In the case of The Data Leadership Collaborative (DLC), a global thought leadership community that PJA created for (and with) our terrific client Tableau, it’s also a milestone. Launched just over two years ago, the DLC has a strictly non-promotional goal to bring together like-minded executive data leaders to connect, learn, and help each other progress on the journey to building data-driven organizations.
We developed the DLC with – and for – data leaders who hailed from organizations like Britain’s National Health Service, global commercial real estate leader JLL, Jaguar Land Rover, Oracle, and VMWare.
Our content ranges from in-depth interview-based articles on how to manage expectations about AI when your board may be running around with their collective hair on fire to virtual roundtables and videos on identifying unintentional data bias in your organization. We even have a very popular new feature called “Confessions of a CDO,” where Chief Data Officers dish on the crazy challenges of a vital C-level role that still has an average tenure of 2.4 years.
Tableau green-lit research into the need for the community – my favorite interviewee, in Sydney, Australia, said, “I think you’ve identified an absolute gold mine” – commissioned us to pull best practices from communities as diverse as Sephora and Lego, encouraged us to hold online whiteboarding sessions where we did A/B testing of different community concepts, and gave us the breathing room to create an award-winning graphic identity and web design that would stand out. This is classic Tableau. They are a powerful brand because they really care about listening to and communicating with their customers.
Since we launched, in May 2021, we have written, co-written, videotaped, designed, and laid out close to 150 stories across data culture, impact, leadership and practice. Of course, it doesn’t matter how much great content you publish online in 2023. You have to make sure people can find it.
That’s why we also work with an excellent SEO consultant, who helps us with SEO keywords, metatags, and meta descriptions for search engines like Google. We meet with him regularly on keyword planning for content calendar development; ongoing keyword research and keyword strategy development; and reporting out on keyword rankings and search traffic metrics.
And as a result of keeping our noses to the content grindstone, we finally have broken through. Google, for one, recognizes us as a trusted source of content on topics like “data leadership.” We are now on the first page of Google among 1.41 billion results for this search. It feels a bit odd to celebrate this achievement, but it is an achievement. When was the last time you clicked through to page 4 or 5 of your search results?
If you’re wondering how to get on the first page of Google’s results with your organization’s website, you need to consider these questions:
What’s the most important ingredient of all in getting to page 1 search results? Something that’s in short supply, especially in our post-pandemic world: patience. As I like to say, building authority and influence in a thought leadership site is a slow burn. But with the right team, a client that believes in the mission, and consistent funding, you can achieve the best of both worlds with a thought leadership initiative: peer-voice content that your audience truly values, and a powerful tool to help you engage top-of-funnel inbound interest among high-value executive targets.