At our Sage Insights Business Partners Conference last week in Denver, I gave a presentation to partners on increasing marketing effectiveness, and spent some time talking about how important it is to optimize your Web site to influence page rankings in search engines. I recently read that 80% of search engine users don’t browse deeper than the first two pages of a search engine page. The same source also said that 75% of online purchases and orders are made on Web sites found through search engines, so you can see how important it is to have your Web site optimized. In my session I focused on the things my audience could do for free such as blogging, writing press releases, writing articles, and keeping their Web site fresh with new content. This sparked a lively discussion about time and resources. The consensus was that they didn’t have the time or resources to blog every day, write press releases or even to keep up with their social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. The question I heard throughout my session and the conference was: Where should I focus my efforts?
My answer to them was it’s not as difficult or time consuming as you think to execute tactics that can help your business rank higher in search engines.
1.Get blogging: Who has the time? I get it. It’s hard for me to find the time too. But, blogging is beneficial in many ways. It’s a great way to keep your content fresh on your site (which helps in Web page ranking). I recommend posting blogs at least 2-3 days a week. Take it from someone who has learned the hard way when I missed a few blog deadlines for this journal…always be looking and listening for blog ideas. Whether you write about your field (e.g., marketing) or whether you’re writing about your industry (e.g., CRM), there are lots of topics out there. I now keep a small notepad with me at all times so I can jot down ideas when I come across them and this really helps. You can blog about timely topics, interview an interesting subject, or even comment on and link back to an article that you found interesting. Blogging can also help position you as a leader in your field or industry. Once you have blog followers, the hope is that they’ll start linking back to your blog on their Web sites and in articles, which also helps increase your search engine ranking.
2.Get the word out: Write press releases about new products and services, big wins, success stories, events, or community involvement. Press releases have (or should have) “link backs” to your Web site…increasing your search engine rankings.
3.Get published: Writing articles in journals or on Web sites is a great way to position yourself as an expert but also a way to include link backs to your Web site. Web sites like HARO (helpareporterout.com) and Ezine Articles are great sites where you can write and post articles (and of course be sure to include link backs to your Web site).
4.Get social: This was the hottest topic of my session. Which social media sites should I focus my time and energy on? Most partners stated LinkedIn and Facebook were most beneficial to them. There are also services such as TwitterFeed and Ping.fm that will automate the publishing of your blogs or RSS feeds to social media sites, which can really save you time!
My last tip I gave to partners was to “get organized”. Start a simple monthly calendar where you can organize tactics and topics. Maybe start small: aim for one press release a month, one blog a week, and 3-4 tweets a week. Creating an editorial calendar for your writing tactics helps keep you organized, on task and deadline, and makes the job less daunting.
Have you found writing blogs and articles helpful in your search engine rankings?