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When talking with marketing managers at conferences and networking events, I repeatedly hear the same worries and objections when it comes to using rich media. They question whether the infographic (IG) or video will be worth the time and effort, and worry that it won’t generate the needed ROI to justify the spend. They blame the medium for not being effective, when more often than not they’re failing to properly utilize this amazing tool. Use this as your guide to make the most of our your new content, and you should see your SEO and bottom line improve.
In the general context, deep linking directs users to a particular page within your site instead of bringing them to your homepage. In 2015, the big challenge was setting deep linking for mobile. Instead of opening an app and landing on the homepage, a deep link brings users into the app and to a specific page. For example, if you were in the Facebook app on Joe’s Pizza’s page and clicked “get directions,” the link would open your Google Maps app and run the search from your current location to the pizza place, instead of just opening the app and making you do the work.
Deep linking has actually been an SEO and e-commerce saving grace for companies that have poor mobile and browsing experiences. Users clicking on a search result or product listing ad are brought straight to the product page and convert easily without realizing the website has poor navigation. As conversion rates go up and bounce rates go down, Google starts to assign greater value to the website. It might not have the best experience, but it’s showing the customer exactly what they want, and that’s what matters.
Make sure your call-to-action goes to the best possible page to generate conversions and leads, and especially make sure you have a strong mobile experience. When you click your infographics on Facebook, what app does it open? Where does it go? Think like a user and fix any possible reasons to bounce.
As you start adding digital media content to your marketing strategy, consider where this interactive or static infographic will live online. Many brands create infographics that they know will get picked up by their peers and live on multiple websites, and even more brands create IGs specifically to live on an industry blog as a guest or sponsored post. This is a wonderful way to get your name in front of hundreds of brand new customers while also boosting your SEO. As high-ranking websites in your industry point to your pages as an authority through linking, Google starts to respect your site and show it more often in search results.
Deep linking is especially important if your digital media creation is going to live on websites of your peers or industry leaders. First, the audience viewing the IG won’t automatically be sold on your brand. In fact, this might be the first time that they’ve ever experienced it. You want to make a strong first impression and win over that new traffic by driving them to the right place. Also, lack of deep linking will cause these new users to bounce as soon as they land on your site. This tells Google that the link and your site is not helpful and will not show it as often in the SERPs.
Even if you have the best deep linking in the world, you’re not going to reap the benefits of rich media if you post it and forget about it a week later. If you’re going to take the time to build a unique infographic, then you want to keep posting about it, sharing it, and generating buzz in the months following.
If you have the same love of cats and poop jokes that I do, look no further than our friends at The Oatmeal for an example of cross-channel promotions. The author usually posts links to his latest comics on Facebook, and then shares a more condensed version as a picture a few days later. Fans who like and share the photo generate more buzz about the comic, which drives their friends to see the rest of the comic online.
Here’s a tiny shareable version of one comic:
Your visitors aren’t naturally going to keep viewing your digital media; you need to bring it to them. This can be through Facebook and Twitter posts, sharing our IG on peer blogs and websites, and linking to the content on other site pages. Eventually, all of this buzz will increase your audience when Google ranks your piece as a valuable piece of content, but for now you have to work for it. The worst thing you can do to your IG is post it on your blog and then let it fall into obscurity.
Before you post your digital media online, have a set of KPIs that you expect to get from the content. This should range from easy goals like total Facebook shares and site visits, to harder objectives like sales generated or ROI. Make sure each KPI has clear measurements and challenging, yet realistic, targets.
For example, you might place an IG on an industry expert’s website and plan to drive X clicks to your product page, expect Y peer blogs link to your content, and generate Z leads through the number at the bottom of your IG. If you’re short in one of these KPIs, have a backup plan to drive more traffic to the page or encourage linking to the content. The only way you can track the return on your digital media is if you go in with goals and plans for what you want to get out of it.
If you haven’t experimented with digital media yet, you might have a hard time setting the right goals and hitting those numbers. The first time is always the hardest, so take the lessons from your first infographic and apply them to the next one. Did your first IG generate 20 links and 8 sales? Set a goal to improve and drive 25 links and 12 sales on your next one.
Many marketers are jumping onboard digital media for SEO as a new frontier and a flashy alternative to blogging, but they need to remember that SEO supports the user experience. If Google feels like the content’s intent is to boost rankings to detriment of the visitor, you won’t see the results you expect. Start by creating a knock-out IG, video, or infographic, and your SEO will follow — plus it will make it significantly easier to nail your KPIs.