SEO Outreach: What It Is & Why It’s Important for SEO ( & Example)

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
19 minute read

SEO Outreach: What It Is & Why It’s Important for SEO ( & Example)

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
19 minute read

Interested in learning everything there’s to know about SEO outreach?

This is the right guide for you.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • What SEO outreach is and why it’s important for SEO
  • Types of backlinks you can get through SEO outreach
  • How to launch a successful SEO outreach campaign

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

What is SEO Outreach and Why Is It Important for SEO?

First things first, let’s try to define what search engine optimization (SEO) outreach is.

To put it in as straightforward terms as possible, we would say that SEO outreach is basically a combination of activities and processes that target helping a company come closer to its link prospects.

Furthermore, the aim of doing SEO outreach is to acquire high-quality, valuable links from authoritative websites.

In other words, SEO outreach refers to the process of reaching out to prospects in order to amplify a company’s SEO efforts.

Many companies hire link building agencies and marketers to help them, others use their own resources to make their digital marketing moves, whereas many use a combination of the two.

Why is this necessary, or even important?

In one sentence, because backlinks are one of the most powerful factors that help websites rank higher, in relation to what the Google search algorithm is looking for.  

According to a 2020 study by Ahrefs, only 5.7% of all pages rank high in the search engines within a year after they’re released.

Yearly page rank statistics
Image Source: Ahrefs

Having written great content or having put great effort in creating your web pages and then watching your content going unnoticed can be disappointing.

That’s where a high-performing and thought through outreach process comes in – to help make sure your quality content will score well.

Given that quality backlinks help increase a site’s organic rankings, a successful and effective outreach strategy can have a lot of important benefits, such as:

To mention a few.

Keep reading to find some of the most valuable types of backlinks you can get through SEO outreach.

We’ve already given you a bit of context in terms of the benefits of SEO outreach.

Having a closer look at the type of backlinks you can get from reaching out to prospects will make the whole process clearer for you.

Let’s get to the first type we have for you.

What is it?

Let’s say that you spot a blog that gets a significant amount of readers, but it has a broken link to websites that are relevant to your website.

In such a case, and because no one likes broken links, you should think of that broken link as an opportunity for you to reach out to the blogger and let them know that one of their links is faulty.

In doing so, it’d be great if you’d have a relevant resource that the prospect could link back to and replace the broken link with, thus enhancing their readers’ experience.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hi {first_name},

I was on your site and wanted to give you a quick heads up about a page you’re linking on this post – [custom variable: website URL]; looks like it was taken down by the host: [custom variable: broken page]

Also, if you’re interested in suggestions for a replacement, we’ve actually written an extensive [guide/post] on [related topic] here: [your article URL]

Feel free to take a look – this might be a good fit for your readers :)

Either way, I hope it helps!

Thanks,

[Name]

Relevant resource: A Simple (But Complete) Guide to Broken Link Building

Type #2: Infographics

The second type of SEO outreach we have for you is the infographics one.

What is it?

Having a wide range of linkable assets on your posts makes it easier and more efficient for you to reach out to people and ask them to give you a link.

In other words, referring to a well-made infographic or other linkable asset, like a study, is one of the most prominent ways to get inbound links to your website.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hi {first_name},

Just finished reading your [topic] article. Thanks for the awesome post! Shared with our team over at [your company name].

Loved the way you said [insert article summary].

We’ve actually written a few in-depth articles about [topic] in the past and our design team has put together a really neat infographic to go along with it!

Let me know if you want to take a look!

Thanks,

{Name}

Relevant resource: What Are Inbound Links & How to Build Them (Guide for 2021)

Type #3: Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is firmly linked as an SEO activity and that’s why we couldn’t miss mentioning it here.

What is it?

Guest blogging is a great link building strategy.

It’s all about promoting yourself and your brand, thus bringing more awareness to it, while also connecting with people and creating partnerships.

Guest blogger outreach is the process of reaching out to people and asking for you to write a guest post on their blog so you can build links for your brand and your link partners.

This, as you can imagine, is a win-win situation for all parties, given that you get to promote your business and your prospects get to publish an SEO-optimized piece of content on their blog.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hey {first_name},

My name is {name} and I am a {role} at {company name}—{something about the company}.

This may be a bit out of the blue, but we decided to reach out as we are actively searching for guest posting opportunities.

We’ve been following your blog for a while now, and we think that we could add some value to the {organization} audience through an engaging and well-written guest post.

Everything that we write is SEO-optimized and well-researched.

These are some content pieces we’ve published on websites like {website 1}, {website 2} and {website 3}:

{Title & URL 1}

{Title & URL 2}

{Title & URL 3}

Would you like to hear a couple of topics we have in mind for you guys?

Thanks,

{Name}

Relevant resource:Guest Blogging: A (Complete) Step-by-Step Guide for 2021

Type #4: Unlinked Brand Mentions

The fourth type of SEO outreach we need to mention is the outreach you’d do in case of unlinked brand mentions.

What is it?

When someone has mentioned you in one of their blog posts, but they haven’t linked back to you, then you can reach out to them and kindly ask them to give you a link.

This one can happen naturally, given that the prospect already knows who you are and are probably familiar with your business.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hey {first_name},

My name is {name} and I am a {role} at {company name}—{something about the company}.

I saw that you mentioned us on {page URL} and I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for the shout out! I’ve already shared the post with the rest of our team.

Could I ask you a quick favor?

I’d really appreciate it if you could link back to our website from the text where you mention us.

This will help any visitors interested in learning more about us to directly visit our website.

Let me know if there is anything I can do as a thank you :)

Thanks,

[Name]

Relevant resource:  Link Prospecting: Beginner’s Guide for Successful Link Building

Link reclamation, like the unlinked brand mentions we just discussed, is yet another reason why you’d want to do some SEO outreach work.

What is it?

Link reclamation, as the name suggests, is the process of trying to get back a link that’s been removed.

In other words, let’s say that someone gave you a link six months ago but the link isn’t there anymore, although the content is still relevant and your link would still go great in the prospect’s piece.

In that case, all you have to do is use the power of email outreach and make sure to get your link back in the game.

I think I might know what you’re thinking right now.

How are you supposed to know what links aren’t there anymore?

The process of finding them can be extremely time consuming.

I hear you, but the process might actually be more straightforward than you think.

In fact, you could simply use the Ahrefs Backlink Checker:

Lost backlinks page in Ahrefs

As shown above, you can simply check the lost links from your backlink profile.

Additionally, you can even define a specific timeframe that you might be interested in knowing about.

We went looking for the last seven days.

Recent lost backlinks in Ahrefs

Getting your results would probably look something like this:

Lost backlink post

You can review the links you’ve recently lost and find the ones you think are worth reclaiming.

Here’s a link reclamation email template you can use for exactly that.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hey {first_name},

My name is [name] and I am a [job title] at {company name}—{something about the company}.

I saw that, up until recently, you were mentioning us on {page URL}. Thank you for that — we really appreciate it.

However, I noticed that the link back to our website was recently removed.

Could I ask you a small favor?

I’d really appreciate it if you replace the link.

Here’s the page where you originally linked back to: {lost link URL}

Let me know what you think!

Thanks,

[Name]

Relevant resource: Link Reclamation: How to Easily Find (and Reclaim) Lost Backlinks

Type #6: Resource Pages

The sixth type, and one of the most common for SEO outreach, is the resource pages one.

What is it?

This type is about connecting with and reaching out to prospects’ that have published content that’s relevant to you and your brand, but might have missed mentioning you.

For example, it might be a guide that talks about a number of your competitors and is addressed to your target audience.

In such a case, we can totally reach out to them, explain why we think our business would be worth including, and how it might help enhance their piece of content.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hi {first_name},

I wanted to quickly show my appreciation for your {url_title} resources post: {url}

Thought you’d be interested in including [your post/company/product]?

[A sentence or two about the differentiating factors of your pitch].

I’d be happy to share your post with our [# of followers] followers on social to drive traffic to the article.

Looking forward to your reply!

Thanks,

[Name]

Type #7: Roundups

Let’s have a look at another prominent type of SEO outreach: roundups.

What is it?

Roundups are all about compiling information on a topic – it can be links to relevant resources or quotes from experts – and sharing it with your audience.

In other words, whether you want to organize an expert roundup with authorities in your industry sharing their opinion about a specific topic, or you want to participate in link roundups other people have published, well-structured outreach efforts will help.

In all cases, you need to reach out to people, connect with them, and give them a very clear idea of what your roundup is about or why you should be included in their link roundup.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hello {first_name},

My name is {name} and I am a {role} at {company name}—{something about the company}.

I found you on a roundup post you participated a while back:

{referring_url}

We’re organizing an expert roundup post on [topic] and we are hoping to get some quotes from [industry] experts.

Would you be interested in participating?

All you need to do is to say yes and I’ll send through {x} short questions for your reply.

If you feel there’s something important to share, please do!

Look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you,

[Name]

Relevant resource: Link Roundups: Learn How to Get Quality Links Using Them

Type #8: Content and Brand Promotion

Our second to last type is content and brand promotion.

What is it?

Content and brand promotion outreach is basically the process of emailing a prospect and letting them know about a piece of content you’ve published or a service your business is offering.

Such an outreach email is usually in relation or in response to something the prospect has recently published, as we’ll see in the content promotion email template we’re sharing with you here.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hey {first_name},

[Name] here from [company].

 

I just finished reading your post on [topic]. Loved the way you mentioned [insert article summary].

I noticed, however, that your post doesn’t present a step-by-step process on how to [topic].

We happen to have a detailed [type of resource] on [topic].

You can have a look:

{referring_url}

Let me know what you think!

Thanks,

[Name]

Relevant resource:Content Promotion: The What, Why & How Behind It (2021)

Type #9: Content Partnerships

The final type of SEO outreach is the content partnerships one.

What is it?

Content partnership outreach is when you go reaching out to people that are in your niche in order to establish a relationship and explore the possibility of a partnership between the two of you.

How many times you thought that collaborating with that influencer, that blogger, or this brand can benefit both you and the other side, right?

Writing a killer email to someone explaining why you’d make a great team  in terms of the content you both produce is a great way to start building towards boosting your SEO and bringing more awareness to your brand.

Template to use

Subject Line

Hey {first_name},

[Name] here from [company].

 

We’re really impressed with the work you’re doing when it comes to [topic].

We’re into [topic] as well.

The reason why I’m reaching out is because we could help each other out.

We’re already building links for a growing list of partners and they’re doing the same.

It’s a win-win situation – I guess you know that already.

Would you be interested in discussing this further?

Let me know and we can work something out.

Thanks,

{Name}

Now that we’ve presented some of the most popular types of SEO outreach, we can move forward with a step-by-step process for launching a successful SEO outreach campaign.

How to Launch a Successful SEO Outreach Campaign

We’ve seen a range of different types of SEO outreach and also shared some templates you can use when reaching out to people.

We’re now going to walk you through the most exciting part of the process and show you how you can do SEO outreach with ease using Respona.

Let’s get started with the first step.

Step #1: Find SEO Outreach Opportunities

To help you make the most out of this step-by-step guide, we’re using a hypothetical scenario and, based on it, we’re building and launching our campaign.

Our scenario is:

Respona’s interested in doing guest posts to acquire white hat links for its website.

More specifically, we’re interested in finding websites that;

a) Accept guest posts

b) Write about topics that are relevant to Respona’s capabilities

Moreover, we have a clear target in terms of the topic we want to write about and, in fact, we know we’re interested in writing about content marketing.

In doing this, we’ll be following a number of simple steps.

The first step is to actually find SEO opportunities.

Let’s start from the beginning and create a new campaign.

Creating an SEO outreach campaign

We, of course, need to give our campaign a straightforward and easy to remember name.

Naming SEO outreach campaign

Additionally, it’s important to set up the campaign priority for our new campaign.

This helps us differentiate different campaigns we might be working on at the same time.

Setting campaign priority

Setting up the advanced settings, shown below, are yet another thing we need to do in order to make sure that our campaign has all we do and don’t need it to have.

More specifically, the advanced settings allow us to decide on tracking settings for our outreach campaign, as well as have Respona send us a warning when:

  • Some of our opportunities might have been contacted in the past thirty days
  • Some of our opportunities are included in another active campaign of ours  
Campaign advanced settings

After having completed the initial set up of our campaign, we’re moving on by clicking on the Continue button highlighted below:

Completing the campaign setups

This takes us to actively start searching for and finding our opportunities for our SEO outreach campaign.

Respona content search engine

As you can see, Respona has a built-in search engine powered by Bing that allows us to run our search query.

Having to select the source of your search results, as shown below, helps take the most relevant search results based on our needs and campaign goals.

Given that we’re interested in finding websites that either accept guest posts or currently publish content that’s relevant to our business, we’re going for the Web Search source.

Respona web searc hsource

This will get us results from the web as a whole, while the tool won’t be focusing on finding more specific content, like trending content, podcasts, or blog posts.

Our search query looks like this:

advanced search operators

As you can see, we’ve used an advanced search operator.

This can help us get even more relevant results and basically maximizes the chances of getting the desired returns.

While you can use the search bar to find opportunities, you can also click on the import button, highlighted below, to import a CVS of opportunities you might have already.

CSV import button

Importing opportunities can also work alongside your search query on the search bar.

In this case, we’re also setting an additional filter for our search.

Adding a Respona filter

We set up Respona to only give us results with a domain authority (DA) from 40 to 100.

setting minimum domain authority

That’s to do with the fact that we want the opportunities found by Respona to be authoritative, thus increasing our chances of getting good links and boosting our own SEO.

Turning SEO metrics

For our SEO campaign here, we’re also enabling the SEO metrics.

This helps us get SEO optimized results that’ll be very helpful for our future steps in the campaign, as well as the overall result of the campaign.

Selected opportunities

Respona has brought us over 28,800 results.

From those results, we’ve selected – as you can see from the screenshot above – only 15 for our campaign.

In general, we recommend adding as many relevant and high-authority opportunities as possible.

We’ve chosen only 15 for efficiency reasons.

We can now review our opportunities and select the ones we’re interested in.

In this scenario, we’ve specifically selected fifteen opportunities and we’re now ready to get to the next step of the process.

Step #2: Create Your Outreach Email Sequence

The second step is to create our outreach email sequence.

As we’ve mentioned a little further up in this post, we’re interested in guest posting opportunities that will allow us to add new links to our resources while also establishing relationships with companies in our niche.

For that reason, we’re going through the wide range of email templates Respona offers and we’re choosing to use the Guest Posting one.

Respona templates

Here’s how our email sequence looks.

The Guest Posting template comes with the initial email, as well as two follow-up emails, in case our first email gets no response.

You can totally tweak the sequence and remove one of the follow-ups if you want to.

Sequence steps

Sending a personalized email is very important.

That’s why you have the opportunity to make all necessary changes to the Respona email template now, but mostly after you’ve found contacts for your opportunities and before launching your campaign.

More on that later!

Saved sequence step

For now, you can simply review the email templates and make sure you’re happy with them.

Based on a number of factors like subject length, word count, spam word count, and question count, the Respona email editor automatically grades our email and gives us an idea of whether we might achieve a high response rate or not.

Respona reply prediction tool

As you can see, we got a great score here and we can confidently move on to reviewing our first follow-up email, exactly as we did with our initial email.

Saving follow up in the sequence

The same process applies to the second follow-up email, or any other follow-ups your email sequence might have.

Saving second follow up email

After having reviewed the email sequence and made sure everything is as it should be, we simply click on the blue Next Step button in the top right corner.

Moving to the next step

Without further ado, we’re moving to our next step.

Step #3: Confirm Contacts for Your SEO Outreach Campaign

After having created our outreach email sequence, we’re getting to the next step of the process which is to confirm the contacts for our SEO outreach campaign.

A rather important step of the process is to do our automation setup.

Here, we tell Respona to only assign opportunities to authors when they work for the company associated with the URL we’re reaching out to.

Author’s Note: In terms of assigning opportunities to authors associated with the URLs, we need to mention that this applies to users who haven’t previously imported contact information for the opportunities of their campaign. In other words, users can choose this option here when they don’t already have contact information for the opportunities they’re using in this campaign.

Contact automation setup 1

The automation software allows us to also assign opportunities to other professionals working at the companies we’re focusing on, thus increasing our chances of getting a reply.

Contact automation setup 2

However, this doesn’t mean that we’re becoming spammy and reaching out to everyone in the company.

On the contrary, we’re carefully selecting the position and seniority of the people we’re going to contact.

That happens because we want to make sure that we’re contacting people that can actually help us in terms of approving our guest post query, or have the power to actually authorize a content partnership with us.

contact automation setup 3

At this point, you can either select from the seniority and position tags Respona offers or put your own custom tags in there.

We can now see how many opportunities are unassigned.

Author’s Note: Unassigned opportunities are those that don’t have contact information yet.

Additionally, we get an estimate of how many of our credits Respona is going to use for running our search, as well as how long it might take to do so.  

And we click on Run.

Contact automation review

Then, we get this:

Completed contact automation

The total of the opportunities we include in our campaign is fifteen and Respona has managed to successfully assign thirteen of them.

There are only two opportunities that failed to be assigned.

That’s great, right?

Let’s click on Continue and start reviewing the contact information the tool has found for our opportunities.

Moving to manual contact search

This is what the assigned opportunities will look like.

What’s great is that, for all assigned opportunities, we get useful contact information like the prospect’s social media accounts.

In this case, we got their LinkedIn account.

That means we can connect with them prior to launching our guest post outreach campaign and establish a relationship with them.

Found confirmed contacts

You probably remember that there are two opportunities that were without contacts.

This in no way means that the opportunities are lost.

Opportunities without contacts

It might simply mean that we’ll need to do some extra work, always through Respona which facilitates the whole process.

The way this works is that we click on the unassigned opportunity and select the Add contact manually option on the right hand side of our screen.

Domain contact search

What’d be really helpful is to go on to the prospect’s website and try to get as much information as possible.

Getting their full name – as shown below – might be enough.

blogger first name

This is where our domain-level contact search actually begins.

Respona email verification tool

We’re adding the full name we’ve just found on the company’s website and asking Respona to simply find us the contact of the person we want to reach out to.

Verifying contact information

Although we’ve blurred the contact information of our contact person for privacy reasons, you can see that the tool has brought the result we wanted.

All that’s left to do is to create the contact.

assigning found contact automation

That was easy, right?

We can now see that our opportunity has been assigned a contact person, which means that it’s not unassigned anymore.

New opportunity with contact information

However, there’s still one opportunity left unassigned and we know we want to use that one, too.

Ass contact manually button

In this case, we’re going to add the contact information manually.

Add contact manually popup

The process is as easy as completing some of the fields shown in the snapshot above and then creating your contact.

moving to the final step

After we review our opportunities, we can get to the next and final step of launching our guest post SEO outreach campaign.

Step #4: Personalize Your Campaign and Reach Out to Prospects

The last step is to personalize your campaign and launch it.

Here, personalization is the protagonist!

In fact, we’re going through our opportunities, and with the help of Respona, we’re personalizing the emails we’re about to send.

One way to do so is by replacing the variables in the email templates with excerpts.

article summary snippet

As you can see, the tool gives you a number of options you can choose from.

The only thing you need to do is to copy and paste them into your email.

using the article summary snippet

You can also personalize your subject lines and add any engaging anchor texts for links to your resources you might be including.

Like noted above, you can also use the contact information the tool gives you to connect with your prospects.

Link to linkedIn profile

After having completed all steps and having personalized your outreach emails, you’re ready to launch your killer guest post SEO outreach campaign.

Launching the SEO outreach campaign

That was it!

Let’s close our post with a few final words.

Now Over to You

SEO outreach should be a part of your SEO strategy.

You now have a solid process to follow when reaching out to prospects for link building purposes.

Keep in mind that, in this process, you’ll need a modern link building software that’s affordable and easy to use.

If you’re ready to launch your first SEO outreach campaign, then you should give Respona a try.

Let’s start with a demo of what our tool can do for you and take your SEO outreach to the next level.

Thanks for reading!

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi is the co-founder of Respona, the all-in-one digital PR and link-building software that combines personalization with productivity. He also runs the marketing efforts at Visme, where he helped the company gain over 8 million users and pass 2M monthly organic traffic. Since then, he’s been helping other companies achieve the same success via Respona.

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