Effective outreach is an essential part of any successful SEO’s toolkit. Good, consistent outreach builds connections. These connections form the pulse of a well rounded SEO strategy. This pulse can help with:
- Acquiring brand advocaats
- Increasing traffic
- Building links
- Feedback to continuously improve your product or service
- Finding new opportunities
- Creating a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside :)
If you’re prepared to put in the hard work (why shouldn’t you?) then this is so worthwhile. Like all marketing efforts, it all starts somewhere. In this instance it commonly starts by asking the question “who should I contact?”. This post is focused on building up a quick list of sites and contacts to help you get going.
Building your list
If you’re looking to create a quick outreach list for sites in a specific sector, this is a good tip to get started.
To start, you will need to use Google Chrome. Once opened, install Google Scraper for Chrome. This is a great extension for getting data from websites into spreadsheet form easily.
Let’s go to Alltop. It’s a great place to find recent, authoritative news and blog posts per sector (fashion, sports, science etc). Find a sector page for your industry. Let’s choose Formula 1 as an example. It lists all trending and popular Formula 1 blogs and news sites on one page. Wouldn’t it be great if we could capture the name and the URL of each of these sites in just a couple of seconds? Here’s how you can do this:
- Right click the text of the 1st blog / news site on the topic page. Right click this and select ‘Scrape similar…’. This returns all of the featured blogs / new sites on the topic page (site name and URL).
- Click ‘Export to Google Docs…’ to save your work in a spreadsheet format.
Taking the list one step further
I recommend giving this data more depth by adding in SEO metrics for each of the domains. This can be done by using the brilliant SEOTools for Excel by Neils Bosma. We can use this toolkit to return cool metrics directly into your spreadsheet - helping you to refine your outreach list. Using a combination of the JsonPathOnUrl function within SEOTools and the cool new SEOGadget API we can get metrics such as domain authority and inbound links pretty easily. To finalise your outreach list you can even pull in a email address (from whois data) so you don’t have to manually dig for this.
I’ve included a free to download spreadsheet below with an example of the above functions and values for an example site. Simply insert your own SEOGadget API key (you can get one easily by logging in with your Twitter account here) to pull in the data. One word of caution - running these functions on a long list of URLs will put a big demand on Excel (we all know how fun this gets!). Try a short list at a time to be kind to your computer and be courteous to the API.
Download Sample Spreadsheet (remember to download and install SEOTools for Excel first)
Start building new connections!