Link Builder allows you to quickly and easily find vast numbers of potential sites to link to you. With this guide you will learn to use powerful features to find, segment and generate contact details for potential sites. This article is an ideal first step into the world of Link Builder.
In the next five steps you will learn how to start and maintain your link building campaign, right through from starting a new campaign to analyzing your own back link profile. Link Builder has some powerful features and learning to use them will result in a better link building campaign.
Step 1. Create a new campaign
Log into the tool and click on the 'Start a new campaign' link:
Now you will be presented with the new campaign form. This is really easy to fill in (the numbers in red correspond to the instructions below):
1. Enter the website you want to build links for. Let’s say I want to get more links for Wordtracker. I would enter 'wordtracker.com' here.
2. Keywords in this case are the terms which roughly define the theme of your website and the terms you want to rank for when people search for them. Enter up to five, but just a couple will do to get started. So for Wordtracker I might enter:
3. Enter the domains of some of your competitors here. Remember these are your online competitors, so those who rank above you for the terms you want people to find you on.
NB: You can enter up to five keywords and competitors in each field. Entering five in both will give the best results.
4. Just click the 'Create campaign' button and you’re done. It really is that simple!
Then wait for the campaign to build. You might need to be a little patient: the more keywords and competitors you entered the longer it will take to build. Don’t worry though, it will carry on in the background and be there ready for you, even if you turn off your computer.
Step 2. Use the Filters
So you are now looking at a big list of prospects. Each row represents a potential link. However you need to be realistic about the type of sites which are most likely to link back to you. The ‘Magic Middle’
is a great way to start getting some good prospects. This is why we pre-build some simple filters for you and apply them from the start. However don’t rely just on these filters, the more you build the more tailored the results will be to your needs.
So hit the filter button at the top of the Prospects table:
You now need to select the filter settings you want to use to refine the prospects available:
In this example I have chosen to filter by 'Top link' to show me all of the Prospects that link to a competitor from a page with keywords in the URL. I’ve also given the filter an easy to remember name (SEO) as it’s added to my filter list so I can remove or apply it again easily:
Step 3. Using the Strategies
So you’ve created a Campaign and started to filter your Prospects and you’re still not seeing anything of interest. A good place to start is by looking in the Strategies we've developed for you:
This shows the different methods we have used to find prospective sites to gain links from:
Guest Post - Sites relevant to the keywords that you used to set up the campaign and also contain terms such as “write here” or “guest blogger” indicating that they may accept guest posts.
Mentions - Sites which mention your domain name but we don’t think link to you. If your site has a very generic name, such as www.shoes.com this won’t work well. However more specific domain names such as www.wordtracker.com
will provide more relevant results
Co-linking - These are sites which have a link from at least two of your competitors. This can be a great way to quickly dig out easy to get links and find where you may be missing out on something your competitors are taking advantage of.
Comp. Links - (ie, Competitor Links) Sites which link to a single competitor. You will find lots of different potential prospects here. However this is the least targeted strategy, so you'll need to do more filtering to make them relevant.
We’ve created some great preset strategies, however because everyone has different ways of working we've have kept things flexible by letting you create your own custom strategies. You can use this to add more prospects of different types into the campaign
Click the green and white '+' icon at the top of Strategies to open the Custom Strategy interface:
Custom Strategies work by building a search containing the elements in the dropdown menus. To add a new element you just hit the green and white '+' at the end of the row. The best way to learn how this works is just to get in there and give it a try. For more information you can find an extensive Guide to Custom Strategies here
Step 4. Find and add a contact
Once you've gone through the process of identifying the sites that you want to link to you, you'll of course want to find out how to contact them.
We suggest that putting a contact into your G+ circles or following them on Twitter is a better way to make that initial contact than immediately firing off emails to your chosen prospects.
Let’s say I’ve found a site I think would be great to get a link from. All I need to do is hit the ‘Contact data’ button:
This sets off a process where we start looking across a range of sources for contact details linking to that website.
When we find some information we then turn the row green to indicate we’ve found something. The button will now say ‘Show Contact data’. Hit this to see what we’ve found:
We’ve found a Google+ profile for this prospect. Great, add them to your Circles, comment on their posts, build a relationship with them. People are much more open to communicating with new contacts via social media, rather than by replying to an email from someone they've never met before.
You will want to save the contact so that you can refer back to it. Just select the tickbox next to the details you want to save and hit ‘Save contact.’ To see the added contact go to the Contacts tab, where you'll see it listed:
We also automatically tag the Contact based on the type of Prospect we think they are. This makes your Contacts incredibly easy to sort and manage as they will always be tagged into groups of website types.
Step 5. Analyze your own links
Link building is about getting new links, but just like most things, a little prior preparation can go a long way. So this last step will guide you through finding the sites which link to you and understanding them. We talk about this in much more detail in this article
but this should get you started ...
The first thing to do is to select the Analysis tab from the top of the page:
This opens up the backlink analysis table which shows the pages which link to you and the anchor text used within those links. The value (Trust Flow - find out more about where we get that from
of both the page on your site the link points to and the page the link is on is also given:
The table is flexible, so you can reorder the columns by clicking and dragging them within the heading or gettting rid of the ones which you are not using with the 'Show / hide columns' menu:
Now you know who is linking to you already, you can find out more information on how to use this information within this backlink analysis article
If you want to find out more information on the anchor text people use to link to you there is a quick way to gain a great overview for both you and your competitors' websites. Click on the 'Report' tab at the top of the page:
Then select ‘Anchor text’ from the lefthand menu:
You should now see a table which shows the anchor text, a count and a percentage value. Select your own domain from the dropdown at the top of the table. Then click the 'Percentage%' column header to sort by this value. You will need to click it twice for descending order:
Now you can see an overview of all the different terms used to link to you. What you want to be seeing here is your brand terms dominating the top spots, otherwise you are in danger of having over-optimized your backlinks. You'll see above that 42.68% of the time, the anchor text linking to Wordtracker reads 'wordtracker').
Use this to inform your link building: do you need to focus on brand terms? Or is there room for more targeted anchor text? Being more prepared results in a better campaign which will have a greater impact.
This is a very brief overview of how to get started with the Link Builder tool. Check out the other articles in the academy
for more detail. If you can’t find the information you need, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Owen Powis
Owen Powis is the lead SEO Consultant at Wordtracker and has a half decade of experience working as an SEO Consultant. That time has been spent working at some of the UK's largest agencies dealing with clients ranging from SMEs to large blue chip organizations. He can be found @owenfantastic on Twitter and also runs his own online SEO training courses.