You already know that backlinks are crucial to your SEO efforts, but how do you find websites to get links from?
Quality is far more important than quantity in the quest for backlinks, so we need a strategy for finding the best candidates.
In this post, we’ll show you our proven strategy for link prospecting and give you an easy email template for backlink outreach.
What is Link Prospecting?
Link prospecting is finding the best potential websites from which to get backlinks. Depending on your link-building strategy, this involves researching and analyzing potential sites for authority, relevance, and traffic to curate a list of the best prospects for your link-building campaign.
Without a solid prospecting strategy, the rest of your link-building efforts won’t be as effective, so it’s important to start with this essential research phase.
Why is Link Prospecting Important?
Without a solid link prospecting strategy, it’s difficult to know which sites you should get links from and, more importantly, which sites to avoid.
Acquiring backlinks is an effective way to boost your SEO and domain authority, but if you start getting links from poor-quality websites, it can seriously hurt your efforts.
The last thing you want is to attract spammy links to your site, but prospecting ensures you find high-quality sites and boosts your chances of getting links from them.
How to Conduct Link Prospecting
We’re experts at link prospecting and regularly source the best sites for our clients’ link-building campaigns. Here’s a quick guide to how we conduct our link prospecting to help you get the most from your campaign.
- Decide on your link-building strategy.
There are a few effective ways to get links from websites, and your chosen strategy will influence your tactics. We recommend choosing one of the following strategies (listed from easiest to most difficult):
- Digital PR – work with an expert PR firm to handle link-building for you.
- Guest blogging – find opportunities to guest publish on large sites and include a link in your author bio.
- Skyscraper link building – create long-form, high-value blog content that naturally attracts links from other websites.
If you plan on using multiple strategies, you’ll need a clear link prospecting strategy for each. For example, guest blogging requires deep research into websites accepting guest posts, formulating an engaging outreach email campaign, and writing interesting content to post on different websites.
On the other hand, if you plan on creating skyscraper content, you’ll need to do a competitor analysis to determine what content to create and then spend time curating incredibly high-value posts filled with graphics, stats, and research.
- Settle on evaluation criteria and target metrics.
Once you have your strategy set, you also need to establish evaluation criteria. There are certain metrics we use here at Linkifi to ensure potential websites are good sources of backlinks for our clients.
Is the website relevant to your audience? There’s no point getting a link from a high-quality gardening website if you post about social media marketing strategies.
Aim to get links from websites with high topical relevance to boost your SEO. Also, if you’re trying to improve your local SEO, you should aim to build geographically relevant links as well.
The domain rating (DR) shows you how trustworthy a site is and how likely it is to rank in search results. Each site gets a score out of 100, and you should aim to get links from sites with a higher DR than your own.
Moz has a free domain checker that will give you a DR of any website.
The monthly organic traffic a website receives is another indication of its quality. It’s also hard to manipulate, so if you find a site with a high DA but almost zero traffic, you should avoid it.
- Create a list of prospects.
Now you know what to look for, you can start building a list of prospects for your link-building campaign. A quick competitor analysis is one of the easiest ways to do this.
The qualification process is much faster if you can find sites that link to your competitors. You already know they offer quality backlinks and that they’re interested in your niche.
A competitor analysis will also show you what link-building strategy works well. Are your competitors guest blogging? Link-building? Creating skyscraper content?
These insights can help you replicate their success, create better content, and rank higher in SERPs.
Again, tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush are great for conducting a competitive analysis. All you need is a few competitor websites or industry keywords to get started.
- Create an email outreach sequence.
The final piece of the puzzle is creating a winning outreach email sequence that gets your website linked. The entire point of link prospecting is finding the right websites to approach, so don’t waste your efforts with a weak email request.
If you can’t find contact information for a potential website, strike it off your prospect list. You need a valid email address to make your outreach a success.
If you’re struggling with what to write, here is an easy template to follow:
“Hey [Editor’s Name],
I’ve been reading your recent posts about [topic from your industry], and I wanted to let you know that we recently published a report with some stats on this at [your website and blog link].
Interestingly, we’ve found [a concise overview of your blog].
I’ve actually featured your data in the article, and I’d love to get your thoughts on it!
Best, [Your Name]”
This is a great opening to build relationships and shows a keen interest in their website. You could also go for a hard ask at the end of the email if you prefer, but showing a genuine interest in someone’s work is always a great way to get a backlink.
- Combine personalized manual outreach with mass automated outreach.
Personalized outreach does get the best results, but it can be incredibly time-consuming. If you’re a busy business owner, you might not have the time to personally email each prospect and create featured content for everyone.
If so, save this strategy for your top prospects and stick to an automated outreach strategy to help boost your numbers.
Use email automation tools like ConvertKit, Mailchimp, or MailerLite to create automated email campaigns that target your prospect list, automatically follow up to no replies, and track your open rates.
This doesn’t replace the human element of your link-building efforts, but it can help you get your link numbers up to make reaching out to larger publications much easier.
Let Us Take The Headache Out of Link Prospecting
We cannot stress enough how important link-building is for your SEO. Getting backlinks from high-authority websites will easily boost your rankings, improve your domain authority, and increase your traffic.
But we also understand how time-consuming the entire process is. If you want to get high-value backlinks for your website without the headaches, let Linkifi help. We create impactful digital PR campaigns that get our clients backlinks from high-authority websites – no effort required. Check out our PR page for more information.
Link Prospecting FAQs
Why does finding high-quality backlink opportunities matter for SEO?
Having high-quality backlinks pointing to your website shows Google that you are a trusted source of information. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your domain authority, and there is a direct correlation between DA and search rankings.
What to look into when prospecting links?
When prospecting links, look for high-value websites with a higher domain authority than you, a good level of organic traffic, and high relevance to your industry. If you’re just starting out, aim for 40+ domain authority, 1000+ organic website visits, and any niche relevant to your audience.