What kind of content do you need?
Picking the right resource page link building strategy
Vetting your resource page link opportunities.
How to find resources using advanced search engine operators.
Some examples of what a resource page could be about…
- Top 50 health care advocates for the elderly.
- The top 10 keyword research tools for digital marketers.
- Updated 2018 List of dental supply companies for your practice.
- Top Ketogenic bloggers.
I gave different examples because, well… There could be a resource about anything!
The skies the limit, but first you need to get your site and content in front of these people.
We’ll cover that in just a bit.
Let’s first go over why I love this link building strategy.
So why exactly are resource pages great for link building?
1. The links are usually top level on the site structure.
They’re pretty “juicy” links that will hold their power. The reason for this is because they’re less likely to get lost and pushed down from blog posts, etc.
2. These pages can build more links over time, funneling that power to your site.
Often times resource pages can be considered “evergreen content”, meaning they will be considered helpful and relevant forever.
The helpful content will also serve as a link magnet, accumulating links years down the road.
3. It’s a great way to get your “foot in the door”.
These webmasters are actively looking to link to other websites to make great resource pages.
The goal is to improve their visitor experience, making it an ideal link building strategy if you can help them accomplish this.
By approaching these sites with great content, you can dramatically increase your link building productivity versus other strategies out there that involve begging.
4. It’s a great way to build links from high authority sites.
The resource page link building angle can also help get your foot in the door to earn links from sites with really high domain authority.
Even for sites like .edu and .gov, resource page link building is a great way to get their attention, earn a link, and further increase the power of your own site.
This is actually not as common, but I’m mentioning it first anyways.
When focusing on home page link building, keep an eye out for resource pages that are predominately linking to home pages.
These would be great opportunities to pitch your home page, if it’s appropriate.
If they have a resource section dedicated to well-known bloggers in your niche, make sure that you are actively blogging and have a sizable readership.
If not, you’re wasting your time and theirs.
Don’t bother pitching them with that angle.
If they have a resource section dedicated to up-to-date news on a certain topic, it wouldn’t make sense to pitch your home page if you don’t cover current events for your topic.
Bottom line, be sure to read what the page is dedicated to before considering reaching out.
Utilizing resource pages to build links is incredibly easy if you have a product or service to sell.
A great value proposition would be to let the owner of the resource page actually use the product or service.
Another angle could be to give the webmaster and their audience a special discount.
This of course is entirely dependent on how much that costs for you, but if your margins are high, 10% for a handful of links can’t hurt!
Something like a software or physical product would be a great option for this type of value proposition.
Content pages including blogs, case studies, guides, videos, & educational articles.
The value proposition for these types of pages is the actual content.
The content must be designed to benefit someone tremendously.
If you want to be included in someone’s resource page, then your page needs to provide an insane amount of value.
Why else would someone want to link to your site from their resource page?
While this is painfully obvious, millions of useless pages are being created on the internet every day.
Side Note: Creating too many useless pages will kill your crawl rate with Google. If your page has no purpose and is thin on content, you’re not only wasting your time, your hurting your SEO.
A great rule of thumb when creating guides or helpful content is to continue asking questions.
1. What are the biggest problems?
2. What hasn’t been included in other popular content related to your topic?
3. How can you make your content better?
4. How can you make each idea flow to give your visitors great user experience when reading your content?
Ask questions like these and go above and beyond what the next guy or gal did.
When approaching a resource page with well done and well thought out content, you should do just fine!
There are 3 routes you can go when deciding what type of content to use and deciding your plan of action for approaching resource link building opportunities.
You need an end goal in mind and a strategy in place in order to get the most out of your link building efforts.
The 3 following options will give you direction and help you accomplish your link building goals more efficiently.
Route 1: Pick your best piece of content
Have you ever wondered if your new piece of content on the web will be well received?
I think everyone has had that moment.
Now imagine taking a piece of content that’s already been shared over 100 times on Twitter and Facebook, and sharing it with someone else. Do you still have doubts that it will be well received?
Chances are, you won’t have doubts. You inherently know that when gauging whether content is good or not, the best indication is your audiences’ reaction towards your content.
Here are a few indicators that a piece of content has done well in the past and is more than likely going to be well received by webmasters managing resource pages.
- High number of social shares.
- High number of links pointing to that page.
- Higher than average comments received.
- Average time on page is more than 2 minutes (Measured in Google Analytics)
The first 3 are obvious, but I believe the last one is easily one of the most tell-tale signs, yet most frequently overlooked.
You can’t ignore metrics like time on site. Either they absolutely love your content and stick to the page, or they don’t.
By leading with your best foot forward, chances are you’ll get some link love and make the most out of your resource page outreach efforts.
While this is a safe route to go, often times fortune favors the bold.
This next route could be just the key to your resource page link building success. That is, if you’re smart about it.
Route 2: Create content that is commonly linked out to from resource pages.
Go to resource pages in your niche, and find out what kind of content these pages link out to.
While some people take this advice as permission to find a resource page and create content based on that one page, resist the temptation!
This route is only appropriate if you find many resource pages that all link to the same type of content.
Don’t actively go looking for these “patterns”.
A better way would be to condition yourself to notice these patterns as you work.
Once you repeatedly notice specific types of content that they are all linking out to, take note of it in your documentation phase (Skip to that section).
While this can be a great strategy to utilize, the rewards won’t outweigh your efforts unless you’re smart with your approach.
Which leads me to route 3, my preferred resource page link building strategy.
Route 3: Combine the 2 strategies as you go.
As I just said, don’t go looking for topics to write about.
I found the best strategy is to pick one of your more popular pieces of content and begin your research phase. By starting with route 1, you have an end goal in mind and can actively work towards this goal.
As you’re going through your resource page link building opportunities, document any common themes you find among the many resource pages.
If a resource page is linking out predominately to home pages, document it so when you revisit this for your outreach efforts, you’ll know what to pitch.
If there is a particular topic that many webmasters are including in their resource pages, document it.
Once you revisit your opportunities for the outreach phase, if there is a large enough demand to create a particular type of content, go for it!
Worst case scenario, you’ll never run out of topics to write about for content creation.
Pro Tip: Once you find a popular topic and you’ve decided to capitalize on the opportunity, don’t just create a piece of content for the sake of creating it. Make it more in-depth, helpful, and overall engaging than all the other top pieces of content related to the subject. If you’re going to invest the time and resources to create content based on demand, go big or go home!
Now that you have hopefully chosen a strategy, you should have an end goal in mind.
Before I dive deep into how to find these resource page opportunities, you need to know what to look for and what makes that resource page a good link.
Learning how to vet your resource page link opportunities is crucial if you don’t want to waste your time on the research and outreach phase.
While gaining links from any opportunity is great, if you trim down the amount to go after; you’ll have more time to go after more powerful sites.
Let’s face it, I’d much rather get 1 link from a site with a domain rating (DR) of 70+ than 4 links from sites that have a DR of 10.
PSSSST: Ahrefs domain rating metric measures the strength of the websites overall backlink profile.
Here are 5 tips to help you trim down the garbage links.
Tip 1: Look at the link metrics.
I personally use Ahrefs to determine the power and health of a site based on link metrics.
It’s not realistic to plug in a URL into Ahrefs site explorer every time you want to analyze a site.
Sometimes you have to do it on the fly.
Download Ahrefs browser plugin here.
Once downloaded, you can see a few key metrics in real time to let you quickly disqualify sites when you’re visiting them on the web.
My rule of thumb is to go after sites with 20 or higher Domain Rating (DR).
Some people might settle for less, but I like focusing on sites that have a greater chance of being healthy and have some power to them.
A DR of 20 has not led me astray.
UPDATE: Ahrefs domain rating has changed. Now my rule of thumb is 7 DR.
The next metric to pay attention to is the sites URL Rating (UR).
UR is Ahrefs measurement of the backlink profile strength for a websites specific page URL.
EX: site.com vs site.com/inner-page
What’s great about resource pages is that you can determine more precisely the power of the link your anticipating due to the inherent nature of resource pages.
If someone randomly links to you, there’s no guarantee that specific linking page will ever build links.
While the site as a whole might continue building links, that particular page may never receive even one link and transfer that power directly to you.
If you go after link roundups, there’s no guarantee that link roundup page will ever build links to that specific page.
Most sites however only have one resource page.
This provides the opportunity for that page to build up its page URL backlink profile overtime.
When trying to find link opportunities from pages that already exist, you have the luxury of gauging the power of that particular page in question.
I’m not as strict with URL Rating. I say if it has a UR of 5 or more, you’re good to go.
If it has a phenomenal domain rating, and a 0 UR, I’ll still go for it.
I don’t really use this metric to “trim the fat” so to speak, but it’s a great way to prioritize specific resource page link building opportunities.
PRO TIP: Let’s just say that if a resource page has a 30+ UR, I’m more inclined to sweeten the deal by offering something greater in value in the outreach phase vs a page with a UR of 0.
Tip 2: Look out for nofollow links.
This tip is more focused on avoiding sites, vs prioritizing them.
You need to determine whether or not they’re predominately using nofollow links in their resource page.
It’s not rocket science, if all the links on the resource are nofollow, it’s pretty safe to say you don’t want to waste your time pitching them for inclusion.
Use this free browser plugin to determine if the links on a page are nofollow in real time.
It’s that simple!
Tip 3: Look out for inner page linking.
It’s not all too common you’ll come across resource pages that only link to inner pages on their site, but it’s enough of an issue that you should keep an eye out for it.
Don’t immediately jump to conclusions though if you spot a site that participates in SOME inner linking on their resource page. Often times, they’ll also include links to other sites, just in a different section of the resource.
A great example of this was the website I cited at the top of this article. At first glance, it looks like it’s a resource page that only links to other pages on their own site.
A closer examination paints a different picture when you scroll down.
If you come across a resource page that only links to inner pages on the site, disqualify it from your outreach list.
Tip 4: Look at the age of the resource page.
I feel this is up to personal preference.
Yes, if you come across a resource page that’s 10 years old, chances are you’re going to have issues landing a link – let alone getting a hold of the person who created the page!
With that said, there’s a silver lining in approaching resource pages that are outdated.
You have the ultimate value proposition!
You can sell these webmasters on the importance of updating their outdated resource page with more current and relevant resources.
While some think it’s a shot in the dark, I would personally go for it if they had good link metrics like I explained above.
Tip 5: Consider the relevance.
While some people would take a link from just any site, relevance is still a huge ranking factor in Googles algorithm.
Unless your new to SEO, it’s obvious that getting a link from a highly relevant site will help tremendously vs another link that is NOT relevant (yet equal in all other aspects).
With the research strategies I’ll be going over in the next section, you should have no problem finding ample resource page link opportunities.
With that said, the drawback of going after every opportunity you can find is that non-relevant sites might not convert into links as easily.
You don’t want to waste your time pitching webmasters that are less likely to link out to you.
Guard your time, be smart with your linking strategies, and you should do just fine.
Now that you have a pretty good idea on how to vet your resource page link building opportunities, it’s time to do your research.
Search engine operators can help you find resource pages related to your topic quickly and easily.
I’m going to give you all the resource page search operators that my team and I use, but first you need to understand how to combine these queries to help find relevant pages that match your topic.
Prepare for the research phase
First step is to download a free browser plugin called Keywords Everywhere.
This will help give you the search volume of keywords you type into Google, as well as the volume for the keywords Google recommends at the bottom of the results page.
The next step is to go to Google.com and search a keyword in your niche.
Let’s say I wrote a broad article on link building as an example.
Type “link building” into Google, and scroll to the bottom.
There you will see semantic keywords Google recommends accompanied by the search volume for each keyword.
Right of the bat, I’m going to take note of the keywords “link building strategies” and “link building techniques”.
The reason why is because they get a more sizable number of searches, and therefore are more likely to have more content on the topic.
Next step is to document these keywords to reference later as you combine your search engine operators with your keywords.
Get free access to my client tracking sheets here called Schumacher Sheets.
I’ll cover more about what this can offer in the documentation section.
Make a copy of it so you can have edit access.
Next, simply go to the “URL Goals” tab, document the page your pitching in column A, and document the keywords in column B.
Create your search engine operators
Open our Schumacher Operators sheet, a spreadsheet my team and I use to combine search engine operators with keywords on the fly.
Just as you did with Schumacher Sheets, make a copy so you have edit access.
Copy the first of the keywords found in the URL goals tab and paste them into Column A Row 2 in your Schumacher operators’ sheets.
This will spit out search engine operators that are unique to your topic primed to find resource pages.
Being your search
Copy and paste each search engine operator into Googles search bar.
Go down the list from page 1 to page 10 and document each resource page you find that’s related to your topic.
(Skip to the documentation section here)
TIP: Look at the URL from the results page for hints that it’s a resource page. I know this is very straightforward, but I want you to understand the importance of spending your time wisely and moving quick.
Do this for Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
Rinse and repeat until you’re finished going through the keywords you documented in the URL goals tab of Schumacher Sheets.
It’s really that simple. When you get the hang of it, you can cover a lot of ground.
It’s just a matter of becoming acquainted with a PROCESS, and faithfully executing this process over and over again until you get your desired results.
Researching with brute force isn’t the only way to find resource page link building opportunities.
Combined with another approach, you can exhaust your niche and uncover some hidden gems your competitors won’t find.
Sometimes working smart is the way to go, so let’s hop into how you can use SEO tools to get the job done.
Niche Specific Page
Let’s say you already have a page in mind you want to build links to. Targeting other popular web pages on the topic that already have a high link count or social share can help shorten your search.
Let’s say we had a page about the topic content marketing.
Step 1: Go to buzzsumo.
Step 2: Type in your main keyword. Ex: Content marketing
Step 3: Look for pages with the highest amount of links.
We found a piece of content by buzzsumo themselves that had a very high link count.
Step 4: Plug the page url into ahrefs site explorer.
Click the backlinks tab | Type in “Resource” within the search bar found at the top right.
As you can see with our example, we found a TON of opportunities.
Pro Tip: You can use Ahrefs content explorer tool as well to find pages relevant to the topic in question, and even sort the results from highest amount of referring domains to least.
Niche Specific SITE
Find top blogs / sites in your niche. If they’be been around for a while, chances are they have an incredible backlink profile. These types of big sites will naturally attract resource page links.
You might already be familiar with these websites and if not, a simple Google search will do.
From there, the same steps as outlined in the GIF above is all it takes!
Step 1: Plug each home page URL into Ahrefs
Step 2: Search in Ahrefs Site Explorer
Step 3: Click backlinks
Step 4: Type in “resource”
Step 5: Rinse and repeat for all major sites in your niche.
Step 6: And you’re done!
Target resource page link builders
As always, being pragmatic is often the path of least resistance.
Benefiting from other people who are actively engaged in this link building strategy can shorten your workload immensely.
Step 1: Find resource page opportunities in your niche.
Step 2: Quickly open a new tab for each page.
Step 3: Using Ahrefs browser plugin, you can determine which of these pages have a lot of links.
Step 4: When you find the winners, take those page URL’s, and plug them into Ahrefs site explorer.
This strategy doesn’t always pay off, but when you get it right; you can often find the motherload.
Staying organized using our client tracking sheet is the way to go.
Simply go to the “Link Research” tab to document your progress.
It is imperative that you document when you found the opportunity, where you found it, and the status for your outreach campaign.
This way you won’t get lost or experience setbacks, and you’ll move quickly through your process.
Other important info you should document are the resource pages title so you can reference it in your outreach phase.
We’ve been using Saleshandy, where you can upload .CSV files combining it with an email template to help you move fast.
Here’s a standard outreach message you could use to reach out to these resource page opportunities.
(Change it up, or just might sound like everyone else who sends emails! Also, the more personalized your message sounds, the better!)
Quick question about [resource url title]
Hi [Insert name],
I had a quick question.
Would be open to include my article [Insert content title] in your resource section: [Insert THEIR resource page URL]
I’d be glad to return the favor because I realize it’s no fun updating old content.
[Insert value proposition #1 Example: I’ll share the link to my 1,000+ facebook followers “or instagram/snapchat”]
[Insert value proposition #2 Example: I’ll tweet the link to my 1,500+ twitter followers.
[Insert value proposition #3 Example: I’ll incorporate your link in one of my companies’ newsletter emails.
If you’re open to this, you can view my article here. [Insert your article URL]
PS – If there’s something else I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Pro Tip: What’s great about Saleshandy is that you can even set the software up to follow up with those who didn’t reply or open your email. This way you can ensure no opportunities fall through the crack.
If you have a physical product or software that you offer that won’t break the bank, now is the time to offer it.
Maybe you’re hesitant because you’re afraid too many people might take you up on the offer.
That’s where looking at and documenting site metrics like I mentioned earlier comes in handy.
Save this type of value proposition in your outreach for the links that will give the most power.
The benefits of ranking power down the road will be well worth the little investment up front.
With our strategy we just laid out for you, you’re no longer throwing darts in the dark.
Adhering to a step by step process will help you accomplish your resource page link building goals.
- Determine the right type of content you need.
- Pick your resource page link building strategy.
- Vet your opportunities carefully to make the best use of your time and resources.
- Use the tried and true search engine operator methods to find these opportunities.
- Kick up some rocks to find those additional resources pages with the use of tools.
- Document your research using our google sheet we designed to make you efficient (NOT napkins).
- Use proven outreach templates and email all of your opportunities with the click of a button.
Stay the course, stay relevant with your research, and stay focused until you’ve exhausted your niche for this type of link opportunity.
I hope you enjoyed our exact process we use for our clients.
Please leave a comment, like, or share it with someone who needs some more links!
Then they too can be a bad @$$ resource page link building machine!