Whether you love link building or loath it, there’s no denying that finding a new link pointing to your own or your client’s domain is an exhilarating feeling.
At connective3, our digital PR team run multiple link campaigns on a weekly basis. However, 95% of the journalists we email, tweet, or call don’t let us know if they cover the story.
Now, this isn’t a problem, but it certainly does raise one or two challenges.
Firstly, you will want to report on that link and show off the great work you have achieved. Secondly, the journalist may have covered the story with no link and on occasions (if relevant and appropriate) you may want to approach them to see if they will link to your site.
So, what is the best way of finding new backlinks? I have broken down my morning checklist to ensure you are seeing as much of the picture as possible when searching for links:
Buzzsumo is a great tool which allows users to input keywords and discover the top performing content surrounding your chosen keywords.
Buzzsumo also has a link index feature which allows you to look for new links pointing to a domain in the past 24 hours, the past week, 6-month, 1 year and 2 years.
Make sure you check this everyday to see new links pointing to your domain.
P.S also set up Buzzsumo alerts to receive emails every time a site mentions your client
Ahrefs is a more complex SEO tool showing everything from organic visibility, top performing content and offering gap analysis.
Similar to Buzzsumo, Ahrefs has an impressive link index allowing you to see new links pointing to a chosen site or page.
3. Google Search operators
Going back to basics is sometimes the best option. Using manual searches in Google will bring up any new links and coverage.
Every morning I change my Google search settings to show only results from the past 24 hours and then use search operators to find mentions about my campaigns and clients.
Using search operators will allow you to be more specific with your searches. I recommend using the following two:
- If you search for keywords used within your campaigns or your clients name with speech marks around them, it will only bring back sites who have used those exact phrases. For example, “connective3” AND “Digital PR”.
- When looking for coverage, often your client’s site will be presented to you. In order to exclude this from your search you can use the operator -site: (example -site:connective3.com)
4. Referral traffic
Google analytics is a great way to find new links. Often when a link is built you will receive referral traffic from it.
Using Google analytics, you can look at the overall traffic to your campaign page, add a secondary dimension titled ‘Full referrer’ and see all the links that have driven traffic.
5. Batch analysis
Batch analysis is a great function from Ahrefs. This cool little feature allows you to input up to 200 URLs and see how many referring links each of them have gained.
If you add the links, you have built into this you can see if journalists have read your coverage and linked to these pages instead of your campaign. Again, if appropriate and relevant you can approach them to update the link.