Link Building is a highly important area of SEO; your aim should be to build on your online presence while building links to improve your online profile and rankings. A good Link Building strategy involves building links over time; avoid gaining hundreds or even thousands of links in a short period of time. You should aim to naturally increase the number of links to your site over time.
Why monitor your link prospects
Monitoring your link prospects allows you to partially automate the process of finding good Link Building opportunities. You can monitor these alerts on a daily or weekly basis and pull out any potential link sources. Here are some examples of the different types of link prospects you can find by using these monitoring tools:
Local business directories
Blogs within your niche
Niche directories or news sites
Here are some good tools which allow you to monitor different types of link prospects:
Google Alerts allow you to enter a search term of your choice; you can choose the type of media you are looking for whether that is News, Blogs, Video or Online Discussions (forums). Google will then deliver information to you via e-mail or RSS on a daily or weekly basis. You can use this tool to find whatever you wish; you could monitor a competitor’s links if you wish or discussions surrounding topics in your niche.
Bing Search Tool
Similar to Google Alerts, Bing has the capability of creating an RSS feed from any search query. This is more of a hack than an official tool, just follow these steps:
Carry out a search in Bing for anything you like
Add the following characters to the end of the URL: &format=rss
The resulting URL can be added to your chosen RSS feed reader
You could use advanced search operators to bring up results closely related to the information you are after if you like.
Link Dex (paid)
Link Dex is a relatively new tool to the field of SEO. Essentially it allows you to monitor your own and your competitors Link Building strategy over time. You are able to keep track of your own Link Building activities and compare it with your competitors’ to find some good link opportunities you may be missing out on. It is a good tool to help you structure your Link Building campaign, whilst finding some good Link Building opportunities.
SEOmoz Tools (paid)
SEOmoz has a few tools which allow you to monitor the web. They have a Social Media Monitoring tool which allows you to track mentions of keywords, domains on Blogs and popular social platforms. This tool can be useful to keeping an eye on competitors and other link opportunities.
Some other premium (paid) platforms
Here are some other premium platforms that allow you to monitor keywords, competitors and your own links:
To summarise, monitoring keywords or competitors on the net gives you the opportunity to quickly spot good link opportunities without you having to start from scratch with new ideas each time you set out to build links. Having a regular update of link opportunities gives you more motivation to sort through the opportunities and potentially gain some great links.
Choose a tool that you think will be right for you. There may not be much point in paying lots for a monitoring tool if you think you will only get the opportunity to do a bit of Link Building once or twice a month. For a larger company with a sizeable social presence, the more expensive tools can be a great investment.
If you’re looking for information on Link Building then read Tom Howlett’s posts. Tom has a specialist insight into link building strategies designed to improve website’s visibility and ranking. He will help you become a master in finding new link sources.