The backbone of any successful SEO campaign is great outreach. Successful outreach campaigns begin with well-crafted emails and end with long-term relationships that provide value to everyone involved.
The Bad Email Example
With that being said, it’s not always the case that SEO outreach is conducted with a relationship-building mindset. In fact, that’s part of the reason why SEO is growing a bad reputation, being called overrated, dead, and a waste of money.
The thing is: SEO is not bad.
SEO a modern-day way of promoting your business. It’s about brand awareness, positive customer interactions, education, and relationships. According to Google’s guidelines, its primary goal is “to serve users with high-quality, relevant information.” That means SEO is a good way to market your business as long as you create relevant, high-quality content that serves to answer a user’s need.
So what kind of emails are causing SEO to have a negative reputation? Here’s one example:
My CEO asked me to reach out to you. Would you be interested in adding this link to your article? In exchange, we’d link to one of your articles.
Thank you! I hope to hear from you soon.
This kind of email ruins the effect of your outreach. Plus, simply exchanging links is not best for the user (your potential or current customer).
So what is this email missing? Personalization, most importantly.
Let’s take a look at what defines a good email.
How to Write a Good Cold Email
The goal of any content partnership we have at Clique Studios is to add value. We want to make sure we are doing something that benefits not just us, but the person on the other end of the email.
How do we write an email that hits this goal? It comes down to writing something that connects us with the person we’re reaching out to.
For example, if you’d like to write for a B2B company’s blog, here’s one way to approach it:
Your passion for brand marketing is inspiring. I found you on LinkedIn… then eventually I ended up on your Tumblr. (I know, finding your Tumblr might be a bit too much, but I think it’s really cool.)
Ok, so, I wanted to say that I am a fan of Vampire Weekend too (I mean, I know probably everyone is). But hey, they are so good. I especially love listening to them in the fall – so I am getting my Vampire Weekend playlist in order now.
Because we both like the 90s and both understand that good storytelling comes from an inspiring brand, I wanted to reach out about working together. I see you accept guest articles at ____, so I thought I’d use that as a start.
Let me know if a guest article sounds good, and I’ll send some ideas.
Thank you so much.
Here’s why this email works toward building a relationship.
- I found the things Kim and I have in common with a little research on social media. She likes Vampire Weekend; I do too.
- She has a passion for brand marketing. Although I won’t go so far as to say it’s my passion, I am interested in brand marketing. It’s a real, genuine connection.
- I want to work with her. Yes, I would like to write for her company’s blog, but more importantly, I want to form a lasting relationship with her so we can continue to work together for a long time – maybe over the span of our careers.
Another example of how you can conduct outreach is to research the business the person you are emailing owns or works for.
Let’s say you want to provide content for an event software company. Find a way to connect your business with theirs. Spend time researching the company, the kind of content they write, and what would help their specific audience.
Did the company win an award? Congratulate them. Did an article they wrote help you with something in your work life? Tell them. Does both your business and their value philanthropy? Talk about it.
After you send an initial email, be sure to follow up once or twice. People are busy. Aren’t you?
Why Does Your Website Need Backlinks?
Let’s get something out of the way: backlinks are necessary for SEO. It’s one of the main reasons why you’re doing SEO outreach in the first place. It’s how Google knows your business is of high authority — that your business is an expert on the product or service you provide. Backlinks tell Google your website will provide value to the searcher. So, as marketers, we build backlinks to help a business rank in search results.
There are many ways to get backlinks, but no matter what the strategy you use, you will have to conduct cold email outreach.
How Emails, Backlinks, and Relationships Connect
SEO is a lot like public relations – it’s a promotion in a natural way. It’s brand awareness and education for your community, both to current and prospective customers.
If you want it to be natural, you need to give the person on the other end of the email a reason to promote your business, a reason to trust you. This means before you reach out to someone, think of a story that connects your business with theirs. Or, research the person you are emailing, finding some common ground, and then ask to work together.
Once you make a connection, don’t let the relationship end there. SEO is not about emailing people asking for a backlink. It’s not about how many emails you send out. SEO is about good content and relationships.
If you remember that, your outreach will go beyond the backlink.