HARO - How to use it for SEO | Standard Operating Procedure
Haro is a media site that reporters and journalists use to send out pitches that request input to which, if picked will use them in their articles and link back to the source.
We can use Haro to pitch for subjects that are in our’s or our client niches. The links are usually from a high DA/TF/DR and have a lot of RD’s.
To sign up for the service visit the HARO site where you be asked to put in some basic details about your company and statistics.
Click on the activation email to confirm your account and sign in.
By default HARO will send out 3 collated emails a day – approx – 10:40, 17:40 & 22:40 (UK time)
You can sign up to which categories/topics you want sent. Generally go with the niches of your clients business types.
Top Tip: I have just signed up for the Master HARO – this contains all the pitches and saves you opening 5-6 different emails 3 times a day. If however, you only have one niche you need, tick that and untick all the rest, including the Master one.
The Screening of the Haro Newsletters
Scour the emails each day to check the opportunities you can pitch for. The faster you respond, the better, as some publications will receive a whole host of replies, and if the subject is broad then the answers can be similar. Often they will take first come first quoted.
Before Pitching a Journalist
If the question isn’t in your expertise, then you can ask the client to answer and request they get back to you swiftly, I’d recommend within 30 mins, no longer than an hour. The better the answer the more chance that you will get the link. Talk to your clients about HARO beforehand to see if they are willing and able, should you need to refer to them.
Have an agency or business domain name email account? Then use it. These come across much more professional than a personal gmail or hotmail account. This is especially true if pitching for a client, rather than yourself.
Check if the client can give you their domain email, if not use an agency, company one.
Check the Media outlet and/or Journo links from their site/previous articles
Check if the outlet gives follow links
Check the DR/DA of the media out if it is above a certain level for what the client needs
Check that you don’t already have a link from that site to your client
Check it is not on banned list for client
When Pitching Haros
Use the person’s name if you have it.
Get your subject line on point and eye catching and relevant to the query. Putting in haro response or query # won’t get you anywhere. You got to stand out, not blend in.
Majority of the sites are US based, so check the publication when stated. If it’s a US publication, be sure to switch your response to American English. The less they need to edit the quotes, the better your chances.
Introduce who is responding to the pitch and ensure you answer the questions and queries they have put into the brief. No more, no less.
Read it carefully and give them exactly what they ask for – correct word count, structure, person quoted and information.Anything else is fluff and is wasting their time as well as yours.
Give them who they ask for. If they want an accountant or social media manager, then if you are one you can reply, else refer the query to the person with that expertise in the business, and send over the comments on behalf of them. The pieces usually need to be validated by someone in a particular profession, if you are under or differently qualified, your response will be ignored.
Explain you are available to expand on the comments and insights if needed.
After the pitch
Record all the information on a sheet- as you can monitor the success and tweak your responses going forward. Seeing which subject lines worked, judging if quicker response times have yielded more links etc. You may also get similar queries, so you can reuse and rehash previous replies.
If you want my template send me an email with the subject line: ‘Help Me Haro’ as I have a filter setup for it. I will send you the sheet with examples of my own pitches too. It’s free. Well, almost I do get your email – lead magnet anyone.
Rarely, they will use your comments but not let you know. I use the text I sent and paste into google and see if it brings up any hits. You can be more specific and use google search parameters to search the author’s recent articles. This will help you save some links that might otherwise have slipped through the net.
If your pitch was a success and they have responded – keep the lines of communication open and build a rapport with them if you can. Let them know they can contact you for future queries if they need insights or quotes. This will allow you to circumvent the Haro scrum and jump right to the front of the queue next time. This can even open up guest blogging opportunities.
After celebrating – you should update the sheet as successful – a) you can track trends of winning pitches b) stops you from pitching that company on behalf of the same client again, if you already have a link from that referring domain.
The End – A Haro Win
PS. This a nuts and bolts sop that myself and my staff use. I will be publishing a mammoth 3000+ word post on my favourite SEO’ site, Glen Alsopp of Detailed, Gaps and other such luminaries. 2 links; Glen you’re welcome 😉
PPS. I’ve posted this basic guide as I saw someone ranking for a Haro explanation and I practice what they preach so I don’t want to miss out on the traffic opportunity. If you don’t have time to do yourself, check out my pricing to see if it fits your budget.