The Relevancy Regulators
By James Atkinson, LLB
SEO Basics: To reap profits from the vast number of prospects searching on search engines and social networks, you must be prepared to play by the rules.
Social norms that work offline are no less strong online. For example, if you go to a cinema you are expected to follow the rules of that business and the expectations of the patrons. That is, you pay to get in and you don’t make a noise during the movie.
There are rules and conventions made by search engines and social networks that you must follow - and if you’re ignorant of the rules you’re expected to LEARN them.
The next image illustrates how searchers and sellers are separated by a very strong barrier put up by search engines, social, and PR / Media networks:
It’s simple. To get past the red barrier created by search engines and social networks you must follow the rules set up by those entities! I'll explain more about relevance and how you get past the red barrier further into this series of articles.
Without search engine and social network traffic, the only contact your prospects have to your sales material or sales letters will be through Pay-per-Click ads you place on the search engines – usually an expensive option.
If you don’t follow the conventions, your content and social network efforts will not be seen by searchers. It would be as if your web site is a small rock under a large bolder in the middle of the Sahara desert. No one will find you!
So, if you want to tap into the millions of searchers in your market you’ll find yourself in the Relevancy Regulators’ playground - and they expect you to play by their rules.
If you’re not relevant to searchers’ quests for information and connection you simply won’t compute in their estimation. For example, Google will put you in its data bank but you won’t rank high. Google doesn’t care whether you’re number 1 or 8 or 11,220,876 in their rankings.
If you’re relevant by their standards, you will rank. If you’re not relevant, you won’t.
And with regard to relevancy, traditional direct response marketing methods such as overt sales pitches don’t generally work on social networks – where, if you use these methods, you won’t make sales, and you could damage your online ‘social’ reputation. On social and PR / Media networks, people want transparency, connection, and relevant information.
If you provide these things in the right way, you will gain the most powerful asset social networks can deliver: an engaged community of trusting followers who enjoy your content and actively spread it to the farthest reaches of the social media landscape.
This creates an ongoing ripple effect of ever-increasing influence, prominence, and authority within your market.
Search Engine, Social Networks, PPC, & PR/ Media Synergies
Over the last half decade, the search engines have made major algorithm changes in their quest for relevance. For ranking purposes: organic rankings, social networking, and PPC were quite separate processes. Now, all three are interdependent.
In addition, the vast Online PR Media also contributes to the synergies: Synergy means getting a greater result from the whole than each of the parts acting separately.
When you design your marketing strategy to work in all four major traffic channels together, you take advantage of the search engine new synergistic algorithms. You’ll achieve bigger and better results than if you only used just one of them.
Thus, in order to win the relevancy wars, follow the rules of each of the requisite media and you’ll gain prominent positions in the search listings and social networks and lower costs in PPC.
Using these four traffic sources together strengthens your position in each: social networks and the PR / Media are good for high organic rankings which in turn is good for your social and PR rankings, and for your PPC ads which cost less with higher relevance. Each reinforces the other.
Before I discuss how to create 'relevancy' let's look at what Google and the other search engines want and why SEO is important.
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