How to Develop Your SEO Outreach Strategy

Table of Contents

Outreach campaign enables you to built awareness for something of value. The goal could be driving traffic to your website, links to your article or building overall awareness/relevance. SEO Outreach Strategy fails when you fail to communicate value and personalize your approach.

Consider outreach to be the equivalent of social sharing. Jonah Berger in his book ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch’ talks about the concept of social currency. Social currency is built on the principle that ‘people share things that make them look good.’ Successful outreach starts with mutual-exchange of value.

5 Tips to Built a Successful SEO Outreach Strategy

One-Size-Fits-All Doesn’t Work

Most publishers usually resort to sending bulk mailers to their niche after they have published an article. The mailer requests publishers/bloggers in their niche to link to the article they have published.

If your mailer reads like a generic template chances are your mailer will never be opened again or even worse your e-mail ID gets blocked. Successful publishers/bloggers get tons of outreach requests daily, so it’s important to divide your prospect list into different groups.

Tim Soulo of Ahrefs recommends dividing your prospects list into Sharks, Big Fish, Small Fish and Spawn. Sharks and Big Fishes have a higher degree of influence and traffic in their niche and are unlikely to respond to your request if you are not in the same league. Small Fishes and Spawns are more likely to respond since they are trying to establish themselves or are starting off in the niche. So how do you divide your prospect list?

If you are using Ahrefs, you can check the ‘Domain Rating’ metric to identify ‘power’ of the website based on its backlink profile. If you are using Moz, you can check ‘Domain Authority’ metric.

Exchange Value

With over 2 million blog posts published every day, it’s not easy to get a back-link, tweet or mention from your prospect. Always remember that you are asking for a favor from your prospect, but if it doesn’t provide value to their audience, your success rate is going to be low.

Only use your best content for the outreach initiative and study your prospect before reaching out. Using a generic template to reach out to the prospect will lower your odds of success. To personalize the outreach, you need to find common ground which could be in the form of articles that you like from the publisher/blogger, similar topics, feedback on content shared or even an existing article from your site which features a piece of content from your prospect.

Expand your network by following your key influencers and strike a conversation whenever you can to build your relationship. Treat outreach as an ongoing process which means planning and staying connected with your prospect even before your content goes live.


Building relationship takes time so does loyalty. Chances are even after your best attempt you may not hear back from some of your prospects.

For instance, guest blogging is the most effective means to create quality back-links. Successful blogs receive 5 – 10 guest blogging request every day, without an imaginative approach to grab attention your request is not going make the cut.

To develop a successful SEO outreach strategy, you should clearly outline the strategy for topic development and pitching. Some of the proven techniques include updating an outdated post, identify missing category or topics within a category, expanding on a thinly covered topic and doing a rebuttal/opposite side of an argument.

Quality Over Quantity

Lower number backlinks generated doesn’t mean that your outreach strategy has failed. The goal of SEO Outreach Strategy should be to generate quality back-links. A single backlink from a shark is equal to 10 backlinks from small fishes. But how do you determine quality?

The key factors to determine quality include domain authority, page authority, uniqueness, link attributes and trust factor. But quality doesn’t work alone your backlinks have to be relevant as per your niche.

Reviewing your SEO outreach strategy

It’s important to track your performance to understand the success of your outreach and SEO campaigns. Certain data points need to be quantified, such as the number of backlinks created, whereas others are quite different to peg, such as the number social shares received by each piece of content published.

  • Backlinks Generated — Outreach review should track the number of links produced directly and indirectly as a result of the campaign. Direct links are backlinks that link back to your published content; indirect links are backlinks from other websites that repurpose or mention your placed content. Analyze your back-links and disavow any toxic back-links using Google Search Console.
  • Social Shares — Social sharing of placed content is part of the indirect backlink creation process. You can monitor social shares for every piece of content published, however, its difficult to determine the accuracy of data gathered.
  • SEO Keyword Performance — Backlinks generated should lift the overall domain authority or page authority of associated pages. If you have succeeded in both of the activities, then you are on the right track.
  • Pitch to Placement ratio — If your campaign receives one placement from 100 pitches then its time that you revisit your outreach strategy or execution.

SEO Outreach Strategy needs a human touch, from an email that’s written just for your prospect to finding influencers that are likely to share your content. It takes time to structure your approach and hit home runs. Be authentic and focused to build a successful strategy.

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