As businesses compete ever more fiercely for a piece of the organic search pie, ranking high on SERPs (search engine results pages) becomes more and more difficult.
Of course, many businesses have resorted to keyword stuffing or other black hat SEO tactics in a desperate attempt to boost their rankings. But even if you do manage to trick the algorithm for a brief moment, you're still at the mercy of Google's constant updates. In the long run, these shady tactics will only serve to harm your website's reputation and credibility.
Not only that, but Google is also constantly working to improve the user experience by cracking down on spam and low-quality websites. So even if you do manage to game the system for a little while, it's only a matter of time before you get caught and suffer the consequences.
So what's a business to do? If you want your website to rank higher and attract more organic traffic, follow these two guidelines:
- Firstly, focus on building a solid foundation with a great content strategy.
- Secondly, supplement your efforts with other strengthening techniques like influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a form of word-of-mouth marketing that centers around using influential people to promote your brand.
The concept is simple: identify individuals with a large social following who are relevant to your niche, and persuade them to promote your product or service.
The result? Increased exposure for your brand, and a potential SEO (search engine optimization) boost as well.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how you can use influencer marketing to improve your SEO efforts and explore a few tips to get you started.
Benefits of influencer marketing on SEO
Since influencers are often trusted voices within their niche, their endorsements can carry a lot of weight. That’s why working with influencers can improve your SEO so effectively. Take a look at some of the eye-opening SEO benefits below — they’ll have you ready to start an influencer marketing campaign stat!
Build a strong link profile
The quality and authority of the sites that link to you play a big role in your SEO. In fact, according to a study conducted by Moz, link profile quality is among the top search engine ranking factors.
So you can't just go around asking anyone and everyone to link to your site. The links that you should focus on generating are from high-quality and relevant websites. But that's easier said than done.
The best way to get high-quality backlinks is by earning them through great content. But sometimes, no matter how good your content is, you just can't seem to get the links you need. Collaborating with an influencer can give you that extra boost.
For example, when you work with bloggers or other influencers, they may be willing to link back to your site in their content, thus gaining you a quality backlink. And even if the influencer doesn't have their own website, they may have access to or relation with other high-authority sites where they can feature your link.
An influencer sharing your link can also increase the likelihood of other people sharing it. This viral sharing can result in a cascade of new links pointing back to your site, further benefiting your SEO.
For instance, Wordstream, an online advertising software company, was able to get a link from the New York Times merely by tweeting a few influential journalists.
First, they created an intriguing piece based on a trending and controversial topic. Then, they shared the link on Twitter and mentioned several influential journalists in the tweet. The link was retweeted multiple times, making it go viral and eventually reaching the editors at the New York Times and Politico. As a result, Wordstream's referral traffic increased massively, with the addition of 236 links from high-profile domains.
Increase brand reputation and content reach
According to a study by Annalect and Twitter, users trust influencers almost as much as they trust their friends. Furthermore, 40% of respondents said they've made a purchase based on tweets from an influencer.
This powerful finding reveals that partnering with an influencer can provide your brand with tremendous credibility and generate social proof. And when you combine that with the ability to reach a large, engaged audience, it's easy to see why influencer marketing can be such a valuable tool for SEO.
An influencer's active involvement with your content creates a domino effect, spurring their followers to do the same, increasing your chances of attracting potential site visitors. And more website traffic translates to better SEO.
Offer interesting content
Even the most experienced marketers can struggle to come up with fresh, creative content ideas that'll grab attention and earn links. But an influencer's job is to constantly generate engaging content, making them the perfect asset for brainstorming and creating unique, shareable content for your brand.
Not only that, but an influencer's intimate understanding of their audience allows them to create content tailored to their interests, increasing the likelihood of driving website traffic and earning links.
For example, if you run an e-commerce fashion store, you can collaborate with fashion bloggers to come up with creative style guides and lookbooks featuring your products. This type of content not only boosts SEO, but can also increase conversions by giving potential customers ideas on how to style and use the items they're considering buying.
And since an influencer already has an established audience, you can also tap into their reach to help beget user-generated content (UGC) around your brand's keywords or hashtags.
UGC is any type of content, such as photos, videos, or reviews, that's created by users rather than the brand itself. And it can be extremely valuable for raising brand awareness and boosting SEO. Just ask Welter Heating, who saw a 609% increase in page views after featuring local influencers in their content. It all started with a single post that featured the opinions of several well-known locals, including a news anchor, a young rapper, and a meteorologist.
But the ultimate key to success was getting the influencers to promote the content to their own followers. Thanks to this integrated approach, the company saw a massive spike in page views and overall website traffic in just two weeks, as illustrated by this graph from their case study.
Getting started with influencer marketing
Now that we've gone over some of the ways influencer marketing can benefit your SEO, let's take a look at how you can get started.
Step #1: Define your goals and target audience
The first step is to define your goals and target audience. In the case of SEO, your goal might be to increase website traffic or generate more inbound links. As for your target audience, you'll need to consider who you're trying to reach with your content. For example, if you sell women's fashion, your target audience might be fashion-savvy millennials.
Step #2: Find relevant influencers
Once you know who you're trying to reach, you can start searching for relevant influencers. Ideally, you want to find influencers who already have a strong relationship with your target audience and match the style of your brand.
Step #3: Reach out and collaborate
After you've identified a few potential influencers, reach out and start collaborating! How do you do it? The best way is to come up with creative content ideas that will be of interest to both you and the influencer. For example, if you're a fashion brand, you could collaborate with an influencer to create a style guide featuring your products.
Step #4: Promote, promote, promote!
Finally, once your content is live, ensure that it reaches the widest possible audience. This means sharing it across your social media channels and asking the influencer to do the same. You can also promote your content through paid social media ads, or you can hire a social media firm to do that job for you.
Step #5: Track your success
Tracking your progress is essential to understanding whether your influencer marketing efforts are paying off. Go back to your original goals and see if you've achieved them.
For example, if your goal was to increase website traffic, check your Google Analytics account to see if there has been an uptick in traffic since you started your campaign.
Tips to get the most out of influencer marketing
To make the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns and supercharge your SEO, follow these important tips.
Create share-worthy content
Content is still king when it comes to SEO, and that won't change anytime soon. For influencers to want to promote your content, it needs to be high quality, informative, and entertaining.
Take this digital marketing guide from Sendible, for example.
This is an extensive yet easy-to-understand guide, complete with graphics and examples, that walks readers through the basics of starting a digital marketing agency.
Another great example is this listicle post on restaurant event ideas from GloriaFood.
Shareable and informative content like this will have influencers clamoring to share your site with their followers.
Do your due diligence on potential influencers
Not all influencers will help you achieve your desired SEO results. That's why it's important to carefully research and vet all potential influencers. Some factors you'll want to consider include:
- Their reach: How many followers do they have?
- Their engagement rate: How often do their followers interact with their posts?
- The content they typically share: Does it align with your brand?
- Their audience: Who are their followers?
- Their past brand partnerships: Have they worked with brands similar to yours?
Add social share buttons
You can take influencer marketing one step further by adding social media share buttons to your website or blog. By doing so, you make sharing your content easier for the people who land on your site through influencers' promotions, which could lead to even more social engagement and, possibly, better SEO results.
Quantic's blog posts provide great examples of how to include share buttons.
The educational institution has share buttons for almost all social sharing platforms prominently displayed even as you scroll down the page, making it easy for visitors to share the content they're reading with their networks.
Make a resource plan
No matter how well-organized and efficient your influencer marketing campaign is, it won't succeed if you don't have enough resources to support it. That's where resource planning comes in. Essentially, resource planning involves determining the necessary resources (such as budget, staff, and equipment) for a campaign and evaluating potential capacity (or limitations) of those resources.
Proper resource planning can help ensure that an influencer marketing campaign has the support it needs to thrive. It can also prevent any last-minute scrambling or budget blowouts that could interfere with your campaign's success.
Invest in digital tools and technology
The internet is chock-full of digital tools and software that can simplify and streamline your influencer marketing efforts. Here are a few that could come in handy:
- Influencer discovery platforms. These platforms help you find and connect with potential influencers. Heepsy is a great example of such a platform. It gives you access to more than 11 million influencers on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch, and offers features like advanced filtering, authenticity analysis, and influencer insights.
- Task management software. Of course, you'll need to keep track of all the moving parts of your influencer marketing campaign. Task management software like Wrike or Monday can help you do just that by giving you a clear overview of all the tasks that need to get done, who's responsible for each one, and the status of each task.
- Content creation tools. Creating high-quality content is essential for successful influencer marketing campaigns. But if you're not a natural-born content creator, don't worry — plenty of tools can help. Canva is a viable option for creating professional-looking images and graphics, while Grammarly can help you avoid any embarrassing grammar mistakes in your blog posts or social media updates.
- QR code generators or survey platforms. Giveaways, contests, and surveys are some of the most popular tactics for engaging influencers' audiences and deepening your relationship with them. In these cases, a good QR code or survey platform can come in handy. For example, you can use social media QR codes to get giveaway participants to follow your social media profiles, or use a survey platform to collect data from contest winners.
Start marketing with influencers
The power of influencer marketing should not be underestimated — especially when it comes to SEO. By building relationships with key influencers in your industry, you can reap the benefits of heightened brand awareness, increased website traffic, and better search engine rankings. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!