From an outside perspective, link building might seem like it’s just about reaching out to as many websites and blogs as possible in an attempt to place backlinks. While this kind of activity technically qualifies as link building, a lot more goes into the process of effective and efficient improving backlink profiles.
That’s why there are entire services like PureLinq, with teams of SEO professionals dedicated to this endeavor. They are focused on optimizing the link building process to generate the best results.
One way professionals go about building links is by using Ahrefs, one of the most powerful SEO tools available. There are many ways you can use Ahrefs to generate a winning content strategy, but if you’re new to link building, you’ll want to start with the basics. Here are six ways to use Ahrefs’ Content Explorer:
- Choose What Content To Produce
A critical element in your link building strategy is producing content that sites want to link to and customers want to click on it. To find out what your target audience wants to read, you can use Ahrefs to search for recent content trends.
Input a specific term or keyword to get a general idea of what content is already out there on that topic and how it’s performing. The key is to take notes from the best-performing pieces and imitate their main elements—length, keyword density, tone, and so on—while also improving on their tactics.
If you find yourself impressed with a particular writer because of their content’s quality and angle, you can use Ahrefs to search for more of their work. If they write for multiple websites and blogs, you’ll be able to view all of their content in one place instead of having to navigate a search engine.
Once you’ve found them, you can reach out to writers you like and negotiate with them about producing content for you. Alternatively, if they have their own website or blog, you can ask if you can guest post there or if they accept sponsored posts.
- Scope Out the Competition
Ahrefs’ Content Explorer also allows you to search by domain. Using this search criterion, you can gain data and insight into your competitors’ content. Analyzing said data can help you choose what type of content to produce. You can either create competing content on the same topics or take advantage of a facet they aren’t addressing and center it in your content.
Ask yourself: are your competitors using blog posts, articles, or researched case studies? Do they use visual media such as infographics, interactive images, and videos? How are they performing? And if they’re doing well, where do they place their content, and how often do they upload? Is it a method you can mimic?
Ahrefs’ content explorer can answer all of the above questions. Things that might seem insignificant, such as what time of day a competitor publishes which type of content, can make a huge difference in how many people see and share that content. This is especially true if you rely on social media marketing alongside content marketing.
- Sort By Socials
If you’ve been considering launching a targeted social media campaign to build links, you will know that many factors affect when and how often you should post. Sorting your Ahrefs’ search by social media activity can help you decide how to best utilize social media for your market niche. Look into the type of content that’s getting the most social media shares and interactions. You can also search by keyword or track a specific piece of content.
Either way, you must make sure real people are sharing the content and not bots. If you don’t, you might accidentally end up pursuing spammy link building options and risk search engine penalties.
- Find Broken Links—and Rebuild Them
You can use Ahrefs to search for and live-track links that were once connected to your site but no longer are. Broken links aren’t a sign that you did something wrong. They’re just inevitable. Links can break because the page they send users to is down temporarily or permanently or because the host site reformatted and lost the link in the process.
Still, leaving these links broken is a wasted opportunity. If these linkable keywords are still relevant to your site, find a relevant landing page for them. Then, use info from Ahrefs to contact the site manager and ask if they’d consider linking to your website again. You can also find broken links that weren’t originally connected to your site but could be, and snap those up too.
- Get Notified of Any Updates
Once you’ve tinkered around with Ahrefs’ impressive search functions—modeled after Google’s—you can set up custom alerts that will send you an update whenever new content that matches your criteria gets posted. That way, you won’t have to reconfigure your search features repeatedly or receive spammy notifications with unrelated search terms and metrics.