Changes in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) mean that quality content is more important than ever. While keywords were once the major factor in getting high search engine rankings, today it is engaging, shareable content that is the name of the game.

If you have spent a great deal of time and resources creating content that contained as many keywords as possible, these changes may seem daunting. In truth, the shift to writing quality content is good news for businesses. Why? Because now you can focus on giving your customers what they really need instead of just trying to get noticed through the use of keywords.

So what is considered good content? It is content that communicates with customers and prospects. It brings people the information and advice that they need to succeed in their industry. It solves problems.

It connects, educates and inspires.

One thing good content is not is a sales pitch or an effort to get sales leads. Instead, it is valuable information that people and businesses need. When you consistently provide your target audience high-quality content you will come to be recognized as a thought leader – and ultimately someone who they will want to do business with. In other words, you will increase sales without selling.

Another benefit of great content is that it will encourage people to share your content and engage with you. And when this happens, your audience will grow even more.

Remember, good content:

Solves a problem.

  • Every business faces problems. Your content helps to solve these problems. That helps you to become the go-to person or Thought Leader when people need answers.

Engages.

  • When people read your content, they want to weigh in. They may agree or disagree with you and want you to know why. They may have a follow-up question. You get the idea. And remember, the search engines love this type of back and forth.

Provides value.

  • If a person is looking for information on a particular topic, he or she isn’t going to waste time on fluff pieces. Instead, your content will always be filled with credible and substantial information that isn’t available anywhere else.

Is consistent.

  • Once your target audience sees you as a thought leader, they will come back again and again so make sure you always have fresh content available. If you don’t, they will look for it somewhere else.

Finally, no matter how important the topic, no one is going to read your content if it puts them to sleep. A great story must keep a reader’s attention. And while it is admittedly tough to make certain products and services sound like great literature, you should try your best to make your content as interesting as possible.

GoLeads Content

Advertising your product or service in a newspaper or on TV can cost a lot of money. In some cases, one television ad can eat up an entire year’s marketing budget, or more. If you are like many small businesses, this type of advertising is just not feasible.

One way to get some media attention for your company – without the huge price tag – is to become the focus of a feature story. The key, according to Mark Nowlan in his article How to Attract Attention with a Feature Article, is to emphasize information over outright promotion. By doing so, it is more likely that a reporter or editor will use your story just as you pitch it.

  A feature is an in-depth look at a topic, product or industry–it’s a complex story designed to be read at a leisurely pace. And a feature can benefit your company by linking your brand or product to a larger trend or industry focus while also showcasing you, the entrepreneur, as a thought-leader in your field.

What many people fail to realize about the news industry is that journalists are always on the lookout for feature stories that they can have on hand to be printed or broadcast when there is a shortage of breaking news or on what are commonly referred to as slow news days.

In his article, Nowlan gives you a step-by-step guide to pitching your idea for a feature article to reporters. While such free publicity may seem too good to be true, you might be pleasantly surprised at the interest a quality feature story can generate from the news media. But be patient, sometimes it can take weeks or months before you are contacted regarding your story. If your story is used, however, it will no doubt be worth the wait.

Our topic this week is about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As most of us already know, this game is changing dramatically. Google is placing a lot of emphasis  on content, social media, sharing, etc. Old ways of doing SEO are obsolete.

Enjoy the article. Hopefully it sparks some ideas for you. Feel free to contact us. We would love to hear about them, and if there’s any way we can help you, please let us know.

 

The Changing Face of SEO

Seismic changes are taking place in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). Today, algorithm updates and an emphasis on user experience mean that search engines are better able to rank a website based on the quality of its content instead of the number of keywords it contains.

If your SEO strategy consists simply of increasing your website ranking by producing subpar content that is littered with unnaturally placed keywords, it’s time to get a new strategy. And this new strategy must include producing quality content that offers insight on a particular topic or solves a problem.

Of course, the goal of search engines has always been to produce the most relevant and useful results. While in the past this was achieved almost exclusively by identifying relevant keywords, search engines have become much more sophisticated. Search engines are now pinpointing content that connects, educates, and inspires its readers. All while filtering out content that, while chock full of keywords, offers little or no value to the reader.

If you are working with an SEO company that is telling you that they can improve your SEO through keyword placement, you are working with the wrong company. Instead, increasing your online visibility involves filling your website with quality content that not only helps to generate more sales leads, it also helps you to become known as a thought leader in your industry. The best part? Your search engine rankings will increase as a result.

Like most people, you are probably wondering just how search engines are able to distinguish between high-quality content and keyword-laden content that exists only to manipulate SEO. The fact is, until very recently, search engines were unable to. That’s why so many SEO companies could promise higher search engine rankings simply by increasing the number of keywords used.

But the times are truly changing and today search engine rankings are determined almost exclusively by the amount of quality content contained on a particular website. The type of content that leads to increased user engagement and is more likely to be read and shared.

Of course, for content to be read and shared, a website must be mobile-friendly. After all, if you want people to read your content it must be easily accessed from smartphones and tablets. It also must be easy to share through the use of things like social sharing buttons. Remember, today’s Internet users have little time or patience for unresponsive sites that are hard to read or slow to load. And search engines don’t like these types of sites either.

Finally, while keywords may have fallen from grace in the world of SEO, you don’t need to do away with them completely. There is nothing wrong with placing an appropriate keyword in the title or body of an article as long as it helps people understand what they are reading. But one thing is for sure, gone are the days when keywords were the darling of the SEO world. And those days aren’t coming back anytime soon.

Recent studies show that more than 70 percent of small businesses say that email marketing makes up the majority of their marketing plan. Email is everywhere these days. Whether for personal or business use, almost everyone has an email account. That’s why email marketing makes such good sense – especially for smaller businesses and companies who are unable to afford a multi-media marketing campaign.

In light of this fact, you would think that every small business would be using email to raise awareness of their brand and increase sales. However, many small businesses are under the mistaken impression that implementing an email campaign is more hassle than it’s worth. In reality, however, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and least complicated forms of marketing you can choose for your business.

What’s more, email marketing offers a better return on investment than almost any other type of marketing strategy. That’s because the money spent on email marketing is minimal compared to other forms of marketing. Think about how much you would spend to produce and air a 30-second radio commercial and it is easy to see why an email campaign makes such good sense.

Email marketing also will boost your company’s social interaction. It allows you to post links to your social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and your customer can share your email with friends, family, and business associates.

Email marketing gives you the ability to track and better understand how your contacts are responding to your emails, as well. This allows you to tailor your emails to meet the needs of your customers in ways that traditional marketing strategies cannot.

If you need to get your message out right away email marketing is definitely the way to go. All you have to do is compose an email and press send. Traditional marketing techniques simply can’t offer that same flexibility.

Once you have begun your email marketing campaign you may be curious if it is working for your business. That’s another advantage of email marketing. The results of email campaigns are easily measured because you receive reports that tell you things like how many people saw your email and how many people clicked on the links in your email.

The more you learn about email marketing, the easier it is to understand why so many small businesses are using it.  Isn’t it time you joined the 70 percent of small businesses who are using it to grow their business?

Social apps and the rise of digital and mobile marketing will be the end of email marketing. At least that’s what the experts have been telling us for some time now. One look at email marketing’s ROI and it is easy to see that the experts are wrong.

Research shows that email marketing delivers a return of almost $45 for every dollar spent. That’s the highest ROI of any other digital marketing tactic. But before we bash the so-called “experts,” it is important to realize that email marketing has surprised almost everyone with its ability to adapt to the digital marketplace.

So how is email marketing managing to stay so relevant?

  1. It is taking advantage of user engagement on other channels. The best email marketers are able to mine an individual’s data and use that to personalize their email marketing efforts.
  2. It is adaptable. The best email marketers monitor the success of each email campaign to find out what did and didn’t work. Who unsubscribed? Who responded to a call to action? Do customers respond to animation? Do they prefer video testimonials? The lessons learned are then used to shape the next email marketing blast and make it more effective.
  3. It is personalized. At the end of the day, it’s all about the customer. Specifically, the one reading the email. Email marketing, unlike many other social media and digital marketing techniques, allows you to speak to a single customer. Many social media sites blast information to all who will listen but email marketing can be tailored to one customer at a time.
  4. It is inexpensive. Small businesses on a tight budget can reach as many customers as they want without spending an outrageous amount of money.
  5. It is mobile. Everyone knows that mobile is where it is at today. In fact, with four out of five consumers using their mobile devices to shop, going mobile is essential to the success of your business. Email is easily adaptable to mobile devices so it allows you to reach customers and generate sales leads without investing a great deal of money on new technology or software.

Email marketing may not seem as flashy as some of the latest apps and other digital marketing techniques. It is, however, a tried-and-true method of marketing that continues to do a fantastic job of reaching customers.