Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. The more backlinks your website has, the more credible search engines perceive it as, and the higher it ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs). One popular way of building links is through the use of HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out.
HARO is a platform that journalists use to find sources for their articles. It connects journalists with experts in different industries, giving them the opportunity to get quotes and relevant information to write their pieces. It is also an excellent way to acquire backlinks to your website, especially if you have unique or valuable insights to share.
In this article, we will show you how to use HARO to build links effectively. We will go through each step of the process, from setting up your HARO account to crafting the perfect pitch.
We will also share advanced link building tips and ways to measure the success of your HARO campaign.
What is HARO?
HARO is a service that connects journalists and reporters with potential sources for their upcoming articles. Three times a day, HARO sends out a media request to its database of sources, which includes experts, executives, and business owners. HARO is owned by Cision, a public relations software company that aims to help businesses build better relationships with the media.
The primary purpose of HARO is to help reporters and journalists find sources for their articles. But in exchange for providing valuable and actionable information, sources can often receive a backlink to their website, which can help boost their website’s authority and improve their SEO.
How to set up your HARO account
Setting up a HARO account is a straightforward process. First, you need to go to the HARO website and sign up for an account. You can choose between a free and a paid account, but we recommend the paid version for better results. After signing up, you will receive three media requests daily, which you can respond to if they align with your business and expertise.
A paid HARO account provides more benefits than a free one. With a paid account, you will have access to alerts that ensure you are notified quickly. You will also be able to add unique value to your pitches, which increases your chances of getting published. By investing a small amount, you increase your chances of securing a valuable backlink.
How to use HARO to build links
Here are the detailed steps to use HARO effectively for link building:
1. Crafting a perfect pitch
When responding to a HARO request, it’s essential to craft a perfect pitch. Ensure that you speak directly to the journalist’s query and address their specific needs. In your pitch, be concise, clear, and informative, and always make sure to add value.
Avoid irrelevant information, and keep in mind that journalists receive hundreds of pitches daily.
2. Using proper punctuation and grammar
Proper punctuation and grammar are crucial when emailing a journalist. Always use proper punctuation and grammar to give a professional impression.
Use simple language, avoid jargon, and use bullet points to make the information easy to scan.
3. Tagging journalists directly
When submitting your pitch, it’s essential to tag the journalist directly.
This approach helps draw attention to your message and gives a personalized touch to the pitch.
4. Providing actionable information
The key to securing a backlink is to provide actionable information. Journalists want relevant information that they can use in their articles.
Be sure to explain how your business can add value to their piece and why your insights are unique.
5. Tips on how to stand out among the hundreds of queries journalists get regularly
To stand out on HARO, you need to be timely, concise, and unique. Journalists get hundreds of queries every day, so it’s essential to respond quickly and provide unique value. Avoid fluff and BS; instead, add personal notes to show you have read their previous works, tag them in social media, or add personal credibility.
The more unique, your pitch, the more opportunities for a successful link building campaign.
It’s worth noting that your website should be optimized for when a journalist likes your pitch, but visits your site to verify your authority or credentials – if your site looks like the 1990s is calling it back, you aren’t getting that link. An editor will never approve it, so a journalist will not use it.
6. Respond to HARO queries quickly
Journalists are always on tight schedules. They want sources that are reliable and timely. When responding to HARO queries, ensure you send a timely response and include your credentials.
Be sure to include your phone number, email, and any other information that could potentially help the journalist contact you. We are seeing more authority publications, like Daily Mail, NY Post, and Healthline, encouraging their journalists to arrange a phone call with any source to verify their credentials.
If you are unable to provide valuable information within the journalist’s deadline, it’s best not to respond to the query.
Advanced link building tips with HARO
If you are looking to maximize the value of your HARO link building strategy, consider these advanced tips:
1. Different types of queries and which ones are best suited for your business
HARO has many different types of queries, including industry-specific ones, trending topics, and in-depth features.
Choose the queries that fit your business best, and ensure that you can provide valuable insights.
2. Ways to leverage HARO to increase brand awareness
HARO is an excellent platform to increase brand awareness. Respond to queries related to your industry and niche to get noticed by potential customers.
Make sure to include your brand name and website URL in your pitch, which can lead to referral traffic to your website.
3. The importance of maintaining good relationships with journalists on HARO
HARO is a marketplace for interaction between sources and journalists. Once you have built a relationship with specific journalists, you should aim to maintain that relationship.
Provide valuable insights, respond timely, and take time to learn more about the journalist’s work and interests.
How to measure the success of your HARO campaign
To measure the success of your HARO campaign, you need to track your links and link placements. You can use backlink tracking tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to monitor your link building progress.
Additionally, you need to determine the conversion rate using HARO, which is the percentage of people who interact with your link or complete a specific action.
What are the credentials that help you stand out on HARO?
Your credentials help journalists identify you as an expert. Credentials such as academic degrees, professional certifications, or previous experience add weight to your pitch. Be sure to include your credentials in your pitch, but make sure they are relevant to the query.
Can I make link swaps or payment for links through HARO?
No, HARO does not support link swaps or payments for links. HARO’s goal is to connect journalists with sources, and any attempts to buy or sell links are against their policies.
How do I craft a perfect pitch on HARO?
To craft a perfect pitch on HARO, be succinct, informative, and give actionable information relevant to the query. Use proper punctuation and grammar, add value, and tag journalists directly.
How do I relate my business job title to a HARO query?
Make sure to read the query carefully and relate it to your business job title. If the query is about a specific industry trend, relate it to how your business experiences align with the trends. Use clear and concise language to convey relevant information.