Think you got search engine optimization (SEO) taped? Think again. I can see you all saying, ‘Why is this person putting the letters ‘SEO’ in parenthesis? Do they think we’re dumb or something? Everyone knows what SEO is!’ Yes, everyone does know what SEO is, but that in itself is causing a new problem. It’s begun to cause a phenomenon we call ‘SEO blindsiding’ – and it’s on the rise.
What exactly does ‘blindsiding’ mean? The dictionary tells us:
“Blind Side : catch (someone) unprepared; attack from an unexpected position.
I.e.: “protection against being technologically blindsided”
The idea is not that SEO attacks you from an unexpected position, because to be honest, if you’re familiar with the term you’re employing its benefits in your web site, SEO blindsiding is a situation where you are so engrossed with your strategies of entertaining the search engines that you do not employ any other form of marketing. This, in a way, makes SEO blind side you to other completely successful marketing media and makes you strong – but only in one direction. Just don’t forget that even in the digital age, the ‘single point of failure’ model still exists – and that’s on the rise too.
Is this a good place for me to start handing out the paper bags to all you hyperventilating small to medium business owners? No. What I am saying is not heresy. SEO is still one of the biggest driving forces in outbound and inbound marketing and needs to be given the respect it deserves. Waiting for a ‘but’? Well, here it is: BUT, marketing has grown to be such an extensive and complex arena that concentrating on any ‘one’ form of media is a mistake if you want to reach your full marketing potential. You have to shake it up a bit, create an excellent marketing mix. At Arc Reactions we specialize in Calgary mixed media marketing because it works!
We aren’t asking you to give up your SEO strategies at all, they work too, but maybe to regain a balance in your marketing force and to do that, you need to take some time for an SEO ‘time out’. As you obsess over keywords and build your marketing around that one premise you exclude anything that cannot be SEO’d. You also lay yourself open to the next algorithm change which may cause you to have a huge content overhaul to keep your leads rolling in.
Just as you wouldn’t lay all your product eggs in one basket, or create a business plan with no contingencies, don’t create a marketing campaign based on one principle. Make sure you have a plan B, and C … and maybe even D as well. The more plans you have in action – the more people you can reach.
Decide to take a ‘break’ and let your SEO run without any additional material and see what happens. Don’t worry! It’s OK, if your marketing is well optimized with an intelligent strategy it will carry on optimizing your leads for a couple of months whilst you extend your other marketing to increase its effectiveness.
Think about increasing your portfolio to include:
Instead of making your words count, ‘write’ the same posts with video. Take your video/camera phone to your office or production floor and show your potential customers what you do. Talk to workers, take them into store rooms, maybe even interview some customers. Make a video of your mission statement, latest industry trends and why your brand is unique. Video will get a huge volume of information over in a short, but exciting, amount of time.
Make as many videos as you have interesting things to say. Just like written content, you have to have a purpose and a plan. If it isn’t interesting, people won’t watch. If it is interesting, it will add to your Google ranking as the hits come rolling in. If you want to really make a difference, consider getting some professional videos made, then make the most of them.
It’s easy to post these videos on many channels. It can be embedded in your web site blog, go on specific video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo or you can add it to outgoing promotions. As a bonus, consider using one SEO keyword in the description and you’ve hit the marketing jackpot!
Images are no longer an option for making marketing appealing, especially in digital media. The temptation is to concentrate so much on the written word and optimizing it, that the images become an afterthought. A quick scan of Google images and a couple of generic photos are selected and added to the top and bottom of the post. It’s standard, so everyone else is doing it – why not try to optimize your images and tell the story through them!
Like the video, just take a camera and get snapping. Make a plan for your pictures, they have to tell a story, and it has to be interesting. People like to learn, so the story of how your product is made, or an instructional ‘how to’ sequence, or the latest news from your industry can all be told in pictures and if they are meta-tagged well, they’ll help with your rankings.
Consider making quotes, funnies or meme’s as marketing. They get shared on social media like wildfire and if they are professional and pertinent to your company, then you’ll get marketing mileage out of it as well.
The chances are you have been concentrating so hard on your web site SEO that you have been ignoring email campaigns as outbound marketing. Email campaigns are still massively effective and worth engaging, they also give you the motivation to segment your database and make lists that are more effective. You can keep throwing SEO material into the ‘wild blue yonder’ but it doesn’t mean it’s going to hit the right people.
If you haven’t ventured into an email campaign before, why not try it? It may be the very thing you are looking for to spice up your marketing portfolio.
Pay per click advertising has been perceived as a negative experience, with most companies writing them off as ‘annoying and ineffective’. The problem is as annoying as they may be, they are still highly effective. Like email campaigns, they are most successful when administered by a local marketing agency with a history of profitable PPC strategies, but they can bring excellent returns with no SEO necessary.
Social media is a force as strong as search engine optimization at affecting your rankings in Google, but often takes second place to it. If you divert a couple of months of marketing focus into your social media you will begin to see it build up a ‘real time’ awareness of our brand and potential leads will drip into your sales funnel through other channels.
SEO is not a priority on Social Media but there are etiquettes and devices that work, so get to know them and the best way to use them as leverage. This takes time, but is worth the effort. Its’ also worth the effort of keeping it going after your ‘time out’, as consistent, quality posts are the way to success on social media and if you do it right, it gets to a stage where it runs itself with very little relative attention.
Ok, so officially SEO’ing your blog is a ‘must do’ in marketing circles – and it is – but do you write for your audience? Or for your SEO? If you write for your audience, ignore this section, but if you’re sole purpose is to increase your keyword density then you need to read on.
Your blog is a powerful tool. It reaches out to your audience, informs them, and brings them closer to bonding with your brand. If you concentrate too much on the keywords that get you found, you can alienate your audience – they know about SEO too! To this end, Google is continuing to ‘tweak’ their algorithms to eliminate manipulative SEO content.
I can write a blog about how email marketing, PPC and video can help your company bring in more leads, and more converted leads and it’s readable and easy to digest. It has the information you need to know to make an informed judgment and helps you formulate a successful, individual plan that will work for your company.
I can write an SEO piece for a Calgary marketing company with excellent social media management that can craft you an email marketing, PPC and video marketing campaign that will lead to excellent Calgary search engine optimization, and if I lazily optimize it for twitter too, #contains @a #millionhastags and @ annoying #ampersand links.
Which would you prefer to read?
There is a big difference in audience interaction if you let go of SEO as your priority you can concentrate on human to human quality – which ironically, raises your rankings as a bi-product.
It’s important to actively use SEO as a vehicle to increase your inbound and outbound marketing’s efficiently, but it’s more important not to get SEO blindsided. Be aware of what is available for you to use and see how you can use it. Take time to think outside of SEO! Your marketing will become more rounded and more effective, but more than that, it will find its way in front of a new audience – and it could be an audience everyone else is neglecting too.
Email efficacy by industry: http://mailchimp.com/resources/research/email-marketing-benchmarks/