Why it’s Important to Build Online and Offline Relationships in SEO
‘Building relationships’ seems to be the buzz words on everyone’s lips lately, after the tsunami of Google updates over the last year have left many re-evaluating the way their content is written, and the way in which they build links. At its core the message is the same as it’s always been, the best kind of links are those that come from trusted relationships. This is a mantra that has existed long before the web, and should resonate into our everyday lives, not just our online behaviour.
I’ve mentioned before how it’s highly beneficial for SEOs to network, through social media profiles or through events. It’s this offline networking through events such as conventions that I’d like to draw focus to for a while. Mingling with similarly minded people can not only establish you as a known personality, but also helps to expand your knowledge. Because the development of new technologies is moving at such a rapid pace, and the Internet is constantly evolving, working in SEO involves constantly teaching yourself new tricks. Whilst it’s all well and good reading about new changes to the way we work, why not hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, and have the opportunity to ask questions directly and absorb new information face-to-face.
By talking to everyone you can at events you are of course increasing your chance to build relationships which feel much more human, and through which may in time bring you worthwhile and trusted links. Of course this shouldn’t just be a means to an end, people are people, and should be treated as such. You’ll find yourself much better off for building honest relationships that have genuine interest in your activities than you will do with forced relationships.
Establish a Presence
Increasing your offline activities will no doubt see an increase your online presence, and it’s important that you keep up with your Internet relationships as well. The person that people meet outside of work should be the same person that they see online. In fact if you’re shy and not one for talking face to face with people then you should use you online profile to promote yourself better than you can in person. Having positively active online accounts for various social media sites allows you to further increase your own recognition as a professional in the industry whilst also expanding your presence as source of great input across the web.
This is especially vital considering the current implementation of the ref=author tag, which is ensuring that being a trusted online presence has never been more valuable. Comments on other blogs and articles can lead to honest links through a relationship built on conversations with other writers. Remember that it’s the people behind the comments that link to you, so liaise with them like you would if you were talking offline. You’ll find that they’re much more likely to link to you if they feel you’ve got good things to say.
Give to get back
It’s not just about getting links though, building worthwhile relationships can include giving back to your online community as well. Big brands with endless budgets are obviously able to build the strongest links through constantly offering their fan-base rewards and competitions. Not everyone has these extensive budgets to work with however, and sometimes some of the best links can come from simply offering your knowledge to your readers. Presenting those who visit your site with various free resources, whether it be eBooks or presentations, can be a great way to encourage relationships over time.