BrightonSEO – An Outreacher’s Perspective & Key Takeaways

19 September 2017

Posted in: Events Outreach SEO

Brighton SEO is the #1 conference for SEOs and outreachers across Europe. During my time there, I managed to pick up various tips, advice and takeaways from industry experts that any company could use to improve their outreach. Here’s what I learned.

Be Newsworthy

With the worlds of traditional outreach and digital PR becoming more and more intertwined, many outreachers find themselves in conversation with journalists and editors. When pitching to publications, being newsworthy is critical. You need to find a newsworthy hook that will get a journalist excited.

When planning a new piece of content that you’re going to outreach, always consider these questions:

  • Does it include a critical piece of newsworthy information?
  • Does it add a new dimension to a hotly debated topic?
  • What’s your content’s USP?
  • How could your content provide value to the publication?

 

Use Free Data Sources

Want an easy way to be newsworthy? Bobbi Brant recommends using some free data sources such as data.gov.uk or Eurostat. Open source data is a miracle worker for marketers and it can provide us with all the tools we need to build an amazing piece of content that’s interesting, newsworthy, and will attract links.

You do need to be smart here, however. If you just take data that’s available to everyone and throw it into an infographic, what’s stopping anyone else from doing the same?

The real way to win here is by adding a new angle to free data. A good way to do this is to compare data sets or locations. Just make sure the data you use is credible, has an interesting angle, and can’t be easily replicated. If you can get an expert commentator on your side, even better.

 

Consider Timeliness

This point seems simple but it can make or break a piece of content. If you can create content that is in tune with current trending topics, you could be onto a masterpiece. There are thousands of easy opportunities to be timely in today’s world.

One great way to achieve this is to look at the Awareness Days Calendar (there are some interesting awareness days out there), and see if any of these national days are relevant to your brand.

 

The Digital PR Check-List

Shannon McGuirk’s Brighton SEO talk was insightful — it was worth fighting through the crowds to make it! Every brand should aim to be newsworthy and aspire to be featured on the top publications in their industry.

A lot of valuable advice was shared on Digital PR, but I wanted to include this useful checklist. Consider these key points next time you’re outreaching content to a journalist or editor:

  • Timeliness
  • Credibility
  • Different
  • Tension
  • Prospecting

Can you produce timely content from a credible source? Something that’s different to what’s already out there, and either adds tension to a topic, or harness the tension that’s already out there? Pair all of this with a top-notch prospecting list and you’re onto a winner.

 

Always Deliver The Expert Comment

A comment from an industry expert will help validate your content. Many industry experts will be happy to leave you a free comment often in return for a link to their personal blog. A great idea mentioned by Shannon McGuirk was to partner with a charity for your content. Not only can you borrow the authority of a charity, you may also receive a link from a non-profit site – every link builder’s dream!

Can’t find a charity to partner with? Look into your network. Experts are everywhere, even a family member could provide an expert comment if it’s authoritative, relevant and reliable.

 

Constantly Grow Your Network

The overlooked step in outreach. In today’s automated world of outreach, too many SEOs are overlooking community building. The thing is, it’s so simple to stay in touch! Follow a journalist you’ve spoken to on Twitter, add editors on LinkedIn, send a ‘happy birthday’ message now and then.

Connections are key in outreach and while a competitor could replicate your content, they can’t replicate your relationships. 

 

Take A Different Approach To Keyword Research

A big part of outreach success, is understanding the user and the search marketplace. Start every outreach campaign with good keyword research.

All SEOs should know that their keyword strategy needs to match buyer intent and there are plenty of useful tools out there to help out with this. Stacey MacNaught mentioned how she divides keywords into three categories:

  • Top funnel (ready to convert)
  • Mid funnel (potential to convert)
  • Amplification (research stage)

Using these categories can be beneficial to ensure your landing pages are matching the intent of the search query for every possible session.

Another point mentioned at this talk was the power of brand searches, something that’s often underestimated. Many SEOs focus too much on organic keyword targeting. A good end goal for SEO is to get users searching for your brand name directly as this builds awareness, reputation, and authority for your brand.

An increase in brand searches is just as valuable as ranking high for particular keywords

 

What Are Your Conversion Triggers?

Outreach is all about matching the right content with the right users, and intent and conversions are a big part of that.

Do you know the conversion triggers of your customers? As an SEO, you probably should. Conversion triggers are the reasons why your customers purchase your service. For example, someone who purchases life insurance commonly does so because they’ve bought a new home or recently had a child. These are your triggers.

You should turn these ‘triggers’ into keywords. A life insurance provider could produce content around buying a new home, or becoming a new parent and target the keywords relevant to this. Can’t identify your conversion triggers? Put the laptop to one side and have a conversation with your sales team. They often have a lot more insight than you might think.

 

Local Links Are Always Relevant

Local links are hugely reliant on good outreach.

Greg Gifford held one of his typical fast-paced sessions at Brighton. Everyone who attended came out with some great new tactics to build their local link profile but we absorbed some different insight. Relationships and local links go hand-in-hand. Develop connections in your community and utilise your relationships for link opportunities. How can you do this? It’s all about the exchange of value.

Donate your time, expertise, or influence to a local business or blogger in return for a link. Many local bloggers will give you a link in return for promotion on your social channels. The truth is, local links are still vital for local business. Grow your local connections — even starting a local Facebook group can help massively in securing those valuable link placements.

 

All in all, Brighton SEO was another valuable conference featuring some of the best SEOs and industry leaders around. Our team walked away with a huge amount of insight which we will definitely be using over the next few months. Looking forward to the next one!

Want to see our live tweets at the next Brighton SEO? Follow us on Twitter here.

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