There is a reason outreach is such a popular SEO strategy: it works.
It’s not easy – let’s get that out there straight away. It takes work, you are going to be told no more than yes, and you need to be creative. You will probably also need the help of an SEO agency. The results, however, will make it worth it.
Those results include enhancing the profile of your brand, increasing your position in Google search results, and generating more traffic to your website. You may also increase your social media audience and email marketing list.
What Is SEO Outreach?
In simple terms, an outreach strategy is about getting links back to your website.
Links remain one of the most important parts of SEO marketing and that situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. However, any old link won’t work. Instead, you need high-quality links, i.e. relevant links from respected websites.
While getting cheap and nasty links might be easy, accelerating the process of getting high-quality links is very difficult. Outreach is one of the best tools you can use.
In simple terms, outreach is an SEO strategy that involves contacting other websites to ask for:
A straightforward backlink; or,
A guest posting opportunity that includes the inclusion of a link back to your website.
Variations of this include contacting other websites to ask for a social media mention or another type of collaboration.
For SEO purposes, outreach that involves getting a backlink is the best approach.
The Key Elements of a Successful Outreach Strategy
If you use a professional SEO service, your SEO agency can put together an outreach strategy for you. Here are six key elements that strategy should contain.
1. Targets the Right Websites
The best websites are those that are related to your industry or that post content that is related to your industry or the products/services you sell.
This is because these are the websites most likely to agree to give you a link, plus they are usually the websites that will generate the best SEO results.
There are other things you need to think about too, not least the reputation of the website. You can use a number of metrics to measure and analyse this, including Domain Authority. If you are targeting a blogger, their popularity on social media is important.
There are tools you can use to find the Domain Authority of a website, or your SEO agency can tell you.
Your SEO agency will also be able to tell you whether a website has linked to content similar to yours in the past.
2. Create Relevant and Useful Content, Not Sale-Focused Content
The content you create as part of your outreach strategy must be as good as possible. This includes:
- Unique content you create that you want to post on another website
- Content on your website that you want other websites to link to
Good as possible means highly relevant and useful content. It needs to fit in with the style and approach of the website you are pitching too, and it should be appealing to the other website’s audience.
3. Link to the Right Pages
Work out a proper plan for the pages you want outreach websites to link back to. This includes pages and posts you want to promote for SEO and/or for business reasons.
4. Get Your Pitch Right
The pitch you make to other websites is crucial to your outreach strategy. At the centre of this is to always remember you are talking to a person. Therefore, you should treat them as a person. For example:
- Address them by their name
- Customise your pitch, particularly in the subject line of your email
- Play to their ego by, for example, praising content they created or something else they have done
- Use your real email address
It’s also essential to give the person a reason for taking the time out of their busy day to do what you are asking them. Always remember when doing this that they are under no obligation to give you a link and you are probably not the only one asking.
So, think about what you are offering and how that is valuable to the person you are reaching out to.
5. Find Broken Links
An outreach strategy doesn’t always have to involve creating new content and getting it published on another website. The broken links strategy is another option you have.
This involves finding content relevant to your outreach strategy that has links that are broken. This is surprisingly common, and it presents an opportunity for your website.
Here’s how it works:
- Find a relevant page with a relevant broken link
- Make sure there is content on your website that is good enough to be a replacement for that broken link
- Reach out to the website owner to let them know about the broken link and offering your page as a replacement
6. Follow Up, Refine, and Improve
The approach you take after you send outreach emails is important to the overall success of the strategy. Here are some tips:
- Keep track of who you have contacted using a spreadsheet or another tool
- Follow up if you don’t hear anything back
- Always reply, even when your request is refused
- Use rejections as an opportunity to get feedback and to learn
Finally, an initial no doesn’t necessarily mean no forever. You can use your response to the rejection to start a conversation and begin building a relationship that could benefit your website and business in the future.