Gavin Hirst - Thursday 2nd July 2015

Link building needs the personal touch

Here at Digital Hothouse we carry out a lot of link outreach work for clients, making sure their content gets seen in the right places and hopefully attracting some quality links through contacts we have made over time. We use a lot of online resources to help us find influential people within the sector we might be working – this can be anything from women’s fashion to cruising so we need to build a variety of relationships to help us to get content noticed.

One thing we can’t do for our clients though is forming those personal relationships that could in time lead to a valuable link back to the content on their website. In this blog post, we will look at some of the things you can be doing to build relationships which will lead to long term SEO benefits, even if you don’t work in marketing.

Where to begin with personal link building

For the purpose of this blog, we will use examples of how we form personal relationships with key influencers in order to help generate quality back links to our web content. The thing to remember is that behind every high quality back link on the web is another person. The type of links you should be looking to build are the ones where an actual person has read your content and made a conscious decision to share it. These are the people we want to meet up with and chat to.

There are so many ways in which to make sure you come into contact with these types of people:

  • Conferences and trade shows
  • Local meet ups
  • Online hangouts
  • Social and sporting events
  • Dinner parties

As you know, we recently attended the SMX Conference in Sydney. For us, this was not only a great chance to listen to some of the world’s most influential people talk around the topic of search marketing, it was also a chance for us to be in a room with lots of other like-minded people. Since coming back from the conference, we have linked to at least a dozen articles from people we met whilst we were there. We have had social shares of our own content where people we met at the conference are mentioned and we have started to form relationships with these people through networking and chatting about our issues and innovations.

Nurturing the relationship

One thing you have to be very careful about when forming these types of relationships is not to just rush straight in and ask for a link. Once you have established some commonality and shared ideas, then is the time to follow up and start engaging through social platforms – check out what they are doing on social media, read their blog and maybe start sharing their content which is relevant to you. Over time, if you have some quality content on your site, then you hope that the sharing and linking becomes reciprocal. Our Twitter feed is made up of a mixture of our own content and ideas but also sharing the best of those things we see from other like-minded people so we are always on the lookout for quality content to share – we must be a networkers dream!

How can this work for your business?

If you take our model above and think about your own business. There are probably lots of opportunities to attend conferences and trade shows throughout the year and although these may cost you money, the potential to earn high quality links back to your site, make valuable contacts as well as attending the conference make these opportunities extremely valuable. When you do attend events like these, you need to put yourself out there; if you are one of these people that stands in the corner on their own during breakout sessions, you need to get out of your comfort zone and mingle!

The key to success is just going to chat to people. Find out what they do, assess whether what they do ties in with your business and decide whether they have the potential to link back to your content in the long run. Not every contact you make will provide you with a link but you have got to keep at it as one high quality link can be worth so much in terms of SEO.

Quality content is the key

One thing to make sure before you get talking to people about your business and the content on your website is that you know everything about the content on your site. The last thing you want to do is be talking up your company and then when someone gets back to their hotel later that night and checks out the website, all they get is poor quality content. Right at the start of this blog, we said that behind every high quality link on the web is a person who actively takes a decision to read the content and share it. Make sure that the content you have meets the expectations in terms of quality once you get people to your site otherwise your relationship building will all have been in vain.

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