There are a lot of tools out there for link building, but few provide reports as actionable as Link Prospector. I’ve been using the product since shortly after its release and I am quick to champion it as my must have tool.
The tool utilizes advanced queries to find actionable linking opportunities. Instead of scraping Google results for hours on end and using SEO Tools for Excel to get Page Rank, this tool can do all the work for you.
At first glance, it seems like a simple tool,
but it takes skill to wield it properly.
To use Link Prospector effectively you need to think about content. Instead of prospecting for substandard links for your money terms, use this tool to build links to your resources and assets.
It’s much more effective to construct research phrases around user intent. Why would someone be looking for a collection of content similar to your client’s? What purpose does your client’s content serve to the user?
Recently, we’ve been working with a client in the children’s space and we’ve been having a lot of luck with Link Prospector – the client’s content provides parents with creative and entertaining activities for their kids. So instead of plugging in, ~”kids activities”, we’ve been using research phrases that have intent and search volume.
We asked ourselves,“When do kids need to be occupied? What events make a parent have to search for something fun for their kids to do?”
It’s much easier to find high quality link prospects when thinking about user intent. This exact report generated some very high quality prospects for us, but we weren’t done there. Our client also has a plethora of lesson plans, and we knew there was a ton of opportunity there. Again, instead of prospecting for the head term – we targeted our link prospects by intent and need:
The last research phrase is still a little broad, but it’s still more targeted than just prospecting for head terms.
We had an issue though, our client is a brand. They were already listed on a number of these sites. With so many prospects, hand vetting was proving to be cumbersome – so we developed a solution.
Link Prospector CSVs are huge, so we used Screaming Frog to compartmentalize the workload, here’s the step by step:
1) Get the paths export from Link Prospector
2) Turn The Data Into A List
2.1) Open the CSV and Delete Row 1
2.2) Delete all columns but URLs (column A), move that data to column B.
2.3) Add http:// in column C to match up with URLs.
2.4) In Column A enter CONCATENATE=(B1,C1) And drag the right corner of call A1 to the bottom of the sheet.
2.5) Copy column A as values.
2.6) Paste column A values over the CONCATENATE formulas.
2.7) Delete all data but Column A, save the CSV. It should look like this:
3) Open Screaming Frog, Change the Mode from Spider to List
4) Under Configuration select “Custom”
4.1) For Filter 1 select “Does Not Contain” and enter the client domain.
4.2) For Filter 2 select “Contains” and enter client domain again.
5) Upload the CSV, run the report, and export the two custom reports
This will give you two different files to work through, and they should be approached in different ways. The first export will be sites that you need to build a relationship and convince the webmaster to link over. The second custom export is just easy wins. Sites that already link to your client may be linking to a page that is going through a 301, or even worse, directing users to a 404. This export of live links is a golden opportunity for anchor text optimization and deep page linking by providing webmasters with new and updated content.
In order to prioritize your work, exporting both sheets and importing them into a tool like BuzzStream or using SEO Tools for Excel to get Page Rank is highly recommended!
Now get prospecting!