We know that backlinks are one of the most important indicators to Google that your site is the best for users queries. Gaining these links is a slow and tedious problem that is complicated by the time and money it can involve. You need backlinks to boost your SEO, but if you aren’t sure how to reach out and ask for them? It’s easier than you think, especially when you let the links come to you with HARO.
How HARO Works
Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, is a resource that many journalists use to find experts and other sources to interview, quote, and learn from when developing stories. Here’s how it works:
- Journalists create a profile, including a list of publications they write for.
- When they need a source, they post a description of who and what they’re looking for on the HARO website.
- Experts like you reply to these posts
- If you look like a good match, the reporter may use you as a source for their story
How Businesses Can Use HARO
So how can you leverage this service created to benefit journalists to boost your SEO? Most reporters will include a link to your website if they quote you. The trick is proving to a reporter that you’re the best quote they’re going to get. Here’s how to do that.
1. Create a profile as a source on HARO.
When you do, make sure you specify what types of alerts you want to receive in your inbox. You can sign up for several digests (each delivered three times daily) or simply the general digest.
2. Check in
Check your email daily, as they will send out lists twice a day. Many of these reporters are on deadline and need a response back within the day. You can skim through the lists pretty quickly to see if there are any opportunities for your area of expertise. Plan on spending 10-15 minutes a day reviewing these listings.
3. Send in a pitch.
What you include in your pitch depends on the request. It’s usually best to dive into answering their query. Make it as easy as possible to use your response; with pending deadlines, every reporter appreciates a well-written, error-free response they can mostly cut and paste into their story. If there are several questions posed in the query, answer them all fully but succinctly. At the end, include a short bio, exactly how you want it to appear in the article, should the reporter choose to use it, including a photo and the link you want used.
4. That’s it – almost
If the reporter uses your response, they will let you know (most of the time). Make yourself available to them in case they need clarification or more information. Request that they let you know when the finished article goes live, and where you can find it. Backlinks work best when people click them, and the more attention the article gets, the more likely readers will click your link. So when the article goes live, share it with your own followers.