7 Mar

The Link Builder’s Guide to “Link Roundups”

Link Roundups
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Last week, I was talking to a client and explaining the link outreach strategy we use for the SEO on his site. When we got to the part about the different link types we would use to boost his rankings, the client stopped me and asked “What is a link roundup?“. The short, two sentence response I gave him, was not enough to make it clear. So I told him I would get back to him with more information.

NOTE: Please leave a comment thanking my client for asking the question!

What exactly is a Link Roundup?

Link roundups are curated updates from bloggers that link out to their favorite content during a given time period.

Here are some examples:

These are all marketing sites, but roundups occur in almost every niche on the web.

What can Link Roundups do for your site?

Link roundups are one of my favorite link building and PR tactics, for a number of reasons:

  1. Roundups are a two way street and beneficial for both parties in the relationship. It’s really hard to curate good content (I’ve tried) – it is a lot of work to maintain a roundup. The people creating these roundups for their blogs are always looking for good content to link to. It’s a question of delivering on a demand, they need content, you have it – boom, easy.
  2. You can land links in bulk. I landed well over 15 link roundups when I launched my content marketing guide back in 2015.
  3. Over time, you will gain roundup coverage naturally. After I contact the people who curate these roundups, I find them through social media so they can find my future updates automatically. Today, I regularly see my articles featured on other websites without pitching – this is truly white hat link building.

However, there are a few things you need to think of before sending out your outreach emails …

Success depends on your ability to create great content.

As a reader, I love a good link roundup. As busy as I am, it’s great to find a curated update with everything I missed that week/month in one place. From the writers’ point of view, the quality of their roundup is dependent on the quality of the links they curate. If they are not providing their followers and website visitors with top quality content, they will lose trust and eventually, traffic.

Therefore, the content you create and pitch has to be really, really good. If you don’t have something of tremendous value, don’t waste your time.

When I say “content”, I don’t mean your home page…

You can’t pitch a product, services or home page. It has to be something of value – a guide, resource or blog post that provides insight for the audience. It should also be free and non gated (i.e. no opt in required to view).

Your content has to be relevant to the roundup.

This should go without saying but don’t pitch your guide about Bitcoin to a blog about SEO. It’s irrelevant and a waste of your time.

Your content should be recently published.

The content you’re pitching needs to have gone live within the time period the roundup covers.

For example, if you’re pitching “Top Posts of the Week”, your content needs to have gone live that week. Same concept applies to all time periods (month, year, etc).

Don’t pitch the same roundup too much.

It’s ok to pitch the same roundup if you’ve built a relationship with that blogger, but don’t bother them with every update on your blog.

Where to find Link Roundups?

They are sometimes hard to find because not every roundup is actually called “link roundup”. I use three killer methods to find them, I will tell you all about them below.

First of all we need to talk about the organization, the project management and tracking. If you plan on doing this for your website, you’ll need to get organized! Below is an example of a client’s tracker:

tracking-and-recording

We always use Google Sheets for our project management, because it’s light and easily shareable so we can collaborate with the rest of the team on a real time basis. We also always record a number of standard fields:

  • Website URL
  • Name of the blogger
  • Name of the roundup (i.e. “Magic Monday Roundup”)
  • Blogger contact info

I’ll cover why in the pitching portion of this post.

Now, let’s get into the prospecting methods.

Method 1: Using search engine operators to find opportunities.

Search engine operators are long term searches we use to return specific results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and Duck Duck Go. They are my most favorite way to find quality opportunities.

SEARCH-engine-operators

I’ve saved you a ton of time by giving you the exact ones we use – simply click the button below to get the spreadsheet.

Download Roundup Search operatorsThe only thing you have to do is add your modifier or keyword to the root operator (i.e. “top updates”) to personalize your queries. This is an incredibly time consuming process. Back when I started in this business, I used to do all of this myself, now I have a team to get this done. If you go online, you will find a ton of tools to help you speed it all up, but nothing beats humans. This is something you want to get done by a VA or an outsourced labourer.

Search engine prospecting tips

We want to add additional filters to search engines to ensure the results we’re getting are recent.

using-search-operators-link-roundups

You will find a lot of sites with roundups, but who aren’t updating them regularly, we only want to target websites that are actively posting roundups. Don’t wast your time with the non-active ones. Filtering the results as above will save you a lot of time and effort.

Also, you need to pay close attention to the meta title and meta description in the search results, a lot of them won’t be link roundups but posts about link roundups like this one 😉

prospecting-for-link-roundupsClick on the results that pass these tests and do a quality check by making sure they link out and not to other internal posts. There are a lot of sites out there that do a weekly or monthly roundup of their won best content. Obviously we don’t want that, so keep an eye out for these when prospecting.

Finding contact information

Now that we have found the opportunities we want, we need the contact information of these results. Most of them will have an author – this is the person we want to contact because they are in charge of the roundups.

finding-contact-info

Contacting these people can be done in a number of ways, one will be more successful then the other, let me show you how to go about this in order of my personal preference.

BEST METHOD: Find their personal email address

As you can see in the image above, their name is easy to find and a personal email allows us to send highly personalized outreach emails, pushing up response rate significantly.

I use a few methods to find an email address:

  1. Check their “about” or “contact” page
  2. Run their info through http://findanyemail.net/

finding-email-address

There’s no guarantees the tool will bring back a result. If you don’t find their personal email, move to the next method.

2nd BEST METHOD: Find their LinkedIn

If you can find a person on LinkedIn, you can accomplish 2 things:

  1. Make a personal impression on them, showing you’re not a spammer.
  2. Send a personalized inbox message, which also pushes to their email.

I track them down on LinkedIn using a few methods:

  1. Check their “about” or “contact” page
  2. Search Google for “their name + LinkedIn + site name”
  3. Search LinkedIn directly

3rd BEST METHOD: Find their personal Facebook account

If they aren’t on LinkedIn, they’re probably on Facebook.

There’s a few ways to find them on Facebook:

  1. Check their “about” or “contact” page
  2. Search Google for “their name + Facebook + site name”
  3. Search Facebook directly

find-facebook

4th BEST METHOD: Find them on Twitter

Twitter is not as easy as the previous methods, because in order to get a message through they need to be following you back. On the other hand you can rest assured a Twitter direct message always gets read because, well, no one uses them, so getting one is a surprise.

There’s a few ways to find them on Twitter:

  1. Check their “about” or “contact” page
  2. Search Google for “their name + Twitter + site name”
  3. Search Twitter directly

FINAL METHOD: Use their contact page

I hate contact pages because you have no idea who is reading it or where it’s being sent. Use them as a last resort.

Method 2: Using Twitter to find opportunities.

Twitter provides another platform to prospect for opportunities.

  • Simply take the search operators and type them into Twitter search
  • Navigate to Live > More Options
  • Check Tweets and From Everyone

twitter-link-roundups

  • You’ll see a live feed of the latest Tweets with those keywords in them
  • Scroll until you find some that are relevant, click through on the link

twitter-roundups

  • Follow the same process outlined about to find contact into and record the opportunity

Method 3: Scraping large blogs to find opportunities.

As I said before, there are a lot of link roundups that don’t call themselves link roundup, which makes searching for them a little bit harder. With the following method we are going to find top content for a niche , scrape the profiles and sift through them to find opportunities.

  • Start by heading to top websites in your vertical (Moz, Search Engine Land, etc). Search through content looking for high engagement metrics (comments, likes, shares, etc)
  • Or, use Ahrefs content explorer or BuzzSumo to discover top shared and linked content
  • Run Majestic SEO browser plugin on the URL with high engagement
  • We’re looking for articles with a large number of referring domains

pull-majestic-metrics

  • When you find an article with links, dump the URL into Ahrefs
  • Navigate to “Links”

dump-into-ahrefs

  • Scan the links page looking for titles and descriptions related to “roundups”

scan-for-roundups

  • When / if you find one, click through and analyze

roundups

  • Record the result in your link tracker
  • Rinses and repeat

How do I pitch my Link Roundups?

The prospecting phase is the hardest and most work intensive, the pitch to all of the contacts we found won’t take more then an hour or so. You will be able to find some tools to help you speed up and automate the whole process, but you really don’t need them. You can easily do it without them. I use Gmail mainly for their canned responses, they automate yet allow you to personalize your tedious outreach.

Here’s the exact pitch I use for our content marketing guide:

email-pitch-roundups

I don’t want to waste a ton of your time going through it, so I’ll cover a few key points:

  • In the subject line, I like to tell them WHY I’m emailing them.
  • I also like to personalize it with their name.
  • Keep the body of the email short and to the point.
  • Personalize the email with the name of their roundup (i.e. Magic Monday Roundup).
  • Give a QUICK overview of your post.
  • Drop a link, thank them and keep it moving.

That’s really all there is to writing a good pitch.

But does it work?

Yes

link-roundup-example-4

link-roundup-example-1

link-roundup-example-2

link-roundup-example-3

Really, really well.

Wrapping up!

I don’t really have anything else to say.

If you want us to do this type of work for your website, contact us or schedule a time to chat by clicking the button below.

 

Categories: SEO

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