Posted by Chris Handy ● March 18, 2014

Driving Traffic: Out: Spammy SEO > In: Helpful Content Marketing

Are you still running your marketing department like it is 2007? Maybe it’s time you revisited your internet marketing mix and did a quick self-check.

seo

The In's and Out's of SEO 

As marketers, getting our websites ranked highly by search engines like Google is an important initiative. Many companies used to pay SEO companies to do their dirty work. Many still do, and its hurting them.

Not too long ago, the way to get ahead in Google was to game the system by buying back-links, and putting incoherent keyword rich content on our websites just to rank for certain search terms.

Then Google changed the game with their first two “Animal Updates”, Penguin and Panda. These updates penalized websites for paid links and plagiarized or otherwise spammy content. Now companies have to pay to get those spammy links (that they paid for) removed to get relief from the lowered rankings in search results.

In 2013, Google introduced the Hummingbird update. This made search work better by dishing up better contextual results for natural language searches. This was in response to the behavior shift we have had as searchers over time. The more years we have spent with search, the better we have gotten at refining those searches. The more we refine our searches and learn how to drill down to get exactly what we want, the better we get at searching the right way, the first time.

A quick example: You are building a birdhouse, and planning to look for information online. A primitive searcher from 2007 might have had to search “birdhouse construction plans”. The more sophisticated 2014 searcher can ask Google a question: “How do I build a birdhouse?” and be delivered relevant results. Google’s Hummingbird update made these contextual results pages even better.

What does this mean for you as a marketer?

You need to be answering the questions that your ideal customers are asking online. You don’t have to solely create brochure content for your website. In fact, the problems you solve with content need only be tangentially related to your product or service.

Using the birdhouse example from above, you might have a hardware store where people can purchase the materials they will need to build a birdhouse. Just because you don’t sell birdhouses, doesn’t mean that your customers don’t come to you for birdhouses.

Search engines are evolving all the time. The best way to optimize for them is to share what you know on your website through entertaining and relevant content.

Focusing on creating content around solving your customer’s problems is a real marketing strategy, that you can’t afford not to start this year.

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