Link building outreach: preparation meets persuasion
Obtaining valuable, future-proof backlinks requires human interaction -- and that means being prepared to offer something of value. Columnist Andrew Dennis shares his advice for putting together a successful link building outreach campaign.
Securing real links requires outreach.
No matter the site, industry or audience, the only way to earn worthwhile links is through some form of human-to-human communication.
Google is continuously improving its ability to detect spammy tactics, reducing the efficacy of manipulation and increasing the power of editorially given links. As Jon Cooper pointed out in a SearchFest session earlier this year, future-safe links must come from one-on-one outreach.
Every successful link acquisition project is fueled by well-researched, well-positioned outreach, which is, therefore, compelling.
Convincing outreach starts with research
Audience research is the foundation of effective outreach, because proper research empowers you to communicate persuasively. Preparation positions you for success and you execute through compelling messaging.
There are a number of excellent outreach resources within the SEO space, and many of them provide tips and guidance on how to craft an effective email. Writing compelling emails is important, but too many people get wrapped up in crafting messages and subject lines and forget how much of the work happens before an email is ever sent.
Clever writing can only do so much, and it will never be enough to overcome a lack of true value. Persuasive messaging is vital to any outreach campaign, but persuasion cannot replace preparation.
In fact, researching and preparing ahead of time makes matters easier and simpler (not to mention increases your chances for success) when you start contacting bloggers, journalists and site owners.
There are three main elements you must thoroughly understand before you start an outreach campaign:
- The value to your audience.
- The website you’re contacting.
- The person and their motivation.
Understanding these three elements will be instrumental in determining who you contact, how you define your value, how to position your messaging and the overall success of your outreach campaign.
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