When most people think of the business world, the image that most often comes to mind is a cutthroat environment where everyone is trying to get ahead. While there is truth that competition is a piece of the process, cooperation is also necessary. Suppliers work with manufacturers, who in turn work with distributors to get their products to consumers. There is another type of business partnership that has emerged in the digital age, companies working together to maximize their search engine optimization (SEO) and extend their social media reach to support their brand.
Find the Right Partners
To find the right partners for SEO maximization and social media support, start by identifying businesses that compliment your own, that are about the same size, and have similar needs. Next, review their websites, social media presence, and local SEO presence to evaluate if they represent their brand and business professionally.
You don’t want to work with someone with a poor website or who have not taken even the most basic inroads into social media or local SEO websites. You are also looking for a partner with an active blog that is updated regularly. The goal is to find one or more companies that have a presence you can capitalize on, and you need to offer the same benefit.
The SEO and Social Media Connection
Search Engine Optimization refers to how a website is ranked against others, and key factors include:
· High-Quality Content
· Effective Keywords
· Strong Meta Content
· Backlinks and Link Building
· Social Media Integration
Until a few years ago, social media was not considered a factor in SEO, but since it connects your website to a wider audience and includes all of the key factors, such as links and keywords, it is now recognized as an important component of the process. The goal for you and your partners is to support each other’s the strategic website and social media activities to mutual benefit.
There are two types of complementary links that increases SEO: external and backlinks. An external link is where a page on your site links to someone else’s page. A backlink is the opposite. A page on someone else’s site links to yours. Backlinks are the most useful because they demonstrate the popularity of your page, which increases its SEO ranking. There are good practices and bad practices for developing external links and through your partnership with other businesses, you will be able to generate the quality links you need.
It is also important to know that there are good and bad links, and this depends on the authority of the domain linking to your site, and the relevance of the content. When you work with companies with polished and professional websites, you have the opportunity for a good link. When your link is also attached to content relevant to your business, you do have a good link, but how do you accomplish that?
Guest posting on a partner business’ blog is an effective and powerful way to develop backlinks and reach new audiences. These editorial and authoritative links elevate your SEO and also deepens the connection between your two sites. Of course, you need to reciprocate, but be sure to retain the right to reject a proposed topic. “The key to allowing guest posts on your site is to control the content. This assures that the post provides value to your audience and enhance your position as an expert,” explains Dima Midon, founder of TrafficBox.
Curation is another way to manage partner content on your site. “Select a quality piece from their website and post it on your own, giving the originator full credit but adding a lead-in paragraph to explain the benefit it provides to your target audience,” Dima adds. Guest posting between partners should be limited to a quarterly basis or it weakens the advantages. Create an editorial calendar and assure that the content you and your partners develop is valuable to every target audience or select niche groups.
Content Curation Across Social Media Platforms
As with blog curation, content from other social media platforms can also be shared to generate cross-links, but also extend your marketing reach. When you post on Facebook or send out a tweet, it goes to your followers unless someone else passes it along. When your partners share your information across their social media accounts, it reaches a wider audience than you can imagine.
When you reciprocate, which you should, remember to do more than just pass the information along. Truly curate the content, sharing only those pieces that your audience will find relevant, and adding a comment as to why the content matters. Not only will you extend your reach, but you establish yourself as a go-to expert with an industry perspective
SEO and social media are connected activities that are boosted when you partner with the right businesses to reciprocate key functions. This collaborative effort benefits everyone and is a great way for small businesses to shine across all platforms.