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Preview: How to Win Rankings & Influence Search Results

I will be speaking at a PDXTech4Good meetup on Tuesday March 20 @ 5:30. My presentation is titled “Get Found: How to Win Rankings & Influence Search Results”. The meetup is free and open to anyone – more details on the PDXTech4Good site

I’ll be covering how to integrate SEO efforts, content development and social media marketing as well as some other issues affecting the current search engine landscape like Google Plus. The following is a preview of a part of what I’ll cover in that presentation.

Blogging, Internal Links & Rankings

Many times when I go to talk to clients – I find that most of them are grasping the “content is king” concept of content and are finally seeing blogging and social as a way to do it. However – many times they don’t really understand how to leverage that content and those social media efforts for better rankings. Simply put – the question is usually “how does writing a blog post improve the rankings of my site and product/service pages?”.  So I like to explain the concept of the ‘link-building bank shot’ and explain how it’s all about internal links.

So here’s how I explain the general approach.

Search Engine Ranking Factors

SEOmoz does a study every couple years to examine the correlation between search engine rankings and certain SEO factors. Note the prevalence of authority based factors like links, social metrics and keyword usage. Seems obvious right – use your keywords, get yourself some links & social metrics and you’re golden right? Not so easy for most brand marketers. Especially B2B marketers.

SEOmoz 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors

SEOmoz's 2011 Search Engine Rankings Factors. Click for larger image. Image copyright SEOmoz

The Link & Social Conundrum for Marketers

The problem? Your product, services & solution content is probably, well, boring.

Cat sleeping on keyboard

This cat fell asleep while looking at your boring content.

Sorry, but it’s true. Marketers want to drive leads & sales. That means – they want their “money” product, service & solution content to rank well. This type of content is tough to get links & social attention for, and you can only do so much with keywords. Typically – this is that bottom-of-sales-funnel content anyway and it should be well written (and optimized). With a good copywriter, you can go a long way towards making it interesting, engaging and convert well; but will it be shareable/likeable/linkable? Probably not. I mean – most of you probably wouldn’t put a cute cat picture on your services page.

Rather than pick on anyone else – we’ll pick on ourselves. Let’s face it – who’s going to link to or “like” our SEM services page? I can think of a handful of people we could coerce into doing it – but natural or organic links & likes? Probably not.

Amplify Interactive SEM services page

Our SEM services page. Not so great for links & likes.

Blogging FTW!

There are a few different approaches to building on the ranking factors discussed above – you can create studies, infographics, articles, community development, etc. However, a blog should be at the center of all of them. There’s no better/faster/easier way to create and distribute linkable/shareable content and connect it to your sales & marketing content . SEO’s and social media practitioners have been hounding on this point for years. You NEED a blog. Not only that – you need to actively blog. Find a way to get it done. Why? Think about a blog vs the rankings factors above. When done right, a blog allows you to:

  • Increase page and domain level links
  • Increase domain level keyword usage
  • Build social metrics
  • Market the content you do create (like those infographics and studies)
  • Breathe life into and create a “home” for your social media efforts
  • Create internal links to sales/marketing content to build its authority

The Authority “Bank Shot”

In the last bullet above, I mentioned “internal links”. This is no small detail. Marketers can use their “interesting” (linkable, shareable, likeable) content to build authority and improve rankings for sales & marketing content with internal links. We call this the “bank shot”…

–End of Preview–

How does the bank shot work? There was a clue in this post… Can you figure it out? Comment below.

Otherwise you’ll have to come to the presentation on Tuesday to find out.  See PDXTech4Good’s event page for more details.

OK OK – if you link/like/share/plus and/or comment on this post and ask real nice – I’ll give you part two.

Ben Lloyd

About Ben Lloyd

Ben Lloyd serves as Principal at Add3 and manages the agency’s Portland office.  Ben got his start in SEM way back in 1999 – when there was like, 15 search engines and Google was barely a thing. Prior to Add3, Ben had founded Amplify Interactive in 2003 (which was acquired by Add3 in 2013), and hasn’t looked back since. Ben likes lots of stuff like golf, pinball, food(ie), booze/beer/wine – in that order, etc. Mostly – he likes doing that stuff with his friends. Ben is also co-founder of SEMpdx. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn