Ever noticed how cumbersome it is to get a site ranking?
You build a website for a new product, you frantically follow all the lessons you learned in "On-Site SEO 101", you try to get featured on some blogs but you don't even come close to getting on the first page on Google(because your competitors have been around since forever and invested heavily in linkbuilding).
Despair not: I'll show you the hidden way to the top. The way that is so effective it should be banned!
Linkbuilding Is Frustrating Work
Well at least sometimes.
If you have ever done any linkbuilding campaigns you'll know that it can be frustrating work. First you have to find a staggering number of websites where you can place your links.
This alone will be a challenge in and off itself: You have to type dozens of keywords related to your niche into Google and scan through the first X pages, copying every interesting site you find into a spreadsheet.
If you are anything like me, the prospect of doing this should be frightening to you. Expect about 30 – 60 minutes of mind-numbing work per keyword.
Of course it doesn't stop there: Afterwards you have to contact every site owner / editor and coerce him into giving convince him to give you the link you long for. Today this usually involves you guest posting on the website and including one (or two) backlinks to your website in the post. You will fail 90% of the time to get the link.
Unfortunately, you'll have to explain to every website owner what your website is all about (i.e. which product you are selling) and then bargain with them over the links you want.
So Why Not Outsource it?
The thought that goes through most people's mind at this point is: "OK. Scraping Google SERPs is an easy enough task. Lets outsource this through oDesk"
Which is a fantastic thought! You should totally outsource as much as you can. It makes life just so much easier (and yourself more productive!).
But before you head off to oDesk, wait a second.
Outsource on oDesk? Nope. Outsource Building Links to Your Competition!
Here's an even more jaw-dropping idea for you: Why don't you save yourself the agony of dealing with a freelancer and take the most audacious step you could ever take?
Use all the linkbuilding your poor competitors have done as a weapon against them!
Yes, you heard me right! You can actually make your competitors work for you (at least with regards to building links).
Your competitors have spent months – if not years – to find sites in your niche, contact the webmasters and get those links that make them rank so well.
For you this is ridiculously valuable for two reasons:
- Your competitors have done the painful work of finding great websites in your niche for you
- They have softened the site owner for you (because he already gave out a link & he already knows your competitor's product)
We are going to spy on the links they gathered and get the same links – and I'll show you how!
How to shamelessly steal the links from your competitors
Now how do you find the websites that link to your competition? There are actually numerous tools out there to find that information, but I highly recommend using Open Site Explorer (which lets you do 3 searches a day – even if you don't have a Moz account).
First of all, you go to Open Site Explorer and type in your competitor's URL. I'll use my friends website for demonstration purposes only: www.planscope.io. After hitting "Search" and waiting a bit, you go to the "Linking Domains" tab (See Results).
This view lists all the domains that link to your competitor's website. And those domains all have two things in common:
- They are in your niche
- They already linked out to other websites in your niche
Now you just go through the list and look for interesting sounding domains (e.g. kalzumeus.com, nathanbarry.com, unicornfree.com).
With this list you'll see vastly better results when contacting the webmasters – just because this list is so much better than what you get out of Google SERPs.
How to Wondrously Uplift Your Linkbuilding Success
But the magic does not stop there. If you go just one small step further, you can quadruple your success rate.
Open up the data for every single competitor in Open Site Explorer. Now look at the different lists. Are there domains that show up in more than one list?
GOTCHA! These are the domains you want to go after immediately. The more competitors a website links to, the better.
Asking those websites for a link is practically a walk in the park. Remember: They already featured your competitors – which shows that they are interested in your niche. All you have to do is write them an email and that link is practically yours.
Link Intersect – Done For You
While this process is still time-intensive, it yields much better results than putting keywords into Google.
I am currently working on LinksSpy.com – a link intersect tool, that will do all the manual labor for you. It is currently in early beta.
Here's a sneak peak of a report created with LinksSpy.com (kudos to my friend Benedikt over at StageCMS.com for letting me use his data):