In the last step we gave a quick overview of backlinks and how to gain them in this step we’re going to look specifically at SEO outreach. Outreach is a topic that many would-be SEO’s get stuck on they don’t really know how to get stuck on. You’ve created content, you’ve promoted it via social media but you’re just not getting any backlinks. This is because the best way to get backlinks is to reach out to webmasters directly. The whole point of backlinks as search engines see it is that you get backlinks in order to prove how trustworthy your website is. If you reach out to webmasters and they’re willing to link to your website then they’ve looked at your website, they’ve looked at your content and have essentially vouched for you. Some people do this via social media, some through contact forums but the quickest and most effective is through email outreach using an outreach tool. In this blog post we’re going to cover five main approaches to outreach, these are the five that we employ if anyone can think of any others please leave us a comment. You won’t need to do every form of these outreaching techniques they all work differently depending on how bloggers react in your niche, but I’ll explain them all so you get a sense.
How to Outreach
Realistically in order to outreach you need to make sure that you have the correct tools, it is possible to outreach without them but it will take ages. Most SEO agencies will have outreaching tools and thus outsourcing your outreaching usually makes more financial sense. My favourite outreach tools are outreach ninja and buzzstream, for the purpose of this tutorial we will be looking at how to do this using outreach tools though you could do it manually. Firstly get this free bookmarklet extension, if it doesn’t work in Chrome try Firefox (I’m assuming your not using Internet Explorer but if you are don’t). Once you have that you’ll then need to type in your keyword, we’ll go into the types of keywords you’ll need per sub section below but for now I’m just going to teach you how to use bookmarkelet and outreaching tools.
Once you have the bookmarklet go into settings of Google and change results per page to 100
Type in a search query and click the “serps ‘16” button.
Scroll down to links highlight and copy them into an excel spreadsheet
Repeat this again with the second and third page and go back to your excel spreadsheet. Move the cells down and title the column “Website URL”, the title isn’t massively important as it’s really just a way of the outreaching software identifying your fields.
Now save this as a CSV and login into/sign up to your outreach tool for the purpose of this tutorial it will be Ninja Outreach.
Fill in all the relevant details if you are unaware how email clients work I suggest reading this guide. Once linked set up a list I’ve called mine “Example Outreach”, then upload the CSV.
Now create a template that you think would be best suited to your niche.
Now click on autosending, fill in the relevant details and launch your campaign here you have the option to check your prospects and alter your emails slightly according to each person. All outreaching software will differ at this stage but this is the general process. Now that you know the basics behind outreaching we now need to look at the different forms of linkbuilding.
Expert Round Up
This form of link building is a personal favourite. It involves speaking to experts in a particular field ideally getting the opinion of an influencer in your niche on a specific topic published on your website’s blog. That expert is someone who is likely to share the post on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or even on their blog. The massive advantage of creating an expert round up is there is very little input from yourself to create content and there’s little content. This added bonus is that as you ask several experts for their opinion each individual has to create very little content. It’s worth featuring yourself alongside them but it’s not entirely necessary either. If you know your niche well someone of these experts will spring to mind straight away, others will be more difficult, use a tool such as Moz’s followonk, or Buzzstream to find influencers in your niche.
Curate Round ups
Curating content is fairly simple, easy to create and has a massive link building opportunity. It involves selecting blog content from across the web related to your niche with a quick summary of which each blog post is about, the key here is to find content that contrasts, perhaps a blog post that adds to the topic of another blog post or perhaps it disagrees with another blog post. Corner Stone content created a great guide to creating a roundup post which is really good read.
Guest posting used to be the most popular way of link building however due to previous abuse of this method it’s become slightly less popular as a form of linkbuilding. Guest posting involves finding opportunities to post a blog on relevant websites, usually with a link in the bio back to your website. The key here is to get good content on your website first before outreaching. The best way to do this is to go for high ticket items i.e high DR(DA for Moz) or low Ahrefs rank as attempting to do outreach on low ranking websites here is not very time efficient. Generally speaking if the site is high ranking and in your niche it won’t be spammy, but avoid getting involved in anything that seems a bit black hat and requires payment. A great rule of thumb I follow here is, would you consider posting here for referral traffic, exposure and prestige regardless of the backlink opportunity? If the answer is yes, then go right ahead and start guest posting.
A lot of websites will have a resource page or a “links” page, these are generally considered one of the link-building opportunities with the least amount of effort, however you’ll eventually run out of sites to do this on and I wouldn’t focus on it too much. The trick here is to find sites similar or related to yours for example a builder in Cardiff might link to a building supplier, or printing company might link to a graphic designer. Usually you’ll end up having to link to their website as well, this is fine so long as you don’t overdue it and starting linking to spammy sites of little or no value.
The key to skyscraping is finding a piece of content or several pieces with lots of links and create a piece of content that’s even better. For example you could find a piece of content that’s 600 words long and discusses certain topics without going into too much depth or could have added further topics. You could create content that’s longer, more images, embedded youtube videos etc. Once you’ve created your content, outreach to all the sites that linked to the blogs that you based your blog on with an email asking if they would link to your content as they’ve linked to similar content. The massive advantage to this technique is that you know they’ve already linked to a blog post with less value than yours so will quite likely link to yours.
Broken link building is when you find a popular link on the internet that links to a page that no longer exits. You then find everyone who has linked to that website and send them an email offering a blog with similar content. The best way of knowing what the content was about is to use the wayback machine to show you what the post looked like before it was dead. However you don’t necessarily need to recreate content or even look for broken links related to content you already have. Pointing out broken links can be a great way to introduce your company to an influential website, sometimes building connections is better than just building links. In order to broken linkbuild at a scalable rate you’ll need a tool such as SEO spider it doesn’t cost too much and it’s a one off payment. It’s not really possible to do it without this software or similar. Watch the below video for more information.
Straight Forward Promotion
The most obvious and simple method of link building is simple promotion of your content. In a lot of ways this is really quite similar to skyscraper technique, as you’ll be looking to create outstanding content that no one on the web has done before and emailing relevant websites to get them to link to you. Social media is one of the best ways to go about doing this platforms such as Stumbled Upon, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are particularly useful here. Whether you’re messaging people directly, or making use of paid promotion to increase the exposure of your blog.
Thanks for reading this blog post, this is the end of our SEO guide, I know there’s a lot of SEO information that we haven’t gone into massive depths about but this guide is really only intended to be an overview so you can get your head around SEO. In later blog posts we will be dedicating entire posts to topics we’ve only touched upon, drop us a tweet or a comment to suggest topics you’d like covered.
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