Search Engine Optimization: the customer is king, and content is key
I recently attended a workshop about Search Engine Optimization and the acquisition of new customers. It was led by Dr. Thorsten Schwarz, the founder of ABSOLIT Consulting and a highly sought-after speaker.
In this blogpost I'd like to share some of the key takeaways from the workshop. The main topics it covered were as follows:
- General introduction and changes in media usage
- Introduction round and expectations of the attendees
- How to measure the performance of the marketing activities
- How to generate leads with your online content
- Search Engine Advertising and Search Engine Optimization
- Significance of the Social Web
So let's dive deeper into some of these topics.
Changes in media usage – your homepage should be the focal point of all marketing activities
Thorsten Schwarz began by highlighting the growing importance of the online market: In light of changing media use, your website needs to be the focal point of all your marketing activities. After all, online marketing offers one major advantage: it lets you actually measure the effectiveness of your multichannel marketing activities.
Landing Pages – measure the effectiveness of your multichannel marketing campaigns
John Wanamaker’s famous remark, "I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half!" is losing some of its significance. Today, online marketing enables you to pinpoint which of your campaigns produces the most traffic, attention, and new customers. It’s vital to have several landing pages for each campaign.
An effective landing page should feature at least the following:
- Clear and concise design – make it clear at a glance what the page is about
- Certification or testimonial – build trust and persuade your customers to choose you
- Call-to-action – offer benefits to members of your target group with a strong call-to-action
For further details, visit The anatomy of a perfect landing page.
How can I measure my success?
Measuring effectiveness is now relatively easy, but it’s much harder to find the right tool for the job. Besides the industry leader, Google Analytics, there are many other tools that let you track and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Take Alexa, for example: an analytics tool for any website. The free version provides some basic reports, while signing up for a commercial pro account will give you more detailed statistics. But there is a wealth of other tools worth looking into, like : Searchmetrics, Xovi, or Onpage.org. The list is long, and every tool has its pros and cons.
Create valuable, sustainable content for your target group
After briefly introducing Search Engine Advertising and Search Engine Optimization, Thorsten Schwarz went on to stress one of the basic rules of content marketing: the need to create valuable content for your target group rather than attempting to trick the search engines. Their algorithms change constantly, but your content can have a long-term impact.
For example, microsites on current topics of interest have never been more important. Not only do they offer added value to your customers and prospects, but they also generate traffic and so have a major influence on your Google ranking.
Thorsten Schwarz also emphasized this important rule: Genuinely useful content, which increases the length of stay on your page, yields better result than any merely technical SEO, whether on- or off-page optimization. In other words, your website may be first class in terms of SEO, but if your content is of no real value to your target group, it will not produce the results you were hoping for.
Google+ – the neglected social network
We all know that social media channels are a great tool for spreading the word about your company and interacting with customers directly. Facebook and Twitter are part of every marketing department’s standard repertoire. But according to Thorsten Schwarz, there's another social network that's less commonly used than Facebook but has a much greater impact on the Google ranking: Google+.
The more active you are on Google's very own social network, the better your search results will become. Why not start right now and share this blogpost on Google+, for example?