However, many local businesses neglect to leverage the power that can come through creating and sharing slideshow presentations on the web.
Similar to other forms of internet content, slideshows can be optimized and shared in order to expand the “buzz” around a business’s name and internet presence. Slideshows can be a vehicle for a few more inlinks and local citations. And, just as with online yellow pages listings, blog posts and articles, slideshows can effectively be a communications vehicle for reaching more potential customers.
If you and your sales reps or business development people make presentations to prospects or at conferences, those presentations can gain additional mileage by being shared online, where they can rank for relevant searches, allowing your organization to be found.
While a presentation file rarely provides the full information and entire context of the live presentation you would make when delivering it in person, the slideshow can still convey that you and your company focus upon the topic areas mentioned in the preso, and it can help in augmenting the perception that your company is expert in the information represented in the slides.
Some individuals and companies are loath to publish and share their slide presentations (just as some decline to share information via creation of blog posts or videos). There’s not necessarily room in this article to go into the full breadth of advantages involved in openly sharing your know-how or details around your company’s methods, but much of the advantage boils down to how sharing provides opportunities for demonstrating your expertise and experience.
The age of obsessive protectionism of business methods is largely past in many ways (albeit proprietary secrets about deep details continue to exist). Yet, many consumers of products and services are very well-educated, and hearing about how you address and solve problems helps to convince them to choose your company above competitors.
Also, quite obviously, if you don’t share some information, you miss out on all the promotional advantages discussed in this article.
There are creative ways of presenting information about the topics involved with your company’s work. It can be quite effective to describe the complexities of issues around your products and services in-depth, while still leaving out the full details of your company’s unique “secret sauce.”
The best slideshow presentations tend to be somewhat minimalist, further limiting just how many precise details may be conveyed. As a frequent guest speaker and moderator at conferences, I repeatedly witness novice presenters who don’t realize that they cannot effectively jam all information onto a single slide!
Slides have room only for a relative few images and words per each, and if you force more into the space, the slide becomes less legible to individuals at the backs of meeting rooms and auditoriums. When converted for storage and display through slide sharing platforms, the print and images on the slides can get reduced to illegibility, as well.
(Not to mention, a slide with too many words on it can prove to be a millstone around your neck when you’re presenting it — endless bulleted lists can become an awkward slavery as you must trudge through each point listed prior to progressing on to the next slide in the sequence!)
From a local SEO point of view, slide presentations can contain links as well as local citations, and these can comprise a very unique source of references or “buzz” about your business as search engine algorithms analyze them when encountered on the web.
The links do not have to be only to your business website; it’s natural to link presentations to your social media accounts as well. Links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are also definitely in order.
Linking to your social media accounts helps strengthen their rankings in some cases, just as it strengthens your website, and strengthening the search presence of your social accounts, each of which ought to already be linking-to your company site, will help strengthen your central web presence further, in a round-about fashion.
It’s worthwhile to note that most of the top slide sharing services will “nofollow” links found in slide presentations which they translate into web pages. While nofollowed links will typically not be expected to transfer ranking weight value, Google engineers in the past have indicated that they may still evaluate the value of particular signal sources, and if found to be useful/valuable with less spam signal-to-noise ratio, they may continue to use links from a particular source, even when nofollowed.
Compared to many other content sources, I believe slide sharing services have relatively little spam, so there’s reason to think that some of them continue to provide some link value. (Some slide sharing services merely display URLs, non-linked, in their web page versions, and I’ve previously theorized that these could comprise another type of citation — one that is not limited by the nofollow parameter whatsoever.)
Even if the links do not provide weight, we’ve seen numerous instances where they do provide keyword relevancy value, so there are unquestionable associated search benefits.
Beyond search optimization aspects, there is another online marketing benefit: If you use your presentation sharing accounts with some frequency and develop them out over time, your profile pages at those services will provide you with additional assets for proactive online reputation management.
These profiles can often rank very strongly for your name searches, making it more difficult for negative content outside of your control to gain traction in search results and impact your business reputation.
Here are some tips for optimizing slide presentations for Local SEO:
1. Use actual text, not text embedded in graphics. When designing your slide presentation in programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint, be sure to use primarily text on the slides. Some organizations will have a designer create their slideshow presentations, and the designer may create graphic images, such as in JPG, GIF or PNG format, embedding the words in the graphic image, and use those in place of regular text.
Doing this will likely reduce or negate keyword ranking ability of the presentation — so, go with simpler designs with text rather than something that’s in all graphics. (Google may process the images to attempt to extract keyword information, but relying on this is risky.)
Likewise, if most of the content is in video format embedded on each slide, any keyword text will be much more difficult for search engines to extract and use.
2. Optimize Your Title Slide. The title slide is likely the most important for SEO purposes, so design it carefully, incorporating valuable keywords in the main title headline, and try to include your business’s name, address, phone number, and website URL on that initial slide.
3. Optimize Your Final Slide, Too. The last slide in a presentation is similarly important. Incorporate your contact information there, including business name, address, phone number, website URL, and links to your top social media accounts.
4. Put Relevant Information In Your Headers/Footers. Your presentation template’s headers or footers may also incorporate a small amount of citational information, such as your name, address, phone, or a Twitter handle.
5. Link To And Share Your Presentation. You can share your presentation directly off of your web server and link to it from your blog or website. Search engines will index and list links to PowerPoint files. Tweeting out or otherwise broadcasting the link may result in obtaining more inbound links if others endorse your presentation by re-sharing the link.
If you decide to use a slide sharing service, don’t forget to link to your profile from your website and/or blog!
6. Upload Your Presentation To Slideshare. SlideShare is the most popular slide sharing service. It’s operated by LinkedIn, which provides some further connectivity advantages. (However, I’m somewhat disappointed that SlideShare’s links over to LinkedIn are nofollowed in many cases where I would otherwise think there is no reason to be.)
7. Consider Other Slide Sharing Platforms, Too. There are a number of additional presentation sharing services in addition to SlideShare, and some could also provide some levels of SEO benefit.
Rather than duplicating your slides across many multiple platforms, I would suggest that you either use SlideShare or experiment to find another that performs well for you. If you have multiple versions of a single slideshow, I think that would be a good exception. If these versions are notably different — say, on the order of more than 15% different — then, spread them around a few different slide sharing platforms.
There are some presentation creation services out there which also provide some optimization benefits, but will require you to build the presentation directly in their platform rather than importing it in. For instance, Prezi provides unique display options and transition effect, and its pages rank very well in search engines.
8. Optimize Your Profile Page On Your Chosen Slide Sharing Site(s). Your profile page is perhaps the most important page on any slide sharing site — so, take particular care in optimizing it!
Include your full address location and phone number, if space allows, and name the profile with your precise business name. Upload a good avatar image, and write a strong, keyword-inclusive description, if there is a space provided. Include the links or handles to your top social media accounts, if fields are provided.
Note that on some sharing sites, your username actually becomes modified into your profile’s URL — so, using a username that matches your business name as closely as possible will be ideal.
9. Slideshow content can also be very useful in generating other types of content for your content marketing and optimization efforts. It’s very easy to design illustrations and diagrams in slideshow software, and screen-grabs of these images could then be used to illustrate your blog posts, articles, website, and to share via Pinterest, Flickr or Instagram.
10. In some cases, infographics can be designed on a slide and then reused as stand-alone images that may be shared via infographic directory sites.
11. I’ve also used slideshows for the graphics and animated sequences to illustrate videos using either my own voice, or a local vocal actor. Typical video optimization may then be employed, such as sharing through YouTube and optimizing the video’s page there.
In sum, there are a variety of ways that slideshow presentations may be used to optimize a business for local search, either directly or indirectly. Don’t miss out on this unique citation development option!
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