Day 14 – More help on building a professional network

Marketing/ seo/

Increasing the amount of backlinks that you have for your website is one of the many ways to improve your pagerank.   I’m of the opinion that the best way to generate them is developing a professional relationship with  “relevant” people to your industry.   However you achieve your connection with your professional partner/s, once you are in a position to blog/link/share their content with their knowledge you are able to develop your professional relationship over time. 

One way links are better than Reciprocal

Discuss with your professional partner/s how you want to link to each other.   If you have a number of websites you can link to each other without creating a reciprocal link.   You may come to an agreement that a permanent web link from one site to the other is given to one party and the other party offers to keep across your blog posts and like/share articles they feel are relevant to them and their customers.  It’s essential that the content is relevant !   Creating cross promotional associations with a partner that are not helpful to your customers is just getting in the way, and I don’t doubt that Google is clever enough to determine if your cross-link content is relevant by analyzing common language.

Find associates in your Industry

Lets say your the owner of a cafe and you need to find some professionals partners that re relevant to your Industry.  You may know of other cafe owners who you are friends with (thats a good place to start).  If getting to know other cafe owners by visiting other cafes may be a start, otherwise if that is not feasible you should be looking around for local bloggers who write about food and coffee.  They may have a food photography tumbler site, food critic or simply a serial blogger who likes to write about their day to day activities.   If you see a customer in the store on a tablet computer writing a blog strike up a conversation with them.    Networking opportunities are all around you, everywhere you go… you just have to become more aware of them.   The most important consideration is “do you like these people”, are their values and ideals in line with yours… You may find it very difficult to “like”, “+1″ or “share” content from a professional partner that is writing content that you disagree with.   Ensure you have vetted your contacts before you bring them into your circle.

Organize Yourselves

Once you have a small network of professional associates both offline and online you are in a position to help each other achieve more from your online presence.  ( note: There are many additional benefits of having a professional circle like this, including in-person customer referrals, cooperation in community events eg. festivals etc…  and knowledge sharing.  Don’t think that this group is only there to help you get a better Pagerank ).    Ensure you are aware of each blog/website that your partners run, assist where suitable in helping those who are not creating regular content to do so if they wish.   Formulate a standard way to link/link/+1/share each other’s data that limits excessive backlinks.

In your strategy consider the following:

  • Frequency of links occurring on your site should be staggered (2-3 times a year is likely enough).
  • Be patient (it may take 3-6 months for a backlink to be recognized).
  • Grow your circle the more people in your network better.
  • Don’t try to trick Google, only link to content of genuine interest to you.
  • Whenever possible, keep your contacts and content local.
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