BACKLINKS, BACKLINKS, BACKLINKS – The bane of existence for website owners and SEO professionals. A constant quest to GAME THE SYSTEM and get MORE backlinks. In our quest for QUANTITY, it’s easy to lose sight of link QUALITY.
As someone that delivered SEO for 7+ years, I know firsthand the mindset and pressure associated with delivering SEO services, delivering higher rankings, delivering more traffic, and (YES) delivering more results.
YES, I have been that person that hired someone Fiverr to acquire backlinks, YES, I have been that person to submit clients to link directories, YES, I have been that person to do link exchanges, YES, I have been that person to exploit blog networks (PBN’s), YES, I have tried many of the SEO hacks in an attempt to achieve results for us and our clients.
SEO is also referred to as “organic search marketing” for a reason. Just like you would grow a garden organically, a website’s search exposure was and is meant to grow ORGANICALLY.
Search engines LOVE organic content and organic growth. Organic website growth includes;
The Supply and Demand of Backlinks – Please note the word EARN is in capitals, that was NOT by accident. ANYBODY (SEO professional, webmaster, blogger, etc.) can register a link to a link directory, submit blog responses, or any other of the traditional SEO hacks.
The challenge is that just ANYBODY can’t earn a link from powerful and authoritative website like Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Huffington Post or others.
ONE, just ONE, link or citation in a Forbes article is worth WAY more than an infinite number of directory links or blog comments.
THE NEXT (OBVIOUS) QUESTION – HOW DO YOU EARN A LINK OR CITATION IN FORBES, FORTUNE, HUFFINGTON POST, CNBC OR OTHER POWERFUL MEDIA OUTLETS?
Sounds like a daunting task? Well, yes and no! The daunting part is that YES it requires work, persistence and patience. The part that is not daunting is that with work, persistence and patience – IT WILL HAPPEN!
You can easily acquire high quality, ORGANIC citations and links from POWERFUL AND POPULAR WEBSITES like Forbes, Fortunes, CNBC, Huffington Post using HARO (Help A Reporter Out).
HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out.” HARO is a service provide Cision that connects journalist with sources. Journalists publish requests for subject matter experts and content to use as sources and CITATIONS (LINKS) in their articles. HARO is used by journalist for nearly ALL media outlets from Fortune to Forbes to Huffington Post to small individual blogs.
HARO is an effective and cost efficient tool for managing your Public Relations (PR), Marketing and SEO all in one. An effective media outreach and content program can save businesses THOUSANDS of dollars on expensive, unreliable and risky SEO services. With HARO you can source your internet marketing and SEO in-house – OR – outsource it for a fraction of the cost of traditional SEO services.
When you hire a 3rd partner SEO vendor, what are you paying for and what should you expect for results?
The traditional SEO agency, or freelancer, will include the following with their services;
At the end of the day, the majority of your cost and expenses are going to be on OFF-PAGE SEO, that is what will drive results. The quality of the OFF-PAGE SEO will differentiate one SEO vendor from another.
Unfortunately, MOST SEO vendors rely upon a mixture of black-hat, grey-hat tactics with a sprinkle of white-hat SEO (you can read about White, Grey, Black Hat SEO here).
Without getting into the technical details of backlinks (the what, how, why, when, etc.), wouldn’t it be nice to UNDERSTAND and KNOW that your vendor is operating ethically and in your best interest (i.e. NOT using black hat techniques)?
BETTER YET, wouldn’t it be nice to know WHEN you are cited or mentioned by a source and who that source is? Wouldn’t it help build your confidence to know and understand that a journalist for Forbes or Fortune has mentioned or cited you in their article? You may not care or you may just ignore when you are cited in a link directory, but when you are cited in Forbes, it’s a game changer!
BETTER YET, what if you could be in control of your own SEO, your own “OFF-PAGE SEO” without having to understand the nuts-n-bolts of SEO?
With HARO, you can accomplish all of the above. With a well built web site that has GREAT content, you can confidently respond to and build relationships with journalists, share your expertise/knowledge and be cited in media outlets. The benefits of doing this are;
The simple answer is EVERYONE; business owners, professionals, trade professionals, service professionals, doctors, lawyers, financial professionals, realtors, mortgage loan officers, and many others.
It costs you (or an employee, or a vendor) just a few seconds of time each day to pay attention to HARO notifications, find relevant requests/queries and respond to them.
A decent HARO response rate (number of time published per response) for beginners is 10%, meaning that 1/10 times that you respond to a journalist you will be cited or mentioned. That response rate, should improve to 20-30% after 3-6 months, once you get used to the process and HOW to respond.
Let’s break down the math and cost for a minute. Say your timeor the time of an employee or vendor is worth $50 per hour. A HARO response may take 15 minutes to draft and send. 10 responses may require 150 minutes, that is 2 1/2 hours.
QUESTION: For 2 1/2 hours or $125 ($50 an hour), is it worth your time or money for an opportunity to be mentioned/cited ORGANICALLY and receive a powerful backlink from an authoritative website?