There are two main methods SEOs use to find link prospects:
Look up pages that have linked to similar content by competitors
Look up pages that have mentioned relevant keywords
The former is usually a bit more challenging than the latter.
If someone is already linking to a competitor’s page, your chances of persuading them to swap that link to yours are pretty low. What often works better is trying to convince them to mention your content alongside your competitor’s content (especially if yours offers a new perspective)—but this is still quite hard to pull off.
A far more effective strategy is to look for pages that mention something covered extensively on your page.
I have an awesome page about X, which you’ve talked about in your post.
…is a much better reason for reaching out than…
I have a better page about X than the one you’re linking to in your post.
And there’s no better way to find these pages than with Ahrefs’ Content Explorer.
For example, there are over 180 THOUSAND pages in its database that mention the phrase “mechanical keyboard:”
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the internet, 80%+ of these pages are junk and come from sites that aren’t worth pitching. That’s why you need to apply some filters to narrow down your list of prospects to the very best ones.
Here are the settings you can start from:
Domain Rating: 30-90
Website traffic: 500+
One page per domain - Checked
Exclude homepages - Checked
Exclude subdomains - Checked
Live & Broken - Only live
Filter explicit results - On
Dividing the workload like this whatsapp number list allows both the vendor and the affiliate to focus on their strengths. The improvements are similar on desktop and mobile. Most of the focus in 2021 was on mobile results.
These filters take our prospect list from 180K+ pages to just 2,268 of the very best ones. That’s still a lot if you’re sending outreach emails manually rather than automating the process, but you can always play with the filters until you arrive at the number of prospects that’s right for you.
Applying these filters to my target keyword—“keyword research” —resulted in 9,482 pages. And even if I limit the publish date to the last 12 months, I still get nearly 5K link prospects.
But I previously said that I only had 200 link prospects collected by the agency. How come?
The number was so low because their primary method of sourcing link prospects was to search Google and scrape the top 100 results. But shortly after learning about the functionality of Content Explorer, the agency folks told me that this tool is now part of their standard link prospecting workflow.
But that’s not all. You can also set up email alerts for when Ahrefs finds a new piece of content mentioning your target keyword.