SEO Outreach: Gain a Competitive Edge by Running Display Ads

handIdentifying and leveraging SEO opportunities is at the core of achieving organic search dominance. This process is particularly critical for large companies.

Big brands have an inherent SEO advantage that, if leveraged, can lead to unrivaled organic performance. The existence of such advantages sparks debate during every industry conference Q&A session. Usually these debates focus on paid search spend influence, immunity to algorithm updates, etc., most of which are pure noise.

So what proven advantages can large companies leverage to gain a competitive edge?

Prospecting Quality Lists

Most professionals agree targeted outreach is at the core of any successful link building campaign. The process of executing a results-oriented outreach strategy is time consuming (read: expensive).

Prospecting and prioritizing relevant, authoritative targets is a critical step in this process. Large brands possess this inherent advantage: Targeted prospecting is done by Google and other large media networks for free.

This unknown fact enables certain companies to generate high-quality, extremely relevant lists with the click of a button. How do they do it?

Executing display campaigns on various media networks, such as Google Display Network (GDN), ValueClick, and Yahoo. The majority of display networks will provide transparency into ad placements which can be used as the backbone of outreach campaigns for your SEO program. So how does it work?

If you're currently running ads on Google Display Network (GDN), exporting your prospect list is easy. Within any campaign, navigate to the “display network” tab, as seen below:


Once there, simply click on “placements” within the sub navigation.

Finally, filter for “automatic placements” to pull up your list along with KPIs such as clicks, CTR, etc. (KPI information by placement is only available on GDN. Other vendors only provide basic site information where your ad was displayed.)

These exported prospects are guaranteed to be relevant to your site in the eyes of Google. The algorithm Google uses to match advertising sites within GDN is built off the same relevance algorithm used for organic search. This saves tons of time having to manually qualifying each site. As a result, more time can be spent on persuasively communicating your value proposition.

Have a Unique Value Proposition

Executing a successful outreach campaign isn’t just about prospecting quality lists. It’s critical to have a unique value proposition when communicating with bloggers.

The number of companies executing outreach campaigns is rising by the day. Most are using the same tools, social networks and advanced search parameters to build their prospect lists. Over time, only those with unique value propositions will receive responses.

Even following great outreach guides like this one from Neil Patel becomes less effective over time. Why? Everyone reads these guides and uses their templates. Running display advertising provides a unique value proposition which can dramatically increase success rates.

Bloggers and webmasters want to make money (surprise!). Part of their revenue stream is generated from users clicking on ads.

If the content on the page mentions the same brand being served in on-site advertising, the click-through rate on the ads will increase. This connection and increase in revenue for the blogger is the unique value proposition that will set you apart. As an added bonus, your display campaign will also benefit from these incremental clicks.


Executing successful outreach campaigns is a sure-fire way to drive continual organic performance long term. As outreach continues to increase in popularity, unique and creative tactics become critical.

If your company or client is running display ads, you have an inherent advantage in both prospecting targets and establishing a value proposition.

Looking for additional outreach ideas and don’t have any display campaigns? Check out this post outlining three unique ways to identify link prospects.

About the author

George Fischer is the SEO Director at Response Mine Interactive (RMI) where he is responsible for managing all aspects of Response Mine’s search engine optimization (SEO) media operations including the design of SEO product offerings such as local search and reputation management. In addition, Fischer is responsible for pitching Response Mine SEO offerings to potential clients while exploring new organic opportunities with existing clients.

Fischer joined Response Mine in 2008 as a Marketing Leadership Associate where he managed Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns for clients such as Home Depot and Rooms To Go and assisted clients with their SEO operations.

He was promoted to SEO Manager in 2009 and then to Senior SEO Manager in 2010 where he was responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of SEO for all clients. Fischer also assisted in the acquisition of new business and forecasted incremental revenue gains based upon various keyword ranking improvements in these positions.

In 2011, Fischer became SEO Supervisor where he hired, managed, trained and grew RMI’s SEO media staff. He also examined and collaborated on cross channel marketing strategies for paid search, display and affiliate and maximized the quality of the agency’s SEO offerings by researching and testing the latest and best in class SEO tactics available.

Fischer earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School with a dual concentration in marketing and organization management.