How to Win Friends and Influence People
In the SEO world it seems that the new buzzword is relationships. This is certainly not new as it’s vital in any business setting to create relationships, but since it has been getting a little more attention I thought I would delve in myself.
As we know link building is constantly changing. It seems that there are new updates and additions weekly that are altering the way SEO works. So it is no surprise that people are starting to think a little bit more about what goes into gaining a golden link and being open to go the extra mile. Remember the more effort you put in the more you will get out; meaning the one “golden” link you gain will be worth many “easy links”.
Creating relationships with influential people may sound a bit daunting but the rewards can be huge. The idea is to promote your presence and try to initiate a conversation, so here are a couple of points to help develop your relationships.
Make it social
I know it is obvious but a great way to connect is via social media. You should already be following influential people in your industry on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. So why not use the information they are putting out there to try and engage. You can get an idea of what they may be open to; perhaps they have posted about a particular industry update. Think how you may be able to add something to this or perhaps they have asked a question you can answer. This is all vital information to help you be heard amongst the crowd.
Make it personal
Social media is a great way to connect but what about the simple email? The majority of outreach is still done this way and still yields a huge response rate if it is done correctly. We all know sending out obvious template emails is a no no. It’s all about personalisation, saying you have read a couple of recent posts is completely different to actually doing it. Don’t be afraid to put your opinion across, perhaps you disagreed with one of their points? As long as you don’t go overboard most bloggers will appreciate a little input, even better if you can back it up with some facts. This creates a gap in their knowledge which is where you can step in.
Make it last
Presuming you have been successful with engaging with a blogger and have closed with a link, don’t just leave it at that. Why abandon a relationship you worked hard at creating? If you have been accepted as a guest blogger on a site make sure you check back and respond to any comments about your post. Show the blogger you actually care about your topic and use this to engage with others with an interest in your industry. It is also a great idea to check back with the blogger from time to time to cement your relationship. Maybe they would be interested in helping you create some new content or happy to provide an interview or quote.
Quick outreach tips
- A personal salutation works best – if you can’t find a name, a generic “Hi” is the next best option
- Saturdays and Tuesdays are the best days for outreach – less emails are sent at the weekend so are more likely to be read, alternatively outreach on a Tuesday results in a higher close rate compared to other week days
- Emails sent in the wee hours return the best response rate, if you aren’t a workaholic try 9am – it is thought these emails will be read first thing in the morning before ‘email fatigue’ sets in
- Always follow up and be persistent – response increases around 60% by sending a second or third email
- Short emails receive a better response rate but longer emails result in better conversions – this is probably due to longer emails being more detailed and personalised
In conclusion you should always be aiming to create relationships and then the links will follow. The more time and effort put in to connecting and understanding your audience the more rewards you will see when it comes to link building.