Link building to business and website owners continues to increase in importance.
It’s incremental for search engine ranking, domain authority, and attracting organic traffic.
SEO marketers consider link building to be the ultimate goal of outreach as an SEO strategy, and to be able to effectively implement your outreach approach and strategy, there’s a couple of things you should know and do.
What is Outreach SEO?
The process of outreach link building involves creating valuable links from off-site websites that link back to the client’s website through reaching out to those website owners (most popularly via email) and letting them know about the resource or content you’ve created.
Outreach is one of the ways in which link building is implemented. There are also a number of ways in which a business can do outreach besides email outreach, which include social, influencer, and press outreach. You’ll find most of them will involve email outreach one way or another, though.
Though outreach is mainly about pitching your content to other off-site websites and publishers, an effective outreach approach touches on broader, more in-depth aspects of SEO. A successful outreach strategy is also one where your sales, marketing, and branding strategies play a role.
Outreach’s Most Important Aspects
To implement an efficient outreach strategy, these must be your drivers:
For your outreach to work, the off-site publisher you choose should be relevant to your business and your content.
In other words, the content the off-site publisher or website posts (where eventually your backlinks will be placed) should be useful to the target audience and also relate to your business.
This means that the off-site website’s target audience should also meet with yours.
To earn high-quality links, your content needs to provide a high value proposition for the interested and relevant publishers.
Not only does the quality of your content define its value, but also its relevance to both your business and services as well as the publisher’s target audience, as we’ve explained above.
You’ll do your best to create high-quality content, but you need to keep in mind whether it adds anything to the table.
Link building is highly competitive, so to be able to attract the best publishers, your content and ways need to be creative, imaginative, and innovative enough for you to stand out. Remember: there’s tons of others also competing for the same audience, so give your publishers something others can’t!
Why Is It Important?
A business website’s backlink profile plays a huge role in how it ranks on search engines.
With Google’s algorithm growing in intelligence and detecting abilities, unethical link building practices or ones that violate the search engine’s guidelines can put you under great risk of penalties and significantly harm your SEO.
Without a strong backlink profile, you hinder your company’s growth, traffic, and revenue.
It’s therefore incremental for businesses and websites to earn links through creating and marketing high-quality content that is enticing to publishers. This should hence reflect in your outreach process, as the strategy needs to be sophisticated and carefully designed.
But what applies to you applies to others, and the result is: everyone is trying to create great content that follows Google’s algorithm’s guidelines to the extent that it has surpassed demand.
Because of that, a strong outreach strategy needs to emphasize strong communication and negotiation skills.
The Outreach Process
We’ve talked about how outreach touches on many important aspects and how this reflects in the process.
An effective outreach link building campaign is one that is efficiently targeted and relevant, which is why it’s important to equally focus on every step of the process – no step is less important than the other.
Researching Good Link Building Practices
For link building to actually work, you need to have an awareness of what Google considers a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ link.
Google’s algorithm gives great priority to strong backlinks – a good link will increase your organic traffic, but a bad one might get you penalized and harm your SEO and domain authority.
This is why it’s important to be able to identify which is which, at least according to Google’s standards.
Good links are distinguished from bad ones depending on a variety of metrics. These include:
- The relevance of the content to the publishing website as well as your own business, and how all these tie together
- Trust by Google to the publishing website, which entails making sure the website that will link to you does not engage in link building practices that violate Google’s guidelines
- Popularity of the off-site website, how much traffic it attracts, and its volume of quality backlinks
- The off-site publisher’s linking habits, like whether it buys links or links to irrelevant content, as this may result in it getting penalized by Google
- The citation flow of a website, which is the number of links that point to it, since it also indicates influence and popularity
- The trust flow of a website, which is the quality of its backlinks
- The citation/trust flow balance, which makes sure the ratio of total number of backlinks to quality ones is reasonable
- Domain authority
- Website diversity, since it adds to the ‘naturality’ of the link – keeping in mind the relevance of the content to the off-site publisher
Understanding the Target Market
Technical and creative awareness of the target market and the type of content its audience consume, as well as their motivation to buy, is a crucial step for both choosing your publishers and creating your content.
The more you understand the market, the better you’ll be able to target prospect publishers, and the higher your chances are of being accepted by them.
Understanding both your and the publisher’s target audience comes in handy when the point of the relevance is emphasized.
This will help you better determine the topics you need to cover in your content, as publishers side better with content that is valuable and useful to their audience rather than just promotional content by the business.
Prospecting refers to the process of identifying and vetting reliable, relevant, and authoritative websites to publish your content on.
The quality of your prospecting can make or break your outreach campaign – this is because your process should be backed up by knowledge of the business, websites, and publishers that are relevant to you.
There are a couple of prospecting tools that can help you do this, but you can also cover this manually through a bunch of ways.
This can include simply researching the best blogs for the content you intend to cover or target, or even reverse engineering your competitors’ backlinks. This means choosing topics that you’ve seen being good linkable ../../assets somewhere else.
We’ve briefly touched on the importance of strong communication skills, and the pitching process is where that matters most.
For the pitching process, we’ll be talking about email outreach.
A strong outreach email is one that is highly customized and personalized. This is where your interpersonal skills should shine, as a smart approach to someone is letting them know you know a lot about them.
Remember: this is a competitive arena, and publishers probably get tons of similar daily emails. As important as it is to tailor your approach to who you’re emailing, it’s also tactical to include a strong, captivating subject line as well as paying attention to the brevity of your email.
The bigger the scale of your pitching, the better the results you’ll get. Follow-ups are also extremely important in this case, so make sure the scale of your pitching is reflected here too.
Content Development and Writing
Besides the importance of the content’s relevance to the off-site publisher, you also need to make sure that the content you’ll create is of high-quality and will appeal to them.
You need to create content that is consistent with both your and your off-site website’s guidelines. If you’re writing a guest post, you also need to know what a good guest post looks like.
And just how Google’s algorithm pays attention to links, it also focuses on the content. Next to relevance and quality, pay attention to details like the use of external links, for example.
Once your plan (and links) have been put in place, it’s time to start evaluating and analysing the links’ SEO performance as well as how much traffic and revenue it’s helped you generate.
Benefits of Outreach
Ultimately, outreach link building help improve your organic ranking and traffic since it exposes your website or business to newer audiences.
As your domain authority increases thanks to good link building practices, you also get to increase your brand awareness and strengthen credibility.
In turn, this will result in you increasing your sales and ultimately your revenue.
SEO and its following practices are increasingly becoming more intricate.
A strong backlink profile is now required by business to rank high on search engines and be deemed credible, and the process of earning valuable backlinks is becoming increasingly challenging.
A good outreach strategy will get you to your goal of ethical link building, and in turn, get you the benefits of increasing organic traffic to your site and getting more leads and, eventually, higher sales.