SEO is a multi-faceted endeavor. There are so many different approaches on how to go about it that it might seem difficult just to reconcile them all – and if you’ve ever worked with an organization that has both an in-house SEO expert, while also working with a digital agency, then you certainly know what we’re talking about here. Some bow to the great god of the Google algorithm, others focus excessively exclusively on link building, while others have ‘married’ the “content is king” adage. It’s not that these approaches aren’t rooted in reality, or that they’ve become obsolete. However, it’s just as true that building a community around the online presence of your business is probably the most important thing right now, when it comes to SEO.
Some don’t regard community building as part and parcel of the optimization process, but rather choose to relegate it to the realm of social media and promotion. We, at Guest Post Shop, are from the school of thought that says amassing and articulating a community is SEO through and through. Here are five reasons why we hold this view.
- Money can’t buy you respect
Building an online community for the followers of your brand automatically implies building a forum, where said followers can express themselves. Lending a voice and a platform to your followers is one of the most transparent and equitable things you can do for them. They will have the opportunity to voice complaints and address customer service issues in full view – and if this sounds daunting, then get cracking and hire a better PR department. For, if you’re not ready to own up to the glitches in your own corporate culture, then you might just have some unfinished business on your hands. To boot, getting constant feedback from consumers means you can improve on just about anything, from products and services to the front and back ends of your organization. Add to this the fact that you will have unmediated access to your client base, which you can always employ for product testing, while rewarding them with information resources.
- You can sidestep Google’s fickleness
Of course the crawling algorithm still matters and, for what it’s worth, it will matter for years to come. However, there is only so much technical optimization you can do, without ending up with shoddy website architecture, keyword stuffed content, and potentially toxic links in your back link profile. In order to build a network of support around your company, which will help you avoid putting all your eggs in one basket, build a community. They will increase your online market share, raise awareness and generate communication in the best and most natural way possible.
- Focus on your aims, not your resources
One common mistake in digital marketing and communication is that some experts dismiss community building altogether, by saying that it’s all fluff and zero technique. This could not be less true. As a matter of fact, communities never spring up out of thin air. In order to amass a following of readers, commenters, and ultimately potential new sales leads, you will need to put in a lot of effort and make use of numerous resources. Consider newsletters, subscription-based content, optimized content, and social media. These are all sophisticated instruments, but they are not goals in and of themselves – nor should they be regarded as such. They are the very elements of a cohesive strategy, which should help you build a community.
- A sense of mission
Another fallacious approach is to believe that you are building a community for the sake of conformity. In other words, if everyone is wracking their brains about how to get more followers on Twitter or Facebook fans, you have to do it, too. This kind of take on community building is false, simply because it should never be done for its own sake. Ideally, building a critical mass of followers should help you articulate a take on what your business mission is and what the strategy for turning it into a reality should look like.
- You earn value, pure and simple
Having readers, followers, fans, and engaged content users means raising brand awareness. It’s the kind of strategy that will teach you just as much about your own company identity, as it will about your consumer. It will help you understand what your role on the market is and how to make the best of it.