Link building and outreach can in effect be done at different budget levels but to run a successful link building and outreach campaign then it’s worth investing in a few tools to help streamline the process and to enable you to put your resources into contacting the highest value sites to get the biggest impact for your site or for your clients.
Here at 90 Digital we use a handful of tools and websites that we find the most effective for the job in hand which are; Majestic, archive.org, BuzzStream and QueText. These tools are used on a regular basis in the link building team and here’s how…
For most link building campaigns you’ll set some minimum metrics you want to be looking for when deciding which sites to use. For us we choose to use Trust Flow as our main metric and for this you use Majestic. Majestic is an easy tool to use and has an extension “Backlink Analyzer” which once installed sits in your toolbar and on every site you want to check the Trust Flow for you simply click the Majestic icon and a little pop down tells you the sites Trust Flow, Citation Flow, external backlinks and referring domains. We’ve written more about why we chose to use Trust Flow over Domain Authority here.
The next step we use whilst evaluating a site is to try and determine if it’s a dropped domain. You will no doubt come across sites that have everything you have asked for in regards to metrics, but if you delve deeper you can sometimes find these sites to have a different history to what you see now. For this we use a simple website tool called archive.org.
You simply add the site URL to the search bar and select “Search archived web sites”, a few moments later you can view screenshots of this domain from when it was first created. At this point you can decide if the site still holds its value to you or if for example you’re looking at a travel blog that once was a web design blog in its heyday is that really where you want to be placing your links?
Collating a list of blogs and monitoring your activity along with co-workers if you are part of a team requires a tool like BuzzStream. Like Majestic you can download an extension that adds a Buzzmarker to your toolbar making it very easy to add a site to your overall list of sites. BuzzStream also does some of the hard work for you in that it will pull data from the site, emails, contact names and even some metrics. That being said it’s always worth double checking you are going to use the right email if there’s multiple options yourself, nothing beats the personal touch after all!
Once in the main part of BuzzStream you can filter your sites into categories, add tags and even contact sites directly from there (you will have connected your email beforehand) creating an email template and allowing you to contact a larger number of sites in a short amount of time, however this should be met with caution, BuzzStream pulls data from the site into the email to help personalise and if the data isn’t all there the generated email will have gaps and will look unprofessional and spammy.
On top of all the above, BuzzStream allows you to add links to each site, so if you have successfully built a link to a site for your client, you add it in and it will track the link making sure everything remains as it should.
If you’re using copywriters to write your content to place on a site then it’s always worth double checking the content they send to you for plagiarism with a tool like QueText. Yes they should probably be doing this before they send content to you, but ultimately if you send on content that is deemed has been copied from elsewhere you’re the one that’s in trouble more so than the writer. What makes this tool better than others like Grammarly’s plagiarism checker or Copyscape is that it’s able to identify not only exact matches but near-exact matches and their sources. As a rule of thumb articles shouldn’t have more than 10% near-exact matches and no exact matches.