SEO – It’s About Inbound Marketing!

by Christi on March 21, 2011

Unlike the early days of the internet, today’s SEO is about inbound marketing.

In the early days of the internet, SEO was about keyword stuffing and sex. Let me explain. In those early days, search engines used the “keyword” meta-tag to determine what a web page was about. Most marketers at that time were “old school” marketers (i.e. they used interruption or outbound marketing techniques).

outbound marketingInterruption marketing is more commonly known as advertising. It is where an advertiser finds an activity in which a large group of potential customers are participating (such as watching a TV show or listening to a radio station) and decides to interrupt (they call it sponsorship) that activity with their advertisement. They do this in the hope that someone who is participating in said activity will see or hear their advertisement and be enticed to buy their product or service.

When those marketers (or advertisers) moved to the internet, they used the same interruption marketing techniques. And since “sex” was the most searched word on the internet (i.e. an activity with a lot of potential customers, maybe), and since search engines used the “keyword” meta-tag to determine what a web page was about, these marketers put it in the “keyword” meta-tags of all sorts of sites. It didn’t matter if the website was about insurance or automobiles. They put did this in the hope that someone searching for “sex” on the internet would land on their website. And, after landing on their website would be so enticed by it that they would forget what they were searching for and decide to buy an insurance policy or whatever the site was selling.

Google understood that it needed to return relevant results to searchers, not irrelevant advertising. Over the years Google has evolved its algorithms to rely less and less on the “keyword” meta-tag and more on page content and connectedness. In fact, today Google no longer uses the “keyword” meta-tag to determine search results. It uses page content, links to the page, page connectedness to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, etc., and other variables Google keeps secret.

inbound marketingSo today, SEO involves a lot more than just filling in the “keyword” meta-tag for your web pages. In fact, it doesn’t involve the “keyword” meta-tag at all. Today’s SEO is about “inbound” or permission marketing. You must provide relevant content on your website and social media sites. This content will serve as a magnet to potential customers who are searching for what you have to offer. Don’t bait and switch. Present yourself as an expert in your field. Start a blog.

You can compare getting found on the internet with the lottery or trotline fishing. Using the lottery comparison, your web pages are like lottery tickets – the more you have, the better your chance of winning. Using the trotline fishing analogy, your web pages are like baited hooks on a trotline – the more hooks you have with the right bait, the better your chance of catching fish. So increase your number of web pages and bait them with good content!

Key takeaways:

  • Search Engine Optimization continues to evolve.
  • Content and social connectedness are more important than ever.

Next Steps:

Download our free SEO 101 eBook to learn more.

SEO 101 eBook

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