Q&A with Affinity's Head of Content – Jack Teare
Throughout 2020 the acceleration of digital has been above and beyond what most would have expected at the start of the year. We’ve seen massive, global, multi-billion dollar companies like Nike report online sales growth of 82% and closer to home, many e-Commerce businesses have had their operational capabilities challenged with an exponential surge in orders throughout lockdown.
This has culminated in an increasingly competitive market-space online, so for many businesses their challenge for the rest of this year and 2021 is devising a strategy that sets them apart from their direct competition and maintains the growth seen across the year.
Affinity’s Head of Content, Jack Teare, has sat down to explain Outreach Marketing, which is an often misunderstood, powerful marketing strategy to improve your online visibility.
What is outreach marketing?
JT: “Outreach marketing is the art of building backlinks to your website through quality content.
Backlinks (also known as incoming links, one-way links and inbound links) are links from one site, to a page on a different site. Simple. Yet these little links are the corner stone of SEO and go a very long way to deciding who gets on page one, and who gets left behind”.
How can it help a website or business?
JT: “Google (and other search engines) look at these links as “votes” for a page or site. The fact that other sites link to a page tells Google that the site is relevant, credible and useful.
The more links, the more reliable, and therefore the higher the ranking.
Every site is given a score based on their backlink profile, ranging from 1 (bad) to 100 (good). Google keeps these scores a closely guarded secret, but there are different ways to measure them, such as Domain Authority from Moz or Authority Score from SEMrush. Which is the most accurate is a matter of hot debate, but the point remains the same. Sites with higher scores appear higher on the SERPs (search engine results page)”.
Is outreach marketing purely an SEO tactic?
JT: “No, far from it.
A thoroughly developed outreach strategy will link in with a websites content strategy, which in turn plays into brand loyalty, conversion rate optimisation and ROI.
Any digital marketing tactic should take other channels into account. The internet is all connected after all, and your strategy should be too”.
Is it expensive to earn good links back to a website?
JT: “That all depends on your approach, the quality of your content and the kind of relationships that you forge through your outreach work.
Some sites will always demand payment in exchange for links, that’s just how it goes, and the bigger the site the more likely they’ll want financial compensation.
That being said, if what you’re offering is of a good quality, these payments can be avoided or negotiated.
Likewise, by building a network of site owners, editors and writers, mutually beneficial relationships can be formed that can lower or remove costs entirely.
It’s also possible to get high quality links for free, it just takes a little more time, effort and know-how. Fortunately, we’ve got just that here at Affinity.
What would you advise a business just starting out online?
JT: “Build relationships! Talk to similar businesses, create a network, and most importantly – focus on content.
Content is your biggest bargaining chip when it comes to getting backlinks and is the backbone of any good strategy. If you have high quality, useful, and relevant content on your site, you’ll get people linking to it in no time.
Would that same advice apply to an established site with a track history of consistent traffic growth?
JT: “Absolutely! There’s no such thing as a perfect site, and just because you’ve seen consistent traffic growth doesn’t mean you couldn’t be performing better.
Build the content, create the network, get the links. Whether your site is new or well established, quality content stems from market research on what people are searching for and developing authentic content which gives people value. Placing that content in the right place, on the right site, is where you then maximise its reach and benefit".