Relationship building is the new link building. Gone are the days of black hat SEO and buying links to boost your way up the rankings; after the various Google updates, the best way—the only way—is to naturally build links from related, high caliber sites through relationship building.
The good thing is, much like any other area of SEO, there is a way to optimise relationship building by following a process proven to work time and time again. From the first step of identifying influencers, to lastly obtaining the link, we are going to show you exactly how it’s done.
Every industry has its circle of influencers. If you can get on just one of their radars, and offer them something of value, you shouldn’t have any problem getting a link from them. But first things first, you need to know who they are.
Luckily there is a tool out there that can help you find out. FollowerWonk is a program by Moz that quantifies Twitter influence, enabling you to find the top players in your niche with in a matter of minutes.
You can also do a bit of snooping on the influencer’s Twitter page to see who they follow. If they only follow a selective number of people, whose names you see cropping up quite often, you may have ju st found the industry’s group of A-listers.
With your list of influencers at the ready, it’s now time to make yourself known. You could send a ‘cold email’ and request a link back to your site, but 9/10 times this is going to fail. A better and more effective approach is to initiate contact without asking for anything in return. This is more likely to get you a response and through persistence and nurturing of the relationship, get you that precious link.
Keep up to date with their online activities by subscribing to their RRS feeds and try leaving a comment on one of their posts that sparks your interest. Bear in mind you should be adding something of value here; declaring your love for the author is surprisingly not as effective as an intriguing and insightful comment that raises their awareness to a piece of research, or tool related to the topic in question.
Follow up with Value
Just like with a relationship in the real world, time is needed before you go asking for favours. And even then it helps if you offer something in return. This is especially true here as the influencer isn’t going to just give you a link, they need a solid reason to do it.
A great reason for them to give you that link Your influencer is no doubt in search of high quality content that meets their audiences’ needs, so if done properly, it’s a sure fire winner. There’s no worry of the whole thing feeling needy or transaction here either, successful bloggers all have two things in common: they blog, and they love it. There is an appreciation of great writing that, once you get to know your influencer, will be shared mutually.
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