You’re the expert, so it’s time to own it. When it comes to natural search engine optimization (SEO), either you’re a trusted, authoritative source for your audience, or you’re not.
When you achieve page one status, both Google and your audience see you this way. So, to answer your question, “Is thought leadership important for SEO?” It’s essential. Let’s take a closer look at what it really means to be a thought leader and go step by step to become one.
What Is a Thought Leader?
A thought leader is an informed trend-setter with an opinion that others trust and respect. They are the go-to source for truth within a niche of their industry among their audience. The best thought leaders are experts in their field. They may be a CEO, analyst, author, public speaker, or consultant.
Three Key Aspects of Thought Leadership
The three key elements of thought leadership include expert insight, taking a stand, and building a personal brand. Let’s take a closer look:
To provide expert insight to your audience, you’ll apply three core strategies.
- Original research. You must have something original to share. The most important source for this is individual research on your industry.
- New ideas. Thought leaders don’t just share and comment on the ideas of others — they have strong opinions about how things should be done based on their research.
- Great content. People who have original ideas provide real value by writing books, blogging, and more to convey these ideas. Start building your body of work through content marketing to demonstrate this and add merit to your audience at the same time.
Take a Stand
Your opinion and ideas must stand out, or else they will fade into the background. What are other “industry experts” talking about? How can you leverage this discussion and be the go-to source for answers in this field? Once you find out how to take a stand, you’ll be one step closer to being a thought leader. Why? Because you will have collected the correct data and proved your way is the best way.
Building a Personal Brand & SEO
We can talk all day about branding as a company. But thought leaders are people, not organizations. You need a face for your brand — that’s you! Let’s get to it.
1. Leverage social media
Build this brand through social media outlets. You’ll connect with your audience here first. Don’t forget YouTube has its own YouTube SEO strategies that help your target audience find your content on the platform. A YouTube SEO service can help you with this.
2. Organic SEO
As you attract an audience on social media, you’ll drive traffic to your website. Get the most out of this traffic by investing in organic SEO. You’ll additionally become more visible in organic search, amplifying your thought leadership.
3. Optimize for voice search
What is voice search optimization? Today, analysts estimate that 50% of searches begin with voice. Voice search optimization is SEO that increases your “visibility” in voice search through voice optimization strategies.
4. Create a click funnel
You’ll build your personal brand by managing and measuring a sales funnel. You’re selling yourself as a thought leader. People enter your funnel as strangers, something resonates, and they move deeper into the funnel. You control this movement through a click funnel.
What are click funnels? The concept is all about automating the sales process by guiding users through your website to sell your products or services.
5. Leverage click funnels to support SEO and your personal brand
The funnel creates value for you on many levels. Each time they click an initial URL, they again come into your click funnel, and you can have another opportunity to take them deeper into it. The further a person moves into your funnel, the more chances you’ll have to gather information, sell something, upsell, generate ad revenues, build a relationship with a new customer, and meet other goals.
Additionally, funnels are excellent for SEO because they encourage a person to click through multiple pages on your site, reducing your bounce rate, increasing session length, and showing Google that people are interested in you.
6. Optimize title tags to maximize click-through rate
When it comes to the top of the funnel, if they don’t click, you won’t meet your goals. So you must invest in headlines that achieve high click-through rates (CTR). For social, this will be your engaging social media headlines. In search, this will be title tag optimization.
Become the Thought Leader You Were Meant to Be
There is no fool-proof formula here, so try, test, and optimize to grow your audience. A natural search engine optimization service like Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM) can help you achieve this. Become the thought leader you know you can be and dominate the search results. To learn more, contact us today!