How to Integrate Influencer Marketing With Your SEO Strategy

GRIN also recommends: Quick Guide to Earned Media Value 

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Influencers do more than drive sales. Marketers are finding more and more ways to glean returns on their influencer content, and so can you. One of the most underrated benefits to influencer campaigns is their effect on your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).

Merging two rising marketing trends – SEO and influencers – is a strategic move your brand can make in 2021. Here’s how it’s done.

Influencer Marketing in 2021

Short-term ROI for influencer marketing averages nearly $6 for every $1 spent. For brands that focus on long-term influencer partnerships, returns significantly increase beyond the average.

But there are also long-term benefits in partnering with influencers. For example, brands are repurposing influencer content into their paid media strategy for significantly higher click-through rates and conversions. You can also integrate influencer content with email and SMS marketing.

Another long-term benefit of influencer marketing is increased web traffic and search engine optimization

Many brands are finding that influencers are a critical part of their marketing strategy beyond social media. Not only is influencer content more authentic to consumers in any context, but it is also reaching audiences that brands might not be able to reach on their own.

“I believe that companies that don’t collaborate with influencers are going to be spending more and more money on paid social, as it becomes less and less effective over time.” – Neal Schaffer, Author of The Age of Influence

roi of influencer marketing. how to integrate influencer marketing in your seo strategy

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Marketers that leverage influencer partnerships can begin to see how those relationships impact their entire marketing program. In addition to driving web traffic, influencers hold the keys to unique consumer insights – insights that can greatly enhance branded content on search engine results pages (SERPs).

The Benefits of an SEO Strategy

Content marketers frequently refer to SEO as a marathon – not a sprint. SEO focuses on sustainable search engine performance so that key pages regularly rank on the first page when users search for high volume keywords.

Brands with a strong SEO strategy enjoy a robust online presence that translates into brand trust and increased sales. The other benefits of an SEO strategy include:

  • Higher search engine rankings
  • Greater online credibility
  • Rising domain authority (DA)
    • A high domain authority improves your online visibility site-wide. This makes it easier for new pages to rank high, even if they have a lower page authority (PA).
  • Inbound leads and sales
  • Become an industry authority

Top SEO Strategies of 2021 & How Influencers Can Help

1. UX Design

The user experience (UX) contributes to website bounce rates. Bounce rates tell Google how quickly and often web visitors leave your website. High bounce rates indicate that users are not getting the experience that they had hoped for.

Brands that focus on UX design are looking for ways to increase value and relevance for web visitors. In most cases, UX design tries to eliminate off-putting components on a page, such as broken links, indigestible content, poor design, etc. 

“You could get thousands of visits to your website a month, but if no one can convert due to poor UX, then it’s all for nothing. Google is paying attention to user experience because it’s how it measures if the site was helpful or not.” – Digital Strike Marketing

But a good UX design also offers compelling benefits to users. For example, good UX design on your blog pages means that you have a great heading and subheading structure. A visitor can scan the page to know what the content is about, and after confirming that the blog will address their topic of interest, they can settle in to read the blog in full.

Keyword research also relates closely to UX design. Google notices when visitors leave a webpage because it didn’t properly relate to their search query.

How to Incorporate Influencers

Influencers are consumers and power users. Not only are they representative of your target audience, but they have strong communication skills to describe positive or negative experiences on your website.

Even your most dedicated influencers will be able to show you where your UX design needs improvement. By collaborating with your influencers in this way, it can help you identify friction points as well as greatly increase the value of your most important web pages.

2. Smarter Keyword Research

The outdated way of doing keyword research is to utilize keyword tools. Keyword tools often present historical data only – meaning that those tools can’t anticipate how search engine users are changing their word choice.

Google can aggregate more than primary keywords. If you strategically incorporate secondary and LSI (tertiary) keywords into your content, Google algorithms will make better matches between your content and users looking for what you offer. Another term for this approach is semantic search.

what is a lsi keyword influencer marketing integrated with SEO strategy

Image via Creative Developments

Many brands are also going straight to their customer for relevant keywords. In case studies and surveys, marketers can use words and phrases that their customers use to wrap around their problems and questions. This approach will help Google index your web pages with greater accuracy.

How to Incorporate Influencers

You can let your influencers know that you are looking for more relevant keywords based on words and phrases that consumers use. The influencer can do more to drive engagement by way of comments, survey responses, and other user-generated content. 

By gathering audience feedback, you’ll have more accurate keywords and phrases to work with to create content that will perform better in search engine results.

3. Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness (EAT)

It’s true that Google releases a new search engine algorithm update frequently, and this tendency keeps most SEO experts up at night. That said, Google’s EAT principle – expertise, authority, and trustworthiness – has endured for many years and continues to be one of the most critical ranking factors today despite each new update.

e.a.t. is google's new name for what every high quality page needs. A high level of expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness for influencer marketing and seo strategy

Image via Moz

Google’s goal is to ensure that users receive the best possible answer to their questions. As such, websites that demonstrate their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness consistently outperform their competitors.

Websites that spend less time on EAT are left with black and gray hat SEO techniques. These techniques try to “play the system” with Google and other search engines. Black and gray hat techniques work for a time, but in most cases, Google will penalize those websites that try to shortcut EAT principles.

How to Incorporate Influencers

One of the best ways to achieve EAT on your website is to collect high-quality backlinks and online mentions from key opinion leaders. Many influencers are bloggers and industry experts. Part of an influencer campaign might be to have one of your influencers feature your brand in a blog and link back to your website.

For best results, look for those industry expert bloggers that have a high domain authority score (you can see this score by adding Moz’s free SEO toolbar). The higher the domain authority, the better the backlink.

4. Optimizing All Content Forms

It’s general knowledge that your website’s written content should be keyword optimized. But it’s just as important to keyword optimize all content, including videos and images. Content optimization includes the name on the file upload, as well as the metadata associated with each piece of content.

For example, if you upload a video to YouTube, you want the name of your video, the description, and the tags to all reflect the keywords you want to target. The same is true for every image on your website.

How to Incorporate Influencers

Many influencers know how to optimize their content for keywords, especially YouTube influencers and bloggers. If you have a particular set of keywords you want to target (such as branded keywords), include those keywords in your campaign brief and follow-up with your influencer to see if they have any questions.

5. Long-form Articles and eGuides

As a general rule, the more exhaustive your written content, the easier it is for Google to index your site and help it rank appropriately. There is an important caveat – your written content must deliver value to your readers. Value always supersedes word count.

Creating long-form articles and eguides will attract some of your best readers. These exhaustive articles will also contain primary, secondary, and LSI keywords to help that page rank and perform better in search results. 

To achieve the best results, make sure to work with an experienced writer that is knowledgeable about your brand and industry. Poor quality content – however long or short – will only produce modest results.

How to Incorporate Influencers

Most influencers are powerful communicators and highly knowledgeable about their industry and audience. You can use influencers to help you create long-form content. 

Examples include guest posts, co-written eguides, and long-form videos. If possible, have your influencer publish their content on your website or social media page. This approach also works when repurposing influencer content from a past campaign.

When repurposing influencer content, it’s critical that you have permission from your influencer to do so. Typically, content rights are included in a formal influencer agreement.

How Influencer Marketing Impacts Your SEO

If you are strategic with your affiliate and featured links in your influencer campaigns, influencer content can drive significant traffic to those pages. Google will note this traffic and update your page rankings accordingly.

Also, industry expert influencers can add credibility to your website and help you achieve EAT. Blogger influencers with high domain authority scores can give your website quality backlinks.

Each of these factors will improve your performance on search engines and increase your online visibility for users. The better your SEO, the greater your inbound traffic and the less you have to pay to acquire new customers.

Measure the Success of Integrating Influencers into Your SEO

To truly understand how well your website is performing on search engines, you will need some analytics tools. Google Analytics can help you track traffic, individual page performance, bounce rates, and so much more. The greatest advantage of Google Analytics is that it is free.

You can also invest in SEO software. These platforms are usually more user-friendly than Google Analytics. Additionally, they will be able to give you more backlink and keyword research tools to help you update your marketing KPIs.

It’s important to establish a baseline of your website performance before you start integrating influencers using the methods above. Once you start introducing SEO KPIs into your influencer program, track your website performance. 

Conclusion: Influencers can have a massive impact on driving your search engine optimization 

Consumers value influencer opinions. If authentic influencers recommend that consumers take action, followers are likely to take that recommendation seriously. By letting your influencers know what your SEO goals are, they will be able to make the necessary tweaks to generate the results you’re looking for.

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What the best brands are doing to drive revenue from influencer marketing

Whether you are just getting started with influencer marketing or already have your program in place, this guide gives you the tools to get the return on investment your C-level will love. 

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