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Jonathan Wickham: SEO 2.0 (Why You Should Immediately Hire An Inbound Marketing Agency)

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You should immediately hire and inbound marketing agency.

SEO has gotten such a bad name, industry experts like Moz (formerly SEOMoz), and copyblogger are officially distancing themselves from it. Specifically,

  • SEOMoz completely revamped their brand and dropped all ‘SEO’ messaging while replacing it with ‘inbound marketing’ (even changing SEOMoz to just MOZ)
  • Copyblogger (blogging, copywriting, and internet marketing long-time experts) recently got so fed up with the term SEO that they developed a completely new one of their own.

So SEO (as we used to think of it) is on the way out.

Is that a bad thing for you? Well, it depends.

If you’re one of those companies who love to make fools out of their customers, by making heavy promises against even heavier payments and then deliver nothing, then YES! – It’s bad news for you.

Because you can no longer get cheap search engine traffic by using low quality links, submitting crappy posts to article directories, spamming on forums and leaving comments on every blog.

That doesn’t work anymore. And frankly, that is what your SEO agency has been doing over the years.

But if you’re a genuine company that is committed to serving its customers and providing real value through high quality products and services, then nothing could be better for you than the painful death of conventional SEO.

Sorry, But How Exactly Did SEO Die?
Well, if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s quite a painful story full of betrayal and broken hearts.

There was a time when Google wasn’t that smart and SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and link building worked better than anything else to win search rankings. But Google has grown up gradually of course. Since 2010, Google has been releasing regular updates to its search engine algorithms. It has slowly tightened the screw on the quality of its search results.

By the end of 2012 we witnessed basically all keyword stuffing and link building tactics not only not working, but actually getting site’s slammed with penalties.

Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird etc. were parts of the same series of algorithm updates that aimed at refining the quality of search results Google Search shows in response to any search query.

As things stand today, Google has developed a comprehensive mechanism and criteria to identify high quality websites that hold real value for the users.

Inbound Marketing – The New Name of the Game
The (near) death of conventional SEO has given way to a much more sophisticated, sensible and conventional form of online marketing called inbound marketing. It has been around for a while, but its true effectiveness has gotten a spotlight due to it’s algorithm proof SEO results.

Google now considers a number of factors before ranking a particular website high in search results. These factors include the overall structure of the website, the keywords used, the quality of its backlinks (yes, not the count only), social media signals, brand image, author rank and many others.

Now, if you have real expertise in your industry and know what you’re talking about, then inbound marketing will really make you shine. You can no longer be kept down by keyword spammers just because you couldn’t beat them in the number of backlinks.

Google is now valuing expertise. It’s now valuing brands. And it’s now valuing the true essence of marketing.

Global brands like Coca Cola, Cisco, Dell, Verizon and many others are already doing it. Similarly, tech companies such as KISS Metrics and Buffer have solid inbound marketing strategies.

It’s just something that you can no longer ignore if you’re serious about your marketing efforts.

Why You Need an Inbound Marketing Agency To Help You
Just because Google is now valuing expertise doesn’t mean it will automatically find you as well.

You still need to know the right ways of differentiating yourself from the crowd and help Google realize that you’re someone who can really help people with high quality and actionable advice.

This is where you need an inbound marketing agency to help you.

They won’t make things up by themselves (something SEO agencies used to do) but they will work with you in creating the right type of content that can effectively help your target market in solving their problems.

Inbound marketing works on the basic principles of branding. The strength of your brand is directly proportional to the number and quality of customers you can attract.

If you have the expertise, you need to show them to your potential customers. You need to place yourself intelligently among your competitors as someone who knows the ins and outs of your industry and knows how to resolve even the most challenging issues that your target market is facing.

You do that by developing a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy that involves effective usage of blog content, email marketing, fundamentals of SEO, eBooks, whitepapers, guest blogging, podcasts, video marketing and an engaging and vibrant social media presence.

There’s just so much more to do now!

Once you have the trust of your target market, making sales will not be an issue.

But without a 360 degree approach to marketing, it’s almost impossible to elevate your brand above your competitors. And this is where an inbound marketing agency can work wonders for you.

Conclusion
With so much noise out there on the internet, the only thing that can win you the trust of your target market is your brand image.
And Google knows that.

That’s why it is increasingly valuing expertise and brand image in determining the search rankings of a website. If you’re a genuine company with deep knowledge of your industry, the only thing you need in order to stand out in the eyes of Google and your target customers, is a solid inbound marketing strategy.

Once you have that in place, no substandard company can ever beat you to your customers.

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