A growing number of firms are investing heavily in thought leadership, providing a fresh perspective on pressing issues of the day. However, too many companies fall at the final hurdle because the insights they produce are difficult to find.
Can you claim to be a genuine thought leader if people aren’t reading and reacting to your content? Content may be King, but findability is Queen.
The key is to ensure your earned, owned and paid for media is used to maximum effect. This means generating media coverage and using digital and other channels to amplify your messages. But, critically, it also means developing a smart SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) strategy to drive audiences to your content.
Here are five practical tips to boost the findability of your content:
1. Know the rules of the game. Google often changes its policies, which can cause previously top rated sites to plummet down the rankings. Google has recently re-evaluated its policies in response to the fake news trend and complaints from a string of high-profile businesses about extremist content appearing alongside their adverts.
2. Write for your audience, not an algorithm. Google used to reward websites based on the number of keywords included in your content. For example, a webpage that included 20 mentions of ‘thought leadership’ would out-rank one with only 15. This is no longer the case. Now, Google rewards good content which audiences want to read, not companies that write solely to improve their SEO ranking. Google and other search engines will penalise you if your page includes the same keyword multiple times.
3. Make sure your PPC is set up for specific search terms. Paying for a broad term like ‘architecture firm’ or ‘business consultancy’ is expensive and a likely waste of money. You need to ensure your PPC is set up for something unique to your firm or content. For example, if you’re an architecture firm commenting on women in the industry, setting up PPC for ‘women in architecture’ is much more likely to attract relevant audiences to your content. Likewise, if you’re a business consultancy speaking about ethnic diversity, a phrase like ‘ethnic diversity in consultancies’ will yield much better results.
4. Seed your content across a range of channels. As part of Google’s algorithm, sites are rewarded for links from other sites. Get your content on other sites with a link back to yours – but ensure the text is changed. If identical content appears on multiple sites, you run the risk of losing traction. Google will try and find the original source of content first (i.e. your own website), but failing to alter the content for, say, LinkedIn could mean that your LinkedIn profile ranks higher than your company’s website.
5. Be social and sociable. Click-throughs from social media channels boost your SEO ranking, as this tells Google that people are interested in what you have to say. Ensure you are measuring the success of your social media activity correctly by using campaign urls. Make sure you monitor comments on the blog, too, as interacting with visitors to your website can also boost your ranking.
As the saying goes, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Keep in mind these five top tips and you’ll ensure that all roads lead to your content.
For more in our series of practical thought leadership advice, see tip 1 on being evidence-led and tip 2 on being authentic.