If you’ve invested in creating more traffic, and ultimately sales leads, through search engine optimization (SEO) – you’re familiar with how challenging and time-consuming SEO can be. You invest a lot of time and money, sometimes with lackluster results. When this happens, the conclusion is sometimes drawn that no one is searching for your business online and that search isn’t a viable marketing channel.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Then why didn’t SEO work?
The problem was likely with the strategic approach. When your brand or products aren’t well known, the best way to get found by potential buyers is to help them solve a common and compelling problem related to your product or service. In other words, when no one is searching for your brand or product, content marketing is the most effective way to get found.
Why is content marketing such an effective solution? We all use the web to search for solutions to problems. If your business isn’t solving a common and compelling problem, then the problem is with your business model. I’m assuming that’s not the case since you’re still reading this post.
Here are 4 easy steps to getting found online when no one is looking for your product, service or brand.
4 Steps to Getting Found When No One is Looking For Your Brand
Help your target audience solve a common challenge through targeted, problem-solving content.
To help your target audience solve a common challenge, you’ll first need to understand the challenges of your target audience. Which of these challenges can you best help them with and how does that lead to your product or service? Then, provide them with research material that enables them to understand the problem better, outline their options and provide a reasonable solution. This research material includes blog articles and content offers like eBooks, videos, presentations and other multi-media content.
What if writing isn’t something you are good at or enjoy? Create a list of topics with outlines. Then, hire a writer. Some writers are expensive but, after comparing the cost of a few different writers, you’ll likely be surprised at how affordable creating this content can be.
Keep in mind that this content is reusable and valuable for lead generation. It’s a worthwhile investment as long as you commit to promoting it well and lead readers to complete a form to capture contact information.
Here’s an example. Our audience contains marketers who are often challenged with successfully redesigning a website to generate sales leads. Our Website Redesign Handbook helps them with this challenge by outlining the potential problems and steps to take to complete a successful website redesign project.
Create an optimized landing page, complete with copy for the offer, meta-description and title for search engines to index.
Creating the content offer is admittedly the most challenging step in this process. Once that step is complete, creating a landing page is pretty straight-forward. The landing page is important because it’s the tool used to promote the content and encourage downloads. You’ll want to be sure to use landing page best practices and — most importantly of all landing page best practices – don’t forget to write a compelling title and meta-description for the page as this is the text that entices a visit from search engine results.
Your sales team will also benefit from the material by being able to share the information with prospects who share the targeted challenge so be sure to share the content and landing page URL with them.
Promote your content via blogging, search, social and through email.
Promoting the content is a critical and fairly easy step. Here are some fundamental tactics to use when promoting the offer.
- Send an email to share the offer with existing contacts.
- Create a SEO-optimized blog post to introduce the offer, including a call-to-action to download the offer.
- Share the content via social media using keywords or phrases related to the topic and relevant hashtags. Using keywords and hashtags makes the social posts easier to find and more relevant to readers researching the challenge you’ve targeted.
Be creative when promoting your offer, as you’re not limited to the previously mentioned promotion tools. You can also incorporate the offer into pay-per-click (PPC), print advertising and other mediums that you’re already using.
Measure the traffic growth and conversion rate over time.
Last, but certainly not least, measure the performance of the offer as you continue to promote it. The important metrics are visits and the conversion rate of the landing page. If you notice a low number of visits, spend time promoting the offer through different marketing channels. As you gain traction on growing visits, work to improve the conversion rate. At this point, you’ll want to spend your effort optimizing the page following landing page best practices and conducting tests to improve performance.
Now you have a valuable content offer that brings in new traffic and potential sales leads and a new twist to your SEO strategy. Instead of optimizing for product and brand names, you’ve added phrases to your SEO strategy related to customer challenges. To continue to grow your visibility, move on to the next challenge your audience faces.
And, do you know what the best part is? The value of your efforts will continue to compound over time as you create more content targeted to help your audience solve their problems and your company’s visibility grows.
Do you have something to add or is there something I’ve forgotten? Leave a comment to add to the conversation.
Cover image via iStockPhoto