How to Use SEO Tools to Qualify Sites Before the Pitch (for Non-Link Builders)


As an SEO who wasn’t trained, I tried (and was unsuccessful) for several years to figure out how to build hyperlinks for my site and the sites that my clients use. My company has been developed by writing quality content that ranks in search engines and increases revenue however, the only thing I couldn’t discover was how to build solid links to my content.

Like the majority of SEO consultants who do not focus on linking as a fundamental business function for a long time, the whole process of building hyperlinks on a mass scale was quite overwhelming. Each link building software I tried did not produce the results I expected.

I would be sat for many hours writing posts, testing various tools to detect websites, and verify each one and then contacting the website owners trying to obtain high-quality backlinks. However, nothing worked and my rates of success dipped, and so did my confidence in my expertise as an SEO.

It was when I began to analyze my entire link-building procedure, was when I realized I needed to take more time to evaluate sites to ensure that I don’t waste my time with sites that aren’t of high-quality or ones with content that is irrelevant.

Over time I came up with methods to help me in identifying, pursuing and build strong connections for myself and my clients. This process was based on the fact that I was the only person for the client, meaning I needed to think of ways to reduce the amount of time and money spent in the process.

A quick note for readers

I’m by no means an expert link builder, but I’ve found that this method of evaluating websites worth checking out works for me and my requirements. Link building is an effective SEO method, but you must make sure you do extensive research to determine the best method to satisfy your needs. What I’ve found to work for me might not be the best method for you. Hence I would suggest looking at the sources such as Moz’s Beginner’s Handbook to Link Building or glance at Ultimate Guide to Link Building by Garrett French and Eric Ward.

Before we begin my qualification process for the pre-pitch stage of creating links, I’d want to point out that this method isn’t completely perfect and will not be applicable to all kinds of link building campaign and can always be modified. I designed this process as per my needs and expectations. It is based on some assumptions

  • You’re a single person or a small group and are looking to maximize your time throughout the process.
  • You’re trying to find broken links or guest posts. This isn’t a great method to build links locally or similar strategies.
  • You have access to many tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic and you’re well-versed in how to obtain data using these resources.
  • You’re more focused on the efficiency of your time, rather than trying to find every website that’s accessible.

So I’m hoping this will aid other SEOs reduce the process of building links , and blend it with other methods to achieve the most efficient outcomes!

Audit and certification in the pre-pitch stage

There’s no doubt about the necessity of linking one of the most important components of any SEO strategy. Even if your site has an excellent technological infrastructure as well as some most popular web-based content, Google will not be recognized for the efforts you’ve put into it in the event that your website doesn’t include the types of hyperlinks to your website that signal the legitimacy of your site.

Because link building all comes to the outreach aspect, I needed to create great content in order to ensure that the right people have the necessary information to obtain links from relevant websites. If I was performing broken link building or link construction for resource pages or reaching out to strong sites for guest posts, I wanted to make sure I could reduce the amount of time and effort was spent on sites that were not related to my work.

The first step to achievement in a linkbuilding strategy is to make sure that you’ve got content that’s relevant to the intended audience of users. Let’s say you’ve got an outstanding piece of content that is suitable to many potential sites. For me, the most important factor to consider is time, which is the reason why pre-qualifying websites is vital. I need to get rid of the worst websites as quickly as feasible and focus on the ones which have the most compatibility.

Step 1. Bulk disqualifications

If you’re confident that your website can to solve a problem You can try different footprints with applications like Scrapebox, NinjaOutreach, or Pitchbox to make a large number of websites that you can connect to.

Based on the type of business and the footprints used during the initial research phase, it’s possible to identify several thousand websites. While it’s exciting to find that many, you could also waste your time trying to reach out to websites that aren’t pertinent or aren’t worth your time.

Disqualify various URL parameters

Before I look at the metrics or other aspects of a website, I’ll reduce the first list of sites by focusing on specific terms in their URLs that I believe will yield very little results from any outreach efforts. This can be accomplished by using simple commands in Excel or a Google Sheets document to search for and remove each row that includes footprints, such as “wiki”, “forum” and “news”.

Although this method may not be 100% correct, I’ve noticed that these types of websites generally provide a low-quality hyperlink to a generic website that’s concealed in their archives of information.

Remove blatant guest posting sites

We’ve already removed websites with certain parameters included in their URL, I’d like to eliminate websites designed for hosting guest blogger. Although guest blogging is an effective approach for me, sites that appear to be based upon guest blogs are usually suspicious sites that I would not want to have a link from. While this may not always be the case, I’ve seen that these sites are a included in the Private Blog Network (PBN) and might have a small impact on my link development efforts.

To eliminate these types of sites, I’ll capable of pre-qualifying websites like I did in the previous step by removing sites with “submit”, “write for us” and “guest post” in their URL. I’ll add these websites in my “junk” spreadsheet I maintain and then review at a later time.

Step 2: Use tools to discover websites which are effective.

As of now, I’ve removed several websites from my original list according by their website URL. Therefore, I’m able declare that the sites I’ve listed on my list don’t intend to create guest posts and my efforts won’t result in a link that’s embedded in the Wikipedia.

It is important to be aware that the exact parameters I use to decide on acceptable metrics will vary based on the objectives, the company, of the client, and the extent to which I’m conducting regional link-building initiatives or to. nationwide outreach campaigns. To simplify the process , I’ll use the general benchmark as well as the below indicators to determine the credibility of a typical client’s outreach campaigns.

It is true that not all websites are exempt. However, if the site has a good number of visitors however, when I dig further and discover that the website is of poor quality, I’ll be able to think that the site was designed to rank and take it off my list of sites to target.

Majestic website metrics

The most important aspect to be considered when implementing every outreach plan is the importance and credibility of the website in relation to the field that you’re working in. It’s crucial to make sure that all backlinks have relevance to the website you’re trying to connect with from a context and current standpoint.

Relevantity and topical authority are crucial in outreach efforts, I manage my list of websites with Majestic SEO, so my spreadsheet of potential sites is relevant with respect with the information I’m planning to incorporate to.

After I’ve created a list of websites that are relevant to me I’ll then go through Majestic and select websites that have score of 12 , or more. I can change this baseline based on quantity of data, but I’ve noticed that websites that have an CF/TF lower than 12 are more likely to be weaker and not making any progress.

It is important to note that I’ll only be considering websites with CF scores as well as scores for the TF that are under 50% of each other. For example, I would not choose a website which has CF 50 but has a score of TF10.

This will allow me to reduce my initial list, and usually will result in me having about 20-30 websites. I eliminate any websites that aren’t relevant to my site of choice and then save the information in a separate spreadsheet to further review.

Ahrefs Website metrics

After I have a list of websites that are relevant to me which also meet an essential requirement for the Majestic SEO (SEO) I then go onto Ahrefs. I copy/paste these websites into the built-in Analyze tool . It will identify websites that have minimum 500 per month visits and at a minimum a in DR than 15.

This method helps me find “real” websites that drive traffic, prior to going through the site.

Moz website metrics

After that, I look through all the websites that are thought as relevant to search engines and have strong base metrics . I do this using an app known as The Moz Pro tool. Since I’m not able to justify the cost of the Moz API in my limited staff size and the application I use that I will have to run URL tests by hand. Therefore it is essential to adhere to the steps I’ve followed throughout the earlier steps to make sure that I only select websites that are likely to succeed.

I go through my list of websites on Moz using the Moz Link Research Tool to assess the authenticity of the root domain. I also identify the spam websites that might not have passed previous tests. I also verify Moz Spam Score to determine whether a website is secure. Moz Spam Score in order to determine if a site requires more detailed investigation.

The range of my link building efforts as well as the market I’m aiming at, as well as the geographical area (among many other factors) I generally contact websites that rank 10 or more. I’ve found that the Moz DA tool is fairly precise in finding out the “realness” quality of a site. Anything that is less than 10 DA is likely to be be an PBN website.

The final step I do to determine if a website is SEO-friendly is to look at its Spam Score to catch any left-over sites of low quality that may have passed the other tests:

Like all tools, it’s possible that you’ll be susceptible to false positives as it’s relatively easy to establish the website in order to obtain “good” analytics for SEO. This is the reason I prefer to take the last procedure of performing a manual audit before contacting the website owners.

3. Go through the manual

Now I have a small list (usually 10%-20% percent of the list I had in my the back of my mind) of sites that meet the criteria that are set by each tool, I’ll begin the process of manually examining the rest of the websites.

It is essential to check sites manually before sending them a message because I’ve been able to identify websites that are part of the PBN or websites designed to sell links based on its appearance as well as capabilities.

If I visit these sites , I check for indicators that suggest low quality websites. I usually disqualify any site with a lot of advertising on it, because I can tell that it was created to increase their sales commissions, not to enhance the quality of content designed for actual users.

Use SEO tools to speed up the process during the link prospecting phase.

Whatever the purpose of your outreach, or what field you’re in the vast majority of outreach initiatives require a lot of time and energy. Most SEOs recognize that poor link building could lead to numerous issues. As the sole person in our company accountable for outreach, I’m required to be careful with my time.

Quality, capacity, and effectiveness is able to be changed or broken during the prospecting phase of each marketing campaign that focuses on linkbuilding. I use various SEO tools to make quick decisions and determine the most effective websites to to reach out to. Furthermore to that, these SEO tools helps me to identify these websites however, it also helps me to get in touch with the person on their website, which I can then make links to.

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