The SEO Project

The “Missing Link” Method

Joshua HardwickJoshua Hardwick

The “Missing Link” Method (a term coined by Tad Chef) revolves around the idea that if a website is linking out to a competing product, service, application, or simply a piece of content, they should probably also be linking to your site.

Why? Because offering viable alternatives almost always improves user-experience.

If a site isn’t doing this, they’re “missing a link”.

Example:

Let’s assume you found a bunch of blog posts linking out to Open Site Explorer, but not linking out to Ahrefs/Majestic SEO/etc.

Here’s a post from Copyblogger that does exactly that:

open-site-link

It’s telling readers how to backlinks pointing towards their site(s).

Clearly, it would make a lot of sense to mention alternatives like Ahrefs or Majestic SEO here, as offering alternatives like this is useful for readers.

In this case, Ahrefs and Majestic SEO are the “missing links”.

Similarly, if a bunch of websites were linking out to a deep pan pizza dough recipe (as 59 domains actually are)…

ahrefs-pizza-link

…then the “missing link” (i.e. alternative) might be a link to a traditional Neapolitan thin-crust pizza dough recipe.

The easiest way to find “missing link” opportunities is simply to answer the question: “what other links would the reader of this page find useful?”

Here’s how to do it:

Finding competing products/services in your industry should be easy, but if you’re struggling, try typing your own product into alternativeto.net.

This will show you similar “alternative” products.

For example, here are the alternatives it finds for Ahrefs:

ahrefs-alternatives

Next, plug one of the alternatives into Ahrefs…

ahrefs-site-explorer-majestic

…and export the backlink profile.

Sift through the results and find any sites that are linking to your competitor(s) website, but not yours.

Reach out to them using this email script, and explain how adding your link will be useful for their readers.

“Hey [NAME],

I’m [YOUR NAME], [POSITION] at [WEBSITE].

I was just reading one of your posts and noticed you linked to [INSERT COMPANY NAME], who – as I’m sure you’re aware – are a competitor of ours.

I’m contacting you today as I was hoping you might also consider adding a link to our site alongside the competitor.

We believe that while our product is similar to [INSERT COMPETITOR NAME], it’s also superior, and we think your visitors would appreciate having the choice between both ourselves and our competitor.

Oh, and we’re also cheaper, which again, we see as a big plus.

What do you think?

[YOUR NAME]”

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