The Best Offline SEO Strategies
As a youthful entrepreneur, one of the first books I turned to build my marketing muscles was Guerrilla Marketing by the late Jay Conrad Levinson. First printed in 1984, Jay packed this book with low cost non-digital strategies that competitors rarely attempt to execute. What I do not think Mr. Levinson expected is that these concepts would work as offline SEO strategies.
Feet on the pavement forms of marketing are not all that different from the search engine services we offer at 805 SEO. What we do requires digital dirt under the fingernails as we take a long term, high effort approach to online marketing. This article ties the two together, helping us (the SEO) and you (the business owner) get the most out of the offline SEO efforts that a business is or should be doing.
If you are a business looking to hire an SEO agency to do the work, be sure that part of their SEO audit includes a strategy call. In this call, they should ask a series of questions about what offline activities exist that promote your business.
These offline marketing efforts impact perhaps the greatest ranking factor of all, website and page traffic. There are plenty of examples where companies rank well, yet have terrible content and poor technical SEO. Proof that brand building efforts are still an important marketing tactic for SEO success.
Here are 9 ways to use offline brand awareness building strategies for on-page SEO success.
Host Educational Seminars
Holding local seminars isn’t just for real estate gurus and retirement planning. Seminars are a great way to expose a business to new clients and are an effective SEO technique. Seminars force subject matter experts to vocalize their knowledge in a way that is organic and fluid.
Shaky and nervous, I once stood before 100 women giving a talk about fitness nutrition. The outcome of this single presentation led to a decade of customer support from many of these women. But had I engaged with an SEO expert to understand their insight into this future event, I could have used it for much more.
On the flip side, companies rarely leverage content marketing beyond how it sits on the page.
A significant amount of quality content should exist if a business has worked with an SEO agency for an extended period. Compiling this information in an organized way creates the template for a fantastic seminar.
Publishers can host in-person events based on previously published content. We can further magnify by taking chunks of recorded digital content, using it to enhance the page experience.
Sometimes, the best way to identify new opportunities for content marketing is to get out of the office and into a conversation. This leads to more personalized information, testimonials, and examples that increase page value.
If you plan to host an educational seminar, invite publishers, bloggers, and influencers. They help bring exposure to the business through brand mentions in the content they publish. If the seminar is good enough, having these thought leaders at your event leads to blog post mentions and future guest posting opportunities.
Whether it’s a product or service business, there’s no reason product demonstrations shouldn’t be a part of every marketing strategy. Product demonstrations can be as simple as walking people through the customer journey or as complicated as what you see at Costco.
On Site Product Demonstrations
I wouldn’t consider myself a hipster, but I do have a favorite hipster coffee shop. Maybe it’s because their coffee is the best, or maybe it’s because one owner invited my kids into the roasting room for a private tour. Either way, Beacon Coffee is exceptional and more people should know about it.
Another “special” feature of this company is they offer coffee classes to anyone interested. These classes are currently promoted through email to their existing list and on their website as an ecommerce product. But since these classes elevate the coffee shop to subject matter authority status, leveraging these classes for search engine success makes perfect SEO sense.
Here are just a few ways in which these classes could benefit search engine optimization.
- Capture the information taught in these classes and turn them into evergreen blog articles helping to build topical authority.
- Recommend these articles as follow up resources for people attending the class.
- Post their upcoming classes within their Google Business Profile by using the Google Posts feature.
- Record the classes and cut them into short video pieces placed on Youtube and then embedded on evergreen content pages.
- Write sales copy for these videos and post them on the YouTube page, taking advantage of the second largest search engine.
Off Site Product Demonstrations
There is a local park in my former community where, unannounced but blatantly obvious, those starting their weight loss journey visit for exercise purposes. It becomes even more apparent because personal trainers hold classes at the park with or without the proper permitting.
Having owned brick n mortar businesses in the sports nutrition industry, we seized the opportunity in front of us. Leveraging our existing personal trainer relationships, we set up sampling booths in an equally accessible location. Near enough to their classes but within reach of where the walkers would pass by.
With an educational brochure in hand, we passed out flyers and handed out samples to anyone interested. Unfortunately, my passion for search optimization was not yet established. This cost me an opportunity to leverage this activity as an SEO tool for my marketing tool belt.
Recognizing that hindsight is 20/20, I would have brought an article titled “The secret enemy of weight loss.” The CTA would be a link to a separate article called “5 ways to speed up fat loss” which lived on the website with a strong call to action.
Attend a Variety of Trade Shows
Most businesses attend trade shows within their industry, and this is a big mistake. A variety of trade shows are available in both metropolis and suburban cities. One example is a photographer. They would do well by having a booth at trade shows in the bridal industry where expertise is seen in a unique way.
Many SEO opportunities prevent themselves at trade shows. Here are four:
- Industry media coverage where they look for expert input from different perspectives.
- Lead capturing to build your email list, leveraging your existing content for education based email campaigns.
- Sending social signals to the search engines by networking with those who specialize in social media marketing.
- Relationships building that leads to guest blogging opportunities on high domain authority websites.
Post Signage Everywhere
Posting signage is effectively the same as its digital marketing counterpart. Signage is an offline form of the banner ads found on Yahoo or MSN..
The main image for this article is a marketing effort by a discount mattress shop my friend owns. These ads are converting exceptionally well and making them a lot of profit.
Unfortunately, this mattress shop does not have control of their own website as it is part of a low-tech franchise with a minimal digital footprint. What they could do is enhance their Google Business Profile with a Google Website, creating a home for published content. You hear that Adrian? 🙂
We can place signage in more locations than you think. Smoothie shops, coffee shops, local community parks, doors of local businesses or street poles (where legal).
Using this as a part of your SEO strategy, your signage can include a reference to educational content found on your website. Or, your signage can lead to another offline strategy that already has an SEO element in place.
Knock on Doors
This is the point where many people click away from the article stating “who knocks on doors anymore?” This is exactly my point.
As Dan Kennedy says, the most effective form of marketing is the one that converts. With fewer people knocking on doors than ever, there is an attention grabbing opportunity that few businesses have the guts for.
Door Knocking is an effective way to increase a company’s local SEO efforts. But…
Pitch your product heavily and watch the door slam in your face. The right way to door knock works synergistically with your SEO strategy. Quality content marketing is effectively the same as off-line education based marketing. Print your most popular article and deliver it with a link back to an article about a similar subject.
Better yet, grab their email and send them the link directly to their inbox.
Pick Up the Phone
Yea, I hear it all the time… people don’t answer their phone anymore. But when you compare it to something such as email open rates, it is better than you think.
When someone does not recognize a number, they are likely to answer 19% of the time. If they recognize the number, they will answer it 48% of the time.
In SEO, we know that including research and reporting into content marketing is a great way to encourage organic link building. But this data shouldn’t die once we publish the article. You can communicate this data to your clients to make a call worth answering.
The late Chet Holmes is one of my all time favorite marketers. He never seemed swayed by opinions and trends. His belief in education based marketing was to communicate through a phone call the urgency to visit a website. Consider this process.
- Call a potential customer and tell them a recent discovery that will interest them.
- Capture their email or send a text with the link to the full article
- Add your CTA to the article and see if they bite.
- Follow-up via phone to see if they read the article.
This is the type of thinking that requires cooperation between sales, marketing, and website development teams.
Most of my SEO clients have phone conversations, so this isn’t something new. There really isn’t an excuse for businesses connecting with their clients via phone as long as a relationship has developed.
Send Direct Mail
Upon moving to a new city, I received a piece of mail that, as a fan of direct marketing, made me engage with the owner. We grabbed coffee to talk shop so I could learn more about his process. Shane developed his direct response and online marketing chops being an important part of a well known greens supplement company.
In search of time freedom, Shane left the company and took a different approach. Even though he offers website development and direct response services, he went offline with his marketing strategy.
With an outsourcing strategy that deserves a golf clap and a nod of the cap, Shane is affordably reaching new customers. At about $.50 per piece, his direct mail is hand sent to newly established corporations. The offer? A discounted business card with all the design work performed by him.
Who doesn’t need a business card? I mean, a business card is perhaps the most common form of guerrilla marketing that exists today.
How does this translate to SEO? These customers eventually search google for a business card. If Shane did not lead with a low barrier to entry CTA, he might include a piece called “Business Card Design Mistakes” which also lives on his website.
This form of education based marketing provides an article that can be found on the website titled “5 ways to make your business card stand out.” – Problem solved.
Optimize Your Referral System
Since we are talking about business cards…a simple referral system is giving two cards away to each person. The front of the business card includes your contact information, but the back includes a message ending with a link to your most important education page.
Marketing Tip: Rather than put your contact information on the front, maybe you should lead with value. Put the education piece on the front with a link to your website.
You first need to get the person on the other end of the handoff to visit that page. If this happens, they are likely to hand your card to another person making a recommendation that they visit your article.
Do you have a more creative way to develop and manage a referral system? If you do, remember that adding value is the best way to get referrals. Leverage your SEO efforts to benefit the lead and your position in the search engines.
Connect With the Community
It is good business to build non-transactional relationships with your community. Is there a local charity or non-profit you can work with? Whether it is committing money or time to an organization, there is a way to leverage this activity for improved organic search results.
Many charitable organizations thank their financial partners within their online website. If they do, find out if that “thank you” can include a backlink to your website.
Most times, you find they are willing but unaware of how to do so. No problem here, you will be glad to do this since you are a technical SEO specialist. Right?
If you are dedicating time to a good cause but there isn’t a website associated with the activity, consider how to create content around that topic. For example, my kids and I recently went out for a walk, picking up the trash along the local trail.
Had we invited a group of people to help, we could have created a theme around this activity. Being in the fitness industry for so many years, makes me think of “Taking the Steps to Clean Up Our Community.” This type of content should include the health benefits you receive, along with the good work you are doing.
In case you care, they are Vitamin D, reduced sedentary time, increased mobility, forest bathing, and lower stress by way of increased gratitude.
The Result of a Strong offline SEO strategy
The SEO results are shocking when a company follows a guerrilla marketing off page SEO strategy. Of course, if done correctly, there’s also an immediate impact on sales revenues. All good news for your company’s bottom line!
Let Us Implement Your Offline SEO Strategy
At 805 SEO we help scale your business with local SEO strategies. This includes on-going communication to ensure that SEO is included in all your marketing efforts. Fill out the form to receive a free website audit and SEO strategy call.