For years, optimizing a website was quite a simple affair. Through the course of search engines indexing sites, there were various algorithm updates too, but till Panda and its good friend Penguin came along, things like link building were quite easy to achieve. Article sites, blog comments, forum posts etc. and etc., these and other elements were great for bulking out a link profile and gaining some high PR. Exact match domains enabled many affiliate and Adsense based sites to ride high in the SERPs.
Fast forward to today, and if it is not crystal clear to internet marketers that things post Panda and Penguin are very, very , different, the it really should be. Proper Company Promotion, or P.C.P, is now the only safe and effective way to gain web traffic and also improve rankings.
Is SEO Dead?
Seo hasn’t “died”, but it has certainly changed dramatically. For one instance, back links now need to be earned, rather than created. That is one of the main rules now, covering the links that come back to the websites you are promoting. Links that carried a lot of value, for example article links, are now only really useful for adding a little bit of diversity to your link profile, the same with generic press releases that do not offer anything more than 400 words of empty writing.
For a long time the SEO world (in many, rather than in all cases) lazily adding masses of links to clients sites, many of which were empty and built just for the fact they would be a back link, was THE strategy. Finally in 2012 Google played the swan song for sites optimized so (or was it a Penguin song?). Sites disappeared from page 1 of Google quicker than a bowling ball dropped in the backyard swimming pool. Tears were shed, cries of unfairness echoed around the online marketing world. Much as I may have sympathy, I can’t help feeling that we should all have seen this coming. It is not as if the search engine gods at Google hadn’t explained to us all year after year, what they expected from those practicing SEO, and how to keep on the right side of search relevance, when promoting theirs or their clients sites.
Proper Company Promotion means exactly what it suggests. Rolling up your sleeves and actually earning the links and traffic that you have been trying to gain from various link building services, and short term blasts from this or that software link creator. PCP doesn’t have to be very expensive, though it is more time consuming, it’s all about value really. What is the true cost of improper SEO, after all? Sure, those paying you may have to pay more to get the job done properly and have some “future proofing”, but in the long run the proof will be in the pudding. Here are some examples of what can be done to create “real” links and also enhance company brands and exposure with their target clientele.
- Sponsor an event, the size of which will always depend on your budget. You may supply the awards, or the cost of a kids’ football league with their equipment, for instance. Get local newspapers involved, release a press release that explains what you are doing and how it is benefiting the recipients. Make sure that any website that is involved with anyone benefiting from the sponsored event contains content about your business/website, and is linking back to your site. The press release will also generate real links that will also pass traffic, Google loves links that pass on traffic to a site. The buzz generated will help to enhance the company brand and the exposure will help generate more traffic to your website.
- Guest post on blogs that are relevant to the niche your business is in. Most blog owners are always looking for high quality and information rich content. Blog posts still carry weight at the moment, this may change as the marketing spammers out there try to abuse its ability to help sites rank. Writing between 500 – 1500 words that are useful and informative to those reading within your industry will help gain you traffic through any links that are placed within the content you have written, and enhance the authority of your company within your business or customer community. Poor quality content is not accepted by most “authority” blogs so the content needs to be useful and therefore highly readable.
- Advertising is still a great way to get traffic back to your website, and visibility for your business and/or product or service. You can place banner adverts on forums and blogs that are relevant to your business niche. You may well ask to add a blog post to the same sites you are advertising on as they will view you as a customer and be interested in keeping you happy, (hopefully). Make any advert links no follow so that Google doesn’t think you are merely buying a link. If you gain a blog post from the site(s) that you are advertising on you can benefit from a link and an advert from the same site. This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do in the eyes of Google, and will gain you a great deal of traffic and brand authority.
There are many other strategies that can help gain you proper, earned back links, as well as enhance the authority of your brand and get you very valuable exposure within your market place. No one tactic should be used on its own. Successful search engine optimisation entails a mixture of different strategies and making sure that company branding and information reach as many people, on as many different platforms, as possible. Making sure that you are also looking after your onsite affairs is obviously a must. There is no point driving traffic to a site that cannot give your potential clients and customers what they are looking for. Social media platforms also need to be used as much as possible, promoting offers, blog posts and any information that is seen as useful for the business community that you are in.
Lets all think about how we can earn a back link, rather than how we can create one. The long term benefits of any online marketing campaign should always trump the short term gains, and P.C.P is a long term thought process.