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How to Use Wikipedia for Lead Generation

Wikipedia can provide highly productive lead generation with a refined marketing strategy for this neutral information website

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How to Use Wikipedia Entries for Lead Gen - 6 Steps to 18% Higher Conversion Rate

Wikipedia’s heavy traffic makes it a tempting lead-generation channel for B-to-B marketers. But strict user guidelines are required to not be seen as a spammer when you use Wikipedia to generate leads.

Here's a brief summary of the case study of Attensa:

To reach potential customers for Scott Niesen's company’s RSS technology products, he must focus on ensuring that Attensa has a presence wherever prospects use the Web.

Niesen adopted SEO principals, and he saw social media and Web 2.0 technologies as a good fit for his marketing efforts.

One target was Wikipedia. Its massive traffic volume and influence in search engine results is undeniable. The site also tends to attract a tech-savvy audience that researches RSS and other Web 2.0 technologies. Niesen wondered whether establishing a strong presence for his company with relevant Wikipedia entries could help drive traffic to their website.

Niesen and his team bolstered Attensa’s presence within Wikipedia by creating new pages and augmenting existing ones, always using the site’s strict submission guidelines. Simply creating a page for your company and using language that could be considered promotional could get your article flagged as spam and quickly removed.

Here are the six steps they took to develop Wikipedia entries:

  • Audit Wikipedia to find potential voids to fill

    They searched Wikipedia manually and used a free tool that allows you to enter a keyword to display pages that receive the highest volume of user traffic. The process identified gaps they could fill, such as: Attensa-specific page, and Web Feed Server page (generic term for Attensa’s primary product). They also found existing entries to which they could add information, such as: List of RSS aggregators; and Main RSS entry

  • Create new pages to fill voids

    Following Wikipedia’s guidelines, Niesen and his team first decided that no Attensa employees would write articles. Instead, they handed over the task to members of their external marketing agency who were experienced Wikipedia users and registered editors. (NOTE: Other agencies who have created articles on behalf of clients have reported that their entries were deleted as a violation of Wikipedia’s conflict-of-interest policy.)

  • Supplement existing pages

    To add value to existing pages on RSS, the team used the following tactics:

    • Added Attensa to a list of RSS aggregators
    • Included information about RSS technology that could be referenced from a company information source, such as an Attensa Web page or white paper.
  • Strategically link related pages within Wikipedia

    Guidelines state that content creators should provide relevant links to other Wikipedia articles.

  • Use external links to send traffic to Attensa site

    Hotlinks are permitted in certain sections of a Wikipedia article, such as External Links. So, the team added links to relevant Attensa Web pages where possible.

  • Track and convert traffic from Wikipedia

    Each page of the Attensa website features a box with four calls to action. The box requires users to provide contact information or answer qualifying questions. That way, the marketing team has a chance to convert visitors who land on any page within the company’s website.

    Using Web analytics, the team tracked referring traffic from Wikipedia pages, and recorded how many of those customers converted on one of the following four calls to action:

    • Start an RSS Feed Server trial
    • Get an RSS Feed Server demo
    • Read a free data sheet
    • Download free RSS readers


    In just a few months, the team’s Wikipedia efforts boosted site traffic with qualified visitors. The numbers:

    • 4% increase in site traffic
    • 4% increase in leads overall
    • 65 leads per month on average from Wikipedia
    • 18% higher conversion rate for Wikipedia traffic
RESOURCES: Marketing Sherpa provides helpful B2B marketing case studies. This case study is available free until July 30, 2008...and available at a fee after that date.

Wikipedia standards

  • Wikipedia’s guidelines for content creation and editing, including standards for writing style, formatting, editing, adding links, etc.
  • Craft practice articles in the Wikipedia Sandbox – a section of the site that allows members to post draft articles, experiment with formatting, tone, and linking strategies, and receive feedback from the community.
  • Contact site editors by email to state their intentions and ask questions before posting new articles.
  • Write articles according to Wikipedia’s neutral point-of-view standards, which discourage users from putting spin or bias in articles.
Wikipedia Sandbox:

Wikipedia’s Conflict of Interest policy explained:

Wikipedia’s Neutral Point of View policy explained:

Wikipedia article traffic statistics are available here:

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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