With so many websites on the internet, how can you make yours stand out and make a mark? This is a question that may haunt many, but the answer isn't so complicated. To get a good ranking, you need to build a stellar reputation and establish your website's credibility. Backlinks are an effective way to do just that. Your SEO strategy is incomplete without the creation of quality Backlinks but it's also the most challenging and time-consuming part of the process.
In this competitive climate, waiting for others to discover your website isn't the best backlink building strategy. You need a more proactive approach to link building that can minimize the outreach effort and increase the likelihood of getting authority links. HARO is a backlink outreach service that connects journalists to sources and provides you with the rare opportunity to get high quality media coverage. Read on to find out how to use HARO for Backlinks and leverage this powerful tool to gain the exposure your website needs.
Getting Started with HARO
Before we move on to the good stuff, let's take a look at what HARO actually is. Help A Reporter Out more commonly known as HARO, is a service that connects journalists with a wide range of sources and provides you with the opportunity to get useful media coverage for your business. HARO makes your outreach efforts much easier by bringing countless opportunities your way instead of you searching for them.
HARO sends out a number of queries by journalists three times a day. These queries are divided into multiple categories that span many different industries. So no matter which industry you operate in, HARO can help you get relevant backlinks for good publicity!
Here's how you can get started with HARO and secure your first backlink.
1. Register as a Source
The first step to securing your first backlink is going to the HARO website and getting yourself registered. Choose 'I'm a Source' and then click Subscribe Now to view all the plans available. HARO provides three plans including, Free plan, Standard plan, Advanced plan and the Premium Plan. Once you choose a plan, you can fill in your company information and get registered to receive emails.
2. Find Opportunities
After registration with HARO, you will receive three emails daily from Monday to Friday at the time 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET. These emails will contain queries organized into different categories such as business, technology, healthcare etc. Your job is to monitor these queries on a daily basis to find the ones which are most relevant to your business and expertise. Your success rate of finding a quality backlink through HARO depends upon how quickly you respond to a lead so make sure you check your HARO emails as soon as you receive them. Below are some things to keep in mind before choosing an opportunity.
- Choose the Best Leads: Once you start finding relevant queries, you might proceed to answer all of them. Keep in mind that not all backlinks are valuable and you need to filter out the ones which are guaranteed to give you the best end-results. Instead of responding to the first relevant lead, only pick the ones that match your goals and establish what you want to be known for.
- Do Some Research: Not all media outlets will be desirable for the publicity of your business. You need to do some research to find out the credibility and relevancy of the media outlet before you respond to their query. A good strategy is to go for publications your potential customers would be interested in.
3. Make your Pitch
Responding to a query is just like making a pitch. Journalists receive a huge amount of pitches and yours needs to set itself apart to get noticed. The best strategy is to keep it short and sweet without compromising on quality and completeness. Here are some tips that can help you create the perfect pitch:
- Provide a Bio: Provide your author bio that includes your full name and a short introduction of your expertise and field. Your bio should be exactly how you want it to be in the article if you get featured.
- Add the Important Details: While it's important to be concise with your pitch, it's also important to provide all the necessary details that are listed in the query. Ensure to address each and every point in the query in an original and quotable manner that can easily be published. Follow all the instructions given in the query to formulate the ideal response.
- End with a Call to Action: End your response with a CTA with your contact information that encourages the reporter to contact you or getback to you with more queries.
- Make it Easier to Backlink: Make the author's job easier by providing downloadable versions of your headshot, company logo and bio to feature on the website. Attachments are removed from HARO emails to protect reporters from viruses to make sure to provide downloadable links instead of attachments.
4. Look Out for your Placement
Now that you have made a pitch you are satisfied with, you must be eagerly waiting to get a placement. Usually, a reporter will get back to you once they have selected your pitch but in case they forget, you can set up a Google Alert for your brand name to get notified when it is mentioned. You can also keep up-to-date by following the author's or media outlet's feed to monitor your placement.
Tips to Help you Excel with HARO
Now that you know how to use HARO for backlinks, you are ready to find out more about how to get the best results out of it. While HARO is a brilliant way to get the right exposure for your business, sometimes it can be a little tricky to find credible leads and get a placement. Here are some expert tips that will help you leverage this powerful tool to get the most out of it.
1. Go through All the Emails
You'll be receiving three emails daily and you should go through all of them to filter out the queries which are relevant to you. You might want to limit yourself to your category of choice, but doing that will only limit your possibilities. Make sure to go through all the lists so you can catch the best opportunities to represent your business.
2. Know the Rules
Before responding to any query, check out the rules for sources provided by HARO. Avoid going against these rules to maximize the potential of your pitch. Neglecting the rules can result in a ban for you and your company.
3. Get Good Leads
HARO can not only be used to get immediate exposure but you can also use to create leads that will benefit you in the long run. Help reporters out by responding to a query even if it doesn't benefit you and build good relationships that can help you out in the future.
4. Help HARO Grow
You can help HARO grow by sharing queries through email or social media to friends who have relevant expertise. HARO encourages this practice as it helps the service grow and provides more materials to help reporters.
5. Respond Quickly
HARO reporters get responses very quickly so don't delay your response once you find a lead. The likelihood of getting a placement increases if you respond immediately as the first best responses are most likely to make the cut.
6. Don't Go Off-Topic
One of the rules for HARO sources is to not pitch off-topic. Going off-topic can decrease your credibility and can even get you banned from HARO. Make sure to create a relevant, on-topic pitch that can be helpful for the reporter and get you a placement as well.
7. Follow the Instructions
Many queries include specific instructions for responses and following these instructions can make your pitch much more desirable. Responses which don't follow the requirements are usually discarded. Carefully follow the instructions given to get recognized by a reporter.
8. Set Yourself Apart
Add something truly unique and creative in your response that can make you stand out from the hundreds of responses that reporters receive every day. Start off with a catchy title that grabs attention and finish it up with personalized, on-point content that can garner a positive response.
9. Make Connections
When you secure a placement, don't hesitate in asking the reporter for social media connections on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Make an open-ended offer for help in future stories. Cultivating such connections with reporters can be beneficial to your business and help you get featured in other stories by the same reporter. Also, send a thank you note to the reporter and share their publications as a favor if you wish.
10. Patience is Key
Articles can take a long time to get published so a little patience can go a long way. Sometimes it will take a while for the author to get back to you. Don't give up on your new link building strategy and keep pitching.
Elevate your Link Building Strategy with HARO
While HARO is a service that helps reporters, it can also help your business greatly. By securing relevant backlinks from influential media sites, you can easily establish your credibility in the industry and get the publicity you need.
So don't wait around for the right opportunity to get exposure. Utilize our guide on how to use HARO for backlinks and let countless link building opportunities come your way!