There are certain less tangible hints, which an epic link builder should learn to draw on. We shall consider some of them aspects, which can tell you a lot about the website, its quality and the extent of its SEO friendliness as well as its willingness to link up. There are aspects, such as domain and URL structure, knowing if the website is canonicalized, and frequency of content updates, among others, to look out for.
- Domain and URL structure is the first aspect that you notice, before you are likely to click through to the website. Make it a habit to carefully look at an URL and try to grasp what they convey to you. Does the domain name inform you what the particular site is about? Does it make any sense to you? Is it simply a brand name? Is the site highly optimized and in a proper way?
- While dealing with highly optimized websites, watch out for ranking manipulation, if any. Look at the rest of the URL or in totality to check what else it tells you about the site.
- If it carries any /index.html’s or /p=?’s, the website is not completely SEO savvy, something which could be suitable for outreach purposes.
- Also, do a quick check to find out if the website is canonicalized. Though, some big brands have slightly scary URL structure, so this isn’t necessarily an end-all-be-all parameter.
- Bylines and Blos for projects targeting articles as well as blog posts is another important metric. Invariably look for bylines in the first place. If they are there, see if they are made up of specific names or carry generic terms like ‘a staff writer’ or ‘a correspondent’. Are the same name/(s) frequently appearing?
- After reading an article or a blog, do you get to know whom to get in touch with for queries regarding content? See if all the content is hosted on the main page (not cut short with a ‘read more’ tag), check for bios, as you scroll down. If so, these might be contributors’ pieces. And it is likely this site won’t mind working with you.
- Next, engagement clues are really vital to finding out the ‘best-case scenario’. It would be that the site covers your piece and not only gives you a link, but also readily leverages its community so as to push your piece – in the search and social realm online. This will ensure that it goes viral. Such sites act as ‘influencers’ and can help propel your link building plans by allowing your content to generate its own links by projecting it to a ready audience.
- So how to know if you are actually looking at a useful influencer site! Some of the clues, which point to an engaged audience are number of comments, number of RSS feed/ newsletter subscribers, and number of social shares.
Why these are treated as metrics intangible, one might ask. Well, unless one looks at the number of comments or social followers, one won’t really know if they’re for real. Is the website owner averse to spam comments or accepts them?
So we place all these things in the intangibles category. Prospecting is not just about simply analyzing the nitty gritty, but seeing the bigger picture, instead.