Do you need to change your digital marketing strategy?
Social media has a big problem. Facebook is losing users due to data privacy concerns. Google+ has closed down. Twitter is becoming more political than social. All these negative factors have and will make your social media marketing strategy far less effective.
Apart from the current issues that are concerning people about privacy and personal data use, there is a more fundamental problem with social media marketing channels.
If you are trying to promote your books, blog, services or you are affiliate marketing on a social media platform; there is an issue of intent.
What do I mean by intent?
Let’s say you want people to buy your fantasy ebook about witches and warlocks.
The approach on Facebook is to have a Page, try to get people to Like it, or more often than not, you pay for Likes. You also try to increase the number of connections you have on your personal profile.
Then you write social media posts with a lot of information about your ebook. If the results are less than you would like, you can then buy Facebook Ads and target “readers” and perhaps an age group.
But how many of all these people you have connected with or reached intend to buy a book about witches and warlocks?
On Twitter, you follow as many users as you can, and hope they follow you back so they can see your Tweets about your book. But really, Twitter is a good tool for creating brand awareness, but not for direct sales.
You could even try an email marketing blitz.
But how many will have the intent to buy a fantasy ebook?
Using social media as a marketing tool means that you reach out to as many people as possible and tell them to check out your book.
But how many of them are interested and have any positive intent about reading a fantasy ebook?
Wouldn’t it be much better if only people who are genuinely interested in fantasy, witches and warlocks come to you because they have the intent to read a fantasy book?
Social networking is all about you going to people. Google SEO content marketing is about people coming to you.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is in simple terms a process using words and phrases to attract people to your website or blog through Google organic search results.
To continue with the ebook example, it means that you want your blog posts about your book to be indexed by Google or Bing for your keywords “witches and warlocks.”
Then, when people who are interested in your topic use Google search, they will see your post in the search results and click through to your page. This is how search engines like Google work to help you get traffic to your website.
Then you have someone with real intent coming to look at your book.
There are unlimited SEO strategies. But the central goal is always to get search engines to index your keywords so that people with genuine interest and intent will visit your site. You can say that these are your target audience.
Logically, the more content keywords you have indexed for the web pages on your site, the more site visitors you will get.
In the end, SEO is all about making money from your site.
It is by far the best strategy if you want to earn an income from Google Adsense advertising, Amazon affiliate marketing, selling books, cameras, software or your services.
The basics of search engine marketing
The basics of Google, Bing and Yahoo organic search and online marketing are that you write high-quality relevant content, and use simple on-page SEO tools to create optimized your content to give a good user experience.
On-page means any addition or improvement you make to your site or the content on your site to encourage search engines to index your site and pages.
These include using a responsive web design that is mobile-friendly, having an XML sitemap, and using a title tag, meta tag, meta description and alt attribute for images on all your posts.
When you see a search result, it is these tags and attributes that create the individual elements in the search engine result page (SERP) listing.
In the image below, the main title is from the page title tag. The star review is from a special code, and the description is from the meta description tag. For image search, the alt attribute describes the image.
The better your use of on-page SEO is, the higher your posts and pages will rank as a search engine result on Google search.
How do you get started in SEO?
The best place to start is by reading Google’s SEO starter guide and webmaster guidelines.
You’ll find that the guide gives you all the information you need to get your site ready and to set-up, Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
These two tools are essential for you to monitor the SEO progress of your site and for basic SEO reporting.
There are hundreds of free SEO tools online that can help you in the early stages of your digital marketing campaign.
In particular, you should look for tools to help you do an SEO audit of your site and analysis tools for broken links, structured data markup and missing SEO tags. Also, search for tools to check how your site looks on a mobile device.
Once your site is SEO optimized as best you can, it is time to focus your energy on by far the biggest ranking factor in successful SEO.
Keyword research is the most important work you are going to do.
To succeed in getting search traffic and a sizable monthly search volume to your site, your keyword research tools are vital.
If you are selling your editing or proofreading service, you don’t want to be indexed for keywords associated with a product or service such as cameras or cars.
But this can happen if you are not focused on matching your content keywords with your campaign goals, or if you have duplicate content.
There are a lot of good free tools for keyword suggestions, but generally, they are restricted in volume or by site time.
Any free tool will have restrictions, but if you want to get started in SEO, they are extremely valuable and will help you get started and learn how to apply good SEO practices to your site.
Look for tools such as a keyword tool, rank checker, keyword explorer, site explorer or any that can give you basic SEO reporting.
Do you want to become an SEO pro?
For bloggers who are serious, or want to get serious about using SEO to make money, the only option is to use professional keyword research tools.
There are a few pro SEO suite programs available. Some are aimed primarily at enterprise-level users and are extremely expensive, so they are not affordable or practical for a small local business or solo content marketers.
For bloggers, the most popular SEO suite is Semrush.
It is a full suite of SEO tools including:
Keyword research using the entire Google database
Keyword position tracking in real-time
Full SEO site audit
Competitor keyword and domain analysis
SEO content template creation
SEO writing assistant
Backlink auditing and link analysis
Plus a whole lot more
In other words, it does everything you could possibly want to increase organic traffic to your site, or sites.
Is it worth the money?
Here is a snapshot of how using good SEO tools can boost organic traffic.
Up until the first arrow, I used free tools. Number one is when I started using Semrush. Number 2 is when I started a summer content blitz using the Semrush content template.
In between arrows 1 and 2 was my Semrush learning curve. There are so many tools, and it takes a little while to learn how to use them all.
But it is worth it because you can really become an SEO expert and find new ways to increase your organic traffic and improve your conversion rate and your site earnings.
If you are ready to take the next step, you can use Semrush for free.
Or if you only want a quick look, try a search.
SEO marketing is not for everyone.
But if you are using your social media marketing plan as your prime source of traffic lead generation, you might want to have a rethink and investigate the possibilities that effective SEO can offer you.
Take a look at this starter video from Semrush for more information.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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