Link Building Vs Relationship Building – Forging Bonds Online
Strength in Numbers Brings Online Success
Over the past few weeks, nay, months, we’ve focussed on the technical elements of SEO and internet marketing. From Rebecca’s musings on the march of the Google monster to Nick’s weekly blockbusters, we’ve plumbed the depths of SEO in a relentless search for perfection (pun intended).
With this in mind, I thought I’d write a little something on the importance of building relationships for internet marketing success, complete with a few ‘thank yous’ of my own to those with whom my colleagues and I have worked over the last few months.
So what do I mean by building relationships?
Well although internet marketing is the realm of businessmen, cut and thrust dealings and hard sell techniques always fail online. It’s much easier to dismiss someone’s sales pitch when they’re not standing in front of you, meaning that an old school salesman trying to sell online has lost his most powerful ally: pressure.
No; the way to success in many areas of online marketing lies with earning the trust of those you’re working with.
Take a good old fashioned reciprocal link exchange for example. The best way to get a link of value is to first find a site which is worth praising. This forces you to survey each site individually, which allows you to get to know your potential link partner before getting in touch and voicing your proposition.
Building takes two things – time and action. If you try to do too much with a contact, both in terms of giving and taking in your professional partnership, things are likely to stall after too long. Having said this, if your relationship is left to stagnate, with inaction on both sides, you’ll soon forget all good feeling you had toward one another and will be back to square one.
If you’re only making contact because you want a reciprocal link, then you’ve almost always failed before you’ve begun. Sure, approach contacts with the link in mind, but don’t see this as the be all and end all.
A well established relationship is much more valuable as it may give long term fruit to both parties, providing links, exposure or support time and time again in the future. Plus, most savvy internet marketers will know when you’re only after one thing, and some may not take too kindly to it.
The bloggers ace in the hole is no different, and could in fact require more trust and mutual respect than a simple reciprocal link. Accepting someone’s guest blog onto your site is like lending them your car. Your website becomes a vehicle for their views, opinions and also their brand.
Therefore, just like you wouldn’t let just anyone take your Porsche for a spin, neither will you want a stranger posting content onto your site. Bear this in mind if you’re looking to send your blogs far and wide and try to reassure webmasters that you’re compatible as people.
Goodwill goes a long way online precisely because so many businesses forget that they’re corresponding with real people, with real likes and dislikes. You wouldn’t go up to a stranger in the street and ask them to wear a sandwich board advertising your brand, so why do it on the web? However, you might visit an industry contact for help with your marketing campaign, provided you have a good existing relationship with them which has benefitted them in the past
Try to form a relationship which is based on real interaction – prove you can keep to your promises and you’ll find your contacts keep to theirs.
To finish, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for whom we’ve guest blogged in the past six months. We’re delighted to have built up some strong working relationships with internet marketers from around the globe, and are looking forward to making more.
We’re talking about people like Ann Smarty of Search Engine Journal and Mick Meaney, Webmaster of internet marketing news hub RINF. With their help, we’ve been able to prove to ourselves and others that good online working relationships can be built for the good of both parties.
A huge thank you also to Authority Domains and Andrew.G.Rosen of BloggingPro. Webmasters like these have helped us create better and more popular blogs, and without the cooperation of others we’d have nothing to show for the long hours spent beavering away at our desks!