I recently did an interview with Murray Newlands for Search Engine Journal. I encourage my readers to go back to that post on Content Marketing Best Practices and read the comments.
In them, there is more additional important information than there was in the original post. Here are just two I want to call attention to, but I hope you will go and read ALL of the comments. And read the post again. This is critical to your survival as Google continues to take away traffic.
Mary Green commented:
I get worried with content marketing because it seems to be the ‘thing’ now. So many sites focus on just putting out content, whether or not it is useful or of decent quality doesn’t seem to matter.
I believe there will be great danger in content marketing the way it is currently being handled….(continues with why and what to do about it).
David Leonhardt commented:
There is an irony to this, but the best way to increase search engine rankings these days is to ignore the search engines and market like crazy. Because if you start tweaking your strategy too much to please the search engines, they’ll slap you for it. It’s actually a lot like dating – if you’re too obvious, you’ll just get slapped in the face.
I totally agree – and it is because of Google that most aren’t doing what they really need to do. Because they are afraid of being slapped and losing the majority of their traffic, businesses are NOT marketing in their content.
With Google’s monopoly directly providing 65-98% of the traffic to the small businesses whose AdWords accounts I once managed – and much of the rest possibly coming via another site the visitor went through first – they can’t afford to risk 65-98% of their income. So they produce content that does very little for them EXCEPT get links.
I encourage businesses to determine where their potential buyers are and create content that directly markets to those audiences. The challenge with that is the sites you want to have publish it also are afraid of Google (for the same reason – they don’t want to lose 50+% of their traffic) so they don’t want to publish anything that might actually sell something.
For small businesses to survive they must throw off these restrictions. Share the benefits of what you sell or do. Be direct in your call to actions. Actually SELL SOMETHING to those who are actively interested in buying.
I would much rather publish a post about how what your business sells directly benefits my readers – with an intro from me on why that is valuable – and a closing call to action recommending they actually buy something that will provide a solution they need – than another generic post about social media or marketing in general,.
I have to ask for those. No one ever just offers them. They offer “10 Ways to Whatever from Social Media” – not how they used social media to market their specific business or how their social media management tool can help my readers promote their own.
Yes, Google controls the fate of your business – if you let them.
No, there is no other source of traffic that converts so well and is so huge – UNTIL you develop it. You can’t do one thing to replace Google – you must do dozens of things very well.
Those who survive will do so by finding and building audiences that need what they sell. It won’t convert immediately like search – you have to build relationships with those potential buyers over time.
That WILL work – but can you make it work before you lose your search traffic. You better, because you WILL keep losing converting Google traffic over time. They systematically take away traffic on the converting keyword phrases and hand it to big brands. Sometimes they take a little at a time – sometimes as much as 58% – but they DO keep taking it.
Be proactive. Start now. If you’ve already started, develop your skills and get better at everything you do – especially building lists and learning to use them more effectively.
Focus on marketing to your email lists as your highest priority. Keep growing and segmenting your lists to give them what they really want. It is always less expensive and easier to sell to those who are already your customers than it is to find new customers.
Don’t waste any more visitors from social media or search (organic and ESPECIALLY paid) – you MUST get them on your list and keep them there by doing email marketing extremely well. If you think you already do that – make it an art form.
There IS more you can do. That is why I write content for AutoresponderGeeks.com – because we ALL need to get better at using autoresponders and doing email marketing.
Currently there is everything you need to know about what an autoresponder is and how to use one on that site. I’m hopeful that Chris Fong (you know Chris as the owner of Just Retweet) will allow Alaina Frederick and myself to keep adding content on email marketing there.
I understand what we need to do – but not how specifically to do it on each email marketing platform. Alaina has used four different email marketing solutions, so she can write how-to posts for each one. Rebecca Caroe is the top expert on FeedBlitz. Between the three of us, we can all learn to do email marketing with excellence.
If you want to see that happen – and even more importantly, if you want to grow whatever you’re doing – go there. Sign up for the autoresponder series by putting your email address in the box in the top right. And get started immediately.
Imagine the powerful lists I would have if I had actually done that in the 1990s when I first created sites online. Imagine how big my list for GrowMap would be if I had been good at doing that from the start – one month shy of 5 years ago.
Then do as I say and not as I did – just do it. If you don’t know which email marketing system to use go with AWeber. I wish someone had said that to me years ago – and all these years later it is still true. They are #1 for many reasons.
On GrowMap, I use FeedBlitz instead because it integrates Social Media and Email Marketing. It is more complex, but also more powerful. Choose either – but just choose. If you get stuck ASK ME. If I don’t know the answer I know who does and can get it for you.
This is too important to ignore. Please, for your sake, make building a list and learning to market to it your #1 priority forever. It always worked – it still works. Nothing you can do will benefit you and your business or blog more than this one thing.
To make it easy to find again, just click on the AutoresponderGeeks logo below to go sign up for the autoresponder series I wrote that is a primer to doing email marketing better.
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