Have you ever wondered how websites manage to get backlinks from reputable magazines, newspapers, journals and publications? If PR and marketing is a part of your strategy to promote your website, you need to explore the world of HARO (Help a Reporter Out).
In this article we’ll unravel the world of HARO and list our top 10 curated HARO case studies you can review to determine if investing in a HARO strategy is the right path for your company or web presence. Let’s dive in!
What is HARO?
HARO is an acronym for “Help a Reporter Out”, usually a free service used primarily by journalists and website owners. Journalists use HARO to send specific queries to the entire HARO database. Sources (e.g. experts or website owners) send pitches in response to those queries. If a pitch is landed or accepted by a journalist the content is then used in the article and the contributing source is cited.
Tried and trusted by millions of journalists and website owners worldwide, HARO is also used by reputable media outlets such as Forbes, New York Times, and more.
Why is HARO Helpful
The best part about HARO is that the requests can be about any niche, offering an equal opportunity for journalists and PR agencies or startups to contribute and gain value from it. HARO is beneficial for both content creators (e.g. journalists or bloggers with high domain authority) as well as subject matter experts (e.g. sources with a specific expertise in any niche). Some of the major benefits of using HARO for business include:
- Gaining visibility and authority in any industry
- Reach your target market
- Drive traffic to any website
- Increase discoverability
- Brand yourself as an industry expert
- Find relevant collaborators
In many cases HARO offers earned link building opportunities that are not easily sourced elsewhere.
How do you earn links on HARO?
HARO sends an email newsletter which includes queries submitted by journalists. These queries are generally divided into the following categories.
- Business and Finance
- High Tech
- Biotech and Healthcare
- Energy and Green Tech
- Lifestyle and Fitness
- Entertainment and Media
- Public Policy and Government
Thus, no matter what your industry is, you always have a possibility of achieving a backlink using HARO.
Below is an example of what a HARO newsletter looks like.
Clicking on any of the queries listed will lead you to the full query. See an example below.
The query typically includes:
- Query or brief explanation of what the journalist is looking for
- Submission requirements
- Submission deadline
- An anonymous email address for you to send your pitch, insights and commentary
Before we move on to the case studies of HARO, let’s take a quick look at how can you earn your first backlink using HARO.
Step 1: Register as a Source
Go to any HARO website and get yourself registered as a Source. Click no Subscribe Now to view all the plans available on the platform, including a Free Plan. Once you choose a plan and fill in your company details, you are all set to be registered to receive emails.
Step 2: Find Opportunities on HARO
Once you are registered with HARO, you will receive three emails daily from Monday to Friday at specific timelines. These emails will consist of queries displayed under different categories such as business, technology, healthcare, HR, etc.
Monitor these queries and find the most relevant ones to your expertise.
Remember. Your success rate of acquiring a quality backlink from HARO depends on how quickly you respond to a lead. Thus, ensure to be active on those specific timelines to keep track of the HARO emails you receive.
Step 3: Make Your Pitch
Responding to a query is similar to making a pitch in HARO. Journalists receive countless pitches, and if you want to get the backlink, you need to set your pitch apart.
The key is to keep your pitch short and crisp without compromising on the quality of details attached to the pitch.
Ensure to provide a bio that represents your authority the best way and ends with a solid call to action. This increases your chances of being discovered across millions of pitches and gets back to you with more queries.
Here’s a successful pitch that achieved an NBC News backlink for your reference:
Top 10 HARO Case Studies
Now that we know the importance of HARO and how you can achieve your first backlink, let’s check out the top 10 case studies on HARO for link building:
2 Year HARO Backlink Decay Case Study
Wonder what the results look like from the backlinks acquired with HARO work after several years? This case study from Link Sourcery, a journalist outreach platform, talks about the 2,100+ backlinks built in 2 years for a website and analyzes crucial aspects like how the backlinks changed with time?
The case study answers important questions like.
Do prominent publications that have the backlinks delete their old posts?
This case study is worth reading if you want to gain deep insight into the long term benefits of using the HARO before investing your time and energy into this outreach strategy. Fortunately, the results are affirmative here.
SaaS company earns Forbes backlink and 145,000 new website visitors
The popularity Signaturely currently has was not the same as a few years ago. This SaaS company facilitates electronic signatures for companies that can be used for legal purposes. The website started from scratch with 0 visitors, no domain authority, and no backlinks to their website.
Using HARO link building, the results were so incredible that the owners of Signaturely even hired the agency for their other two websites, Uplead and Messagely.
The HARO link building strategy used here brought a massive hike in their traffic, which started from 0 to 145,000 visitors every month.
Guess the best part? The ROI yielded with this HARO strategy for Signaturely was 10X higher than their initial investment. Their estimated traffic value was a whopping $493,00!
Website yields backlinks from websites with an average DA of 53 in six weeks
Passive Income Superstars is a blog dedicated to readers interested in affiliate marketing, email marketing and blogging. The blog owner explored the HARO strategy for about 6 weeks and had submitted more than 40 responses.
With a 28% publish rate of their pitches, the blog achieved multiple backlinks from websites with domain authority ranging from 37 to 81. Some of them were from renowned websites in the digital marketing space like Thrive Global, Databox and Upcity.
Website flipping company earns 12 backlinks in 3 months
WebsiteFlip.com is a newsletter company that sends out regular newsletters on different niches across its subscribers. They hired an outreach agency and solely relied on HARO for their link building and brand discoverability efforts under the business and finance niche. Within 3 months, they received 12 backlinks from popular websites such as AppSumo, DataBox, GoodFirms, etc.
This case study also has a detailed HARO strategy for its readers which is exceptional if you are looking for insights on how to get backlinks from the finance industry experts.
Link building service ranks #1 on Google SERP using HARO
LinkBuilder.io is an agency that offers link building and other SEO strategies to companies worldwide, and they boast HARO to be one of their top-rated strategies for link building. Their company currently ranks at the top for the following keywords:
- Link Building Agency
- Link Building Company
- Link Building Expert
They acquired backlinks from many authoritative websites such as LegalZoom, RavenTools and more. This case study is mere proof that HARO genuinely works when done accurately. It is all about how a link building company shares their secret in HARO that not only helps their business rank higher in the SERPs but is used for their customers too!
Marketing company earns backlinks from DA 70+ websites in 3 months
CleverTouchMarketing is a marketing agency that started exploring the benefits of HARO with their own website, which they even continued on their client’s websites too. They managed to gain backlinks from websites like Forbes, Medium, CEO Blog Nation and many more. They focused on sending pitches to DA 30+ and niche specific websites only, which is an excellent practice in HARO.
They submitted an average of 27 pitches and received an 87% publishing rate which is enormous. Not only did they successfully get published on so many renowned websites, but the website owner even got an interview call for a PR opportunity too!
SEO agency earned 33 backlinks in 6 hours
In this case study, Engine Scout is an SEO agency based in Melbourne that created a 10-minute backlink formula that helped them build 33 backlinks in 6 hours or 1 new backlink every 10 minutes! One of the backlinks was from a website with DA 90! Crazy, right? This case study is worth reading if you have tried the basics of the HARO strategy and have had no luck yet, as the minute details mentioned in the case study can make a significant difference in your HARO efforts too!
Educational website increased their DR from 0 to 30 with HARO
This case study in Project Cashflow 3 by Diggity Marketing has a very lengthy yet fruitful approach for new websites to get more backlinks and increase website revenue using HARO. With their HARO strategy, their amazon revenue in 2021 went up to $337.95, which is tremendous growth for a brand new website! They have even discussed how websites like LeadSpring, etc., have improved their portfolio with HARO.
Analysis of the effectiveness of HARO from 2,500 queries
This case study by Zestard Technologies has a detailed analysis of 2,500 queries under the digital marketing niche. You can get a decent insight on the number of published vs non-published queries, the number of publishers linking back to the source, average DR and organic traffic of these websites, and so much more. If you are looking for real-time statistics of a website that analyses the effectiveness of HARO, this case study is apparently your best shot. Take some time out to read this case study, and you can also get some insights on the niches that receive the highest number of queries which increases your chances of getting your pitch approved and acquiring a backlink from a reputed website!
Travel company earns 7 backlinks from renowned sources with 137 pitches
What nobody told you about HARO is that it is extremely time-taking yet rewarding. Most website owners jump to the HARO strategy in pursuit of attaining backlinks from renowned sources and give up within the first few pitches.
Contentellect, a content marketing and SEO agency worked to build backlinks for a travel company, Mountain IQ, and the results were insane.
Not only does this case study offer a unique approach and complete proof of the mention of their client’s website in the other sources, but it also displays how tiresome it can get. They started in 2020, and to date, they are working on acquiring backlinks for the website. Till now, they have received 7 backlinks after sending out 137 pitches in HARO.
Sure, the efforts in HARO sound very disheartening, yet the best part is the outcome. The backlinks they received were from websites with DR ranging from 70 – 93!
Final Thoughts on HARO Case Studies
Link building is not just about acquiring a larger number of links for your website. The goal is to gain quality backlinks within your niche for your link building strategy to display results. The HARO(Help a Reporter Out) is one such strategy that has offered proven results to millions of websites worldwide and is even relevant in 2022. For a successful HARO strategy, ensure to check all your emails, respond to the maximum number of queries within your niche, and stay patient. The longer you sustain the strategy, the better are your chances of building backlinks from the most reputable sources.