Today I am going to be discuss a topic that has been on my mind for a while.  As a lot of you will have gathered from my recent posts, I do a lot of blogger outreach on behalf of my clients. I am  a big fan of finding creative ways to improve my methods and believe me it is not an easy task to put it into practice. The whole process is very time-consuming and can seem a bit crazy at times, but the results are amazing. Carrying out extensive research before approaching site owners, bloggers, editors etc for a link is something that needs to be done. It is essential as you have to know that you are putting in a considerable amount of pressure for something that is actually worth the while. Furthermore, with the recent updates and Penguin refreshes now is the time to perfect the link building strategies you have been using. One has to be on top of their game now more than ever.  Read on for more information on the things that should be checked before reaching out to a blogger.

Relevance

Okay, I have mentioned this many times before on this blog so I won’t go into too much detail. Relevance is key, everyone knows that.  Make sure that the blog you are targeting at least mentions the sort of thing you working to promote.  I have gone into more detail on this topic in my recent post about; effective SEO tactics to use in 2013

Outgoing Links

This in itself is a very important metric when it comes to measuring how effective the links you’ve gotten are. The more outgoing links a page has the less value your link will have. Basically if it’s easy to get a link on the site then you have not earned it,  you’ve built it.  We should all know by now, that in this day and age we have to earn our links not build it.

Authority

By all means target the blogs that have a high authority and are well-known for that.  Matt Cutt’s recently stated in his video that authority sites will be ranking more highly in the SERP’s and the signals will be getting a lot better at identifying these sites. Of course these sites will have a good rage rank and high domain authority. These metrics are  good way of indicating that a site is good has a high authority. So I am sure you’ll be looking out for these metrics anyway.

Traffic

Is there a way to find out how much traffic this blog gets?  Remember,  it’s a blog and you’d want to get meaningful content on that blog.  The blog has to have some visits after all you are not just aiming at getting a link on a blog that’s not going to do anything or refer readers, right?  This is why looking at the site’s traffic metrics is important.

Tools for measuring Traffic  – Semrush –  now here is a tool that shows how much traffic each site gets from search engines in each country. For instance one blog may get 1000 referrals from Google UK,  whilst it only gets 500 referrals from Google US search engine. I will probably prefer the blog with more visits from the UK search engine just because my client is a UK-based client who can only sell to UK residents.  This is the sort of thing that many people overlook just because they want to get a link at the end of the day. Well link building has evolved too much for that sort of thinking and one has to make sure they think things through before targeting random sites that don’t make a difference to the brand they are representing. 

Blogger Engagement  On Social Media 

Is there person behind the blog?Are they engaging with their followers?  Believe me,  this sets apart a serious blogger from one who isn’t very serious.  A serious blogger writes passionately,  and engages readers within the posts in any way they can. Do they tweet their content? Of course they should.  Do they have a lot of followers and blog with low domain authority?  If they do then don’t push them aside just because they don’t have a high domain authority.  They may not be very big yet but if they have a huge following on twitter then chances are they are working their way towards this. People care about what they have to say, that’s why they follow them, right? It is a well-known fact that ‘social signals are now paving a way for the future of search’,  so you should definitely take it seriously and use it when researching prospects. 

Social media channels to check;  Twitter; Google+, Facebook, Pintrest etc.

Verified Authorship: 

Now this is something that I look at when I am doing outreach. We must have all heard about the verified authorship that comes up on search results.  Right now, I am still waiting for my blog to be verified and it’s taking a while. It helps when you have your own domain. I have explained that in my last post about managing SEO for my blog.  Being a verified author means that your posts will get a higher click-through rate than normal search results and that results in an increased traffic.  So it all counts, doesn’t it?

Domain Age 

The older the age of the domain the more trustworthy it is.  As stated by Jim Boykin: “I’d much rather get a link from a site registered in 1995 that has 100 quality backlinks, than get a link from a blog registered in 2005 with 1000 quality backlinks.”

For more information about link value factors refer to this link building factor guide

By Ibukun Sodipe