One of the biggest hurdles for websites is how to get traffic without solid search engine rankings. With overwhelming proportions of traffic landing on websites directly from search results, it can be a devastating blow to companies who lack that pillar in their online presence. There are a myriad of obstacles that could be hampering your site from being found through search. However, the Internet provides fantastic opportunities to gain brand followers in other ways. Through strategic content placement and even some off-line networking, you can draw in better leads and bolster your online business.
Meeting Halfway for Inbound Marketing
Even if your target audience isn’t heading straight to you, they’re tuned into some kind of network. The overall strategy of marketing without relying on the SERPs is to penetrate those off-site networks and catch audience attention there. Even without top rankings, there are still plenty of ways to leverage online resources to direct traffic and leads to your business. While these techniques require more energy than writing a blog post and publishing to your website, they have the ability to introduce users to your brand more intimately than if they were to just stumble across your website through search.
1) Write Professional Articles
Part of getting more people to notice your brand is to place content where people will see it. Research publications generated by the local business community, your industry, and other business organizations you either belong to or qualify for. Often groups will accept member submissions for thought leadership articles or advice articles relevant to their community. Because these publications are already widely received, your article will have a large audience, and there is a better chance of the content being shared more broadly across social media. In the author bio, be sure to let readers know how to contact you and include a link to your blog so they can read more articles you’ve written.
2) Connect through Guest Blogs
Writing guest blogs for other websites and bloggers works off of the same idea as article publication. It often has a smaller scope than association publications because it targets just that blogger’s audience instead of a broader industry audience. With guest blogs, however, you have an even better opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with a fellow content creator, and you may be able to place more of your content there in the future.
3) Speak at Events & Workshops
One of the best ways to introduce others to your company is to give them a face and a name to go with it. In addition to gaining access to industry publications, networking with business associations may also yield opportunities to speak at seminars and conferences. This gives business leaders a chance to demonstrate their expertise and get their message out through good old-fashioned PR. Giving out pens, business cards, or just posting your contact information on the last slide of your presentation can lead many highly interested parties straight to your website.
4) Organize a Webinar
If there aren’t any speaking opportunities coming up, make one yourself! Advertise the event through your business association and social media advertising. Hosting a webinar tells event planners that you have the confidence and material to appeal to professional audiences, and they may consider you for their next workshop. The webinar recording itself also becomes a digital asset for your brand that you can continue to market.
5) Host Digital Assets Off-Site
When you create information-rich pieces of content, post them in areas where viewers are already looking for that type of content. Create accounts across media sharing sites (including YouTube, SlideShare, Visual.ly , etc.) so that you can host content there. Then embed those materials into a blog post that explains the content in more detail. For instance, a video recording of a webinar can go on YouTube where web searchers may be more likely to find it than if it were only found on your website. In your blog, embed the video and write a post that summarizes the webinar and breaks down the main takeaway points. You can also expand on points that may have benefited from more elaboration. The same can be done for infographics, slide shows, videos, and more.
Going Back to Marketing Basics
A website is a valuable marketing tool, but it is still just one tool. Marketers and business owners can be overly concerned about their rankings, and this may cause them to miss opportunities to reach out to prospective clients in other ways. With SEO best practices becoming more oriented toward traditional PR and marketing methods, it makes sense to pursue other channels of outreach even if you have strong rankings.
Other than organic rankings, how do you reach out to new users?
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