The Role of SEO in Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership requires content and SEO strategy.
Thought Leadership is about finding your niche and positioning yourself as an expert with original content. Most great Thought Leaders use blogs, eBooks, webinars, and social networks to disseminate their packaged expertise. Since all of this original content exists online, it can’t just sit on the web and wait for people to find it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so Google can rank it higher in the search results than other websites. In terms of Thought Leadership, SEO can help your target audience find you more easily instead of digging and digging though pages of results. Optimizing your content ensures the right people will find you.
How does it work? In a nutshell, you identify your niche, make a list of search terms/keywords that speak to that niche, and then add those words strategically throughout the copy on your website. That’s an overly simplified explanation, but it’s all about “owning” certain terms and using them to attract the right people.
The information on your website needs to solve problems. So right off the bat, the copy on your homepage needs to offer solutions to problems your potential customers might be facing. If you’re an expert, put your expertise front and center. You want to be viewed as a resource, so your website content should be informative from page-to-page.
It’s all about having an SEO strategy when you write your copy and implementing it with tact. So don’t use too many text-heavy graphics. If you’re using images for nearly every piece of text on your site, then Google will never be able to find you. Images can’t be read by web crawlers, so you will likely lose on traffic and search engine rankings if your copy isn’t in the right places. Because even though search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they still can’t see and understand a webpage the same way a human can. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it might appeal to users.
Here are some basic tips to get you started:
- Analytics: You need to know where you stand right now. Have a benchmark to understand what traffic you have and where it is coming from currently.
- Keywords: Each page on your website needs to have keywords to give search engines a “cliff notes” version of what the page is about. These should match the search terms that your audience would use.
- Links: Create outbound and inbound links within the copy. This will convey authority of your site and the more relevant they are the better.
- Search Friendly URLs: Use related words (instead of numbers and random letters) to identify each page on your site. Utilizing term-specific web addresses will be easier for your audience and Google.
- Images: Search engine spiders can only see text, not pictures. Be sure to add an ALT tag to add keyword rich descriptions.
- Page Titles: Each page on your site needs to have a unique title. This is what will appear in the search listings and tells what to expect on that page.
- Social Media: Links to your site from social media sites help spread the word and establish authority.
Without SEO, your website can be virtually invisible. But through SEO in Thought Leadership, you can keep your audience focused on you instead of blindly searing the web.