SEO started out being a distinct process within the wider digital marketing sphere but, increasingly, as both human visitors and search engines such as Google have become more sophisticated concerning organic search, this has changed. SEO now encompasses many traditional aspects of digital marketing and simply marketing itself. So much so that the boundaries have become blurred between SEO experts and marketing experts (and even PR to a certain extent).
What is still true is that certain elements of SEO are very technical – with the best SEO professionals working closely with web developers and understanding the basics of building a website. However, they also need to understand aspects of marketing and one of their main tools is email outreach.
The reason email outreach is so important for search engine optimisation is that link-building is vital for SEO success and the way to generate backlinks is to build relationships with relevant professionals who can help to promote your products, services, ideas or opinions. The outreach process from a purely SEO perspective is intended to encourage others to share information about your business by creating a backlink to your website.
Note that not all backlinks provide the same value and there are essential factors a link-building process requires to provide any value at all to an SEO campaign. But here we will focus simply on the crucial outreach part of the process.
The main aim of email outreach is to gain backlinks but there are other good reasons to perfect your outreach strategy so let’s look at the main aims:
It is essential that every business website gains good quality backlinks in order to be found high enough up in the organic search listings to create web traffic. You can check what backlinks already exist to your website by using one of the many SEO tools available such as SEMRush, Ahrefs or SEO PowerSuite. That way you can assess where the strengths and weaknesses are in your backlink profile. This may also reveal further opportunities to collaborate with existing linking domains.
You should also start to build a list of outreach prospects so that you can email them ideas for a guest blog (which will, naturally, contain your backlink) or ask them to link to existing content. High quality content and successful SEO are connected parts of digital marketing so various types of content will be necessary, such as:
- user guides about relevant topics
- in-depth articles
- opinion pieces
Building Your Brand
Many businesses and websites will be unwilling to provide a backlink but that doesn’t mean they should not be an outreach prospect. Take the digital versions of well-known newspapers, which are highly unlikely to give a link at all (let alone one with any SEO value i.e. a “dofollow” link). They will be prepared to publish a good story, a press release or an interview with a senior executive, and mention your business which can contribute to building a recognisable brand.
Or take social media where it is impossible to gain a backlink with SEO value (“dofollow”) but it is clearly valuable to reach out to social media influencers in your industry to also contribute to brand recognition.
Don’t forget to build relationships with other businesses in complementary industries who might recommend your products or refer you to their customers who need your services. This is where building real, personal relationships can be mutually beneficial so don’t confine your efforst to email – pick up the phone too.