Linkedin Lead Generation

Here are the steps to set up a LinkedIn Lead Gen campaign:

  1. Create the content you want to sponsor. It could be a post that you have already shared on your LinkedIn company page, or you can create a new post (known as direct sponsored content) and this post will not be shared on your company page. I will walk you through both of these approaches.
  2. Create a Lead Gen Form template.
  3. Choose your targeting option.
  4. Define your budget, bid, and schedule.
  5. Hit publish.

Let’s create our Lead Gen Campaign:

  1. First, go to linkedin.com/ad/accounts and select your campaign account.
  2. On the next screen, it should ask you to chose the ad product. Select “Sponsored Content”.
  3. This is where you enter your campaign name and select the “Lead Gen” option because you want to use LinkedIn Lead Gen forms instead of sending people to your website.linkedin-lead-gen-campaign-1.png
  4. On the next screen, choose the content you want to sponsor to collect the leads.You can choose any of your existing posts from here, or you can click on “create sponsored content”. As mentioned earlier, the sponsored content you create here will be direct sponsored content. This means that it will not be posted as an update on your LinkedIn company page.(a) Choose existing content: If you choose your existing content from the feed, then just select the content and click next (and skip to step #5).

    (b) Or create new sponsored content: Click on “create Sponsored Content” and it will take you to the content creation page where you can enter content update, link, and image just as you would for a normal company page update.

    Once you create this new piece of content, it will take you back to the screen where you will select the content that you want to sponsor. You will see your newly created Direct Sponsored Content and your previous Company Page Updates here. Your new piece will have “direct sponsored content” written on it as a postscript.
    linkedin-lead-gen-campaign-2.png

  5. Select the newly created “Direct Sponsored Content” or the existing content that you want to sponsor and click “Sponsor selected content”.
  6. Next, we will create the Lead Gen Form on this screen:(a) Select the “Call to action” text from the drop-down. I have selected “Register”.
    linkedin-lead-gen-campaign-3.png(b) You can select a form from the drop down (if you already have a form from any of your previous campaigns) or you can click “Create new form template”.

    We will create a new form for this example.

    (c) After clicking on “Create new form template”, you will be presented with a lead gen form creation screen. Enter your form name, offer headline and description and your website’s privacy policy link.

    (d) On the next screen, you will select the fields for which you want to collect the information. Make sure you select only those fields that are required for your marketing campaign to be effective. You can select a maximum of 7 fields. Remember the form conversion 101, the lesser the number of fields, the higher the conversion rate. For this example, I am going to select the fields we decided in our campaign planning in the beginning of this post.

    (e) On the next screen, you will write your “Thank You” message and landing page URL. Select the call to action button for your website landing page link.

    Your lead gen form is now ready. Once you click “Save” it will take you back to the screen from step 6(b) where you’ll select this newly created Lead Gen form. This is how it will look:
    linkedin-lead-gen-campaign-4.png

  7. On the next screen, you will define your targeting options. You can use your own audience (website visitors or email contacts) in addition to using LinkedIn’s database.Matched Audience (optional)
    (a) Website Retargeting: People who already visited your website or specific page(s) on your website
    (b) Account/Contact Targeting: You can upload your email list from your CRMLinkedin Database: You can target LinkedIn audience with following parameters:

    Geographic Region (mandatory)
    Company Connections
    Company Followers
    Years of Experience
    Member Age
    Member Gender
    Member Groups
    Member Skills
    Degrees
    Fields of Study
    Member Schools
    Job Seniority
    Job Function
    Job Title
    Company Size
    Company Industry
    Company Name

    Irrespective of the targeting method you choose, you have to define the location that you want to target.
    screen-shot-2017-09-01-at-82359-pm.png

  8. Once you define your targeting, you will define your budget, bid, and campaign schedule.

Now you are done!

Make sure to adjust your budget, bid and sponsored content based on performance.

How to Use LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn has reached a user base of 500 million with 10 million active job listings, access to nine million companies, and more than 100,000 articles published every week.

Other than that, Linkedin claims to have:

  • 61 million senior-level influencers
  • 40 million decision makers
  • 10.7 million opinion leaders
  • 6.8 million C-level execs
  • 3 million MBA graduates

This makes LinkedIn one of the largest professional networking platforms where you can connect with and market your company and/or idea to key decisions makers.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through:

  1. How to create your LinkedIn company page/profile
  2. How to enhance/optimize your LinkedIn company profile
  3. How to advertise on LinkedIn

Let’s start with the creating your LinkedIn company page. Before that, however, let’s discuss LinkedIn company page ads and what you can achieve by having a professional LinkedIn company page.

Before we jump into the details, let’s cover some basic questions.

What is a LinkedIn Company Page?

A LinkedIn company page educates members about your brand, service offerings, culture, job opportunities, and news/updates at your company.

Why do you need a LinkedIn Company Page?

  • A LinkedIn company page is a supplement to your website. It helps you showcase your company and its products to the industry professionals you connect with on the platform
  • With a Linkedin company page, you can promote your company culture and attract great talent to your company
  • You can build your customer base through LinkedIn’s various marketing tools
  • It helps you enhance your brand’s credibility based on your company page’s activity

Now, let’s dive into the details of creating a LinkedIn company page, as well as how you can enhance it, and market it.

1. Creating a Company Page

1.1 Click here to create your company page. Add your business name and verify that you are the official representative of the business for which you are creating the LinkedIn company page.  Once you click Create page, it will take you to the Edit Mode for your newly created page. The page isn’t published yet. It will look like this:

1.2 Upload a background photo. It doesn’t have to be your logo, however, it should depict your company’s messaging. The background image should be 1536 x 768 px.

1.3 Upload your company logo. Your logo should be a square image with minimum dimensions of 300 x 300 px.

1.4 Add a company description in less than 2000 characters.

1.5 Add your specialties. You can add up to 20 specialties.

1.6 Add your company address and other information in the fields below it. This includes your company website URL. Make sure you enter the correct version (http or https, www or non-www) of your website.

1.7 Click Publish!

2. Enhancing Your Company Page

how to enhance linkedin company page

Post Content

People will follow your company page for information and news updates. Engage your followers with information and interesting content. Share your blog posts, company updates, job postings, and service offerings.

Experiment with long-form posts to further engage your audience on LinkedIn.

Use Images

As the popular cliche’ goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, share important updates, information, facts in the form of an image or an infographic.

Upload Content to SlideShare

Establish yourself as a thought leader by uploading your content through SlideShare presentations.

Use Keywords in the Description

Your page is more likely to get found on LinkedIn search and search engines if you use relevant keywords in your page’s description.

Tell Your Story (Use Videos)

People are more likely to trust your brand if you share your company story, i.e. why your company exists. Tell a story and relate that story back to your ideal prospect’s problems or desires. Create engaging videos about the problems your company can solve, your work culture, approach, etc. and what difference your company’s offerings have made on your customer’s lives and businesses.

Use Showcase Pages (If Applicable)

Showcase Pages are an extension to your LinkedIn company page. Showcase pages help you highlight your individual brands or initiatives.

Email Signatures

Add social media links to your email signatures. This also adds credibility to your email conversation as well as encouraging people to follow your company page.

Encourage Employees to Participate

Train your employees on how to use LinkedIn and encourage them to follow and share important company updates. This can have an avalanche effect as your page will gain visibility among the connections of your employees as well.

This is especially powerful for companies whose sales reps are connected to the right decision makers.

P.S: We offer LinkedIn training for business development. Contact us for an on-site training session.

Use Your Connections

Just as your employees can share your company page and updates with their connections, you (as an Owner, Manager, etc.) should share your company page with your personal profile connections.

However, you must provide a strong reason why they should follow the page. Think about what valuable information they will receive by following your company page.

Turn Website Visitors Into Followers

Add a LinkedIn follow widget to your website and blog. Encourage people to follow your company page.

Brainstorm

Brainstorm these following points on a regular basis:

  • Is my page description accurate and up-to-date?
  • Does my page description reflect my company culture and its service offerings?
  • Does my banner image explain what my page is about?
  • Would my page provide value to my page’s followers? What value would it provide? How could I provide more value?

3. Advertising For Your Company Page

With LinkedIn, you can target by various parameters including:

  • Demographic data: Job Function, Seniority, Company Name, Geo, Industry
  • Interest-based targeting: Group Membership, Skills, Field of Study
  • Persona targeting: Job Searchers, Opinion Leaders, Mass Affluent, Business Travelers
  • Your own audience data: Target Account Lists, External Data Integrations

 

The key to any kind of marketing or advertising is being strategic. Before you start spending money or time in advertising, you should create your personas and segment your content according to people in different buying stages.

The goal is to walk your target audience through a journey.

Looking into your existing conversion data can help you create journeys for your personas. If you don’t have statistically significant data, then conduct some research with your potential customers and find their concerns, fears, joys, and aspirations. That way, you can create content that aligns with their state of mind.

LinkedIn offers various advertising options depending on your business requirements and budget. Let’s take a look at the different advertising options:

  • Sponsored Content
  • Sponsored InMails
  • Text Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Remarketing/Retargeting
  • Lead Generation Forms

Creating a LinkedIn Advertising Account

Click here to create your LinkedIn advertising account.

Now, let’s dive into different advertising options on LinkedIn.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content could be used to attract more eyes to the content that you have posted on your company page. Using sponsored content, you can get additional eyes apart from your existing followers. You can use sponsored content for:

  • Raising awareness about your brand
  • Building relationships with company updates or helpful content
  • Driving leads

You can also sponsor content on LinkedIn without posting it as a company update on your LinkedIn company page. This type of sponsored content is known as direct sponsored content.

Click here to learn more about sponsored content and direct sponsored content.

‘Following’ is an example of sponsored content in the LinkedIn feed.

Sponsored InMails

A paid counterpart of everyday InMail that you can send on LinkedIn, Sponsored InMails, use a very intelligent targeting and delivery functionality which makes it much more effective than email marketing.

However intelligent the LinkedIn Sponsored InMails functionality be, you don’t want to spam your prospects. So, you have to be very strategic and ‘useful’ when you send sponsored InMails to your prospects.

One of the benefits of InMails is that your message is delivered only when a member is active. This ensures optimum delivery of your message to your prospect.

You can send webinar invites, industry research reports, and similar content that can make their professional life easier in exchange for their contact information.

To create your first LinkedIn Sponsored InMails, follow the following steps:

1. Log into LinkedIn Campaign Manager

2. Open your Ad Account and click “Create Campaign” and select “Sponsored InMail”

3. Select “Sponsored InMail” and start crafting your message

4. Choose your target audiences

5. Set your campaign budget goals and launch!

Text & Display Ads

LinkedIn Text ads are pay-per-click ads that can appear on the right-hand side of LinkedIn.

Text and Display Ads work similarly to the Google Search Network ads. You create your ad text, then set your daily budget and maximum cost per click using LinkedIn’s campaign manager.

Remarketing/Retargeting

You can use your existing contact database or website traffic to re-engage your prospects.

  • Website Retargeting: People who visited your website
  • Contact Retargeting: List of contacts that you can manually upload into LinkedIn
  • Account Retargeting: Target specific organizations on their LinkedIn pages

Lead Generation Forms

Lead generation forms are an extension of the above-mentioned forms of advertising on LinkedIn. Lead Generation Forms help you collect leads from your ads on LinkedIn with seamless pre-filled forms.

Click here to learn how to create lead generation campaigns for your business

 

Conclusion

Linkedin has evolved to be not just a recruitment platform but a very handy tool for B2B marketers to reach their target audience. With proper targeting, measurement, and refinement, LinkedIn ads can prove to be very effective for your business.

Let us know your experience with LinkedIn ads in the comments.

Know your competition Tools of SEO -Crystal Clear SEO

SEO Strategies: The Importance of Knowing your Competition

SEO Strategies: The Importance of Knowing your Competition

Search Engine Optimization has become the most popular phrase on the internet. This is mainly because this simple but demanding process can help web pages rank better and become more ‘visible’ to their target audience. As Internet competition increases and competing for web pages try to get more views, the concept of ‘competitor analysis’ has become critical. By now the competition in the market for most products is very high. For example, a simple web search for ‘coffee’ will give you millions of results. If you sell a private label coffee product getting ranked for this keyword is everything.

Let’s face it search engines set-up a competitive environment when answering questions for their customers. Focusing simply on your own company’s SEO will likely not give you as good a result as a competitor analysis will provide. Identifying your competition and keeping track of their performance and search engine results has become really important for any business to win the SEO game. No business survives in isolation. Its niche and industry keep on progressing with time and currently, the most progressive SEO technique that you can employ is competitor analysis. In simple terms, you find the best competitor in the market and study their SEO. Then you analyze what has been working and what has not. As a competitor also working in the same niche, their practices can affect you to a great extent. Using similar practices can bring business to you as well. On the other hand, avoiding the mistakes that they have made will also help you in getting better results. Considering all these factors, you should study your competition as deeply as your own business.

Before we move on to understand what can be done in order to find, analyze and learn from your competition, we shall discuss what SEO is really about and what changes you need to make in your own business model to get the best results.

How to work on your own business model

Understand what search engines are looking for. This process must be done before and after every competitive analysis is done in order to get the best results and keep improving your website daily. The search engines have four basic requirements for your website:

  • Content
  • Performance
  • Authority
  • User Experience

They do not want to see:

  • Stuffed keywords
  • Poor user experience
  • Paid links

You need to focus on your business model and build content around how your business matters, and how it is different from your customer’s point of view. If you do not perform this step properly, you will likely end up with a messy website that will never convert any leads for you. Too many businesses skip over this step and make a bad website that drives users away, instead of attracting them.

  • What do your customers consider to be your value adds?
  • What made your existing customers buy from you?
  • What are your goals?
  • What exactly are you selling? Is it products or impressions?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities?

Here are a few other pointers that you should be keeping in mind while making your own website:

  • Opt for multiple channels to attract prospects and make sure that social media plays a part. Use email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, pay-per-click ads, TV ads, radio ads, and even niche-based magazine advertisements if possible.
  • Use consistent domain names. Get serious about your online identity.
  • Optimize for tablets and mobile users too. Let users experience the same great website on a small screen.

The Basics of knowing your competition

After addressing the basics of optimizing and building your own great website it is time to start looking at your competition. Remember, it is not just about studying who you are competing with. It is also about developing competitive intelligence for your own business. While analyzing your competition can seem to be a one-time activity, developing competitive intelligence is more about building an ongoing awareness of your industry, and your niche and anticipating the perceived value from your customer’s viewpoint.

There are some basic steps that you need to follow in order to get the best results:

  1. Finding/Identifying your competition

The first step is discovering your competition. If you really wish to outperform your competition, you can’t work on a vague idea of competition. For example, suppose you are a coffee shop located on ABC Street in XYZ neighborhood. Who is your competition? Do you compete with every coffee shop in the world or do you compete more locally or regionally? Do you offer regular coffee and buns or do you offer something special? Is there someone else who does the same? Is there a coffee shop that earns as much as you do, gets as much customer attention and spends as many bucks as you do? This is how you select a competitor in general.

On the other hand, when your identity competition, you need to work on your keywords. What is your major keyword? Which websites play on the same keywords and which of them are able to score? Do this for almost every keyword that you use in your own operations. Your first step should be discovering the top competition for your keywords (for each keyword). For example, you can look at the top 3-5 ranks of search engines. To gain a deeper local understanding of keywords looks for geo-targeted keyword competition. Don’t just look for ‘coffee houses’ or ‘coffee houses in City D’. You should also look for ‘coffee houses in XYZ neighborhood’. This creates a keyword hierarchy for you to follow.

  1. Analyzing the competition

The next step is to analyze your competition. While you analyze, you need to find out the real performance landscape of your competition. Look at the volume as well as the value of the keywords that you wish to be ranked for. This will help you in prescribing a monetary footnote on your competitive analysis which will bring more quantifiable results for you. You must ask yourself – who is leading the market? Which keywords serve them the strongest? Do they have a weak spot?

  1. Track the SEO performance of competitors

The next step is to track your competition’s SEO performance. Short tail tracking is easy but focusing on the long tail can be quite complex. Do not feel intimidated by these terms and simply continue with your search. Group together the keywords that make sense for your business. Make sure that you are tracking their theme, brand, projects and even their individual projects. Grouping data in this way will make sure that you understand your competition better. Next, you must work on their blended rank. This kind of rank will be taking all kinds of text, image, local, social and video ranks into account to find the real ranking of a business. As these steps get completed, you will be able to:

  • Find the groups of keywords or specific keywords that can really bring in some SEO advantage to your business. These are the keywords that are already working well for you and further optimization may not be necessary.
  • Next, pay attention to the keywords which have not been working well for you. You likely face a lot of competition for these keywords and cannot find appropriate measures to rank high. Think about these keywords, optimize and modify them further, build more content around them. Are their social media channels that can boost their performance?
  1. Build an insight

By performing all the steps listed above, you will be able to understand what your competition is all about. More than the competition, it will give you an insight about your business. Make sure that you include the following in your research

  • Social media
  • Meta tags
  • Backlinks

This will help you get an even better insight on your competition. It is not just a way to outrank each other but also a great way to help your industry or niche grow. Make sure that competitor analysis is a regular and important part of your business, because competitive analysis is crucial for the search engines to achieve their goals. And when your goals align with the search engines everyone wins.

Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) important?

Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) important?

The search engine industry has always been customer-driven – whoever finds the best answer fastest wins. Before Google, the best answer was defined by the highest bidding marketer who often cared more about profit than the consumer. Consumers didn’t like that, but their feelings didn’t seem to matter much.

Google changed the game by defining the best answer from the consumer’s point of view, not the marketers. By carefully assessing how happy online searchers are with the answers they get, the search engines have become modern marvels.

Modern search engines measure customer satisfaction as a quality burden that all players must satisfy; business owners, online marketers and the search engines. And that is the key. By aligning goals with the search engines everyone wins.

We believe in the inbound marketing concept of creating, optimizing, and promoting content. But online marketers and business owners are badly misunderstanding the role of optimization. Optimizing is the complicated process of matching the needs of online searchers, the search engines and your best solution – faster, easier and better than your competitors.

Optimization is your response to the quality demands of your online visitors. It is your ability to understand your visitors, anticipate their needs, and dazzle them with your solutions, your delivery, and ultimately your brand. This is a constant alignment of your online presence, your brand, your online visitors and the search engines. This is a complicated dance performed at algorithmic speeds driven by customer satisfaction and the competition.

Crystal Clear SEO  is part of automation and part brand optimization strategies that lead to better branding. We put the focus on your online traffic by making the connection between user experience, actual on page behaviors,  and your best solution. This constant analysis combines with lightning-fast adjustments to the site; including content, offers and personalization all to satisfy both the consumer and the search engines need to provide the best answers in the fastest time.

In the model of create, optimize and promote content – optimization creates the emotional connection to your company’s brand promise. The best branding is triggered by a visual or auditory stimulus that bypasses thought and leads to an immediate emotional response. We love branding because brands communicate faster and easier than thought. And we know everyone loves faster and easier – especially the search engines.

Improve your Website Traffic & User Experience

Improve your Website Traffic & User Experience

A Webpage needs to communicate the advantages of a business’ products and/or services in the best way possible. These days the first meeting with your company happens online and unsupervised. There is no salesperson or owner to listen to the customer and then qualify them as a prospect and address their specific needs. It is often noted that many Websites become another chore to get done and end up being a jumbled mess of boring content that only the marketing department finds interesting. Then people wonder why they are unable to bring visitors to their site, keep them and convert them into customers. Successful online marketing tries to create ‘experiences’ for the users. They pull people in by playing to emotions that move the readers to action and use real life examples to explain their benefits and to justify their value. In order to be successful websites are becoming a complete experience that for all the different prospect types that come to visit. They use text, videos, images, info-graphics, links so that it becomes difficult for the user to leave that experience behind and move to something better. This is also known as website flow, where a reader simply keeps on flowing from one click to the other. This can only happen when you are keeping the interests of the reader alive. It is also known as ‘interactive storytelling’ a new internet concept that is based on effective click by click unveiling of a different experience to the user which is all controlled or themed on a single thread. The AIDA model can help us in understanding this concept better. It focuses on four basic principles:

Attention- how will you grab his attention to that he stays on your page? 0
Interest- what information will you provide the users so that they get interested in your site? 0
Desire- what is so special about your page that will make the user buy or develop deeper interest in your ideas, products or services? 0
Action- what will be your call-to-action? 0

These 4 concepts are often sidelined by the online entrepreneurs and they end up messing up their landing pages. However, learning the basic concepts of communication can be a very tricky task and you might want to know about a simpler, easier and more ‘practical’ way to apply these theories in your websites, especially your landing pages. Here is all that you will have to do in order to get the best results and create a great website flow that really matters to your audience. Moreover, these methods will be enough to drive the user from Attention to Action. Have a look at what all you can do. Use Images Don’t be afraid of using large images and banners on your websites. The internet is a very visual place and the more interesting images you will be able to add to your website, the better impression you will be able to create. Almost every website that is able to ‘engage’ their users and grab their attention uses images to attract the users. They might not be as interested to learn what you have to say in black and white print. However, they will definitely have to pause for a moment and look at what the picture is all about. The best way of grabbing user attention is to use images of people who look like your potential customers. The users are able to relate to your business in this way and they definitely stop and wait for something more. As a result, the first concept of the AIDA model i.e. Attention, is fulfilled here. You will likely be using a combination of the right pose, the right direction of gaze, the expression on their face, their body language and the overall composition of the image to get the right results. A warm gaze that comes with a more welcoming body language is always preferred over people sitting idle with plastic smiles. Red Flag– don’t ever use rotating images. They always send users away. Create a path for the eye Now, you need to work upon the ‘Interest and Desire’ part of idea. You need to create a path that can be followed by your users. You can include elements of visual storytelling where each part leads to the other and creates more interest for the users. For doing this, you can use arrows, pointers and even hand drawings. You can compare it with a mind map. It is a flow chart that helps you in going through a series of little steps that will lead towards the big goal. Make sure not to make too much eye movement. If one of the arrows lead to the left on one page and on the right on the very next page, the user will definitely get irritated. Make his eyes move only in one direction and unfold your story step by step. Stopping the eyes Now that the story is over, you need to work on the ‘Action’ concept. Stop the flow, make the eyes to stop and pause on a single call to action. Use the principles of photographic composition used in the first step to catch their attention. Let them fixate on your calls to action. If you have built a strong path, they will likely respond positively to the calls to action. Maintain a balance and also make sure that your calls to action button is big, bold and visible. Follow these concepts and convert more leads into sales.

SEO by searching for the right Answer -Crystal Clear SEO

To Improve SEO Ranking Just Answer The Question

Improve SEO Ranking

Search engine ranking is critical to your online marketing, but Search Engine Optimization is an ever-changing discipline. This is not about gimmicks; it is about process, consistency and longevity. We have found that aligning with the search engines is a great way to achieve competition killing results. We have coined a name for it; Search Answer Optimization (SAO).

All the search engines have customers who simply want answers to questions. The search engines want to serve up any website that has proven they can answer questions fastest on the searchers first try. What answers can you provide? What questions are being asked of your product and/or service? This is deeper than long or short tail keywords. It also involves your site architecture, the behavior of visitors to your site, and the authority you wield in your industry.

If you want to improve your ranking, then start with your keywords and play the reverse Jeopardy game. Turn your keywords into questions that must be answered to the satisfaction of online searchers. Take the keyword “jump starter” for instance and brainstorm some immediate questions: Cheapest jump starter? Portable jump starter? Safest jump starter? Available jump starter? Jump starter in stock? Easiest jump starter? Etc…. Now which of these questions does your product answer? Which identifies product attributes that you want to answer? Would you rather be in the business selling cheapest jump starter or the safest jump starter. Make sure your product’s attributes align with the questions you want to be the answer for.

Safest beats cheapest for purposes of this discussion, there is more value to provide in being safest. So now we build content that speaks to safety. We promote and optimize for the question; Safest jump starter. We align our on-page, content and social media around that answer. The result is much better ranking for that keyword: safest jump starter. The search engines are happy because we can provide a fast accurate answer to the searchers question. The searcher is happy because they found lots of information related to safety and jump starting. And the merchant is happy because they are ranked higher than the competition and they have more website visitors and conversions than before. That is what we call Search Answer Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization -Crystal Clear SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization?

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Yesterday someone asked me what the acronym SEO means. I was a little surprised that there are people who still don’t know. It is Search Engine Optimization – The process of getting found by the search engines in response to a search term being entered into Google, Bing or whatever search algorithm. It is the constantly changing and unknowable techniques to rank your online content higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Once upon a time, Google introduced a way to organize search results in a hierarchy based on inbound links to content. Google discovered that the number and quality of links worked like votes for the best content. The public fell in love with search results that seemed almost magical in how relevant they could be. Marketers wanted to pay Google for higher SERP placement, and Google said no. The integrity of their search results and happy searchers was more important than selling placement. Google then offered up Adwords which provided an online auction approach to selling the most popular search terms or keywords. They made a ton of money without compromising the magical feeling provided by their search algorithm. Google did a great thing by clearly noting that some results are paid-for ads and some results are unpaid organic algorithmic responses. Most searchers rely on organic results, and most marketers highly covet those organic results.

The search engine algorithm is ever-changing. Where inbound links from high authority sources used to be everything for ranking, the search engines discovered some marketers were “gaming the system” through manipulating links. Google has done a brilliant thing lately, instead of picking a million fights with the marketing world Google now just wants to serve their searchers. If a company can answer questions quickly and accurately then Google will serve their sites up to searchers, period. What are you doing to align with Google’s goal?

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