SEO outreach

SEO Outreach: What it is & How to Do it Right?

As a business owner, your primary goal is to connect with your audience and rise above the digital noise. This is where SEO outreach comes into play—it’s an indispensable strategy that helps you broaden your reach, establish strong brand credibility, and drive more organic traffic. 

Let’s dive deeper to understand its essence and importance.

What Is SEO Outreach?

SEO outreach is a crucial SEO process aimed at attracting high-quality backlinks to your website from other reputable websites in your industry or niche. 

This is done through building relationships with influencers, bloggers, other businesses, industry experts, and even journalists with a significant online presence. The process involves creating value propositions such as compelling content that others will find so invaluable they can’t help but link to on their own or pitching content that weaves in a reference (or link) to your site. 

Why Does Your Business Need SEO Outreach? 

Considering backlinks are among the key factors that search engines use to determine the rankings of your web pages, SEO outreach offers multi-dimensional benefits, including:

  • Increased Brand Visibility: By linking with high-authority websites within your industry through SEO outreach, your brand gains wider visibility and credibility. This ultimately leads to increased brand awareness. 
  • Better Search Engine Rankings: Search engines give preference to sites with a higher number of quality backlinks, enabling your website to climb the SERP rankings. This outbound linking practice, therefore, plays a critical role in your SEO strategy. 
  • Diversified Traffic Sources: SEO outreach efforts can create new avenues for traffic generation outside of organic search, making your site’s traffic sources more diversified and less dependent on search engine algorithm changes. 
  • Stronger Industry Relationships:  SEO outreach also allows for a sense of community building within your industry, fostering meaningful relationships with bloggers, influencers, and other businesses. In the long run, this opens avenues for collaboration, promoting mutual growth and learning, further boosting your business standing. 
  • Improved Content Quality: When you create content to attract high-quality backlinks, it invariably improves the overall quality of your site content. You’re more likely to produce valuable, substantial, and share-worthy content, leading to a better user experience.

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How To Do SEO Outreach in 6 Steps

Set Your Objectives

To lay the groundwork for a successful SEO outreach campaign, aligning your objectives with your overall business goals is pivotal. Without clear objectives, your outreach efforts could be misdirected or unfocused. 

Setting your goals might seem straightforward at first glance, but it’s a nuanced step that deserves thoughtful consideration. You should: 

  • Understand who you’re trying to reach and what their interests and online habits are.
  • Ask yourself key questions about your outreach strategy. Do you want to foster relationships with influencers in your industry? Is your main goal to generate high-quality backlinks? Or you’re trying to increase brand awareness. Answering these questions can help you establish a clear roadmap. 
  • Choose how you will measure the success of your SEO outreach. This might include tracking metrics such as organic traffic, backlinks, or social shares.
  • Decide who within your team will lead each aspect of your SEO outreach efforts, from outreach to content creation to monitoring results.
  • Establish a realistic timeline for achieving your goals, understanding that SEO outreach often requires a long-term, sustained effort.

Don’t forget that a good SEO outreach goal should be SMART:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear and well-defined. Instead of vaguely aiming to increase website traffic, your specific goal could be to improve organic traffic by 25% over the next quarter. 
  • Measurable: Every aim should have a metric for easy tracking of progress and results, for example, using analytic tools to monitor the increment in organic traffic. 
  • Achievable:. While it’s good to be ambitious, goals should remain attainable. If you’re a new player in a competitive market, boosting organic traffic by 200% in one month may not be realistic. 
  • Relevant: If your business’s key target is building brand reputation, then focusing your SEO outreach on getting high-authority backlinks could be pertinent. 
  • Time-bound: You have to set deadlines for your objectives. They spur action and motivation while facilitating timely evaluation and adjustment of your strategy. A well-constructed goal might be to increase backlinks from authoritative sites by 15% in the next six months. 

Prospecting: Identify SEO Outreach Opportunities 

Identifying SEO outreach opportunities is a crucial stage in your outreach endeavor. You wouldn’t start a journey without a map, would you? The same goes for SEO outreach. Before you even write your email, conduct thorough research. 

Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Competitor Analysis: Start with examining your competitors using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. Often, they may have backlinks from high-authority websites that you can also target. Check their content strategy, who their partners are, and how they managed to secure these partnerships. Here’s a great guide that can help you with this.
  • SEO Tools: SEO tools like Moz, Majestic, or Ubersuggest, can help provide insights into potential websites. These tools show you their domain score, indicating their SEO power. Reach out to those with a higher score, as they can pass on more SEO juice to your own site. Have a look at this comprehensive guide to make the most of these tools.
  • Contribute Value: Identify opportunities where you can contribute valuable content. Look for websites that accept guest posts or offer an expert quote. Link building shouldn’t be just about you. Ensure it’s a mutually beneficial partnership.

Get Your Outreach Email Templates Ready 

An efficient outreach campaign is predicated on well-crafted emails. There’s more to it than just drafting a generic message and mass emailing it to all your prospects—each template should be tailor-made to reflect the unique needs and interests of your target audience. 

Here’s how to go about getting your outreach email templates ready: 

  • Research your target audience. Understand who you’re emailing, their interests, and the type of content or proposals will they likely respond to. 
  • Keep it concise. Average people receive more than 120 business-related emails and for this reason, your email needs to stand out while respecting the recipient’s time. Tell your potential partner who you are, what you offer, and why they should care, and make every word count. 
  • Personalize. Emails with personalized subject lines have 26% higher chances of being opened while an email that sounds like a mass-produced script will probably end up in the trash folder. Use your prospect’s name and mention something specific about their work or business to show you’ve done your homework.
  • Include a call to action. Be clear about what you want the recipient to do after reading your email. Do you want a reply, a meet-up, or for them to check out your services? 
  • Proofread. Always double-check your emails for grammatical errors and clarity before sending them out. Grammarly can be helpful for this.

Pitch to Your Contact

Once your templates are ready, it’s time to step into the spotlight. Send your pitch and make your case but make it stand out among the countless others in your contact’s inbox. It’s about making an immediate and lasting impression. 

When drafting your pitch, remember to:

  • Tailor your email to every recipient. Use their name, mention projects they are working on, and explain why your content could be a value-add to them. 
  • Communicate your purpose within the first few lines of your email. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and excessive detail—if your contact is confused or overwhelmed, they’re unlikely to respond.
  • Make your subject line catchy since you only have 30 to 50 characters to snag your contact’s attention. Statistics show that 69% of email recipients report email as spam based on the subject line alone.
  • Provide value—whether it’s a compelling piece of content, a unique insight, or a collaborative opportunity, make it the focal point of your pitch. 
  • Be professional, authentic, respectful, polite, and engaging. Remember, you’re trying to start a relationship with these contacts. 

Create Compelling Content 

Creating riveting content is the heart and soul of SEO outreach. Quality content is your currency in this exchange—this is not just about writing the next viral post, it’s about crafting content that is valuable, engaging, and perfectly aligned with your brand’s message. Plus, your content must speak to your potential link partners as much as it speaks to your target audience. 

Here’s how you can ace it: 

  • Zero in on Relevant Topics: Use tools like Google Trends or BuzzSumo to find out what’s currently trending in your industry. Pay close attention to the topics that are gaining traction in your area of expertise. This will ensure your content is timely, relevant, and appealing to both your audience and potential link partners.
  • Deliver Quality: Nothing trumps quality when it comes to content. The more informative and well-researched your content is, the more likely it is to attract high-quality backlinks—comprehensive content can get up to 77.2% more backlinks than short posts.
  • Infuse Personality: Precise facts and figures are extremely important but so is your unique brand voice. Infusing your content with personality helps differentiate you from your competitors and makes your content more relatable and interesting.
  • Include Visuals: People are visually oriented. Highly visual content like infographics, relevant images, and data visualizations can improve engagement and make your content more shareable. In fact, articles with images receive 94% more views than those without.

Follow Up

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. People are busy. Send a polite follow-up message if you haven’t received a reply within a week. Be persistent without being pesky. 

However, it’s not as simple as just sending another email. You need a strategic plan in place, one that shows your contact that you’re serious about your proposal and that you’re not just sending out mass emails for the sake of it. A well-structured follow-up can increase responsiveness by as much as 22%

When crafting follow-up emails, remember these best practices:

  • Respect their space. Keep in mind that your contact is probably balancing various commitments. If they haven’t responded to your first email, give them some time before you send a follow-up. As a rule of thumb, wait for at least a week before making your next move.
  • Reiterate your value proposition. Remember not to sound too salesy, instead provide value and show them what’s in it for them.
  • Change your approach. If your first pitch didn’t get a response, maybe it didn’t hit the mark quite as you’d hoped. Try changing up your approach with your follow-up to make it more engaging.
  • Find a new angle: Instead of just repeating your initial pitch, find a new angle. If you gave statistics in your first email, perhaps use a case study in your follow-up.

SEO Outreach: Key Takeaways

Maintaining that delicate balance between determination and decorum is the cornerstone of excellent SEO outreach. It’s about striking up a conversation, not selling a monologue. Through honed strategy and genuine interaction, you’re not only promoting your brand but building meaningful relationships that elevate your business’s reach and impact.

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