When rude is polite, secret to SEO and the future of marketing
I know you don't have much time for marketing so I'll make this quick!
1. Secret to SEOI’ve been doing SEO since before it had a name. In the early 2000s, there were some tricks you could use to move up the search engine rankings. But as Google became ubiquitous, it became clear that the main way to ensure a good ranking was creating great content that people would want to link to. In other words, the secret to SEO is there isn’t one. Just do a good website. This recent article from Search Engine Journal explains this in more detail. The next time an SEO “guru” is blinding you with science, remember that unless you have relevant content to the people you want to reach, no amount of technical tricks will help you.
2. When rude is politeI hate it when a marketer or salesperson I’ve never met is overly familiar. Like this kind of drivel: “Hey Matt, hope you had a great weekend. I see you work with accountants. That’s cool - I met an accountant once…”. You get the idea. I don’t need to be friends with suppliers - I just need to want what they’re selling. If you want to sell to me, do your research and make a simple offer. The simpler the better. In fact downright blunt is best as time is my most precious resource as it is for most business owners. Given target audience is mostly business owners, consider making your marketing direct too. What might seem like niceties are really fluff that waste a reader's time and weaken your offer. Being direct also conveys confidence and people buy into that. It might seem rude but it's actually polite.
3. Uncreative marketingThis week I signed a massive partnership, several years in the making, which I will let you know more about soon. It made me think about what people think marketing is versus what it actually is. In my experience, people fixate on the creative output of marketing. Stuff like social media posts, adverts and copywriting. No doubt this stuff is important yet I know of several firms who you’d think had incredible businesses based on their socials. In reality they have a handful of clients and aren’t making much money. In contrast, some of the most leveraged marketing is through partnership deals. For Bizink, that’s about selling products. For accounting firms, partnerships with lawyers, coaches, industry bodies and the like can deliver them a constant stream of quality clients. There’s nothing to see externally with this type of marketing. Often, the firms and partners deliberately keep the details hidden. Yet it can generate amazing results. Not all marketing is creative. Ultimately, the purpose of marketing is to win and retain clients. Negotiating partnership agreements isn’t a whole lot of fun (especially when the lawyers get involved!) and doesn’t look cool to outsiders. But if it means dollars in the bank, then it’s great marketing.
4. Duplicate content mythAt least once a week, I get asked about the Google “duplicate content penalty”. This is a myth spread, I think, by search engine “experts” that Google will exile your site if it had any duplicate content on it. Have you heard it too? If so, check out this article which includes a video from Google’s ex-head of search Matt Cutts saying it’s false. As Cutts says, most of the internet is duplicate content (think social media) so why would they penalise it. I can also confidently say that even though we give some of the same content to many of our clients, we have hundreds of them ranking on the first page of Google for their key search phrases. It’s interesting how these myths are so persistent. Here’s a webinar from a couple of years ago where I bust this SEO myth and eleven others.
5. What’s the future of marketing?I guested on a podcast this week where I was asked what’s the future of marketing. My answer to this question is always twofold:
- I don’t know and everybody who says they do is guessing
- It doesn’t matter because the present (and past!) of marketing still works - yet most people don’t make a great fist of it