How would you love to get do-follow resource page backlinks from Harvard or MIT? Bet you have no idea this is possible.
Winning resource page backlinks is a goldmine you’re probably not exploring. Yet.
Backlinks from resource pages confer enormous benefits and valuable exposure on your site. If you’re keen on improving your site’s visibility, then get in the ring.
But first, you need a solid strategy.
Understanding a Resource Page
Resource page admins check each link and content against unforgiving metrics before inclusion. Demystifying these metrics is the first step to winning coveted resource page backlinks.
What’s a Resource Page?
It’s a webpage containing links to the best contents on the web about a topic. For instance, a resource page on fitness will link to only the best articles on fitness.
A resource page exists to point readers to valuable materials in their industry or city. In the words of Brian Dean of Backlinko,
“Because these [Resource] pages exist for the sole purpose of linking out, they make PERFECT link building targets”
The first metric for gaining a link from a resource page is the quality of the article or resource (video, audio, infographic, etc.). You stand a better chance of getting the backlink if you’ve created the best resource on that topic.
As a first step, focus on delivering the BEST piece of content. We’ll discuss strategies later. Read on.
Resource Page Samples
To give some clarity here, I’ve included some resource page samples below.
Maggiewang features a typical resource page on their site. Curated for beginners and expert fitness enthusiasts alike. It has different sections dedicated to different types of content. So each link has a short description summarizing its content.
Resource pages like this one are useful because they give readers a glimpse into your site’s awesomeness before they even click. It sets some anticipation in motion and then baits them into clicking your link.
Screenshot of fitness resources
Another is this resource page on GetHiking.
Resource page on GetHiking
This resource page goes from basic to complex hiking guide materials. Notice the sections too as well as the descriptions for each hiking content.
But that’s not the only kind of resource page out there. Some resource pages feature only links and no descriptions for each resource featured. Here’s an example from The Vegan RD.
An example from The Vegan RD
Value of a Resource Page to Google
Search engines love resource pages because they are resourceful! It’s that simple.
Given the nature of resource pages, lots of people visit, link and share them across the web. Search engines are quick to pick up on these cues and rank these pages higher for search terms that match their topics.
The key is credibility. Because resource pages are not created to ‘sell’ but to be helpful, people tend to trust them more. Google takes notice of people’s behavior on these pages and then ranks them high in search results.
These benefits spill into the links on those pages.
The search engines and site visitors perceive them as resourceful. As an effect, getting resource page backlinks from well-ranked resource pages will boost your site’s traffic.
You’d enjoy more clicks. More site visits. And authoritative links from Google-friendly pages.
Link Farm or Resource Pages
Link farming is the shady act of entering into relationships with other websites to exchange links. The ultimate goal is to improve search engine ranking. But as always the engines are getting smarter.
Websites dedicated to these kinds of activity are ‘link farms’.
But resource pages are genuine pages created to help people with interest in a specific topic.
You can’t buy your way into a great resource page; you must earn the spot for your link. This reason is why the search engines trust them.
Editor-in-Chief of Contently, Jordan Teicher captures the essence of resource pages compared to link farms in his famous quote,
“SEO isn’t about gaming the system anymore; it’s about learning how to play by the rules.”
The consequences of getting flagged by search engines for using dodgy SEO techniques are better imagined than experienced. If you are looking to avoid trouble with the search engines, then embracing White-Hat SEO isn’t negotiable.
Tools for Building Resource Page Backlinks
Tackling SEO without strategy is akin to shooting blindfolded. Of course, you have tools to query the quality of resource pages and tactics to win resource page backlinks from them.
Using tools to vet resource pages before you get on them is good practice because, just like other SEO tactics, resource page backlinking can be abused.
You also want to verify the page relevance of resource pages before you hop on them. Using vetting and relevance metrics is an intelligent way to determines the benefits of these resource pages to your site in the long run.
Use the following tools to prospect resource pages before you consider them worthy of hosting your link.
Most people do not leverage the full power built into google search. It is a full-featured search engine and accepts many more characters to refine search results.
You must use leverage this power to prospect for resource page.
1. Direct Google Keyword Search for Resource and Link Pages
This technique filters the results of your query to match your keywords. You can use any of these strings below.
- Keyword + “helpful links”
- Keyword + “resources”
- Keyword + “useful resources”
- Keyword + “links”
- Keyword + “helpful resources”
- Keyword + “useful links”
Let’s take an example.
If you are seeking a resource page on weight loss, you should type: weight loss + “resources”
Here’s the result of an identical query.
SERP Screenshot of weight loss + “resources”
I opened one of the resource pages to find the page in the screenshot below.
Screenshot of a resource page as an example
2. Using a Search Query that Filters Based on the URL and Title
Notice that in the first search, Google returned nearly seven million search results. That’s quite large. There is always a chance that an unhelpful result may sneak into those pages.
To reduce the search volume and ensure a more accurate result page, here is another search combination to try out.
Keyword + inurl:resources
This string filters your results by checking if the page URL contains either the keyword or ‘resources’ or both.
Running a similar query produces the results page below.
SERP screenshot of weight loss + inurl:resources
Notice that this time the results are more relevant to your search query. Also, notice the query whittles down the search results to a mere one million!
The logic behind this technique is evident. Most resource pages optimize their page URLs for SEO. One of the simplest ways to do this is by inserting the keyword into the page link.
Other combinations to try are:
- Keyword + intitle:resources
- Keyword + inurl:links
- Keyword + intitle:links
3. Combinations to Filter Only ‘.edu’ Resource Pages
In the words of Neil Patel,
“Incoming links from educational websites are often perceived as the most powerful links you can get and getting a bunch of these links can skyrocket your search rankings”
Some of the most powerful resources page backlinks end with the “.edu” top-level domain (TLD). Search engines consider them credible and they pack a considerable chunk of web traffic.
Educational institutions, especially universities, tend to have resource pages. Get listed on them.
To filter your results for ‘.edu’ pages use this combination:
- site:.edu Keyword + “resources”
- site:.edu Keyword + “links”
- Using the keyword “business” this time, notice the results in the image below.
SERP screenshot of site:.edu business + “resources”
4. Combinations to allow related keywords
You may need to broaden your scope when searching for resource pages. Related resource pages can be useful too. For instance, if your business deals with dieting products, you can also target resource pages focused on ‘ketogenic diet.’
SERP screenshot of “diet ~ resources”
Here’s the combination to do this:
- Keyword ~ “resources”
- Keyword ~ “links”
You know how to find relevant resource pages. Let’s dive into how you can vet the pages for quality.
MozBar: Screen Relevant Resource Pages for Quality
The first part of the process is finding the resource pages. The next part is screening out the lightweights.
You should only target the best resources pages for your content. They have the best content and also rank the highest after all.
To do this quality test in a breeze, use Mozbar. It’s a free Chrome extension that shows essential ranking information underneath each result in the search engines and also shows you the SEO specifics of pages when you open them. That way you know which resource pages are worth your time.
First off, download and activate the Mozbar extension.
Now run any search query for a resource page. You’ll see the Moz bar showing page authority, links and domain authority.
SERP screenshot with mozbar extension
These are the metrics to consider for your resource page backlinking efforts.
Note that with:
- Page Rank,
- Domain Authority
- Spam Score
When you open each resource page, you’ll see the Moz Spam Score which is an indication of how close the page is to a Google penalty. See the screenshot below.
Screenshot of the MozBar
The lower a page’s Spam Score, the better, pages below a Spam Score of 4/17 are good for link prospecting. Don’t bother seeking backlinks from pages with a score of 5/17 or higher.
Outreach and Follow Up Tools
Outreach and Follow Up Tools
Finding these resource pages is only half the work. The real work comes in when you need to contact the resource page webmasters and pitch your excellent content.
Why do you need to contact them?
They don’t know your solutions-rich content exists!
If your content is new and hasn’t gained a ton of attention, the chances are that webmasters don’t even know your resource is there for them. So reach out and share your work. Here are some tools to help you out:
On the web, email still ranks top amongst communication channels. An overwhelming 72 percent of people say they prefer to be contacted by email than phone or other media. So email might be the best outreach channel. Not social media. Not phone calls.
You have your resource pages. It’s time to find the emails of the webmasters behind them. AnymailFinder lets you search for emails registered on a domain. You can prospect for emails using any of these three methods.
Option #1: You Have the Name of the Admin But Not the Email Address
Go to AnymailFinder and type in the admin’s name and surname. AnymailFinder will search for this name on the domain of the resource page. If it finds an identical match, it shows green and returns the email.
If it doesn’t, then it will suggest an email for that contact (marked orange). These suggested emails are usually 70 percent accurate from their statistics.
You have quite some options to find the admin, CMO, content manager, social media manager, VP marketing, CEO or whoever is in charge of content on that site. Let’s explore your options,
- Search on their website and social media handles for who caters to content and if the person’s email is readily available on that website.
- Use Recruit ‘Em to find the person (and email address, if possible)
- Search public company profiles like CrunchBase, AngeList, and other.
- Search on Google. You can search ‘CMO of [website]’ or ‘Content strategist of [website]’ or ‘CEO of [website]’ or ‘Chief Editor of [website]’ or queries like that.
Option #2: You Don’t Have the Name nor Email Of The Admin
This time you should fill in only the domain name of the website and let AnymailFinder do the rest, i.e., telegraph.co.uk. This tool will query the domain and return all the emails registered on it.
It also gives a list of suggested emails, if it discovers any on the domain.
Option #3: You Have a Spreadsheet of Names and Domains
Screenshot of AnymailFinder Interface
The AnymailFinder allows you to upload your spreadsheet of names and domains for search. The tool will return the emails registered in that domain as well as suggested emails. You’d then download the list in a spreadsheet.
Determining Your Outreach Strategy
One more thing before you begin to draft your pitches. You want to decide on your channels for contacting and following up with the webmasters behind the resource pages you’re targeting.
A critical decision you have to make is to decide the scale of your outreach. If you intend to fire from all cylinders, then you need a robust email solution. But if you only need to send a handful of emails, then you can do well with more straightforward tools.
Either way, here are some suggestions for you.
1. Regular Email Solutions
They include simple email solutions such as Gmail, Zoho Mail, Bitrix, or your self-hosted solutions. Regular email services would suffice for an email campaign for a small list. These email services are also pretty reliable and rarely end up flagged as spam.
MailShake gives you a robust solution for your resource page backlinks campaign. It is best used for large campaigns and huge volumes of outreach emails. Even more good news; it supports CSV imports. So if you have a list of 1000 emails of resource page webmasters, you don’t have to drudge through sending one email at a time.
Its auto-follow-up and calendar feature also help you automate the entire process.
Of all the solutions listed, this is the most robust. It is an email campaign tool that you can also use for prospecting for resource page backlinks.
The developers integrated it with Google search. It is also integrated with other top SEO tools. All these make it easy to start your backlink campaign right inside the tool.
It also automates the entire process and provides plenty of graphs and analytics to show your campaign’s progress. If you have the dollar to throw into your business, then this is the tool to try.
Results Tracking and Monitoring Tools
To measure your progress, you will need to monitor your results. There are a few result tracking tools that suit this purpose.
Since the goal of this campaign is to get backlinks, then it makes perfect sense to track these links. Ahrefs alert tool is handy in this regard. You can customize these alerts for different purposes such as:
- To Track Lost or Gained Backlinks
- The tool alerts you as soon as your website gains or loses a backlink. You can also use it to monitor your competition’s link building progress.
- To Monitor Your Web Mentions
- This feature lets you monitor your web mentions across social media platforms. You can also set it up to track mentions across the web too. You can improve your content and strategy by leveraging this information.
2. SEO Book Rank Checker
This tool comes as a paid extension on Firefox. It is a rank checker that compares the metrics of a website across all search engines. It will be essential as a tool for measuring your link building progress across the web.
You can use the KeywordTracker tool to efficiently keep track of your ranking amongst a list of your competitors’ pages. You can also configure this tool to monitor how well your keyword ranks among your competition.
Tactics to Earn Resource Page Backlinks
Your tools are all set up! It’s time to get the work done. We’ll address two important factors here, content and pitching. And then we’ll get into four tactics you can use to build excellent resource page backlinks.
1. Deliver the Best Content Possible
Delivering a link-worthy resource is the first step to winning resource page backlinks. If you haven’t written the article yet, then you want to start with creating the best piece of content out there. If you’ve written the article, you can still improve on it before going link prospecting.
If your article is still in the works, then doing extensive keyword research on the topic would help a great deal.
Even if you’ve created your content, you should get a sense of what content already addressing this topic is gaining attention out there. You can use Buzzsumo to profile all the top ranking articles for your chosen keyword and draft a better one.
Screenshot Buzzsumo Interface
Your goal is to be the BEST resource on the topic. You want to be irresistible.
If the article out there is already best-in-class and your upgrade would be too minor to be noticed, then you can create a different type of content altogether. You can develop contents in these formats,
- Video (e.g., animated or whiteboard videos)
- Comic (The Oatmeal style)
Even if a webmaster already linked to the best article on a topic, they’d be more inclined to link to yours if it uniquely presents the information.
If you can’t create great content for lack of time or skill, then you want to hire a competent writer to help. Or a skilled videographer or designer to help with your infographics.
2. Make Your Pitch Perfect
Your pitch is the first point of contact with the resource page webmaster. It is their first impression of you and your business. You cannot risk making a wrong first impression here.
Don’t sound pushy in your pitch. Here is a sample pitch draft that you can edit and use for your campaign as inspired by HubSpot.
Subject: Your Resource Page
I stumbled across and liked your resource page [URL] while doing some research on [TOPIC].
I wanted to give you a heads up about an article I recently published: [YOUR PAGE] OR I have just recently published an infographic on this topic and wanted to give you a heads up on it: [YOUR PAGE]
I think the resource would complement some of the resources on your page. If you have some time, I’ll be glad that you take a look at the resource I created and reply if it’s a fit for your resource list.
Either way, keep being amazing!
The pitch above would have a higher chance of working because it’s not pushy. It acknowledges the webmaster’s time and their authority on the final decision to include your site or not on their list.
Of course, you don’t have to use this template precisely as it is. You can make any edits but keep it to three to four paragraphs and make sure your message remains simple.
3. Become a Local Resource
Nearly half of all Google search is for local content. In response, Google now weighs local search with equal importance as regular search. You can get some local juice here by finding local resource page backlinks.
How do you find local resources to get on?
Use variants of the search strings we discussed earlier. Here’s a few to get you going in the right direction.
- Keyword site:[local TLD] intitle:links
- Keyword site:[local TLD] intitle:resources
- Keyword site:[local TLD] inurl:links
- Keyword site:[local TLD] inurl:resources
Local TLD is local Top-Level Domain (that is .dk, .ie, .co.uk, .ca, co.za, .ng, .us, .jp, etc.)
Let’s take an example.
If ‘Vegetarian Foods’ is your keyword and you’re looking for local resource page backlinks from Canadian websites. Canada’s local TLD is .ca. Here’s an example of what I’ll do to find local resource pages.
Vegetarian Site:.ca intitle:links
With my MozBar extension turned on to quickly narrow my search down to the best results, here’s what I found.
SERP screenshot of local sites
To keep track of the pages to pitch from my research, I’d use Google Sheets. With your list of local resources, you can follow the processes I’ve explained for finding the contact person for each site, their email address and then pitch them using MailShake or PitchBox.
4. Become an Academic Resource
Use the process above, in the ‘be a local resource’ section. But with a tilt to academic websites.
Just use a .edu TLD in place of other TLDs. The same search strings apply. Let’s take an example using the same keyword ‘vegetarian foods.’
Search Term: Vegetarian site:.edu intitle:”links”
Notice I only changed the ‘.ca’ to ‘.edu’ and kept everything else in the string. Now see what results I got.
SERP screenshot of .edu sites
Now the results might blow your mind!
Imagine having do-follow resource page backlinks from sites as authoritative as MIT’s website. Yes, see the screenshots below.
Screenshot of MIT web page
It has a Domain Authority (DA) of 93 and the Page Authority (PA) of 49. And no Spam Score at 0/17.
Screenshot MOZ Bar Result
You can use related keywords in your niche or complimentary keywords for niches that compliment your niche, to earn more resource page backlinks.
5. Become a Market Resource
Websites in your industry feature resource pages. You want to be on those resource pages. Being on such pages confers market authority on you and your site.
Let’s use the exact keyword and string we’ve used in the last two examples and make changes to the TLD. So I’d use ‘vegetarian foods’ as the keyword again. I’ll change the TLD to .org and then .com.
Vegetarian site:.org inurl:links
From the results, I got some useful resources. One is a DA 60 and PA 31. And the links are do-follow links.
Screenshot of MOZ Bar on a web page
You can also try this search for a .com TLD to find other industry and market resource pages to join
6. Fix the Web: Broken Backlinks
Another juicy opportunity you must explore is prospecting for broken backlinks. This technique involves looking through a resource page to check for any lousy or dead link or moved pages. If you find any error pages then proceed to offer a replacement with your excellent content.
To do this, you would need a tool to check for broken links on a webpage. Check My Links is an excellent option. It’s a free Chrome extension.
So I used this tool to prospect for backlinks on MaggieWang resource page and found seven invalid/broken links.
MaggieWang resource page
As soon as you spot any bad links, you can use this email template to try and get yours there instead.
Hi [Site Owner’s Name],
I was on your site today and while on your resource page I noticed some broken links amidst your lists of great resources.
I’ve pointed out some of them here:
I was going to send you this notice anyway, but since I have a website, [Your Website], and I cover topics related to your [resource page title], I thought to mention that I have a few great replacement resources for the broken links. Here are a few of my suggestions,
[Your URL 1]
[Your URL 2]
[Your URL 3]
I’ll be glad to know if you found them a fit. No obligations, just fixing the web 🙂
Managing Your Resource Page Backlink
After getting your backlink approved and up on your favorite resource pages, you still have to monitor their performance. Here are three ways to stay relevant in the link building game.
1. Manage Resource Page Link Building Process
You resource page link building process should be ongoing for the best results. If you’ve secured great links, you want to keep them alive.
Oh! And don’t just move pages without making sure you’ve done an appropriate redirect. The best redirect for SEO, if you’ve permanently moved your page, is a 301 redirect.
But Google’s Gary Illyes said that all 30x (i.e., 301, 301, …307, etc.) redirects won’t lose link juice anymore.
Google’s Gary Illyes said that all 30x (i.e., 301, 301, …307, etc.) redirects won’t lose link juice anymore.
If fixing links and redirects sounds too techie, then talk to a pro web developer to help.
For resource page backlinks you couldn’t get, take notice of what worked and earned your site links and take notice if you missed something. And if certain kinds of resource pages are more open to linking out to your pages, then target those kinds of pages more.
Use the lessons you learned from the first campaign to inform and improve on your next campaign.
2. Manage Your Anchor Texts
You want to keep your anchor texts to a good ratio of less than 4 percent of your keyword for a page. In a study by SEMrush webmasters kept their keyword to anchor texts ration at an average of 3 percent. That’s where you want yours to be.
A study by SEMrush: Webmasters kept their keyword to anchor texts ration at an average of 3 percent.
Google will perceive and punish your link building as unnatural if a page’s keyword appears on its backlink’s anchor texts more than 4 percent of the time. You can control events like this by using a tool like Ahrefs to get link alerts as they happen. You’d contact webmasters if you need them to change an anchor text linking to your site.
Consistent Competitor Analysis for More Opportunities
You want to keep pace with the competition. This is even more important while you prospect and gain new resource page links (because your competitors are also watching you).
Make it a habit to analyze your top competitor websites. Use tools like SEOQuake, Ahrefs, SemRush, etc for this purpose. Find out what pages they favor for their link building. Try to replicate their successes and avoid their errors.
Link building will continue to dominate SEO strategies for a long time. Resource page backlinks you access to powerful links without breaking a sweat.
First, identifying the right places to gain these links. Local, industry and academic resource pages are great places to prospect for backlinks. And then, fix the web by building broken resource page backlinks.
Yes, this is one of many link building tactics. And you may not have the time to do everything!
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