Link building is a process that is very time consuming in planning and execution depending on what methods you use. It takes a considerable amount of time in its first step of finding link opportunities before it even gets to the outreaching stage, but there are ways to simplify it and save you the manual workload. Here are 5 time-saving techniques that you should consider trying when link building:
A great way to gather confirmed link building opportunities is from looking up backlinks of your competitors using tools such as Moz or Ahrefs. By finding out what sites have accepted guest posts, links on their resource pages, directory listings, etc., for your competitors, you’ll realize that there is a buffet of links for you to outreach to.
Identifying Broken Links
When trying to poach links from resource pages, there’s no need to manually click on each link to see if it leads to a broken page or dead site. There are tools such as Check My Links, a Chrome Extension which effectively highlight any broken links on a webpage, making it easy to identify them.
If you’ve gathered huge lists of URLs from other methods, you can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to crawl them in bulk and identify the broken links for you.
Scraping Links from Website Pages
Finding link opportunities isn’t that difficult when you can cast your net wide and use resources and lists that are already out there. For example, you might find a tourism board’s database with listings of tour operators – you could scrape the websites of these listings using scraper tools such as Scraper for Google Chrome to identify the relevant XPath of an element (if you don’t know how to find it manually in page source) and combining that with the use of Google Sheets formulas which would then pull out the links you want.
E.g. =IMPORTXML(“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization”, “//div/div/ul/li[*]/a/@href”)
More simple ways of doing this are through browser extensions such as Link Grabber which automatically pulls in all URLs on a webpage and allows you to export them to a spreadsheet. LinkClump on the other hand is a similar tool but involves clicking and dragging to select the body of links you want to extract from a webpage. If you want to bulk scrape links from a list of URLs such as for listings that have multiple pages, you can write a VBA script combined with SEOTools on Microsoft Excel to loop through it.
Evaluating Your Gathered Sites
Sometimes you’ll be completely overloaded with lists upon lists of sites that you’ve scraped and compiled. They could be potential opportunities but you’d still need to hop on each to evaluate them yourself. Would you want to click on each, one at a time when checking to see if a site has what you want? Probably not. Luckily there’s browser extensions out there such as Open Multiple URLs which can be used to open up a list of URLs in new tabs for you so that you don’t have to individually click each one. This is great for when you want to quickly skim through websites to see if they’re a good fit for you to link on.
E.g. Open Multiple URLs
When evaluating sites, you can use tools such as NoFollow to see if they support dofollow links on their pages. This will help weed out the sites that won’t add as much value for link building if you are purely going for link juice and not traffic.
Managing Your Outreaches
The outreach process tends to get messy if you’ve outreached to a huge amount of websites. You’ll need to properly manage your outreaches to make the most out of your precious SEO time. A great way to manage this is through an outreach management platform such as BuzzStream especially if you are working across many big clients within a team, as it enables you to set tasks for outreaching, deadlines for sending follow up emails, and to track which websites you’ve already outreached to in a very user friendly interface.
The cost effective alternative is making use of Google Sheets. Customize a link building document to keep track of your link building opportunities and outreaches. This document should include a sheet for tracking websites you’ve outreached to and their status, a sheet for logging links acquired and a sheet for summarizing your overall progress. You can implement various formulae to make the document more responsive so you don’t have to manually input into every element.
E.g. Links Acquired