In 2021, SEO outreaching is paramount for the success of any SEO strategy. SEO outreaching is the practice of building links back to your site, which improves organic rankings. The aim is to gain valuable backlinks from trustworthy sites with high-authoritative domains that are relevant to your website. As having a comprehensive outreach strategy can make or break a company’s SEO results, it is therefore important that all marketers should continuously strive to improve their website’s backlink profile and strengthen their online advertising.
What Outreaching Involves
Outreaching involves creating valuable links from off-site websites to link back to your site. It is a tactic used to increase your brand awareness across the web, by increasing the number of touchpoints for users to access your website. By featuring your brand across third-party websites that are relevant to you, you can help attract new audiences, expanding your visibility to new potential customers. It is likely that these sites have already established a positive relationship with their readers, making them more likely to trust your content when discovered on an authoritative site.
An effective SEO outreaching strategy can:
- Increase organic search visibility
- Earn more links to your website to improve your backlink profile
- Improve your domain citation flow and trust flow scores
- Enhance brand awareness
- Increase website traffic
- Increase conversions
- Improve your website’s overall SEO value
What Makes a Successful Outreaching Strategy?
Successful outreaching takes time and dedication. The most successful outreaching strategies are authentic and work with relevant sites in the brand’s niche. Creating engaging content should be the first step you take when establishing a strong outreaching strategy, and it is advisable to align your content marketing with your outreaching strategy as creating high-quality content is the most effective and authentic way to naturally gain backlinks.
What to consider when choosing which sites to gain links from:
Quality of the site
Google aims to evaluate and rank webpages in an organic way focusing on authority, trust and reputation. Mobile responsiveness, content length and distribution are all taken into account by Google to rank the quality of a site.
Relevance to your business and target market
Backlinks placed on relevant sites with the right target audience will support your SEO strategy, however investing in poor quality, high volume, instant backlinks will likely harm your website’s search engine rankings.
Citation & trust flow scores
Checking the number of links pointing to a website will give you a sense of the influence and popularity of the site. The quality of links pointing to a website also plays a significant role, and the balance between the citation and trust flow is essential to determine the site’s value.
It is best to choose websites that attract a high volume of traffic, social media content shares and mentions. Popular websites offer strong fringe benefits to SEO-focused outreach campaigns by extending brand awareness.
It is vital to consider if the domain has high authority in terms of domain age, popularity, size and other factors, before working with the site.
Number of referring domains
High-quality referring domains are the key to growing organic traffic. The volume of these referring domains will play a significant part in your outreaching strategy.
Number of backlinks
The number of backlinks linking to your site from authoritative domains will influence the success of your outreaching strategy.
An overly consistent use of keywords in backlink anchor text is suspicious to Google. Currently, the best practice is to mix anchor text with keywords, company name, URLs and other varied wording.
Why Is Link Building Key to Any Outreach Strategy?
There is no official guidance from Google about how much weight different ranking factors carry. However, marketers across the web have conducted studies and analyses where they compare the domain strength of websites and can see a correlation between that and their visibility in search . Studies have shown that search engines are giving high authority sites more weight than ever before, therefore you must consider domain authority when seeking potential sites to gain a link from.
Google values the trustworthiness of sites and recognises that an impressive backlink profile demonstrates that people find your content valuable. Having a small number of high-quality backlinks has a more positive impact on your SEO than having lots of low-quality backlinks.
How to Build Links That Increase Rankings and SEO Value
Blue Frontier only ever promote white hat SEO methods to build links to websites. We strongly recommend staying away from black hat tips, as these can do more long-term harm to your website’s SEO. White hat SEO methods are rewarded by search engines and help avoid you receiving any penalties that result in a loss of traffic. Alternatively, black hat SEO methods try to identify loopholes that allow them to rank higher than they should by violating search engine guidelines- while these methods may generate some traffic to your site in the short term, it is not organic which means that Google will penalise your page when these tactics are noticed. Therefore, it is best to avoid black hat link building techniques.
Competitor backlinks – It is important to keep on top of your competitors’ backlinks, to be aware of their link building activities. It is beneficial for you to find out early on who is linking to your competitors. Reviewing competitor backlink profiles is a great way to identify new opportunities as they’re likely to be obtaining links from quality sites relevant to your industry, or sites that will promote businesses/content similar to yours. Using a backlink checking tool, you can easily syphon through to identify the sites with high trust and citation scores. When analysing a competitor’s link building efforts, you should also look at the types of content being created and how you can replicate this with your own unique perspective and display of expertise.
Advanced Google searches – A quick and useful way to identify potential sites to gain a link from is by using Search Operators for SEO. These allow you to find opportunities that are relevant and ideal for your outreaching. For example, searching ‘article + intitle:”SEO”’ will provide you with an abundance of articles that include SEO in the title. Explore the full Search Operators List for SEO list here: www.iqseo.org/search-operators-for-seo/.
Contacts/good communication – Outreaching is all about interacting with the webmaster of the site you wish to gain a link from to build a positive relationship. Creating mass customisation emails is the secret to getting responses. By having a standardised email template and adapting it, you should acknowledge each website’s unique content requirements and change your communications accordingly. Don’t directly ask for anything in the first email, instead, introduce yourself, express similar interests and hint at what you could offer them. Use the following correspondence as an opportunity to strategically ask for a link, and make sure to follow up with a personalised email if you don’t receive a response from them.
Be patient – Don’t be disheartened if you aren’t gaining backlinks instantly from your outreaching attempts. Link building isn’t and never will be a ‘quick fix’ SEO tactic. Building your backlink profile can take some time before your website sees and benefits from the results. You will need to commit to sending a substantial amount of link building enquiries to relevant, high-quality websites, however, the return of increased SEO value makes it extremely worthwhile long term.
Record results/monitoring – Keep a record of all opportunities found and the actions that have been taken with them. It’s useful to monitor the success of your outreaching efforts to understand what worked well and what you can improve on. Keeping track of your outreaching contacts and submissions allows you to monitor how many backlinks you have gained, follow up on any potential link opportunities and know which websites need updating should any of your details change.
Tracking the domain authority – It is advisable to keep regular tabs on your own backlink profile by monitoring links gained, links lost, your domain trust flow and citation flow scores to ensure your efforts are well placed. It is ideal to have a gradual, progressive increase in domain authority over time, and the same goes for sites that link to yours. While your scores are changing, it’s likely theirs will be too, and it’s not always for the better so it’s important to continually monitor your backlink profile.
Examples of different types of link building opportunities:
- Directories – local and industry-based
- Guest blogs
- Resource pages (use these search strings in Google to find resource pages: “Keyword” + inurl: links)
- Editorial / Advertorial
- Reclaiming image links (use Google reverse image search to find sites that use your images and ask them for backlinks).
- Case studies
Find out more about how to improve your backlink profile through link building here: https://backlinko.com/link-building.
Creating High Quality Content Is Key to Outreaching
Quality content will earn you backlinks organically. Nowadays, content isn’t just in the form of text copy alone. Content can be images, video, animation, infographics, downloadable resources, interactive tools, and more. As mentioned in our “How to Adapt for Search article after Google’s May 2020 Core Update” blog post, informative and useful content is paramount.
The power of content is widely accepted by marketers. Unfortunately, this has led to a surplus of content being supplied, further increasing the need for you to create unique and quality posts. There is no denying that creating mind-blowing content can take a lot of time and resources, but if you want to be successful in outreaching to improve your site’s SEO, it will be a worthy investment.
What Makes Quality Content?
Content that is useful to the reader will have a high value to them. It is therefore beneficial to provide content that people are genuinely interested in. This will motivate them to share and promote it with their own audience, which is an effective way to gain links to your website.
Look at the types of content shared by the sites you want to obtain links from, the topics they write about, the style they use, and more. By doing good research and using your expertise, you will be able to collaborate and build strong partnerships.
Find a gap in the market and fill it with your content. Make sure the content is still relevant and answers the users’ questions. You could even ask your audience what sort of information they would like to read about.
Think about the importance of structuring your written content and the use of headings, etc. Make sure you are using the correct keywords throughout the content.
Are Guest Posts Still Effective for Gaining Backlinks?
Tips for successful guest blogging:
- Write content to inform, not promote.
- If possible, engage with the blog by commenting on posts before reaching out. This way you will have already created a relationship and will be familiar.
- Make sure your post adds value to the site.
- Write an engaging heading to capture readers.
- Tailor your writing specifically to the target audience.
- Make the quality of the article your priority by creating interesting, unique and well-written content.
Key things to consider when guest blogging:
1) Do your research – Use backlink analysis tools to discover high-authority domains to reach out to. Make sure that the audience of the site you wish to create a guest post for has your desired target audience. You also need to understand what style and type of content the site typically creates and adapt your tone of voice accordingly. Keep your pitch appropriate for their audience and the site to give you the best chance at securing a guest post from them. Low value and low-authority sites should generally be avoided, however, they can be valuable for certain niches if they are extremely relevant.
2) Keep posting – The guest posts you create will continue to provide you with SEO value, even years after you posted them. However, your content will appear deeper in the site over time as more content is added. It is recommended that you maintain your outreaching attempts on guest blogs for at least two years, to build up the amount of fresh content you have online.
You can use data insights to identify where content has performed well to help determine future outreaching efforts. Where content has worked well, you should utilise the relationships you have already established by offering other guest posts and build up an ongoing relationship. Just because you already have a link on their site, it doesn’t mean additional links from them are less valuable. Use analytics data and backlink analysis tools to see the value of backlinks and choose which sites would be most beneficial to provide more content for.
3) Value proposition – When you reach out to a website and pitch your services, you should strive to show that you have the expertise that will be beneficial to their target audience. Moreover, prove that the content you can provide for their site will be informative and valuable. Share some ideas and let them know you’re open to suggestions. They may want to retain control of the article so let them know you can adapt to their requirements by being flexible and happy to either collaborate with them or write the article in full. This way you are more likely to get the opportunity to write for their blog as you have demonstrated the value you could bring.
4) Expect rejections – Be prepared to be rejected and ignored by many website owners and journalists you reach out to. Regardless of how impressive your outreach attempts are, it is likely that you won’t receive a 100% success rate. Don’t let this stop you from reaching out and contacting other sites, as they may see the benefits from your post.
5) What to avoid – Stay away from sites that are completely unrelated to yours, as you won’t be reaching your target market by posting there. Don’t post the same content you have on your blog or in another guest blogs. To avoid duplicate content all articles should be altered and unique for each guest post.
Understanding the Art of Newsjacking
Newsjacking is the concept of taking a breaking news story that is gaining a lot of attention and putting your own unique twist on it which shows your expertise and creativity. By jumping on the back of a trending news story, you can expose your business to get more attention and increase your brand awareness. Providing your own unique perspective on a story allows you to align your brand with a current story and increase your reach.
Newsjacking is all about timing and catching a news story as it breaks, and getting your content produced and out in a timely manner. When done effectively, newsjacking can trigger a large amount of interest and gain you a lot of backlinks and social shares organically. Newsjacking provides both short and long-term SEO benefits, increasing the amount of traffic to your site and obtaining backlinks for your site. The life of a news story can be viewed below which highlights the importance of catching a story quickly.
David Wilson Homes Newsjacked Buckingham Palace Remodelling Story
When the news broke that Buckingham Palace would be undergoing a staggering £370 million renovation, house builders David Wilson Homes saw an opportunity to put their interior design teams’ skills to use in a creative campaign that earned them links from the likes of the Metro and the Mail Online .
David Wilson Homes, White Drawing Room, 2019
The house-building company had their internal design teams put their creative CAD drawing skills to use and come up with five possible designs for the White Drawing Room that included an Art Deco Indulgence, on-trend Scandi Style and futuristic design. The campaign was relatively inexpensive to create and demonstrated the design skills of the interior design teams at DWH and resulted in an increase in brand awareness.
David Wilson Homes, Memphis Revival, 2019
There has never been a better time to master the art of newsjacking than now. During the Coronavirus outbreak, we have been faced with a constant influx of news like never before. There is no doubt that Coronavirus is the topic at the moment, with every industry, business and individual affected by the pandemic in one way or another. Therefore, sharing a new angle on a relevant Covid-19 news article in your industry and adding your own unique perspective can be extremely effective.
- Act quickly – Timing is everything when it comes to newsjacking, so you need to act immediately, with a sense of urgency when you discover an article you wish to jump on the back of. If you produce your article early enough, you can take advantage of gaining links from others referencing your article. Act too late and people may no longer be interested, or even worse, your competitors may have got there before you!
- Keep updated – Staying up-to-date will help you discover articles you want to put a twist on. Use Google Trends to help you track your keywords, set-up RSS news feeds, follow companies and bloggers in your industry that release news articles and check credible news websites such as the BBC.
- Be authentic – Don’t go out of your way to try and make a story relate to your business or industry if, in reality, it has no relevance. Only create a newsjacking article if it comes naturally and you can easily adapt the story to your industry. People reading your article- especially journalists- will be able to spot if your connection with the topic is genuine or too farfetched.
Discover more newsjacking tips here:
Feeling Inspired to Improve Your Outreach Strategy?
Blue Frontier has a dedicated team of digital marketing experts who specialize in SEO and content marketing. If you’re seeking a fresh and captivating company to assist you with your outreaching efforts, our talented copywriters are here to help. We will work closely with you to develop an outreach strategy that focuses on improving your backlink profile and building brand awareness.
Get in touch with us to find out more information about our outreaching services.