Let’s start by going back in time to Christmas Eve 2014. There I was sitting in the Albert’s restaurant in Manchester ..
As it turns out, not full of Christmas cheer.
With the same message: courtesy of an algorithm update from Google, their sales enquiries were tumbling.
But as I explained ..
Although free traffic and things like referrals are great, relying on them is bad for business, your survival, and your livelihood is always vulnerable.
Mainly because these people or platforms don’t exist to send you free traffic.
They have little financial incentive whatsoever.
But being sympathetic I decided to look into it all and break all the problems down.
And, here’s my $0.02 worth to his digital marketing and SEO strategy …
Nobody cares about your marketing.
Nobody wants your marketing.
If you stopped marketing tomorrow, nobody would miss your marketing.
If that rings true, why bother marketing at all?
But what if people actually sought out and looked forward to your marketing?
What if your marketing messages made them laugh or cry — or both?
You see, that’s the acid test these days.
You can either do SEO like everyone else and fill people’s heads with instantly forgettable fluff.
Or you can be relevant, intrinsically valuable, and loved.
Because here’s the thing.
The more content you produce that is relevant, intrinsically valuable (not to mention SEO friendly), the more people — and the more Google — always watching — will love your marketing too.
Why is this important?
According to Ahrefs, 90.88% of all pages get zero traffic from Google, and 4.5% of them get less than ten visits per month.
So you need to be in that slim percentage to get that traffic.
And to do that, the traffic has to be beating a path through Google to your door.
Let’s drill down into this some more.
Firstly, if you have too many weak pages, it actually lowers your rankings across your ENTIRE SITE.
So either lose those shallow pages or combine them into single topic pages full of strong content.
Secondly, look at your content and where it is.
Most small business sites can’t help splashing sales stuff everywhere.
Don’t fall into this trap.
The point of SEO & content marketing is NOT to swamp people with ads or pitches.
And everybody gets this step wrong.
And don’t just take my word for it.
In a recent study of 1 Million web sites by Buzzsumo, they found that 50% of articles get 8 shares or less and even fewer links.
- 50% of randomly selected posts received 8 shares or less.
- 75% of these posts received 39 shares or less.
- 75% of these posts achieved zero referring domain links.
So if you’re creating content to improve ranking like organic traffic in Google, you’ll want to refocus your content for backlinks specifically targeting bloggers, influencers, and the press specialising in a niche.
Clients don’t have the power to provide you with a backlink.
You see, people share and link for different reasons.
- Clients share stuff.
- Blogger type folks link.
And for organic traffic from Google you need high quality backlinks.
As many marketers who come from a search background know, inbound links from quality, relevant (niche related) sites is one of the best ways to improve your search engine traffic.
And it makes sense right?
Content Creators, Journalists, Influencers and Bloggers who want to be at the forefront of what’s new are always hunting for the latest discoveries and resources to share with their niche audiences.
So they’re looking for content that fills a very specific information gap and are happy collaborate, share and link to your content through association.
Google then tracks these links.
They see more and more influential people linking to your content and assume it must be good.
Then they reward you with better rankings.
So whether we’re prospecting for clients, bloggers or even influencers, it’s just important to keep the needs of your intended objectives and the 2 types of audience in mind.
- One is for sales (copy for clients).
- One is for ranking (copy for bloggers and influencers).
Finally, your SEO campaigns and content marketing strategy lives or dies with its promotion.
No promotion = nobody sees your article = no backlinks = no ranking = no sales.
The issue is that everyone is in a mad rush to create as much content as possible, but they never take the time to actually promote it.
Or they’re trying to improve their ranking, but publishing the completely wrong type of content which we eluded to earlier.
What you need to understand is that PROMOTION is just — if not more — as important as creation.
Because if your content is actually working for you e.g., not just getting 2 shares, then it starts getting you sales …
But you can’t just promote any old thing, which I’ll come onto ..
Follow the 80/20 rule of content promotion, a concept developed by Derek Halpern.
20% of your time creating new content and 80% of your time promoting it.
And a combination of organic outreach and social media is a great if you want to get in front of people with this type of SEO focused content.
Data on bloggers, vloggers, journalists and other types of writer and internet folk is really accurate because unlike the pure interests they are more likely to enter their job titles.
Incorporating these folks into your content promotion plan can really give your services the ranking boost they need to get off the ground.
And both strategies are driving force behind The Opportunity Accelerator which you can find out about here.
To prove the point, a while back, frustrated with a client who refused to entertain a content promotion campaign, I decided to carry out an experiment with what I call “Preeminence Marketing”.
Before the content promotion, the page I created averaged 2 unique new users per day, with no backlinks and zip in terms of social engagement.
Pretty much like everybody else's blog posts.
But instead of hoping that people might stumble upon it, I solved some of the top challenges my target audience faced and then began “promoting it”.
In my case, an Inspiring Guide squarely aimed at The Linkerati (bloggers, social taggers, content creators, viral connectors, journalists)
And the results of the content promotion campaign was astounding ...
- An increase of +218,450.00% new users
- An increase of 9018 new users over time (as of May 2018)
- 124 contributed social conversions
- 14,010 social sessions
- 2.2K social shares
- 236 backlinks from 38 referring domains.
In fact, one tweet in particular received 70 Retweets and 227 likes.
I’ve even had it shared, liked or linked to by:
- Smashing Magazine (Publication)
- Brian Dean (SEO)
- Tommy Lewis (Microsoft)
- Sonja Jefferson (Founder @ValuableContent)
- Tech Portfolio (News)
- IBM Cloud Canada (News)
- Erik Vlietinck (IT Enquirer News)
- Ramsay Taplin (Blog Tyrant)
- Kyle Courtright (Designer/Blogger)
And received grateful feedback, contributions and endorsements from influencers around the world including:
- David Sudweeks (MonoType)
- Phil Naines (Professor @ Central Saint Martins)
- Elliot Jay Stocks (Influencer)
- Rina Miele (Influencer)
- Oliver Reichenstein (Influencer)
- Chiara Aliotta (Influencer)
- Vivian Hui (Influencer)
- Kenneth Ormandy (Influencer)
- Robert Bringhurst (Influencer)
Now I don’t mean to brag (even though I am proud of the results).
I just wanted to show YOU what's possible.
And a content promotion campaign is where the REAL leverage is…
So if you’re serious about generating Google traffic and sales, you need to be systematic with WHAT you create and WHICH audience your going to promote it to.
Now before I forget, if your interested in this content marketing methodology, or you’d like to learn from myself on how to use it in your business, just schedule a call here and I’ll reach out to you.
And if you watch the case study using the link below, I’ll also provide some further guidance on this topic.
For example, after doing a little research into the interior design niche the majority are trying to attract affluent people looking to redesign their home.
We see all the usual stuff about Services, Awards, Press and Company News.
And as you can see in the SEO competitor analysis report, all the content on these sites have pretty much NO social engagement or NO links from other websites.
Now look at what happens on the next slide when we start to publish VALUE to the same target audience, but just in a different industry.
Things start to change:
In fact, look look at what happens when you constantly publish things that actually help people.
Things improve significantly.
The key takeaway here is that both these industries are trying to gain the attention of pretty much the same pocket of people.
Yet, the SEO and content marketing strategies are quite different.
One is publishing inspiring and valuable content ..
The other isn’t.
One is getting lots of social engagement ..
The other isn’t.