I recently analyzed some of the links we acquired last year by responding to HARO requests.
If you’re unfamiliar with HARO, Benjamin Houy wrote a great write-up on how to use HARO.
I want to highlight the process of acquiring one specific link and look at the value of the link itself.
I received the HARO email containing the inquiry on April 29th, 2019 at 10:38 AM.
“Summary: What’s ONE important SEO metric all marketers should be tracking? (Besides Organic Traffic.)
We’re looking to curate a list of important SEO metrics that marketers should track.
They could be the obvious ones. They could be more of the less common or unusual ones.
Either way, we want to provide marketers with a comprehensive list of important SEO metrics they should be tracking.
What’s ONE important SEO metric all marketers should be tracking? Why? (Please share ONE metric, why it’s important to track, as well as any insights around benchmarks marketers should aim for.)
(Please share ONE metric, why it’s important to track, as well as any insights around benchmarks marketers should aim for.)
You have to be willing to answer additional multiple choice questions via email.”
I responded with the following on April 29th, 2019 at 10:33 PM:
“One important SEO metric to track is the click-through rate (CTR) of each landing page and how it fluctuates as you move up in rankings and as you tweak that page’s title tag and meta description. Google Search Console tracks this for you automatically; you just need to pay attention to it.
Given how simple it is to test title tag and meta description changes, it is wise to take the time to test many variations to find the best combination of highest ranking with highest CTR.”
I got an email back on April 30th at 1:49 AM asking me to participate in an SEO tools survey:
Just read through your HARO response. Good stuff.
I’d like to include your response, as well as a link back to your website, in a report we’re putting together.
Before I do that, can I ask you to share what SEO tools you use?
Can you tick all that apply via this link? (Just copy paste your input into the text box by the open-ended question)
I filled out the survey later that morning.
On May 8, 2019, the post went live here: https://databox.com/most-important-seo-kpis and used only a portion of my quote (which is totally fine, I’m not complaining):
“Given how simple it is to test title tag and meta description changes, it is wise to take the time to test many variations to find the best combination of highest ranking with highest CTR.”
I got an email on May 9, 2019 at 1:54 PM announcing the use of my quote and the published article URL.
Thank you for contributing to our greatest article on SEO KPIs so far!
With your help we compiled another insightful report: The 49 SEO KPIs That Marketers Are Tracking Most
Along with your response, we included a backlink back to your website.”
The link value:
As of today (1/17/20), the Databox article has the following metrics:
- A Page Authority of 36 from Moz on a site with a Domain Authority of 53
- A URL Rating of 21 from Ahrefs on a site with a Domain Rating of 75
- 9 backlinks that I manually checked (3 are nofollowed)
- Those 9 backlinks have a total of 6 backlinks linking to them (4 are nofollowed)
A more recent example from a post I was quoted in about how to get featured snippets on 2/11/30:
- The article has a Moz PA of 20 and a DA of 30 (ahrefs: UR-15 and DR-22)
- 7 backlinks point to this article as of 4/3/20
- Those 7 pages that link to the article have 17 total backlinks linking to them
Proper Expectations from HARO Link Building:
Not all HARO links are created equal. Some are more valuable and some are less valuable but it can be a great use of time if done correctly.
Keep the following in mind:
- It can be time consuming to read through every HARO pitch, inside each of the three daily emails, looking for pitches that are relevant to you and your business.
- When you do send a response to a pitch, “roughly 20% of pitches will get a reply and 10% will be used.”
- Most pitches have short deadlines so don’t dawdle.
- HARO “[is not] a garden of roses” but is still good to include in your overall link and PR strategy.
- But for others, it’s worked out tremendously!