Digital marketing, also known as Internet marketing, is often defined by its dynamic nature. It is fast paced, exciting, and constantly evolving as the search engines tweak their algorithms to create the best possible experience for users. Search engines have a clear goal of providing web users with search results that are relevant, up to date, and of the best possible quality. To this end, Google (the market leader in search) has released a series of updates to their software. In 2011, Google released updates dubbed “Panda” with a primary focus on keyword density. Keyword stuffers saw their search results plummet. Then came “Penguin” in 2012. Websites with hundreds of irrelevant backlinks resulted in…you guessed it…falling search results. In 2013 Google released “Hummingbird”. Hummingbird, for the most part, focused on content developed for the human reader. This means content should be fresh, relevant, and of the highest possible quality. As a result sites with poorly developed content that is over optimized for search engines were banished to the depths of search results as well. Millions of websites have been affected, but there were survivors and even those who benefited from the updates. Now, more recently we have seen changes to the Google algorithms that place a high emphasis on mobile readiness and/or responsive design.
Digital Marketing – the right way
Developing an effective internet marketing strategy that is likely to be safe from future search engine updates is just like developing anything else – focus on quality and do not cut corners. Your strategy should rest on three integral components of Internet marketing:
- Organic Marketing (SEO & SEM)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
These components can be broken down further to include:
- Email Marketing
- Lead Generation
- PPC Campaigns
- Conversion Optimization and Analytics
Again, do not cut corners. Practices like keyword stuffing, very aggressive and/or automated backlinking strategies, automated content that is over optimized for search engine robots…may work in the short-term, but it is likely that Google and the other search engines will eventually update and take away any gain they may offer. Web sites that implemented these strategies saw their rankings fall in the past and if they continue to use similar techniques in the future it will happen again. These practices are known as black-hat for a reason and should be regarded as a risky endeavor when applied to a business web presence.
What else is New in Digital Marketing?
Another key aspect of Hummingbird is deeper integration of Google Places in search results. Google tries to match relevant local businesses to search terms and phrases. The idea being that if a person enters the search term “plumber” there is a high probably the person is looking for a plumber. Google and the other search engines want to accommodate this and suggest several relevant local businesses to the searcher. This is a big deal for local business as it provides an opportunity to rank well locally for really competitive keywords and phrases. Once again the internet can be leveraged for growth and profits. Are you leveraging the power of the Internet in your Internet marketing strategy?