In September of 2013 Google released its new Hummingbird update. This has been a game changer for search engine optimization efforts and places a premium on inbound marketing as a replacement. You might ask what the difference is so let’s first look at that.
Inbound Marketing vs. SEO
Search engine optimization has historically been what we would do to make sure the search engines could easily identify our site as relevant to a user’s search. Then we wanted to ensure the spiders could easily find key words, causing a site to rank high when these words are used in a search. There were even tactics for tricking spiders into thinking a site was more relevant, that could make a huge difference in internet market presence.
Inbound Marketing includes the same goal as old SEO practices but Google’s update allows the spiders to search for influential content that is unique and truly relevant to the search. This means they review the entire site for quality information to establish ranking to help assure the user gets the best site, not the site with the most tricks. Therefore, our Inbound Marketing strategies must reflect a marketing mix that includes infographics, blogs, press releases, and other unique content. In other words, businesses now must think about how their mix of marketing information is presented to the Internet user and what is being done to make sure that information is truly relevant.
Staying Competitive with the Internet Competition
This presents a true challenge for businesses with limited marketing budgets. The system demands ongoing generation of quality information and constant attention to how this information is perceived on the web. There are many SEO companies who offer tricks that may work short term, but do nothing for a long-term marketing strategy. These tricks often focus on creating the old fashioned “momentous occasion” that were profitable, and can still be to some extent, but have no lasting effect. They were much like advertising spends instead of marketing investments.
Who is the Best Company for You?
So how does a company select an Inbound Marketing service in today’s reality? You have to ask the right questions and then evaluate the answers for the most relevant information (kind of like a Google search). You must find out what outputs (blogs, press releases, etc.) a marketing company provides and what outcomes their clients have realized from this. You should look for customer reviews on the web and get permission to contact and interview a sample of these customers. Consider that your company needs quality NOT a useless quantity of content, and question who can give this within the budget constraints you have.
If your company currently uses a search engine optimization firm, ask for a detailed list of duties they perform and items they produce. If they can’t produce a list that compares favorably with what prospective marketing companies present to you, that is certainly a red flag.
Of course, we invite you to ask us for a proposal. We offer all inquiries a free website evaluation to let you see where you rank and make recommendations for alternative methods. While we don’t put ourselves above any of the other Inbound Marketing companies, we are confident that we can compare favorably with any of them and encourage you to inquire.