Involving your support team in your SEO efforts

SEO is somewhat of an arms race. Organizations that are reasonably successful at it  follow best practices for on-page SEO, have great internal linking structure, and run inbound linking campaigns (great content, link bait, etc.). At the end of the day, however, what often separates good rankings from great rankings is the sheer amount of useful content that your organization can generate on a regular basis.

Right now you are thinking, “Great. It’s not enough that I have good content, I have to have a lot of it and update it regularly.” Unfortunately, if you want to be competitive, you’re right. We marketers at B2B organizations today are an overtaxed bunch. We’re often asked to do more now with less resources than we might have enjoyed a few years ago. Fortunately, if your organization is a products company, you probably have a wealth of content that is not currently helping your rankings, but could if you allow it.

Most companies keep their knowledge bases, customer communities, and forums under lock and key, afraid that competitors or prospects may see their warts or proprietary information. The reality is that your documentation and community sites likely contain a tremendous amount of content that can and should be indexable by search engines. Assuming your documentation is complete and your community is well taken care of, you have nothing to hide. Competitors likely already know more about you than you can imagine and prospects will likely be encouraged by having access to your community during the sales process.

Anytime one of your support reps answers a question via email but does not have relevant documentation to link to, he/she should write up an answer, post it to the site, and send the URL to the client. Of course it helps if you have a simple content management system, community management system, or forum so that your reps can do this with zero IT involvement. This allows your support team and also your user community to become content creators for you. You will find that the number of pages indexed on your documentation or community site quickly outstrips your corporate site and that you start to rank well for many long tail keywords. Who wouldn’t want double or triple their number of quality pages in Google or Bing’s indexes?

What can you start making available to the search engines?

  • product documentation
  • FAQs
  • forums
  • idea exchanges

When was the last time you thought of a support ticket as an opportunity for SEO-boosting content?

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