Call me old fashioned but sometimes I find new or complicated subjects much easier to digest offline on paper. This is part of the reason I’m such a big fan of business books.
But for really cutting edge or niche topics there’s not the time or demand to produce a full blown book. That where the white paper normally comes in.
It’s designed to be printed, has been given much more thought and attention than the normal blog post and is well worth brewing a cup of tea to drink while reading it.
I’m surprised not many SEO companies don’t make more of white papers as I think there a great way to demonstrate you know what your talking about and are at the bleeding edge of search.
In my quest to promote the white paper as a publishing format I thought I’d share ten of my favourite white papers that might act as inspiration for any budding authors.
- Enquiro – Leveraging Your Online Touch Point http://pages.enquiro.com/whitepaper-leveraging-your-online-touch-points.html I can bet you’ve seen a presentation with a heatmap from one of Enquiro’s Whitepapers at some point. Their recent white paper about Online Touch Points is a must read if your concerned that ‘last click wins’ isn’t a sensible way to be measuring online conversion and performance.
- Hitwise – Christmas Retail Review 2009 http://www.hitwise.com/uk/registration-pages/christmas-retail-review-09 Research is a great place to start when creating a white paper, this run down from Hitwise is a perfect example of the data driven paper. This is also a useful to have to hand if you need a statistic for your next presentation.
- iCrossing – What is Social Media eBook http://www.icrossing.co.uk/fileadmin/uploads/eBooks/What_is_Social_Media_iCrossing_ebook.pdf Our friends down the road at iCrossing put together this eBook beginners guide to social media several years ago but it holds up well. It’s a bit more substantial than the usual whitepaper but acted as a springboard for the author Antony Mayfield to write the excellent Me and My Web Shadow which I also recommend.
- Search Marketing Now – Battle Plan Multi-Lateral Online Marketing http://searchmarketingnow.com/battle-plan-multilateral-online-marketing-3586 You might not be familiar with Search Marketing Now but it’s the Webinar and White Paper website from Danny Sullivan and the people behind Search Engine Land, Sphinn & SMX so they know what they’re talking about. This particular whitepaper was produced with FathomSEO and covers a pretty hands on approach to integrating SEO with other marketing channels.
- Exact Target & Econsultancy – Digital Marketing Budgets http://email.exacttarget.com/Resources/Whitepapers/DigitalMarketingBudgets.html Another collaboration, this one is based on surveys carried out on Econsultancy asking questions about digital marketing budget trends. I like to keep the latest version of this report around as when ever I’m involved in a new business pitch, I normally end up using at least one stat from this report.
- FreshEgg – Call Tracking http://www.freshegg.com/pdf/CallTrackID_White_Paper_Fresh_Egg.pdf Like most SEO agencies; we work a lot with lead generation websites where tracking calls is vital. We’ve got our own solution in place but it’s always interesting to read how organisations like FreshEgg have dealt with the same challenges.
- Blinkx – Video SEO Whitepaper http://emea-store.blinkx.com/images/docs/seo.pdf this whitepaper is starting to feel a little dated but there’s still not been a better whitepaper written about Video SEO. Whether you’d like to do better on the search engines of Video sites or would like your video to be triggered in Universal Search results more frequently this is a great place to start.
- Reliable-SEO.com – Google Personalized Search Whitepaper http://www.huomah.com/News/Latest/White-Paper-Google-Personalized-Search.html Personalization has the potential to be one of the biggest influences on how we do SEO. This white paper is an experimental look at what is influencing personalization and a great place to start picking up on some of the trends we’ll be discussing more and more frequently in the future.
- SEOptimise Blogging for Business Whitepaper http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2009/12/download-our-free-blogging-for-business-whitepaper.html Content is, and will continue to be one of the best ways to improve rankings. Blogging is one of the easiest to implement and understand content paradigms for businesses. If you are trying to convince a client to start blogging this white paper covers most of the main topics to touch upon.
- SiteVisibility Marketing Directors Guide to Search http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/directors-guide-to-search/ A little nepotistic but I’m really pleased with our recent white paper which takes traditional marketing models like Ansoff and Boston and applies them to the world of search marketing. If you’re struggling to get your head around SEO but comfortable with off-line marketing this should be right up your street.