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The backbone of link building: Outreach strategies

Link building has become a vital part of any SEO strategy. The influence that links have on rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) continues to be significant–so an effective link building campaign remains important. Many different factors go into a successful link building campaign, but even a campaign that features some of the best content ever created will never get off the ground without great outreach. Outreach is the foundation of an effective link building project. You should follow some key strategies to improve the quality of your outreach.

Reach Out!
Reach Out! (Photo credit: ~diP)

Personalize Your Outreach

The first thing to remember when doing outreach is to personalize every bit of outreach you do. There are a couple of reasons why.

First off, if you are reaching out for guest posting purposes, you must realize that spammers and black-hat SEO companies have marred the guest posting landscape. Unfortunately, these two have given guest posting a bad reputation by spamming webmasters and blog owners with automated garbage. This has made webmasters understandably skeptical of guest post requests and personalizing your outreach is a good way to show that you’re not a robot.

Another reason that putting a personal touch on your outreach is an effective strategy is that it shows the person you are reaching out to that you care about building a relationship. Sending an email that addresses the recipient by name shows that you care enough to at least take the time to find out what their name is. Also, it can be helpful to refer to a blog post from their site to prove that you have taken some time to read their blog and have a genuine interest in their site.

Many people lose sight of the fact that they are talking to an actual human being when they are doing outreach and doing these simple things can show them that you too are a real person. By catering every message you send to fit with the site you are sending them to, you can show that you are someone that is looking to build a valuable relationship rather than simply use somebody for a quick link.

Stay On Top of Your Outreach

Another crucial aspect of effective outreach is staying on top of what you are doing. Now this may sound simple, but outreach is a constant numbers game and it can quickly become easy for things to start slipping through the cracks. Email is obviously the easiest from of outreach to track, but it may not always be feasible and it is important to keep track of everything you do in some way.

A lot of times outreach is quite similar to cold-calling and the response rate is typically low. This is why it is important to stay on top of things and continue to follow up with people when they don’t respond. It is also important to be persistent and not give up, as it may take three or four attempts sometimes to finally elicit a response.

Utilize All Available Options

While email is the traditional method used for outreach and it can be quite effective, don’t forget that it’s not the only option available.

Social media can also be used as a successful outreach tool. Often a webmaster or blog owner will intentionally hide their email address on a site to avoid spam and you can outreach to them through Twitter or Facebook which increases your credibility as a real person.

Following the person you’re reaching out to on their various social media accounts can further increase your credibility and begin to build on the relationship you are trying to establish. It is also possible to find more link building opportunities with people within the Google+, Facebook or other groups on the various social media platforms.

Utilizing these various strategies can help to improve the efficacy of your outreach. Improving outreach is the first step to implementing a successful and effective link building campaign. With so much emphasis being put on links in regards to SERP rankings, it is important to practice good outreach to maximize all your link building efforts.

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