Experts agree. The results of many tests are clear.
Building powerful backlinks to your site is still the best way to improve the search rankings of your content and drive organic traffic.
Just to be clear I did not just say backlinks – I said powerful backlinks.
Links from low authority sites have very little value and simply does not move the needle of organic traffic or even referral traffic for that matter.
Easy links are even worse. Anything that takes near zero effort to do usually means it is totally spammy and Google will hit you hard with penalties. Comment spamming is probably the most well-known of these terrible techniques.
If you want a long term business – stay faaaar away. It is virtually impossible to undo the damage of spammy link building.
So what can you do if your time is limited and guest posting is just too much effort for you right now?
Resource Page link building is a simple, yet surprisingly effective way to build strong backlinks with probably the least amount of effort of all the techniques.
What is Resource Link Building?
Before we really get going let me just explain what a resource page is in case the terminology is new to you.
A resource page is simply a website where the author lists websites, articles or tools they find useful.
Below is an example of a website that is all about dogs and it has a big list of links to relevant dog related websites and resources.
What is great for you is that these websites often just create these pages as a quick way to add value for their customers and that is far as their “content marketing” goes. So if you contact them to add your new awesome website or tool they are often happy to do so.
Resource pages are surprisingly easy to find. They have quite a distinct signature and can be found by including words like “links” and “resources” in your search terms.
Let me now show you step-by-step how to execute this strategy.
Step1: Build list of search terms
Open this Google Spreadsheet and make a copy. (The original file is read-only)
Now in the yellow box enter a keyword your customers often use when searching. For example, if I’m in the “dog training” business I would want to find resource pages that list dog trainers.
So in the yellow box type “dog trainers”. You will see the Search Recipe showing 15+ search terms.
Select all these cells and press “Ctrl+C” to copy the text to the clipboard.
Now open up DataGrunt. Click the Bulk Import checkbox, paste the search terms into the import text area. Click the Bulk Import button.
Tip: Keep the search results at 10 because we are focusing on quality over quantity. You want to stay focused on the sites that show up in the top 10 results of Google. Setting it to higher value will simply require you to filter out more sites later in the process. If the list of sites seems short for you rather enter more search terms into the yellow box and build a bigger list of search terms.
Wait for all the all search terms on left to have results.
Now make sure “All results” is selected on the left. Right-click on the list of websites on the right which brings up a small context menu. Choose the Remove Duplicates command so you can get rid of any sites listed more than once.
Next we will get some data from Moz to help us focus on the top sites only. Make sure you have signed up for a free Moz account and have entered your API details inside DataGrunt->Settings.
Click on the Fetch button () on the Page Authority columns. You will see all the Moz columns start populating with data – 10 sites at a time.
Unfortunately, the free Moz API requires a 10 second delay between requests or otherwise your computer will eventually get blocked. Thus if you have 600 sites it will take roughly 600 seconds to complete (i.e. about 10 minutes). So go make some coffee or do something else productive while you wait.
Note: If the wait is annoying – remember you could be manually checking each URL and writing the information in a spreadsheet! That is indeed how most people do it...
Step2: Delete all the low authority or low relevancy sites
Remember we are looking for quality backlinks only. So in this step you will get rid of any sites with a low authority or that is not relevant to your market.
Let’s first get rid of the low authority sites. Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz that basically tells you how powerful the website is overall in regards to quality of links to it. The higher the DA the more valuable the links will be from their site to yours.
Usually you should only focus on high DA sites. This time is different though since you know on which page your link will appear. Thus you should be more concerned with the Page Authority which measures the authority of that specific page.
There is a problem though. Moz often do not have data for each page and simply displays a metric of 1 for pages it has no data for. A good rule of thumb is to take half the DA and use that as a good estimate of PA.
So unfortunately its still best to initially filter using Domain Authority to quickly get rid of low authority sites.
Put “20” in max column for Domain Authority. The sites visible are the ones with DA 20 or lower - so let's get rid of all of them. Use Cltr+A to select all the visible sites and then the Del key to remove items.
Clear the 20 entered into the filter so you can see all the results again.
Now sort by Page Authority by clicking on the column header. Clicking the column header multiple times will change sort direction or remove sorting completely. Click until sites are ordered from high to low PA.
Do a quick scan of the sites in the list and delete any site that is not relevant. Even if the site is on-topic, the specific page might not be an actual resource page.
Tip: Click on the green URL link to quickly open the website in the browser to see if the link is an actual resource page.
Step3: Export to Excel and fix PA
Next, export the remaining items to Spreadsheet format. (Use Export button at top-right)
Open in Excel (or similar program) and lets first fix the PA for those columns with 1.
For each PA cell that contains a 1 set it to DA/2. See screenshot if you need a bit of help.
You may want to sort the data again based on new updated PA column so the highest value sites are at the top. The big reason for having them at the top is that you spend the most energy on the top sites and move a bit faster with the bottom sites.
Step4: Find contact details
You now should have a good list of quality and relevant sites. Now the real work begins.
Visit each site and collect the contact details and at the same time review the site quickly. Then write a draft email right there and then. It is a lot easier to fill in the blanks of the draft email while you are looking at the site.
A good email usually has the following elements:
1. The compliment
2. The Introduction
3. The Ask
Here is an example email template you can modify:
Hi [first name],
I was doing some research on [topic] and found your blog post on [blog title]. I really loved [something inside the blog post]. Very well said!
Browsed through your site and found that you also have a great resource page for [things they list]. I just [completed an article/have a tool] that is super in-depth and I think it would make an awesome addition to your resource page.
Here is the link if you want to check it out.
Keep up the good work!
Pro tip: Your time is super valuable. Learn early on to outsource these types of tasks. Go to Upwork or Freelancer and hire a web researcher that can find the contact details for you. You can find contractors that work for as little as $4 per hour and already have tools to help them find contact details faster than you can.
Let them find the email addresses and create draft emails. You should still be the one to send the emails though as it is important to check for grammar and spelling (since English is often not their first language). You also want to control the speed at which these emails are sent to spread them over a few days.
Step 5: Check results …. Maybe
Some sites will add your link and then notify you, while others will do it without ever emailing you. Most will not reply nor add your link. Don't get discouraged - this is normal.
Once you get your pitch right expect between 5 and 10 links for every 100 sites . Also remember 5 links from high authority sites is a lot better than 1000 links from worthless sites!
I’m a big believer in testing everything. To get better you need to know what results you are getting. Which emails are getting better conversions? Do you need to use a different approach for big sites than small sites?
Here’s the thing. It takes time to verify which websites added your link. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush can help as it reports on backlinks they have found while crawling the web… but you still have to somehow match that list to your list of domains you emailed. And these tools do not find all backlinks either.
In short – if you are small just take a look at your backlink profile after 30 days on Ahrefs or SEMRush. As long as your link count is growing don’t stress too much about optimizing your outreach yet.
If you are bigger entity and you are the full-time marketing person you better be tracking results and trying to improve!
For both large and small I would recommend following up on sites which responded positively but you find that after a week no link was added yet. People get busy and forget. A simple reminder can be very affective.
Resource Page link building is one of the simplest white-hat techniques for link building.
Google approves of this because each link is indeed a curated link. The site owner still decides if she wants to list your site or not. Also important is that you did not pay for the links. So it’s all good.
Today you have access to so much data around each website that you can really home in on the websites that will give you the link juice and traffic to really make a difference to your growth. Instead of emailing 10,000 websites you can email the 100 that will actually make a measurable difference.
Hopefully it was clear how a tool like DataGrunt can literally save you hours in web research!
Resource Page link building is especially a good strategy to do when you are just starting out.
Be sure to mix in other strategies though as time goes on as you will hit a growth ceiling quite quickly if you only use this strategy. Luckily you will have plenty of growth strategies to try.
What to do next
First, leave a comment below. Let me know what you found useful, if there is anything I need to explain in more detail or if you disagree with anything.
Then don’t just sit there and read. Go out and actually apply this strategy! I challenge you to email 100 sites within the next 72 hours. Then come back and tell us how it went.