitter following. With followerwonk you can find people to connect with, compare twitter accounts to identify overlaps and target new influencers. Seeing things like day of the week and time of day people are talking about your brand will help you understand the best times to try and get your content in front of your audience and hopefully some links.
10. Hyper Alerts
Hyper Alerts are similar to Twilert, but for Facebook. Hyper Alerts lets you track a Facebook page and send you a summary of posts & comments. SEOs on the agency side will love this because you can track multiple pages and get separate alerts for each. Getting these social media alerts open you up to a world of link building possibilities. Seeing who is talking about you and what they’re saying can definitely help you build relationships that eventually evolve into goodwill and links. HyperAlerts has since run out of time and resources so they’ve made HyperAlerts open source moving forward.