This is guest post written by Luana Spinetti, author of N0tseo.com.
Growing your business reputation online is a work of patience. Your campaigns bring in a slow, indisputable long-term results. SEO is all about action and waiting, optimization and rank advance to a better position. But sometimes building backlinks and a mild social presence is not enough to take that step forward and really improve your website rankings. If you’re looking for more natural one-way links to boost your business’ authority, the key is your satisfied clients.
Ask your clients to leave a testimonial on your feedback page. This action won’t bring immediate backlinks, but it prepares the grounds for your clients’ happiness: knowing their feedback is relevant to you will encourage them to not only say thank you, but to write about their feelings and to grow an attachment to your brand. This is not only good data to use for product/service improvement, but also the first step to obtain natural links. A happy customer who feels like they’re important to you is more likely to link back to your company’s site and to spread the good word about it.
Social media rating
Your clients may rate your business on social media if they feel satisfied. Encourage them to do so by sending them satisfaction surveys and ‘thank you’ emails complete with your business social media accounts. They will feel thankful and do something in return because they feel they are important to you.
You can and should also engage in social conversations with your clients through social media. Human beings are social creatures, they enjoy interaction, on both a personal and a professional level. Taking the time to reply to each of them will boost your credibility and seriousness as a business. This is especially important when it’s your returning customers who seek interaction.
Freebies for backlinks
Another proven method is offering your clients a package of freebies in exchange of a mention and backlink to your business on their blogs or profile pages. If your business has a blog, this method will have multiple benefits, as it will increase both readership and number of returning customers.
Freebies may come in different shapes, but Internet users tend to prefer coupons, blog widgets, e-books and free dedicated services. Developing interesting freebies may require additional time and effort, but that is no waste, since the returning benefits are way greater than the expense. Remember that freebies get linked not just by your customers on their blogs, but their friends will too. Freebies are viral in nature and their power is a proven, since they don’t carry the “spam” label and are thus a safe technique.
How to encourage natural linking
Until now we reviewed three methods to “push” customers to link back to your business, but this last paragraph intends to give advice on the proper way to encourage natural backlinks, as they are the most genuine type of links, and you know the search engines love all things genuine.
I call it the “proper way” because eagerness to get natural links may wind up looking like spam. Encouraging natural backlinks implies little steps, kind interaction to your clients, and attention to their needs. I said this already, but I’m going to repeat it: your clients need to feel loved and appreciated. This is the only “proper” way to do it: people link back to others when they feel there is a relationship and they have an important role in it. They will never link back to a business that’s deaf to their feedback.
Keep these social dynamics in mind, and your business is on the road to backlink success.