Content Marketing

What I have learned about SEO this month…

I look after 2 websites, 3 if you count this one, all are enough work as it is. I thought they were doing alright. Ones pretty niche, so traffic is never going to be sky high, plus demand is down in that sector at the moment any way. The other one is pretty awesome. This one needs work.

Staying in the game

I try and keep up to date with what’s going on in SEO land but SEO is a full time job. Reading and staying current is half the battle. This has to be done, because not actioning the little things and dismissing little updates as irrelevant is going to get us all into trouble.

I have spoken to numerous webmasters, actually read some more blogs and spoken to a couple of agencies this month, all with different takes on it. The main take homes I have from this are as follows:

Duplicate content

If you have a number of domains which are forwarded to your site via web service which points to the same site, using a different URL rather than a 301 redirect, then this is duplicate content. Just because the URL is different, doesn’t mean you won’t get found out. It’s difficult to grasp for the newbie or for the person assigned to “updating a website” but apparently it is important to a) not have too many domains and b) make sure, if they are all redirected, to use a 301.

Those domain names you bought could be hurting you

One of the companies I am working with used to have over 150 domain names, this has now been brought down to about 12. 12 is too many apparently. This creates a bad linking site. The Google Panda update will look at these and will penalise for it. This brings me to the next section.

Linking

This is subjective. Some people think the more relevant the better, when I build links I try and stay as relevant as possible, trade journals & magazines, the odd business directory etc. Some people think the more links the better. Google doesn’t really like this I’m afraid. This is a biggie for Google. I haven’t found many ways of getting round this, other than finding bad links in webmaster tools and going from there. Contact the webmaster of the site and ask for it to be taken down. This is the greyest area in my opinion.

The main thing I have learned though is that I don’t know enough. I don’t’ talk to enough people about SEO, I don’t read enough and I don’t know enough. Most people are probably the same.

Do you know what this means? I will be focussing a lot on SEO over the next few months and reporting on the things I learn and discover. I’m not making any promises though.

As SEO’s we need ensure we stay on top of all this to stay current, and be at the top of our game, Nobody said it was easy.

Optimisation v Optimism

SEO and other animals

Over the years, there have been umpteen articles on SEO, Penguins, Spiders, Bigger penguins, panda’s and all sorts of other creatures I’m not going to go on about here.

Does it mean anything? Is it relevant? What if the internet’s down, this all means jack shit.

While it’s true that a well optimised site exposes your business to the masses.  Should so much emphasis be put on meta tags, page titles, keywords alt tagging, XML site maps and a list of all these other search engine related things that a lot of people don’t get. If you are one of these people that doesn’t get it, or are just late to the party, fear not. You should read this SEO in a nutshell post by David Robinson. I’ll also embed this video for those of you that care.

Imagine if there was no internet

Now that you know what SEO is, think about the question.

Imagine the internet goes down for a week, day, month. What do you do then?

Do you have any non digital marketing collateral? No? Now what would you do? Hopefully if you have Youtube videos there are DVD’s, if you have stories, testimonials, case studies or any of the other recommendation any digital agency will tell you to have, you should have these backed up with hard copies.

You should have something else

Yes, SEO is a vital part of the marketing mix, but it’s not the be all and end all, if the internet ceased working tomorrow, you are going to have to start prospecting, direct mail, all the other old school stuff that seems irrelevant now. It’s not irrelevant, it’s just evolved.

I am not saying the net will go out of date, but if you have good content it wont matter what format it is.

Not content marketing..content

SEO has to be part of your game plan, but the content is what matters, I’m not even talking about content marketing, Consider the value it provides. You could have the best optimised shit website in history, but it’s still a shit website.

Follow the rules and trends but make sure it means something to audiences, putting SEO above content is is more optimism than optimisation.

All innovation is plagiarism – Don’t think you’re the first

Whatever content you are about to produce – Its been done before.

That idea you want to blog about has already been done, search for it in Google. It’s there.  Sure you can re-package it, rename it or make into some slides or info-graphics but it’s been done. Even the title of this post is a rip off from somebody else.

The article you want to write about for that SME you work for, it was done last week, there are hundreds of them. Its not new, sure its new to you, and your boss, but its not new. It might have been reproduced from print or other formats but its not new. It’s not exclusive either.

Content Marketing isn’t new.

Content marketing has been around for ages, look at Coca Cola, there whole website is content marketing, stuff they’ve been doing for years. they have whole teams that create for them.

People have been posting testimonials, rubbish videos and case studies for years, it’s all been done before. The technical article you’re thinking about getting published isn’t ground breaking. It will be somewhere, the person who wrote it just wasn’t as good as you. You might not know you are paraphrasing or taking part in plagiarism but you probably are. It doesn’t matter.

Don’t think you’re the first

Don’t make this mistake.  Your not ground breaking, your digitally remastering.  People have tried what you are doing before, years ago when they created a magazine, when they sent out a flyer.  They gave up.  They moved on. To the next thing. Which is what you are doing now.

Keep innovating, use the resources available to you, that’s what content marketing is, keeping a conversation, idea or a concept going.  It doesn’t matter if your customer saw it somewhere else, they’ll see it again next year in new ways, 100 different ways.

Keep the ideas flowing, keep your creative juices going, don’t give up because it’s not an original idea, original ideas can be improved, just make sure they are innovative and create value.

And you’ll be fine.