You too can build a digital publishing empire with this Mequoda marketing method
Did you ever hear the one about the small, special-interest publisher who made more than $2 million from a single, 12-page PDF?
Would you believe me if I told you that content was free?
Believe it. It’s not a fairy tale – it’s a true story. We even use it to illustrate the beauty of strategic SEO campaigns in our upcoming webinar, The Mequoda SEO Campaign: Making Money from Free Content. And right now I’m going to share some secrets of Mequoda SEO campaigns just like it.
SEO campaigns deliver cost-effective audience development
With most newly-minted online publications yearning for a larger Internet audience, SEO campaigns are becoming as popular as pay-per-click and paid banner advertising campaigns. The problem is that most marketers don’t know how to execute them effectively. It’s not a huge secret, because folks such as Meredith and Rodale do it every day (you may even have heard it called the Meredith Method or the Rodale method). And it’s not proprietary.
It’s just that SEO campaigns that can deliver results like the one I mentioned above are tricky to execute if you don’t know the details. There are numerous programs, skill sets and specialists involved, so having them in place or at your disposal is the first step if you really want to become a digital publishing millionaire. These include SEO copywriting for landing pages, email copywriting, and keyword research. The goal is to harvest email addresses for high-quality leads, so you can sell your paid products in multitudes, year after year.
Effective SEO campaigns, Step 1:
Step 1 involves keyword research to determine a topic and keyword phrase where you aren’t currently ranking, even though you should be. Some of our clients do this for themselves, but many more outsource this function to analysts such as our Norann Oleson. This process is time-consuming and I won’t try to explain the details here. Check out Norann’s regular Thursday blog for more information on this entertaining endeavor!
Effective SEO campaigns, Step 2:
Once you’ve targeted your keyword phrase, the next step is creating a free white paper or other piece of content that’s instantly downloadable. The goal here is to create – or preferably to repurpose from existing editorial material – content that’s compelling to visitors and is aligned to your premium products. If you’re a gardening publisher, for example, you could repurpose the chapter of an existing plant guidebook as a free report.
Package it up as a PDF and be sure to give it an optimized title and subtitle using the keyword phrase you’re targeting.
Effective SEO campaigns, Step 3:
Once you have your free content in hand, you have to create a landing page for visitors who find you via Google search. Effective landing pages need skilled SEO copywriting that not only “sell” the free products, but are also optimized for the keyword phrases you’re targeting in your SEO campaigns.
Remember that SEO copywriting aims at creating great copy containing a keyword density of 2-5%. I recommend using the Motoricerca Keyword Density tool to make the math easy for writers! (My motto: “I’m a writer. You do the math.”)
The goal here is to draw multitudes of visitors to these landing pages who will want the free content so much that they’ll willingly hand over their email addresses to get it. Be sure to include multiple calls to action on these landing pages: roughly one every 500 words, so that a CTA is always on the screen as readers scroll down.
Effective SEO campaigns, Step 4:
The Mequoda Method doesn’t rely on Google searches alone, however. Deploy more SEO copywriting to create blog posts, press releases and other promotions about your free content. Email copywriting comes into play, too, because you want to send out your blog post and landing page sales letter to your existing email list. This not only helps word of your fabulous free report go viral to your customers’ friends, it also builds brand loyalty among those existing customers.
The end result of this SEO campaign should be a large new list of eager customers who will hopefully opt in for your free newsletters (you do have free newsletters, don’t you?) and regular email promotions for paid products. Because these new subscribers arrived via their own search and their friends’ recommendations, they’re eager and willing, making for a clean list (the reputation bureaux will love you) and a new, expansive, qualified audience for your products.
Effective SEO campaigns that rock your world
Of course you’re wondering about the details of the story I told at the beginning of this post. Sorry – I’m not giving away that content! It’s a true story, and that little niche publisher grew so big, it was eventually acquired by a large corporation for some very nice cash indeed! So if you want to know more, I recommend checking out our upcoming webinar on Feb. 12, when Don Nicholas and I will be discussing the finer points and showing you the actual case study and numbers involved.
In the meantime, I’d be interested to hear any other success stories using SEO campaigns to build audiences and sell products. The community and I would love to hear about new ideas and strategies that have worked for you!