Every website owner will listen if you have a tip to proffer regarding performance in the SERPs.
Organic search isn’t the only way to be found, of course (you can run some PPC campaigns, sponsor some social media influencers, or create some attention-grabbing outreach assets to pick up some high-throughput links) – but it is the most economical in the long run.
Put simply, great SEO work is the gift that keeps on giving.
You can scale back your marketing budget and focus on other things while the relevant visitors keep arriving: and if you manage to consistently serve their needs, your rankings can be largely self-sustaining.
It’s also easier talked about than achieved.
You need to pull out all the stops to win great rankings before you can prove that you deserve to keep them, and one tactic that often flies under the radar is partnering with other companies.
Here’s how it can help your site rank…
You can easily benefit from a mutual promotion
I link to you, and you link to me. You can dress up the basic link exchange in more flowery language, but that’s ultimately what it comes down to.
Is that black-hat SEO (and thus an SEO mistake to avoid)?
It can be if you partner with another company for that reason alone: reaching out to webmasters you don’t know to offer backlink exchanges. But that’s not what I mean.
What we’re talking about is finding businesses that gel with yours (having distinct business models – not being in competition – but also having compatible customer bases) and using mutual endorsement to provide more value to your customers and theirs while also bringing in more traffic and interest for all businesses involved.
Let’s say you sold luxury ice cream and really enjoyed a particular lemonade brand. Assuming there were no clashes (which is to say existing associations with competitors), you could reach out to that brand and propose a partnership whereby you both recommended the perfect summertime combination of both your products.
If you genuinely loved the lemonade, and its makers genuinely loved your ice cream, the effort wouldn’t be artificial at all.
It would just be two brands expressing mutual appreciation, much to the delight of their customers (particularly if you offered some great discounts).
You’d get great backlinks and a lot of social buzz off the back of the relationship.
It can build your reputation to make you more credible
So many things go into determining your SERP rankings, but many of those that we know (or believe) to be significant factors – including the backlinks you naturally earn and, obviously, how you’re talked about relative to your competitors – are heavily affected by your reputation.
The stronger you make your industry presence, the more likely people will be to promote you.
Now, while you might dream of a world in which the value of every business is something that each individual decides for themselves, that isn’t reality.
Even if we had the will to reach independent conclusions about such things, we simply don’t have the time – so we look for cues that allow us to reach expedient conclusions that are likely to be solid.
We look to our friends, of course (social proof), but we also look to other companies with established reputations: companies we know and trust, or those that are acknowledged as leaders of their industries.
If a big company is willing to endorse, back or work with a smaller company, it can give the smaller company a major boost.
This is why you see so many SaaS companies list all the logos of the corporations that use their solutions.
The Asana homepage quickly mentions that it’s “TRUSTED BY THE WORLD’S BEST TEAMS”, showing the logos for Deloitte, NASA, and some other big names.
This is also one of many reasons why IT resellers partner with cloud solution distributors like intY: knowing that there’s a respected supplier backing things makes it easier to give a new business a chance.
By having your name linked to some much bigger names, you can really start to establish your operation as being on that level.
To use the ice cream example, you could get your ice cream sold by a big store brand, or provide refreshments for some kind of recreational competition run by a big brand.
This would inevitably see you pick up more links, and get you mentioned in combination with those businesses (great for SEO). It’s an ideal scenario.
Collaboration is great for creating exceptional content
Having high-end content is hugely important for ranking well.
Backlinks certainly aren’t everything (especially if you’re cutting corners), and plenty of businesses have shot to the top of the SERPs by consistently putting out high-value posts that cater perfectly to their audiences and hit upon all the right keywords.
But content marketing is far from easy. There’s so much great content out there, after all.
Well, collaboration is one of the best ways to create content that can really perform well in the SERPs: it allows you to split the effort for a post and benefit from much broader expertise.
To use that ice cream company example again, you could partner with the lemonade company to create a comprehensive guide to summertime refreshment.
Once you had the baseline done, you could even reach out to more brands that make summertime refreshment products: companies from makers of novelty ice cubes to manufacturers of paddling pools.
By bringing them all together to offer tips and tricks, you could create a massive guide that would surely rank incredibly well (and get a lot of promotion) while establishing powerful links to all of the participating brands.
And as the brand responsible for getting the project underway, you’d have the most sway over it and get the most plaudits.
SEO was never easy, but it’s become significantly harder in recent years due to the immense rise in competition. You need something to set you apart – and partnering with one or more businesses roughly in your niche (but not competing with you) might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
I’m a UK based freelance SEO consultant and digital marketer and I provide results-driven online consulting and digital marketing services to SMEs. Are you ready to grow in 2020? Get in touch today!