That's the name of today's game. More specifically, how to find the type of person who can give you a high quality backlink.
Needless to say, it's no use building links like it's 2010 and expecting to get lasting results. Sure, it may be still possible to use some manipulative backlinking strategies to give a site a push in Google results. But it's a bad idea. I'm talking about:
- Web 2.0
- Blog comments
- Guest posts
- Paid links
For a lasting and effective linkbuilding strategy? Nah, don't even waste your time thinking about it. Gone are the days when you could spam forums with links to your site and see your pages shoot up in search rankings.
Google has done a great job already of devaluing spammy links, and is constantly taking it further to push the really high-quality and trusted sites to the top of search results and drop sites that use black-hat techniques to manipulate search rankings.
So, what kind of backlinks do we want?
The best kind of backlinks are the ones that authority sites in your industry use as citations, or as recommended further reading on a topic.
Because it sends the signal to Google that your content is useful and high-quality. This is a major factor when ranking your site in search results.
So, in order to get those links, we need to know who is actually likely to be interested in your content in the first place. You see, when you create content that is specifically targeted towards the influencers and blog owners in your industry, acquiring high-quality links is easy.
And it works!
Check out this case study from a project in 2017 where we used this approach to gain 60 high quality backlinks, and shoot their money page up to first position for some super high competition keywords.
You need to actively put your content in front of those people once it's published, and in many cases - ask them for the link.
This is what blogger outreach is all about.
So today I'm going to share a process I use to make sure I'm finding ultra-qualified prospects to reach out to. For a more beginner friendly article on finding loads of qualified outreach prospects, check out my Beginner Outreach post.
We’ll be using one of my favourite tools to do this - Buzzsumo.
In this post I'm going to show you a very specific process that helps you find the people that share content within your niche.
Let’s get down to business.
Step 1 - Find Shared Content
Once you’ve logged in to Buzzsumo, go to the Content research section and put in a keyword for a topic in your industry - I’m going to look for “Taco Recipe”.
So we do our search for “Taco Recipes” and Buzzsumo will come back with a list of the most shared articles with that in the title from around the world. Now sort the results by the number of Twitter shares - Buzzsumo only provides user info from Twitter.
Next we’ll take the top result, and click “View Sharers”, and we now have a list of everyone who’s shared that article on Twitter. If we click on “Followers”, the table is sorted by who has the most Twitter followers - You can tap into this audience by writing about something that person loves to share!
So take the top result - the article that’s been shared the most times - and click “View Sharers” to get a list of all the people who have shared that article. Sort the list by number of followers. The people at the top of this list are the people who have the power to get your content in front of tens or hundreds of thousands of people.
Easy, simple, done, right? Just make a post about tacos and email all the people on that list…
We don’t want to spam every single person who’s shared that post. They might have just been feeling like tacos and wanted to share that one post. The people we want are the ones who consistently shared posts about tacos (Then they’re more likely to share ours too) AND have loads of followers.
So for now we’re going to Click “Export” and choose .CSV to download the list of sharers with the most followers.
Once your CSV has downloaded, go back to our first results page with the list of articles sorted by number of Twitter shares, and repeat the process, exporting the sharers for the top articles until you have at least 10 CSV files, but 20 will get you more actionable data - the more the better
Now move all your CSVs to a new folder.
Step 2 - Going Old-school with CMD
Move all your CSVs to a new folder and open the folder in command prompt.
You'll be faced with a black box that looks like it came straight from the 90s, but don't fret, all you need to do is type: copy *.csv tacos.csv
This will merge all of your downloaded CSVs into a single sheet called tacos.
Step 3 - Sort your Sharers
Now we're going to open up the new merged spreadsheet, I prefer Google Sheets over Microsoft Excel, as it automatically saves every time you make a change, and is always backed up to the cloud.
Right click on column G and insert a new column to the right.
To keep the top row at the top, highlight it and click View > Freeze > 1 Row.
This just keeps everything tidy and eay to find.
Now in cell G2, type: =countif(G:G, G2), and press enter.
Then in hover the mouse on the bottom-right corner of the cell, a little + should appear. Double click on it to copy the formula to the who column.
Now simply sort column H, and you'll be left with an ordered list of who shared the most popular articles in your original topic the most, along with their twitter handle and website, if they have one.
So What's next?
Well, now we know WHO we want to write content for and WHAT it's going to be about (tacos), the next part is to create the actual content. Content creation in itself is worthy of an entire series of posts, so I won't go into it here. But what I will point out is that your content shouldn't just be regurgitated bits and pieces from authority blogs.
Your content is your standard bearer. It's often how your potential customers will find you, and needs to be the absolute best pieces of advice you know. To do well in SEO terms, it has to be better than what's already out there.