Build a site that Users want to use
I think that the best example of this is going to be moz.com (also an amazing resource for learning all about SEO and digital marketing). This is a site that gives its entire breadth of knowledge away for free. Yes, they will tell you, in very fine detail what they do, how they do it and how you can do it as well.
But wait, I hear you say, how can they do that and still run a viable business that turned over $20 million in 2012? They made a site that users want to use. They are a SEO agency based in the US and they have made an empire, and an amazing industry reputation out of giving away knowledge of what they know intimately for free. Their twist? They created tools that SEO professionals can use in their job, oh and they also get hired by the biggest names in the corporate world because they know what they are doing? How do their customers know that Moz know what they are doing? Because they created a site that users want to use and they are rewarded for it.
Don’t be afraid to give away your knowledge, give it away with no intent of return and you will be rewarded. The better the knowledge and more you communicate, the more reward you will get from Google. It’s kind of that simple.
Create a conversation around your site:
Lets start with this fact first, there are more social media’s out there than Facebook. A social site, Reddit.com has at last count 69 million users from around the world. That is a LOT of potential visitors and a lot of potential conversations to be had about your offer, BUT, the most important thing you can remember when trying to make a conversation is DO. NOT. SELL.
Think about it like this, if you’re out for a drink with friends, having a good time and some random person comes up to you and the first thing they say is “Hey, I have this awesome widget, you should buy it” what would you think? Would you just blindly go, yeah sure? Or would you look at them in disgust and just spend the night ignoring them as they constantly try to push their “awesome” widget into your face all night? Not so cool right?
Social conversation is exactly the same, and I mean exactly the same. Think about how you would start a conversation with someone, you might tell a joke, or if you see that they are trying to decide on something, offer some advice right? Of course, you would. It’s human, it’s a nice thing to do and it’s not pushing your product into their face. Then after some time they might want to know what you do, then you tell them. If they like it and they like you, they will tell their friends. It’s pretty much that simple.
The task for any creative digital marketer is to come up with that image, article, video or whatever content you can create that is something that they would want to tell their friends about. Let’s take the widget analogy that little step further, you have a conversation, it goes well then they ask, what you do. You say “well, I make widgets, which are pretty dull, but I have this hobby of making little costumes for my widgets and making little re-enactments of famous movie scenes with them”. It’s dopey I know, but, it’s something that people will share, it’s interesting, maybe a little funny and above all… it’s not selling.
As simple as that you have created a conversation about your widgets, just by being a little creative and not selling. Did I say don’t sell?
Create links to your site from reputable places.
This is the hardest, but still most fundamental part to any digital marketing campaign, getting people to give you links from their site to yours. I’m going to explain a little about how Google works now, to illustrate the point. Google is like the coolest, smartest grade 6’er in school, but he is really busy, trying to give everyone the info that they need on every subject known to humanity. Google doesn’t have time to get to know every new kid who comes into the playground, so he relies on the other kids, the grade 5’ers, who he trusts, because they are also pretty cool, to point the new kids out to him.
If the kids that Google trusts say something like, “Google, this new kid, he is a little grade 1’er but, he knows a lot about property, I know that because, I like what he says and I want to share what he says with my friends, so I gave him a link from my site to his”, then Google will take that as a pretty good indication that the new kid, knows a lot about property.
It’s like a peer online social peer reviewing democracy, on the playground.
The point that I want you to take away from this article is this, Google is very smart and only wants to give users the best and most relevant, high quality information that it can, so if you make a site that is easy to use, nice to look at, full of interesting content, you’re going to get rewarded. It’s as simple as that.