Building Customer Relationship via Link Building
"You will hear people saying that link building is dead, and SEO is dead but that ISN’T true". – Craig Campbell.
Truer words have not been spoken, and a good number of recent articles have spoken about the death of link building and SEO, but in actual fact, they could not be more alive. They are just as important as they have always been, with the tools and techniques used to achieve this evolving every day. Link building is often an essential part of relationship building across the web, and it can be a vital aspect of growing your company.
What is Link Building?
Link building is all about acquiring links from other websites to your own, creating a new way for people to find you and visit your site – increasing traffic and your audience. It’s a form of outreach.
Outreach, just like most things that are worth fighting for, requires a ton of effort but won’t necessarily guarantee you clients. What outreach does is create social buzz and links. - Alexandra Tachalova
It’s true that it is hard work, most SEO specialists would agree that it is one of the hardest aspects of their job, but it is usually worth it in the end. No, you aren’t guaranteed the new clients, but you certainly have a much better chance of engaging them. Why is it so important though? The next section will give you some more information on that front.
Why is it Important?
So, why is link building such an important part of growing a business? For starters, it attracts people to your brand, especially if you have a link on a reputable website that people trust. It is one of the first steps that new customers and visitors will take when they start learning to trust your company, and so the backing of other websites goes a long way.
Once you have a couple of backlinks, other websites are likely to be more willing to offer them to you as well. Thus, increasing your outreach and earning the trust of multiple websites and new customers alike. Generally speaking, it is an upward streak from the moment you get your first few links. Linking through guest content and other media also lets your customers see the human side to your company, which is an increasingly important aspect.
It also gives you visibility on search engines like Google, and this is absolutely essential if you want your business to be a success. It is the thing you should strive towards because without it, no one is able to find you and your business essentially remains invisible to new customers.
Simple Steps to Effective Relationship Building via Link Building
“Stand out […] Be honest […] Engage […].” – Mike Sadowski
When you are trying to build links with other websites or bloggers, there is one thing to remember – you’re building a relationship with this person as well as building links. The worst thing you can do is treat the person on the other end as though they are only good for giving you a link. Not only does it reduce your chances with them, but word spreads fast, and you only want good things to be said about you.
“It’s also essential to sort through those who you are reaching out to. Once again, choose the most respectful and authoritative sources. And, voila, you’ll receive links from highly respectable sources that have high traffic and will share some readership with you.” - Fernando Angulo
Engage with their website and content before you contact them. A lot of influencers will appreciate you taking the time to look at their website, leave comments, and generally engage with their content. It shows that you are taking the time to learn more about them, but also gives you the chance to determine what you can offer them that fits in with their style and the articles they have already published.
Essentially, you need to do your research before you pitch. Make your pitch good and honest. The quote above from Mike Sadowski says it all really – when you engage with the influencer you are interested in you need to stand out, be honest, and take the time to engage with them. Write a pitch that shows them you are interested in what they do and that you have something of value to offer them. Be yourself, and don’t copy and paste a pitch that you have pre-written. Each one should be unique, and influencers can tell if they aren’t authentic.
You don’t always need well-known people. MD of Type A Media has it right –
“Love the underdog.” Ross Tavendale
– and it is such a true thing to keep in mind. You might have your eyes on some top influencers with over 100k followers, but they can be tough competition, and they aren’t always the easiest to build a relationship with. People value the underdog, and the underdog appreciates you taking the time to contact them.
You can build the foundation of a strong relationship, and one that benefits you both in the long-run. Well-known people are great if you can get in with them, but those with less of a reputation are easier to get close to and will also spread the word amongst friends if they like what you offer and your communications.
Stay in touch even after the link is posted. Just because the backlink has been posted doesn’t mean that you can stop communications. Stay in touch even afterwards because it may result in you getting another link on their website in the future, but it could also mean that they tell other influencers about you in order to spread the word. It is often a mutually beneficial step, as well as being excellent manners. We’re not saying talk every day, but checking in once or twice a month goes a long way.
What Not to Do
“Using data responsibly doesn’t have to weaken marketing strategies” - Lukasz Zelezny
There are a few things you should avoid doing while you are building relationships with others, and even after you have established one. Professionalism is key, as is ensuring that you remain responsible throughout the link building process.
First, it is key to remember your manners and social graces. You have to stay professional but friendly while you are building the relationship and getting the links out there, but there is equal importance in maintaining this tone afterwards. It is easy to get too comfortable with an influencer and let your manners or etiquette slip a little. It can damage your reputation and relationship, so try to keep things steady at all times.
Link building is a complicated process, and one that isn’t going to yield instant results. We’ve said before that it can be a lot of hard work with very little rewards, but there are also times where you will end up with a massive customer surge. You can’t give up after one shot that didn’t end perfectly; you have to keep going and spreading the word. The more reputable links that are full of quality and relevance, the better.
Link building will not always be an easy process, and there are plenty of hurdles to overcome as well as a lot of work that needs to be put into it. However, the results are worth it – not only for the links you get, but also the relationships you gain. When you are sending out pitches to influencers, you have to remember that you aren’t just looking for a business link, you are building a lasting relationship with them. Treat them like people, and you will reap the rewards.