First, I have to confess that I’m a huge fan of Lee Odden over at TopRank. Maybe it’s because Lee and I both come from a marketing background, but I feel like we sometimes think with the same brain. Separated at birth perhaps?
On Tuesday, Lee posted a great article on the TopRank blog about “Extending SEO with Digital Asset Optimization”. Lee refers to “digital asset optimization (DAO)” as using other online assets, such as images, video, blogs, etc. to gain new visibility in the engines, since many of them are now including these items as part of search results (i.e., Google Universal Search). However, I think there’s another way to also use digital assets — as a way to drive in new inbound links and, thus, improving your rankings in the engines.
Most SEO practitioners would agree that there are two primary tactics to follow when trying to improve search engine rankings: 1) on-page, on-website content edits and 2) inbound linking. While there may be many other tactics that help, generally, these are the two primary, universally accepted methods to improve search rankings. While page edits can be easily controlled by website owners, time and time again I find that the problem both in-house SEOs and agencies face is developing good, solid inbound links. It’s a real challenge.
Where Digital Assets Come Into Play
Lee is absolutely correct in saying that it is important to consider using these digital assets like blogs, images, video, etc. to optimize those for the engines. But from an inbound linking perspective, there are MANY other digital assets that companies may have in their arsenals that will help drive inbound links as well — especially because these assets offer some level of VALUE to the user, which can help make them more viral. And, from a holistic marketing view, not only do you possibly receive inbound links for SEO, but you also further establish your company as a subject matter expert and extend your brand by promoting these assets in the right way. If your company has any of these assets, use them to the hilt!
White papers and white paper directory sites can be a great way to both promote a company’s subject matter experts AND receive inbound links from other sites — sites that often have high Google PageRank.
Like with white papers, there are many podcast directories out there to promote your podcast!
Got some articles your CEO has written? Try article marketing! Article marketing distribution sites allow you to post your articles for syndicated use, giving you credit and likely a link. The best part? The link is often contained within text that is similar to what your site is about, so many SEOs would say it’s more valuable than other types of links out there. And, once again, it extends your reach as a subject matter expert.
In recent years, this was a very popular method for creating inbound links. Simply post the press release to an online distribution channel, like PRWeb, and voila! Your press release is distributed to the masses. However, we’ve found that press releases haven’t been as efficient recently at creating inbound links — perhaps because the online publication reprinting the release can often remove your link from the copy, and that’s certainly not optimal for SEO. But, it’s still a good marketing tactic in general — don’t avoid it, just prioritize it accordingly.
Blogs and RSS Feeds
This one is absolutely my favorite. Blogs are great because they are often naturally viral due to their timely nature. Good blogs have new posts everyday or every few days, so the content is always fresh — unlike perhaps your company’s website, which might have content changes only when new press or news is posted. And by incorporating an RSS feed (and social bookmarks), you can have your readers do all the work for you by promoting your blog to others. Ahhh… that’s ideal! You can also repurpose some blog posts as articles for article marketing. Now, all you have to do is create good content — OFTEN!
Whenever a client works with us, we’re always inquiring about all of their digital assets. By using those assets, we can often create new, inbound links that are of high value AND at the same time help the client further reach his/her marketing goals by establishing the company as a subject matter expert through online tactics.