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SEO is dead; long live quality content
Google is making search engine optimisation more and more complex as it strives to improve the quality of its search results and deliver only the most relevant online content to users.
But how is “relevance” determined?
It’s less and less about ‘behind the scenes’ SEO techniques and more and more about the quality of content and the levels of genuine engagement with an organisation or brand. That means people need to read your content, share it on their social networks, respond to it by leaving comments and really engage with your brand.
The social media aspect, which used to only form a part of the SEO puzzle, is becoming more influential. So if you're using social networks in your communications activity, the pressure is on to create great, sharable, engaging content that supports your overall business strategy, and become an active participant on social platforms. But what’s the best way to do it and what are the dos and don’ts?
How to ensure that your content is seen by more people, and the right people.
Avoid sales pitches
– think about what your customers really want to hear; put yourself in their shoes and prepare content that fulfils their needs. Inform clients of industry trends and share updates, write positive stories in which your brand has had an influence, but always be wary of the sales angle. Social media is about building relationships, reputations and trust, rather than making an instant sale. The more you’re able to establish that trust, the more the sales will ultimately come.
Make it real -
content that gets highly shared is content that is sincere and has really happened. Having a great story to tell – perhaps about how you have helped a customer – can show the genuine passion and personality of your brand (if it’s written in an engaging and non-salesy way).
Take time to engage and participate.
Once you’ve selected the social media platforms that are relevant to you and your business, participate as much as you can and encourage high levels of engagement. You can do this by offering advice, asking questions, sharing links to online content (and not always from your own company website or blog) and, over time, you’ll be seen as the expert in your field.
– set out to become the trusted expert in your industry. Try and think differently, put forward an alternative view, don’t be afraid to share knowledge, and always be accurate – that includes good spelling and grammar!
– the onus doesn’t have to fall on one person. Share the workload amongst colleagues, but ensure those colleagues are on board with your corporate strategy and goals; keep the standards high and make sure the tone of voice and messages are consistent with your brand at all times.
Maintain the momentum
– if you create a blog and rarely update it you won't gain momentum and will surely lose interest from those you did reach.
– don’t just focus on creating great content for your own website or blog; with a bit more effort (and the help of a
good PR agency
) you could pitch it to an industry specific magazine. From opportunities to provide guest blog posts on third-party sites to content distribution services, there are plenty of ways to ensure that your content is seen by more people, and the right people.
It takes time and investment, but by being present and becoming a trusted part of the conversation, you will establish better relationships for longer-term business opportunities. To succeed, focus on creating engaging content and distributing it to the right people, in the right way.
To succeed, focus on creating engaging content and distributing it to the right people, in the right way.
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