How to Conduct Interviews to Build Links

In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to conduct interviews on your site and promote them in order to generate backlinks and PR.

Who is this Strategy Useful for?

This strategy is great for webmasters with news, blog and agency websites who want to add some more evergreen content and linkbait to their site. It also works for ecommerce owners if you have a blog section too.

This strategy doesn’t work so well for local businesses or individuals. Ideally you need a large enough industry where you can publish numerous interviews with experts on the same page and find enough bloggers to link to the interview. A great example of a website that uses this strategy is

What Interview Format Works Best?

You can use three different methods for recording and publishing interviews on your site:

  1. Written Text Interview
  2. Podcast Interview (Audio Only)
  3. Full Video Screen Interview

In most cases, you’ll find that a written text interview works best because it is the easiest to conduct. There’s no need to schedule a specific interview time because the interview questions can be answered over email or Skype. This makes it far more convenient for the interviewer. It also enables you to publish multiple interviews on the same page.

Podcast and video interviews also work well; however with videos you need to spend time editing the video and surroundings in order to make it look professional. From personal experience, video interviews via webcam or Google Hangout can look very amateurish and boring.

The easiest way to record a video interview on a Mac (without having to download any software) is to open QuickTime player and click on New Screen Recording:

If you do decide to conduct a video interview, make sure you publish the full video transcript on the same page. This allows users to scan the interview content quickly and also helps to rank the video in SEO. You can get this done very cheaply and quickly from from just $1 per minute of video/audio.

How to Find Interview Targets in your Industry:

Finding targets to interview on your blog is a similar process to doing guest blogging outreach. The following tools and ideas will help you with your interview outreach.

  1. – Submit Requests to Interview Spokespersons is a tool that helps journalists and bloggers get in touch with spokespersons and visa versa. It is by far the best tool for conducting interviews and outreach. It’s 100% free to send interview pitches too.

In order to use the site, simply click on “Send Request” under the Journalists header. You can then fill in the details for who you’re looking for. If you’re looking to conduct interviews then choose the “Spokesperson” dropdown option.

Once you send your interview pitch, you’ll usually be contacted by PR agencies (who represent the spokesperson or brand) within 7-10 days. Occasionally you’ll receive responses directly from the spokesperson. You’ll then be able to communicate and plan your interview with your target accordingly.

  1. HARO – Send Requests to Interview Spokespersons

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is another useful outreach tool similar to Like before, simply click on “Submit Query” and fill in the information for who you’re looking for along with your contact details.

Note that HARO is mainly for the US therefore you’re less likely to find suitable pitches from Europe or other countries. You also can’t use HARO for guest post enquiries.

  1. – Find Authorities in your Niche to Interview is an outreach tool that allows you to search and contact influential figures in your niche. The reason you want to contact influential figures is because they’ll provide a more interesting interview that will gain more attention.

In order to get started, simply search for your topic or keyword in Then click on Influencers at the top of the screen to see the most important influencers in your niche.

In addition to showing the top influencers, also shows you the contact details, URL and likeliness of that person to reply to your Tweet if you reach out to them.

  1. Search Google for keyword + “interview with”

Finally, you can try searching Google for interview targets. Simply search your topic/keyword and the keyword “interview with” to display the results (the reason I use the nomenclature “interview with” is to avoid job interview query results). You can then try re-interviewing previous interview candidates. Note, you can also try a similar tactic using

How to Promote the Finished Interview:

Once you’ve published the interview on your site, it’s time to get promoting.

First and foremost you want to send it to your interview target so that he can that check all is OK. You should also encourage him to share the interview or ask him if he can link to it from his site.

Now there’s a few ways to promote the interview…

  1. Submit a Press Release:

Press releases are an age old tactic that still works well especially if you have an interesting subject title such as “Professor Reveals 5 Reasons why Facebook will Fail.”

Sign up to a service such as or to submit the press release. Make sure you link to your interview in the body of the press release so that journalists can find it. You can also read our lesson on writing a Press Release here.

  1. Find Previously Published Interviews of your Target

Once you’ve found previous interviews that your subject has done (e.g. by searching name+”interview” in Google), you can crawl the URLs and find out who shared them using You can then reach out to these same people (via email or Twitter), who will be likely to link or share your interview to their users.


Similarly, you can do a backlink analysis of former interviews and reach out to websites and journalists who linked to the previous interview. If you want to save time doing this method, you can also export the CSV backlinks file and then import it into your account. This step will automatically provide contact information for those URLs and simplify the outreach process.

  1. Reach Out to Industry News Sites and Bloggers

Finally, you can do a bit of manual outreach to promote your interview. This strategy is a lot easier depending on the authority and credence of your interview target as well as the interest level of your interview.

In order to do this method, simply search Google for major news sites in your industry that might be interested in your interview. Make sure your tailor a personalized email to them as seen in our lesson. You can also offer to provide a personalized write up for the interview (similar to a guest post).

How to Use PR to Build Links

PR (Public Relations) has become one of the newest and most successful methods for link building over the last 12 months. In this lesson, we’ll explain what PR is, how to use PR to build links, and the advantages/disadvantages of doing so.

What is PR?

PR is the process of promoting your website, product or service to the public and managing relationships. This may include promoting your service directly to customers, journalists, bloggers or other businesses in your industry.

The sort of things that fall under the umbrella of PR and SEO includes:

  • Building relationships with other people (including businesses, bloggers and journalists)
  • Interviews and spokesperson for the media
  • Press releases, news and industry reports
  • Infographics

Why is PR Important for SEO?

Because of the increased competitiveness of SEO and the devaluation of guest blogging, PR has become an increasingly important facet in the link building process.

One of the main reasons why PR has become important is because the future of SEO is about getting links from stronger, more authority sites. This is in contrast to buying links from low quality sites or engaging in mass guest posting. It’s simply not possible to scale a guest posting strategy while maintaining quality; where as in PR it’s very easy to scale your approach.

In order to do PR properly, you need to invest in building strong personal relationships with other businesses, bloggers and media contacts. You also need to regularly publish high quality content, new products or features on your site that are worth doing PR for.

For example, if you’re releasing a new survey or report on your site than you may wish to combine this with an engaging infographic and press releas. You can then publish this on your site and do outreach as a way of building links and relationships.

Non-Linked Citations across the Web Likely Help with SEO

According to a recent poll at, 40% of experts in the SEO industry believe that even non-links brand citations can help with your search engine rankings.

Non-linked citations and seo

For example, if someone mentions the URL “” in an article then this could be a very important ranking signal to Google. After all, it’s still a vote or reference to that site, which is why Google relied so heavily on backlinks in their Page Rank algorithm in the first place. Therefore, even if you don’t earn links from the PR process you can still earn non-linked citations from news articles and comments.

What are the Downsides to using PR for SEO?

The biggest downside to PR is that many of the methods are time consuming, resource intensive and a little hit-and-miss.

For example, you can easily spend £300 on a press release from and get no pickup. This might be because of a busy news day or a lack of interest in your niche. If you’re unlucky, someone else might have recently published a similar press release to the same group of journalists that over shadowed your own.

On the opposite end, it might take only one major news publication (such as the Mail Online) to pick up your story and it suddenly gets rewritten across dozens of other news sites.

How to Use PR to Build Links:

There are a number of ideas, methods and software you can use to run a PR campaign.

With regards to ideas for PR, you can use any of the following…

  1. Develop great tools and useful features to solve an industry problem
  2. Publish controversial surveys and news on your site
  3. Run webinars and publish presentations on your site
  4. Do interviews with the media
  5. Conduct interviews or podcasts on your own site
  6. Run competitions for customers
  7. Publish a white paper report
  8. Publish viral or educational infographics

We may write additional articles to cover each one in full, but in the mean time you can take a look at the solutions below.

  1. Interviews and Spokesperson

You can use tools such as HARO (free) and (around £300 per industry category) to receive journalist enquiries to your inbox. Journalists will typically be looking for a spokesperson or product to feature in their magazine competition, special event or TV show.

In return for sending your products out, doing interviews or providing expert spokesperson quotes for their articles, you’ll normally receive a free link and citation back to your site. is particularly useful for ecommerce business owners.

  1. Press Releases and Newswire Services

Press releases can be used when you launch a new product, website feature or industry report. For example, if you’ve released the results of a controversial industry survey then you can use a press release to send this out to interested journalists, bloggers and reporters. You can learn more about writing a press release here.

The best press release services include, which costs around $400 and is global only, and

You can also use cheaper PR services that reach fewer journalists such as ($40) and you can even contact a PR/SEO agency to do the outreach for you such as and

  1. Manual Outreach

Unlike press releases, manual outreach involves writing personalized emails or sending to Tweets to various journalists or bloggers. This can be far more time consuming but generally receives much better results.

Useful tools for manual outreach includes (for managing communications and contacts), (for finding authorities in your niche) and (for finding key influences and sharers in any topic).

Send Emails from within the BuzzStream System

  1. Infographics

Use websites such as (£500 per infographic), or to find designers to publish infographics for your brand. You can then do manual outreach for these as covered in our other lesson. Learn more about using infographics for link building here.

      5. Interview Experts and Spokespersons on your Site

Use tools such as to send free requests to interview experts and spokespersons in your niche. You can also ask the people you interview to help promote and share the article. This includes them linking back to it from their own site or blog.Remember, people love a good ego boost promoting interviews of themselves on other sites.

6. Publish Slideshare presentations and webinars on your site allows you to post presentations on your own website using HMTL sourcecode. You can similarly record and publish any webinars or Google+ Hangouts you do on your site to help build backlinks.

Submitting your Site to Local Directories

In this short lesson, we’ll explain how to submit your site to niche directories to help your SEO. We’ll also teach you the risks, Google’s stance on this strategy and how to avoid low-quality directories.

What are Website Directories?

Many websites provide directories that you can submit your business or site to. Two of the most well known directories include Best of the Web ( and Yahoo Directory.

How to Find High Quality, Relevant Directories to Submit your Site

The advantage of submitting your site to authority, relevant directories are to build natural backlinks that helps with the SEO process. Submitting your site on niche directories can also generate traffic and help Google understand the topical nature of your site.

Three of the biggest directory sites you should submit your site to include (free),  ($160) and the Yahoo! Directory ($299). In order to submit your site, simply look for the “Submit Site” link and follow the onscreen instructions.

BOTW Directory Submission

Whether or not you decide to submit your site to Yahoo! Is up to you. According to a Poll from, only 25% of SEOs believe it is still worth submitting to.

In order to help you find additional niche directories in your industry, try using the following advanced search queries in Google:

  • “keyword” directory – This command will search for directories that include your business keywords
  • intitle: keyword directory – This command will search for pages that includes “keyword directory” in the actual page title. This helps to filter the results for pages with specific directories on them.
  • intitle:keyword resources and intitle: keyword useful sites – Theses command will find pages that include useful resources and lists based around your keyword(s). You can then email these sites and ask if they can add yours to it.

For example, if you run a kosher butchers shop then you can search for kosher butcher directories and link opportunities using “intitle: kosher butcher directory”.

The Importance of Local City Directories for SEO

Local directory submissions and citations are extremely important for local SEO, as covered in our lesson on the subject.

If you run a local business or service then you should aim to submit your site to as many high quality, relevant directories as possible. Good examples include local council sites, and

How Google Handles Paid Directories

Over time, a number of low-quality directories have been created with the sole purpose of selling links for SEO. Obviously, this violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and you should avoid submitting your site to such directories to prevent getting an SEO penalty.

Google’s stance against submitting your site to low-quality directories can be seen in their Google Link Guidelines below:

Google’s Webmaster Guideline Link Schemes Violations

Furthermore, according to Matt Cutts (Google’s Head of Search Quality), you should avoid submitting your site to low quality directories with little user value or editorial control. When deciding to submit your site to a directory check that it’s a legitimate directory built for users and not just for selling links.

He also clearly states however that it is perfectly fine to submit your site to editorial paid directories, referencing Yahoo! Directory as an example. Whatever you do, avoid getting conned into using automated software that promises to automatically submit your site to “100s of high quality directories”. No such thing exists.

The Beginners Guide to Link Building with Infographics

Infographics have become an increasingly popular form of marketing over the last few years. They can be used to build links, brand awareness and social shares. In this lesson, we’re going to explain how to use infographics to build links, manage your outreach and how to hire an infographic designer.

Why Are Infographics Important for Link Building?

As explained on this article on, infographics still provide a number of link building opportunities in SEO.

For example, infographics can be used:

  • To help promote data, trends and survey results alongside a PR
  • To explain complex information in a simpler, digestible format
  • To increase brand awareness or promote thought leadership in an industry
  • To take advantage of trending subjects and news jacking
  • To create a useful evergreen resource that acquires links over time
  • To be funny and go viral

All of the above can be used as part of your link building strategy.

One of the greatest advantages of infographics is that they can be used to earn links in notoriously hard industries such as gaming and payday loans. By creating an infographic that can be promoted across a range of industries, you’ll be able to diversify the number and types of links to your site.

For example, is a mobile casino affiliate site that published an infographic on the growth of mobile gambling to a $100 billion industry. The infographic was subsequently republished shares on dozens of technology portals and news sites including,, and

The types of infographics that have the most success are generally those that are tailored to a very specific niche or subject (where you can do targeted outreach), help explain a topic or contain interesting news and data. For example, this infographic on the life of Steve Jobs (published shortly after his death) was picked up by and received more than 8,000 social shares.

It also goes without saying that the success of an infographic will be aided by the design, readability and quality.

Struggling for Ideas for your Infographic?

If you’re struggling for ideas of what type of infographic will have the most success for your audience then I highly recommend using a tool called allows you to search the web for different types of content (such as infographics) in different keywords/industries and see which ones performed best in terms of social shares.

For example, you can see an example of the best performing infographics in “content marketing” over the last 6 months below:

Promotion Strategies for Infographics

Ideally you should plan your promotion strategy and outreach targets before you begin the infographic design (especially if it’s time sensitive).

Depending on your budget, you may wish to use a PR newswire service such as ($300) or The advantage of is that you can include the infographic in the press release.

If your infographic is on a particular topic, I recommend searching for sites that covered that topic recently in either Google or Twitter. You can use the advanced search function in Google to search for results from within the last 30 days. The reason I do this is because if a site has covered your topic recently than they’re more likely to be interested in publishing or linking to your infographic.

Secondly, search Google or use to search for previous infographics in your industry. This gives you a list of targets who previously published infographics on the topic and may be willing to publish yours. Simply search “keyword+infographic” in Google to find a list of targets.

A great tactic for promoting your infographic through social media is to use (mentioned above) to find the most shared infographics. You can then click on “View Shares” to see a list of Twitter users and their contact details, who you can Tweet with your latest infographic:

Hiring an Infographic Designer

infographicdesignerThere are a couple of solutions to ordering an infographic designer. You can either use an infographic design agency, such as, or you can hire a freelance infographic designer from a graphic workroom site such as or

The price of an infographic can vary depending on the quality and experience of the designer. Typically you should expect to pay around $400 – $1,000 for the design (including revisions and drafts). Make sure you check their portfolio before you choose a designer.

It also helps to have a very clear brief with the contents of your infographic as well as reference as many other infographics as possible. This helps the designer understand your design criteria. Typically you should expect to wait 7-10 days to receive your first draft and then 1-2 days for each revision thereafter.

Guest Blogging Tips for Link Building

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging is the process of contributing expert content to other sites in return for link or brand awareness.

In the old days, guest blogging was done by authors and experts in order to build up their authority and audience on larger sites.

However, over time that changed as many webmasters and SEO agencies relied on guest blogging in order to build links for their clients.

Does Guest Blogging Fall within Google’s Link Scheme Guidelines?

Yes and no. Depending on the quality, you can fall outside of Google’s guidelines. Unfortunately, the quality of guest blogging over the years has gone down hill; almost to the point where guest blogging is seen as against Google’s webmaster guidelines.

The problem started years ago when many webmasters and SEOs began to outsource and automate the process of guest posting (in order to save money) by using automated tools and low quality writers.

Google responded to this in November 2012 by stating that they would consider taking action against low quality guest posts. You can see the video below:


Thus, while low quality, automated guest posting is clearly against Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines, high quality content written by experts on authority sites is still a good way to earn links. Examples of high quality sites that still accept external guest contributions include,,, and many more.

 Example of a Guest Post Link in the Author Bio

How to Find Great Sites to Guest Blog On:

There are literally hundreds of ways for finding high quality, relevant sites to guest blog on. Many of these depend on the level of quality that you’re looking for and how narrow your search criteria are.

For example, many black hat SEOs still recommend automated guest blogging software such as GSA Search Engine Ranker, Link Emperor and Xrumer – all of which violate Google’s Quality guidelines.

Thus, in order to stay on Google’s good sides and avoid getting your site penalised, you should instead focus on building real relationships with other bloggers in your industry and try to contribute high quality content on authority, relevant sites.

  1. Searching Google for Guest Post Opportunities

This is the most tried and tested method for finding guest post opportunities.

Essentially it involves searching websites that have a “guest posts” solicitation page that you can apply to write for.

In order to find sites in your industry that accept guest posts, use the following function in Google (replace the keyword with your industry or topic):

  • keyword “submit a guest post”
  • keyword “guest post”
  • “keyword” intitle:”write for us”
  • “guest post” intitle:“keyword”

All of these functions essentially look for websites with pages that offer guest post opportunities. The “intitle:” function above simply means Google will search for pages with that specific keyword in the title tag. This allows you to increase the accuracy of your results more.

  1. Researching your Competitor’s Backlinks

Another method for finding guest post opportunities is to analyze your competitors backlinks and copy their guest post targets. In order to do this, simply following the SEO competition research explained in this page to view your competitor’s backlinks.

  1. Find Authority Guest Bloggers in your Niche

If you know any high profile guest bloggers in your niche then you can simply search for their name in Google to see any guest posts they’ve written. You can also use the function “full name” guest post.

What to Look for in a Potential Guest Post Site?

The main things you should look for are authority (e.g. high Page Toolbar Rank or DA/PA), quality and topical relevance when searching for good guest blogging opportunities. You can read our guide on analyzing the value of links for more information.

Remember that in order to write for good sites, you’ll need to build relationships with the owners and write a good, personalized outreach email that we’ll discuss in another article.

Use PR Tools such as to Help Manage your Outreach Process (from $29.99/month) is a must-have PR/Link building software that allows you to find high quality guest post opportunities and manage your outreach process all within a single backend. It saves you time and hassle by finding quality guest blogging opportunities and managing the communications for all of your link prospects.

You can also “pin” websites that you find online with the click of a button. It’ll then add that site to your account, automatically find the contact details and display valuable page metrics (e.g. Page Rank and Authority) for you to analyze.


As seen here, monitors the relationship stage of your conversations:

Send emails from within the software:

Send Emails from within the BuzzStream System

Furthermore, you can also import a CSV file of existing URLs and outreach targets into the program for you. This is useful if you’re exporting a list of your competitors’ backlinks through or

Writing an Outreach Email

In the next lesson, we’ll teach you how to write a successful outreach email for guest blogging and PR.

How to Evaluate the Quality of Backlinks

This lesson will explain how Google applies different weights to backlinks and how you can measure the quality of links in your link building campaign.

Why is the Quality of Backlinks Important?

As covered in our earlier lesson on link building, backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors in SEO, however not all links are treated equally.

Rather than just calculate the quantity of links pointing to a webpage, Google also takes into account the authority, relevance, position and editorial nature of those links.

The most important thing when analyzing link prospects is that bad links can hurt your SEO. SEO is meant to be a natural, organic process and Google penalizes websites that violate their Webmaster Guidelines with paid, manipulated or low quality links. You can use the processes on this page in order to avoid accidentally building low quality or spammy links to your site.

Methods that Google Uses to Measures the Authority of Links:

1. Domain Authority, Page Authority and Toolbar Page Rank

The most important factor for determining the quality of the link is the link authority of the website’s homepage and linking page.

As covered in our article describing how Page Rank works, the Page Rank model is based on link equity and link flow. The higher the authority of the website’s homepage and linking page, the more valuable the link.

The easiest way to calculate the authority of the homepage and linking page is by using’s tool, which shows the respective Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA), scored out of 100, for a given URL. The higher both of these numbers are, the more valuable the link is. As you can see below, has a DA of 84 and a PA of 86 (very high).

Example of the Backlink Checker Tool with DA and PA Metrics has another tool called “Trust Flow” and “Citation Flow”, which also aims to measure the link authority of a URL. The former is based on the number of “trusted” domains pointing to the website while the latter is based on the number of citations to the brand’s homepage. Essentially, the higher both of these numbers, the more valuable a link from that site will be. Personally, I prefer to use the DA/PA metrics above rather then Majestic’s, however they can both be used together for greater accuracy.

Finally, many SEO agencies also use the Page Rank Toolbar to calculate the authority of a webpage when ascertaining the value of a link from it. However, Toolbar Page Rank has become increasingly unreliable in the last 2 years and less frequently updated.

2. Relevance of the Website or Article

In addition to measuring the authority of websites, Google must also be able to understand the relevance and topical nature of a specific website or page. This is because as part of the search process, Google must not only deliver high quality results but also relevant results for the user’s query.

One of the primary methods Google uses to understand the topical relevance of a webpage is through its backlinks and the anchor text of those backlinks. Getting backlinks from relevant websites or pages that closely match the subject your website will help a lot in ranking for your keywords.

For example, if you run a dog training website that has links from other dog training websites, blogs and pet owners, then this would be more valuable than links from off-topic articles such as football news, sports and economic affairs.

3. Overall Look, Brand Signals, UX and Content Quality of the Website

While link authority is still very important in SEO, Google has got much better at analyzing the on-page quality of a website, which includes its design, content quality, brand signals and overall user experience.

In fact, all of these factors made up parts of the Panda algorithm, which was rolled into Google’s core search algorithm in 2013. This illustrates just how important Google views all of these factors in SEO.

As such, when deciding whether you want to receive a link from a site, you should scrutinize the overall quality of the site’s content, whether they have strong brand and social signals, and the overall look and feel of the site. If it’s high quality with excellent content, it’s likely to be a very valuable site to receive a link from.

In contrast, if the content is low quality, spun content or lacking in value, you should think twice about getting a link from that site.

4. Editorial Nature, Comments and Freshness of a Page

Following on from the above, Google has also began to add more weight to pages or articles with greater editorial control or that are updated more frequently.

This is because pages that are updated more frequently are likely to have greater editorial control and value, which is what backlinks were originally designed to measure.

Pages that regularly receive new links or comments help to keep the page fresh (as Google sees that the content of the page changes), therefore links from such pages will be more valuable.


5. Prominence and Position of your Link on the Page

Google’s original Page Rank algorithm was designed to attribute weighting to backlinks in order to rank websites. As part of this formula, links that were higher up the page and more likely to be clicked would pass more link value than the others.

In the following video, although Matt Cutts (head of Google’s Search Team) explains that the order of links on a page isn’t important for SEO, he also backtracks on this statement by saying he wouldn’t make the most important link the 1001th on the page.

We also now know that if you have two links pointing to the same URL on a webpage, Google will only “count” the anchor text of the first link on the page.

In January 2014, Matt Cutts also warned SEOs against the practice of guest blogging. This could mean that backlinks in the author profile at the bottom of a page may pass even less value than before, as predicted by this article 12 months earlier.

6. The Number of Outbound Links on a Page

The Page Rank algorithm works by calculating the link authority and link equity of a specific webpage. This can informally be called “link flow”. The more external links you have on a page, the more diluted the link flow becomes and the less weight will be passed through your link.

Therefore, backlinks from pages with fewer external links will pass more authority than pages with dozens or 100s of external links (e.g. directories).