You constantly hear the entrepreneurial jargon and buzzwords being thrown around, such as ‘thought leadership’. Every Forbes, Inc or Entrepreneur article is trying to help us decipher, what is a thought leader, why is it important, and why do we care? The reality is, in the digital landscape (another overused term), thought leadership helps showcase your brand, expertise and credibility. Ultimately, it helps you with SEO or search engine optimization so that like-minded wizards flock to your website, click on that doo-hickey and hopefully convert into a sale.
Why does thought leadership work?
People don’t want to feel directly influenced or pressured to purchase a product or service, but using your field expertise through blogs and articles will have people come to their own conclusion that you know what you’re doing. This isn’t some mind trick that Leonardo DiCaprio pulls by way of inception. It is all about building a personal brand that exudes authenticity, integrity and trust for what you say.
So how is SEO involved?
SEO is essentially integrating tactics on and off your website, formally known as on-page SEO and off-page SEO, so that you rank higher in organic search results. With your thought leadership articles, you will most likely talk about similar advice and insights. Google crawls for significant keywords and bumps you up the ranks for certain terms if your website is relevant. For example, people might search ‘social media management’ on Google. The top ranked organic search results include Hootsuite, a social media management tool because they have relevant content within their site that promotes their expertise.
Thought leadership and SEO together
Being a thought leader isn’t isolated to your website or blog. You want other sites linking to your site, which is why thought leadership helps. Sign up to be a contributor on blogs related to the topics you write about. Most of the time, these sites will include a little blurb about you and an opportunity to link back to your website. These cross-promotional tactics are advantageous to both of you since outbound links help improve website quality and it links back to your website.
Overall, make sure you have clear messages, intent and purpose when showcasing your expertise and thought leadership. But most importantly, stay true to who you are and what you know. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
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