Building high-quality backlinks to your site is critical to your SEO success. What if I told you that there was a way to build links from some of the internet’s highest domain authority sites without having to write long articles, build a vast network of industry influencers, or climb the competitive ranks of becoming a guest columnist?
Enter Help A Reporter Out (HARO), a simple platform that connects you directly with journalists and content producers that want to use you as an expert source and gives you the opportunity for a backlink.
How to Register with HARO
Getting your first backlink starts by dropping what you’re doing right now and jumping over to HARO. Select “I’m a Source.”
Scroll down and click the “Subscribe Now” button.
Once you fill out the form with your company’s information, you’ll be registered to receive three emails a day with a list of authors looking for contributions to their articles. It’s that easy!
How to get your First Backlink with HARO
Great! You’re getting the daily emails, but what now? The trick is to focus on pitch topics that are in your real estate niche. Focus on opportunities that request real estate agents or experts. This narrowed focus will give you the highest chance of being published and receiving a backlink.
Below is an example of the kind of pitch requests you should look for. After checking out the website, you’d see that it is a credible site for homeowners and potential home buyers that is run by a mortgage brokerage.
This means that the site has real estate-related content that would be relevant to both home-buying companies and real estate agents. The requirements for the person making a pitch is that they are a real estate professional – a perfect match for us (or you).
Sample HARO Pitch Request
Then, once you find a few articles you think you could offer a quote for, it’s time to pitch the authors your contribution.
When putting together your pitch, make sure that it is short and to the point. These authors receive a ton of pitches and don’t have the time to read through every one. They’re looking for short, bite-sized pieces of information that they can quote in the form of a paragraph. A quick, catchy title is a great way to make your pitch stand out in the author’s inbox.
Sample HARO Pitch
In your pitch, make it as easy for the author to give you a backlink. In your signature, include a bio, a link to your website, a link to your logo, and a link to your headshot. Note that HARO strips away any attachments to your email so your logo and headshot must be included as a downloadable link.
How Will I Know When My Pitch is Used?
Some authors are kind enough to notify you when the article has been published, but most publish and then quickly move on to the next article. It is a good idea to set up Google Alerts to track whenever your name or your brand name has been mentioned. If you have the budget, then there are additional paid services like Brand Mentions that also monitor publications for mentions of your brand.
A Real World Case Study
As an Investor Carrot customer, I have built sites to support both my home buying and retail real estate agent businesses. HARO has played a key role in our SEO strategy in order to differentiate our sites in the competitive Baltimore market. As you can see below, most of our Dependable Homebuyers top backlinks come from HARO sources (circled in red).
And another example from AE Home Group…
These are some high-quality do-follow links! With domain authorities as high as 90, 88, 86, and 85, you can imagine the type of impact using HARO can have on your organic ranking. Not only do you get high-quality links, but these are in-content, editorial links — just what Google wants to see in your site’s backlink portfolio.
How much work does this take?
Like any link building strategy worth its salt, building links through HARO requires effort and consistency.
Since starting our HARO strategy about 6 months ago we’ve submitted 304 HARO pitches. Of these pitches, we’ve been referenced 49 times in online articles and of these, we’ve received 29 do-follow backlinks.
This is a batting average of about 1 do-follow link per 11 pitches. That may not sound like a lot, but when you consider the quality of these backlinks it is well worth the effort!
How to Use HARO
Tips for Being an Effect HARO Source:
- Respond quickly. Those that respond within the first hour have the best chance at being used as a source.
- Build your credibility. If you have a special certification, degree, or real estate license that makes you stand out among your peers make sure you put it in your bio. This additional credibility could be the deciding factor of whether or not a reporter decides to use your pitch.
- Be creative. Think outside the box. Reporters are looking for pitches that make their content stand out.
- Use a catchy title. Don’t just use a generic subject line like “HARO Response” when sending in your pitch. Make yourself stand out in their inbox with a subject line they can’t help but click on.
- Be patient. It can take weeks or even months for an article to be published.
- Don’t give up. Just because you haven’t heard a response doesn’t mean that your pitches are being ignored. Most authors don’t reach out until the article has been published, which can take weeks or even months.
Now get out there and give it a go — and good luck on the backlink battlefield.