21
Jun
2011
Fully Customizing Your Link Prospecting Automation
By: Ben Wills |

The Challenge of Marketing Automation and the Opportunity for Improvement

You've seen ads for "automated link building" services. And you know those services are junk. You can't automate link building. You just can't. The human element is simply too important.

... Right? ...

But what if you could automate all of the non-subjective elements? ... Those pesky, annoying, mundane PageRank and SEOmoz and Alexa data collection tasks that you repeat a thousand times before sending those eighteen emails in the hopes of getting two responses... Reviewing 37 websites to add four to your outreach list because the other 33 were irrelevant and off topic... Trying to figure out 78 new link prospecting queries to find a specific kind of link prospect, then pulling the search results into an unwieldy spreadsheet with hundreds of rows and it still needs more data collection and de-duplication... Wouldn't it be nice if you never had to do that again...

The reality is that you probably don't automate as much of your link building as you could. And when you do, you probably do so in a way that keeps quality levels from being as high as you might like. You do this because there simply isn't enough time. But, you hear "automation" and you associate it with low-quality work that requires more double-checking than it would have required if you just did the work on your own.

But. There is a better alternative.

A solution exists in customizing your automation to put you at the controls at every critical element and decision point, allowing your technology to do that pesky grunt work for you. The key, however, is doing so in a way that is precise enough that it allows you to relax more and focus on the strategic side of link building: content development, content marketing and relationship building.

How much time do you imagine you would free up and and how many more links and relationships could you build with that free time?

Customizing Your Own Link Prospecting Automation with Ontolo

Ontolo allows you to fully customize the automation in your link prospecting, while still putting you at the controls for the most important decisions. Additionally, we give you the tools to quickly perform precise research that enables you to finalize and approach new link prospects and relationships.

The key difference with Ontolo is two-fold: First, you direct the research. Second, you search the data with world-class research technology, right at your fingertips. Ontolo handles the rest. The SERP queries, the PageRank, SEOmoz and Alexa data collection. Assessing how old the page is, how many links are on it, how many links go out from it, if it links to your competitors and so on and so forth.

Every link prospect that we find for you has over 70 search-able data points so you are able to find exactly the kind of link prospects you want. In a split second, you have access to the most successful content and relationships on the topics you've defined, all sorted by value metrics that you decide on the fly.

If you set up your Ontolo account to discover guest post opportunities in the personal development industry, you will soon have hundreds of link prospects all sorted and organized by PageRank, SEOmoz Authority, mozTrust, Alexa, outbound links or any other scores you might want.

.GOV and .EDU links in the personal finance industry? We can help you find those quickly, too.

Valuable, authoritative links with high traffic in the travel industry? Ontolo can do that as well.

The point is this: you can research any English-speaking market or industry and find any kind of link prospect that you want with the Ontolo Link Building Toolset. It's all automated and at your full direction and customization.

Here's how you can setup your Ontolo account in less than 5 minutes.

Aligning Your Link Prospecting Automation with Your Keywords & Assets

What Ontolo allows you to do that other link building tools don't is to direct and customize your research. Ontolo doesn't simply look at your competitor's backlinks for link prospects. It performs customized research specifically in the topics and/or markets that you decide.

When you use competitor backlinks for your link prospecting, you're always trying to "catch up." It takes a different strategy than your competitors to get ahead of them. The Ontolo Link Building Toolset is that different strategy that gives you the edge you need over your competitors.

There are three ways to direct Ontolo in your link prospecting research: Prospecting Phrases, Link Types, and Relevance Keywords.

Prospecting Phrases are the phrases that you would use when performing any other kind of search engine based link prospecting queries. The best way to think about Prospecting Phrases is this: What phrases are found on the pages you're trying to get links from? If you're trying to get links from pages that list the "top 10 iPhone apps" then use that as a prospecting phrase. In that example, you might see how your prospecting phrases may not always line up with your SEO keywords.


Link Types, too, are just what they sound like: the kinds of links you're trying to get. Currently, Ontolo is designed to find a number of link types including Blogs and Blogrolls, Guest Posts, Donation and Sponsored Links, Links Pages, Web Directories and more.


Relevance Keywords are almost always going to be your SEO keywords. Relevance Keywords are used in two ways. 1, if we run out of Prospecting Phrases for your research, we will begin using your Relevance Keywords. And 2, every time you search on your customized link prospects database, we calculate a relevance score for every link prospect based on the Relevance Keywords as well as the individual search query you're using. The purpose is to increase the relevance of link prospects that are most likely to increase your search engine rankings which, in terms of relevance, will be links that make use of your Relevance Keywords.


Automating Your Link Prospecting and Data Collection

How long would it take you to collect the following data by hand for 1,000 link prospects? :

  • Domain PageRank
  • Subdomain PageRank
  • URL PageRank
  • Alexa Traffic Rank
  • Domain mozRank
  • Subdomain mozRank
  • URL mozRank
  • Domain mozTrust
  • Subdomain mozTrust
  • URL mozTrust
  • Domain Backlinks
  • Subdomain Backlinks
  • URL Backlinks
  • ... and another few dozen metrics

A very, very, painfully long time.

Ontolo collects well over 50 data points for every link prospect we find for you. We then give you (on the advanced search form) over 70 different settings you can use to find your perfect link prospect.

Not all link prospects are created equally. We realize that here at Ontolo. We also know that at different parts of your link building campaign, you're going to want your link prospects to meet different requirements. We not only take the burden of data collection off of your shoulders, but we also give you the tools to segment all of that data exactly the way that you want in order to find exactly the kinds of link prospects that are going to be the most valuable to you.

Increasing Link Acquisition Rates with Content-Aligned Link Requests

In psychology there exists a concept called "congruence." The common, dinner-table definition is that you are the same on the outside as you are on the inside. You are in alignment. The benefit of congruence is the ability to more easily move through the world.

We'd like to propose an idea to you: That when the target of your link requests are congruent with the content you are requesting a link to, that you will more easily move through your link building campaigns. In short, if you are requesting links and building relationships with other sites that align with your content, your link acquisition rates should significantly improve.

Ontolo not only aggregates various data on link prospects, but we index each of your link prospects into a searchable link prospect database. This is your own, customized search engine for your link prospects. Imagine if Google let you search with requirements on PageRank, outbound links, trust and authority scores, along with their full text content search capabilities. That's what you get with Ontolo.


Tomorrow, I will be walking through what those advanced search operators are (and more) and how they work, but you might be able to see how precisely you can pick out specific pieces of content from a large database of tens or hundreds of thousands of link prospects. (If you can't wait, here's our help documentation on Ontolo's Advanced Search Operators.)

With the capability of searching on the full content of every link prospect, and combining it with dozens of key link building metrics, you can quickly find exactly the link prospects you want in significantly less time. Not only that, but the precision with which you can find link prospects also allows your link prospect outreach and acquisition to be more congruent, more aligned, with your content, thereby increasing acquisition rates.

In short: Less time, more links.

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