Newsflash: Google has changed. If you want your site to rank for competitive keywords phrases, then building web directory backlinks and posting about new products on your blog just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore.
Yah, I know . . . you’ve heard that already. From a lot of people. So you’re trying to publish more “thought leadership” type content on your website. Stuff that delivers value to your targeted audience. Stuff that will help Google identify your site as an authority in your niche, and hopefully generate better rankings.
Here’s the good news: that’s one important part of a great strategy for better organic rankings.
Here’s the bad news: it’s not enough. Not by a long shot.
Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re in a competitive niche, then publishing innovative, targeted, useful content on your owned web properties is just the minimum you should be doing.
If you haven’t started helping your employees get published in external industry news sources, then you’re already behind. Your competitors are beating you to the punch, and they’re going to outrank you soon, too.
Why You Need to Turn Your Employees Into Industry Superheroes
Here’s the thing: you may be an innovator and a thought leader in your industry, but Google isn’t going to just take your word for it. The content on your website might be very well written, and it might generate a few backlinks, but it won’t do much good for you if your footprint doesn’t expand beyond your own shores.
When it comes to websites, Google hates isolationists. But it loves interventionists.
For those of you who don’t follow presidential elections, here’s what that means: your company needs to get involved in publishing content on relevant authority sites other than your own. And you start doing it right away. Not next week, not next month. I’m talking today.
And the best way to do that — aggressively and successfully — is by making industry superstars out of your own employees. Help them identify their passions in your industry, their innovative ideas and their unique analytical voice. And give them all the assets they need to create awesome content that gets published in industry websites, blogs, magazines and newsletters.
But Wait: Why Should I Give My Employees the Spotlight, Instead of My Company?
Because giving your employees the spotlight is going to help your company’s bottom line, that’s why. It’s going to help your website’s rankings, build your organization’s reputation as a place that employs thought leaders, and create advocates for your brand. Plain and simple.
Listen, I understand why some managers are hesitant to let their employees get attention and represent the company. They’re afraid that these employees might get too big for their britches. Or that they might get job offers from competitors once they appear in a widely-read publication.
Trust me: the benefits to helping your employees develop their public profile as an industry expert far outweigh the risks. Your company shouldn’t have just one public face, but many. As the number of publications that your employees appear in expands, you’ll watch site rankings — and profits — increase.
Besides, your employees aren’t going to be published as Joe Schmo — they’re going to be published as Joe Schmo, industry expert who works at your company. With all of the juicy backlinks and references and brand building that comes along with it.
Here are a few things you can start doing right away to get your employees published, turn them into industry superstars, and bolster your company’s online presence:
1. Reach out to your staff and ask them if they want to start publishing
Making it mandatory isn’t always necessary. Find out who wants to write for industry publications, and find out what their relevant passions are. Let them know that you’ll give them all the help they need to be successful. Above all, make sure they understand why it’s so important to the company, and how much you appreciate them being a part of it.
2. Identify industry publications for submitting content
Make the list as big as possible. Identify sub-niche publications, relevant blogs, and more. Online resources are best, but include print-only publications as well. Remember: these places are always looking for well-written, relevant industry content, especially if it gives a unique view, new data or innovative analysis.
3. Help your employees write and submit the content
We aren’t all the best writers, and that’s just fine. Offer to help your employees fine-tune and edit their content, or — in extreme cases — find a ghost writer who can translate their ideas into great copy. Then show them exactly how to reach out to webmasters and publishers and submit their content. (Hint: make sure that their content also clearly identifies them as being a member of your organization, with appropriate backlinks to the company website.)
And remember: even if their content doesn’t get accepted into any of your target publications, you can still post it on the company blog . . . or have them publish it on authority-building platforms like LinkedIn. In today’s world of online self-publishing, nothing you create is going to go to waste.
Download Fathom’s content brand voice questionnaire (Microsoft Word) to speak a unified message.