Citation Labs’ new link prospecting tool has already generated a fair bit of noise online (see here, here and here).
We have been using it for a couple of weeks now and, thus far, have been really impressed.
Of course, it’s not the first link prospecting tool but, what really sets it apart for me, is the quality of the user experience.
In 5 minutes, you can have a list of thousands of sites which in some way match the opportunity you’re looking for.
As someone who’s spent hours on the gathering process in the past, this is a welcome relief.
The simplicity of it also means you can introduce to team members who wouldn’t normally take a part in the prospecting process.
What it boils down to though, is less time time prospecting, more time outreaching, which equals more links.
My tip so far for using the link prospecting tool is to combine it with Ontolo’s Filter Prospects tool to make sure you’re not wasting time going over old ground.
This isn’t groundbreaking but it is nonetheless useful, especially when you’re working on a large scale, long-running link building campaign that has been shared across several team members.
(It’s an awful feeling when you realise you’ve just made a fresh approach to a site that’s already been targeted in your campaign, believe me.)
Once you have used the link prospector to gather urls for you to review, drop them in the ‘potential prospects’ list.
Next, you need a list all the urls you have previously qualified as part of that campaign.
We use BuzzStream to manage all our link building efforts, so it is simple enough to just download all this sites to a csv.
Now, drop these into the ‘approached prospects’ box and click ‘Refine List’:
Now you will have a list of link targets that match your value proposition and that you haven’t come across before.
The best thing about this is that you can also copy in additional metrics from Excel, such as PageRank — it only compares the first cell.
This means you can still manipulate your refined list and address the higher-profile targets first.
Between BuzzStream, Ontolo and Citation Labs, there are some really interesting and exciting tools being created for both prospecting and management.
Hopefully there will be lots more posts to come on how people are combining the best of each of these for more effective link building.
Post By Michael Smith (31 Posts)
Michael works at 9xb Digital Agency in Harrogate, Monday to Friday. Click here to follow him on Twitter or have a look a his Google+ profile.
Last updated by Michael Smith at August 25, 2012.
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