Why Mere SEO Isn’t Enough
Wow! You got your website on page #1 of the Search Engines, at least for some of your main keywords. You’ve arrived…or have you? Not even close. To turn an old cliché on its head, you may have someplace to go, but unless you’re all dressed up, no one will take notice!
Successful Search Engine Optimization strategy involves a number of technical and content-driven strategies. You may know that Google periodically updates their search algorithms—the parameters, or rules, their web crawlers use to evaluate websites. What worked yesterday, such as the “link farming” and keyword stuffing of years ago, may not work well tomorrow. Thankfully, though, faithfully producing quality content on your site, via blogs and social media will always be a solid strategy. So, if you’re doing it right, the algorithm updates should benefit your overall ranking and give you a real advantage over your competition.
Often overlooked in SEO strategy is the importance of dressing for success. Being seen won’t do you any good if your overall presentation isn’t much to look at. No one but Google knows exactly how they do it, but their algorithms have been so fine-tuned over the years that they can tell good quality content from mere filler. “Waffling” may get you by on a high school term paper (or not!), but Google is a strict schoolmarm; she will rap you in the knuckles faster than a 1950’s Catholic school nun if you try to skate by with poor content.
There’s a peculiar proclivity to focus extensive efforts into climbing the Search Engine rankings, while neglecting to carefully groom the brand visitors will encounter once you get to the top. It’s a classic mistake—like showing up for a swanky party in a pizza-stained tee shirt, or constantly skipping leg day at the gym—and you will fail to command the kind of attention you want. To be effective, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) must be just a part of your overall Brand Development Strategy. In the immortal words of ZZ Top, “Every girl’s crazy bout a sharp dressed man.”
Beyond the search engines though, there are real people out there who will, in theory, be reading or rejecting your content. (After all, you’re reading this!) Whether or not they enjoy reading your content has significant repercussions on your SEO results. Why? Because your audience is more likely to share, repost, tweet, etc. content they find interesting or useful—and that’s something the search engines take note of. In the world of humans and web crawlers, the impression of popularity means a lot. If people think that your peers approve of you, they are more likely to approve as well (Monkey see, monkey do!), and the search engines base part of your SEO score on how much attention you’re generating.
Here are a few tangible things you can do, in tandem with a solid SEO plan, to dress your online presence for success:
1) Make your content crisp. We cannot stress enough the importance of professionally-written content—from your meta-descriptions (the blurb people will read under your organic search listing), to your page headlines, to all the verbiage on your site. Creating new landing pages periodically helps, as do regular blogs.
Just as you send your fine clothing to a professional dry cleaner, and get back crisply pressed and starched garments, you may want to outsource your copywriting to a professional. When you consider the potential pitfalls of mediocre content, the reasonable fees you’ll pay for professional copy are a small price to pay.
2) Accessorize. If your marketing doesn’t weave a consistent and engaging story throughout your communications, then you will appear as tacky as a bandy-legged tourist in a 70’s polyester golf shirt and shorts with black socks and sandals. If you’ve seen this fashion train wreck, you get the point.
To pull off engaging style, you need a certain flow and cadence to your message across all your touchpoints. If your brand tone and style is inconsistent between your website and your blogs, for example, your audience will feel disconnected and confused. It’s not that you want all of your copy to be exactly the same–variety is indeed the spice of life–but the overall feel needs to be consistent. For instance, if your advertising is fun and humorous, having a very serious and sober website will cause a disconnect. Accessorize your content so that all your media communications work together in harmony for a seamless brand experience.
3) Tie it all together. Not only should your message be consistent, all of your media channels need to be properly knit together. No part of your marketing portfolio should be working in isolation, or carrying a message disconnected from the Brand. It all needs to play off a central Voice—or theme, if you will. Often, that central Voice is anchored to your website. Most of your ads should serve the purpose of grabbing attention, generating interest and driving people to your website, where they will have access to the entire message you want to deliver.
All too often, advertising campaigns, blogs and the like are ends in and of themselves. While they may be delightfully clever and creative, the litmus test is whether or not they lead to a sale–or at least a qualified lead. Every ad, every blog, every touchpoint needs to point to that core message and give people a reason to value your Brand. Every communication should be a delightful experience that leaves people wanting more, like a tasty sample at Costco that leads you to go ahead and buy that bag of frozen pot stickers (or whatever).
4) Go out on the town…often! The thing about marketing and selling is that the job is never done. There is no time when you can sit back and rely on what was done yesterday. It is crucial to continually produce innovative, creative content on a regular basis. The search engines demand it, and so do flesh-and-blood visitors.
That’s why Geico, Old Spice and other successful advertisers continually churn out new ad campaigns, or twists on recent ones–or shall we say, their agencies do. You can bet they have some hard-working agency people spending hours on creative strategy, and their timing is impeccable. They know when a campaign reaches its peak, and instead of allowing it to go stale, they launch the next twist or concept. An agency worth its salt has mastered the ability to keep your audience interested, engaged and connected to your Brand.
Page one is a great goal, but only if showing up at the party gets you a date. There’s a big difference between showing up in a pit-stained Nirvana tee shirt vs. making an entrance in a fine tuxedo. If you dress for success, it will all click, and so will visitors who see you on that coveted page one!
Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.
Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.
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