Small business link building is really hard, because small websites often don’t have a ton of great content or newsworthy activity. But if you can build an amazing blog and a repository of regularly updated content, you can start to engage in relationship building.
Here are four steps to building relationships with the eventual aim of getting links:
- Set up Google Reader with RSS feeds of blogs and news sites on your topic.
- Start following users and retweeting/commenting on their content via Google+ and Twitter, etc.
- Create relationships by being a regular presence where people discuss your industry online.
- Curate other people’s content, link to it, and share it.
By freely sharing the content of others and letting them know you have interacted with their work, you will create friends. Those friends will sometimes feel obliged to give back to you. Two of the top persuasive tactics of Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Power of Persuasion, are likability and giving something for free. Cialdini says that we’re more likely to be influenced by people we like. So be a nice guy or gal and share with others, and they might just give you a link without your asking or be more receptive when at some point you share something you ask them to link to. If we give something like a retweet away, then the chances of them feeling that they should return the favor are even greater. Cialdini believes that we innately feel a sense of responsibility to give back to those who give to us.
Remember that Google prefers links that are given based on merit and that stand the test of time. Do remarkable things and create relationships, and long-lasting links will follow.
Is your approach to give and receive?