Likability Principle for SEOs and Digital Marketers

Robert B. Cialdini wrote a book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ in which he explained 6 different principles to influence people. This post is the 4th part of the series, in which I am going to explain the Liking Principle about how online marketers and SEOs can use this principle to their advantage.

What is the principle of liking?
Consumers can be convinced and persuaded by the people they like. They are more likely to buy things from a sales person they like, instead of the one they don’t. Physical attractiveness, similarities, familiarity and compliments all fall into the category of liking.

So, if you are planning to buy a new phone by going physically in to the shop and you have got two choices (keeping all things similar), either to buy it from a giant man with lots of attitude or to buy it from a physically attractive lady with a sweet voice. Let’s face it; you probably are going to buy it from a lady just because you like that lady!

Let’s take another example, if I am planning to buy an online tool that helps me with outreaching efforts and if Don Rhoades or Tad Chef recommend any tool, I probably will buy it and this is mainly because I simply trust them blindly when it comes to SEO and digital marketing.

To put it simply, likability comes in many forms, people may be similar or familiar to us, they may give us compliments, or we may just simply trust them.

Usage of the principle of liking 

It is true that we get influenced by the opinions of people we like, if they recommend or endorse something there is this feeling of assurance that your buying decision will prove to be the right one. Attractive models promote different products and services through television adverts and if you actually like any model, you are more likely to buy that particular product or service he/she is promoting.

There are tons of TV commercials that use this tactic and on the internet; GoDaddy is popular for using this idea.

It’s is no rocket science that we tend to like people we are able to trust. For instance, if you trust your parents and they recommend you a particular doctor, you are more likely to visit him instead of the one you found on Yelp.

Note: Here you have to keep all other things constant.

In the digital marketing world, Rand Fishkin is very well-respected and people find him as an authority that can be trusted. Some years back when Moz was SEOMoz, they used Rand’s photo in their ads to promote their tools.

As people in the SEO community trust Rand, they were influenced to buy the tools or at least use their free trial version.

There are many other examples in the real world where businesses are using the likability principle to attract audience/prospective buyers.

How SEOs can use this principle?

We as human beings tend to like individuals who share our interests and aims. Research has also proven that individuals have a tendency to help those who they like.

This is one thing that SEOs and link builders use in their outreach campaigns to increase their response rate. This can also convince them to say yes to link requests.

Doesn’t matter if you are a complete stranger to your recipient, but if you can find similarities between you and the recipient, your response rate will alarmingly increase.

In my case, if anyone has studied in the same school as I did, I will tend to respond to him as compared to the guy who has no connection with me. I also give special attention to the people who reach out to me because of my contribution in Moz community and always try to help them from time to time.

When sending emails to your recipient, try to share at least one or two similarities that catches his/her attention and encourages him/her to reply to your emails.

For example:

  • If you like the DOG they have, write a line or two about it and follow with the real reason you have written the email.
  • If you are supporting a similar cause, just let him/her know and proceed with the email.

Keep in mind if you include common interests or similarities in your mail, that doesn’t mean that it should be lengthy. Your email should be precise, to the point and should be drafted in order not to waste the recipient’s time. Getting Exposure through Trust

SEOs can also use the trust factor to attract target audience and make them read their content. When people trust someone, liking them is comes naturally.

All you have to do is to reach out to influencers and build connections with them. In the marketing industry, Seth Godin is considered to be the biggest influencer. If he shares your blog piece in his post or shares it on Twitter, his followers will probably like your piece too and this is because it was shared by someone they like and trust.

There are other ways, but the two I have discussed are the most effective ones to get better response rate and also to build a community around your website.

Previous Posts of the Series:

Part 3: Rule of Social Proof

Part 2Commitment and Consistency Rule

Part 1The Rule of Reciprocity

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