By now most Webmasters know that the key to great SEO is great content. However if you take things one step further, you realize that you have to earn visibility for that content, which takes great SEO, which can only happen when you have great content and the visibility on other relevant websites and social media. It might seem like a catch 22, but the cycle stops when you establish relationships in your industry and earn all of the benefits that come with it.

How to Make the Most of Your Relationships for SEO Benefits

Before jumping into how to create relationships, it’s important to understand why it’s important and your goals for your relationships in the first place. While creating relationships is simply just a great way to meet like-minded people in your industry, it’s no secret that SEO and other perks can come right along with it.

The most obvious SEO benefit that you can earn from a great relationship is of course contributing content to an authoritative website and earning a link back. If you can become an author and get your name and face out there to a new audience, the SEO benefits should follow like dominos. However, there are other ways that a relationship can help benefit your SEO that are just as important despite not being quite as popular:

  • If someone is on the lookout for your content because they now know you personally, you have a better chance of earning a completely naturally link (which is the best kind of link, and if Google had their way it would be the only kind of link).
  • Relationships can help open up the doors to other relationships. If one editor knows this editor who you meet and then introduces you to that editor, you can start to multiply all of these SEO benefits.
  • In most situations, your company will grow along with your relationship’s company. After long enough, that website could grow to be more authoritative than you could have imagined, and you’ll be on the ground floor to working with them. Hopefully you’ll be in the same boat!

Aside from only SEO benefits, there are many other professional benefits you can earn. For example, if you have a good relationship with a company who is testing a new tool, you may be one of the first to get a look. Social media also is a great way to learn new things, and establishing relationships can help you find people to follow and things to read.

How to Create and Maintain Relationships in Your Industry

So the benefits are pretty clear, but unfortunately establishing new relationships with very authoritative websites is tough. Now that Webmasters are catching on to the importance of working with authoritative websites, those editors are getting bombarded with emails from people trying to “establish relationships.” The truth is that they don’t always need them, so you have to offer something unique and valuable.

Below are a few tips to breaking into these new relationships:

  1. Start small. Relationships with smaller, but quality websites are still beneficial.

This is probably the number one thing to remember about creating a network or relationships in your industry. You have to start small and try to work with people who will eventually help you connect with others and so forth, helping you eventually climb the ladder to where you want to be. These smaller websites could also be more authoritative someday, and you’ll be in on the ground floor. If you see potential and the company is only publishing quality content, this is an excellent relationship to make.

Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t be “using” these small connections to create relationships with the bigger websites. While this is a benefit, you’re never going to have success if you work this way. Keeping in constant contact with your relationships and realize that they are just as valuable as any other. If the word gets out that you work with people and then drop them like flies, you might actually create a bad reputation for yourself in the industry.

  1. Be observant and notice who is publishing on the authoritative websites.

You should analyze the authors out there in your industry as opposed to only analyzing the websites. If you see that one particular author is publishing on a lot of great places, find the smaller places where he/she publishes and start making connections there. Also try to connect with the author via social media, comment and reference his/her articles, and try and write for his/her personal blog if possible. The more that author notices you, the better chance you have of establishing a relationship.

  1. Craft the perfect pitch.

Whether it’s a very popular author/ website or something smaller, you want to have a great pitch ready to go. Even if you’re not asking to publish an article but you simply just want to connect, you have to make sure it’s personal. Use the person’s real name, and let them know that you are familiar with the website, and try to avoid words like “guest post” or “links” altogether.

I highly recommend checking out this article from HigherVisibility that asked editors from several major websites what they like to see in a pitch. They offer some great insight on how to get your emails opened in the first place.

  1. Always link back to authoritative websites within your own content.

When you link back to a company’s content, let them know by tagging them in your social media promotions. You don’t have to do this every time, but particularly if you reference a study or something that makes up a good chunk of your article. Otherwise, simply linking back to a company will surely get their attention if you do it enough (that is if they have a good SEO strategy and are looking at data). This tactic will go further with the small to medium-sized websites you’re trying to connect with.

  1. Use a company’s services if possible.

If the company offers services aside from just content, give them a try as a way to connect with that company. In fact, any type of connection with a company website is going to benefit you. For example, you want to create an account (if possible) and engage with the company through commenting. Always do this before reaching out to an editor.

  1. Care more about the relationships than anything else. Offer something in return.

Finally, you have to remember that relationships are not just building blocks for you to get a link on an authoritative website. You need to maintain each relationship you have and do your best to keep it going as long as possible. If they ask you for a connection to someone else, give it to them and hope that they will return the favor sometime in the future. I have had this happen to me multiple times, and it’s only because I had worked with someone so long that they felt comfortable helping me. I feel the same way when others ask for my help.

Do you have any more tips for creating relationships for great SEO? Let us know in the comments below.