Everything you need to know about SEO, delivered every Thursday.
The Domino Effect Of Links & Relationships
Link building can, and should, be a domino effect. A good solid link should lead to more good, solid links, but do we always pursue links with this in mind? I confess that I don’t always.
Sometimes a link is just a link, and that’s where it ends, but moving forward in the wake of the recent algorithm updates, I think we’ll all be better off if we try to build links that build links.
Along with that, since I firmly believe that building relationships builds links, we’ll talk about how to do that, too. It’s simple and easy but sometimes the simple and easy methods are the most overlooked.
It used to be popular to link to sites that linked to you so that you’d enjoy a bit more link juice. Like many things in SEO and link building, that idea was abused but it’s still a very relevant one, one that makes sense.
If you sell your novel at one local bookstore, don’t you want to tell people to go there? If your bakery provides fresh bread to a new restaurant, instead of just talking about your bread, you’ll talk about this restaurant too, right?
While a link is indeed a technical thing (someone codes a way to reach you) I like to think about links as being more than just that..if the goal of a link is to bring people to you, why not consider any method that accomplishes that goal, to be as important as an actual link itself? Why not then promote what promotes you?
This isn’t the kind of idea that requires a lot of mindless chatter luckily, so let’s just dive right into five seriously easy ways to do all of this, and all these are ideas that a novice can use.
5 Easy Ways To Promote Others Linking To You
1. Keep an eye on your links so you know what else to promote
You can do this through Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, WordPress dashboards, link analysis tools, any way you like really. Just keep an eye on your inbound links.
Check those linking sites out and, if they’re good ones, go comment on the site, thank the webmaster for the link, tweet the article that links to you, share it on Google Plus, etc. Bringing people to sites linking to you can be a great source of traffic (and possibly more links somewhere else) for you.
2. Keep an eye on your social mentions
There are tons of tools out there for this or you could be all old-school and basic and just manually find them. When someone tweets your article or mentions you in a flattering manner (like “here are 5 great people to follow on Twitter”) then realize that it’s worth your time to reach back out and say hey, thanks for that.
If someone mentions you as being a great source of information in your field, try and return the favor in some way. If you develop a great group of followers who socialize your content for you, socializing what they put out there keeps them happy and makes them feel like you actually appreciate what they’re doing.
Word of mouth will always, always, always be a tremendous way to do well on and off line.
3. Promoting that of others is like linking out, and it can pay off later
This obviously goes along with number 2 but I firmly believe that by promoting what others do, you reap the benefits. It’s simple flattery in some respects, but if it’s genuine and you’re sharing content because you think it’s well-done and beneficial, it’s like paying it forward. Find some great people doing great things in your industry and talk about them.
4. Get the attention of the top people in your space
There are influencer tools out there right now but if you’re active in social media, I imagine you can pretty easily identify the people that you’d love to connect with on a business level. You can hope that these people will see your content, but there’s nothing at all wrong with tagging them to get their attention.
Tools like Crowdbooster can tell you who your influential Twitter followers are, for example.
5. Get the attention of the little guys
I can’t emphasize this one enough. Sometimes it’s the non-rockstars of an industry that can help you out the most. If there are people in your space and they don’t have 100k followers on Twitter but they are trying to connect with you, don’t ignore them.
These are the people who may be quicker to ask to interview you, ask you to write a guest post for them, or simply write a post and mention you. I’ve seen this happen many times in the SEO industry lately and I’ve made some amazing friends who have indeed linked to me, just because I’m not afraid to reach out to people who aren’t yet household names.
Easy right? Maybe you won’t always reap all the benefits that you’re hoping for, and maybe you’ll think that you’re putting in a lot of effort for minimal return.
To that I’d say, nicely of course, “welcome to the world of link building.” It’s hard work. It’s hard to be sociable and to work at building and furthering relationships, and we don’t always connect that to actually building a proper link that gives us traffic and (hopefully) improves our visibility in general.
However, thinking about how we can make the most of relationships, in a genuine way, can help us all, whether it’s through getting a link immediately or down the road, or perhaps never. Good things happen to sites through other avenues, not just links. We’d all be better off if we remembered that.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.