The Channel as Search Engine Optimizer
Five Steps for Dominating SEO Using Your Channel
Lets face it: The reason you build a reseller channel is to accelerate your company’s sales ten times faster than you could by building a direct sales force. Historically, Partner Relationship Management has focused on providing static marketing materials, funds for marketing campaigns, and distribution of leads generated by the vendors’ marketing efforts.
But it could be doing a lot more for your company – why not get an added benefit from your indirect sales channel by generating inbound leads based on common keywords?
As the vendor, you want to dominate at a national or global level while your channel partners want to dominate at the local level. By working together with a coordinated SEM/SEO strategy, you can both benefit from joint SEO efforts. Here’s how you do it:
1. Use a website grader on your partners’ sites and post the results in your partner portal.
This allows your partners to see how well they are positioned for organic search and what areas they can improve on their sites to accelerate their inbound leads for your products. Hubspot has a good tool, but there are others available as well.
2. Provide partners keyword rich content that’s optimized for your products.
Create guidelines for content creation that will contain keywords that you know convert well for your products while providing them ample opportunity to include geographically specific keywords for their area. This will help you capitalize on local search without creating specific campaigns or landing pages by region. You might even want to allocate some Market Development Funds (MDF) to your partners to help them create the keyword-rich and product relevant content. Used this way, your MDF will have much higher returns than traditional MDF expenditures.
Offer this content via an online resource library, and be sure to have different types of content available for different social media purposes (blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).
3. Define a social media strategy for partners.
Most partners have not yet discovered the impact of using social media effectively for inbound lead generation. By being the first to teach them and making it easy to roll out, you can help them focus on promoting your products. If you are providing them the content outlined in step 2, be sure they understand the importance of promoting themselves (and your products) via the most popular social media websites.
4. Coordinate a backlink strategy between you and your partners.
We all know that backlinks from relevant and trusted sites are a key driver of SEO. What’s more relevant and trusted than your partner network? Provide your partners with your logo and a short and long version of your product and/or company overview so they can pull that information from your resource library and easily post it on their site. Eliminate the work for them.
5. Provide tools for success.
Don’t spend your MDF dollars giving partners fish. Instead, use those funds to teach them to fish for you. Working with your most valued partners via an inbound marketing platform is the best MDF investment you can make.
Providing all of these tools and working with your partners to generate mutually beneficial traffic also serves to create loyalty between your partner network and you.
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