How Web Marketing is Beyond SEO
I would like to preface this article with the fact that I think search engine optimization (SEO) is important. Every website should at least perform some level of SEO, be it guest posting on blogs (like I currently am), keyword research and implementation, or like-building with related sites.
The problem that I am beginning to see with many blogs and websites, however, is that SEO is just about where online marketing ends. Made a website? Good. Performed SEO? Good. Now let’s sit back and wait for visitors. These are not the only steps to secure a strong online presence for your website. There are a variety of initiatives you can take to go beyond SEO with your web marketing.
Marketing Strategic, Targeted Content
Let’s take a second to think about basic marketing. Most people view online marketing as a means to lure in customers (traffic) to your websites. This viewpoint is entirely too passive. If you continuously market to the same expected audience, you are not effectively marketing. Rather than targeting your intended audience with your standard, generic content, try taking some risks and provide information that might attract (and identify) entirely new audiences.
Let’s give a concrete example here. If you are on the content management team for the website of a horse-racing company, you will typically spend most of your resources posting schedules, publishing results, and perhaps occasionally promoting special racing events. Consider everything you could be doing:
• Creating racer profiles for horses.
• Providing commentary or dramatization for recent or upcoming big races.
• Giving statistical analysis or records for various horses and matchups.
• Casting live races online.
• Interviewing jockeys and owners.
This is a small list I was able to create in a few minutes. Imagine what a team could brainstorm in an hour. Unfortunately, this happens far too little in the online world as most websites only publish what they are expected to publish. Lucky for you, this gives you many opportunities to provide useful and unique content that can attract a large, wholly untapped audience that would have otherwise glanced at your website and moved on to other websites that had more of the information they wanted.
Location Location Location
Coming up with unique content ideas to identify untapped audiences is one important and often overlooked aspect of online marketing. Find the appropriate locations to publish this information is another. Most webmasters simply assume to publish the information on their site; after all, more views on the site leads to more business, right?
While this is not necessarily a bad approach to marketing, it is not always most effective. It really depends on how much traffic your site is getting already. Just because you all of a sudden have new and unique content does not mean that people will flock there (even with great SEO). This is why sometimes it’s better to publish your valuable new marketing information on other sites that are likely to get more views and more shares. This is particularly when looking into different social media sites can really pay off and turn your website into the new place to be on the internet.
Representation and Brand Control
How you use social media is just as important as which social media you use as well. Extending from our horse-racing analogy, let’s say we decide to publish racer profiles of different horses racing at our business. The most obvious and common idea is to publish these racer profiles as notes on your Facebook fan page or post links to their profiles from your company’s Twitter profile.
Again, this isn’t the worst idea, but it’s not exactly revolutionary to marketing. And again, think about how this actually extends your marketing to identify and attract new customers. It doesn’t really do that, does it? A much more subtle approach would be to create fan pages (and perhaps fan twitter profiles) for the racers themselves. This will directly attract a new and untapped audience that isn’t looking for your company but still might find your company useful. Now all you have to do is tie the racer profiles to your company site by, say, publishing an upcoming race on the profiles that will be hosted by your company. BOOM! They click to your site, and suddenly, a genuine, positive association with your business is formed.
While SEO tips and tricks are still important to have on your site, the best marketing will always come from ideas that may at first seem strange or outside the box. Sometimes they don’t always pan out even. But in order to win the marketing wars against fierce competition, you have to think creatively and find customers that you didn’t know you could even have.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com