When you’re building links (or as I like to call it, marketing our website), quality is everything.
Even if we leave search signals out of the equation, it boils down to this: If you get a mention on a website, you want to make sure that website is the highest quality it can possibly be. Would you rather have your brand mentioned on the NBC Nightly News, or a 3 a.m. infomercial?
Finding high quality, relevant websites to seek mentions and links from can be a hurdle for anyone marketing a site. Because Raven has faced this challenge in the past back when we were an agency, we have built several tools to make this task as pain free as possible. Relationships are hard – finding ones to start shouldn’t be.
Let’s look at a quick and easy process for locating quality websites using three of Raven’s best-loved tools.
Find existing links with Research Central
First of all, start with what you know: your own website. Research Central is a one-stop destination for deeply researching any site, and running your own site – even if it is just getting off the ground – can turn up some great insights for you.
If you want to find quality sites to build relationships with, you want to make sure your own site is quality. Hop over to the Neighborhoods tab and make sure your website isn’t hosted in or around servers that are also hosting nefarious websites. (You can also use Site Auditor for this, which I highly recommend.)
OK, let’s get to the links. Even if your site is new, you may have some links to it that you aren’t aware of. Scanning through the Backlinks tab will give you a quick understanding of who’s linking to you and what keyword or phrase they are using as anchor text. But most importantly, you can see if the site is quality or not.
You can read up more on what those mean by following those links, but in essence they are scores to assess authority and quality. The higher the score, the higher quality the website is. Sort by any column you’d like, and find the best websites out there linking to you.
To keep a record of these links, just click the gear icon and add a link record to the Link Manager. Now you can start working on a relationship with that site and its owners.
You can also sort by the least authoritative sites. These are sites you might want to possibly contact to have them remove the link to you. Links from sites that could be seen as spammy by a search engine – or more importantly, by a user – don’t make you look good and could potentially hurt your SEO efforts.
Find potential links with Site Finder
On to keywords. What keywords are important to your marketing efforts? You probably have four or five target keywords, and they can unlock a lot of insights for you.
Navigate to Site Finder, enter any keyword on your list, and the tool will grab the most relevant websites for that keyword, then connect the dots on who links to who.
Raven will mash up all of those relevancy factors and give each website a quality score. From there, you can find highly authoritative websites to target that are relevant to your marketing efforts.
Once you’ve determined a few websites you want to connect with, you can research that website further, or add a queued link to the Link Manager to begin the outreach process. Work that could take hours, if not days, has been distilled down to a matter of minutes!
Document the process with Link Manager
Once you’ve found relevant, quality websites you want to target, it’s time to move to the Link Manager to follow through on your outreach.
If you have added links directly from the research you performed, you’ll notice that they are already in the Link Manager with a status of “queued.” We like to think of this status as noting all of the websites you need to take action on, as in queuing them up for later.
Click on the link status to go into the link record, where you can document anything you would need to about the link: type of link, status (say, from queued to requested when you make contact with the website owner). You can also assign a task related to the link, make any notes you need to, or even connect a contact record with this particular link.
These simple steps with a few Raven tools will have you finding quality, authoritative websites to target for your link building and marketing efforts.
Now you can put your energy into the most important part of the process: building relationships.