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Smart ways to find new backlinks

David White explains how to obtain a complete picture of your link profile.

Creating valuable content demands a commitment of time and resources, and at the end of the day, clients are looking for a return on that investment. David White shares his process for finding and reporting on new backlinks, and how to turn unlinked brand mentions into link acquisition opportunities for your company or client. 

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm David White, the content marketing director at connective3. Today, I want to explain about how to find new linking domains pointing through to your site. Now you'll want to know who's been linking through to you to determine the success of the content that you're producing.

Now, there is a variety of ways you can do this. There are so many cool tools out there such as Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, SEMrush, BuzzSumo, all of which have a really in-depth link index. So you can go on them tools, input the URL that you're wanting to find the links to or input your home page or domain as a whole, and it will show you who has linked to you within the past seven days, three days, whatever time range that you want. But the one thing to say is that, although these tools are really cool, they don't show 100% of the picture, and they often miss links. And you're going to want to try and find out as much of the picture as possible in order to learn from it, look for new opportunities for links, and also, again like I said, to measure the success of the content that you're producing.

Now, I've been building links for just over eight years, and this the third digital PR team that I've ran. So I do this daily, I check multiple tools. But what I also do is I check things like Google. So if you wanting to find new links pointing through to your site, first step, go to Google. Use the Google search operators. So for example, if I wanted to find people who have linked through to connective3, I may put, "connective3" or I might put "connective 3" and see who has talked about us in the past 24 hours, week, month, et cetera, and then go through manually and look at the articles, see who has linked and who hasn't linked, and record them. Now, if you find somebody who hasn't linked to you but you think there's a reason that they should've, feel free to reach out to them and ask for a link back to your site. But only do it if it's appropriate and relevant. Don't go chasing links off negative articles or anything like that.

Now, the next thing to do is use the tools that I talked about. If you have access to Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, SEMrush, BuzzSumo, et cetera, you can input the domain in there and find all the new links. But remember, it's not 100% accurate. But find them and record them. The next thing you can do is look at social listening. So social listening is normally used in boolean. So you could use connective3 or connective 3 and it will pull through all the articles within the timeframe that you specified that have talked about the brands that you've mentioned, and it will also pull in anybody on social, so Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et cetera, who have potentially mentioned you.

Again, go through the articles, see who has and who hasn't linked to you, but also make sure that you go through the social channels as well because somebody may have written about you, linked to you, and then tweeted their article online. And for whatever reason, the tools may missed the article, may have picked up on the tweet. So make sure you're checking social media. And if somebody's talking about you and then linking through to an article, go through to that article and check if they've mentioned the work that you're doing or reference any of your content, et cetera.

Finally, and probably most importantly, is using Google Analytics to find new links back to your site. So if there's a certain page that you want to check, you can go and look at the traffic to that certain page and then look at full referrers, or if you want to just see domains as a whole, you can just look at the overall traffic and then look at full referrers. often, what you'll find is that there's quite a lot of referral traffic coming through from the same sort of places, so you want to export it into a CSV. When it's in a CSV, put it in a table format and make sure that you remove the duplicates of all the full referrers. What you're then left with is a list of places that have sent traffic to your site within the timeframe that you provided. Again, go through manually and check and, if possible, record them.

You'll understand that's it's quite a manual job, there's not one tool that's going to do this for you. But it's hugely important to understand who is and who isn't linking to you because, like I said, it shows you the performance of the content you're producing, but it also allows you to look for opportunities. So if you're doing that for yourself and for your competitors, you'll be able to see where your competitors are getting links, and you might be able to go to them places with a similar story, or refresh story, or whatever it is, and start to get the links that your competitors are getting. And then you can start to look at how they're performing from a link perspective, how you're performing from a link perspective, and how that correlates into results and visibility. It's hugely important. I hope you've learnt something, and thank you so much for listening.



David White
About David White
David is the Director of Content Marketing at connective3, leading the PR, content and outreach strategies for some of the biggest brands around the globe. With a background in business management and marketing, David has a deep understanding of the wider marketing mix and how this contributes to a brand’s bottom line.