If you've been running businesses for some time now, you probably remember the golden days when simply stuffing any nonsense with relevant keywords could get you in top Google pages. And, if some SEO 'expert' ever tries to convince you it still works, don't think twice to block this contact. Because it doesn't.
Surely, SEO is not entirely dead. It just can't be — page indexing is still a thing, and it doesn't seem to be going away — not at the moment, at least. Still, the approaches to content promotion have gone a long way, and the old tricks are useless with new Google algorithms. More importantly, they are useless with people — your potential clients. The answer? Quality, meaningful content. Written by adequate people. For other people. And here is why:
Content is distributed via social media
According to Social Media Industry Report for 2016, 55% of total promotional content is already distributed via Facebook. Even more than that, marketers plan to expand their FB reach in 2017. But simply publishing a link to your latest blog post will not get you far. Your post has to be shared, liked, reacted to — ideally, not only by your closest family and friends. And how do you plan to achieve that without engaging content people will enjoy reading — out of their own free will? True, generic content is a dead-end solution when it comes to social media. It will simply be buried right next to thousands of other generic posts.
This is not a theory. This is a hard-wired fact. If you do not believe me, take several online stores in your area — doesn't matter which ones (shoes, tech, furniture — as long as it is not a huge brand like IKEA), and check out their Facebook pages. Some of them will be doing a great job. But you will definitely find dinosaurs who are making 20 updates a day and fail to collect more than a couple of likes under each post (important note: one of those likes comes from the page itself and the other one from a personal account of their SMM manager).
This is a perfect example of sacrificing quality for the sake of quantity. No one says a lot of content is a bad thing. It is a fantastic thing as long as the content is good. Yes, regularly updating your corporate blog boosts your website indexing. But do not forget why you need indexing in the first place — to attract leads. So, you publish ten new posts a day on your blog; then, they go to Facebook; and then… nothing happens. Because your content is not engaging enough. Simply put, it wasn't written for people.
On the other hand, one quality post a day — or even a week if you’re just starting out and your budget is very limited — is always better than a dozen generic articles no one clicks on, not to say shares. With the right plan, you will gradually be able to increase your budget and the number of your blog/FB posts without sacrificing on content quality. Just take it one step at a time.
No one will ever cancel the word of mouth
People talk. People will always talk — no matter how far ahead the technology paces. Our need for social interaction traces back to the cavemen era — even back then, Homo Sapiens probably valued advice from their peers above all other knowledge. Monkey sees — monkey does, right?
And that is exactly what social media is about if you use it right! So, you have a blog. And a Facebook page with engaging content from your blog (and other similar sites, but that's a different topic, so I will not dig into details now). You can even invest a couple of bucks in FB ads so that people with relevant interests would see your content. They see, they click, they read (if the post is of quality, they will at least look through it quickly). Maybe — they even like your article and your page. The last one will probably take more than just one good post, but it’s doomed to happen if you stick to your great content policy. And the word spreads…
Eventually, the word may even leave Facebook and get into the real world. “Oh, you know, I’ve been reading great advice on the subject…” or “I recently came across a company that does it,” and so on and so worth. But only with the right, engaging content policy. Because, come on — would you put your stamp of approval on something clearly average? Not likely.
Reader engagement directly converts to traffic
Obviously. People see your posts. People go to your blog/page. People take note of you eventually. And they start coming back — without extra effort on your part. They do it because they remember you might have something interesting for them. BAM! You have your website traffic (and your page indexing) — and that’s all by playing fair. No over-spamming. No blowing money on useless nonsense stuffed with keywords. No black-hat techniques. 100% fair.
As a result, you kill two birds with one stone. Your site gradually gets the traffic it deserves, and your Google ranking is improved. But more importantly, you attract actual leads — real-life people, genuinely interested in your services and willing to spread the word further and further. And they will be spreading the word — FOR FREE — because that’s what people do. They communicate.
So, forget the saying ‘you can’t teach old dog new tricks.' If you are to build a successful business, you simply cannot afford to be that dog. Adjust — game rules are changing all the time, and you have to be prepared for it. In a nutshell, it all goes down to flexibility — the only thing that makes a real difference between a successful entrepreneur and a not-so-successful one. Plus, think about it this way: no matter how the algorithms and the promotional tactics change over the years, one thing is for sure — getting people interested in your services is a safe bet that will always pay off.