SEO outreach is the mechanism used to gain backlinks from relevant and quality third party websites to your website. Backlinks are still the main ranking element in the algorithm of all major search engines and help define your website’s “link authority” – used to decide where your site sits within the results. Backlinks not only aid link authority, but they also provide a brand awareness function and play a key role in establishing credibility and trust.
Backlinks should also drive visitors through referral traffic too, especially through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest) and publishing platforms (YouTube, Slideshare, Prezi), even though many of these use nofollow rules. Although you likely won’t get link authority from these shares, they provide a great source of low cost, engaged traffic, which should never be ignored.
Auditing your keywords and pages to determine where backlinks would work best and how they should be formed is key to a strong backlink generation campaign. We always start there, following which we conduct market research and competitor backlink analysis to help identify potential backlink resources that match our requirements. Some backlinks can be developed through submissions and uploads, others require conversations with publishers and site owners to negotiate the backlink generation. Attaining backlinks is not a quick process – and in fact the velocity of backlink development can have a negative effect if it is deemed “unnatural” by the search engines. We will generally mix up “easy to obtain” with “difficult to obtain” backlinks in each monthly iteration, so the search engines can see a steady growth of high quality and relevant backlinks, rather than peaks and troughs.
You need to monitor your backlinks – to make sure that once they are are put up, they stay up. Backlinks can be lost when the 3rd party website delete pages or shut down the entire site. You can also see link value be diminished when webmasters change links to a rel=”nofollow” status. We use a range of backlink monitoring software to make sure our network of links grows over time and action is taken when required.
Whilst social media platforms almost all use “nofollow” link attributes, meaning little-to-no direct link authority is passed to your site, these platforms are still a great channel to promote content and amplify your message. You can acquire “follow” links indirectly when publishers, journalists and site owners pick-up and share links to your sites’ content. You can also provide content to these publishers with a link to your site. This is sometimes referred to as “barnacle SEO” – attaching your content to a trusted publishing platform to leverage their link authority with targeted content to gain visibility and activate users. In addition to indirect link development and barnacle SEO, social media “nofollow” links also fulfil a significant role in ensuring your backlink signal profile appears natural – with a good balance between “follow” and “nofollow” links. We work with our clients to scope out credible social strategies that form part of a larger link generation process.
Creating and distributing newsworthy stories that journalists can almost cut and paste is an ideal way to develop backlinks. There are a range of paid and free digital PR networks which can be leveraged to quickly distribute articles to key influencers, publishers and industry insiders. Press release services will usually host a page with the contents of the release – so these must always contain a backlink to ensure you receive a direct link authority benefit from their platform. Our copywriters can create eye-catching press releases from the every day content.
Let’s discuss how our outreach services could form a part of your ongoing SEO strategy.