It’s easy to accept Search Engine Optimization as an industry where you simply don’t have to have human interaction. It’s a technical brain’s paradise, full of strategy and electronic behind the scenes know how. What many miss, is that a large part of gaining SEO value actually comes from forming good old human relationships: both for learning, linking, and basic industry communication. So, you got into SEO because you didn’t want to deal with people, right? Well how’s that working out for you? How have your recent linking propositions gone? Do your emails get answered? If you do pick up a phone, do you know how to sound warm and fuzzy, but not to ‘sales y’?
Take a look at these tips on how you can succeed at SEO, not only on the back end strategy – but on front end communication.
The right introduction
You might be contacting someone like a business by phone, but chances are – you’re going to be emailing them. So, say you’re reaching out about some link building opportunities, like a guest post content exchange. You simply can’t afford to be blunt, demanding, or come off as smug. Some people truly believe things like link exchanges don’t work anymore, simply because they stink at writing emails! It’s important to show your interest, expertise, and enthusiasm in your introductory email – without rambling on for too long. Hera are some basic tips:
- Keep the message from 4 – 5 sentences, maximum
- Include several unique references to your prospects site, letting them know the email is NOT generic
- Make sure to mention the value your site provides
- Directly proposition your intentions for linking
It’s equally important to make your intentions clear, and provide a next ‘call to action’, as it is too not come on too strong. Here are some standard “don’t do’s” to keep in mind when your composing an introductory message:
- Never have your message longer than a paragraph
- Don’t boast and brag about your site, seeming condescending to your prospect
- Beg or plead for a link exchange opportunity
- Ever mention the exchange of money
Another key part of looking at your ongoing SEO value is maintaining the relationships you’ve created with good initial outreach. When you’ve done a good job of cultivating an exchange of SEO value, you have to let people know that they haven’t wasted their time long term. This means sending emails throughout the month or year, commenting on someone’s site. Respond when they email you. Generally make them feel like they have a trusted industry peer that they can rely on. This is more about networking than SEO – but the skills transfer directly. When you invest the time to build and maintain these relationship, you’ll see that they truly pay off when you need some outbound SEO value.
Learn from your peers
SEO is such a rapidly evolving industry, and there’s always more to learn. It’s important to leverage the unique relationships you have to education yourself. Sure, it’s great to get tips form an article like this one – but there’s a whole other type of value in learning from the example of someone you know personally. You’ve been following their growth, and communicating with them directly on their strategy. As you watch their SEO grow alongside yours, you experience and learn from their successes and mistakes. If you get lost in the haze of only focusing on the growth of your own site – you’re truly limiting what you can learn about Search Engine Optimization.
People don’t like to communicate with strangers – it’s not a natural process. It very well might be that someone loves your site, but just doesn’t want to share information or linking with someone they’ve never met. So, it a certain sense – you need to let them meet you. You need to have a preexisting online presence that you can direct prospects to to understand your ability, style, and expertise. This online presence can’t be your website, it’s your personal online presence. The best way to develop this presence publicly, is to comment frequently on relevant forums. Guest post on relevant blogs. You can then direct people with a few quick links in your introductory email, to where to see that you are an active, relevant expert – HUMAN BEING! You simply can’t be too active online with your personal presence, get started if you haven’t already.