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)

An Argument For Company-Wide Content Distribution On LinkedIn

Are you cranking out great B2B marketing content, but looking for new ways to extend distribution beyond the standard channels? You might consider looking internally to your colleagues to help out.

Most Knowledge Workers Are Social

While Facebook may or may not be the right channel for your B2B marketing messages, LinkedIn’s popularity with the white collar crowd is worthy of your attention.

Consider a company of 100 employees with an average of 25 connections (outside the company) per employee. That’s 2,500 1st degree contacts. Interesting?  A little, but probably not enough to hold an emergency company meeting about.

However, when you include the combined 2nd and 3rd degree contacts of your colleagues, the potential audience is an extended LinkedIn network of 20+ million. What would be the result if everyone in your company with a LinkedIn account posted corporate marketing content in their status updates?

Read more of this post

6 Ways to Increase Lead Generation for Custom Content Publishers

A custom publishing company asked me for feedback on their recently redesigned website.  As my strength is primarily in the direct marketing space, I focused on the techniques they used for generating leads, namely their downloadable offer content.  My observations are as follows:
Read more of this post

2 Cool Ways to “Sexy Up” Your Image Content on a Tight Budget

In my mind, there’s no doubting the value of the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

In fact, most marketers will agree that not only do pictures tell great stories, but they also attract, engage and sell the value of a product or service.

Bottom line, the more time buyers spend on your digital properties, the more likely they will become customers.

You may not have an image gallery like Adriana Lima, but don’t let that stop you from showcasing your images like a supermodel.

Want to “sexy up” the static images on your blog, website or social media without using expensive software?  No problem! Here are a couple cool, budget friendly tools you can use to breath life into your image gallery:

Read more of this post

4 Simple Secrets to Content Market like a Publisher

Struggling for ideas to drive your content marketing initiatives? Having a solid game plan and strategy is the key to success.

Look to the publishing industry for inspiration.  They’ve mastered the art of building audiences.

Here are a few simple secrets that you can apply to your program that I’ve learned after a decade in media and publishing: Read more of this post

Why I’m Still Talking About One Brand Experience 15 Years Later

Brand is about creating memorable experiencesContent marketing is about telling stories of memorable experiences that become engaging conversations.  Since this is the time of year to reflect on the past and consider the future, I thought about my most memorable New Year’s Eve moments.  While I’ve had many great ones surrounded by family and friends, December 31, 1996 in Las Vegas definitely resonates as the most memorable experience. Read more of this post

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