Meet the Maker Jeff Oxford
from LinkHunter

04/10/20 | Interview by Stuart Goulden

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                    Jeff Oxford
LinkHunter makes it easier than ever to get backlinks. Its main superpower is its readymade campaigns, built around the tried-and-tested backlink strategies used by SEO pros. Use the tool to sniff out guest posting opportunities, secure product reviews or get your website added to resource lists, with very little effort whatsoever. I decided to run a LinkHunter experiment, as I tried to improve Surges’ search ranking shortly after launching.

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Hi Jeff. Please introduce yourself and your background…

Hey there! I’ve been doing SEO for about 10 years now and have worked with over 300 clients. Throughout that time I worked for various SEO agencies and eventually started my own SEO company (180 Marketing) back in 2013. Our SEO team currently has about 25 full-time employees and many successful SEO campaigns.

Outside of SEO consulting, I’ve also built up, and even sold off, some of my own eCommerce drop shipping websites using primarily SEO as the main traffic driver.

How would you describe LinkHunter?

LinkHunter is a link building platform built for entrepreneurs, marketers, and even SEO professionals. It helps users build backlinks by finding bloggers to review your products, promoting your content to relevant sites, discovering guest blogging opportunities, and more.

LinkHunter streamlines the entire link building process from prospecting all the way to outreach. It will find all the link opportunities for you and handle the outreach as well with instant email address discovery, built-in email templates, and SEO metrics to help you prioritize which websites would provide the most value.

Most marketers are familiar with the big SEO tools, how are you different?

There are a lot of great link building tools out there, but they’re mainly geared towards large outreach teams. As a result, they’re either 1) very expensive and/or 2) overly complex and confusing with lots of bloated features.

LinkHunter was designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible. It’s great solo users who just want a quick and easy way to build backlinks and also beginners who aren’t quite sure how to build backlinks.

How has LinkHunter been received so far? Is it doing what you hoped it would?

So far it’s been received very well and we have a lot of new customers actively using LinkHunter since our launch back in July 2020.

What surprised us the most is that most of our users are actual SEO professionals and consultants rather than in-house marketers and entrepreneurs. We thought making LinkHunter overly beginner friendly would attract many non-SEOs, but we’re realizing the simplicity of it has attracted a lot of SEO professionals as well.

We did an experiment with Surges, how do you think you fared?

I was very happy with the results of the experiment. Afterall, 16 quality backlinks with only 2-3 hours is pretty much unheard of! My goal with LinkHunter was to create something so simple that anyone could pick it up and start getting backlinks right away. So I was definitely happy to see that LinkHunter came through on the goal when actually put to the test.

There were a lot of design decisions that went into creating a tool that’s easy to use but also highly effective in accomplishing something so difficult (building backlinks). We purposefully only included link building campaigns we knew would work (guest posting, product reviews, etc) and skipped the ones that are a bit more difficult like getting on podcasts, hosting giveaways, etc. This ensured that users were already set on a successful path to begin with.

We also modified our prospecting algorithms to only return websites that are likely to link back rather than just any type of relevant website. For example with the guest posting campaign, we will only show websites that allow for outside contributors and/or have had guest posts published in the past. This has resulted in much stronger response rates for users which makes it easier to get backlinks.

And finally, we included email templates that we know get good response rates. Having run an SEO / link building company for 7 years now, we have a lot of data on the types of email templates that get the best responses. So we made sure to include our highest converting email templates within each campaign type.

It’s great to see that all these strategic design decisions paid off and that LinkHunter can deliver so many backlinks with such minimal efforts. So yes, I was very happy with the results of the experiment and even more proud of what the team has created.

What feature are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the overall flow and simplicity of LinkHunter. Within literally 2 minutes, a user can have a link building campaign up and running and already start sending email pitches.

How do you intend to grow your user base from here?

Our initial promotion plan was twofold:

  • Promote LinkHunter in SEO communities online
  • Get LinkHunter in front of as many bloggers as possible in hopes that they would review and/or mention it on their website.

So we posted it on the /r/BigSEO subreddit as well as some popular SEO Facebook groups. Many of these posts got a lot of traction and resulted in most of the signups.

As for the blogger outreach, we did a lot of prospecting to find bloggers who either blogged about link building, reviewed one of our competitors (NinjaOutreach, Pitchbox, etc), or wrote a list of the best link building tools. When all was said and done, we ended up with about 300 bloggers.

We reached out to all of the bloggers and offered them a free trial account they could use to test out LinkHunter. However one thing we didn’t account for was that many of these bloggers weren’t very popular and didn’t have much traffic or many readers. So despite getting a bunch of reviews and inclusions in “top link building tools” lists, they didn’t really drive any traffic or signups.

So we have a new marketing approach to hopefully get more signups in the coming months:

  • Guest post on some of the larger publications in the SEO industry
  • Pitch LinkHunter directly to SEO consultants
  • Promote it on ProductHunt
  • And start testing some paid advertising

What’s your future plans for the tool?

Like many SaaS owners, I have a seemingly endless list of features queued up for LinkHunter. But here are some of the ones I’m most excited about.

Add the ability to send emails in bulk - One of our most requested features is the ability to contact multiple or even all prospects in a campaign at once. This can be a great way to save time on outreach since users won’t have to send emails one by one. We’re just first trying to find ways on how to roll this out without users having any issues with spam reports or deliverability.

Incorporate Ahrefs metrics - Ahrefs has exploded in popularity in recent years, and their Domain Rating metric has nearly become the industry standard for assessing the authority of a domain. As such, we want to make sure we can incorporate their metrics directly into LinkHunter so users have multiple SEO metrics at their disposal.

Track open rates - With link outreach, it can be very helpful to see the open rates of emails in order to get a better idea of how well the emails are performing. This will give users great insights into how well their emails are performing so they can work to improve any low performing emails.

Apart from LinkHunter, what’s your favourite digital marketing tool?

I use Ahrefs and Screaming Frog pretty much every single day. But I also love using Surfer SEO for content optimization

Finally, where can people find out more?

Visit us at!

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