When we think about Thought Leaders, people that spring to mind are influential experts like Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, and Simon Sinek. Why are these the first names that come to mind? It’s because they’ve established themselves over the years as the go-to source for industry-relevant information. In this blog, we’ll go through some of the most effective SEO strategies for thought leaders.
Getting to that level, though, takes a great deal of search-optimized, quality content and consistently distributing it through a variety of channels. These channels will ultimately lead to a healthy content marketing strategy and include blog posts, long-form SEO-optimized blogs, social content, and email marketing. At the end of the day, you really want to focus on growing your qualified organic traffic, and that means honing your SEO strategy.
How do you get started building a smart SEO content marketing strategy? Start by learning about how to write SEO-friendly blogs — Yoast, a plug-in we use here at Article Writing Co, breaks it down for you. We also connected with Brian Dean, CEO of Backlinko, whose email marketing strategies and content surrounding SEO garnered him a seat as a thought leader. We asked Dean how he thinks thought leadership fits into an overall SEO strategy, to which he replied: “Being a thought leader indirectly helps with SEO in a few ways. First, it can land you more link opportunities (like podcast interviews, guest posts, speaking gigs, etc.). Secondly, it makes you and your brand more recognizable, which can boost your organic click-through rate.”
So what are the top SEO tactics to consider if you want to grow your brand as a thought leader? We’ve broken it down into the 3 most important strategies you should be implementing.
Backlinks or link building is the process of obtaining hyperlinks that direct people back to your website. Google views backlinks as an endorsement of your business and gives your site legitimacy. If you’re looking to impact your business in a substantial way, link building has its advantages. A strong backlink strategy can improve traffic flow and site ranking to create a referral business network. When you’re in the process of building your links, it requires you to reach out to other businesses, resulting in forming relationships. When I start contacting individuals at companies about linking back to our site, we end up talking about the services we offer at Article Writing Co and that creates business opportunities for us. It’s a soft engagement strategy that works wonders!
An effective link-building strategy also helps promote your brand. It shows that you are the thought leader in your field through links to appropriate content. Neil Patel does a stellar job explaining how to use SEO to build your brand on his blog. Patel explains that “If you want to build strong brand recognition using the inbound methodology, you need to work on your SEO, content marketing, networking, social networks, and other such things.”
To understand what search terms you need to rank for, you must engage in keyword research. What are the thought leaders in your industry ranking for, and which keywords you should focus on?
Most times, keywords aren’t simply individual words. They are full sentences or groups of words that combine to properly describe your product or service. You also need to be careful here, as the over-use of keywords will make your content come off forced and may even lead to Google penalizing your site in their rankings.
We wrote a great article all about keywords and how to optimize them to your benefit.
Optimizing your Content
While keywords are an important part of your SEO, a rich content strategy is even more critical to the success of how Google ranks your site. This is the ideal situation for emerging Thought Leaders as the focus is on covering a specific topic.
This is where topic modeling comes into play. Topic modeling is a framework where the Google algorithm measures the topical comprehension of your page and measures it to a search query.
Here, content optimization focuses on finding the best answers to a search query with comprehensive content. As a thought leader, this is your chance to shine and focus on a niche topic of choice. The narrower your focus, the better your chances of being picked up by search engines.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.