There are few link builders I respect as much as Garrett French, the founder of Citation Labs. Because he’s built so many links over the years, he knows what parts of the process are a bit tedious. That’s why he teamed up with Darren Shaw from Whitespark to create a new tool to add to the Citation Labs toolset: Link Prospector.
The reason this tool is great is because it automates the entire query-based prospecting process. If you type in as many custom searches on Google as I do, this saves a ton of time.
To start, let’s first create a campaign. It’s up to you what you want to name it, but I suggest naming it either a client or a niche. In the picture below I named them after a couple of my clients, whom I wish I had.
The best part about this is, if you’re a consultant, you’re able to easily stay organized and keep track of which reports go to which client. This can be a hassle with other tools.
Next comes the magic: creating reports. Click on “Prospects” in the main navigation bar, and this is the screen you get taken to.
First, choose which type of report you’ll be creating. This helps you keep track of which type or report is which. Next, scroll down to these options:
I’ll run through each real quick:
If you’ve ever conducted large-scale query based prospecting, you know that having sites like Facebook, Twitter, or even your own client’s site show up in results can make the cleanup process a bit tedious. That’s why the exclusions feature is so awesome. Here’s what the screen looks like.
Easily add global and campaign specific exclusions with a click on a button. Then, when creating reports, easily choose which set of exclusions you want for that specific report, as shown in the picture for reports.
Once you’ve created a few reports, here’s what your “View Prospects” screen will look like.
Here’s what an individual report screen looks like.
This is where it gets fun. I’ll run through a few things you see above.
There are a couple ways you can go now. The first is putting the prospects into Excel and mashing it up with the SEOmoz API (here’s a great how-to post on this). The second is far greater… Put them directly into Buzzstream! (this is where you go crazy!)
Yes, you heard me correctly. For everyone who loves Buzzstream as much as I do, this is a dream come true. All you have to do is export the prospects as a CSV, then import them into your “Link Partners” tab, as shown in the picture below.
The import shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Once they’re in Buzzstream, you’ll get contact info for each (if Buzzstream can find any), which segways nicely into the outreach process. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like for those unacquainted with Buzzstream.
If you didn’t notice, the tool is extremely user friendly. It didn’t take me more than a few minutes to figure out how to use all the different features. If you’re sick of complex tools that take hours of your time to learn, this is a fantastic change up.
Here’s what the pricing model looks like.
Each credit typically brings back 1-2000 unique domain prospects.
Also, this tool comes with Garrett’s link building eBook, which he currently sells for $67. I’ve gotten a chance to read through it, and I can tell you this alone is worth at least trying out the tool for a couple months. The book runs through a link building campaign from top to bottom. You could literally know nothing coming into your first campaign with this eBook and still execute to near perfection.
If you’re more of a visual learner, then check out Garrett’s video overview of this tool. It’s a nice walkthrough of all the functionalities I explained above.
The best link building tools are made by link builders, because they know which phases of the process are a bit tedious. That’s why I think Garrett did such a great job with this. As I get to mess around with some of the functionalities in the future, I’ll share some tips that work best for me.
Now that I’ve talked all about it, head on over and try Link Prospector out!
Note: Citation Labs has an amazing toolset outside of Link Prospector. I highly suggest you check some of the other tools out; the outbound link scraper & contact finder are my personal favorites.
If you have any questions about this tool, leave a comment on this post or send Garrett an email at email@example.com.