6 Unconventional Social Channels for B2B Marketing

Hand Holding Phone At Urban Overlook

This just in: B2B doesn’t have to be boring! People who are on B2B buying committees like to be entertained just as much as everyone else. They use the same social media sites as B2C consumers do, too. 

Sorry to drop so many knowledge bombs in one paragraph. Take a minute to let it all sink in.

Okay, so maybe self-isolation is making me more snarky than usual. I’m glad that we don’t have to constantly explain why B2B marketing not only can be, but must be relatable and creative.

But there’s one mental obstacle most of us are still struggling with: The idea that social media marketing (outside of LinkedIn) is mostly for our B2C colleagues. We’ve accepted that we should have a Twitter account or a Facebook page, but that’s where a lot of organizations draw the line.

I get it. I’m over 40. The social apps the kids are on these days are confusing and frightening. Back in MY day, Tik Tok was a Ke$ha song, and I didn’t like it, because I was already too old to listen to Ke$ha. 

But the kids these days are rapidly becoming the adults of tomorrow. Millennials are all over 20. Gen Zers are exiting college and entering the work force. They’re the next wave of B2B decision makers, and we need to reach them on relevant channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the apps that B2B marketers may be overlooking, and evaluate whether they’re worth a shot.

Slam Dunk: Instagram

Many folks who read this will think, “Instagram is a lesser-known channel? What?” But the rest will think, “Instagram has B2B marketing on it? What?” So it’s worth an inclusion. 

Instagram has 1 billion accounts, with 500 million daily active users. Of these, 200 million visit at least one business page daily.

There are many B2B businesses that are killing it with their Instagram pages. For inspiration, check out General Electric, and my favorite, Life at IBM. While IBM has a main corporate page, this spinoff is focused on what employees do in their off time. It’s an amazing way to humanize the brand.

If you’re already on Instagram but haven’t started making Stories yet, it’s worth giving it a shot. Stories are rapidly becoming the primary way people consume content on Instagram. Creating these mini-movies is surprisingly simple, but the creator tools are also robust enough to make eye-catching content on the fly.

Life at IBM Screenshot

Proceed with Caution: Reddit

Ten years ago, Reddit was the bratty new kid on the block. Their primary goal was to promote uncensored, self-moderated content channels. That led to plenty of creativity and community-building, but also a dark side that most brands wouldn’t want to be associated with.

Recently, Reddit has rebranded as a safer place for brands to come and play. They’ve removed hateful and offensive content and are focused on more family-friendly fare. That said, there are still plenty of not-safe-for-work-or-life sub-communities (subreddits). But the site has a massive untapped audience that is generally receptive to relevant marketing. 

Reddit is unique in social networks in that you don’t post content on your personal page to generate a following. Instead, you post in specific sub-communities organized by topic. Each post lives or dies by upvotes and downvotes. You’re essentially starting from scratch with every post.

If your target audience is on Reddit, it’s worth testing the waters with a few sponsored posts. Just keep it transparent, honest and genuine: There’s a whole subreddit devoted to mocking tone-deaf marketing.

Comeback Kid: Snapchat

Snapchat was the next big thing in social media… until it wasn’t. Instagram cloned the platform’s most popular features, usage declined, and not many folks invested in their content-enabling glasses. Even though they were brightly-colored and fun.

But don’t write off Snapchat just yet. After a controversial redesign and a few missteps, the site is seeing growth again. It’s estimated that 62% of 18-29-year-olds use the app daily, for over 210 million daily active users.

A few years back, we highlighted B2B businesses that were rocking it on Snapchat. Our advice hasn’t changed much for 2020: Keep it light, keep it spontaneous, and show your followers the behind-the-scenes, human side of your company.

Brand New Throwback: Twitch

Here’s a radical new idea for content: What if your content was only available on one channel, and viewers had to tune into that channel live to watch it? And what if after you were done, the content went away unless you or the viewer decided to record it?

It may sound a lot like broadcast television, but (with the addition of some social and interactive elements) that’s essentially what Twitch is doing. The streaming platform began as a way for gamers to connect with an audience as they livestreamed gameplay videos. But the platform was useful for all kinds of creative streaming, from painting to sculpture to hilarious lectures about imaginary creatures.

Is your audience on Twitch? The demographics skew heavily in the 18-34 demographic, squarely at the intersection of Millennial and Gen Z. Though the site skews heavily male right now (82% of users identify as male), those numbers are changing as the content moves away from its gamer roots.

Brand content is sparse on Twitch now, but the platform offers compelling tools that make it easy to livestream and interact with viewers. It’s worth investigating the possibility of running podcasts or webinars on the platform, taking full advantage of Twitch’s infrastructure and interactivity.

Up-and-Comer: Tik Tok

Okay, I’m as frightened as you are, but we’ll get through it. In the early 2010s, there was an app called Vine that focused on short, mostly funny video. The site launched thousands of memes around the world, but ultimately imploded. Now TikTok is filling the void. It’s an app designed to make it easy to create and share short video, it’s exclusively mobile, and it’s beginning to expand past its young-gen-Z audience.

In less than two years, TikTok has expanded its user base 5.5x in the U.S. It currently has 26.5 million active users in the states, and 500 million worldwide, and those numbers are steadily growing.  

Where does B2B fit in on TikTok? It’s still early days for even B2C marketers on the platform, so the rules are still being written. We do know that TikTok users are looking for short, low-fi videos that entertain. Be prepared to show off your brand’s lighter side.

For inspiration, check out the Washington Post’s page. They’ve developed a quirky personality that’s a stark contrast to their more staid journalistic side. But with over 21 million likes, what they’re doing is clearly resonating with fans.

@washingtonpost????????????????????????????? Bebe – V.A.

Next Big Thing (?): Facebook VR

As I mentioned before, I’m over 40. Which means I’ve seen VR touted as the “next big thing” for 30 years now. Remember the cutting-edge VR in the 1992 cinematic masterpice Lawnmower Man?

Screenshot from The Lawnmower Man of 1990s Computer Graphics

Some of us will never forget.

But it seems like the tech is finally catching up to the hype. And now Facebook is launching a new VR social media site, just in time to engage folks who are going stir-crazy in self isolation.  Will Horizons be the future of social media? It’s too soon to tell whether this will be a leap forward or a dead end. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on for marketers as the site enters beta testing. Facebook’s built-in audience and bottomless pockets could make social VR an actual reality.

Branch Out Your B2B

B2B marketers should be exploring any channel where their audience is. While it’s easy to feel like the more younger-skewing platforms are optional, we ignore them at our peril. Adopting — and adapting our brand persona to — these channels is a necessary step to engage the next (and current!) generation of B2B buyers.

On these channels, as in any other, the keys are authenticity, empathy, understanding what the audience wants on the channel, and respecting their desires.

Follow @toprankmarketing on Instagram for our own behind-the-scenes shenanigans.

Do Headings Really Impact Rankings?

They say in SEO you need to use headings.

Those can be H1, H2, or even H3 tags.

But do they really impact your rankings?

Sure, a lot of CMS systems put headings on each of your web pages by default. They do this with the title of the page (or blog post) and sometimes to sections within a page.

But again, the real question is, do they help with rankings?

I decided to run a fun experiment to find out if they really help.

How the experiment worked

Similar to past experiments I ran, I reached out to a portion of my email list to ask if they would like to participate. Just like how I did with the one on blog comment links and this one on link building.

4,104 of you responded wanting to participate. But unlike previous experiments, we only ran this one on websites that generated at least 100,000 visitors a month from organic search.

We picked larger sites because you can easily tell if a change had an impact on traffic. With smaller sites, external factors can more easily skew results, especially if a site only gets 100 visitors a month. One simple thing like a PR push could cause double the visitors in that case.

We also removed sites with seasonality and sites that weren’t at least 3 years old. Again, we just wanted to decrease anything skewing the results.

For example, with young sites, they tend to grow faster in organic traffic versus established sites… even when they do less SEO work because they are starting from a smaller base.

In the end, 61 sites met our requirements. It wasn’t a big number, but each site on average has 426 pages.

Now with a traditional A/B test, you would show 50% of your visitors one version and the other half a different version. But when it comes to SEO, you have to make a change and once Google indexes the change you have to compare the results to the previous 30 days.

So, with each site, we ran numerous tests at the same time to see the impact of headings. With each site, we took their web pages and split them up in 4 groups:

  • Control group – we left these pages unmodified. Whether they used headings or not, we wanted to see what happened to their organic traffic over time as it would give us another baseline to compare the results.
  • Headings – with this group, we used H1 tags for the title of the page, H2 tags for the subsections of the page, and even H3 and H4 tags if the subsections had subsections.
  • Using normal <p> text – with all of the pages in this group, we made sure they were not using headings. In addition to that, we made sure all of the font sizes were the same size.
  • Using normal <p> text and adjusting font sizes – with this group, we didn’t use headings. Instead, we made sure different parts of the text were in different font sizes. For example, the title of the page was the largest font size.

Before we dive into the results, the last thing to note is the experiment ran for 90 days. Even though we were comparing results of the pages we made the changes to using data from 30 days prior and 30 days after, keep in mind Google has to index the change, so you have to account for that as well.

Control group

The control group saw an increase in traffic of 2.89%.

As I mentioned above, no changes were made to the control group. But it shows that they naturally grew in their rankings and search traffic over time.

This wasn’t much of a shocker either as 2.89% isn’t a large jump.

Headings

Now when I saw the results of the group that was using headings, the results were pretty much what I expected…

As you can see from the graph above, the before and after results weren’t much of a change when you compare it to the control group. Instead of a 2.89% gain, they had a 2.72% gain.

Keep in mind some of the pages in the control group were naturally using headings and some weren’t. Again, in that group, we made no changes.

But now as we dive into the next two experiments, you’ll see that the data gets interesting.

Using normal <p> text

What was interesting about this group is that no headings were used. And on top of that, we made sure all of the font sizes on these pages were exactly the same size.

What we saw was a decrease in traffic of 3.53%.

That doesn’t seem like a big swing, but when you compare it to the control group that’s a difference of 6.42%.

Now I wanted to see if the drop in traffic was due to the use of headings or usability. Because you have to keep in mind that when you make all of the text on the page the same size it impacts usability as well.

It makes the page less readable. And we saw that as the average time on page dropped by 12%. As for the bounce rate, we didn’t see much of a change.

Using normal <p> text and adjusting font sizes

This group didn’t use any headings but they did use different font sizes on the page to keep the pages usable (readable).

The graph shows that this group saw an increase in traffic of 2.85%.

Although headings may not be the biggest SEO factor, it does seem usability is.

When font sizes on a page are larger, it helps tell users and potentially search engines what part of a page and even which keywords are more important.

Conclusion

When you compare all 4 groups, the control had the largest gains. But it was insignificant, and you have to keep in mind that a lot of the pages in the control group also use headings. That group just had no changes.

From what the data shows, it doesn’t look like headings have a big impact on rankings.

Maybe if I ran the experiment longer the data would have shown otherwise, but my hunch tells me the data would be similar.

One thing we didn’t try was removing headings from all pages of a site or adding headings to all pages of a site that didn’t have any in the first place. If I were to re-run the experiment I would add in these 2 tests.

From what the data shows, Google does care about usability. Having different font sizes on a page helps tell the reader which elements are more important than others. It also makes the page easier to read.

Whether you make certain elements or words on the page stand out through large font sizes or headings, it’s clear that it is a good practice.

Now if I were you, I would still use headings because it can be useful for accessibility software that helps users navigate a page. Plus, it can potentially help with other search engines like Bing.

Plus with SEO, you aren’t going to see massive gains from one single tactic like you used to be able to. It’s about doing every little thing right. That’s why I recommend you run your site through this audit and fix every error.

So, do you use headings on your site?

How to Adapt Your Marketing During the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

It’s been roughly a month now since the Coronavirus started to flip our lives upside down.

From having to practice social distancing and getting used to life without the outdoors to continually washing our hands and wearing masks and seeing loved ones and friends getting sick, the Coronavirus is something none of us expected.

Even our businesses are suffering. Just look at the Coronavirus marketing stats I shared a few weeks ago. The results are devastating.

It’s why I decided to change Ubersuggest and make it more free to help small businesses out.

Since then a lot has changed and there are new opportunities that have come around when it comes to your online business and marketing activities.

Opportunity #1: Help others selflessly

My ad agency has thousands of clients around the world. We lost a ton, but we still have enough to see trends in what’s happening.

When I saw businesses starting to lose a lot of money, I decided to give more of Ubersuggest’s premium features for free. That means it would take me much longer to break even, but that isn’t something I am worried about right now.

Take look at the image below… you’ll see something interesting.

The chart breaks down how many free-trial signups Ubersuggest has received throughout the past month.

Keep in mind, new customers means free trials… a large portion of free-trial users doesn’t convert into paying customers but still, the more trials you get in theory, the more paid customers you will eventually get.

As you can see, the chart is declining. That’s because I opened up more of Ubersuggest’s paid features and made them free.

What’s interesting is you (and other community members) helped support me.

The moment I blogged about more features being opened up for free, many of you decided to purchase a paid subscription.

I received dozens of emails from the marketing community thanking me and letting me know that they appreciate everything that I was doing AND they purchased a paid plan to help me out.

Now granted, in general signups are down, but that’s what happens when you decide to give away more for free. I didn’t do it because I am trying to leverage Coronavirus or look good, instead, I am just trying to help people out just like I’ve been lucky enough to have had people help me out during my times of need.

But here is what’s interesting… my traffic started to go up on Ubersuggest the moment I told everyone that I am giving more away for free.

I’m not the only one who experienced this.

Eric Siu decided to give away a course that teaches people how to start a marketing agency for free (he normally charges $1,497) and a bit more than 250 people have taken Eric up on his offer.

This has led Eric to gain more social media fans and it’s given him an opportunity to do a webinar about his product/services to a new audience of 50,000 people.

Similar to me, Eric wasn’t trying to do this to gain anything, he is just trying to help people out.

I also know someone in the health space who did something similar and one person in the employment space.

They all saw the indirect benefits of helping people out.

In all cases that I have seen, the result is more traffic.

With your website and business, consider what you can give away for free. Anything you can do to help people out is appreciated, especially during this difficult time. You’ll also find that it will drive you more visitors, which is a nice indirect benefit.

Opportunity #2: Paid ads are really, really cheap

The latest trend we are seeing is that paid ads are becoming cheaper.

It makes sense because the way these big ad networks make money is through an auction system. They need small businesses to drive up the cost per click (CPC) for ads so that way the big, billion-dollar corporations have to spend more money on ads.

If you don’t have as many small businesses advertising (like we are experiencing now) there isn’t as much competition for the inventory, so the cost per click decrease.

But the virus has been causing us to spend more time online, so much so that companies like Netflix have had to reduce their streaming quality to help.

In other words, traffic on the web is up and there are fewer advertisers. This means ads are cheaper.

Now we are also seeing conversions rates dropping in certain industries, but nowhere near at the same rate as the CPCs.

When we average things out per industry and globally, we are seeing paid ads producing a much higher ROI than before the Coronavirus hit. Just look at the chart below.

Our clients, in general, have seen their ROI go from 31% to 53%. That’s a 71% increase in ROI.

If you haven’t tried paid ads yet, you should consider it. If you do, consider ramping up as there is more excess inventory than there has been in years.

Opportunity #3: Conversions are down, but there’s a solution

For many industries, conversion rates are down. Here’s a quick snapshot of what it looked like right after the first big week in the United States.

Since then, things have changed. For some industries, it has gotten better, but for others like travel, it’s still terrible and will be for a while. Delta Airlines is currently burning $60 million a day.

But we found a solution that has boosted conversion rates by 12% on average.

If you are a store selling something online, consider offering payment plans through services like Affirm.

Payment plans reduce the financial burden your customers will face in the short run.

And you don’t have to be an e-commerce company to leverage payment plans. If you are selling consulting services, you can accept money over a period of a year.

If you are selling ebooks or digital courses, you can also have a monthly installment plan.

When I sold digital products on NeilPatel.com, I found that roughly 19% of people opted in for my payment plan.

It’s an easy way to boost your conversion rates, especially in a time where many people are looking to reduce their cash spend in the short term.

Opportunity #4: Offer educational based training

If you are looking for a good opportunity, consider selling your audience educational based courses.

With unemployment numbers reaching all-time highs, more people than ever are looking for new opportunities.

Many of these opportunities are in fields like high-tech that not everyone has experience in.

And, of course, going back to school can be expensive and is time-consuming. Plus, let’s face it… you can probably learn more applicable knowledge on YouTube than sitting in a college class for 4 years (at least for most professions).

So, where do people go to learn? Any online education website offering very specific, niche advice and courses.

Whether that is Udemy or you are selling your own courses, people are looking for help.

If you don’t know how to sell online courses in mass quantity, follow this. I break it down step by step and even give you the templates you need to be successful. It’s the same ones I used to reach over $381,722 a month in sales.

Opportunity #5: Geography diversification

COVID-19 is a global issue. But it is affecting some countries worse than others.

For example, South Korea has had better luck controlling the spread of the virus compared to many other countries.

And countries like the United States and Italy have exploded in daily cases.

With over 84,000 new cases a day and growing quickly, the spread of the virus or the slowdown of the virus can affect your traffic drastically.

For that reason, you should consider diversifying the regions you get your traffic from.

Through international SEO, you can quickly gain more traffic and be less reliant on one country’s economy.

For example, here is my traffic swing for my SEO traffic in the United States over the last few months.

The US traffic is slowly starting to climb back. It’s still not back to where it was during my all-time highs, but it’s not as low as when the Coronavirus first hit the United States.

On the flip side, our traffic in Brazil has been going through the roof.

We haven’t changed our strategy, it’s not algorithm related… we haven’t produced more content than usual… we’ve just seen an increase.

We are also starting to see a nice increase in India.

By translating your content for other regions and leveraging international SEO, you can quickly grow your traffic.

Sure, it may take 6 months to a year to start seeing results in the United States, but that isn’t the case with regions like Brazil where there isn’t as much competition.

If you want to achieve similar results to me, follow my global SEO strategy. It works well… just look at the images above.

Conclusion

Sadly, the next few months are going to get worse. The daily count of new Coronavirus victims is growing.

From a personal standpoint, all you can do is stay indoors and practice social distancing.

But from a marketing, business, and career perspective, you can make a change.

You should have more time now (sadly), so use it to your advantage. Put in the effort so you can grow, that way you’ll come out of the Coronavirus stronger.

So which one of the above opportunities are you going to implement first?

Digital Marketing News: Micro-Influencers See Rising Engagement, Marketers Turn to SEO During Crisis, YouTube Launches Shorts, & 4 New Pandemic Marketing Reports

2020 April 10 MarketingCharts Chart

SEO will be a primary focus for marketers during the downturn, says survey
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is poised to see increased budget spending during the pandemic, according to recently-released survey results, also showing that organic and paid search were the two top performing channels among multiple industries during 2019. Marketing Land

ANA: Most Brands Have Adjusted Their Creative Since COVID-19 Named A Pandemic
92 percent of marketers have made changes to their campaigns since the pandemic began, with 46 percent having reported substantial changes and 42 percent having indicated that they’ve made more moderate changes, according to newly-released survey data from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). MediaPost

People Are Spending 20% More Time in Apps During the COVID-19 Lockdowns [Report]
Consumers have been spending some 20 percent more time using mobile apps since the onset of the global health crisis, with teleconferencing app Zoom the most-used business app among iOS users, accompanied by record levels of in-app spending — at $23.4 billion globally for the first quarter of 2020 — according to new report data. Social Media Today

Gartner: 65% of CMOs are preparing for budget cuts
Due to the pandemic, budget cuts are expected by some 65 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs), according to new survey data from Gartner, also showing that two percent of marketing executives expect business operations to cease altogether. Marketing Dive

Why Focus on Micro-Influencers for Better Marketing in 2020 [ANA]
Micro-influencers with between 10,000 and 50,000 social media followers see conversion rates that are more than 22 times greater than typical users, and are also seen by 92 percent of consumers as being more trustworthy than traditional or celebrity influencers, according to recently-released ANA report data of interest to digital marketers. ANA

Facebook Adds New Video Features, Including ‘Series’ and Updates to Bulk Uploader
Facebook has rolled out a slew of new video-related additions, including certain new Facebook Watch promotion features formerly only available to company partners that have now been opened to all Page admins. Social Media Today

2020 April 10 Statistics Image

YouTube is working on a TikTok competitor called ‘Shorts’
Google-owned YouTube has been testing a new mobile in-app short-form video feature called YouTube Shorts, aimed at leading greater numbers of both users and marketers to begin experimenting with TikTok-style content on YouTube. Mashable

When to Post on Instagram to Maximize Engagement (2020 Data) [Infographic]
Digital marketers looking for the latest data on maximizing Instagram engagement have new study results to consult, with Tailwind’s recently-released data gathered from more than 1.8 million posts on the platform. The professional services industry sees the most comments on Monday and the most likes on weekends, according to the report. Social Media Today

Data Hub: Coronavirus and Marketing [Updated]
Some 24 percent of advertisers are keeping paid search spending levels steady or even increasing their budgets for, according to newly-released research data on how the pandemic is affecting marketers. MarketingCharts

B2B Buyers Rely on Vendor Websites for Content
70 percent of B2B marketing professionals at firms with at least $50 million in annual revenue said that they source content for marketing technology purchases directly through vendor websites, according to new report data of interest to digital marketers. The report also found that 67 percent source content through Internet search and 53 percent via social media, and only 41 percent through email. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 April 10 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at marketing is more than communication by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Employee Proves Diligence By Arriving To Video Conference Call Extra Hour Early Every Morning — The Onion

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Is Content Driving the Online Market? — ReadWrite (client)
  • Lee Odden — In marketing we trust: How to build influence in the C-Suite and on the street — B2B Marketing
  • Lee Odden — 15 Inspirational Marketing Quotes — Ric Bender

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for joining us, and please return again next Friday for a new selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

5 Ways SEO Can Shine a Light on Your Unseen B2B Content

Best Prices in Flight Tickets, go: www.gorilatravel.com

Hidden Content Image

“Look, marketers. Everywhere the light touches is content beloved by customers.”

“But what about that shadowy place over there?”

“That’s our unseen content. We worked hard to create it, but nobody ever visits it.”

“That’s really depressing.”

“That’s life.”

Okay, sorry to bring the room down. And I’m also sorry to say that it gets worse. A recent study found that 69% of all web content is not seen by consumers.

Hidden Content Image
The remaining 31% is our kingdom.

Fortunately, there are many ways to create content that beats the odds. For example, you can co-create with influencers, or experiment with interactive content that inspires social media sharing. But what about the content you have already created? The really good stuff that never caught on with an audience?

With the right search engine optimization, you can shine a light on that content and help it earn organic traffic. Here’s how we do it.

Ungate the Good Stuff

Five years ago, the best practice for marketers was to gate your most valuable content. It makes sense: You’re offering something great, so people should be willing to offer their contact info in return for it. It’s a simple value exchange.

The flip side, though, is that your most impressive and useful content is now being seen by a smaller audience. You’re intentionally introducing a barrier between your target audience and your most persuasive content. 

I’ll grant that the debate of “to gate or not to gate” is ongoing, and marketers are seeing results with either tactic. But especially for SEO purposes, we recommend trying an ungated approach. 

For example, this asset from client SAP has it all: influencer participation, stats, eye-popping interactive visuals. It’s ungated, and the container page is optimized for search. Keeping this substantial piece of content ungated makes it more crawlable, findable and sharable. As people discover and share it, it gets even more SEO juice. And as an added bonus, the included influencers are far more likely to share an ungated asset.

SAP Image

Ditch the PDFs

Everybody loves PDFs, but… okay, so nobody really loves PDFs. Their popularity is really a holdover from the old days of the web. You didn’t want to take a beautifully-designed piece of content and try to recreate it in clunky HTML. So the PDF made sure people would see the content exactly as it was designed.

Now, however, you don’t have to be a web designer to create something beautiful on a regular web page. And since plain text is crawlable and PDFs are not, turning that PDF into a web page is a solid SEO move.

Our client Prophix just published original research in their CFO Benchmarks Report. Instead of making a landing page with an ungated PDF embedded, we turned the report into a long-scrawl web page, then offered a PDF download at the bottom. That way, the content is crawlable by search engines and more easily accessible to potential readers. What’s more, the content is now optimized for visually impaired users as well.

Prophix Image

Consolidate Posts by Topic Clusters

It’s standard SEO practice to combine thin content that addresses the same keyword into one comprehensive post. If you’re not doing that type of repurposing yet, that’s a good place to start. 

To take it to the next level, think beyond individual keywords and consolidate posts around topic clusters. For example, your outdoor gear company might have a post for the best hiking shoes, one on how to pick the right backpack, one on the best shirts to wick away sweat, and so on. 

Even though these posts have different keywords they’re aiming for, they all fall under a cluster: Best hiking gear. Combining all the posts into a mega post with navigation elements gives you a more valuable asset for search engines and humans. People will likely spend more time on the page, and be more likely to share and link to your comprehensive resource.

Build a Web of Internal Links

Another common cause of hidden content is that it’s minimally accessible through your site’s navigation. This is especially true if you’ve changed your site architecture over time — and who hasn’t? Content can end up with only a couple links to it, or even none at all.

Content architecture is one way that search engines can better understand your site and which content to recommend to searchers. An orphaned page with few or no links is unlikely to pass muster. 

This guide from Search Engine Journal can help you find your orphaned pages. Once you identify them, add links to and from relevant pages throughout your site. The goal is to build a logical link structure that helps users and bots understand which content is the most important.

You may also find that these orphaned pages are ripe for consolidation and optimization into more substantial content pieces, too.

Build External Links 

The end goal of our first four points is creating assets that are substantial, valuable, easy to find and share, and optimized for SEO and humans. This type of content is perfect for ethical link building. 

Backlinko has an excellent, comprehensive linkbuilding guide (ungated!) that’s well worth your time. But here are a few quick strategies to get started:

  1. Write guest posts for relevant industry publications and include links back to your content.
  2. Identify posts that are linking to similar, but outdated content and suggest updating with a link to your piece.
  3. Promote your content with paid and unpaid social media posts — those shares will indirectly influence your ranking, and can lead to more backlinks as well.

Let Your Little Light Shine

It can be demoralizing to think that 69% of your content is stuck in the dark. But think of it this way: You have a massive resource of already-written content that can find an audience with just a little SEO illumination. Make your content more accessible, easier to find, and more substantial for your audience, and you can bring that forgotten content into the light.

We can help bring your content out of the dark. Request an SEO audit to get started.