Let's cut to the chase. SEO doesn't work the same way. Nope, not by running article submission campaigns, social bookmarking, building blog networks and ScrapeBox-ing the hell out of blog comments for the sake of hitting a target volume of links. There are no shortcuts to doing SEO anymore, and the only effective way to earn links is the hard, intentional outreach way. That said, here are three outreach strategies that work for us, which you can also apply to your own link building. Let’s get started!
We "discovered" this through our own weekly roundups. Ever since we started posting weekly roundups on this blog, we started receiving emails from online marketers and bloggers who alert us of their related posts. The idea is simple, bloggers who do "roundups" look for other relevant content in their industry to include in their weekly curation. What if, instead of waiting for them to find you, approach them yourself? It’s a win-win for both; they won’t have a hard time looking for a content source and you’ll get a chance to earn a link.
- Find websites in your industry that post regular roundups. Go to Google.com and manually search them using these search parameters:“Keyword” inurl:roundups
Using SEO Quake, pull out the SERP data and filter the websites, get only the relevant ones.
- List each website’s contact information, could be a contact form or an email address.
- Email each website and ask for your content’s inclusion on these websites’ roundups. Here’s the email template we use for this strategy:
(You can use either subject)
Subject: Awesome Article Roundup
Subject: You might want to check this (topic) out
Hi, Website.com team!
I just bumped into your site and saw that you make excellent roundup of articles. First off, awesome... I love the roundups that you guys share!
(Your Name) here, a (Job Title) at (Your Company). We put together (Topic) that I think you might find useful.
Here’s the link: (URL of the blog post that you want to include in the roundups)
It will be a great honor if this article makes it in your roundups.
By the way, we also update our blog about (subject 1) and (subject 2) regularly. You might want to check it out: (Blog URL)
This is my favorite outreach strategy of all time. It usually works when you’re in the industry for a long time and people already recognize your brand. Website Owners/Bloggers tend to mention your name or brand on their website and there’s a chance that they don’t link to you. This is where you reach out to them to get that link!
You’re going to need tools to track your mentions. The thing is, you can actually do this task manually by doing a manual search on Google but that process might take some time. So I suggest you use Google Alerts and Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer on this task.
- Get a list of the websites who mentioned your brand using the tools above.
- Gather all the contact information. Tools like BuzzStream can help you with this task.
- Email each website and ask for the link. You can use the template below:
Subject: Oops! You're missing a link in your article
I was just reading through (URL), and saw that you mentioned [YOUR BRAND] in it. First off, awesome! It made our day to see our brand featured in a great resource like yours.
Just quickly: I was just wondering if you forgot to link out to the article you cited in addition to mentioning our site (http://www.website.com/?). I think a link would make it much easier for your visitors. That would save them time finding the article you cited.
If it's any help, here's the direct link to the article, for your convenience: (http://www.website.com/)
Either way, thanks and have a wonderful day! Oh, and keep up the great work!
The main reason why we sign up for newsletters is to get daily access on every blog post/news on a website. What if we can actually build links with newsletters?
- Subscribe to websites in your industry
- You can use a separate email address if you don’t want to get tons of newsletters in your inbox. But make sure it's on your domain as well. If you use a gmail/yahoo account, chances are they will think the account is spam.
- When you get a newsletter email, make sure you reply to it. This is the part where you actually build relationships with them. Don’t mention anything about your website or don’t ask for a link yet. Be patient my friend! Just compliment the blog, give a few tips or thank them for their existence.
- Chances are they won’t reply right away, you have to wait for a few days to pitch your blog post. If they reply to your email, you can go ahead and pitch! Ask if them if you can publish your content on their blog.
In addition to this, we've also added Widget Outreach to our strategy. We pitch a helpful widget to different websites/blogs in the industry. It is very effective when done right. Here's an example of what a helpful widget looks like:
Here's how you reach out:
1. Gather resources from the industry
2. List down the contact information of each website
3. Pitch the widget using the template below
I hope that this email finds you well. I know you are busy, so I won’t take up a lot of your time.
I’m [Your Name], a Content Contributor at [Your Website]. I’m reaching out to offer our FREE horoscope widget. It is an embed code that can be added anywhere to your website (sidebar, posts or a specific page).
We are also open to building FREE Guest Post content for your audience.
If you are interested, just let me know :)
At the end of the day, there’s more to these strategies than earning links. It’s building new relationships with the people in your industry is that which matters more. If you have any questions or input, just comment below and I’ll definitely get back to you! ;)