Optimizing Branded Content for Search

Have you ever read a blog post, caught a Twitter update or received an email promoting something that looked interesting but for whatever reason the timing wasn’t right to respond to it?  Perhaps it was a white paper, an eBook, or a webinar and you passed on downloading it because:

  • you knew you didn’t have time to read or view it right then
  • it pertained to a future initiative, but you had to get through the one at hand first, or
  • you were on a mobile device and it wasn’t convenient to download at the time

You aren’t the only one.  Chances are that your prospects have done the same thing with your content.  The opportunity that many marketers miss when they publish great content is to optimize a companion landing page (at minimum) for search.  Since the search engines are typically the first place people go when they’re looking for answers, it makes sense to make your solution easy to find.

Below is an example of one way to approach optimizing branded content for search.  This happens to be how the demand generation agency I’m with approached branded content SEO for their very popular eBook, “The High-Tech Direct Marketing Handbook.”

Let’s assume the prospect forgot the company’s name (how dare they?!) but remembered the asset was something like, “high tech marketing handbook.”  Here’s the search result:

search optimized branded content

The first listing links to the eBook landing page (with registration form), the second listing links to an optimized page on Spear’s resource center.

Even with top billing in the organic listings, it’s still not a bad idea to include branded content keywords to your paid search campaign in the mix, particularly if you find competitors competing for related phrases.

The branded content SEO tactic can also work well when combined with display advertising promoting the content.  By using the display ads to create awareness content asset, you can measure lift in organic search and conversions.

Below are some tips for optimizing a branded content landing page for search:

  • Include the unique, branded title of the content in the URL
  • Include the title and your company name in the Page Title
  • Include a call-to-action in the page description, along with a concise description of how a prospect will benefit from the offer
  • Include the title in the page copy with an H1 tag
  • If the content is registration gated, use an image of the offer content (a thumbnail or similar image) to make it more “tangible”
    • Also, don’t include more registration form fields than are absolutely necessary
  • Reinforce the call to action along with a description of the types of problems that your content will solve
    • If possible, break up the keywords from your content title and integrate them separately in the on-page content
  • Build high-quality links to the landing page via authoritative sites (via blogging, social media, etc.)
  • With gated content, improve conversions by limiting extraneous navigation and unrelated calls-to-action
  • If the content is gated, create a “thank you page” for post-registration that includes social media icons (linked to the landing page) to make it easy to share the content socially
  • If the content is un-gated, place a image, sidebar banner or link to relevant “gated content”
  • If the content is gated, consider fulfilling the content via email (particularly if you use a marketing automation solution because you can more easily track opens and clicks)
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About Tom Meriam
Tom has delivered winning advertising and marketing programs for B2C and B2B companies ranging from locally-focused small businesses to enterprise corporations. He helped launch the first SMS-based reality show social media voting platform, published the magazine for California's oldest wine region and helped dozens of software company sales and marketing departments manage their revenue cycles more effectively.

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