Sites that link to more than one of your competitors are must-have links that should be easy to get. Ken McGaffin shows you to find them.
Have you found your must-have easy-to-get links?
Co-linking sites are perfect targets for a new link building campaign because you have a high chance of getting a link from them.
Just work out what those other sites did to get their links and do the same.
Of course, before you beat your competitors you need to at least match them. And that’s why we call co-linking sites a campaign’s must-have links.
How to find your co-linking must-have links
There is a hard way …
You could use any number of tools to gather lists of the sites that link to your competitors’ sites. Then put all those lists into a spreadsheet and use vlookup formulas to find those that appear in more than one list. Enough, already …
… then there is the easy way …
Enter a target keyword into Wordtracker Link Builder, click a button and in a few moments it will find you a bunch of co-linking must-have links. See the example report below:
The co-link count in the right hand column shows you how many 'sources' the link prospect links to.
So let's look at some of the types of link prospects that can be found in the co-linking strategy and explain how you should approach them.
Here are just some:
- General directories
- Specialist directories
- Affiliate marketers
- Expert recommendations
- Editorial coverage
I’m going to use the outdoor clothing market to give examples. We’ll start with the easiest and work our way up.
General directories - directories are very simple. You just follow the guidelines and if they need a fee you pay that fee and as long as you've done that then you get a link also remember to choose your linking text carefully.
Here’s the directory, JoeAnt.com among the prospects. Click on ‘links to’ and the record will expand to show you who in the market JoeAnt.com links to. The ‘top links’ column will give you the actual page on which the link sits:
Follow one of the links and here’s what you see:
So as you’d expect, lots of outdoor clothing links. To get a link all you have to do is pay the fee or apply to become an editor, where in return for reviewing submissions you get yours for free. JoeAnt.com makes it easy to sign up:
Industry specific directories - You also find industry specific directories in the co-linking strategy and those will of course just concentrate on your own industry. Browsing through the list of prospects, ExpeditionQuest.com seems interesting:
Click on 'links to' and the record will expand:
Now we know that this is a directory link so let’s click on /expesearch/expesearch.ell and have a look at how we can get a link:
Again we find lots of links to outdoor clothing websites. You’ll also see prominent ‘Suggest a URL’ links. Click and this box opens up:
That is it – all you have to do is submit your details.
Forums and discussion groups - and other types of social sites can be great places to get links from: you can identify those by looking through the prospects in the strategy. Here’s Bushcraftusa.com:
Explore the site and if you decide it’s of interest join up and start participating in the community.
Affiliate marketers - ie, people or organizations who are looking to take a percentage of any sale they help generate, can also be easily found within the co-linking strategy. They are looking for a straight commercial opportunity: the good thing for you is that they don't require a payment upfront but a percentage once a sale has been made.
Blogs – these are a great way to find people writing about your industry. They link out freely and are often easy to contact. Here’s Campingblogger.net that links to multiple sites:
Here’s one of the articles I’ve picked out. Reading articles on the blog will tell you what sort of material they’re likely to be interested in hearing about.
And with blogs, always look out for guest blogging opportunities as you can see here:
Informal lists – many sites that are not formal directories still publish lists of resources and it is worth keeping an eye out for such opportunities. Here’s one I spotted from Uberpest.com:
Follow the link and you’ll see the lists the site publishes. In this case, there’s no direct contact information but don’t let that put you off. Start to follow the site on Twitter and interact with the owner.
Expert recommendations - the army of experts who comment on and recommend products in your market. They will usually be very busy people and they guard their reputations carefully. So they'll want to make sure that your product or your website is worth recommending. Here’s an example from GearPatrol.com:
Have a look around the site and you see that there are multiple editorial opportunities. If you think your products or website stands up to scrutiny, get in touch. Here’s the ‘About us’ page from the site:
Editorial links - these can vary from magazine type articles or sites right through the top newspaper or top television websites, all of which can provide editorial links.
But such links are not easy to get. You really must have a good news story or present yourself in the right sort of way to catch their interest.
However, if you do succeed, you’ll get lots of free publicity and lots of bonus links from blogs commenting on the story. Read the Academy section on Online PR to find out more about approaching editorial opportunities.
Here’s an example from a specialist magazine:
Backpacker publishes guidelines on getting in touch:
And here’s an example from a major media outlet:
- There are a wide variety of link prospects within the co-linking strategy. They are high probability prospects if you approach them in the right way.
- Spend some time looking through the list of prospects, picking out sites that you would be interested in getting a link from.
- Look for easy submission opportunities – the kind you get from specialized directories.
- Look for individual bloggers with whom you can build a relationship.
- Look for informal lists where you could be included.
- Practice looking for great stories within your own business and start approaching experts and journalists with story ideas.
Try Link Builder free for 7 days
So there really is a tool for link builders that will help you research and find social media prospects, plan your campaigns, and monitor targets.
It’s Wordtracker Link Builder. You can register now for a free 7 day trial
About Ken McGaffin
Ken McGaffin is an experienced internet marketing consultant and has worked for major pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, government bodies and non-profit organizations.
Ken unveils the secrets of successful link building in his 384-page e-book, Successful Link Building
You can watch recordings of his extremely popular (and free) Link Building Webinars