I have worked several years in SEO and understand how valuable it is to have your website rank high in search engines. In fact you will always receive more traffic if your website is ranking high on the first page of Google or Bing. However, does that alone guarantee you more business? I have to say not at all.
Having your website rank high on the first page of any search engine will still definitely be helpful, however I believe the odds of you getting more business from referrals through your networks than your page being found in the top 3 positions on any search engine is a lot higher! And you may be thinking right now Wait, my network is not that big, so old fashioned SEO will have to do. No, you must get out of that mind frame. Besides, growing your network is actually very easy if you are consistently active, join networking groups which are all over Facebook, Google Communities and LinkedIn, share good content, and engage with others!
Build Your Tribe
That is the trick to receiving more business. Building your tribe and attracting like minded individuals. Once your network starts to expand, a whole new door has opened for you and new opportunities begin to flood. Again, sure, if your website ranks #1 on any search engine, it will be the first one to pop up after someone types in a relevant keyword. Chances are the user will check your website out thoroughly, however, does that mean that he or she will immediately hire you for a service or purchase products from you? Not always. Tribe building is the way to go and I will explain how it will help you grow your business even more.
1. Word of Mouth – When you grow your network, you are gaining trust from others based on the fact you are engaging and putting good content out there. If you are offering a product or service that some of those in your network need or who have friends in need, who will they go to? How many referrals do yo think you would receive? Plenty! They would go to you because they trust you regardless of where your website ranks in search engines.
2. New Opportunities – While you are consistently growing your network, you may be connecting with those who can offer you some excellent opportunities that will help you grow your business even more. They could be offering you guest speaking, or guest blogging positions, and some may even want to joint venture with you on new business ideas to bring even more exposure as well. They may even connect you with others who they know who can help even bring you more business (goes back to word of mouth, except someone in your tribe is referring you to someone who they know), and the list really goes on.
3. Backlinks! I am sure you were not expecting that one. However, let’s look at it from a different perspective for a moment. If you blog about something, and if many of your connections are impressed, they will share it to their connections- and then you will gain new connections that way. Not to mention some of their followers will share your content to their following- and before you know it, your content will be all over the place due to endless amount of backlinks to your website and articles. Therefore, not only will you likely rank very high on search engines for your keywords of choice, however you will be everywhere! If people see that you are literally all over the place due to having your content shared by so many people through social media, whether they know you are not- they will be interested in what you have to offer.
Do not get too caught up on the idea of your website ranking high on search engines as being the perfect solution for you to get more business. Focus more so on delivering good content, being interactive online, and growing your network because you will receive a lot more business in the end from that than just your website ranking high up on Google or Bing.
Great Blog, full of good information and easily understood
Thanks for commenting.
I never thought about the back links for building my network. Clever! I’m going to follow your blog for some more tips!
Indeed it does and thank you Karen 🙂
Very well written post Miriam. Trust is the key to opening doors on the internet.
If people don’t trust you then sales will be slow even if you’re Google!
Thanks for the tips.
Thanks for the comment Tola, very true!
My partner spent a lot of time on one of our blogs by adding great content. Not only that, we wrote articles for Ezines, used traffic exchanges, adwords, etc.
Got it on page one, position one of Google. Did we make a sale of any of the stuff we advertised? Nope!
So all that work and effort amounted to very little in return. There was even a link for free E-cards, but, that was hardly used.
After attracting nearly 15000 unique visitors, decided it was time to stop.
Using social media, building trust, as you mention, is definitely the best way to go.
A great post Miriam, thank you!
Thanks for sharing your experience Malcolm!
Hey Miriam – Another great blog! Because we stay close to the top of the Google search engine but get our best clients and the majority of our clients from referrals I had knew the answer to the premise question. HOWEVER….as usual, your article had great content that didn’t even touch my awareness of just how far I should be going to push my reach out even further.
Thanks so much for sharing this Mary 🙂 I appreciate your comment and glad I could help!
I liked this “Focus more so on delivering good content, being interactive online, and growing your network because you will receive a lot more business in the end from that than just your website ranking high up on Google or Bing.”
It is the same with social networking….be you, offer your unique content and attract like minded people.
Great advice. Great post.
Absolutely Kathy, and it is the same. You will attract good quality connections if you share excellent content! Thanks for the comment.
I loved this article and confirmed my thoughts that building a strong tribe (network) is vitally important for all the reason that you mentioned above!!
Thanks again and I never considered backlinks but that makes so much sense!
Thanks Gena for the comment and yes it really does help!
I definitely agree with this. I was a Project Manager for an SEO firm and even after we got people ranked to page one, they were still upset that they weren’t getting any calls (we tried telling them to get positive reviews and a better website) and they just weren’t satisfied.
I think quality material and focusing on people in your target market and who already follow you would be much better than relying solely on SEO.
Thank you so much for sharing this Shay. Aside from the old SEO tactics no longer being effective, SEO alone never was a big help. Social media with still some existing SEO tactics that do indeed work, happen to work well.