There are tons of methods out there for identifying link building opportunities, but I wanted to highlight some for those who are new to link building.
Most old school SEOs will know about these methods or use similar tactics to find the same info, but this list may be useful to businesspeople and hoteliers looking to try their hand at hotel marketing and who want to take the next step with their skills.
Below you’ll find a variety of tools and tactics that will help you find out where your brand or niche is being mentioned.
This post is meant to show you how to find opportunities. It is up to you to figure out the best way to create relationships, and eventually turn those relationships into link building opportunities.
1. GOOGLE ALERTS
Using Google Alerts is one of the best ways to find out who is mentioning topics relevant to your business. The set-up process is simple.
- Go to www.google.com/alerts
- Enter a search query you wish to follow
- Identify which results you wish to see.
- Repeat for other queries related to your content.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you have a piece of textual content that explains “The best time to visit Myrtle Beach”.
- Create a Google Alert for “The best time to visit Myrtle Beach”.
- Use quotations around the query if you want an exact match.
- Choose Sources that apply or “Automatic” to return all.
- Choose language, region, how often and how many results you want.
Now when a Google Alert comes to your inbox you can reach out to the content creator and explain that you have some supporting content on The Best Time To Visit Myrtle Beach, and suggest they link to it. You may need to give them a reason to link to your content. Maybe you have some infographics or images in your content covering topics such as weather patterns, specific events happening during certain times of the year, or occupancy statistics that their content does not cover. You will need to figure out a reason why your content would be a good support piece.
Now, this is a very basic example of finding related content, but you can replace “The Best Time To Visit Myrtle Beach” with actual content you have created. The point here is to find other forms of content that are very similar to your content, and offer your content as an addition to what they already have.
ProTip: Google Alerts are also great for content creation ideas. Seeing what others are saying about your valuable keywords can spark ideas to create your own content around that topic.
Brand Tracker is a new tool from BrandMentions. It’s an easy-to-use app that allows you to search for any company or brand on social media and across the web. Prices start at $99/mo but they are currently offering a free trial.
- Enter your brand name
- Enter your social profiles
- Review results
Their tool spits out tons of mentions of your brand and now it’s up to you to comb through and find which are worthwhile backlink opportunities. You can sort by Web mentions and social media mentions. For web mentions, especially blog posts, you will want to try to find contact information from the author and thank them for including your brand and request a link. No one likes a boring link request so let your personality shine in your outreach email and don’t be afraid to use a little flattery.
3. COMPETITOR LINKS
This is an old school link building tactic to some, but it still works. The idea here is to find sites that are linking to two or more of your competitors and figure out how you can also get a link.
There are myriad tools out there like majesticseo.com, ahrefs.com, and Moz’s Link Explorer that will show which sites are sending links to your competitors. You can download these lists and put them into an excel file. Next you will want to identify which sites are linking to your competitors but not linking to you. You can do this by identifying duplicate values in your excel sheet.
There are also some tools out there like Moz’s Link Intersect Report that will allow you to enter a few competitor domains and will give you a list of sites that link to one or more of your competitors which makes this process much easier.
Once you have determined which sites link to multiple competitors, you then need to determine where those links are coming from. Is it a list of related sites? Did your competitors blog for that site? After you figure out how they got their links, pursue the same path and get a link for yourself.
4. FINDING BRAND OR URL MISSPELLINGS
Typos are inevitable. Everyone makes them now and again. But when someone misspells your brand name or URL you may be missing out on a valuable link. This tool http://tools.seobook.com/spelling/keywords-typos.cgi is awesome for finding common typos.
Start by entering your brand name and selecting each of the common typo fields. Copy that list and enter it into an excel sheet. Next put your TLD in the second column and concatenate the first and second columns into the third column.
Now copy that third column and enter it into MajesticSEO.com Bulk Backlink Checker and sort by # of external back links.
Find which of those misspellings have links pointing to them and reach out to the site owner for a correction. For a detailed explanation of this tactic check out http://tlcseo.com/brand-link-misspellings/
5. USING SEARCH OPERATORS
Another old school tactic that’s still effective is using search operators. (more info on search operators https://moz.com/learn/seo/search-operators ) You can use search operators like “inurl:keywords” to find URLs that contain your target keywords, or use “intext:keywords” to find sites that have your keyword in the document text.
By using search operators you should be able identify pages that are similar to yours, or at least focus on a related topic. You may have some additional content to offer, or content they could link to, or you could possibly even write for their site if they allow it. It’s really up to you to figure out the best way to get a link from a related site.
6. USING DIRECTORIES
Submitting your site to a directory isn’t the only way to use them. You can also use directories to find related sites. Since directory submissions were still big in SEO a few years ago, many companies have submitted their sites and labeled them under certain categories, or submitted to niche directories.
Identify major directories like Hotfrog and find other sites that are listed in your target category. You can also search for directories that focus on your niche or niches you’re trying to reach. These directories will give you a list of sites that fall under a particular category. For example, if you’re looking for Ski Rental businesses near your hotel, search for “Ski Rental” and your city.
Once you have a list of related sites, check them out and figure out how you could possibly earn a link from them. You could ask them to link to a piece of your content that could be beneficial to their visitors, or you could even start a partnership with a nearby business.
7. MONITOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Socialmention.com is a decent way to see who’s talking about your business or niche in real time. Simply visit their site and enter your brand name or any of your top search terms to see who’s talking about you and where. You can also use the BrandMentions Brand Tracker tool mentioned above.
You can also piggyback on the tactics listed above. When you’re creating lists of opportunities through Google Alerts, Brand Mentions, Competitor Links, Search Operators, & directories, you should also be clicking on the Social Media links on their websites and following your targets so you can start creating a relationship via social media.
Once you find out who is talking about you, your niche, or your target niche, you can reach out directly. Connect with them. Interact with them. Establish a relationship with those interested in your business and you could possibly earn links from them in the future.
This is perfect for implementing Jay Baer’s “Youtility” tactic. Monitoring social media will allow you to see if someone is asking a question that your brand can answer or solve, go help that person!
If you are focusing on twitter, or just want to see who’s tweeting about the things you care about, Brand24. Brand24 lets you stay on top of what’s being said about you on twitter by letting you track tweets about your name, brand, product, or hashtag. Side note: Brand24 will give you web mentions so you can find news articles or other mentions across the web that mention your brand. They do offer a paid version which has many more capabilities.
Followerwonk will allow you to dig deeper into your twitter following. With followerwonk you can find people to connect with, compare twitter accounts to identify overlaps and target new influencers. Seeing things like day of the week and time of day people are talking about your brand will help you understand the best times to try and get your content in front of your audience and hopefully some links.
10. YOUR VENDORS
This one is missed by so many hotel marketers and it could quite possibly be the easiest way to gain relevant, high quality backlinks to your hotel’s website. I kept it at #10 to make sure you read the entire article and found this glorious easter egg.
Hotel marketers need to gather a list of vendors from both the operations and the marketing sides of the business.
Operations vendors may include housekeeping services, security firms, telephone systems, valet services, food & beverage, cleaning supply companies, in-room amenities (soap/shampoo/coffee/etc.) and the list goes on and on. The first step is to check their websites to see if they are listing any other hotels or businesses that they are servicing. If they are, you simply ask to be included and request a link. If they are not, you can request they create a page like that and link to your hotel website. Again, don’t be afraid to use a little flattery and tell them how much you appreciate what they do for your hotel. It can go a long way.
Marketing vendors may include PMS, CRM, marketing agencies, booking engines, radio advertisements, billboards, print, and once again, the list goes on and on. These vendors tend to be a little more savvy and may want something in return for the link you’re requesting. It’s better to head that off at the pass and create something they want to share. You can create your very own case study about how that vendor improved your revenue/occupancy/OTA reliance/etc. Sometimes a simple testimonial is sufficient. If you do this and present it to your vendor, you’re almost guaranteed a link back to your hotel website!
As a leading provider of advanced software solutions and digital marketing services for the hotel industry, Fuel helps independent hotels, resorts, condotels, and management groups maximize market share and profitability. This is achieved by providing a comprehensive suite of software and marketing solutions including: the Fuel Booking Engine, Fuel AI-Powered CRM & Marketing Automation, Fuel Mobile App & Digital Key, Fuel Gauge Analytics Dashboard, website development, SEO, SEM, email marketing, social media, and analytics services. Through these solutions, Fuel helps properties drive more direct bookings and reduce reliance on third-party channels. To learn more about Fuel and to take your travel marketing to the next level, call (843) 839-1456, visit the website, listen to the #1-ranked Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, and follow Fuel on Facebook and Twitter.