Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is defined by Webopedia as the methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.
Many early SEO tactics are often referred to as the Wild West of internet marketing. Those of us in the business ten years ago recall black text on black backgrounds, duplicate websites, a barrage of low quality press releases, keyword stuffing, and many other tactics that quite honestly, worked.
That is, until Google the sheriffs of internet search decided to change their algorithms and penalize websites (and the companies, organizations, and individuals who built them) for executing “black hat SEO” tactics designed to manipulate search engine results.
As such, many SEO firms and internet marketing professionals have disappeared, and a new crop of digital marketing professionals and firms have emerged.
FischTank has received an influx of requests from B2C and B2B companies, non-profits, individuals, and other organizations that are looking for the right way to increase not only their position in online search within their respective industries, but to also find ways to strengthen their online reputation (ORM). These companies are slowly moving away from “quick fixes” and old SEO/ORM tactics, and seeking efforts that generate long-term, high quality results for their brand. A few effective strategies to review include:
- Media relations, the practice of engaging editorial, third-party media entities, represents an effective tactic for driving SEO results. The reason is simple — media sites generally receive significant online traffic. A business themselves, media platforms via publishers, advertisers, and journalists do their best to publish strong content (with even stronger headlines) that drive users to their website. By sharing announcements and providing expert commentary, companies are able to gain inclusion in these stories, often with a hyperlink, which builds their respective positions with search engines.
- Content marketing appears in many forms. The easiest first step is to develop a content calendar for self-published content such as press releases, blog posts, white papers, and case studies. Sharing these pieces on social media and within networks relevant to one’s industry often results in click-throughs to the website, increasing site traffic and rankings for the URL of which it’s hosted.
A more advanced form of content marketing is creating content to be published elsewhere, generally by third-party media or affiliated websites. For example, a company could draft a 500-700 article on something relevant to their sector, then share it with a trade publication within that industry. 99% of the time, that third-party media platform (or affiliated organization) will publish the article as a byline and attribute it with a URL to the individual and company that created it.
- Social media. Perhaps the easiest of these three ideas to execute, creating social platforms and posting on a regular basis are almost guarantees to rank on the first page of search engine results. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all high quality platforms that, when content is published to and receives even minimal engagement, easily outrank mundane online results for a search for a company, organization, or individual.
Yes, these ideas may be easier said than done. In order to execute, companies seeking improvements to their online search results must identify marketing/PR firms or individuals that understand quality content. It is wise to seek firms that possess existing relationships with journalists, are strong writers themselves, and can execute social media tactics on a regular basis, not some “set it and forget it” approach.
Avoid anyone who promises a quick fix, and create a long-term strategy that ensures online searches for you and/or your brand reflect and present the best of what you do.
To learn more about how FischTank may be able to help your brand, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Fischgrund is an entrepreneur, writer, sports fan, music-lover, and founder and CEO of FischTank Marketing and PR, a marketing and communications firm based in NYC.