SEO is alive and kicking!
SEO is not dead and Google’s Hummingbird proves it! Search Engine Optimization (to attain good search engine rankings for sustainable-targeted organic traffic) is still a valuable and necessary part of any online marketing mix. However, your online marketing requires both breadth and a methodical on-going work-pace.
In earlier articles, we often refer to a 360-degree approach to search marketing as being the key to success.
When we read some of the articles published by SEO firms stating that Search Engine Optimisation is dead, we wonder if they learnt anything from Google’s earlier updates – being ‘’totalitarian’’ about search marketing is a recipe for disaster. We might forecast but may never accurately predict what comes next from search engines with any real certainty.
This article is one in a series of three. It is our opportunity to provide no-nonsense practical advice on search marketing.
Awareness of what is going on at Google and other search engines (read all Google news and updates, and then look for quality information that provides some industry consensus) is business critical, but do not overly worry about Google updates and how they might affect your business.
Remember: You can only do the best you can within the resource and spend you have available.
To kill a hummingbird
This article will give you some foundation-building search marketing ideas that help start-up, direct resource and spend to greatest benefit. How has your website been performing over the last couple of months? Recent news states that Google has been secretly running a new update called ”Hummingbird” since around the end July 2013.
When writing this article news ”hatched” of Google’s latest update – Hummingbird: I think the commentary from Google emphasises what we said above. SEO is not dead and the very same parameters we recommended post Google’s Panda updates will help ensure SEO success.
If you base your online marketing strategy on original, quality and authoritative content, and you have good quality and relevant websites linking to your own, then your website will rank well.
What is even more important is that you have quality, well optimised pages on the ‘’social network scene’’ that win new friends and influence people solely on merit – the ‘’social signals’’ that were important in the past are probably even more important today.
But who knows, what’s in today is out tomorrow and I am of the opinion that Google sought to shake up the market and like directories and other fads, social media might be Google’s next casualty – why – because they are potential competitors and Google + looks like a flop to me.
In addition, remember, in an earlier article we demonstrated why buying online friends (social signals) is a fool’s errand.
The key to making the right decisions about SEO is to understand where Google and other search engines are going.
Search engines want to deliver the best possible search results to their users. They want to ensure search engine users achieve high quality and relevant search results that are both pertinent but varied to any search query.
Google’s guidance as stated by Forbes after the Hummingbird update: “Our guidance to webmasters is the same as always — we encourage original, high-quality content, since that’s what’s best for web users.”
My best advice if your website has fallen down the rankings since Penguins, Pandas and a Hummingbird updates is to forget the armies of rubbishy link builder and social media likes/follows/shares peddlers who may contact you.
We strongly suggest, you first take another good look at your website and think about your code and search engine optimization. We chart a number of very popular old sites with antiquated code with great content that are only recently falling down the rankings.
Clean and valid code with good on page SEO is a good starting point for any website.
If you cannot afford a professional, at least invest in some good software that will take the pain out of analytics. We recommend WEB CEO.
After your website is set, there is no doubt in our minds that social media marketing and digital public relations wins hearts and minds.
However, using third party platforms to direct traffic to your own websites and applications is key to long-term success. Do not rely on say Facebook to build your business, diversify your search marketing as much as possible.
Our recent experience and research on 100s of websites tells us Google no doubt measures websites usefulness by tracking all the various social indicators such as sharing of information, likes and follows.
We are 99% sure that SEOs should still be building quality informational snippets and advertorial with simple URL back links from high-quality relevant websites. If it works for us it should work for you.
If you need some direction on building quality links and advertorial that will not adversely affect your rankings send us a quick email.
The best way to advise you on how to plan a social media campaigns is to describe the initial processes that we take our clients through when asked to consult.
We give you the first three stages of our own consultancy process for self-implementation.
We strongly recommend internal meetings with all departments affected by online marketing before embarking on new search marketing campaign, more heads are better than one:
What do you want to achieve from your Social Media and Digital PR Plan?
Is it important that you focus on activities that will directly improve your bottom line – or are you trying to win greater brand recognition – do you want direct and indirect communication with customers – are you promoting specific product or service.
Understanding your customer is a key element to devising a successful Social Media Campaign.
You need to attract significant numbers of people who are interested in what you have to say. Those potential customers should also become your best means of sharing information to like-minded individuals who may also become your customers – ‘’birds of a feather flock together’’.
Asking a few simple questions like – how do you solve your customers problems? Why should potential customers choose you over your competition?
Should enable you to set out a simple offer, but remember, an offer is generally not enough.
The difficult part is creating a well-considered communications strategy that your target audience values. If you just embark on selling, you will put most people off and your audience will shrink away.
Your Social Media Marketing campaign must take shape around delivering sound, expert and engaging SEO-copy – the industry buzz phrase is Content Marketing.
Where and how to integrate Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing into sustainable and manageable campaign within clients’ resource and budget can be tricky. It is very time-consuming.
Clients’ expectations always require careful management, so we caution you that there are no quick-win solutions these days that will not hurt your search marketing strategy in the medium to long terms. Hard work and patience are your greatest allies.
Once again we reiterate: Original, quality and authoritative content both on your website and social media is going to be the key factor driving your online marketing success.
Achieving breadth and a sustainable, methodical on-going work pace are also essential.
Who is going to run your digital PR, social media and content marketing campaign?
Most of our clients tend to be small to medium size businesses that want Search Engine Marketing People to help them devise strategy, complete creative work, engineer social applications, set-up and optimize the various communications channels necessary to facilitate their campaigns.
We complete the difficult and time-consuming work in-house. We also give our clients a blueprint to self- manage their Search Marketing.
The key to success is choosing the right member of staff to complete the necessary work on a day-to-day basis while our consultants provide good training with monthly (3 months) and then quarterly reviews.
Measuring your results is of critical importance and we have tools available that make this process painless.
What social media is best for your business?
When we first meet clients, they normally want a social media ‘’big bang’’ to create a new social universe, that is fine, but it’s costly. The old adage of ‘’cutting your cloth accordingly’’ is the best advice we can give to potential clients and those search marketers embracing the digital social world.
Do you have the budget or the internal resource to manage your own campaign or handle response once it starts to generate inquiries?
Search Engine Marketing People must ask the tough questions and provide sometimes difficult advice. We have hard and fast commercial experience that enables us to tell clients what they do not want to hear.
We first like to survey current customers and connect with them using social media. Your own clients are a mine-of-information and it is important that you find out more about how they use social media to determine how your use of Social Media Marketing can positively affect them and their networks.
We like our clients to start small and think goals. Measure their success over a month or two only extending and building a wider campaigns when sure of their strategy, communications tools, ability to manage and indeed the quality/work output of the person running their campaigns is working at an optimum.
Search Engine Marketing People can help!
Multilingual Search Marketing, Localised Web Presence & Customer Services
Contact SEMP today if you want to improve your Search Marketing ROI.