We have been conducting outreach at Matter Solutions for quite some time. Outreach is probably one of the most white-hat long-term SEO tactics that Google is unlikely to thrash with algo updates-if done correctly. Why? Because it is ethical and gains relevant backlinks to your website.
Outreach has evolved over the past years from asking for link exchanges, or a link on a resource page to creating content on your site that people actually want to link to.
We have been constructing a process that combines all our outreach efforts and research into a clear strategy that can be implemented for any client. And we are going to share it with you :)
Aim: Firstly, to create killer content on-site that people will want to link to from their website. Then engage with influencers and contact people with a link to the content. And, of course gain high-quality backlinks in the process.
The DREAM model is aptly named as if used correctly it can greatly benefit your link-building strategy. This process should be part of an overall strategy including inbound and content marketing. When brainstorming ideas for fresh content on your website you should be thinking of whether it is useful to your customers, users and influencers in the market. If it isn’t then nobody will link to it.
Creating personas for the different types of people you want to engage with can be very useful for constructing valuable content. Ask the following questions to ensure your content strategy is relevant to the people you want to reach:
Gaining an influencer’s attention can be hugely beneficial for link-building and traffic to your site. If an industry influencer tweets or, even better, links to your site then your content is exposed to all of their followers and your backlinks can increase naturally.
Once you have created your content strategy you can begin the DREAM process.
Discover websites, bloggers and authors who will be interested in linking to your content. Can be gained through the following tools:
Build the list in Excel or an outreach tool such as Buzzstream. Refine the list and categorize them according to High value, Medium Value & Low Value. High-value being high-profile influencers or quality influential websites. Medium value could be an average website or author that isn’t well-known. Low-value would be average industry-related websites.
After refining your list, research your targets. This can be achieved through identifying the social channels they use. We have been experimenting with Buzzstream to scrape their contact information from websites which saves you the time and effort. Research the following depending on the value of the link (a low value link won’t need engagement-as time is money:
This information can be used to personalise the outreach which will be more persuasive.
If the link is low-value then go to Step 4. If the link is high value then engage with the influencer through social networks:
Outreach to influencers and your link prospects through email requests. Best to have 2-3 email template (one short & sweet, one longer and detailed for bloggers, etc). You should also use the information you gained from the research you conducted to personalise the email:
Remember it should be an opportunity for the receiver NOT a request.
Here is an example of an email layout:
Simple and compelling e.g. An Infographic that may interest you
Who am I
Why am I sending this email to you (compliment latest post, point out a site error)
What do I want (and how it will benefit them)
Does this sound like something you would like be interested in? Ask them do they have any upcoming information needs that we could write about on our site for them to link to.
Tools to use:
Document outbound efforts on excel spreadsheet or use a platform like Buzzstream.
You should follow-up twice. If they say no, ask for feedback.
How to respond if they say yes:
If they say no:
Outreach is a continuous process and while you are engaging with your influencers you could also be discovering new link prospects. So the steps may overlap.
So there it is-our Outreach process which has been very beneficial to us. You can use it or create your own based on it. If you have any outreach techniques you use that hasn’t been mentioned here please share-don’t be shy.