The Good Old Days
I remember when SEO was just a numbers game.
If the number of backlinks pointing to your website exceeded your competitors and if the keywords on your page were high and dense, a front page ranking on Google seemed guaranteed. And if or when your business landed in the top 10 of a search, a constant flurry of new leads and customers was your just rewards. Ahh… those were the good old says… (And Boss Hog was never able to catch up to you, and your cousin Daisy could sway the glances from any competitor close on your tail.)
But then everything changed. Google began manifesting various animal forms beginning with the letter ‘p’ and the world of SEO was forever changed. Since 2011, the science of search engine optimization, which was already perceived as a dark art, began to fall deeper into an even more nebulous realm. All signs of easy manipulations were wiped away leaving us with the ambiguous strategies of “quality content”, the rocket science of “schema tags”, “microdata”, and finally there were elusive “social signals” that would magically cause real people affects to the SERPS.
Then we saw social media gurus popping out of every MLM corner, putting down their Herbalife and Mona Vie and started claiming expertise in “growing your Twitter following in 5 days or less!” Sorry… I’ve venting… let me stop. Let me state the real problem and offer you a solution. My response to the business owner who is quick to bring social media in-house or hire a local guru is to focus on results and not just effort.
Where Are the Social Results?
What I loved about SEO, was that you could see the results.
1) Rankings increased
2) Traffic grew, and
3) The telephone rang.
There was a science and ROI tied to search rankings and traffic. Whether paid or organic. But with social, the strategy is a little… fuzzy, and the results are a bit… blurry.
But the tools!!
The social media management tools, your Hootsuite, Picmonkey, Buffer or Spout, can all be purchased for $99 or less. Awesome!! Ya-hoo!! Who needs to hire an SEO agency?? And so goes the marketing budget, the staff are overloaded with managing the social channels and you will now reach Millennials!:)
“But wait a minute. ” you might be saying. “Arvell, isn’t it important for companies to manage their social media?” And in response I would say, “Yes! Definitely! You should still be out there and active and engaging.”
But let me clarify one thing about how the internet works. In case you hadn’t noticed, people still use search engines. People still use Google. YOU still use Google right? (Tell the truth!) According to a recent report by BridgeEdge, a global leader in content performance marketing, search engines still drive over 60% of all internet traffic, while social drives about 5%.
Wow!! 60% Search vs 5% Social!!
Does this mean social is not important? Of course not. But the question is, what are you doing to show up in the search results?
Yes, SEO is tricky and slippery, but still, your customers still use search engines. You still use them! And if your competitors are ranking higher than you, how long do think you can compete by only socializing with your existing client base?
It’s 2015 and the rules of search have changed since 2010 and earlier. But Google still reigns, and competitive forward thinking companies are doing search, social and more. With 60% of internet traffic coming from search engines compared to 5% on social, your budget for both should be proportioned as such.
Am I biased in this opinion?
Of course. But am I wrong?
Andy and I are fortunate that we’ve been in the game long enough to see the trends, humble enough to acknowledge we don’t know it all, and were wise enough to jump on the Hubspot bandwagon. What is Hubspot?
Well… you can Google Hubspot if you want to dig into all their accolades, influence, and authority. But as Certified Hubspot Agency partners, we have found them to be invaluable. We have learned how to take “quality content” with current SEO principles and turn them into a repeatable process for gaining targeted search results and qualified sales leads.
But, that’s just the beginning.
With Hubspot’s advanced and user-friendly reporting, we can understand and track the behavior of leads in ways we never could with Google Analytics. We know when visitors revisit our website, download carefully crafted PDF documents or open an email. We get notifications on every action and can respond immediately when leads are red hot.
Does this make sense? It goes way beyond simple traffic and search, it’s an entire ecosystem built around growing and nurturing leads and customers. It even extends to automating the process of turning customers into raving fans who share your content to their social profiles. Yes, I’m excited and maybe biased. After waddling around as a Google victim for years, it’s a great feeling to know you have a solution that works.
So, what do you think?
You know your business, but we know digital marketing or inbound marketing or content marketing or whatever flavor you want to color it. Want to learn more? Please take a gander at this overview of the Hubspot methodology and let us know if we can show you how it applies to your business.
Create a Great Day! – AC
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