Customer relationship management is an integral component of developing any business. Identifying prospects and leads, building and nurturing relationships, tracking and analyzing valuable data — these are all crucial for getting and retaining customers. Your CRM is also a data goldmine. Think about all the information it compiles from your marketing and sales efforts into its database — data from phone calls and in-person meetings, information collected from direct mail response and other marketing materials, and now all the digital tracking from everything you do online, from your website, chats, and even social media.  

The primary purpose of collecting that data may be for marketing and sales, but it’s also invaluable to your SEO strategy (which shouldn’t really be too surprising since marketing and SEO do go hand-in-hand). Here are 5 ways you can put your CRM to work for your SEO.

1. Reputation Management

The whole purpose of a CRM is to help you build and manage relationships with leads, prospects, and customers. Aside from gaining new customers, one of the best outcomes from nurturing these relationships is the ability to convert users into brand advocates, especially through testimonials that you can use on your website and third party review sites such as Google, Yelp, niche review sites, etc.

Online reviews are invaluable for your SEO. The links and text directly contribute to your SEO rankings, and more importantly, they serve as external validation of your business. When people see that your customers are raving about you online, you become the logical choice for them as well. And when you combine SEO with reputation management, you end up with a lead generating machine like no other!   

2. Content Guidance

Figuring out what kind of content to produce is always a challenge for businesses. You want to be original, you want to be understandable, and of course, you want your content to be valuable. The best way to do all that is to find out what your customers, and potential customers, need. Luckily, your CRM makes doing that so much easier.

What are your conversations with leads and prospects telling you? Go through your data and find out. Check your phone calls, emails, and social media correspondence. Use individual custom conversations as topics for blog posts and articles. And follow any series of conversations on your CRM through the entire customer journey, so you can get a collection of related content ideas that can make a great blog series, eBook, or newsletter series.

3. Blogger Outreach

Guest blogging — i.e. writing a piece of content for someone else’s blog or site and/or having them post on yours — is one of the most powerful forms of content marketing and modern SEO. It provides you with an opportunity to expand your audience, increase your web presence, and establish yourself as an authority. Plus, having your content on someone else’s site, or having their content on yours, is the functional equivalent of an endorsement. And it’s a win-win proposition - each side benefits.

To guest blog well, you need to identify high-quality bloggers and third-party websites relevant to your industry. Your CRM can provide you with an endless supply of opportunities. Go through your contacts and find all of the individuals and businesses that can provide relevant content for your site, and ask them to let you do the same for them. Most of them will probably leap at the chance.

Does it sound like too much writing?  Don’t worry about that, there are many blog writing companies that can help you develop high quality, custom guest post content, as well as blog content for your own site.  The trick is to leverage your CRM to get the biggest bang for your buck.

4. Keyword Optimization

Keywords are among the first things people think about when trying to boost their site’s SEO, and rightly so. Keyword research is the starting point for all of your SEO efforts. They need to be the foundation of your on-page SEO, your off-page SEO, and all of your content marketing strategies. So you really need a grasp of your customers search habits.

Once again, your CRM can give you great insight. The content, topics, questions and conversations in your CRM tell you what your customers are thinking about and searching for. They are therefore an excellent source of your keywords! Pay close attention to their word choices and incorporate those keywords on your home page, your core inner pages (those describing your products and services), your supplemental pages (your About US, FAQ, etc.) and your blog posts.

5. Social Media

Social media has emerged as an important facet of strategic SEO efforts. Using social channels is one of the best and most efficient ways of building an audience and distributing your content. Many SEO experts also believe that social media engagement is an indirect — and possibly even a direct — SEO ranking factor. One thing is certain: social signals are becoming more important for SEO.

You can leverage your CRM to build and nurture a social media network that empowers your SEO. Identify the social channels your clients — and prospective clients — are using and meet them there! But don’t just follow them and think that’s enough. Make your social media profiles regular must-checks for your ideal clients. Get conversations started, and be responsive to comments and questions.

Your CRM is collecting and retaining so much valuable data. Make sure you make the most of it by using it effectively in your SEO efforts. After all, that will also help your sales and growth as well.

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine, The Referral Engine, and SEO for Growth which he co-wrote with Phil Singleton, CEO of Kansas City Web Design®.  Jantsch is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world.  Follow John on Twitter @ducttape.