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Think about your outreach targets


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Think about your outreach targets. This one may seem very obvious to many of you, but I still see people making this mistake pretty regularly.

Outreach for links is one of the most popular forms of link building out there. It’s also one of the most difficult, time consuming, and frustrating.

I did a consulting call with another SEO in early May with the main thing they wanted to talk about being link building. They really wanted to talk about their outreach approach because they were getting horrible results. We are talking about close to zero percent response rates.

I was not shocked at the results when we started talking about what they were doing, and they are far from the only people I have seen do this over the years.

I asked them how they were finding their targets for their outreach.

They were making a pretty big mistake. They were using different combinations of search terms and search operators, but all of them included their primary keywords.

In other words, if they were trying to rank a page on a recipe site for “dessert recipes”, they were reaching out to other sites that already ranked for “dessert recipes.”

Just think about that for a moment.

I’m trying to rank my own page about dessert recipes and someone is reaching out to me asking if I will link to their dessert recipe page. Even if I was clueless about SEO, that sounds like a bad idea. Why would I want to lead my traffic to a similar page on another site?

If the website owner does understand a little bit about SEO, they are going to know that doing so could potentially help you to outrank them. Why would they want to do that?

Your outreach should not be to direct competitors. Many times it shouldn’t even be to sites that are directly in the same niche if you want to have a good success rate.

Let’s use an example to illustrate what I am talking about.

Say you are doing outreach for a local mortgage lending company in Philadelphia.

The last thing you want to do to find outreach targets is to search for things like “mortgage lenders in Philadelphia” or “FHA loans Philadelphia”.

Instead, look at businesses that are related to and in many cases rely on mortgage lenders to operate. Title companies and real estate agents would be good examples. Construction companies that focus on home building would be another good one. Content on their site that educates their web visitors about topics such as FHA loans, improving credit scores to qualify for a mortgage, what to prepare in order to get a pre-approval, or why they should get a pre-approval before home shopping, can help to position them as knowledgeable within the field and someone a prospect would want to work with.

At the same time, neither title companies, real estate agents, or construction companies are going to be heavily focused on trying to rank for mortgage-related keywords.

Going back to the recipe example, and specifically the “dessert recipes” example, there are plenty of branches within this market you can look at.

For example, there are a bunch of websites (and YouTube channels) devoted entirely to recipes for pressure cookers. These are site owners that probably care about ranking for search terms like “dessert recipes for pressure cookers” but not as much about just “dessert recipes”.

You can also find sites that do reviews and tutorials of cooking gadgets like pressure cookers, air fryers, slow cookers, etc. They could be good targets to reach out to.

There are also all kinds of bloggers covering topics like eating healthy, being a stay-at-home mom (or dad), etc. All great outreach targets.

You can get even more creative than this. Think a little outside the box.

Remember that the entire website you are reaching out to does not have to be relevant to your site in order for the link to be useful.

There are lots of sites popping up that are devoted to providing information about becoming an online streamer. Most of the content on these sites revolves around what equipment to use, how to set up that equipment, setting up a schedule, engaging your audience, finding an audience, etc.

Many streamers will stream for 8-12 hours at a time. You could reach out to some of these sites and pitch them the idea of publishing a piece of content about some great bite-size, healthy snacks you can make to eat while streaming.

Be creative. Think outside of the box. You will have a lot more success in your outreach.

 

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