Long gone are the days when a Client signs on the dotted line, hands over the keys to the site to an SEO company, and goes about their merry way (never giving a second thought to their SEO). Those were the glory days, and those days are gone.
Google has now gone on record as saying that they want companies to "EARN THEIR RANKINGS"! But what does this really mean? How can a company earn its rankings? How can content, teamwork and collaboration help with earning those rankings?
How To Earn Rankings
Most of us are familiar with the terms earned, owned, and paid media.
Paid media is traditional media … media that we pay for. In return, we receive a finite amount of exposure. When we stop paying, the ads disappear, and the results fade rapidly.
Owned media is the recognition that companies now own their own publishing platforms. These platforms are typically of very low cost, and permit companies to build their own circulation and subscription lists. Examples of owned media include blogs, your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn following. For most it means that they have to become content publishers!
Earned media is attention or exposure a company EARNs. This earned media is typically in the form of word of mouth or press coverage. Its other people talking about our company as a result of either an experience with the company, or enjoying/sharing content from our site.
Earned media is in essence precisely what Google wants. They understand that when people perform a search, they've got a problem and are looking for the best answer to their question. Google in turn, wants to be able to quickly, easily, and consistently, find and return the best answer to the searcher. Google reasons that one of the best ways to do this, is to look to see what other trusted people/sources from across the web read, like, link to, and share (ie. "earned" signals). The more often a particular piece of content is read, liked, linked to, and shared, the better it must be relative to all other content on the topic. Makes sense right?
Teamwork And Collaboration
Earning media attention is a challenge. Truth be told, most companies are already competing for the attention of prospective clients and the media. The lowest hanging fruits have already been picked, so to speak.
In terms of SEO, this means you have to create content people want to share, create awareness of the content (with those most willing to share it), and use different content strategies to accomplish specific goals.
It means, creating teams, and getting those teams to work together seamlessly. High performance teams can organize themselves into structure, much more powerful that the sum of the strengths of each team member.
To put this into perspective:
- Content Research:
Keyword research has to inform the Content team … what should the topics be? What types of content are needed?
- Content Creation:
Remarkable content must be produced (unremarkable content will not EARN word of mouth or media attention). Of course, different types of content require different specializations:
- graphic artists
- widgets (coders)
- Content Promotion:
Content must be promoted … the more people that see it, the more people will read it, like it, link to it, and share it. There are various expertises involved in content promotion:
- outreach (reaching out to invfluencers)
- advertising (to create awareness of the content)
- social media
- Increasing Conversions:
Then, the goal is often not just traffic, but leads, and conversions. This means having more specialists:
- conversion optimization (to convert visitors into leads and sales)
- lead nurturing
- relationship management (via social)
- Client Satisfaction:
Even after a sale is made, client services or support will want to ensure that clients are satisfied with their purchases, so hopefully they'll purchase from you again in the future, leave positive reviews.
The reality is … the better all these teams in an organization work together toward a common goal (ie. teamwork), the better the net result will be. Dysfunctional companies and teams will be at a severe disadvantage.
Sure companies can survive for the time being using only traditional media, but those companies are seeing their market share erode rapidly. And content is not just for search either! Content also drives social media. It won't be long before even the largest of those companies with their heads in the sand come to the realization that they are in fact in the "Content" business.
There have been a number of very progressive companies make this admission lately, including Samsung, and Coca Cola. They get it!
So start now! As was quoted in Star Trek once upon a time "Resistance is futile"!