Forward thinking companies and businesses are implementing social intranet software, as it's becoming more and more a valuable marketing tool to build and manage content for search engine optimization efforts.
Staying on top of SEO and search engine marketing strategies is a constant challenge for any organization, and the battle for the front pages of search results is ongoing.
While one on-site SEO strategy, like adjusting titles, meta tags, and adjusting copy to include keywords is a one time or periodic activity, the challenge is the daily ongoing work — and that may be difficult for a single person or a small team to take responsibility for and execute day after day.
On a more static business website, this is much the way it works — and marketing alone is responsible for the content, updates, or other activity that can help generate more search traffic to the website.
Building a community using intranet software changes the dynamics completely and can add a whole new "two way marketing" dimension to your search marketing capabilities.
Most of today's intranet platforms allow you to open up sections to the public in the form of public blogs, a customer community, public discussion forums, or a knowledge base for customer service and support.
Other than the fact that intranet platforms are (typically) built on a search engine friendly architecture, by building a community that's part of your business website, you are effectively outsourcing a critical part of your SEO activities to your customers and members and leveraging "the power of many."
By reviewing feedback from businesses that have incorporated social intranet as a part of their website as a marketing strategy, there are some clear benefits that have surfaced.
Here are some key benefits how social intranet software can boost your search traffic:
One of the first outcomes of establishing an active community of users on the site is a spurt in the amount of content added regularly to the website, as well as the number of pages within the website.
The increase in pages within your website will also see an increase in the number of pages indexed by search engines, creating a wider net of content on the web that can bring visitors to the site.
With such pages and content being created constantly, this grows consistently over time without needing too much attention from the in-house team.
An active community inadvertently creates and publishes large volumes of fresh content within your website in the form of discussion posts, blogs, articles, photos, videos, etc. … and are generated daily, adding tremendously to the search marketing opportunities.
This volume of content creation and addition to the searchable content is very difficult to replicate for a single person or a small online marketing team.
Within a social networking environment, the community promotes, shares, and markets, their own content (as well as others) both within and outside the community creating a viral effect.
This will give your website a greater reach and distribute marketing responsibilities to the community.
In the course of the interaction and discussions on the public area of your intranet software, some of the primary keywords you need your site to rank for are likely to be frequently used in natural communication, building up the density of those keywords within the site.
For example, if you build a community around network security, the words network security, anti-virus, firewall and so one are going to come up frequently during interactions and the site will start ranking higher for those keywords.
Discussions and content on the community are more likely to build more long tail keyword phrases within your website, which even SEO experts may not factor in.
This happens during every day interaction and keyword phrases like “how to protect your peer to peer network” may draw some very specific and very relevant traffic to your website.
Keyword phrases that arise out of natural language communication will build up on the community and in time be responsible for a significant percentage of all traffic — and more importantly some very relevant traffic.
Communities and the activity they entail encourages quicker building of both internal links within the website (including to important offering and marketing pages) as well as inward links to the website as a result of members linking to the community and pages within from their personal blogs, websites and sharing of links with others.
Link building is critical to the search marketing strategy and the more links that are regularly built, the better.
With more conversations, discussions, and resources built within the community section of the website, search engines are likely to recognize the site as a growing useful resource within the domain and reward the site with a higher page rank — making a great impact on the search traffic results.
It’s important to note whether you use social intranet software to develop your community or develop your own community software from scratch (which can be very expensive), for this strategy to work effectively, the platform and the community should be on your website and within your domain.
Third party communities or free and open source platforms (which can be problematic) ... hosted elsewhere may help with traffic and marketing, but won’t maximize the SEO potential the way your own community will.
There are many areas to consider while developing your search marketing, but few can match the benefits of incorporating a social intranet based community on your website.
Build a community – build traffic.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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