5 Ways to Get Employees to Contribute SEO Content
Your Content Strategy Drives Sustained SEO Results
As we approach the end of the year, we have conversations with our clients about how to improve SEO results in 2012. With all the changes from Google this year (aka Panda), including the freshness update in early November, changes are needed in content strategy to improve or sustain SEO rankings.
Content is Still King
At the heart of your SEO strategy is the importance of continually creating, posting and sharing relevant content to your website and blog. Google has been very clear about this. The challenge most companies face is getting subject matter experts spread throughout the company to contribute content. Here are five strategies to consider to get employees to contribute content.
Paint the Vision Picture
Internal communication is critical to paint the vision of why you need employees to contribute content. Make sure they understand that the company’s financial viability is (in part) dependent on being found by people searching in Google and other digital platforms. In other words, you should inspire employees to contribute to their own job security. Cite examples of other companies that have employees contributing content such as AT&T, Indium, Kinaxis, Intel. If possible, use examples in your industry including your competitors if applicable. The vision picture you paint should clearly communicate the importance of creating content to position your company well in organic search results. But, don’t stop there.
Use your internal communication channels to invite employees across the entire company to contribute content. Let it be known that you want all functional areas of the company represented in your content. Name them by department so that people in Finance, Customer Service, Production, Sales, Research, etc., all know that they can contribute to your SEO strategy.
Publish an online content (aka editorial) calendar. Make it easy for all employees to see the calendar and volunteer for content assignments. Place the calendar on your intranet or Google Docs or equivalent so anyone can see the calendar. The calendar should also publish the name and department of content contributors to provide total transparency and inspiration to others to get involved in your SEO content strategy.
Promote Personal Branding
Don’t assume that all employees understand the value of personal branding. In your communication, highlight the value of their content to their personal brand. But, you should tie the benefits of employee personal branding with the corporate brand. You don’t want to scare department heads by creating the impression that you’re promoting personal branding for a job search.
I DON’T like this option, but in some companies the resistance among employees to contribute to your SEO content strategy is so extreme that this method may be necessary, at least in the early stages. Some options to consider might include a small cash bonus, an entry into a contest, or a gift certificate. Other incentives to consider include making a donation to an employee’s favorite charity and monthly recognition in the company newsletter. I recommend that you select “winners” using quantitative factors, not qualitative factors to avoid controversy. Some of the quantitative metrics to consider include content engagement such as comments, and content social sharing through likes, +1s, Re-Tweets, bookmarking and other social sharing metrics. Employees whose content gets spread across the web contributes more value to your SEO strategy and therefore warrants whatever “prizes” you choose to award.
The bottom line to these five suggestions is that timely, relevant content is more important than ever to improve and sustain SEO results. Balance these suggestions with your corporate culture for best results. Please share your suggestions or successes in the comments below.