Numerous options exist for getting the word out about your company, whether it’s brand new or well-established. There are broad categories of marketing approaches, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), social media marketing, and so on, and then there are specific, very effective approaches within those categories.
Use the tool Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to spread your knowledge, expand your company’s reach, and boost your search engine optimisation (SEO) with inbound links.
Just what is HARO?
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a service provided by Cision where writers can submit requests for sources to interview or other material they need to complete their articles. When experts react to journalists’ questions, they are often quoted in the piece and given a link to the expert’s website. (if applicable).
Creating Your HARO Account
Go to the HARO website and fill out a profile to get started. You’ll be asked for the usual suspects like name and email address as well as some more specifics about your background and the field in which you work.
How to maximise HARO’s link building and PR potential?
If you want to build relationships with journalists and get backlinks and PR from your responses to HARO questions, read on for my top ideas.
Verify the domain authority of the news organisation
Domain rating, also known as domain authority, is a measure of your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) worth. If you’re trying to boost your own DR through link building, the greater the DR of your backlinkers, the better.
However, you may determine if or not pitching to this journalist is worthwhile by looking up the DR of the media source in issue.
Make sure your answers are pertinent only
There are hundreds of new HARO requests submitted every day; just react to those that are a good fit for your expertise (Google’s E-E-A-T algorithm now includes “experience,” by the way). In the aforementioned case, you can see that Cynthia is seeking consumer analysts, so if you are one, have experience conducting research in the sector, or hold a degree in a related discipline, you may be the ideal candidate.
Prove your qualifications
So, from the get-go, establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy resource for them. Introduce yourself and your background right away. And remember that your own credibility can go a long way. The New York Times will link to you whether or not you are Elon Musk.
React in no more than 30 minutes
Journalists work under tight deadlines, so responding quickly is essential. In order to get the most out of HARO, you should aim to react to queries as soon as possible. Reporters are constantly on the lookout for catchy soundbites to use in their stories and press releases. They’re not looking for a backstory, just a quick and easy solution.
Keep this in mind and aim to answer any questions within 30 minutes. Get HARO links by responding quickly.
Add some numbers and/or a quote
If you can back up your claims with data and examples, journalists will take you far more seriously. Use phrases like “Focusing on B2B sales can lead to a 138% year-over-year return” instead of “Focusing on B2B sales is important.”
Be someone else’s quote. Think of your answer as a quote in a Forbes article. Does it feel awkward or clunky to use? Intelligent and memorable, yet succinct and to the point, quotations make an impression. Journalists will be more likely to choose your pitches if they are clear and straightforward.
Don’t contact them again until they’ve responded
The editor may have removed your pitch because you aren’t qualified, and time is of the essence if you don’t hear back. Stop trying to catch up to them. If a journalist sees this, it will send a message that you’re only interested in getting links and/or coverage at any cost.
Don’t bank on winning with every presentation
The HARO success rate typically falls between 5% and 10%. Although there are experts that can boost this, no one can guarantee that their pitch will receive media attention or a quality backlink.
Keep your HARO pitches upbeat and constant. If necessary, you can even have a staff take care of this for you. Don’t give up after only a few failed pitches, though.
It’s not about how many ties you have, but rather how strong those links and relationships are. Which brings me to my next point.
Pay attention to your connections
In other words, HARO works both ways. It’s a two-way street. Instead of concentrating on link building, you should work on establishing rapport with local media. Send the piece to your contacts, and then follow up with the writers to express your gratitude, confirm that you’ve done so, and offer your assistance with future articles.
Measure your progress
Not all links are made equal, as you well know. Search engines place greater weight on authoritative websites that have high relevance and contextual relevance scores.
Make a spreadsheet to monitor your progress. Publication Name and Yes/No are two examples of how basic or complex the question might be. (like this one).
Integrate it into a bigger backlinking scheme
There are numerous other link-building resources besides HARO, just as different types of backlinks have varying amounts of value.
Guest posting, specialised content, statistical pieces, infographics, content syndication, and lead magnets like free utilities are some other methods of gaining backlinks. By spreading your efforts across numerous fronts, you’ll see your backlink profile expand organically, with a wide range of anchor texts and referral sources.
Link-building with HARO: Get Started
Brand exposure, referral traffic, and most significantly, high-quality backlinks can all be improved through HARO outreach. It’s also a great feeling when your company is recognised in the press. If you implement these HARO recommendations, you will see it for yourself.