Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant, NAPL

SEO SuccessAs I’ve written about before, talking to a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant reminds me of talking to a voodoo witch doctor.  Each has their own unique way to position their strange juju to get your page ranking higher on the Google search list. Ironically when you start to research the subject you learn that it’s not as magical as some would make you believe.

What is SEO and why is it important? The goal of SEO is to get your company or product, higher on the Google search page page rankings when customers are researching products. The two main strategies to get higher on the list are paid search, which means you’re paying for listings much like buying ads, and organic search which means the search engines list you higher based on your content, backlinks and webpage design.

As the name would suggest, internal page design refers to the coding behind your webpage such as your metatags, keywords, internal linking, and formatting. Backlinking refers to links from other sites and the popularity of those other sites. The link from a  more popular page will carry more weight than the link from an obscure page. Content marketing includes writing blogs and pushing people to those blogs using Twitter and LinkedIn.

One way to increase effectiveness of content marketing is to push people to that content using sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.  Expanding upon the voodoo witch doctor theme, to take advantage of your own juju, you want to create the illusion that you are a thought leader. That perception is created by blogging and recommending articles from other thought leaders.

How much should you write and how much should you recommend? I shoot for ratio of 3 or 4 to 1. In other words, for every blog I create, I recommend 3 or 4 articles written by others. Some experts recommend writing 5 blogs a week, but that is a huge time commitment and I have not seen significantly better results from 3 blogs a week.  Other ways to increase interest is to include pictures or graphics, and some believe that video blogs are more interesting than the written blogs.

The goal here is to push people down a sales funnel. It might start with a mention and a link in Twitter or LinkedIn which pushes people to a blog, then an article and ultimately to a website where an offer is made. The whole time you’re engaging your audience by talking to them about a subject that interests them and increasing your SEO.

The bottom line is write about subjects that will help your customers in their business, push them to your blogs from other sources, encourage feedback and you will enhance your reputation as a thought leader, become easier to find on the web and create a lead generation tool to sell more products.

How are you going to increase your SEO and generate new sales leads?

Howie Fenton is a consultant and business advisor at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.