Link building continues to torment contractors. It can be tough to generate a high volume of quality links to get your site to rank higher. And at the end of the day, that is what it’s all about.
Why? Because external links (links on other websites that lead to your own) are a critical ranking factor.
Search engines like Google will consider how many links you have on the internet that lead back to your site when they index sites to show to users who perform relevant searches. While there are many ranking factors, Google has confirmed that external links are essential.
You can add a link to your site on local company and industry directories – and this is a great start when you are first trying to build your backlink profile. But getting your website linked on high-quality, high-authority websites can be complicated.
The good news is that there are new SEO innovations all the time, and that’s what we want to tell you about in today’s post. Today, Contractor Webmasters discusses an excellent service that will be a must for contractors looking to acquire links in 2023. It’s called HARO.
What is HARO?
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. You can sign up for HARO as a “Source.” Once you register on the HARO website, you will be sent three emails a day with a list of queries from actual reporters working on a story and need some information from a “Source,” AKA you.
How HARO Helps Contractors
How does this help anyone? First, the reporter gets industry professionals to help them with a story. Sometimes they may need technical information and statistical data related to your industry, or they may want to ask about your business or trade.
The queries can vary, and not everyone you receive will pertain to your field. But some of them will. Again, this helps the reporter by contacting someone who can help them develop their story with technical information.
This helps the contractor because once they are used as a “Source,” a link to the contractor’s site will be posted on a high-authority news or media outlet website. It’s a win-win. Now let’s get into effectively using it for your HARO link-building strategy.
1) Become A Source
The first step in your HARO link-building strategy is to sign up as a source. You can do that here. There are different subscription packages available, including a free one. You can choose one based on your level of need or budget.
Once you have signed up as a source, be sure to review the rules carefully and abide by them as you use the platform. A violation of the HARO rules may disqualify you as a source.
Once you are all set up, you will begin to receive three emails from HARO a day. Each email will have a list of questions from reporters who need help developing a story of some kind.
The queries are divided into different categories. For instance, one category can be technology. Another may be health and wellness. As a contractor, your can press CTRL + F (on a PC) and search for terms relevant to your business.
2) Speed-Up The Process
You will be getting three emails a day filled with reporter queries once you become a HARO source which could get pretty overwhelming. So here’s a little hack, so you don’t waste a ton of time scrolling through all the queries: hit CTRL+F (the find command) in the email and type in keywords that will help you find the correct query for you.
For instance, if you are a general contractor, you may want to CTRL+F in the HARO email and type in “construction” or “building” to immediately find queries that align with your field.
Sometimes the email won’t have any relevant queries, and that’s ok. You aren’t going to find a worthwhile connection in every email. However, with three emails each day, you will probably find at least one relevant inquiry per day.
3) Opt for Strong Matches
You may be tempted to reply to a bunch of inquiries that sort of match your field or business. However, it is more helpful to your SEO rankings to choose queries that either:
A) Come from websites or outlets with very high domain authority, or
B) Match very closely to your area of expertise.
While it won’t always be possible to act as a source for a reporter working with a high domain authority site, it is usually possible to find one that is at least a good match.
4) Create A Pitch
Once you have found the query you want to respond to, you have to pitch. Your pitch should include a short but concise bio of you and your business and what makes you an authority on the topic.
You should also carefully address all the points covered in the reporter’s query. Then, at the end of your pitch, encourage the reporter to contact you with a call to action.
You can also help your cause by having an easily downloadable source for your headshot, bio, and company logo ready for the reporter.
5) Delegate HARO Process
Once you’ve mastered the process and have multiple examples of earning links from reporters, you can delegate the entire process to one or more staff members.
As a link-building strategy, HARO is outstanding, but it’s not something you want to take up your time as a business owner. So instead, have someone identify the best queries each day and produce a list in a Google Sheet or Microsoft Excel Sheet.
From there, you can verbally assist them with the replies, or you can ask them to respond on your behalf. Again, depending on the staff members’ industrial and institutional knowledge, this can speed up the process more.
A HARO link-building strategy is a significant step to building a great backlink profile. Contact us here at Contractor Webmasters for more ways to improve your Google rankings in 2023.