Five Ways to Turn Your Client’s Industry Authority into Online Authority
March 7, 2019 | Contributed by: Emily Brady
In today’s digital age, most people turn to the Internet before making purchasing and hiring decisions.
If they want to find the best plumber, the best hairdresser, the best pho restaurant, etc., they just jump on their smartphones and look it up. Or if they have a question about anything, Google is usually their go-to for a quick answer.
As a digital marketer, it’s your job to ensure your client is getting found in these golden search opportunities — and generating more business as a result. But how do you do it? It all comes to taking your client’s industry authority and turning it into online authority. Why? Because online authority is the crux of any SEO campaign.
Here are five strategies to help you turn your client’s real-world expertise into online authority that increases their organic rankings and maximizes their visibility.
1. Lay the foundation (aka, a great website).
Before you can build up your organic rankings, you need to start with the right foundation — a rock-solid website that allows your client’s brand to make an authoritative statement to both search engines and online users.
This is what a great website looks like:
- It’s mobile-friendly (along with being desktop-friendly).
- It primarily caters to users, not search engines.
- It answers people’s questions.
- It’s easy to navigate.
- It’s lightning-fast.
By improving the website user experience, you improve your client’s chances of being featured in the top organic search results, and you also help them earn the trust of potential customers.
2. Use digital content to position your client as the “expert.”
“Content” no longer refers to service and product pages alone, but blogs, videos, social media posts, podcasts, and more. Here are a few ideas for how you can package your content to showcase your client’s industry expertise and build their online authority.
Use your digital content to answer frequently asked questions.
If a customer asks something over the phone, on a forum, or even on a Google My Business listing, chances are they’ve already typed it into a search engine and didn’t find what they needed. Use this opportunity to position your client as the “expert” who is able to offer assistance.
We live in the age of DIY.
Thanks to Google, potential customers feel empowered to find solutions without the help of a professional. While this might not seem beneficial, especially to small businesses, it’s actually a great opportunity for service and product providers to connect with their audiences at the very top of the conversion funnel.
Think about it like this: DIYs build trust with your audience, making them more likely to choose your client’s business when they finally do need help from a professional.
3. Leverage your client’s influence in the local community.
Generally speaking, businesses with real-life authority in their communities tend to do well online. Your job is figuring out how to bridge the gap between community involvement and online conversions.
Here are some ideas for leveraging community involvement online:
- If your client supports a charity, see if that charity is willing to talk about your client’s support. If they aren’t, write a blog about your client’s involvement with the charity and see if the organization will share it on social media.
- Be newsworthy. That means doing things in your community that will attract attention. Did your client sponsor a 5K raising money for a local food pantry? Did they spearhead a holiday toy drive? Encourage your client to seize opportunities for community engagement that are relevant to their business.
- Look for local bloggers who have large followings in your community and your industry. Then, reach out and see how you may be able to collaborate with them, whether that’s serving as a guest blogger or having them feature your business. And don’t forget to ask for a social media post and a backlink.
4. Use offline branding to complement online branding.
Ideally, customers should know who your client is before they need their product or service. This is where offline marketing comes into play.
Imagine this scenario…
Your client offers the best plumbing service in town. Additionally, they’re well-known in their community for supporting charities and organizations, like their town’s homeless shelter or a local little league team.
However, they have failed to stamp these contributions with their brand. Plus, they don’t run offline marketing, wrap their trucks with their logo, or have a memorable tagline. They’re invisible — both online and offline.
Now imagine this second scenario…
The same business is fully branded offline. They have a billboard with their logo and branding; they set up a booth at sponsored events so it’s obvious they care about the community; they even wrap their trucks with eye-catching messaging and imagery.
The client in the second scenario has the advantage of brand recognition — meaning customers are already aware of who the business is before engaging with their online media, which helps build trust. In fact, that trust might be the reason they search for the business online in the first place.
This means you’ll need to keep an eye out for offline marketing opportunities for your clients — anything that can help them grow their online authority (and get more new business).
5. Build social media equity (and maintain it).
Every time someone engages with a business on a social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, they’re making an investment into that business — an investment of their time and attention. And as a digital marketer, it’s your job to build on that investment and turn it into something of value for your client’s business — value in the form of calls, sales and revenue.
So how do you do this?
It all comes down to leveraging your resources. Remember that content you created for your client in step #2 and the press coverage you generated in step #3? Now it’s time to share and promote it across your social media platforms. This puts more eyes onto your content, encourages engagement (like comments and shares) and builds relationships that can convert followers into new customers down the road.
Online authority boils down to one thing: offline authority. At the end of the day, here’s one thing to remember:
Offline authority is the key to building trust online — whether that’s with Google or everyday consumers.
If you want your client to be successful in the online world (particularly search engines), they need to cultivate legitimate authority in their community and in their industry vertical first. Only then can you implement a strategy to take that authority and cash it in for more customer engagement, website traffic and organic leads.
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