Establishing yourself, or your company as an expert in your field is accomplished through a variety of digital marketing efforts and a lot of hard work. It doesn’t matter if you are a B2B, or B2C company, both benefit from sharing their expertise. Providing high quality products, services, and great customer service is only the beginning. Those are foundation benchmarks, but you have to promote them. Making sure your website is up to date, fine tuned and catching the ear of Google through SEO, keywords, tags, and phrases helps. Google analysis is critical. How are you doing in organic v.s. non-organic searches? When you give a talk, or speak at seminars and conferences through professional alliances and affiliations you help boost your reputation as an expert. Company blog pages help too, but they need to be current and have the right key words or phrases. These are all good, basic places to begin boosting your reputation as an industry thought leader. However, outright self promotion is only going to take you so far.
Keep these points from Wordstream.com in mind when thinking about the weight of Google and the need to be Google relevant:
- 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. (Internet Live Stats)
- 90% of searches made on desktops are done via Google. (Statista)
- 35% of product searches start on Google. (eMarketer)
- 34% of “near me” searches done via desktop and tablets result in store visits. (HubSpot)
- The average Google search session lasts just under a minute. (Moz)
- Organic Google results with 3-4 words in the title drive higher CTRs than organic results with 1-2 words in the title.
- 52% of global Internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
There is nothing wrong with self-promotion, but you need someone outside your company, or firm to validate your expertise for Google. Thought Leadership/White Papers are a great way to get third Party Validation. Let’s say you manufacture widgets and have been doing so for 50+ years in your family owned business. Your company enjoys a healthy reputation, but Google isn’t throwing you much love. Your lead rep writes an article with (300-500) words that includes keywords (widget, etc.) in the article. Or, you employ a writer to write the paper for you to be posted upon your approval, or edits.
The paper is posted to a Third party validation site. Someone searches for “best widgets” and lands on your article, “Building Better Widgets,” on the 3rd party site. They click on your article and now you are viewed as a thought leader in your field. The more articles posted, the more clicks, the more clicks the more traffic is directed to your site.
The article doesn’t promote your company directly. Instead, it offers expert advice in your field. At the bottom a picture of the thought leader is posted along with company name, title, and contact information. Think WebMD which is one of the biggest depositories of thought leadership in the world. The idea is to promote your thought leadership expertise without directly promoting your company. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Of course, you better have a website that delivers when they land on it!
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