Once you’ve selected your report type and found some productive research phrases, it’s time to “dial in” your prospects with the Link Prospector’s Advanced Targeting Parameters. Setting the parameters can help reduce your time spent qualifying your results by “weeding out” or narrowing the non-prospects before you even download your results.
Note: you can (and at first probably should…) leave your parameters set to their defaults, and you’ll still find great results. That said, familiarity with the parameters will help you enormously as you learn more about what is and isn’t a prospect for your given tactic.
1) Report Types
We covered report types here, but we’ll touch on them again as they’re vital for using the tool productively. The report types are primarily organized by “tactic,” that is, the manner by which you intend to engage with publishers to earn mentions or links. The Custom Report enables you to pass queries in bulk, directly to the search engine.
2) Select Region
By selecting region you specify which TLD (top level domain) of search engine from which you’d like to source your prospects. If you’d like prospects geared towards a UK market, select “United Kingdom.” If you’d like German-oriented prospects, select “Germany.” Please note: if you’re looking for non-English prospects you should NOT use the preset reports. You must use the Custom Report type and design your own prospecting queries. Please contact us as we’re happy to assist in this process.
3) Search Scope
Search Scope enables you to pull prospects from either web results or blog results. We rarely recommend using both unless you’re specifically looking for blogs and want to be as thorough as possible.
4) Select Depth
Depth refers to the number of results that we will attempt to return from the search engines for you. Depth does NOT refer to the number of pages of results! We can look for 1 through 1000 results for you, but recommend for most prospecting jobs that you set your depth to 10 or 20. This is because there are rarely productive prospects past the 20 results mark.
TLD enables you to limit your prospects based on the TLD of the domains – that is, .edu, .gov, .org, etcetera. You can also input TLDs that are not reflected in the drop down. Alternately you can just add site:.tldofchoice to your research phrase fields.
6) Date Range
Date Range enables you to limit your prospects based on the time frame within which they were indexed. This is especially useful for guest posting – set the Date Range to “past year” so you can find the sites that have published a guest post within the last year. Commenting ops too benefit from freshness – select “past 30 days” to find pages that are more recent and therefore more likely to have an open conversation.
7) Safesearch Features
Safesearch enables you to pre-remove results that are potentially shocking or offensive. Some people prefer not to scan through results to ensure they are “safe for work” enough to pass along to clients and Safesearch helps with this.
8) Send Email Notification
Once your report is complete you can designate who receives a notification via email. You can also set it so that no one receives an email. If you’d like to permanantly set this you will need to go to the “Profile” section.
9) Exclude Domains
Exclude domains enables you to remove a list of domains at the global and/or campaign level – you have to set them up before they can be excluded though! Click the “Exclusions” tab to manage them and note the syntax of exclusions: *.domain.com excludes the domain + any subdomain (www, etc…) that could occur.
10) Research Phrases
Your research phrases are the most powerful way to direct the tool’s results. Here’s more about selecting productive research phrases. We recommend using “category” or “big head” phrases here rather than your targeted SEO keywords. For example, rather than “Harley Davidson XR1200X” we recommend using “motorcycle.” Above all though, we recommend experimenting and assumption-testing!
More from the Link Prospector Mastery Series:
Choose Your Link Building Tactic: Link Prospecting Mastery
Finding Highly Productive Research Phrases: Link Prospector Mastery
The Link Prospector Help and FAQ Page