I’m about to share a secret with you that most link building pros don’t want you to know. It’s about a link building tactic that they’d rather keep to themselves in order to maintain a competitive edge. Sure, they’ll tell you about the standard link building tools they use, they’re just less likely to tell you about this awesome tactic for finding fresh, influential links.

What is this tactic? Using social media monitoring tools to find backlinks.

We know of a number of SEOs that use Trackur for link building and while they’ve not spilled the beans on how they use Trackur, I happen to know a thing or two about SEO, so here’s how they’re using social media monitoring to get better links than you.

Secret #1 – Checking for Existing Links

  • They’re keeping track of existing mentions of their company
  • They review the anchor text used in those blog posts and articles and then politely ask the author to switch to better targeted anchor text.
  • If the link is pointing to the wrong page, or they need the link pointed to a more relevant page, they’re asking for it to be switched.
  • If the destination URL can’t be changed, or worse, broken, they’re 301 redirecting the link.

Secret #2 – Monitoring for Potential Link Partners

  • Link building pros are keeping track of who’s talking about their company and products but not actually featuring them.
  • They’re following up with emails to the author, thanking them for the shout-out and suggesting further topics for discussion.
  • They’re keeping an eye out for articles that mention their company but don’t link to it. They then simply ask if there’s anyway they can get a link.
  • Smart SEOs are watching for affiliate links. If a blogger is already a part of their affiliate program, they sweeten the commission so as to encourage further discussion.

Secret #3 – Discovering New Keywords

  • Expert link builders are using social media monitoring tools to research new keyword opportunities.
  • What long-tail terms are being used by journalists, bloggers, and customers. They then target those keywords in their SEO and link building.
  • Link builders are checking the keyword density of articles about their company or industry and determining the most commonly used keyword combinations–looking for new keywords to test.

Secret #4 – Tracking the Influencers

  • SEOs are keeping track of influential bloggers and journalists discussing their brand or their industry.
  • They’re formulating relationships with influencers so they can later approach for links.
  • They’re also passing this information to their PR team, so they can include these influencers in their media outreach. Further increasing the chances of getting a link from them.
  • Smart link builders are offering influencers special deals and coupon codes. Helping them to help their readers with that special deal. A deal that will likely also include links back to their web site.
  • Cunning link builders are also keeping an eye on whether these influencers are selling ads that don’t insist on the “nofollow” attribute.

Secret #5 – Monitoring Industry News

  • Savvy link builders are monitoring industry news to get ideas for new keywords to test.
  • They’re ahead of whatever trend analysis tool you are using because they’re watching the conversations happen in real time.
  • They’re getting ideas for content marketing–topics they know are hot right now.
  • And smart SEOs are using social media monitoring to identify virgin sites–those blogs that have few outbound links and are more likely to be approachable.

Secret #6 – Competitive Intelligence

  • The wise link builders know they can improve their own link building efforts by watching closely where their competitors are gathering links.
  • They monitor their competitors media mentions to look for patterns in keywords and backlinks.
  • They’re policing their competition to make sure they’re not buying links or blog posts without disclosure or nofollow links.

Secret #7 – Digging the Buzz

  • The truly crafty link building pros are monitoring their target keywords on social media sites such as Digg, Delicious and Reddit.
  • They’re spotting hot topics, trends, and content formats that make it to the homepage.
  • They then reformat and improve on those articles but with links back to their company or client.
  • If a competitors article was hot on Digg, they submit their version to Reddit and wait for the links to roll in.

Secret #8 – Testing the Newswires

  • Do you know which press release newswires work best? These link builders do!
  • They’re monitoring newswires to see which have the widest distribution to web sites that actually have authority in Google.
  • They’re testing which wires maintain their important anchor text and backlinks.
  • The crafty ones are testing new keywords to new pages and gauging which press releases help their content to rank best.

Secret #9 – Killing the Scrapers & Spammers

  • Experienced link builders know that having their content scraped could hurt their SEO efforts.
  • They’re using social media monitoring to look for copyright and trademark infringement, or outright scraping of their optimized content.
  • These link builders are fighting back by reporting the spammers for copyright violation or looking for any Adsense violations that can attack the scrapers where it hurts most…in the wallet.

The Tools of the Trade

So what tools are these expert link building professionals using for their social media monitoring? Well, they’re not all using Trackur, but those that are, are able to do all of the above using a tool that starts at just $27 a month! How does that compare to how much you pay for your link building tools?

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