How to grow backlinks to boost your SEO using HARO

HARO

Quality backlinks support any strong SEO strategy, but have you used HARO yet?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Simply put, it’s all about consistently showing search engines why your website should be shown above other websites when users search queries that are related to your content.

HARO is a website that stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s a service that connects journalists with a variety of sources but also gives you the opportunity to get useful media coverage for your business.

In other words, by using HARO, you can grow your quality backlinks. HARO distributes more than 50,000 journalist queries from highly respected media outlets each year seeking experts just like you, and you can pitch your expertise in hopes of being a source for any one of them (as it relates to your industry).

The following are five tips to use HARO and submit the best possible pitch as you aim to grow your backlinks.

Sign up on HARO to be a Source

To start using HARO, you must register. Fortunately, it’s an easy process. When on the HARO website, click “I’m A Source,” review the “Rules for Sources” and then click the “Sign Up” button. There are multiple subscription plans available for Sources:

  • Basic, which gets you daily pitch opportunity emails for free
  • Standard, which includes everything in Basic plus keyword alerts for one keyword, a profile that automatically inserts into your pitches, text alerts and the ability to search through possible pitch opportunities online for $19 per month
  • Advanced, which includes everything in Standard plus keyword alerts for up to three keywords, up to three profiles that can automatically be inserted into your pitches and an advanced alert about upcoming media opportunities as soon as they’re approved by the editorial team (but before they’re released publicly) so that you can get a head start for $49 per month.
  • Premium, which includes everything in Advanced plus keyword alerts for unlimited keywords, unlimited profiles and phone/email support from the HARO team for $149 per month

Choose your plan based on your goals and budget. Then, enter your company information, and get ready to begin receiving three emails per day, one at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. (Eastern time).

Seek opportunities in your daily HARO emails

The daily HARO emails you receive are only valuable opportunities if you open and review them.

Make sure you monitor available queries on a daily business to find the best ones that relate to your expertise and business. Spoiler: They’re not all going to make sense for you.

Open these emails as soon as you get them if you’re serious about finding a media coverage opportunity. Keep in mind that quality backlinks are your goal, so as you’re reviewing queries, do your research on the media outlets. Are they the type of backlink you’re looking for? Do they make sense to cover your business in any sort of way? It’s OK to be picky.

When you do find a query that works for you, you’re doing to want to act on it as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. If you wait, someone else will beat you to it with a pitch that gets selected by that journalist.

Optimize your HARO pitches

We’ve been mentioning “pitches.” They are key to you obtaining media coverage and quality backlinks on HARO. 

Keep in mind that journalists receive a large number of pitches, so you want to stand out. Aim to:

  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Offer quality
  • Cover all the requested details that are in the query you’re pitching for (and don’t veer off-topic)
  • Include an author bio that has your full name and a short introduction about your expertise and field
  • Follow the stated HARO rules for Sources because if you don’t, not only will your pitch get rejected, but you may also get entirely banned from the website
  • Take the opportunity to personalize your pitch to stand out (which can vary depending on the pitch)
  • End your pitch with a call-to-action that’s directed to the journalist to contact you or even connect with you on social media (so that you can help that journalist find additional sources)
  • Make life easy on the journalist by sharing downloadable versions of your headshot, company logo and bio that can be featured

Watch out for your placement

It’s entirely possible that if your pitch is selected, the journalist will contact you directly. But it’s also possible that he or she won’t. 

To make sure you’re aware of any placements you’re not directly notified about, set up a Google Alert for your brand name. That way, you’ll always be in the loop.

Be patient when using HARO

The success of generating quality backlinks through HARO is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. 

In other words, don’t get discouraged. Consider HARO a long-term strategy that will benefit your SEO over time.

Check out our 12 SEO tips for beginners. In fact, you can level up your SEO skills with any of these 10 free courses online.

As you’re starting your journey on HARO to grow quality backlinks, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

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