Having only joined Vertical Leap January 2012, it has been a real eye opener looking at a variety of websites; not just our clients but also competitors of our clients, websites that we share with each other in the office and those that we are asked to review for a number of reasons.
As SEOs part of our job is to enhance the backlink profile of our clients, but increasingly this is becoming a natural process happening in the background all the time. This is where SEO plays a more vital role in marketing. A good online content marketing strategy really is an essential element of a successful SEO campaign, but all too often I see websites that do nothing to market themselves with any online content.
The internet changed businesses twice before -
it’s about to do it again!
The first change: Forcing businesses online
Do you remember when your local doctor was not to found on the internet? You did not need to go online to look for them, mainly because you either had no internet access, you asked the neighbour or referred to the Yellow Pages.
My parents never had an internet connection as I grew up, in fact, I did not have any form of internet connection to a desktop until late 2003 after I left the Army! All the information I needed came from offline sources. Now nearly 10 years later, I can fully access the internet from my mobile phone and plug a mobile dongle into my laptop from the comfort of the beach (because that is how we roll at Vertical Leap, we are all on the beach as I type this).
So getting back to our local doctor…
The internet started changing; we started looking for offline businesses online. Google started serving results that were local to us. Businesses were given Google Places, and if you weren’t listed and your competitor was, you lost out!
Change 1.5: E-commerce
I’m not going to go into this, but e-commerce revolutionised how websites worked. The businesses already had a website, it just so happened they got upgraded so electronically transferring money was not just limited to the high street.
The second change: The social effect
This time businesses were turned upside down by the power of social networks. This new model of online communication meant the consumer was able to express and share their opinion and share it amongst their friends (be it only if those friends were just similar likeminded people on the internet).
Yes we had forums and Email groups before, but with the advent of social networks, users were able to quickly share their feelings (good or bad) about a service they received from a business. It soon became apparent that these conversations were going to take place even if you were not involved on Facebook, Reddit or Twitter.
How your business is portrayed is no longer solely in the hands of your marketing department; it is now also measured by how your business actually acts in real life (think GoDaddy CEO hunting an elephant fiasco) and manages the conversation happening on social networks.
‘The social effect’ is still yet to be embraced by all businesses for a number of reasons, but if you read my recent post ‘Why social media is important to your SEO in 2012’ you will know that I strongly believe it is make or break time for businesses to get on the ball.
The future: Produce content or get beaten
The future is now in fact. Great content means getting seen in Google’s search results. It is a critical part of an SEO campaign now that Google has clamped down on poor quality link building methods with the Panda and Penguin updates.
I’ll go back to the start quickly here as we near the end…
“As SEOs part of our job is to enhance the backlink profile of our clients, but increasingly this is becoming a natural process happening in the background all the time.”
What do I mean by this?
I mean the everyday running of your business:
- Social media campaign which shares content
- Press releases
- Guest blog posts sharing your wealth of knowledge
- Blog/forum commenting, again sharing your knowledge
- Video marketing
- Reviews of your product/service on industry websites
If any of these can be done, then they should be naturally happening. If not, why not?
The success of your business depends on you leading the way and spreading the word using all available resources. Marketing your business online effectively is a great way of enhancing your backlink profile. If you’re not tying in your marketing with consistent fresh content, I bet one of your competitors is and are now one step ahead of you!