For SEO, if Content is King then Backlinks are its Queens
Kings used to be polygamous. The more number of queens – mightier the King. Same is the case with our King (content) – more the number of backlinks more authoritative your website becomes.
And just like the queen of a chess board, backlinks are the most powerful part of a SEO strategy.
Getting a single backlink from a high DA website like a newspaper or a media website can exponentially increase your own Page and Domain authority.
But getting links from media websites is not easy. Or should I say, it used to be difficult. Not any more. Read this amazing and simple guide and a guest post by Nathan Barber from SEOWorks on how you can build some quick backlinks from those authoritative websites.
One of the strongest and most authoritative company mention links that you can achieve are from large media outlets, such as national news publications. However, achieving these backlink-wins through ‘cold’ outreach is daunting and challenging, as they are often flooded with media inquiries that do not fit the type of content or story the media outlet wants to post.
Fear not, for once skilled in the best practices of using an online platform called HARO and Source Bottle, getting links from these authoritative media outlets can be achieved in a scalable and winnable manner. A relatively unknown method for increasing brand awareness and heralding the ever-pursued hyperlink from authoritative media sources can be achieved using H.A.R.O. (Help a Reporter Out), and SourceBottle.
Essentially, HARO and SourceBottle are platforms where you sign up to receive emails from a database of varying media outlets who are looking for quotes, sources, and full articles for an upcoming article.
The value proposition for using these platforms are that they are a one stop shop for connecting people who are looking for referenced quotes, and business and blog owners who wish to increase their brand exposure through the form of a link for providing value to the reporter in the form of a quote, a win-win for both parties.
The main benefit of using HARO and SourceBottle from a business owner’s perspective is that the reporters are proactively searching out quotes from authoritative sources for their upcoming news stories. Through their search, the final article usually includes a reference in the form of a link back to your company’s website, which has a vital impact increasing your SEO visibility and brand awareness.
Recommended Tips for Getting Featured
Now that you know what HARO is and why you should use it for SEO, you are going to need tips to increase your HARO success rate:
Reporters and Sources alike work fast on these platforms. Your success rates will be much higher if you respond within the first hour of the 3 batches of emails that come per day.
Reporters are often using this avenue as means to get churn out content at a quicker rate without having to do all the heavy lifting. If you wait too long, the source might receive enough information to be able to complete the article, and close the inquiry before their stated deadline.
On the other side, there may be hundreds of other sources responding to the reporter, especially if the publication is a major media source like the Huffington Post, NY Times, or Time Magazine.
Do Not Limit Your Outreach Categories
When browsing your email database and looking through the categories and topics to respond to, do not limit yourself to just your industry categories.
Some of the best links can come from general inquiries, or other categories that you would think are unrelated.
Branch out with responses that evolve around your personal life’s experience and story, and mind map for finding relevant connections. Here is an example of what you will receive in a HARO email from the many categories that are offered:
Scout Out the Source’s Website Before You Respond
You want to scout out the website you are about to reach out to have a better success rate. This can be found on the ‘media outlet’ row of the picture depicting a reporter inquiry above.
By scouting out the website beforehand, you can get a general idea on the source’s writing style on how to format your response. Take note of their tone, word usage and count, paragraph structure, and flow to gather a better understanding on how to adhere to the sources writing style and preferences.
The Art of Email Outreach
Reporters are often flooded with dozens, if not hundreds of email responses. This makes the email outreach the most important part in attaining the big wins.
- Email Subject Line– Be forward, bold, and to the point by mentioning “HARO,” or “SourceBottle” using capital letters, and topic title. Make sure the reporter knows why you are emailing them in the simplest manner possible to gather their attention.
- Establish Authority and Competence– You want to establish yourself as a leader in the industry and topic as soon as possible. Immediately explain to them why you are a reputable source for their article by giving specific examples that relate to their inquiry.
Try to boast about your achievements and ability to prove to them that you are the best source for the topic. You want the source to trust that you truly know what you are talking about. Provide quantitative facts, links to your work or profile, attach photos that can supplement your authority as quickly as you can.
- Provide Value– Your response needs to offer something that readers from the source’s website are going to be intrigued with. Stay on topic by fully understanding the query topic, and respond accordingly with full detail. You want to craft something that the reporter can literally copy and paste into the article without much editing.
Offering more than just one response will increase your success because the source may feel inclined to pick out parts of your response to be included. The more information, examples, or stories that you can offer, the better chance the reporter will find a quote that suits the articles needs.
- Be Helpful– Be proactive with providing the reporter all the necessary information to be included as a source. If the source asks for a link to your website, a headshot, proof of work in query, or a short biography, then you better offer up or risk being skipped over. The reporters work fast, and do not waste their time looking for your information as they likely won’t.
- Be Kind, Courteous– Finally, be nice and a real human. Refer to the source by his or her name which can be identified in the email inquiry. You want to be as personable and likable as you can, as soon as possible. Introduce yourself, and thank them for their time.
Here is an example of an effective email outreach:
In all, HARO and SourceBottle are a top-notch tactic in achieving some of the most challenging authoritative links out there.
BIO: Nathan Barber is a Digital Analyst for digitaladvertisingWorks sister companied with seoWorks for a wide range of clients around the world. When he is not researching latest digital marketing best practices, you can find him cheering on his club Tottenham Hotspur.