Outreach link building can be an incredible method that underpins your entire SEO strategy – but are you doing it in the most efficient and effective way?
The answer, sadly, is often no – and I’ll explain why:
Email outreach is a combination of two vital elements – a slick process – and great people skills.You might have one, but without both parts of the puzzle you just won’t be getting the links and optimisation you and your site deserve.
I’ll walk you through a process that has had me and my team send over 15,000 emails and receive thousands of incredible links in return.
Think about how you appear
When we reach out to sites to discuss the possibility of link building we don’t introduce ourselves as Ghost Marketing – even if there’s a strong possibility the client has heard of us.
Instead, we adopt the persona of the client and brand we’re working for – and it’s important because at that moment we’re working on behalf of a client – so their brand, principles and approach is whatwe’re representing.
Ultimately, the site or influencer that we’re approaching isn’t going to be promoting our product or linking to our page, they’re going to be linking to our client’s – so that’s the important message and brand to put across.
With that in mind, consider setting up an email or domain that reflects your client’s brand – and watch your conversions increase.
Put some analysis tools in place
If you don’t know what makes you great at building links then you have no idea how to keep improving – so put some analysis tools in place. At the very least you should use Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
When you’re working with these tools you can get quantitative information about how effective the work you’re putting in has been.
Think about where the site is right now
Before you send even your first email you should be thinking about where the site you’re working on is right now. Google’s algorithms change frequently – and what worked for SEO yesterday or last year might actually be damaging to your strategy now.
Perform a ‘link audit’ – and you might find pages that are ‘over optimized’ – and as such, have received penalties from Google.
If that is the case, suggest that the content on that page is rewritten or adjusted to remove any repetitive keywords or other poor practices.
Write the very best content
If you’re approaching high authority sites it’s important that you’re aware they’re going to be expecting extremely high quality content.
Check out Umer’s guidelines on what he expects from the high quality content he places on his blog – and, as stated, make sure your work is 100% unique, no authority site wants to damage its reputation by posting something that’s plagiarised from another site.
If you don’t feel confident writing the content yourself, find someone who can.
Many content writers will be able to adapt to a variety of subjects, then again, you might want to find a professional from your certain niche or field who has a flair for writing. Many freelance copywriters and content writers are happy to work on projects as frequently or infrequently as you wish – so if you find a great writer, keep their contact details for on-going posts.
You might be tempted to find the cheapest content possible – but that’s rarely a good idea when you’re reaching out to authority sites. When you buy cheap content you’ll find you’re more likely to need it editing – at further cost. Worse still, you might find the content is rejected by the site – meaning you miss an opportunity you were so close to completing!
Finding the right sites
Finding the right sites that accept guest posts is a challenge – but one that can be approached in a number of ways.
- Speak to people you already know and their contacts: You might be sat on a goldmine of sites and blogs you didn’t know about!
- Reach out to your contacts, followers and followed accounts on all your social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
- Search for appropriate sites on Google.
When searching on Google you willneed to vary your search terms to reflect the many different ways blogs write their own copy, for example:
If you’re writing in a financial niche consider a search term like this: Money “write for our blog”
By placing “write for our blog” in speechmarks you’ll only find sites that mention the word ‘money’ and the exact phrase “write for our blog” – meaning there’s a good chances they’re interested in financial information and have opportunities for you to write for them.
Of course, there are many different terms possible, so try some of the following:
- “write for us”
- “writing for us”
- “write for our site”
- “writing for our blog”
- “guest post for us”
- “we accept guest posts”
- “write for me”
- “contribute to our blog”
Of course, always include your niche – and make sure you record all the sites you find, you never know when you’ll have to revisit them for another client.
Do your homework
You can’t expect a site owner to say yes to just anyone who wants to write for them, so before you email ensure you’ve learned a little about the site, the site owner, what they do, what they stand for and the kind of information they like to post.
Make some notes alongside the sites you’ve found – and use that information when you follow my next point:
Send personalised emails
I know, it’s much easier just to cut and paste an email that works for every site – but I can promise you one thing, if you do that, your email won’t stand out from the hundreds of others that site owner gets every day asking them to review products, share content – or anything else.
So, make sure you add a personal touch in the following ways:
- Name: Always address the person by name – never as ‘sir’, ‘madam’ or ‘webmaster’.
- Understand their business: If you can try to reference something you know about them or their business, for example, if you know they have information on their site about something that would relate to the post or information you want to share – mention you’ve read it and explain how you think your article would complement it well.
By now, you’ve observed how they interact with people on their social media channels and site – so aim to communicate in a way they like and engage with.
Don’t give up!
Understand that the people and businesses you’re reaching out to are very busy – and even if they like you and your site, they have to put their own business first. As such, you might get very few replies – we often do – even though we have an excellent process and experienced account managers.
If you don’t hear back from a site – get in touch again. Don’t stop until you’ve heard from them – either a yes or a no. You might be just one more email away from the highest authority link you’ve ever got!
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