You may wonder how these two things would even be connected. After all, search engine optimization deals with getting your website the highest possible ranking on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. How does that relate to business networking, where if you're doing it right, leads to referrals.
I was recently reading an article by Paul Boag, a noted website design expert, about what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not. It is not a magic pill you can take and suddenly you have the best website ever. Well, let me re-phrase that... you could have the best ranking website for a short while, but the results won't last for long! This is something we've been telling our clients for years.
You see, when you dump a bunch of energy, time and potential money into SEO you will see some results, most likely. But these results will also most likely be short-lived. Just as if you join a gym and go 3-4 times a week, you will get more fit. Most however, stop going to the gym (25-45% quit in the first few weeks). The same can be said for SEO and business networking.
Why? It's work! Even more than just being work, it's work that you must keep on doing. SEO is the same thing, you need to constantly feed your website fresh and relevant content. After all, Google themselves recommend that you "create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content."
So how does this all relate to business networking? Because networking, if you do it properly, is work. It's right in the word... networking.
I belong to an organization called BNI (Business Network International) and it's a critical resource for growing my business. As a matter of fact and disclosure, I am the Managing Director for the Western Massachusetts region of BNI. In that position it is my goal to help business professionals increase the success of their businesses. I do that by sharing a proven system that has been around for nearly 28 years, educate them how to effectively train their fellow BNI members to find quality referrals for them and how to set and achieve real goals for measurable success. But you want to know the secret on how to do this? Here you go... it takes consistent effort. Just like it does to get great search engine rankings for your website.
Now a lot of you might stop here and say, "Well Jason is just promoting BNI because he's the Managing Director..." If you're wondering why I am part of this organization, head over and read this article. I also have worked with local Chambers of Commerece on how to train their new members to be effective networkers... so it goes beyond just BNI.
Both SEO and business networking require commitment to getting better results. Just as many business work with an expert if content development and SEO, we should work with experts in business networking if we really want to see results. In fact, I'm fortunate enough to know Tim Roberts, Executive Director of three BNI regions (including Western Mass) and the founder ofSuccess Through Referrals (which is another great place to learn about all types of business networking). Tim is my coach in the world of business networking, so I highly recommend you take a few moments and check out his website.
So there are things many will tell you are the "magic pill" for business networking and many people out there who claim to be networking experts... and some are experts! But it doesn't matter who you listen to if you're not willing to do the work part of networking. Consistent work. Running out to a few networking events is only going to provide you that same type of short-term "spike in the rankings" that dumping a little bit of time and energy into your website content will do for Google. Those results quickly fade... usually replaced by the person that's continually putting forth the effort.
I'm happy to talk to you about both website "SEO" and business networking and start helping you see long-term results in both areas.