Guest post by Chris Abraham, Digital Strategist at Gerris Corp.
Google Penguin and Panda have changed the face of search forever.
Google is severely penalizing sites that are buying links or are invested in private blog networks. Sites that have dominated search in the recent past are being penalized or de-indexed, going from the first page to page twenty or being removed completely, stripping many eCommerce sites of revenue.
Site Optimization: There is a lot more to this now than just keyword research and writing good content. You also have to learn how to do internal linking, keyword research, Google Analytics and Google/Bing Webmaster Tools integration, integration of Sitemaps, structured data, title and description rewriting and organization, image ALT tag development, site submission, and content recommendation development strategies, etc.
Social Media Strategy for Social Signals: Google tends to spend most of its attention on sites that are constantly changing and updating. Social content is one way to keep your site alive and fresh. Platforms like Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites, are essential. In addition to editorial “blog” content and social media content, consider developing content on the maddafella.com domain.
Authentic, Organic, Inbound Linking: Content marketing is an essential part of developing a strong organic search reputation online. It must be unassailable, and completely white-hat instead of attempting to trick Google. That doesn’t work anymore – and will work less and less going forward.
Influencer Outreach: Google wants to know that you, the site owners and employees, and your community, your prospects, current, and past customers, are engaged in the success of the business. Instead of spending time, talent, and treasure on automated systems, advertising, link-buying, and savvy inbound marketing programs, concentrate on generating community engagement.
Bloggers: while they may no longer be the only rulers of the digital kingdom, bloggers offer a lot of bang for the buck because not only do they have a lot of SEO mojo associated with their blogs, they tend to be shameless self-promoters and minor deities themselves. If you’re able to woo them with your message or pitch, they’ll spend an inordinate amount of their own sweat-equity promoting their own content across their own social media platforms and profiles — including cross-posting onto LinkedIn, Medium, and other aggregator sites like Business2Community, Google News, and Yahoo! Do it! It’s worth it!
Editorial Writing: A lot of my friends have serious success when it comes to writing for Fast Company, Inc, Business Insider, Huffington Post, AdAge, and all that — if you have the juice to command it. If you’re not already a known entity, you had better start off writing in earnest for your own blog or on sites such as Medium and LinkedIn.
Article Cross-Posting: One of the best things you can do, after you start producing content (for brand promotion, not SEO) is to do a little strategic cross posting. I think you should start with Medium andLinkedin.
Message Boards and Forums: Only do this if you’re already someone who loves and uses message boards. Forums take a long, persistent ride — a commitment to becoming part of a longer-term conversation, to become a member of the community. PS: this is the year of the message board!
You need to start now. Shift the money you’re wasting on SEO and advertising and spend it on setting up your other world, your social media doppelgänger, your social media shadow. If you don’t have the talent to do this in-house, find a talented digital PR agency to help you.