Why personal link building is important?
The links that Google believes are of good quality are those that are shared by an actual person. Therefore, when trying to get hold of real, high quality links, remember that there should be a person behind each of those links. When you create great content and ask someone to read it and share, even if they really like the content, sharing it means they are doing you a favour. Imagine how much easier this favour would be to get done if you already knew the person.
By building a personal relationship with website owners, a positive relationship is created between your content and you. Create the perception of a link being given by a real live person who does not exist only on the Internet. By doing so, you can make yourself a relationship builder, not just a link builder. Using a relationship based approach for link building will give you continuous links and shares as well as an introduction to that person’s network of people.
Why personal link building may not work
Some strategies for personal link building may require sufficient funds which cannot be affordable for all.
Taking that effort to meet someone in person requires extra time to be spent outside of your usual working hours. Sometimes making that time may not be possible.
If your client is located in another geographical area, building personal links for them will be much harder.
If you are someone who is afraid of meeting new people, this strategy is close to impossible for you to adapt to.
Good quality content still remains a necessity
Even with relationship based link building, your resources need to be worthy enough to convince people to share them. At the same time that you are planning your strategy for personal link building, prepare a good content strategy as well.
Personal link building should be done with an aim to form a strong, genuine and professional relationship with the person. In turn, this person will appreciate your great work which you can then market better. Lying, cheating, and manipulating people into becoming your friend are completely wrong and you could be penalized for it.
Where can personal link building be done
Conferences and trade shows
This is where the budget factor mentioned before comes into play. If you have the necessary finance, register for some of the workshops specializing in the industry that your client is in. Maybe you could tag along with your clients when they are attending events and exhibitions. This however is only possible if your client base is limited. If you have several sites to handle in a variety of industries, this can be difficult or even impossible.
Marketing conferences are perfect to associate with other marketers and practice your SEO skills with. You could observe the list of attendees and lookout for others from the same industries who are not working with competitors. Bonding with other SEOs is easy because they are there to do the same thing and it will be very much easier to request them for a link. When many SEOs get together at a marketing conference, a lot of different links can be built over many types of industries.
Meetings and trade associations
High end, costly events and exhibitions are not the only ones to attend. Every suburb and metro areas have different meetings of clubs and associations which you can join for free. Use the information available on social networks to be informed about such groups. Once again, if your client is a member of any of these, you could try and tag along to focus on personal link building while the client carries out his work. For sites that focus more on local search, inbound links from sits that are in the same geographic location of will add a lot of value. Therefore, relationship based link building within your local community is also a must.
Analyzing your link relationship
Before attending an event, do some research to identify who you need to build a link relationship with so that you can lookout for them at the event. This way you will waste less time conversing with those who probably won’t bother linking to you.
A list of attendees beforehand will always help but if that’s not possible, make a list of people you met after the event and get some information on them. Use social media to check people out and do not be surprised at the possibility of people not working only for the business they mentioned to you. They could be freelancing with many companies even though they do not have a website of their own. Also consider the company position of the person: a factory supervisor is less likely to link to you compared to a marketing or web manager.
In addition to evaluating people, spare some time to observe websites too. If you think a site will probably be penalized heavily soon, stay away and do not link your client’s brand to those. Be polite in avoiding such people at conferences and meetings. Never shoo them away rudely.
Create a connection
At most networking events, everyone knows that people have come with an intention to make professional connections. Therefore, if you have met someone who you need a link-based relationship with, don’t be outright in directly asking for a link. Doing so makes the person feel like you are simply using them.
If you have done your research, you might have certain people you think you should meet. However, don’t waste too much time looking for them and giving up forming connections with others. Your goal for attending the event should be to get more relationships, not just links. When conversing, don’t just talk about yourself. Ask people about their work, their ideas on the event, and other questions to engage with the person.
When you think you have gotten sufficient information and made a good enough connection with the person, excuse yourself politely but be sure to ask for a business card or any other means of contact from your new connection.
Pursue your connection
Don’t think the job is done just because the event is complete and you have made a few new friends. You have to follow up with these friends, nurture the relationship and make sure they linked to you. A good idea is to visit their social media page the next day and drop in a quick message regarding the previous day’s meeting. If you know they are going to be there at any future events, always talk to them there and make an extra effort to continue nurturing the personal relationship.
If they are now on your social media network, regularly visit their page, reply to any of their comments and questions, share their content, and have valuable conversations with them for them to realise that you are a person worth connecting with. People use social media at different times of the day. Try to follow their schedule and also connect with people following their page.
If everyone follows this approach we will see that real connections are being created everywhere. Gradually people will start sharing your posts without even being asked to – which is an indication that people think your content is valuable.
Once you have built a strong relationship with a person, asking them outright for a favour may not seem odd. In that situation, casually send them a link to your content and ask them to check it out. However, make sure the content is relevant to their industry. Read carefully what your connections have to say about your content because many times you can get more content ideas from comments itself.
Although relationship building can be done online, a personal meeting would take much less time and interaction to build a trustworthy relationship strong enough to share and link content. With link building strategies, it is more time that you need to invest upfront for you to see more returns in the future.