The Comprehensive Guide to HARO Link Building

HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It’s a way to connect journalists and reporters with expert sources for their stories. HARO link building is an effective way to generate high-quality backlinks for your website and measure the ROI. It also helps increase your domain authority and position you as an expert in your industry.

While HARO itself is not related to link building, it can help as a tool in a link building strategy. This guide will cover everything you need to know about using HARO for link building.

What is HARO and How Does It Work?

HARO is an online platform that connects journalists and reporters with expert sources. These sources can provide quotes, data, and commentary for news articles and stories.

Founded in 2008, HARO operates as an extensive database of queries submitted by media professionals. Reporters and journalists post questions about business, technology, health, etc. 

You can respond to these relevant media queries with helpful information and statistics as an expert source. If your response is selected, you’ll get a backlink and exposure from being published on a high domain authority site. 

Journalists and reporters submit queries needing expert sources. You can then browse these requests and respond with helpful commentary as an expert. If your response is selected, you’ll be published and get a backlink in return. The result is high-quality backlinks that can improve your domain authority.

Here’s a Quick Overview of How HARO Link Building Works:

StepDescription
1. Reporters Submit QueriesReporters submit story queries indicating the types of sources they need. Queries include story topics, required qualifications, and deadlines.
2. Sources Receive EmailSources opting into categories get email alerts with reporter queries relevant to their industry and expertise.
3. Sources Pitch ReportersSources review queries and respond by the deadline if they can provide input for the story as a source.
4. Reporters Select SourcesReporters select the most relevant, credible sources among those that responded to the query.
5. Reporters Interview SourcesReporters interview their selected contributors over email, phone, or in person and incorporate input into their stories.
6. Stories PublishedStories featuring the source get published in news outlets, magazines, blogs etc. driving exposure.

Why Use HARO for Link Building?

ReasonDescription
High DA Link PlacementHARO queries come from leading publishers like the New York Times, Forbes, and Wired with strong domain authority for SEO-boosting rankings
Contextual Link TargetingAs reporters share specific source needs upfront, brands can align pitches perfectly to content themes for relevance
Thought Leadership VisibilityBeing featured as a quoted expert via HARO builds brand credibility and trust for establishing thought leadership
High Trust Ranking SignalsEditorial links from news/media sites carry more weight versus sponsored links due to editorial independence
Scalable Link ProspectingWith over 2,800+ queries daily, HARO offers mass relevance-matched link opportunities for brands
Ongoing Link Relationship BuildingQuality HARO Link Building contributions often lead to syndications, recurring commentary, and strategic media partnerships

Many benefits make HARO a valuable platform for link building:

  • High authority backlinks – Sites that publish your content often have high DA and PA scores. Mainstream media sites have authority scores above 90.
  • Increased domain authority – Quality backlinks from HARO help improve your own domain and page authority. This signals to Google that your site is credible.
  • Significant traffic and exposure – Being published in big media outlets expands your reach to larger audiences. 
  • Brand visibility – Getting published builds credibility and showcases you as an expert in your industry. Being cited as an expert in reputable publications helps establish your authority and credibility in your industry. This can build trust among your target audience and potential customers.
  • Saves time – No need for extensive link prospecting or cold outreach. HARO makes it fast and easy.

Understanding the broader benefits of link building can further highlight why HARO is a valuable tool in your SEO arsenal.

Incorporate HARO link building as a cornerstone of your website’s link building strategy. Ensure your site is primed to benefit from the traffic and authority boost by optimizing your landing pages for relevant keywords and improving site navigation. This preparation ensures that visitors from high-authority backlinks have a positive experience, further signaling to search engines the credibility of your site.

However, HARO should be approached with authenticity and a genuine desire to contribute valuable information to journalists and their audiences. Building relationships and providing meaningful insights should be the primary focus, with the HARO link building benefits as a natural outcome of your expertise and contributions.

Finding Relevant HARO Link Building Queries

The key is finding and responding to queries that align with your brand, expertise, and ideal link-building keywords. Additionally, consistency is equally vital. Regularly monitoring HARO emails and responding to relevant queries will increase your chances of securing media coverage and obtaining valuable backlinks for your website. 

Here are some tips for finding the best media queries for you on HARO:

  • Browse by category – HARO sorts queries into general topics like technology, business, health, and more. Choose relevant categories for you so you can provide quality information and responses.
  • Use keyword searches – Search for keywords and phrases related to your brand. These may be related to your products, services, skills, etc.
  • Set up alerts – Create alerts for specific keyword phrases so you get notified when there are relevant queries.
  • Check frequently – New queries are posted multiple times per day. Check back frequently and respond quickly.
  • Find personal name mentions – Search your personal name or company name for direct media mentions.

Here are some example HARO queries that provide great link building potential:

  • “What are the top mobile app development trends for 2022?”
  • “How can small retailers optimize their checkout flow to increase sales?”
  • “What workplace wellness tips would you suggest for remote workers?”

Crafting Link-Worthy HARO Responses

Writing compelling and informative responses is critical to getting published. Follow these tips for crafting strong HARO responses:

  • Provide data and statistics – Include researched numbers, stats, facts, and figures to make your response stand out. Data brings great value to reporters.
  • Share insider expertise and insights – Offer advice, tips, and knowledge on the topic as an industry expert. Provide unique perspectives.
  • Use examples and anecdotes – Bring your response to life by including real-world examples, case studies, anecdotes, and stories.
  • Add quotes – Quote yourself or colleagues to showcase first-hand experiences related to the topic. 
  • Include links strategically – Link to high-quality resources on your site, like data reports, in-depth guides, and more. Do not over-optimize so it doesn’t look like you’re only helping to get high-quality links. 
  • Keep it short – HARO recommends 2-3 concise paragraphs or 3-5 bullet points in most cases.
  • Focus on quality over quantity – It’s better to spend time making sure you have high-quality responses than trying to respond to as many queries as you can with sub-par quality.

Providing hard survey data and expert commentary like this can lead to a high-quality published link from a HARO response. Consider utilizing a professional HARO link-building service to maximize your chances of securing high-quality backlinks.

Here is an example of a well-written HARO link building outreach response:

There are a few key mobile app development trends that developers should keep top of mind for 2022, according to our recent survey of 300 app dev professionals:

  • Push notifications will become more intelligent and contextual using AI and user data. Our survey found that 67% of developers are planning more investment here. 
  • Security and encryption will be a top priority. Our data shows that 81% of users rank security as the 1 concern.
  • Low-code solutions will dominate as developers look to build apps faster. We found 93% of devs now use low/no-code tools.

Optimizing Your HARO Profile

Having an optimized HARO link building profile signals to reporters that you are a credible subject matter expert worth quoting. Take the time to fully optimize your HARO account profile to increase your chances of being published:

  • Complete bio – Include credentials, work history, media experience, published links, etc. They need to know who you are and what you’ve accomplished so they can find it easier to trust you.
  • Headshot – Add a professional headshot photo. Having a face they can associate with your name or brand builds credibility.
  • Skills and topics – List all topics and keywords on which you can provide expert quotes. People need to know what topics you’re an expert in so they know you’re the right person for their queries.
  • Content links – Provide links to 3-5 of your best articles, data reports, etc. Having samples of your work builds confidence and credibility.
  • Media list – List major media brands you’ve been featured in. Once they know who you’ve worked with, reporters will find it easier to trust your responses.

Following Up After Being Published

The work doesn’t stop once your response is published. Make sure to follow up with these best practices:

  • Thank the reporter/journalist for including your response. Building relationships leads to repeat opportunities.
  • Share the published piece on social media. Tag the journalist and publication.
  • Check the link. Request an editor link if you weren’t hyperlinked. 
  • Monitor traffic and referral data from the link.
  • Analyze the content for additional link-building opportunities. Can you replicate this success?

Following up properly ensures you maximize the SEO and brand benefits from each published HARO response.

Maximizing Your HARO Success with Social Media Engagement

Leverage social media to amplify the visibility of your HARO-acquired media mentions. Sharing your features on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook not only enhances your brand’s exposure but also signals to search engines the broader relevance and engagement of your content. Use hashtags related to your industry and tag the publication and journalist to increase reach and engagement.

HARO Link Building Results and Tips

So what types of publishing and linking results can you expect from HARO link building? Here are a few averages:

  • 3-5 relevant queries per day in your niche
  • Average DA of published links ~ 35-65
  • PA of links ~ 35-55 
  • 1-3 published links per week if responding consistently

To optimize your success rate, focus on responding to every relevant query for your niche and provide thoughtful, insightful answers. With consistency, you can build a steady stream of HARO backlinks each month.

Results Over Time

MonthQuery ResponsesPublished Links
1203
2405
3608

Here are a few additional tips:

  • Respond in 1-2 hours – Be the first to respond to queries to boost your chances of being chosen.
  • Follow guidelines – Always adhere to word counts and include your full name and title. 
  • Pitch exclusives – Offer publishers exclusive data or insights not found elsewhere.
  • Suggest headlines – Provide catchy titles to make the reporter’s job easier.
  • Repurpose and reuse content – Adapt your responses to reply to similar queries. No need to fully rewrite each time.

Navigating the Pitfalls: Common HARO Link Building Mistakes

Success with HARO is not just about responding to queries; it’s about crafting responses that stand out. A common pitfall is the scattergun approach—responding to too many queries without tailoring your pitches. 

To avoid this, focus on relevance and conciseness. Limit your responses to 200 words and ensure they provide unique insights or actionable tips. 

Remember, journalists are inundated with pitches; yours needs to offer clear, immediate value. Additionally, avoid generic responses. Customize your pitch to reflect your deep understanding of the query and the journalist’s needs, significantly increasing your chances of being featured.

Expanding Your Reach Beyond HARO: Alternatives for Diverse Link Building

While HARO stands as a powerful tool in the arsenal of SEO and PR professionals, diversifying your link-building efforts can amplify your results. Exploring alternatives to HARO link building not only broadens your potential for high-quality backlinks but also mitigates the risk of relying solely on one platform. 

Consider platforms like Qwoted, which specializes in connecting experts with journalists from high-authority publications, or SourceBottle, particularly popular in Australia and the UK, offering a wide range of media opportunities. Diversifying your approach ensures a steady stream of opportunities, catering to various niches and geographical locations.

Key Takeaways

To wrap up, here are the key takeaways on how to leverage HARO opportunities for link-building and boosting domain authority:

  • Check HARO frequently for relevant media queries in your industry
  • Craft insightful, data-rich responses to boost chances of being published  
  • Fully optimize your HARO link building profile to establish credibility
  • Follow up properly with journalists after getting links
  • Track referral traffic and optimize over time

Implemented consistently, a HARO link building strategy can yield dozens of high-quality backlinks each month. The powerful editorial links will rapidly enhance your domain authority and SERP rankings.  
If you found this guide useful, you can sign up for a free HARO account here and start responding to media queries in your niche today.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does HARO cost?

HARO Link Building offers a free membership tier that provides basic access. Paid memberships start at $149/month for expanded query filters, alerts, and analytics.

2. How long does it take to see results?

You can start seeing published links within a week or two of consistent responses. Building a steady stream of links takes time and daily effort.

3. What if I don’t have media experience?

No prior experience is required. You just need relevant expertise that reporters are seeking quotes on. Optimize your bio to establish credibility.

4. What sites will publish my responses?

HARO opportunities include big mainstream sites, newspapers, niche blogs, TV/radio, podcasts, and more. Most have relatively high DA and PA scores.

5. Are other link-building strategies better?

HARO Link Building complements other strategies like outreach, guest posting, and broken link building. A diversified approach is best for the strongest SEO results.

6. How can I optimize my success rate?

Beyond expert responses, optimize your profile, respond quickly, provide exclusives, follow guidelines, and develop relationships with journalists.

Conclusion

HARO link building is a proven way to earn high-quality backlinks from reputable publishers. HARO link building is also a great way to build your domain authority. By responding to relevant media queries in your niche, you can secure editorial links that will boost your SEO rankings. 

It’s also ideal to optimize your efforts over time so you can invest in the strategies that work for you. Along with other link-building tactics, incorporate HARO as a key component of your overall strategy.

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