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Leveraging Third-Party Sites to Raise Your Company’s Profile in Search
Many larger companies are able to virtually dominate the organic search results through the sheer number of unique domains that they have to work with. For example, in addition to its corporate websites, Honda ranks in organic search with domains that are unique to its vehicle, watersports, engine, and motorcycle business units, among others. Provided the business propositions and/or products/services offered are unique, these rankings are helpful to searchers.
But we don’t all work for companies that have many diverse business units and unique websites. (Relatively) smaller companies can achieve similar organic search success by working with and through third-party sites to help build their profile in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
This approach is designed to help you increase the number of productive, positive rankings for a specific keyword, usually your company’s brand. If there are multiple sensational, spammy, or otherwise negative URLs that rank in organic search for your brand, this strategy can help you increase traffic and revenue, and may even help increase customer confidence in your brand.
Your company’s business development team establishes and builds relationships with corporate partners. Many partners have credible websites that generally rank well in search. Through your business development team, work to post content about your company on those partner sites. It’s a win-win: your partners get more content to include on their sites and your company benefits from the increased visibility.
Ideally, a partner will develop unique, valuable content to describe the partnership, your company’s products, and/or how your company works with that partner. Before approaching the partners you may want to review the executed partner agreement to make sure that adding content is within the spirit of the partnership. Not all partners may be willing to post the content, depending on the nature of the partnerships that you have with them.
To help ensure consistent communication of your brand message, it may be wise to review or approve each partner’s content before it goes live. The content may already be optimized by the partner’s search marketing team. If not, you may want to recommend changes that will improve the content’s search ranking.
Affiliates can also help raise your company’s profile in the SERPs. Affiliates are often savvy search marketers. Your affiliates may even outrank the company’s official site on some relevant keywords. Or maybe that’s the point, depending on your strategy. If you find it difficult to rank well in organic search for certain keywords, then working with affiliates is one alternative. However, this strategy comes with risks.
Some affiliates are successful in search because they use gray-hat tactics that you may not be willing to employ. In the long term you may not want your brand to be associated with these affiliate sites. You also need to closely monitor how your brand is promoted by affiliates. Some affiliates use bait-and-switch or other unsavory tactics to sell your product. Your company might have leverage in cases like this, depending on the guidelines set forth in your company’s affiliate agreement.
Social media sites
Social media marketing is not yet widely adopted by many companies, with industry-wide debate about how to monetize the resulting traffic. But in-house search marketers can’t afford to overlook social media marketing opportunities. Especially if your company has strong brand awareness, social media is another way to raise the company’s profile in organic search. For example, if your company doesn’t have a presence in Wikipedia, you may want to start a page for your brand. Be sure to follow the guidelines in order to avoid a conflict of interest, which is easy to do on some social media marketing sites.
Review your inventory of video or image content and post the content on sites like YouTube. More popular content typically works best. This works not only for bigger, national companies but also for smaller local companies. For example Eastern Motors, a car dealer group in the DC area currently ranks in Google with its commercials.
Upload your products to shopping engines, such as Google Product Search, can also help raise your company’s profile in the SERPs. Google posts shopping results at the top of the SERPs for many keywords. If you sell Toyota RAV4 floor mats, for example, Google Product Search may just earn your company a top ranking.
These are just a few ideas. What are some other ways that your company can work with third-party sites to raise your profile in search?
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.