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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How Marketing Can Empower Sales To Generate Leads Via LinkedIn

Professionals often turn to LinkedIn to find expertise in a particular area.  The LinkedIn search features provide an excellent opportunity for your sales team’s profiles to appear in relevant, intent-based searches.

Marketers seem to get this, but many sales professional profiles I’ve viewed aren’t optimized for search.  This is a great, easy opportunity for you (marketing) to coach your sales team on how to optimize their profiles.

It took me about 5 minutes to optimize my profile and as a result, my profile views and appearances in search have more than doubled. More importantly, I’m finding that the percentage of viewers that fit my target audience profile has increased substantially.  Most importantly, I’ve won business as a result of this tactic.

Here’s what I did (and how you can coach your sales team to do the same):

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3 Traffic-Stopping Mistakes for New Web Sites

The development of a new website is an exciting, yet resource-intensive project for any company. At the end, your new website should reflect the many hours invested and result in a more productive, effective site that supports the unique needs of your company.  If being found in search is one of your objectives, be certain to avoid these three common mistakes:

Looks nice but where's the traffic?

1. Lack of an On-Site Keyword Strategy

An On-Site Keyword Strategy is the most important element of either building a new website or redesigning an existing one if you expect to be found in search.

It is vital that you have a strategy for building page depth, inbound links, and website content, and that you understand the keywords you use for search optimization. This is the key difference between having an easily found site and one that sits lonely in cyberspace without much traffic.

Because of this, the best path to success involves creating a highly refined site architecture that funnels content through specific keyword phrase categories and sub-categories.
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Chart A Clear Internet Marketing Strategy for 2010 with The Internet Marketing Audit

THE INTERNET MARKETING AUDIT 

A Clear Action Plan to Build on Your Internet Marketing from Code to Client

Are you just getting started marketing online or do you have a developed web presence?  Either way, you likely want to be certain you’re getting most out of your internet marketing investment.  Before you dream up your next blog post, think about what social media channel you’re missing out on or call your web designer to ask them to “make a change”, consider an Internet Marketing Audit from Meriam Media. Read more of this post

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