SEO Outreach strategies to form valuable relationships with industry influencers are only going to increase in importance in 2015. The additional investment being poured into content marketing by companies results in ever more editorial work in need of being distributed, but this also creates an ever increasing amount of noise that needs to be cut through. It is therefore vital for SEOs to make use of outreach in order to create and maintain relationships with the kind of people whose endorsement is of critical importance and to ensure that their activity has been noticed by those with influence.
Outreach is best utilized as a kind of brand awareness program for the audience that counts the most. With that in mind here are some outreach strategies to employ this year.
Create a List
The first thing that you should do in order to perform successful outreach is to create a list of prospects which can then be broken into different categories, such as:
- Blogs you would like to guest post on
- Resource pages with broken links that could be replaced by your website
- Sites linked to out-dated content that you can improve on
- Possible affiliate partners
- Blogs that could review your services or products
- Sites that link to competitors but not your website
- Journalists who you could develop relationships with
- Industry influencers that you would like to interview
To help build this list you could also then make use of a number of different tools including:
- Google Alerts to pick up mentions of your brand
- Moz to demonstrate high-strength domains linked to the pages of competitors but not yet your own
- Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to connect with bloggers and journalists
- Google advanced queries that have been configured to mix keywords with search terms in the URL of pages, title or anchor text
- Chrome’s Check My Link extension to quickly find web pages and identify those with broken links
- HARO for acquiring links and developing relationships with journalists
Once the list has been successfully created, another good idea is to use the outreach CRM tool Buzzstream so that you can keep track of all your activity. This enables you to look for link targets and import them while also recording your contacts and their details in addition to their current status with your company. Manually log such details in Buzzstream rather than using custom fields as the outreach you produce will be invariably superior.
Use Warm Emails
Nobody likes getting cold-called and unsolicited emails, even if they don’t get sent straight to the Junk folder they will likely get deleted without even being looked at. A better strategy is to make initial contact with a prospect via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. Share a couple of their posts, make a helpful comment on a forum or group that they take part in and genuinely form a relationship with them. This can be a big help, because when you do send that first email, they will be aware of who you are and much more likely to actually read it in the first place, which is your initial foot in the door.
Give these outreach strategies a go this year and remember to be genuine in your attempt to form valuable relationships which should help you to achieve your goals.
If you have any new outreach strategies that you are implementing this year I would love to read about them in the comments.
Stuart Cooke is head of Digital Marketing at Face Communications and owner of freelance SEO blog Pinnacle SEO. When he’s not working with clients to achieve their online goals you can find him blogging about the current state and future of the SEO industry.