In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an influential article titled “Content is King,” predicting the internet’s potential as a modern, global marketplace. Though his main point was about monetization, his conclusion was insightful. Those who provide the best ideas, experiences and products will be the most successful.
Google’s ascendance as arguably the world’s most influential company is no accident. They sort and categorize that global marketplace and do it better than anyone.
Of course, their search algorithm is constantly evolving and updating in an attempt to better rank content for quality and relevance. Naturally, an entire industry exists to try to help companies rank well in Google searches – Search Engine Optimization.
Most good SEO strategy is based around positively appealing to Google’s algorithm with dynamic, high quality content and subsequent backlinks. However, an alternative approach exists – black hat SEO, the art of manipulating search rankings with unethical tactics.
On May 22, Google’s latest major update was announced – Penguin 2.0. Like Penguin 1.0, it was a tough day for websites that rely on black hat tactics. Poor quality backlinks, paid links, irrelevant content and over-optimization techniques were all penalized or devalued.
As Bob Dylan sang, you don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. As technology advances and Google gets even smarter, cheap and easy internet marketing will continue to lose value.
Do yourself a favor and block out all the used car salesmen masquerading as SEO “experts.” All you really need to know is this: 1. Provide great and relevant content 2. Apply intelligent, ethical SEO principles. 3. Include traditional marketing principles.
Easier said than done? Absolutely. That’s why most companies’ internet marketing is non-existent or disastrously misinformed.
Great and Relevant Content
Great and relevant content means well-written copy, aesthetically appealing and intuitive website design and appropriately sourced and placed keywords. You need to appeal to Google in essentially the same way you would appeal to your visitors. Too often, SEO’s and companies view these as entirely separate disciplines.
Inspire users to stay on your page, buy your products and share your content and don’t forget that you’re dealing with people and not robots.
Apply Intelligent, Ethical SEO Principles to your Quality Content
We touched on the importance of keyword optimization. Now, take that quality key-worded content and apply additional SEO strategies. You should reasonably utilize title and header tags, write interesting blog posts, and leverage social media to interact and network with interesting people and businesses.
Be sure to emphasize your knowledge and expertise; promote your unique regional/industry-specific characteristics.
If you employ an SEO company that disregards these points, you should rethink your partnership.
Include Traditional Marketing Principles
Just because your marketing strategy exists on the internet, doesn’t mean you’re operating on Mars. You still need to instill trust and inspire action. You need to motivate your potential customers and realize that the sales conversion process begins with your title tag and doesn’t end until you’ve closed the deal.
Promote, Persuade and Persist.
As Google’s updates show us, their main goal is to show internet users the truth – an honest summation of what’s relevant and important. In turn, you need to be relevant and important by providing quality content from a sophisticated marketing platform.
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