They call it social networking for a reason. It’s a two-way road that requires connecting and engaging with your target audience, and showing that you want to be helpful in any way you can. Spread the love by sharing other people’s social media posts and blogs, linking to other websites in your blog postings, and really interacting with others online.
Link Love on Blogs
When writing a blog post, embed some internal and external links in the text. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts agree that external links are one of the most important factors to include when trying to boost your website’s rankings.
So how do you get others to link to your website or blog? Start by including some external links in your posts, and maybe they’ll return the favor and link back to you.
Be sure to evaluate an external source’s reputation, popularity and relevance to your post — these are the metrics that Google and other major search engines use when determining the value of external links.
External Link Checklist
- Cite a government study
- Link to an industry organization or authority on your topic
- Find reliable bloggers or experts with large followings and sprinkle in some links to their posts that are similar or relevant to your content.
Don’t overdo it (one to three links for an average blog post), and avoid linking to questionable sites, or you’ll hurt your rankings instead of help them.
Link Love with Competitors
While it seems counter-intuitive to link to your competitors, as long as they meet the above requirements, it’s a nice way to show your readers you’re most concerned about helping to educate them, not just marketing your own business. By building your brand’s authority and trust, users are likely to return to your site to find interesting and relevant content you’ve curated. Search engines will also reciprocate your generosity.
Don’t forget a little self-love. Include some of your own internal links to direct traffic to related blog posts you’ve written or other relevant information on your website. Just keep the user in mind to decide what makes the most sense for your piece of content. You want to enhance their experience, not clutter their screen with useless links.
Social Networking Tips
There are plenty of good reasons businesses should actively use social media. Sharing your content and business news on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites is a great content marketing strategy for reaching new audiences and building your brand. But, how do you expand that network to amplify your social reach?
If you want to build a bigger following and gain loyalty online, you can’t solely use social media as a platform to distribute your business news and promote products or services. People will scroll right past spammy posts that read as advertising.
Your small business should engage with people and businesses by sharing, retweeting and liking other social media users’ posts and blogs. Others are more likely to share what you post when they see that you consistently interact with other people. Authentically connect with your customers on social media and they’re likely to stay customers and point you to other potential clients.
Build your online reputation — and make some new friends while you’re at it. We could all use some more love.