Link Building 101: Link Prospecting vs. Link Prospect Qualification

We hold that link builders should split up their prospecting and qualification stages of link building. Doing this makes you more efficient. First we'll look at the definitions of these terms, then we'll look at why splitting up the stages makes you faster.

Link Prospecting:
Link prospecting is the act of discovering link prospects either through link building queries or by pulling competitor backlink profiles (see Backlink Analysis vs. Search Queries). It's tempting during the link prospecting phase to actually visit the sites that appear in the SERPs or in the list of backlinks, but it's more important that you focus and apply yourself to exhausting your options for a given campaign or direction. Dig and dump your prospects into a spreadsheet and move on to find more.

Link Prospect Qualification:
Link prospect qualification is the process of reviewing your prospects and deciding whether to reach out to them, as well as determining how to reach out and with what particular link building asset as an offer. When prospecting for particular assets (rather than simply pulling backlinks) it's far easier to line up your linkable assets with sites and individuals who will be interested in linking. For more tips on qualification, check out 55 Link Opportunity Qualifiers Within Large Scale Link Prospect Data Sets.

Why Separating the Phases Makes You Faster:
When you "batch" your tasks into distinct phases you increase your focus on each phase, and decrease the re-focusing energy required to switch focus. Read more about Task Batching to discover why you should be splitting these tasks up!

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