A professional link builder is nothing without his tools. Link analysis is one of the most important parts of a link builders job. The beauty of online marketing is a competitors strategy is there for the world to see, steal and improve on if you know what to look for. I love the initial process of building a mind map around a new market I am working on, so when the guys at CEMPER.com asked would I give their new LinkResearchTools a test drive, it was an immediate yes.
At the moment I use SEOSpyGlass, MajesticSEO, OpenSiteExplorer, Yahoo Site Explorer and the Mozilla firefox plugin, SEO Xray, to get data around a competitors link strategy. Now, I should point out, I don’t do a full analysis with each tool. You need to find a balance between analysis, strategy development and obtaining links. This can be more difficult than it sounds as we are privileged these days to have access to so much data.
CEMPER say they built their tools with link builders in mind. In fact, the tools were originally used by them for link building, so were tailored for their needs. This is something I would agree with 100%. I found the tools were completely in sync with how I liked to work and what I find important when doing analysis. Often when doing link research you can waste huge amount of time following rabbit holes that lead all over the web. The tools presented data with the most important elements at the forefront, making sure my mind didn’t wonder … too much !!!
Common BackLink Tool
The Common BackLink Tool (Hub Finder) is a great little tool for identifying high value neighborhoods. I am big believer in NLP (certified Master) and believe in modeling successful people to achieve results. This applies to your link strategy as well. If you want to rank high in certain markets, then you should start hanging out where your competitors hang out. This tool will give you a list of pages that link to 2 or more of your competitors. It will generate a list of links along with how valuable each page is. There are similar tools available, one of the best is the Hubfinder from SEOBook.com (only available as part of the training program now), but the CEMPER tool is definitely one of the best I have used. I found some great pages to target because of this tool.
Common Outbound Link Tool
The Common Outbound Link Tool is similar to the tool above but it identifies pages/sites that are commonly linked to. This is another great way to find authority pages that are regularly cited by sites in your market. A great use of this tool is to identify pages your competitors link to and try get a link on those pages. In a round about way, you are now getting a link from your competitor !!! Again, all data is tailored to show the best pages to target.
BackLink Analysis Tool
The BackLink Analysis Tool is great and simple to use. This is the most common tool available to Link Builders and CEMPERs version provides everything you would expect along with some nice added treats. CEMPER give you the status of each link, weather its dead, duplicate page (devalued), doesn’t show in the search engines (pointless link) or actually a valuable page. They have a custom metric, which tells you how “Juicy” a page is. It really does cut down on analysis time. You can filter to only show pages that CEMPER deem valuable. There is also a really handy option to only analyze internal links. I found this report extremely useful to help identify weak points in a sites on-site link profile.
Optimising Internal Links
Talking of Internal links, they have another GREAT tool, which shows the strength of a sites sub pages. How important is this data in terms of link building (asking for a link from a particular sub page) and for internal linking (ensuring you are leveraging high value pages). I LOVED this tool, found it really useful in optimising internal link structures.
The final tool is their custom Juice tool. It basically tells you if a page is worth getting a link from. Really handy little tool.
So to sum up ….
I have purposely not gone into huge amounts of technical details as you can go read all about the tools over on Linkresearchtools.
My experience with the tools has bee great so far. The biggest drawback to the tools (and there is one), is the amount of links analyzed. They cannot return huge amounts of links due to server load. At present, I would recommend using their tools along with MajesticSEO (MajesticSEO has the problem of not being up to date).
Also, I would love a feature added where by you can add notes to links returned. At the moment I extract a lot of the details to Excel and make notes (Acquisition plan) against each link. I then update the status i.e. was it obtained, is it a dead end. It would be great if I could do all of this by customizing the reports I get back.
I was not paid for this review. I am passionate about SEO/Link Building and was happy to try these out and give honest feedback. If they were totally rubbish, I would say. To follow up on this post, I am going to do a case study to show how you can build links using their tools. This will be a lot more beneficial than me just providing feedback.
PLEASE if you want me to analyze sites in your market for the case study, drop me a private message. I will not mention any names. I will simply analyze the top competitors in your market using CEMPERs tools.
The guys at CEMPER also speak at a lot of events – http://www.cemper.com/seo-events