Growing your site’s rankings ties closely to growing your relationships with other site owners. If you’re thinking “Building a content network is easy in theory, tough to get started,” we say “Keep it easy the entire way.”
That’s because using the new My SpyFu project manager tool can help you manage all the steps — from backlink discovery to finding the best contacts for those links (and reaching out to them once you do).
Hi this is Patrick from SpyFu.com, in this video I’m going to show you how to use our new backlinks and outreach manager in order for you to pinpoint safe and effective backlinks, and then get on the radar of the people who can get them for you.
Ahhh sweet sweet link juice.
Building relationships with domains that can give you good backlinks is an arduous but necessary task if you want to move up in the ranks on SEO and gain influence in your niche.
SpyFu’s backlink feature allows you to search for keywords or domains and find safe and reliable backlinks, already indexed by google.
This is important for your site because when you manually build backlinks you never know if the sites you get links from will eventually be red-flagged by google. When they are, google punishes them, making links that point back to your site, toxic. Bringing your site down in the ranks and basically undoing all of the hard work you just did. When you’re trying to build a huge contact list for backlinks, you don’t have time to make sure each directory and forum are squeaky clean.
It's enough to scare anyone off of link building, but believe me you do not want to blow that off.
So SpyFu takes care of this for you, connecting you with sites that are safe, that google is indexing, and filtering out the ones that could get you in trouble.
We took this process and made it even faster with our new outreach manager.
You’ll notice a slider on the right side of SpyFu, when you pop that baby open for the first time it’ll prompt you to start a new project. These projects will help keep your different campaigns or clients organized. I’m going to do it right now.
Before working for SpyFu, I was a freelance video editor just trying to make my way in this crazy world. And I haaaaaated outreach. I was juggling excel documents and sticky notes with e-mails scribbled on them. I felt like I was on the black and white portion of an infomercial. (there has to be a better way!!)
There was nothing more important than building relationships with people that could hire me, or create momentum for my business. Either by word of mouth or with online recommendations to my site. Gaining connections and links would help me move up in the ranks, and develop brand recognition.
Pretending I’m still Patrick from 2009, I’ll enter some domains that I would like to build professional relationships with, or at the very least, people I would want to get my videos in front of. I’m not going to star any of them yet, but I will add some tags and notes that I think will be helpful down the road.
From these domains, let’s see what kind of contact information SpyFu found. You can approve ones that you think look good, by clicking on the green check mark icon. If you’re unsure if the contact SpyFu found is relevant to the domain you added, you can click on the search icon and we’ll do a google search of that contact’s name in relation to the domain we found them in.
You can check out your approved contacts in the contacts section of the site. After bringing up their contact “card” you can edit them, add notes to them and even set up a deadline to contact them.
We added these task managing features to fit your preference. You can get as detailed on your contact or link tracking as you want, adding notes, tags, and stars to all of them. Or just never add any additional details and kind of go with the flow of outreach. These notes and tags are only visible by people with access to your account, so feel free to write whatever you want, it won’t be viewable by the public.
Regardless of how you do it, adding and organizing contacts gives you the opportunity to build a content network. Even if these are people you don’t want to contact directly, you still want to put your content in front of them. Videos about topics you think they would find intriguing, or blogs about things that are in their business space.
To make this a bit meta, this tutorial and others could help many professionals the internet marketing space, but we don’t necessarily want to directly tweet at these people every time we put out a new piece of content.
However if you start following these people, mentioning from time to time, trying to form that relationship with them; you might find yourself with a new business contact that you can be mutually beneficial toward. Providing backlinks, sharing content, scratching each other’s backs.
Even if a fully forged relationship is never formed. You’ll be on their radar. And this is a rule of numbers, if you’re blip is on the screen of people in your industry the odds of one of them viewing or sharing your content increases with each contact you add.
With that in mind, I didn’t add nearly as many as I should have. I honestly don’t know that many domains off the top of my head. What I do know, is the keywords I’d like to rank on.
Keywords like “freelance video editor”, “independent video producer”, and especially “ridiculously handsome video animator for hire.” If I could find contact information of domains that could help me rank on THOSE keywords, I’d be pumped.
Spoiler alert. I’m going to be pumped.
Let’s slide this back in and go to backlinks. You can type in any domain or keyword that you’d like to gain backlinks on.
I’m going to type in “freelance videography” and see what kind of results I get. To add these to my project I’m simply going to click “add” and they’ll go right in there. I’m going to add some of these top ones, and then I’m going to sort this list by number of outbound links. You can sort by any column but I like doing it by outbound links because you can see the people who are actually linking to other sites. If they have less than three or more than a hundred, I generally ignore em, but if they have 10 to 25, I feel they’re willing to link to sites without oversaturating their content with outbound links.
Finally I’m going to exclusively look for blogs and sites with affiliate links, and plop some of those in there.
Again, these are the sites that are helping other domains rank on the keyword “freelance videography”. They are the ones already indexed by google, so they’re safe. Meaning, you don’t have to worry about google punishing your site for accidentally using rotten backlinks. SpyFu has your back on that.
If you see a specific link you want to dig into right away, simply click on view, and we’ll guide you directly to their contact info. After you add some contacts you can go into them and edit them, maybe update their name or title if you feel like the results don’t quite capture who they are.
In here. <3
Now, we don’t have an e-mail client built into our outreach system quite yet. But now I have a specific contact, that I can reach out to about a particular article using my business e-mail email@example.com
I recommend that you create a shorter e-mail.
So we’ve added some contacts by both keyword and by importing backlinks, but we wouldn’t be SpyFu if we didn’t offer internet marketing intelligence from your competitors domains.
Let’s say I was doing a campaign for a client, they sell window coverings. There are a lot of big competitors to battle for this keyword, that might be intimidating, or encouraging once you realize that you can use their most successful methods for your campaign.
This is a new client for me, and I’m not entirely sure of their top competitors. So I’m going to type Window Coverings into SpyFu. It’s giving me an overview of the word as well as different domains that are ranking on it or advertising on it. I’ll check out TheShadeStore.com and the inbound links they’re getting on the keyword “Window Coverings.”
I’ll add this top one anddddddd crap. I messed up. I was still on my video editing project. So I’m going back into MySpyFu and creating a new project for my Window Coverings, and then go back to the link I added and click view. Then I’ll click on the “Move” dropdown and pick my new project.
This will pluck this link and all of its contact info out of here and drop it into the Window Coverings project.
I think the developers put this feature in here because they were tired hearing me curse myself from my office.
Now that everything is right in the world, and I can clearly see that I’m on the correct project from the slider, I’m just going to go through and add all of the rest of these links.
Sometimes I just like throwing things into projects so I can work with them from inside the tool, either now, or by saving them for later.
When digging into these sites you can be comforted that most of them rank on several window covering-esque keywords. When I actually check out their websites (apartment therapy) it looks like the specific post spyfu found is extremely relevant to what we’re wanting to rank on.
This might be a 3 star contact. Oh yeah.
I’m also going to make a note that their site has a comment section, but it requires a sign in. If I can’t reach them via twitter or e-mail, this might be another way to get my site on their radar.
For this project I’m going to just kind of rip through some of these links instead of giving each and every site some tender loving care. Sometimes you need to just do this preliminary work for a bunch of different projects and then do the actual outreach on a different day.
And by outreach I mean following them on twitter. Liking their facebook page. E-mailing them. Writing on their wall or commenting on their blog. Occasionally mentioning them in a tweet. But if your name pops in front of them, with content they find interesting, they could take an interest in you. Again, the bigger your content network is, the more likely this will happen.
Setting the status of each backlink keeps track of exactly which domains you have yet to reach out to, which ones you’re waiting on, and which ones you’ve contacted. This can be handy for future you, or a co-worker, if you decide to assign it it to someone else in your company that handles actual customer relations.
Some domains we won’t find contact info for, if you feel like this contact isn’t worth the trouble, you can just delete it. Or you can custom add a contact with a name, title and contact information if you are familiar with this company and some of its employees.
My mother used to tell me, “Patrick, go build business relationships with relevant contacts in your industry so you can increase your overall influence and gain more traffic exponentially.”
I didn’t have SpyFu back then, also I was in the second grade, but she was right. Even though outreach can be a chore, it’s a necessary one to get noticed in your space and improve the rankings of the campaigns you control.
Using SpyFu and the new outreach tool should make that faster and easier than ever before.
As always, thank you for watching