Link building is the backbone of search engine optimisation (SEO). A good backlink profile achieves two important goals; brings in organic traffic, and improves ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
It is important to note that the more external links that your website has, the more visible and trustworthy your business becomes.
However, techniques like keyword stuffing and paid links no longer work – in fact, thanks to Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, sites that use these methods get penalised, fast!
A more robust and long lasting method of achieving good links is to adopt quality outreach methods.
What Is Outreach?
Outreach is a method of link building that can be conducted in the following ways:
- Email outreach
- PR outreach
- Social media outreach
- Influencer outreach
- Guest Posting
In short, these methods include asking site owners to link to your site, or offering to create content for their website – with a link to your business.
And the best part is that you only need to have ‘linkable assets’ – that are not necessarily blogs or articles. These can be anything that is worth linking to on your site, including your products and services, brand, tools etc.
The trick to achieving successful outreach is writing persuasive emails. HubSpot offers this five step guide to ensure a successful outreach strategy.
Outreach methods focus on creating or nurturing existing connections with different thought leaders, influencers and businesses to network, and build brand awareness.
As such, wmail is one of the most powerful ways to engage, and network with different brands.
The five step guide outlined above offers a straightforward way to reach the maximum number of people, and get positive responses.
Indeed, research by Backlinko has shown that out of 12 million outreach emails, only 8.5% of them receive a response.
According to the same research, the following techniques offer a better response rate:
- Sending personalised emails
- Linking to social media profiles
- Sending follow-up emails
- Reaching out to multiple contacts
- Personalising the subject line of the email
- Creating outreach messages about guest blogging.
Social Media And Influencer Outreach
Social media outreach is when organisations use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for brand awareness and networking purposes.
More importantly, these are great tools for fostering relationships needed for link building.
Around 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media – thereby helping businesses ensure consumer retention, and higher profits.
What’s more, according to a Link Building Survey in 2017, SEO professionals noted that the majority of link building efforts are through social media.
Implementing a successful social media outreach involves the following three steps:
Set Up A Social Media Account
The first step involves simply creating a social media account. For example, signing up for Twitter allows organisations to follow their competitors, and engage their consumers. They can keep tabs on the industry, and observe how it operates before moving on to the next step.
Building social media relationships requires planning and foresight – it is not something that can develop overnight. This includes engaging with editors and webmasters in a personal way, so that they link to your content and business.
Identify Influencers to Connect With
Social media is rife with influencers – people with a devoted following, and a reputable and trustworthy image.
It is important to reach out to these influencers, and engage with them so that you can receive a link back to your website.
Social media tools like Followerwonk, and Buzzsumo are extremely useful for this purpose.
A guest post is content you write for someone else’s website. Usually, a guest post will contain an “about author” section that provides a link back to your website or project.
Thus, in exchange for the free guest post, you can build relationships, receive quality backlinks, and raise brand awareness.
According to Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, “…for me, the most important thing for building links is to create great content that’s worth linking to. However it may still be safe to do things like guest posting and sharing infographics. The key to doing it the right way though is not to worry about the quantity of where you publish, but worry about the quality of where you publish.”
With 72% of SEO professionals recognising backlinks as crucial ranking factors, a successful outreach program can ensure success in terms of more traffic, and increased brand awareness.
And remember, a well-rounded outreach program typically encompass a multitude of outreach strategies, such as social media, guest posts and email.