People always ask me the question: “What tools do you use for link building?” The honest answer is I don’t really use tools to build links, when I started out in SEO I was working in a world that wasn’t really aware of SEO tools, that couldn’t quite believe that the SEO bubble as it was seen back then would burst – there was certainly no money for investment in SEO technology. Even now that SEO is an accepted part of the marketing process I still look back on my early days, remember that I’ve come from a content background and try to stick with that.
The great thing about this is I’ve got a firm background in doing everything manually; I’ve grafted and learnt how to get links from the ground up without employing techniques that are ethically dubious.
I think it’s still a good idea to learn the basics when you’re first getting into SEO. This gives you a good level of understanding and the core skills required for the job.
The kind of things a good SEO should be able to do:
- Handle FTP
- Create a static webpage
- Get listed on paid for and non-paid for directories
- Write a keyword targeting article
- Write and distribute a press release
- Rewrite the Meta Title and Description for a website
- Amend the alt tags of the images on a site
Saying all of that I’m going to look into how you can best utilize link building techniques from a billy basic new starter point of view.
What are the best tools for Link Building?
- Excel (other spreadheet programs do exist)
You can get more links than you can imagine getting the above tools, what’s more by doing this the good old fashioned way you can you won’t be reliant on SEO tools that can lead to you being hit by Google in the future.
How to use Google to find links
There are loads of different techniques employed by SEOs to find link sources in Google and I’m not going to give you a long list of the. Try searching for KEWYORD –site:WEBSITE replacing keyword and website as required. You’ll get the hang of these types of search queries after a while and they’ll give you a good indication of what to look out for. Once you’ve got to this stage you may want to start using some of Google’s advanced search functions to really drill down into the data.
Make a note of interesting sites that your competitors are getting links from.
Get The Right Contact Details
It’s really important that you get the right contact details for the websites you find. If you can’t find the contact details on a site fast, then move on. Again – note them down in your spreadsheet.
Send an email out – do this straight away
Don’t wait until you’ve got 20 prospective email address in a spreadsheet then send out a generic spammy email asking for a link. Send out unique emails to each prospect.
The more you can personalise the emails the better chance you’ve got at getting that link.
Keep a note of the progress
Note down in the spreadsheet if you have heard back from them, if the email has bounced, if you have got an out of office report and what the date the person is back.
Don’t get disheartened; I’d be surprised if you get a great response to start off with. If you don’t hear anything – follow up, there are a couple of ways that you can do this, either email them again, or ring them! It’s really easy to ignore an email, it’s not as easy to ignore someone on the phone and you never know – you just might get that contact that completely changes your business, look at this as an opportunity to network.
Obviously, if they aren’t interested, they aren’t interested, you can’t force them to do anything they don’t want to.
Keep track of the responses in your spreadsheet. You can mark each response with traffic lights to make it easy to see at a glance what the responses have been like.
How to keep a record of link building
It’s really important that you keep a record of the link building you’re doing. You need to know what links are having a positive impact. Record your links like this:
- Anchor Text
- URL linked to
You might want to think about recording some other information here as well such as:
- Domain Authority
- PageRank of page
- Cache date in Google
How to become a master link builder
If you’ve managed to get through this process the then you’ll have probably picked up a few links. At this point it’s a good time to say there are tools out there that can help you out with elements of the process without actually doing the doing.
Even if you do decide to go down the route of choosing to use SEO tools if you’ve got a foundation in manual link building you can’t go far wrong.