SEO? What is it? It’s something that comes up in almost every business meeting discussing digital marketing. Questions such as how can we make our website show in searches on google? Why don’t we show up when keywords relating to our business are searched for? How can we get that free traffic from search engines and convert it to sales?
It’s an interesting thing, and the most interesting part of content marketing in 2015 is that the strategy behind it has changed so drastically over the past decade. Long gone are the days when I was a teenager in 1998 building websites in notepad, uploading to free webhosts such as geocities.com and then simply using Yahoo’s “submit a site” function to add your website to their index. Within days your website could be ranked number 1 relating to all of your content sending thousands of visitors to your website. As time progressed, technology advanced and ofcourse then GOOGLE came on to the scene and everything changed. When you get a bunch of geeks like myself talking content strategy and digital marketing you hear terms such as Algorithm, Edgerank, Meta Tags, Sitemaps, Indexing, Keyword Ratios, YOAST, webmaster tools, analytics, and many, many others that probably sound like something out of a bad sci-fi movie to the average person. All of these things relate to one thing. How many people will see your content without having to pay for them to see it. The unfortunate reality these days is that the answer to that question is few. Very few.
It makes sense though. The internet has taken over. We watch TV, read the newspaper, interact with family, and even order food online so why would these places provide your business with a completely free outlet to advertise to the public? A TV station wouldn’t, a magazine wouldn’t… So if you think of a website or digital platform such as Facebook like one of those mediums it makes complete sense. And the absolute truth is that you will not be successful acquiring new business online if you solely rely on and plan on only relying on SEO and organic traffic (organic = not having to have paid for it).
The good news for businesses is that social media platforms such as Facebook provide a very, very affordable medium to target very, very specific customers. I’ve stretched a budget as little as $50 a long ways using Facebook and had great ROI because of the targeting ability. I mean, just think about it. Let’s say your business sells DVDs and you just got the latest Sons Of Anarchy season in. You’ve decided that you are going to use it as a loss-leader and offer it at below market value in some sort of combo deal (buy one DVD and get another half price, or something similar). On Facebook you can reach hundreds of potential customers with an advertisment that are 1. Within a 50KM radius of your business’ physical location and 2. Target people that LOVE Sons Of Anarchy. Your ROI is going to be good. Instead of reaching 100,000 people who may want to purchase the DVD you can now reach 1,000 people who are definitely planning on buying it.
My suggestion for any business that I work with is to definitely plan a content strategy. Don’t completely leave organic search traffic out of the picture, but allocate a small budget to your content so that you can promote it across several platforms and get the most out of it possible.
More to come….