Links are still important; it is still being used by search engines as an important ranking factor to determine how a webpage will be placed in SERP depending on relevancy and ranking power. These links are counted as votes for websites so search engines can determine which websites that have natural and unnatural link building method. Having said that, instead of building links for your website in a large scale, why don’t you focus your 50% effort in finding link opportunities where you can naturally and ethically build links to your website, right?
Finding link opportunities can take most of your time but the benefits you can get from it is definitely satisfying. But this post can help you make your campaign uncomplicated and trouble free. Also, since you will not be aggressively linking links, you should not be worried too much about Google penalty. So let’s get started.
Google alert is the best way to track your web mentions from other websites all over the web. This can help you discover new fresh content with your brand name or name being mentioned in content. You can also monitor if someone is talking bad about your brand or name using this alert. By doing this, you can see if they are linking to you or just mentioning you without link that points to your site. In this way, you can reach out to the webmaster of that website to ask if they can include your link in the post that you are mentioned on.
The benefits of using it for link opportunities
You can find unlinked mentions turn into links
You can discover new people in your industry that you can connect with
You can increase the ranking power flowing to your site
Another great tool to monitor your mentions is to use Mention.net, a similar to Google alerts but the difference is it can track your mentions from different source such as Social, Forum and Web mentions which are absolutely helpful if you are looking to expanding your contacts and alliances. But the sad thing about this is, this is not a free tool like Google alerts so you have to at least pay the service.
Check your competitors’ links
Conducting a quick review on link profile of your competitors can give you relevant and high quality link prospects that you can also gain in an easy way. Obviously, they would not want to have crappy links in their link profile so you can assume that 70% of their links are white hat and high quality. In this way, you can sort of figure out what kind of link building approach they are implementing and once you see the websites that can give you quality links, you can do your own thing to contact the webmaster and request to have your link in a form of info-graphic, video presentation, slide presentation or content hosted on their website.
You can use Majestic SEO, Opensite Explorer or Ahrefs’ backlink checker tools to see what kind of links they have and you can check their referring domains section to identify if they link they acquired is editorial or non-editorial. In this way, you will easily figure out the top referring pages to your competitors’ links so if they got the links from those resource pages, you will absolutely get a chance to link from them as well.
Tips in using your competitors’ links for link opportunities:
Pick the top and relevant referring pages only to avoid having problem with low quality domains
Choose the ones with strong social and readers’ engagement to widen your online exposure
Broken link building
Another way to find link opportunity is to find broken links on high ranking websites in your industry. It is a way of helping the webmaster of the websites that you will find with broken links. Since broken links can sometime annoy internet users, its better not to have them at all and since higher ranking websites can pass authority to your website, the benefit of practicing it to increase the domain authority of your website is definitely a good idea. Although you can’t be sure whether it will bring any traffic to your website, it’s still worth doing this for your website.
If you are looking for broken links, you can look for resource pages in your industry and run a quick check on those pages to see if you will find any broken link. In this way, you will have a good reason why you are contacting the webmaster in the first place.
Once you spotted the pages that have broken links, you can then send an email to the webmaster of those websites saying that you've spotted a broken link on their resource pages and you would like to offer a link for replacement
Tools you can use for finding broken links:
Good thing about broken link building:
It’s not manipulative and you can build webmaster to webmaster relationship
You can obtain high quality links from resource pages
Resource pages have higher chances of ranking in SERP
Check out my post about broken link building
Finally, finding link opportunities is a better way of building links to your website. Although it does not put your website on top of search for your target keyword in a short period of time, you can be sure that your website will not be penalized due to this campaign. Also, finding link opportunities will not consume most of your time so while waiting for new link opportunities, focus on updating your website in a regular basis that will help your audience the most.
Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippine-based Online Marketing blog. Joseph has been working in SEO industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ and Ahrefs.