Three SEO Tips To Spark More Website Traffic
Organic search drives 51 percent of channel partners' website traffic, on average, and yields an average 14.6 percent close rate on sales leads. By contrast, email marketing has a close rate of roughly 1.7 percent.
Organic search has become one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels, with a high return on investment. The Search Engine Marketing and Professionals Organization (SEMPO) estimates that 87 percent of search-engine dollars are spent on pay-per-click (PPC) vs. 11 percent on SEO efforts. SEMPO also states that organic search is more than five times more effective – mostly due to extended reach.
With 100 billion searches each month on Google alone, there is enormous opportunity for channel partners to grow their revenue and traffic with very little investment.
However, channel partners may not always have the budget or resources that bigger, national brands have to invest in organic search. They may even find themselves trying to rank above the large, national brands and compete with aggregator sites, such as Amazon. But the key for channel partners to winning at organic search is to align their strategies with those of lesser-known vendor partners to create a mutually beneficial strategy to rank above their competitors, particularly in certain geographic markets.
Since nine out of every 10 people say they review only the first Web page of each set of search results, it's important to think strategically about SEO to land on that first page. Collaborating on organic search strategies is a win-win for both a vendor and its channel because developing shared assets, such as images and videos, will make the efforts more cost-effective.
Here are three organic search strategies channel resellers should consider in leveraging their vendor relationships to grow market share.
1. Use Product Locators to Seamlessly Increase Local Organic Search Rankings
One challenge vendors and channel resellers face is successfully implementing a local organic search strategy. A little-known secret is the impact a “vendor locator” can have on increasing rankings for geography-targeted keyword combinations, and on increasing rankings for high search volume keywords across desktop and mobile search. The key is to implement this URL structure: “/company.com/products/ca/san-diego/.”
Once that's in place, the functionality of the product locator should be configured to allow users to search to find the nearest vendor. The key here is to increase the ranking of your page by using reciprocal links. For example, if “Business A” and “Business B” link to each other, a reciprocal relationship is established and each site can receive a rankings boost. However, if both are located in the same area, reciprocal links could cause one to rank above the other or compete for organic search visibility.
2. Add Schema Markup to Boost Visibility
Channel resellers should also consider adding schema markup, or specific tags that can be added to HTML, to increase product visibility within Google, which has very specific implementation instructions. While this may seem intimidating at first, schema markup is actually very easy to implement and follows the same logic pattern as standard HTML.
3. Drive Content for More Traffic
Compelling content is another way channel resellers can generate more visits to their websites, specifically media that answers the questions and concerns of potential customers. Creating content can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, so channel partners should leverage material from their vendor partners and customize it for their target customers' needs. Great vendor partners have robust private-label reseller programs with white label content. A business can use Google Trends to find highly relevant topics to align with, as well as tools like Reddit and Quora to pinpoint questions that customers have on specific products.
Once the content is created or rebranded, the next step is to optimize it for keywords without altering the message. Keeping content fresh and relevant helps ensure that returning visitors have something new to look at each time they visit. Google AdWords' keyword research tool provides a running 12-month average of how many times a keyword is searched each month. It’s a great way to identify new words that will draw traffic to your website.
After channel resellers get into the habit of regularly creating relevant content, they should add links to vendor partners' websites, as well as links to different pages on their websites, or even to other channel partners' websites. Links should be placed sparingly and only be included when there's a benefit. For example, if a channel reseller of cloud IT services posts an article on the “top five tips to keep your data safe in the cloud,” a link back to a page on its website featuring data security solutions would be appropriate. To avoid being penalized by Google's algorithms, the majority of paid links should contain “nofollow” tags.
There is no one way to improve organic search rankings. There are different, proven methods that work with different industries, so it's important to regularly test the way organic listings are performing, making changes as needed. Google Analytics is a powerful tool to benchmark success since it can provide detailed insights into which methods have the greatest impact.
About the Author
Mani Narayan (pictured) is director of demand generation at Intermedia, a cloud business application provider based in Mountain View, Calif., that's No. 189 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list.
Edited by Alicia Young