Should Cold Calling Be A Part Of Your SEO Strategy?
One of the most effective ways to work on your SEO (search engine optimization) is to have external sources link to your website. This lets Google know that people find your content valuable which can greatly help in improving your rank on the SERP (search engine results page).
However, getting external parties to see you as an expert source and link to your site doesn’t come easy. Most of the time, you have to proactively reach out to different people and let them know that you have useful and interesting content for them to use.
This is where the importance of cold calling comes in. You need to identify credible websites and publications, pick-up the phone and offer editors or journalists your content. Getting them on the phone is an effective way to reach out and ask them to use your content as one of their sources for their articles. Below, we’ll share with you some tips on how to make effective cold calls to help improve your SEO.
1. Build your list of go-to journalists that you want to establish a relationship with.
Identify relevant media and journalists that you want to approach by building a master media list with details on the topics or sections that they cover, their editor’s name, social profiles, and contact information such as email, landline and mobile number. You can categorize their importance and relevance by tiering the identified journalists to help you easily locate contacts in the future.
To find people who are writing about topics related to your industry, you can use Google Alerts and enter the keywords most relevant to your content. Google will then send you links to articles that specifically mentioned your keywords.
2. Do background research on media publications you want to tap into.
Before picking up the phone, make sure you do your homework and know who you are talking to. The media appreciates it when people do their research before pitching content to them. Naturally, people don’t like receiving cold calls especially if the caller seems that they are just looking for opportunities to get free publicity.
Personalize your calls by finding the kinds of stories a certain publication focuses on, what the editors usually cover and the journalist’s latest articles. Having this information will not only help you position your pitch better, it will also make you sound more natural and will add a personal touch to an otherwise ‘cold’ conversation.
3. Prepare a script before picking up the phone.
The reason why a lot of cold calls get cold responses is because the receiver doesn’t see any value in what is being offered to them by the caller. This simple problem can be addressed by preparing a script beforehand to serve as your guide when speaking to the media.
However, while scripts are important, it is good to note that they should only serve as a conservation blueprint, and not something to be read verbatim while you’re on the phone; otherwise, you’ll sound like a robot.
A great tip to sound genuine is to practice using the script a couple of times before picking up the phone. Feel free to go off-script as well if you think it will help make the conversation sound more natural – as long as you know what you need to say.
After hanging up, quickly follow-up the conversation with an email and summarize your discussion. Include the links that you want to be used by the journalist so that it’s easy for them to find the content you want them to link to.
4. Time your calls properly.
Last but not the least, know the best time to call and catch the journalist that you need to talk to. They usually have tight deadlines and you need to call when they are willing to entertain pitches. Calling them during closing time, or when they are rushing to meet their deadlines is probably a waste of time.
However, knowing when to time your calls can be tricky as media publications have different deadlines. You will need to practice to perfect it. Every time you successfully get a journalist on the phone, take note of the time they accommodated your call. Alternatively, you could ask them for the best times to call and highlight that you want to catch them when it’s the most convenient for them.
While sometimes viewed as an outdated activity, cold calling is still an effective way to help your SEO strategy – you just have to know how to do it right and time it well. Naturally, it can be a little tricky especially if you don’t know the person at the other end of the line. That’s why being prepared before picking up the phone is the most efficient way to get positive results.
You should also make sure your phone calls are high quality by using a reliable phone system that will help make picking up the phone and calling journalists a productive task.
We hope you enjoyed the above post in cooperation with Socialnomics!
Maggie Aland is a staff writer and marketing expert at Fit Small Business, where she writes how-to guides and articles on marketing for small business owners.