At what point in an SEO campaign do you start building links?
@BlueJeansPoet As soon as you have good content to link to!
@tannerpetroff Simplest answer: when I have something worth linking to.
@SocialMichelleR You should have relationships in place to build linked content from in the planning stage.
@AndreeaC_T Definitely! Identify link sources and build those before hand! Great advice!
@SarahFromDC As soon as we have enough quality content to not look like idiots or spammers!
@AndreeaC_T Immediately once you know your keywords and onsite pages are done. Linkbuilding takes time. Start as early as you can.
@CaitlinBoroden Typically, it’s smart to get some of the big technical problems out of the way first. Then start. Also! Don’t build links until you have a strong understanding of the clients/your own audience.
@tannerpetroff Yeah, no sense in building links to pages with dup. content or that will be 301’d down the road.
@CaitlinBoroden Absolutely! A perfect example.
@netvantage After the site audit is complete assessed. Site audit > link building.
@DavidProHQ Well, you want to have your house in order before you bring people to it, so after on-page SEO is taken care of.
@OC2015 When you have something worth linking to. Concepts and prototypes deserve love too, but don’t bother if there is no value yet. Redirects can do wonders, but always be sure that you begin LB with the new site immediately.
@emily_C27 Following a content audit to know what stays & what needs to be optimized vs what is top qual.
@allmikehall Get your keyword research and website audit taken care of. Sometimes websites don’t need much LB if in non-competitive industry.
@GoBrandify First assess your current efforts, then use your analysis to build your links
@kotmseo Backlinks affect domain authority, so something 2 look at in beginning; building new links tends 2 happen after on-page opts.
What are some FREE ways to identify link opportunities?
@SocialMichelleR Twitter search for bloggers writing on related topics.
@DavidProHQ This is one of my favorite tactics as well. IFTTT custom Twitter search to Google spreadsheet.
@MichaelBurjack Can look at strong referring domains, maybe there’s a natural fit with someone already sending refs your way.
@AndreeaC_T I use free tools to check competitor links and research those.
@BlueJeansPoet Look at other sites that have content gaps your site fills and contact them
@netvantage Use advanced search modifiers to collect lists of high quality link prospects
@PeterThistle Understand the business, where it fits into the economic ecosystem, who cares about them, who do they care about.
@allmikehall Ask the client to see if they can help with links. They might have some industry buddies that will happily link to them.
@CaitlinBoroden Great point! They will also likely have an in on some of the niche (but still well know) industry websites, etc.
@SarahFromDC We compare channel analytics (Facebook, website, etc) to see where our audience is going / coming from & build links from there.
@GoBrandify Do some research on social media to see authoritative figures/sources to link to you.
@tannerpetroff Google searches + Moz/OSE + @screamingfrog can give you some incredible insights on link opportunities.
@DavidProHQ Competitor link analysis, broken link building, guest posting opportunities, link reclamation, some directory submissions.
@kotmseo Ask friends/customers to share on social, link swap.
How do you qualify whether a particular link opportunity is worth pursuing?
@netvantage Relevant? Non-manipulative? Updated? Probably a decent target.
@kotmseo Check their domain authority to see if the effort is worth it.
@tannerpetroff Relevance and context. Then I’ll look at things like DA and PA. If it’s not relevant, it’s not worth it.
@SocialMichelleR Relevance is my top qualifier. Be sure to leave room for a little serendipity.
@SarahFromDC Number crunching! Who’s saying what about them, how many quality followers do they have, etc.
@SocialMichelleR I agree that we want influencers, but sometimes you have to let timing and availability decide.
@allmikehall Great place to start is competitor co-citations. Find pages and websites that link to multiple competitors.
@AndreeaC_T Start with page rank for a quick glance. Then look more deeply at their content & social presence.
@CaitlinBoroden Relevancy, Authority, Strong social activity to help get it out there?
@OC2015 Use a 1 in 10 rule. Common sense and bit of research can go a long way to identifying worthwhile linking opportunities.
Let’s get specific. What are the metrics you use to qualify a good link opp?
@allmikehall I use Majestic stats – Page TrustFlow is the first stat I look at
@AndreeaC_T You can check @kred & @klout for deeper insight.
@Perfect_Search Thoughtful research! Look at the source, the quality of their posts, and if it will provide good, unique content.
@DavidProHQ Actually visiting the site. Checking backlinks with @moz, @ahrefs, & @tryMajestic – doing some Google searches for their site. Metrics: Look at DA, look at number of referring domains (not just links), Ahrefs Domain Rank, Majestic Trust Score.
@tannerpetroff If a site doesn’t pass the eyeball test, the metrics mean nothing to me.
@netvantage Yep! Finding ways to “see” the page first is ideal. Look at page data, urls to identify type of page before visiting.
@MichaelBurjack Additionally: does it look like the site owners are contactable and responsive? Seems basic, but.
@DavidProHQ Right, is contact info present? Which is an element the spam score for OSE looks for.
@tannerpetroff DA, PA, mT # of LRD’s, # linking C-blocks, internal vs external links, etc.
How do you look for unlinked brand or product mentions?
@DavidProHQ “[brand name]” -site:http://brandish.com -site:http://amazon.com. Also, Talkwalker Alerts and Fresh Web Explorer.
@thompsonpaul Setting up TalkWalker alerts for primary terms is usually where I start.
@CaitlinBoroden I learned a nifty trick for @reddit recently. add .rss to the end of any subreddit to get the feed. From there use @IFTTT to monitor for keywords you specify.Example: https://www.reddit.com/r/bigseo.rss
@ireyfish Buzzsumo definitely for brand mentions
@tannerpetroff Got a logo? Reverse image search! See who’s not linking. Scored many links that way.
@AJUTAH I don’t use a lot of paid tools, but Open Site Explorer is indispensable for me for analyzing link opportunities. Use Fresh Web Explorer from @moz to find brand and product mentions. Then reach out for a link!
@DavidProHQ I’m totally with you, but sometimes they’re link index is slow to update. I use @ahrefs and @tryMajestic as well.
@kotmseo I use Google Alerts to find unlinked brand or product mentions.
@CaitlinBoroden I don’t know if it’s just me but I never have much luck with Google Alerts.
@DavidProHQ me neither. I use Talkwalker Alerts. Tons better.
@allmikehall Can also look for mentions of owners of company, links to social media accounts but not websites.
@emily_C27 Did we mention http://mention.com ? + Google alerts
@GoBrandify A few ways but the first thing to do is look on search engines. There are also tools like @Mention / @BuzzSumo.
Directories. Yay or nay? Why?
@AndreeaC_T Nay mostly. Some are business sites are legit. But I tell companies to stay away from them.
@CaitlinBoroden Ohh directories. Yes, some key ones. Don’t go crazy now and add it everywhere
@tannerpetroff ‘Directories’ is a vague term. Local directories? Absolutely. Super mega web 2.0 directories? Steer clear
@DavidProHQ I believe there are still a few directories that are worth submitting yourself to (i.e. DMOZ, Crunchbase, Yellowpage)
@AndreeaC_T It makes sense for some depending on the industry, especially those associated w/ a publication.
@_Fidelitas For local SEO, it’s imperative to submit biz info to directories. Outside of that, we like a few niche directories.
@netvantage Sure there’s manipulative directories out there, but many your website should be in. Especially local businesses.
@SarahFromDC Yes for local listings or niche – but those enormous directories that are just lists of every site under the sun are terrible.
@GoBrandify For #localsearch- A big, loud YAY! Make sure that you are providing these directories with accurate & consistent data.
@emily_C27 Yay to a point. I’d say to make sure you’re listed in the major directories; don’t waste too much time on the little guys
@allmikehall Ignoring links, some niche directories can be really important. Know many companies that get referral traffic from directories.
@PeterThistle Some top level directories for local search, others may be worth cleaning up if already present but inaccurate (common!).
How about broken links and 404 pages. How can you find opportunities in your niche?
@_Fidelitas One of our favorite ways is to help webmasters that have malware. This not only builds links but it builds relationships.
@ireyfish we use ahrefs. Pretty effective
@emily_C27 As part of your outreach efforts, kindly inform a site if they are showing a 404 & provide them your relative link. Be helpful.
@AJUTAH That’s key. Would linking to your site be helpful for *their* visitors?
@allmikehall .Gov websites do a bad job with redirects. Backlink checker – top pages – 404 pages relevant to you.
@tannerpetroff Broken link building is my favorite. Read this guide and tell me it isn’t awesome. My secret to broken link building is replacing a valuable resource that no longer exists. Check Wayback Machine.
@CaitlinBoroden Blog posts with nicely formatted table of contents are the best. Big thumbs up.
@allmikehall Also do a Google search – search tools – Custom date range.
@CaitlinBoroden Pull your backlink portfolio from OSE, WMT, etc. Pull all the links into a txt doc and do a list crawl in @screamingfrog.
@netvantage Finding relevant broken links can be tough. Xenu’s Check URL List feature is fantastic for identifying many BL’s on many pages.
@DavidProHQ Plenty of opportunities. I like to build linkable assets/resources and build broken links with something very valuable
@GoBrandify If you spot a broken link or 404, check the backlinks and focus on the getting the right link to the owner.
@ammicallef Broken link building is really successful if your link is a relevant replacement. Check My Links extension to find broken links.
@kotmseo You could also create a really cool 404 page that features your most popular content.
@thompsonpaul Using a broken link checker browser extension while running through relevant WikiPedia pages finds gold.
@AJUTAH Wikipedia links are tough How can you make sure they stick? Sometimes moderators can be territorial.
@tannerpetroff Those are tough. Anything you write has to be extremely unbiased. Links stick better if they’re solid resources.
@thompsonpaul Agreed re territorial WikiPedia moderators but much easier when replacing existing broken link w/ equivalent value resource
@MichaelBurjack Of course all of Wikipedia’s links are nofollow … in theory
How can you stay “White Hat” and build links through a contest/giveaway?
@_Fidelitas Email 200 blogs about your contest and let them know it’s beneficial for their audience. It will generate buzz and buzz=links. You could also create a unique contest that’s never been done before and get some PR for it (after you do some outreach).
@SarahFromDC Ooo absolutely! Did this for a travel site – got specific travel bloggers to participate, embed a contest image/link, and tweet
@netvantage Give away a product or service for free to key influencers and ask for them to review it.
@tannerpetroff It’s always possible to stay white-hat with contests. Just get them in front of the right people.
What’s a good ratio of follow:nofollow links a site should have in their portfolio?
@markdhansen What about review websites? Do links from these places (e.g., https://www.g2crowd.com ) count for much?
@tannerpetroff I don’t think there’s a golden ratio, but if all your links are follow, or all are nofollow, that could be a problem.
@SarahFromDC We haven’t looked much into ratio yet (maybe we should?) but we generally go on a case-by-case basis for quality, etc.
Share your favorite linkbuilding resources and tools
@CaitlinBoroden Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics and refresh.
@AJUTAH This creative link building list from @PointBlankSEO is money.
@allmikehall Check My Links + Link Clump (browser extensions), Co-citation tool from @CitationLabs.
@kotmseo Well, I just started reading @Entrepreneur’s “Ultimate Guide to Link Building” by @ericward, so hoping to learn more about it.
@netvantage For finding broken links: Xenu, Screaming Frog, Check My Links