When it comes to SEO, content is king, but distribution is queen. Despite understanding the importance of quality, not everyone is fully benefiting of their content marketing efforts. Simply put, having a solid content strategy and committing to quality is not enough to put your site on page one. It should also be backed with the right promotion and linking strategy to secure better rankings.
The problem is not the lack of platforms for publishing your content and reaching out to our target audience – it is the lack of a strong backlink foundation that will improve crucial SEO metrics, particularly domain authority and trust rating. Unfortunately, most online marketers fail in this department by distributing content and tying their links through numerous suboptimal sites.
In turn, plenty of online businesses waste time and money while those who know how to build quality links get all the customers. Remember that quality links are built from sites that not only have high metrics, but also have social activity and hold an influence in the relevant market.
Popular blogs and industry sites fit the bill perfectly. They are relevant, have a large social following, their words are influential to the market, and they rank well in SERPs. This is where blogger outreach comes in.
What is Blogger Outreach?
With blogger outreach or influencer marketing, online brands can leverage the social and influential reach of established bloggers to promote their brand through quality content. One of the advantages of established bloggers is that they already have followers who trust them, giving your content a chance to gain instant visibility. The online audience also perceives blog posts as opinions from real people; more authentic and credible than an online business’ social media page.
In blogger outreach, a credible site becomes the channel in which you reach out to your target audience. You are essentially borrowing the credibility of a popular blog, earning a portion of their audiences’ trust, and making them more likely to interact with your brand in the future. But most importantly, incorporating blogger outreach with your link building strategy is very effective for SEO.
Why Blogger Outreach is Crucial for SEO
Google’s ranking algorithms may have changed over the years, but it has always revolved around quality link building. As far as SEO goes, remember that you can increase your site’s visibility by linking from highly credible and relevant sources. One quality link from an influential blog is far better than a hundred shady links from mass-produced, low quality sites.
SEO professionals use three key metrics to gauge the value of a link: domain authority (DA), citation flow (CF), and trust flow (TF). In blogger outreach, you are mainly concerned about linking from high DA, TF, and CF sites that Google sees as relevant. The more links you acquire from such sites, the higher your own metrics will climb. This will ultimately increase your site’s rank in Google’s search engine.
Another advantage of blogger outreach is that it encourages the generation of natural contextual links. As opposed to the old-fashioned link building strategy of paying blog networks to link to your site, publishing your content through blogger outreach cultivates an authentic user experience, which is what Google is all about. By linking back to your site, you will not only boost your site’s backlink profile but will also bolster the user’s experience if you can provide them with more useful information.
While blogger outreach will surely empower your site’s SEO, it should also be backed with other proven linking strategies. A link from an authoritative site is a great competitive edge, but if you neglect other areas in your link building that your competitors are doing (such as local directories, industry personality biographies, partnership pages, etc.), then you’re still not reaping the full benefits of your hard work.
Blogger Outreach Done Right
The best way to do blogger outreach is with established experts and industry leaders in your niche. Apart from known blog sites with a consistent stream of traffic, you should also reach out to industry sites or news websites. You should also consider online businesses that have their own blog sections, as long as they are not direct competitors with your brand.
Here are a few additional tips that can help you succeed with your outreach:
- Get Clear with the Terms
The terms of blogger outreach may also be very flexible. For e-commerce businesses, the blogger may receive free access to a particular product or service in exchange for a post. The same may be applicable for social media personalities who can promote your product in action. In some niches, there are also established bloggers who openly welcome contributors as long as they can provide relevant content that will be beneficial to their followers.
- Optimise for User Experience
With Google’s recent actions (the requirement of responsive design, faster loading speed as a ranking factor, etc.), it is evident that everything is now centred towards user experience. This is why content strategists also practice linking out to useful resources to maximize the value that users get from reading. For better chances of securing placements in authoritative sites, provide highly informative content with actual tips and actionable steps. Focus on educating your readers instead of trying to sell your brand. Also make sure that your link goes to a page that’s contextual and relevant to the specific topic.
- Expand Your Network
Blogger outreach requires a lot of manual effort, particularly in reaching out to the big blogs in your industry. To help you find the top influencers, you can refer to blog directories such as Alexa and BlogCatalog. But don’t stop there. Also scour existing blog posts and see if they’re linking to smaller blogs you can reach out to. Remember that your goal is to build relationships and expand your network. If you can’t secure a placement with the top influencer, start with the smaller (but still relevant) blogs and make your way to the top.
It may not be easy to win a placement in authoritative sites, but then again, nothing in SEO is meant to be easy. Apart from building high quality links, blogger outreach can give your site organic traffic and expose your brand to the right audience. Influencer advocacy is also a huge benefit of blogger outreach. So the more influential the blog is, the more likely you can turn its followers into customers.
Michael Jenkins is the CEO of Shout Agency, a specialised search and social media management firm based in Melbourne
Image: By James Graves