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Robin Dally - ethical SEO specialist

Supplier Focus: Making the most of your relationships

by Robin Dally

Relationships are important.  We're Ethical Weddings, you would expect us to say that.  

But the relationships we're talking about here don't (necessarily) involve the words 'I do'.

If you want to increase the number of visitors to your website it makes sense to build relationships. This might sound pretty obvious to some of you, we all know that the relationships we make are hugely important to our business. With digital marketing, however, these relationships are particularly important.

Google likes you to have friends

Google decides how trustworthy and important your business is by looking at how many other websites talk about your business. It also checks how trustworthy these other websites are and how related to your business they are.

Building new relationships is hugely important. It is, however, rather time consuming. So a great place to start is with your existing relationships.

Map out your existing relationships

It’s probably best to set up a spreadsheet for this task. Write down every business or person that your business has a relationship with.

Here are some examples:

  • Your suppliers
  • Your customers
  • Your friends
  • People you follow on Twitter
  • Websites that you enjoy visiting

It really is very broad indeed. So don’t worry about getting it all done in one session - come back to it two or three times to see if you can come up with some more.

The goal

From a digital marketing perspective our aim is to get all of these people, businesses and websites talking about your business online.

Lend a hand

We do this in a many different ways, my favourite is simply through being of service. A great way to get a business to mention your business online is to help them out.

The key here is to build our levels of engagement: the more engaged our relationships are the more chance there is that people will talk about us. How we build levels of engagement is something we will be talking about a lot in the coming months.

Get your priorities straight

With all these possible relationships to build engagement with where should you start? Well, from an SEO perspective it can be useful to come up with a scoring system. There are three scores you should give your existing relationships.

1. Relevance

From 1-100 how closely related is this other business or website to your own?

2. Current level of engagement

How engaged is this relationship at the moment? If they are already a customer then I would say that’s a high level of engagement so around 85 out of 100. If they already mention you on their website then that could be 95. If they are just somebody you follow on Twitter, you have never re-tweeted them and they don’t follow you, then they are probably at around 10.

3. SEO score

This score is probably the most abstract.  When I am doing this for clients I use a variety of different tools but for the sake of simplicity I recommend you use the MOZ trust rank score - you can download a tool that shows you this score for any website you are interested in.  

Download the MozBar SEO Toolbar

YAY! You're on your way

Once you have given all your relationships a score for these three criteria, add the three scores together.  Next sort the list from highest to lowest total score.  This is your priority list. The ones at the top are the ones you should focus on from the start: these guys are important, you need to build your relationship with them.

Next time

Before you start building relationships with your priority list there are a couple of other steps I recommend you carry out first. Next month I’ll be talking about your competitors' relationships and how understanding these can help you achieve your goals.

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