I bet a lot of you think about attracting more users to your website every day.
Keyword research, creating good content and finding the right way to spread it are marketing basics. In this tutorial, we will try to show you how to ease this process and automate a huge part of the content distribution problem. With these simple steps, we believe you can achieve great results with minimal effort.
What we want to achieve and what resources do we need?
Our goal is to build a list of quality sites (URLs/domains) useful in the promotion process, e.g.:
- content marketing
- guest posting
- link building
- word of mouth marketing
In a really short period of time (around 10 minutes) we want to find potentially valuable pages and select the most suitable of them – meeting the following criteria:
- good link profile (Majestic Trust Flow and Topical Trust Flow parameters should help us)
- matching subject
- matching language
- good URL/domain visibility in preferred Google version
- real users attention, not bots only (estimated number of organic visits from Google, social media shares)
- desired keyword density
- desired onsite parameters (we do not want to appear in spammy locations)
FIRST IDEA: ANALYSE YOUR COMPETITORS.
Most of you know how to use Majestic to spy on your competitors’ backlinks. It might be worth to go one step further. We should focus on links/domains where there is a real chance of publishing our content. To do this, let’s find the common elements of our competitors’ link profile. If two of your competitors are linked from X domain, there’s a possibly that you can get the link too!
Step 1: Find your competitors.
Use Google to search for the keyword of your interest (e.g. “coffee maker”). Select several domains from the first and maybe the second results page.
In most cases, you will achieve the best results choosing domains strictly related to your niche. Selecting sites such as eBay or Amazon may lead to a huge amount of results not related to your preferred category.
Step 2: Look for common elements in the link profiles.
Majestic helps us by providing a neat tool: Clique Hunter – and it is really easy to use.
Please select it from menu:
and enter some of the domain names (from step 1):
Please take note of the relatively small number of results (20) and the small number of common links for the domains from the second list. In this situation, it might be worth replacing current domains with others or simply adding more domains to compare.
After adding more domains, the results look more promising:
Step 3: Selecting potentially interesting domains.
It might be useful to make use of the sorting feature. Let’s order the table by:
- Trust Flow (descending)
- Alexa Rank (ascending – the smaller the value, the more popular the domain)
Topical Trust Flow might be really helpful here. With the help of Topical TF, we can easily reach domains with strong “topical” link profiles.
Potentially interesting domains can be added to our “bucket list”:
Our bucket will be available here:
For larger lists, we may want to use XLS export feature and apply some advanced sorting/filtering from spreadsheet level (as there are a lot of parameters to make use of).
SECOND IDEA: Use the SEARCH EXPLORER tool.
Search Explorer is basically a search engine created by Majestic. There are certainly a lot of differences from search engine market leaders such as Google or Bing, but Search Explorer has some unique advantages.
The algorithm behind ordering search engine results seems to be much clearer here. It allows us to understand the content well and estimate the power of links standing behind each URL/domain. We can definitely use this information for link prospecting.
Let’s begin with one of our keywords:
The results seem a bit similar to those from Google or Bing, but that is not all. Majestic shows us some details regarding onsite optimization level (for a given keyword). Besides the onsite factors, we can look into the power of a link profile. In a similar manner to the first link prospecting idea, we can make use of Topical Trust Flow to find potentially valuable domains.
There are some drawbacks: a lot of the websites on the list may not give us any opportunity to promote our brand/product/website. We may try to overcome this issue by using narrower queries such as:
Coffee maker review
This will reduce the results of sites which already published some kind of review. They might be willing to test or describe our product as well.
THIRD IDEA: Link prospecting based on Google harvest and on-site/off-site parameters.
This time, we will use a third party tool: CLUSTERIC Search Auditor together with OpenApps integration which will allow us to incorporate Majestic parameters into the analysis process. It can be considered a development of the second idea, the difference being: we are going to rely on Google search engine itself.
Step 1: Adding OpenApps token in program configuration.
We will begin with authorizing Search Auditor to access Majestic parameters through OpenApps API and adding the access token in the configuration field. After testing the token, we save the config and we are ready to go.
Step 2: Finding URLs with substantial visibility in Google.
We want to find the top quality places to promote our website. Places, which are well rated by Google (and therefore, can pass some authority) and which are visited by people searching exactly for what we have to offer them (potential customers).
We begin with selecting the proper analysis mode – the “medium” variant of Link Prospecting mode offers good analysis depth (examining the parameters onsite, and a large number of external factors) and is optimal for this task in terms of time of data collection.
Input a list of URLs to get tested picking sites that occupy good keywords positions. We are interested in the sites that are well rated by Google and have a high percentage of organic traffic and high authority. Therefore, we choose the option “Harvest of links.”
Time to add in some keywords. We may use some search operators as well. If we want to concentrate on forums only, we may want to narrow the field at the beginning:
espresso machine inurl:forum
espresso machine intitle:forum
If you are looking for a blog that would review your product, it might be useful to search for existing entries of this type, e.g:
coffee machine intitle:review
coffee machine intitle:ranking
coffee machine intitle:test
Now, we choose the desired version of Google (e.g. google.co.uk), select the number of TOP links to gather (e.g. 200) and press START button to begin the harvest.
A moment later, we have the initial list for further analysis consisting of 1716 URLs. We add it as an “input” list for on-site and off-site evaluation.
At the beginning of the process, we can configure preferred language settings (English) and a list of our keywords (for keyword density check and further grouping).
In the next window, we can select to reduce analysis to a sample of links (10) for the most popular domains on the list. As there aren’t many links in this project, we choose to analyse every single link.
The analysis process starts, Search Auditor gathers data, which means we can have a tea break. 🙂
Step 3: Selecting and grouping links/domains.
The gathering process has finished. The main window is filled with parameters which can help us to select interesting sites
Step 3.1: Selecting sites with required keyword density.
The total keyword density score (for keywords added at the beginning of the analysis) is available in KEYWORDS_SCORE column. We have access to more detailed info as well (occurrences in HTML elements).
Click KEYWORDS_SCORE header to define a new filter and narrow the results of URLs with at least one occurrence of desired keyword. We may create advanced conditions as well (such as keyword appearance in title – by clicking the KEYWORDS_IN_TITLE header).
Step 3.2: Domains with quality link profile.
Click Majestic_Fresh_TF header and set up a minimal Trust Flow value. This quickly eliminates the domains with little or no link authority.
With theTopical Trust Flow parameter, we are able to concentrate on categories of our interest. Click the Majestic_Fresh_Topical_TF header and select categories related to home, office, shopping and food.
Step 3.3: Grouping domains by engine.
During the analysis, Search Auditor tries to recognise websites’ engines. The output can be found in the ENGINE column. We can click the column header and select blogs:
We managed to narrow the view to potentially valuable blogs – accounting for 10% of the initial list. We still have to remove some company websites from the list (as they offer no chance of promoting our own brand 🙂 ), but this task seems rather simple for such a small list. We can make use of USER_RATING column or tags feature to mark selected/rejected domains.
We can easily convert the view to forums as well – all we need to do is remove “blogs” filter and define a new filter for ENGINE column:
Examples of other selection criteria.
Depending on our expectations and what we want to do with the output list, we can define different requirements such as:
(Organic) visibility in Google.
You may narrow the view to links and domains with a lot of organic visits. Estimated number (monthly) of visits is available in SERP_VISIBILTY (URL-level) and DOMAIN_VISIBILITY (domain-level).
Links/domains popular in social networks.
By analysing the number of homepage/subpage (available in “heavy” variant of Link prospecting mode) shares, you may find the websites:
- have popular social profiles/pages allowing you to reach even a larger audience
- publishing viral content
Cooperation with such websites may lead not only to better Google visibility (thanks to link building), but reaching your potential customers directly as well.
Making use of the on-site parameters.
Apart from the previously described keywords density, it might be worth considering other factors as well:
- the number of external links (EXTERNAL)
- total text length (TEXT_LEN)
- page language (PAGE_LANGUAGE)
- recognised page subject (PAGE_TOPIC)
They can be used for even more precise grouping of links. For instance, you may check page title (PAGE_TITLE) to select pages which can review/test/describe our product:
How to manage the output list?
You may export the current view to XLS spreadsheet. This can help you to split URLs/domains into groups of blogs, forums and other engines. You can divide your list by purpose as well (word of mouth marketing, content marketing, …).
Tags allow you to group links and mark completed tasks (e.g. “contacting the owner asking for guest posting possibility”).
URL lists can be easily transformed. In the “Toolkit” window, you will find the option to trim your URLs to subdomains or top-level domains.
“Prevention is better than cure” – link building can be performed recklessly, but negative effects can affect your visibility for several months. Rather than trying to add as much links as possible, it might be worth to review your marketing strategy and target only top quality locations.
With the use of proper tools and a little know-how, link prospecting can be both precise and achievable in a small amount of time.
In one of the ideas, we’ve used CLUSTERIC Search Auditor. See, how CLUSTERIC Search Auditor helps to be one step ahead of your SEO competitors.