Search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved dramatically over just the past three to five years. The release of more recent search algorithm updates by Google in December 2020 signaled the beginning of the end for SEO strategies that attempted to trick search engines into ranking them. They made way for more customer-friendly White Hat SEO techniques to shine.
But the fact remains the number of quality backlinks to a website remains a ranking factor. If you do not have a plan to earn quality links, then having a technically optimized site and amazing content may still not achieve the visibility you need. But the quality of your backlinks matters because links that attempt to manipulate search rankings will harm your website.
The Outreach Method is the most effective way to earn backlinks that demonstrate that you care about customer experience and aren’t trying to one-up Google’s algorithm. But even with that, there are two primary schools of thought: Sniper Vs. Shotgun.
What Is the Shotgun Method of Link Earning?
As any Texan familiar with firearms may have guessed, the shotgun method is designed to cover a lot of ground at once. You don’t have to take so much time to aim with a shotgun. You can shoot quickly, but you have less control over what you hit with the scatter.
How does this apply to Outreach link building? In this method, you gather a list of prospect websites in your niche, so you do aim in a general direction. You then quickly and generally assess the kind of content they may want to link to and reach out to each website, often through the contact page or an email if it’s easily accessible.
Your messages are very generic, and you send the same one to many people at once, knowing that only a small percentage of them will respond.
Benefits of the Shotgun Method
You can cover a lot of ground quickly. You don’t waste too much time on any one prospect so there’s no significant time loss if only 3 to 4 out of 100 reply. The trade-off is that you may be burning a lot of bridges since people recognize a scripted message. So just like a shotgun, it may cover a lot of ground but only for a short distance.
What Is the Sniper Method of Link Earning?
On the other hand, the sniper method takes some time to narrow a list of prospects to the ones most likely to be open to building a longer-term collaboration. You learn about what the people who run the website are looking for and compare that to your content assets.
You then compose a personalized message the earns an open and shows you’ve taken some time to figure out what they will find useful.
The sniper method doesn’t think of a website as a thing, but rather sees the people behind it and recognizes that you have to connect with people to achieve your goals.
The Benefits of Sniper Method
Sniper Method has a higher response rate and is more likely to generate quality links over a period of time. These are links that not only help your SEO, they also drive targeted traffic.
The sniper method gives you an opportunity to turn one link into many because you’re networking and can continue to add value to your contact and their website. When you nurture that partnership, collaborations can also blossom beyond links into an influencer relationship that expands your reach.
The sniper method is a better long-term plan for SEO, website health, and business growth. But there is a trade-off. It can feel like an uphill battle for a while. You take so much time to prepare each pitch and some will not pay off.
Why You Want to Be a Sniper
Only around 8.5% of outreach emails get a response when you combine all cold email outreach. But sniper outreach tactics significantly increase your odds of earning that quality link from a prospect.
Backlinko did a large Outreach Email Study and found that the following sniper strategies make a big difference.
- Personalization of the subject line increases the open rate by 30.4%.
- Personalizing the email body increases the response rate by 33%.
- Following up doubles the response rate.
- Following up more than once increases the response rate by 160%
- Sending emails to multiple relevant people in an organization increases the response rate by 93%.
- Adding your company’s social media links in the email so they can check you out increases the response rate by an average of 12%.
When you compound those increases, you’ve drastically changed your success rate as a sniper.
Sniper Vs. Shotgun Outreach Methods to Boost Your SEO
Outreach is the best way to earn quality links consistently. But how you earn those links matters. The best links are earned when you provide value to another website, its owner, and its audience. The sniper outreach method helps you target precisely to grow a healthy website and business.