For years I had worked as an SEO consultant. For years “I thought” I thoroughly understood SEO strategies and tactics. Turns out I did understand the strategies quite well but I was missing out on some very important fundamentals.
Over the years I CONSTANTLY asked myself;
How do brands (like Kim Garst, Jeff Bullas, Neil Patel, etc.) get published on main stream publications and websites? How is that they magically can be cited in media sites like Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, etc.? I KNOW, there is something more to this, but there is NO information anywhere! I FEEL like they purposely are not showing all their cards, they are holding something back – AND – INDEED THEY WERE.
Feel free to listen to the full podcast – OR – you can simply fast forward to the 10:50 milestone and listen for 2-3 minutes.
The gentlemen on this video, Jeff Root and Anthony Martin, shared their “secret sauce” for building a high traffic website with domain that results in LEAD GENERATION AND NEW BUSINESS.
When I heard the 2-3 minutes of audio on that podcast starting at the 10:50 milestone, it was the AHA MOMENT I had been waiting 7 years for! It ALL CAME TOGETHER FOR ME AT THIS MOMENT.
NOTE: From a professional perspective, sometimes technicians will get caught up in their own solutions and mindset. They are unwilling to listen or learn new ideas. This is because of a variety of reasons that include fearing the unknown and/or a perceived threat. I am NOT ashamed to admit that although I had heard of HARO previously, I both feared it and considered it a threat so I did not follow up on it. Once my mindset and objectives changed, I was more open-minded – I LISTENED TO THIS PODCAST AT THE ABSOLUTE BEST TIMING POSSIBLE!
5 years ago, I would not be caught dead saying such a statement. Now that I have moved on to bigger and better things and now that I use SEO solely for my new business (and my partners), I have no problem at all saying this. Furthermore, I will further admit that I was 100% GUILTY OF THIS MYSELF!
The problem with most SEO consultants is that it’s a constant race to identify “better, faster and easier.” In other words, it’s a constant quest to find ways to “operate in the grey“.
The problem with the vast majority of SEO consultants is that they are SO FOCUSED ON GREY HAT (and sometimes Black Hat) that they completely lose sight of best practices, ethics and standards! SEO consultants lose sight of the fundamentals of sound marketing and search engine optimization.
SEO professionals collaborate and share “shortcuts” among each other. These shortcuts supposedly help grease the wheels of search engine optimization FASTER than conventional means. The problem with that is indeed they are just that, shortcuts.
If you give me a website to analyze and do an SEO audit, inevitably here is what an audit will dig up the majority of the time;
All of the above are PREVALENT in the industry, all SEO pros will say; “I don’t do any of those things“, but the vast majority do it (they are lying)
While some of the tactics above may indeed work, the problem is that your website, brand, and digital presence is the just a house of cards! There is no foundation for you to build upon.
Enter, the next section —>
It’s VERY SIMPLE – within the podcast at the beginning of the video, Mr. Martin cites the exposure and results from being published in Investopedia.
Successful brands build relationships with journalists and the media. For years, many of the reputable marketing personas and brands would provide instruction and recommendations, such as; “create good content and authorities will share your content”, which is great – HOWEVER – they will NOT share with you HOW TO DO IT!
UNTIL NOW! If you search google for “How to get high-quality backlinks”, the very first article you are greeted with is by Neil Patel.
Please read the link above by Neil Patel, it contains incredible detail and information to help you understand the nuts and bolts of HARO and HARO citations. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Patel’s article;
Here’s the deal:
If you want to rank on the first page of Google, you need to build AMAZING links.
(I’m talking about white hat backlinks from authority news sites and blogs)
Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. All you need to do is use a free service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
HARO is like Tinder for public relations.
It connects people that need sources (bloggers and journalists) to people that want links and exposure (you).
Yes and No
Why it is a magic bullet? For me it’s the magic bullet in that it opens the door to nearly unlimited opportunities to be cited, mentioned, build relationships with journalists, and receive HIGH AUTHORITY BACKLINKS.
I started using HARO for my two new websites and am getting results less than 3 months into the venture (which any SEO pro will tell you is incredible!)
Why it’s NOT a magic bullet? It’s NOT a magic bullet because you have to put in the time and effort! It’s not easy and just because you submit a HARO response does not mean you will be cited. Matter of fact, when starting out you may have to submit 10-20 times before you are cited. After the first round of submissions and after your first citation, you will have a much better understanding of the “the numbers game” involved with HARO.
As mentioned above, HARO is just like sales – A NUMBERS GAME. The more people you speak with, the more people you meet with, the more people you interact with the more likely you are to succeed.
The same goes for HARO. The average person can probably bank on 5-10% of HARO responses being published. That means you will need to respond 10-20 times to get one citation, which on the surface may sound painful.
It’s really not that bad! When you start responding to HARO requests, it might take 30-60 minutes to draft your response and send it. Over time, responses will take 15-30 minutes. If it takes you 10 submissions at 15 minutes per submission, that is 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) for ONE ORGANICALLY DEVELOPED AND HIGH AUTHORITY BACKLINK – USING WHITE HAT TACTICS! (you would pay $1,000-2,000 for a link like this on the open SEO market)
Let’s look at some numbers before we dissect the value;
Okay, now a little about my backstory, who I am and what I do before we talk about the value.
I owned and operated a 3V, a digital agency (marketing, web, software development) for 7 years, which included SEO services. Over the course of those 7 years, I worked on 3V SEO as well as SEO for dozens of clients.
For those 7 years, my focus and energy were ALWAYS to find something “faster and easier”, and that did indeed include Grey Hat and maybe even some Black Hat tactics (BEING OPEN, HONEST, TRANSPARENT HERE.) My goal for those 7 years was ALWAYS how do I get the fastest results possible, with much less thought about QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY!
In 2019, I changed careers and started an insurance brokerage with two websites, as mentioned above. My 100% goal and focus was LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY. I did not feel the pressure (either internally or from clients) to produce results immediately, so it put me in the mindset of; HOW DO WE DO THIS THE RIGHT WA?
So, because of my experience with SEO and also because I can’t afford $2,000+ per month to hire an SEO agency (without mentioning IF you can find someone you trust) in my own business, I approached this problem from a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
My perspective is bottom-line results without any prejudice or premonition of metrics, vanity metrics, KPI’s (key performance indicators) or other useless performance data – I JUST WANT RESULTS! Results in the form of an increasing amount of good quality organic traffic and an ever-increasing amount of quality organic lead generation.
Indeed, our Affordable Final Expense website is producing returns on the TIME AND RESOURCE INVESTMENT, 3 months into the effort. We are producing;
Having done SEO for many years, my understanding of the market is that indeed I would have already had to pay anywhere from $3,000-10,000 to a 3rd party professional for these services – AND – I am 100% certain that we would have not achieved these results.
“SEO professionals are NOTORIOUS for using ‘it’s a long play, we need more time to measure/monitor keywords and traffic.’ It can and will bleed you dry”
I wrote this article for a few reasons;
If you would like to learn more about using HARO for marketing media relations and PR;