Finding links can be one of the most tedious parts of SEO. You have to try out various operators, test out different keyword sets, prune your link prospects, and spend time adding them into an excel sheet for reporting.
Thankfully, there is an abundance of smart people in the SEO industry and Garret French is no exception. He is the founder of online marketing agency Citation Labs, which is also home to a powerful set of SEO tools.
In this post, you’re going to learn how the Citation Labs Link Prospecting Tool works. The main benefit of the tool is that it’ll save you countless hours of manually link prospecting and help you pump out a list of link prospects.
For you visual folks, here is a screencast of the tool in action:
Here’s what the tool looks like when you first log in:
As you can see, it’s very easy to understand what’s going on on the campaign overview page. Easy sorting and creation of campaigns means less headache for you in the long run.
Next, let’s jump into the ‘Find Prospects’ section. The first thing you’ll notice is that you can select different report types:
Let’s blow these reports up just in case you’re having trouble seeing the options in the image:
- Guest Posting – Build linkgs, brand and targeted traffic.
- Links Pages – Find the resource and links pages for your vertical.
- Contact Promoter – Find writers seeking news, infographics, and articles.
- Reviews – Find reviews for your product or service.
- Giveaways – Fund blog contests with goods or services.
- Donations – Be charitable and earn links through sponsorship.
- Commenting – Add value, brand and links to comments.
- Expert Interviews – Interview the experts OR pitch your own expertise.
- Directory Finder – Get your site listed quickly.
- Forums – Add value to the conversation.
- Blog Finder – Find blogs!
- Pro Organizations – Join trade and other pro organizations.
- Research Content – Find top tips for writing great content.
- Customs – Use any amount of research phrases you like.
After you select your report, you’ll have these options to choose from:
- Select Region – select the location of your queries (eg. United States).
- Select Scope - choose the type of results you want (web, blog, or both).
- Select Depth – select how many results you want per query – from 20 to 1000. (eg. if you type 5 custom queries and select a depth of 20, you’ll get 100 results)
- TLD – choose from .edu, .gov, .org, .com, .us, .mil or other top level domains.
- Date Range - filter results based on past hour, day, week, month, year or a custom range.
- Exclusions – don’t want google.com, facebook.com, or your own website to show up as results? Exclusions allow you to set sites to be excluded from your results.
- Research Phrases - add up to 5 search queries. Pro Tip: make sure you manually research these queries to see if the results are satisfactory. If 4 out of 10 results are ‘decent’ for each query, then it’s a good indicator that you’ll get good results.
- Report Cost – how many credits a report will cost you.
Reports usually take up to 20 minutes to finish, so go do something fun while you wait.
After the tool is done searching, you’ll be able to manually review the prospects:
In the report, you’ll be able to export the domains (eg. citationlabs.com) and paths (eg. citationlabs.com/blog) to CSV.
In the actual web report, you’ll be presented with:
- Domains – The actual domain being reviewed. The number next to each domain reflects the number of different URLS (or paths) on the domain that the link prospector found. You can click on each domain to expand this list to view each link opportunity to see if the site would be a good fit.
- TLD – The top level domain (eg. .com, .org, .net).
- LTS – Link Target Score. This is based on a domain’s LTS based on the number and position of its occurrences within the SERPs. Domains are sorted in descending order based on this number by default.
- PR – The current PageRank of the domain
Citation Labs has 2 pricing model. The first is a ‘pay as you go’ model that charges a 5 credit minimum at $2 per credit – basically $10 minimum if you want to go with this plan.
The other is a monthly subscription:
- Consultant – $27/mo for 20 credits
- Agency – $47/mo for 50 credits
- Enterprise – $97/mo for 120 credits
If you do SEO on a large scale, this is a must have tool just due to the sheer amount of time it will save you. The tool itself has a great user experience and there’s a very small learning curve (if any).
After you try it out, tell me what you liked or disliked about the tool in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts!