Journalist Outreach: How To Use It For SEO?

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Journalist outreach can be one of the best ways to boost your SEO efforts if done right.

Millions of people read and search news-related queries every day on Google. This means journalists need SEO to ensure their articles are friendly for search engines and that they perform well.

And typically, journalists have access to high-quality, high-authority websites that they write for.

For SEOs, this kind of journalist outreach can be a great way to build links from big-name, authoritative websites that’ll complement and boost their site rankings.

Essentially, journalist outreach involves sharing your expertise with the press in hopes that they’ll quote you in their stories and link back to your website. 

After all, who wouldn’t want a backlink from Forbes or BusinessInsider?

By building relationships with journalists and earning quality backlinks as an SEO, you can rank high on the search engine results pages (SERP). 

However, this strategy can be daunting, especially for those new to the practice. 

Don’t worry though, with this practical guide to journalist outreach, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What is journalist outreach and how does the process work.
  • How to use journalistic outreach for maximum SEO benefits.
  • 5 Tips and best practices to boost your SEO rankings with journalistic outreach.

What Is Journalist Outreach And How Does It Work?

Journalist outreach is the process of contacting relevant journalists, influencers, or media writers to introduce your business as a potential source for their upcoming stories.

As an SEO, if you reach out to relevant journalists and they decide to quote or mention you in their articles, they’ll also be linking back to your website, social media, or other relevant attribution source.

Journalist outreach is crucial to your digital marketing and public relations

Since the process involves connecting with a relevant journalist, there are a few different ways you can simplify this, such as:

  • Cold email outreach.
  • Establishing a relationship on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).
  • Using HARO (or other similar sites) to directly connect with journalists looking for relevant insights.
  • And even phone calls or in-person events.
Index listing opportunities for journalist outreach.

The main difference with using sites like HARO is that journalists come to you, asking you for advice. Instead of you having to do outreach to cold prospects.

When you get selected as a source, these journalists will quote a part of your pitch, earning you quality backlinks.

Here’s what this means for your SEO success.

How To Use Journalistic Outreach For Maximum SEO Benefits

Journalist outreach practically benefits your SEO in many ways.

It lets you earn high-quality backlinks, improve search engine ranking, and boost website traffic

And by being featured in high-authority websites, you also gain an increase in traffic, brand awareness, social proof, and even lead generation.

It can even go as far as increasing your brand awareness, lead generation, and sales conversions.

Forbes snippet on managing customer expectations and AI in B2B marketing.

So, why should you reach out to journalists as part of your SEO?

You connect with them because:

  • They have a vast pool of relevant audiences: Media coverage can potentially reach a wide range of people. As such, journalists become your valuable partners for promoting your brand and delivering valuable content. Win-win.
  • Their credibility helps you build trust: Journalists are trustworthy sources of information, which can help build trust with your target audience. You can enhance your brand credibility and establish your site authority by securing media coverage and backlinks.
  • They have a strong influence: Journalists have the power to shape public opinion and impact decision-making. Therefore, they can help influence purchase decisions by indirectly promoting your brand and products or services in their stories.

How does this make a difference for your SEO? 

Being featured in high-authority, journalist websites also means:

  • Improved search engine ranking: You can improve your SERP ranking by earning high-quality backlinks from journalists. If successful, your site and content will unfold right before the eyes of your target audiences. This translates into an increase in your domain authority (DA), which makes your website more trustworthy in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
  • A boost in website traffic: Media coverage from journalists can drive traffic to your website, especially if they link back to your content. You’ll be surprised at how the journalists’ readers end up visiting your website. If you contribute something meaningful and valuable to an article, readers might be more inclined to learn about your brand in more detail.
  • Established site authority: You can build your brand credibility and website authority through media coverage and backlinks from reputable sources. Readers will then see you as a thought leader in your industry. Not to mention, your social proof will go up as a result, making you appear even more trustworthy to your potential clients.
  • Increased brand awareness: Media coverage from journalists can improve your brand’s visibility and awareness, especially if it reaches a large audience. Thanks to the media, people now get to recognize your brand and even products or services!
  • Lead generation and sales conversion: Journalist outreach can help generate leads and drive sales for your business by increasing your online visibility and site traffic. That can ultimately lead to increased profitability and business growth.

At Jolly, our clients have been featured in household publications, which has translated to an increase in organic traffic, brand awareness, SEO boostings, and more.

Jolly SEO clients featured in top publications like Forbes and others

Journalist Outreach: Top 5 Tips To Boost Your SEO Rankings

If you find it hard to stand out in your niche, journalist outreach might just be what you’re lacking.

As mentioned above, you gain incredible social proof as well as an increase in SEO. 

Now, if you’re wondering what this looks like in practice, here are a few tips and best practices you should keep in mind when doing journalist outreach for SEO purposes:

  1. Create a list of journalists to reach out to.
  2. Study your niche and identify what journalists are looking for in their stories.
  3. Leverage HARO to find queries within your niche.
  4. Write direct and straight-to-the-point pitches to get quoted.
  5. Build connections with journalists for long-term relationships.

Now, let’s take a look at each step in more detail.

1. Create a list of journalists to engage with

To kick off your journalist outreach, you should first create a sheet with a list of potential, relevant journalists covering stories within your niches.

The internet is a goldmine of media prospects. 

Start by researching online publications and media sites relevant to your business. 

Look for journalists who regularly write on topics related to your brand.

Social media, such as LinkedIn, can also be a reliable resource for finding and connecting with journalists. 

With all these, you can then start creating a list of media people!

Look out for articles such as:

  • Listicles that feature people.
  • Industry trends and reports.
  • And other content pieces that are linking to your competitors (you can find this through SEO tools).

For example, here’s an article about digital marketing trends that features 20 industry experts voicing their thoughts on the topic.

Quotes on digital marketing trends highlighting voice search and AI personalization.

From here, you could:

  1. Look up the author.
  2. See what other articles they’ve written.
  3. See other articles on that blog and if there’s anything you see yourself contributing to.

2. Study your niche and identify relevant stories

It’s easy to reach out to journalists immediately once you have a list of worthy prospects. 

But hold your horses! 

Before pitching to them, understand the topics and stories most relevant to your industry. 

As such, take ample time to research industry trends and upcoming events in your field. Doing so allows you to contribute expert insights or commentaries to relevant stories. 

Look up:

  • Top blogs within your niche.
  • See what they’re covering.
  • And then, consider how your unique background and experience can contribute.

Offering relevant information with unique perspectives will help establish yourself as an industry leader.

3. Leverage the HARO platform to speed up your journalist outreach and answer journalists’ queries

There are plenty of ways to reach out to journalists. You can send them messages via their websites, social media, and even personal emails. 

However, the chance of getting noticed through these methods is quite slim. Not to mention doing the above can be very time-consuming.

Enter HARO (Help A Reporter Out). 

Haro website home page

As the name suggests, this platform helps journalists connect with experts in various fields. 

On the flip side, it allows businesses or brands to get media coverage and earn backlinks for SEO ranking. So, as a business owner or digital marketer, you can capitalize HARO for link building.

By signing up for HARO, you’ll receive daily emails with queries from journalists. 

These press people are journalists actively seeking sources for their stories. 

You can then respond to relevant questions and provide insightful information. 

Done right, they can feature you and link to you from household publications accordingly.

You: Help make their articles better.

They: Link to you from high-authority, media outlets.


Jolly SEO banner with link building CTA and client logos like Forbes and WSJ

4. Write highly effective pitches to get quoted

This is probably the hardest part of journalist outreach.

Reaching out to journalists is one thing, writing effective pitches is another.

The latter requires proper planning, critical thinking, and even some solid writing skills

Remember, journalists are writers themselves; they go after credible sources with valuable information.

So how do you craft highly effective pitches for your journalist outreach? 

Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind when doing journalist outreach.

  • Offer a unique angle in your pitch to make it stand out.
  • Personalize your pitch according to the journalists’ needs.
  • Use a striking subject line to catch the reporters’ attention. 
  • Keep your pitch concise without losing its newsworthiness. Be direct with your background and why the reader should care.
  • Don’t forget to edit your pitch to make it quote-worthy. 

With these in mind, you’ll create pitches that get noticed and converted. 

Ultimately, crafting relevant, valuable, and unique pitches is the recipe for a successful journalist outreach.

For more info on writing pitches that get quoted by journalists, be sure to also read our guide on ways you can use HARO to promote your business.

5. Build connections with journalists for long-term relationships

Last but not least, your efforts in journalist outreach don’t end with successfully sending pitches and getting quoted. 

Remember, this strategy isn’t a one-time endeavor but an ongoing process. The goal is to establish good relationships with journalists over time.

To do this, keep in touch with journalists who have covered your brand in the past. Make sure to share their articles on social media and other online platforms. More importantly, offer them to be a resource for future stories. 

Building relationships with journalists over time can lead to repeat media coverage and greater visibility for your brand. 

It’s important you provide value beyond pitches if you want repeat media coverage.

Consider also sending relevant industry insights, reports, or exclusive data that might be of interest to them. 

By positioning yourself as a valuable resource, you enhance the relationship and increase the likelihood that journalists will turn to you when they need information or quotes for their articles.

Final Words

All in all, journalist outreach is a great way to boost your SEO and overall marketing efforts.

By connecting with journalists, you can get quoted as a credible source and earn quality backlinks. More importantly, this means an increase in search engine rankings, brand awareness, online visibility, and so much more.

However, approach this outreach thoughtfully and strategically. 

Manually creating a list of potential journalists to reach out to can be incredibly time-consuming.

So, instead, you can use HARO to get automatic queries from journalists looking for experts within your niche.

Then, you provide relevant and valuable content so that they choose you.

What if this is also time-consuming?

Through our journalist outreach services, Jolly SEO will help you connect with reporters and start pitching like a pro on your behalf. Our clients have been featured in household publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, HuffPost, Bustle, and more. With some seeing an increase in organic traffic by nearly 1,200%

When they started working with us in September 2021, they had 3,10,705 organic visitors. By January 2023, that number had grown to an impressive 4,146,632.

Contact us today to see how we can help you get started!

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