by: Finella Kristle Panlilio
Monday, April 25, 2016 | Comments (0)
Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends
There are many ways to boost your rank in search results and one of them is through social activities.
1. Get good rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
A search engine results page, or SERP, is displayed whenever you search a phrase or keyword. Claiming your business name on popular social media platforms increases your likelihood of “owning” the first page of results when people look for something that's associated to your business.
Services like KnowEm let you check your business name's availability across top social media networks. This is the easiest and quickest way to secure your business on numerous platforms.
As soon as you’ve claimed your social media profiles, enter your business details, logo, photos, and links to your website or blog. These links don’t actually pass authority on to your website, but including them in your social media profiles can help make your website’s backlink profile look more credible.
2. Create and upload videos that will make you stand out.
In a SERP occupied by text, results that contain a video stand out. Even if they rank lower on the page, they’re still likely to get more clicks. Take advantage by creating high-quality, entertaining YouTube videos that are informative and relevant to your target audience.
3. Encourage influencers to support quality backlinks.
To get your website or blog to appear in search results for non-branded terms like the service or product you offer, the most important metric to track is external links to your site. Backlinko’s analysis of one million search results shows a notable relationship between organic search ranking and the number of quality external backlinks.
Use social media shares to reach a larger audience, as this will also possibly increase the number of shares and clicks your content receives. In short, you'll get more backlinks with more shares, and this leads to better rankings.
Here are several points to remember for more visibility and shares:
Depending on your marketing budget, you can take this a step further by investing in paid campaigns to promote your content to journalists, industry publications or other influencers to generate quality backlinks. Paid advertising is particularly useful on Twitter, where many journalists and influencers hang out to find trending topics to cover. But depending on the type of your business and target influencers, this strategy can also be applied to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Most professional services firms get leads and new business from referrals. In fact, in a study conducted by Hinge Marketing, generating referrals ranked highest in terms of current marketing priorities. However, many struggle with generating referrals consistently.
In a blog post on Social Media Today, Hinge Marketing shares its favorite research-backed tips to ensure your business keeps the referrals coming.
1. Stop asking for referrals.
Asking clients and fellow professionals for referrals doesn’t always work, simply because it doesn’t necessarily benefit both parties. Making a referral constitutes a risk in the referrer’s reputation. Furthermore, asking for referrals from clients causes them to view you as a “salesperson” rather than a trusted service provider dedicated to their interest.
So how else can you generate a steady stream of sales referrals if you can’t ask? The good news is that more than 80% of firms actually get referrals from people they’ve not worked with or even met.
2. Share your expertise at industry events.
Speaking engagements are a top source of referrals. Not only does it boost your visibility as an expert, some attendees may even approach you directly and make a referral themselves based on what they’ve learned from you.
3. Write educational articles and blog posts.
Educating in the form of articles and blog posts targeting your prospective clients is another way to get non-clients to make referrals. It is also important to release articles in publications read by your target audience and their influencers for maximum effect.
4. Give more referrals to receive more referrals.
People often make a referral to a firm that sent a referral their way. But before investing your time, resources, or reputation, make sure that you are in a position to give a lot of referrals to someone who can make the appropriate referrals to you.
5. Deepen social relationships with selected referral sources.
Clients or fellow professionals familiar with your expertise are the ones more likely to be your sources for referrals. So, start building relationships with those individuals who both know your expertise and are in a position to make referrals to you.
6. Conduct an industry-leading research study.
Make people see you as a thought leader. This can be done by conducting research studies that address pressing industry issues. Well-publicized researches can also attract new referrals.
7. Promote the successes of clients.
Showcasing the clients you serve and the results that you produce, while being mindful of disclosure limitations, is one of the best ways to make your expertise known. You can avoid such limitations by inviting your client to speak at a conference where your partnership is described by the client. Such events are a win-win situation for you and your client - while they gain exposure, you gain credibility and referrals. Promoting the successes of your high-profile clients in an article or a case study or nominating them for a prestigious award may lead to potential clients asking your client about you, and eventually turn into referrals.
8. Avoid untargeted networking.
To avoid wasting time and resources on a networking event, make sure it's attended by your target audience, especially if you're one of the guest speakers. Remember tip #2?
9. Be clear about how you can help potential clients.
Once you get a referral, immediately start a conversation with them. In all your communication channels, it's important to let your prospective client know from the get-go what your company is all about and what you can do for them. For professional services, the first stop is usually the website. So make sure the language you're using on your site is what your target audience is used to and would easily understand.
10. Educate rather than sell.
The last thing clients want to hear is your sales pitch. They want information. Invest time and resources in creating quality educational content for articles, webinars or white papers. Not only does it help you generate new referrals, it also prevents prospects from ruling you out and tips the balance in your favor.