The processes for digital PR and link building are often lengthy and tedious. Between finding and evaluating viable opportunities and tracking down contact information, it’s apparent that digital PR is not a job for the impatient, unmotivated, or faint of heart. Luckily, there are several Google Chrome extensions to make the searching and analysis — and the job as a whole — that much easier. Here are five that I, as a Digital PR Specialist, swear by here at seoplus+. These are essentials for every digital PR pro’s link building toolkit.
When it comes to digital PR for link building, one of the first things you need to do when you are approached for or searching for opportunities is evaluate the quality of the publication/website. There are several factors to consider in this step, but for link-building purposes, we mainly use Majestic.
The idea is that the more high-quality backlinks pointing to a website, the higher Google will rank that website on its SERP. Majestic shares information about how trustworthy a website is based on the backlinks that it has pointing to it. The free version of the extension shares key information including:
- how many links point to the page (URL), domain and subdomain
- how many domains link to the page, domain and subdomain
- “citation flow” score for page, domain and subdomain (how strong these links are)
- “trust flow” score for page, domain and subdomain (how trustworthy these links are)
You can see on the extension here that Forbes has over 97 million backlinks pointing to the domain from over 900,000 referring domains. The website also has a trust flow of 86 and a citation flow of 86, which is exceptional considering the score is out of 100! Google itself doesn’t even score a perfect 100.
Overall, these metrics tell us that they have an incredibly healthy backlink profile with many high-quality links pointing to it. This is a website you would want a link from, not just from a traditional standpoint but an SEO-standpoint as well. As our rule of thumb, we typically approve of websites with a root domain trust flow of at least 10.
The paid version of this extension is $49.99 per month, and gives even more useful information that can be used for your link building efforts including a list of the page’s top backlinks at a glance, anchor text data, and even on-page links.
Nofollow links are links that are ignored by Google, therefore they have little-to-no SEO value. These links also look regular to the naked eye, and can traditionally only be identified by inspecting the code for the no-follow tag (rel=”nofollow”). The Strike Out Nofollow extension is an easy and free fix to visibly see nofollow links on the page. Once you notice that your website has been given a no-follow link on a high-quality website, you can always make it part of your strategy to reach out and request the webmaster to change it to a do-follow link by removing the tag. But don’t fret, even though a nofollow link isn’t great for SEO, it can still drive referral traffic and increase awareness for your brand!
Broken link building is when you find and replace broken links on existing sites with other relevant working links. This is a great strategy for putting existing content like blogs to use, or even getting links to e-commerce products. The challenge with broken link building comes in finding the broken links. After all, they aren’t visible at first glance; you would have to individually click each link to see where it leads you. Thankfully, Broken Link Checker takes that hassle away. With the click of a button, this extension scans the entire page – or even the entire website if you wish- for any 404 errors. It then shares the broken URLs right in the extension, and you can see them highlighted in pink where they are on the page.
In the particular example above, you can see that there are two broken links on the page. Say you had a fashion e-commerce website that sold a similar product to the one that no longer exists in this article. You could offer it as a replacement link, ideally resulting in a new brand mention online and more traffic to your store. This extension is free, which is the cherry on top of the cake. If you do desire to do more SEO-related work, this company also offers a paid version with even more features including duplicate content detection and scheduled checking capabilities.
Now that you have identified your link building strategy and found a quality website to get your link placed, you need to find the contact information of the person who is going to make this happen. Hunter is by far my favourite extension for link building and digital PR as it quickly locates all emails for the particular website you’re concerned with, whether that’s a journalist, an editor, a webmaster, or a support email. It even tells you the contact’s titles (if available) and you’re able to click and see the sources of where they got the emails to confirm their validity. The free version of this extension allows you up to 50 searches per month, and the paid versions start at 500.
Once you have found where you are trying to get your link placed and have obtained the contact information, the last step is to complete outreach. These two Chrome extensions have similar features that help you write, schedule and send your emails with ease, and also inform you on your next move. My personal favourite functionality that both have is read receipts. You can see when and how many times your contact opened your email, or even clicked any embedded links.
Cirrus Insight Read Receipt Interface
Boomerang for Gmail Read Receipt Interface
This can give you a pretty good idea of their interest in your pitch, and also whether or not you need to follow up – which brings me to my next point. Both extensions give you the ability to schedule follow up emails to send later, which is a helpful addition for when you need to be strategic or resourceful with timing.
Although there are a lot of similarities between the two, Boomerang is definitely more limited in its functionalities compared to Cirrus Insight. Boomerang is the free option of the two, whereas Cirrus Insight requires a subscription starting at $27 per month.
Yes, digital PR and link building can be a headache sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be! With these Chrome extensions in your tool belt and a little creativity and persuasion skills, you’ll be on your way to getting placements on high-quality websites in no time. Are you looking for ways to increase your brand’s reputation online while also earning some backlinks and boosting your SEO? Get in touch today to inquire about how our digital PR services can help.
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