Don’t Spam, Dominate – Part 2

Dominate: ‘Inbound Marketing’ and SEO

While the previous article discussed how you can avoid the potential mistakes of optimising your search engine results to suit obsolete algorithms, the following is an article describing the development of SEO companies from the single-track search-engine optimisation industry it once was to the SEO company’s versatile modern incarnation: the ‘inbound marketing company’.

‘Inbound Marketing’ is a relatively new term used to distinguish and dichotomise marketing into two fields: Inbound Marketing (content marketing, which attracts the audience to your site based on what it has to offer them for free) and ‘Outbound Marketing’ (which is the process of directly marketing to your audience through paid advertising, cold calls etc – advertising the services you are selling at the expense of large overheads). It is the relatively great expense of traditional, ‘outbound marketing’ techniques combined with the attractiveness of content to the general public and positive image that content production fosters.

Many SEO companies are changing their names based on this new term ‘Inbound Marketing’, as they offer services beyond search-engine-optimisation itself. This emphasises the importance of quality content more than ever before, as the duality between the two suggests that ‘Inbound Marketing’ is effective in the present while ‘Outbound Marketing’ may become something of a relic from the past.

Inbound Marketing has distinct advantages against outbound in comparison and so it is not surprising that there has been a paradigm shift in the business world towards it from traditional methods. Today’s audience is of course constantly connected (to the internet) and just like in real life, you need to present what you have to offer to your customer in real time – a great way to do this is to create content: it shows your potential clients that you know what you are talking about, and you have so much to offer that you are willing to give a little bit of that expertise out for free.

Inbound marketing also has its advantages in that communication and information access is more of a two way thing: people can leave replies on companies Facebook pages, find out information about your company and more when the focus of marketing is to draw them in to your world of content and social-media engagement – this all helps your audience feel that there is a level of trust between you and them as opposed to a cold call, in which the potential customer has to take the words of the sales executive at face value and with a greater level of immediacy. Before there was such a mainstream connectivity to the internet this may have been a great way to get sales, but in the modern-era, people are more likely to say ‘no’ in that short time they have to decide rather than ‘yes’.

Rather than distinguishing what has come to be known as ‘SEO’ from the more recent phenomenon of ‘Inbound Marketing’, the term ‘Inbound Marketing’ is more reasonably explainable as a term which describes what SEO has become, as well as all the changes that have occurred as a result of developments and change in the industry over the past decade and a half. Inbound Marketing has the aforementioned purpose of distinguishing old tactics in marketing (outbound marketing) from the new. More importantly it distinguishes old tactics in SEO marketing from new techniques, thus representing how it has also evolved.

The algorithms that search engines use to process, sort and compare information are constantly changing to the extent that modern optimisation barely resembles the tactics that used to work. These past tactics also hold negative connotations especially when compared to today. Tactics such as spam/self-linking on other peoples blogs, email spamming, and manipulating and exploiting the way existing systems work are not only unethical, but they do not result in better rankings any-more making them completely redundant.

Cutting-edge SEO companies, such as Mintcandy, are those that take into account all of the changing factors that search engines base their rankings on: usage data, brand signals etc and stays up to date with the changes and developments to the major search engine providers algorithms.

This ultimately means that the operations and responsibilities of SEO companies are expanded from their namesake, ‘search-engine-optimisation’ to cover a greater range of content-based marketing, thus influencing more aspects of the clients’ business and marketing operations.

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