Building backlinks are essential in order for you to really get the most out of the long form content that you’re creating.
In this article, I’m going to be sharing with you a super simple tactic that you can use in SEMRush to identify who may already be linking back to your blog as well as to your competitors to then source for prospecting.
What you will need
The first thing we’re going to need today is we are going to need a website to look up in SEMRush and then the second thing we are going to need is a SEMRush account.
We’re going to be using this website that I randomly stumbled upon called the trustyspotter.com. It looks like a general fitness site of sorts and the reason why I’m going to use this is just because I was looking up something soccer related since that’s been kind of the theme of the dummy idea that I’ve been playing around with in my channel.
Digging into SEMRush
I’m going to go ahead and jump into SEMRush and I’m going to put in trustyspotter.com into SEMRush. So that’s your first step, log into your SEMRush account and then put in the site that you are working on or a competitor of yours. From here, what you’re going to want to do is access the left hand panel and go into the backlink analytics section. This is where you’re going to get a summary of all the things that are going on with your sites.
So in this case, what we can see is that this particular site trustyspotter.com has an authority score of 48. It got tons of referring domains close to 4,000 in fact and it got a lot of things going on across the board that are good here in that you can see how the monthly visits are 336,000 in the estimate.
Digging into the backlink section of SEMRush
Now that we know this at a high level, in order to use this tactic, what we need to do is we need to go into the backlink section.
When we get into the backlink section, what we really care about here is looking at the do-follow links. The reason why is because do-follow links are what actually pass SEO juice down into the rest of your website.
So in the case where you have a ton of no-follow links, it doesn’t really matter and it doesn’t really help your site in terms of authority in the eyes of Google. So the first thing you’re always going to want to do when you’re in this section for backlinks is always filter by just the follow links.
How to use SEMRush advanced filter section
The next thing that I like to do in SEMRush is SEMRush kind of gets things a little bit messy and at times it’s going to show you three, five, and sometimes even ten different links from the same domain.
So instead of doing that, I like to filter by just the cases where it’s one referring link per domain. From here, what you’re going to do in the filter dropdown is you’re going to look for the link placement in the content.
The reason why I want you to select this field is because when you select that it is in the content what this means is that you are telling SEMRush, I want you to find places where my site is being linked back to and it’s within the body content of that post. Why is this relevant? Well it’s relevant because it probably means that this person meaningfully linked back to your website.
So in this case, I have content. For this section, you can leave that blank. I like to select English in terms of the language of the site and then what we’re going to do is, in terms of the advanced filters, go into the dropdown and exclude TLZ zones of things that are more spammy.
So those are things like dot info’s or what you can also do is you can do this in the reverse direction, you can just say include only dot coms, dot orgs and things like that. But nowadays there are more startups and things like that that are using the .io sort of end extensions. So in that case, that’s why I just go ahead and exclude by dot info.
So when you’ve done this, what you’re going to identify is you’re going to identify in this case 1,800 and 33 potential backlinking opportunities, in terms of partners of yours, of sorts. In other words, these are people who have actually linked back to your website already.
So in this case, you can see sites like bodyrightignite.com has linked back to, or at least previously linked back to the trustee spotters’ first spin class post, and also there’s other content in here.
So what I want to do from here is I want to filter down by just the sites that are linking back to us that have blog in their URL slug. And the reason why is because this strategy is super simple. At a high level, what we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to find the bloggers or journalists and things like that, that run websites that have linked back to our site, that would be probably open to seeing other content from us or giving us another backlink for another related resource. Whatever it is, in this particular example, when we filter down by just the people that are other bloggers, it makes it so that it’s a really high quality list of people that you can reach out to for backlink outreach.
How to figure out which links are worth pursuing?
So what I’m going to do here is I’m going to go ahead and go into this section and then just search for slash blog slash. And what that’s going to do is on the left hand side, it’s really going to cut down my search results from the 1,822 or so all the way down to pretty much seventeen. In fact, if I wanted to remove, you know, the back slash I can get 32 opportunities, but these are going to be people who probably are really good fits for me.
And if I really want to figure that out, what I can do is I can always open up these into new tabs. And that’s what I’ll do right now. So if I just go ahead and take a look at some of these websites, you can see how it’s exactly the sort of sites that I would want to be reaching out to. I want people who are creating regular content around the space that my space is in, just so that, you know, from there, it can be sort of a relationship that I can build with these different bloggers too, because it’s way easier for me to reach out to these 32 people and say like, “Hey, I noticed you’re linking to my resource on XYZ. I actually made a really related resource on ABC, and I’m curious if you want to check it out.”
So the goal from here is that all you need to do is go ahead and click this export button in the top right section, and then you’re going to export it as either a CSV or an Excel file. From here, you’re going to get that download in place and then you can just go ahead and create a new Google sheet.
So assuming you’ve gone ahead and created your new Google sheet, by the way, a quick shortcut for that is just sheets.new and your browser will do so you’re going to go to file and then import and then drag the file into the upload here and from there what’s going to happen is, it’s going to import all of the results that you pulled out.
So what I like to do from here is really simple. What I do is I go ahead and hire a prospector or a scraper to go through these different websites and then identify who’s the webmaster or who’s the original author of the blog post that linked back to me.
Once I’ve gone ahead and done that, I will have a really high-quality short list of opportunities in terms of new relationships to build with other bloggers or website owners in my respective niche. What you have to understand about the long tail game of SEO is that pretty much anybody that has a domain authority over 50 or so is doing this sort of strategy.
I’ve seen it being taught as something like the seed 100 before, or you know, the top 25 list in which what you’re trying to do is you’re essentially trying to create what used to be called the linkerati. You’re trying to create the shortlist or Rolodex of people that you want to always be reaching out to when you’re releasing new content that’s in your niche, that you are really trying to build links for, because when you have established these sorts of working relationships with these folks, it opens up the doors for both sites.
What you’ll be able to do is you’ll be able to come up with different opportunities where you can either guess posts on each other’s sites. You can either put in different placements into each other’s sites where relevant, and you can essentially create your own long-term relationship here, where it’s not just that single link, but you’re also getting three, five, or even ten links from that same source.
So where would you go from here? Well, after you’ve gone ahead and filter through for your own website, you can apply the same strategy for your top two or three other competitors. By doing so, you will then be able to have a short list of people where you can reach out and essentially say, “Hey, I made this really awesome post that’s even better than even the resource that you’re currently linking to, would love to share it with you and then share it with that person.”
This is pretty much a modified version of what’s often called the Skyscraper technique in terms of outreach and so what we would do in that situation is we curate a list of people that have linked to our competition and then from there start to build relationships with those bloggers.
In terms of other improvements for performance, if you are looking for getting even higher response rates, what I recommend you do is you reach out to these people before you release your piece of content. That way you can get their input on the particular topic, incorporate that into your blog post and then from there, when you re-share that actual final product, they are going to feel like they were part of that process, which can be so valuable in terms of getting that eventual link.
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