By Chris J. Everett, Principal & Founder
Captivate Search Marketing
For years, the online marketing practice of search engine optimization (SEO) has
been influencing consumers to click onto websites in hopes of finding the
information they're looking for.
The problem surrounding SEO, as a legitimate and ethical marketing practice
since it hit the mainstream, is the abusive strategies that less-than-ethical
SEOs have implemented in order to manipulate the search engine algorithms
into ranking their clients' sites higher.
The bad wrap put on SEO as a real marketing strategy came from SEOs who
used black hat strategies like keyword stuffing, link wheels, and content
spinners coupled with syndicated link building networks that spammed the
Internet with useless content riddled with back links to their clients' websites.
Google's Relentless Push for Quality
It's always been Google's desire to
serve users with quality and useful
search results. But the sad truth
about these black hat strategies is
that, for a short time, they worked.
However, it didn't do much for users
searching for information, either, as
the results became less useful.
Google, though, laid down the
hammer , penalizing websites that
participated in these strategies. That
caused a major shift in the SEO
marketing industry, and it's definitely
for the better. Today, SEO has
evolved into the real marketing of
The American Marketing Association (AMA) define marketing as:
“The activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating,
delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients,
partners, and society at large.”
Successful SEO campaigns
today adhere to this standard.
Creating a process for
communicating the value of a
brand and products or services to
existing and potential consumers
online is what wins
for businesses investing in SEO.
Content Marketing's Focus on Quality Over
Bulk Link Building
Now more than ever, your SEO strategy can have a direct impact on how
your brand is perceived by consumers online. One of the fundamental
strategies of SEO today is putting together a diverse content marketing
strategy that communicates valuable information to potential customers on a
variety of online platforms.
Marketing quality content to online
users to educate them on how your
products or services work, how to
properly implement/utilize your
products/services, and what you have
to offer provides a solution to a
problem, or benefit a potential
customer can impact your rankings
Promoting Value with Your Content
If a piece of content that you produce and deliver – whether that be in the
form of a tutorial video, educational white paper or eBook, or a simple blog
post – has value for users and service-oriented, they're far more likely to
share it socially or link to it naturally, which we know promotes higher organic
Quality content marketing also helps establish credibility and trust for your
company and its brand with consumers who are interested in what you have
to offer. So, SEO really has evolved into marketing the value of what
your company provides, rather than spamming the Internet with useless
content riddled with links to your website.
Social Media's Impact on Local & Organic
It's a well-known topic in SEO today that social media plays a vital role in the
success of your campaign.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, there are strong indications that the
social element (factoring in how many likes, +1s, shares, retweets, etc.) of the
Google algorithm impacts how well content ranks organically.
Social Sharing & Engagement
Sharing your content on social sites and integrating social sharing
mechanisms on your company's website so that your content is easily shared
and recommended by others is important. Furthermore, it's important that as
you market your content on social networking pages such as your company
Facebook page, Google+ page, etc., that you do it in a way that evokes a
response from your followers.
Engage them by asking them
questions, posting and
interacting with customer
reviews and comments on
your social pages, and
marketing to them by offering
promotions, etc., are ways to
increase your brand's social
Google+ and Personalized Search
Google+'s impact on search is even more profound, with personalized search
results for Google users who can see posts and recommendations from other
users in their social circles right in their search results.
For business, these recommendations and shares that show up in
personalized search is a type of “word of mouth” marketing from people users
trust. As most any business owner will tell you, word of mouth marketing and
“referrals” are huge sources of lead generation and revenue.
The type of “word of mouth”
marketing that comes from users
leaving reviews on your
company's Google+ pages also
has an impact on your local
search placement – mainly
playing a role in how well your
Google+ listing might rank next
to the local map results.
Successful SEO companies of today should understand how the industry
has shifted from manipulating algorithms to building a client's online
reputation by marketing them effectively to users who want what they
have to offer.