SEO Isn’t Dead, It’s Evolving

SEO pic

 

 

Many Marketer’s claim that SEO is dead, their practices outdated and no longer relevant – tut tut tut!

SEO certainly is not dead, it’s a Marketing practice which is merely evolving. With the explosion of Social Media, changes to search engine algorithms and an emphasis on link building, Marketer’s & businesses now need to evolve to optimise their SEO efforts.

Keywords

Keyword stuffing is an SEO practice which is certainly dead, actively penalised by search engines that forces businesses to focus on content rather than randomly placed keywords. Interesting, relevant and engaging content needs to be achieved in blogs and web pages – but keywords need to be included in that content to enable your target market to find you.

Do your research to identify keywords used by your competitors and target audience. Conduct free keyword research on your competition by right clicking your mouse on their web pages and select “view page source”. Much of the text is written in HTML code, but you don’t need to be an expert to decipher the basics. Look for “meta keywords”, now many recently developed websites don’t include this, but researching competitors in your industry will highlight many companies whom will have this included. Select 5-10 most frequently used keywords across your competitors and you now have relevant keywords for your own copy – and also highlights your weakest competitors. Likewise, look for “meta tags” and “title” to gather keywords to help boost your SEO presence.

Personally I reaped success in SEO projects by using the excellent keyword tools available from http://moz.com/ Moz can be used for free for 30 days and a very reasonable $80 per month thereafter. The tool generates keywords used most frequently from major search engines, showing the exact words/phrases used by your customers. For small businesses you should only need to use Moz for 2-3 months before reaping a positive ROI, or just the months free version may also suffice.

NOTE: Don’t use the “meta keywords” on your own website, this is an outdated practice penalised by search engines.

Social Media

Social Media according to SEO is simply another avenue where your content can be viewed by your audience. It’s vital to integrate your Social Media sites with your main website, allowing you to build authority with the key products/services you offer. Use the keywords/phrases used in your website and include them in your Social Media posts. Engage with your audience and apply social listening – What keywords are your audience using? What keywords have are your audience responding or not to? Ask your audience “What would you type into a search engine to find a particular product/service?” RESEARCH, ANALYSE, LISTEN and MEASURE.

It’s not just your web pages which appear in search engine results, so utilise Social Media as a lead generation tool to redirect customers to your website to increase sales.

Link Building

Link building is one of the most important weighting factors to boost your search engine visibility. Make efforts to ONLY include link building partnerships with companies who offer relevant and complimentary products/services – make sure they add value to your customer’s needs and wants. How many websites have you visited where those websites are cheapened by displaying adverts and links to companies with no relevance to their industry?

Include links to your clients, suppliers, distributors, news sources or relevant stakeholders and follow one golden rule of link building – BUILD LINKS ORGANICALLY.

Do you think SEO is dead? How do you think SEO has evolved? I’d like to learn from other businesses to see how you approach the topic SEO, thanks 🙂

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What do I post on Social Media?

fresh-content

A common problem with small businesses and Social Media newbies is deciding what type of content you should be posting.

How do you find enough fresh material to post on your Social Media sites every single day?
The 1st question you should be asking is: What does my audience want to read?

Ask and Answer Questions

Social Media isn’t about you or your company, it’s a platform to connect and engage with your audience. If you want to know what your followers want to read, ask them.

Conduct some basic market research on Social Media by running a poll which lists a variety of topics, it can be something simple like:

What Social Media platform do you want to know more about?

A. Facebook
B. Twitter
C. LinkedIn
D. Google+

A poll is a quick and easy method for people to respond to, and once you establish the results you can then post content relevant to your audience.

Provide tips and advice relevant to your industry. You’re the expert in your field, not your customers so become a useful source of information and offer your skills and knowledge for free. Once you become a credible and trusted source of information, you can engage with individuals and tailor your products/services to suit their needs.

Share

Share content from sources outside your company that are relevant to your industry and specialist areas. By sharing external content you’re providing a richness and depth to the content you share with your audience.

Some examples of the types of external content you can share on Social Media are:

• Newspaper articles
• Articles & links to industry associations & trade bodies
• Competitors blogs (not your immediate competitors)
• Videos
• Industry Experts
• Academic & Industry Research

When you share content from external sources, you’ll experience an increase in followers and your own content will also be shared. Share and be shared.

Post about your Company

When posting information about your company, their products and services it is essential to create a balance. Too much information on your company and people will very quickly disengage, too little and people will simply be using you as a source of free information.

As a rule of thumb apply the 80:20 rule, posting 80% of content NOT related to your company and 20% about your company. Use this as a guide and alter according to the level of response and feedback you receive.

When posting about your company, consider posting:

• Offers & Discounts
• New product/service launch
• Awards & Achievements
• Client testimonials
• Specialist/niche areas

Be Social

This is THE golden rule of Social Media – BE SOCIAL.

Honestly Social Media isn’t complicated; it’s simply about 2 parties communicating. Respond when people have shared your content and respond promptly to every single comment, like and new follower.

Small businesses have a distinct advantage over larger competitors if you take the time to connect and engage with your audience. Provide a truly customised level of service that larger competitors will struggle to replicate due to the scale of their customer base.

You might not have a big Marketing budget or thousands of employees, but you can offer personalised 1:2:1 customer service earning you a competitive advantage.

What approach do you have to posting content on Social Media?

Small Business Blogging

blogging

Why Blog?

If you can talk then you can blog, that’s all blogging is – talking with words. Some people may struggle a little with writing a blog, but anyone can do it if you have a passion for your business.

Writing a blog can help differentiate you and your business from your competitors. There are very few original ideas and businesses as competition has intensified in most industries.

The most important question to consider when blogging is “What value does my blog add?” Always start with the customer in mind by asking yourself:

• What questions do my customers ask?
• What problems can I solve?
• Will my blog benefit my customers?
• What does my customer want to read?

So why blog? – To build credibility and trust. Demonstrating your credibility can only be achieved by sharing your knowledge and skills. Once your customers view you as being credible in your industry, you can then nurture customer relationships to build trust.

Of course the end product of blogging is to sell, but you don’t necessarily have to do this directly – focus on communicating, engaging and building a mutually trusting relationship with people.

WordPress – Free Version

Ideal for new bloggers is the free version of WordPress which is easy to use and customise. HTML for non-technical people is confusing, but WordPress makes this easy for you by having simple buttons which do all the work for you. You can alter the font, size, layout and background; add URL links images and other media to your blog to make it more engaging and appealing.

Once you become more experienced and advanced with blogging, you can consider upgrading your WordPress account which is fairly inexpensive.

Branding

WordPress have a good range of themes for your format and layout which can be tailored to match your company Brand. Keep colour schemes, logos, images, text and language consistent with your website and other Marketing material to maintain a consistent Brand image.

Link all your Social Media accounts to your blog, and link your blog to all your Social Media accounts and website. This ensures Brand consistency, but also allows you to direct people back to your website increasing the likelihood of a sale.

SEO

SEO – Another scary word for us non-technically minded people, but again WordPress make this easy for you. Add the appropriate tags (keywords) and categories to your blog so people can easily find your material. Make sure you use keywords in your blog and the headline, if you don’t know what keywords to use just ask your customers. Ask them what they would type into a search engine to find a company like yours.

WordPress provides you with an option to enter meta data, this sounds technical but it’s actually really easy to implement. By entering the tools menu you can add meta data to optimise your SEO with Google and Microsoft (Bing). You must firstly have a Gmail and Hotmail email address. Follow the WordPress instructions and then copy and paste the required code from Google & Bing into your WordPress account so people can now find your blog when making internet searches.

Get Started

Anyone can blog and WordPress makes it easy to put together and distribute. If you run your own small business then you obviously have a passion for what you do – so get typing and let everyone know how good you are.

Stay tuned for the next blog from King’s Content – Marketing your Blog

For a free step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog please leave a comment and I’ll send you the guide 🙂