Internet marketing is big expanding business which continues to defy expectations even during the heights of a global recession.
It does that for one simple reason: it works. If you can drive more traffic to your website there’s every chance you’ll see a greater rate of conversions. Not only is that an attractive proposition in itself, but internet marketing is also cost-effective, and offers greater comparative value than virtually every other form of advertising. So it’s no wonder that there’s an ever-increasing number of ‘SEO analysts’ entering the market. They’ll all, no doubt, promise the earth, but experience shows that they’ll often fail to deliver it. Making promises is easy, but keeping them is actually far harder than it looks. So if your business is considering hitching its advertising wagons to the online marketing boom, how can you tell if the advice you’re given is correct? How can you really tell if your SEO adviser walks the walk or is simply content with talking the talk?
Every SEO adviser should be able to look holistically at the whole of your business and grasp what it is you do and what you’re ultimately trying to achieve.
They should understand your customer’s online buying behaviour, and feel passionately about making sure your website provides the best user experience possible. SEO analysts should understand the need for relevant landing pages and be fully conversant with the need for carefully crafted, value-driven content. Not only that, but they’ll also need to know how the major social media sites contribute to effective SEO and understand the import and significance of Google’s Panda update, and the full implications for poor, irrelevant content. Are you getting this from your current SEO analysts? If the answer’s no, then maybe it’s time to ring the changes.
Content and Content Farms.
Most SEO advisers will be happy to provide an article or content for you. They’ll either write it themselves or outsource it to a copywriter. Now that’s fine in itself, but you should ideally be made aware of where the article came from. It’s incumbent on you to be asking these important questions, because they can impact on your website. Was the article bought in from overseas, or was it written locally by an experienced content writer? Does the content provider have a portfolio of work you can analyse? Why is this important? Well, it’s because they’re writing about ‘your’ brand or business, and what they write can have consequences, particularly from the search engines if they suspect the content may be duplicated.
The bottom line is that good content writing costs. If someone offers you content on the cheap, then it will probably be worthless. It may be a cliché but if something appears to be too good to be true, it is. A good content writer researches and attributes sources. If yours doesn’t, then all is not well. Content is now generally regarded as the most important element in online advertising and will draw in and attract customers. Think seriously about the quality of content that goes on your site, and only use the best. It will cost more, but it will pay dividends in the long run.
Social Media Content.
You may have wondered how Google organises its search engine listings and be puzzled about why certain sites always seem to make the first page of the results. It actually quite simple really: Google places the sites with the greatest levels of authority at the top of the rankings. In other words it places its trust in those sites with gravitas. In fact, the search giant believes this ‘authority’ is given even greater weighting than backlinks or Metatags. Unfortunately some SEO companies choose to outsource their social media content offshore to places like India and the Philippines. Now this might be the cheapest option, but sadly you do get what you pay for. You can’t expect to pay ‘smart prices’ and get the ‘finest’ products in return.
Why is content from far-flung places not good for your website? Well, the standards of English will often be poor, and there is will often be a lack of appreciation of the value of good content and editing, let alone the lack of consideration given to how the content can affect a website’s reputation. If you choose to go with this cheap and cheerful approach, there is a considerable risk that your content may be downgraded, which will possibly cause problems not just for your business brand but also your search engine rankings.