there is no field of dreams
There is no field of dreams on the internet!

During my morning reading, I came across an interesting post by Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative linking to a post by ContentMarketing.io:

The biggest problem people face when it comes to social media is they don’t know what direction to follow — there are many things to do. They need to connect with new people, share fresh content, share other people’s content, develop editorial calendars and even build relationships with influencers.

That’s exactly why I decided to reach out to 36 experts and ask them the following question:

If you could only do 3 social media marketing activities for the rest of your life, what 3 activities would you do?

I just wanted to know plain and simple which activities I must really do in order to get results.

Go to the source for more: 36 Experts Share 3 Social Media Activities That Work

I applaud this kind of thinking — my motto is ‘things must be made as simple as possible but no simpler’ — and I highly recommend the article. There are a lot of interesting ideas from some of the world’s top thinkers that I guarantee will stimulate some thinking on your part as it did on mine. Many of the answers are based on what I consider to be good, old-fashioned internet common sense and it’s interesting to see what pros shared which ones as their top priorities. What surprised me most, however, is that only one pro out of 36 even mentioned what I consider to be the single most important activity of all – search engine optimization [seo]. Either these experts consider seo so fundamental that it’s not worth a mention or they are expressing a bias common on the internet – namely, “if you build it they will come” – what I call the ‘Field of Dreams mentality’. As Google continues to hone its search algorithm, however, ‘speaking seo’ should be a primary skillset for anyone who hopes to get found by a potential customer on the internet and we can’t ignore it any longer.

My 3 most important digital marketing activities

I have been engaged in blogging and social media since the early days. I have created multiple blogs on a wide variety of topics. 10 years ago it was easy to get tons of traffic simply by quoting and curating other people’s content. These days, however, Google is on a mission to find and ferret out the best original content on the internet and serve it up to their search customers. If you want to show up as one of the lucky few on the first page of search, you must understand what Google is looking for and communicate in a way that they expect. Getting found starts with search engine optimization…

Search engine optimization

What does this really mean? To me seo means understanding the culture and language of Google and communicating in a way that the Googlebots understand using tools and tactics that Google provides and recommends. Take this for example; one of my favorite pubs in the world is the Josef Früh Brewery in Cologne. If you followed the link, though, you’ll see the website is in German. If you go to the pub, you’ll find the menu is in German too. I speak German so this is not an issue for me. If you want to get what you want from Josef Früh Brewery it’s a good idea to understand the culture and language used there. It’s the same on the internet — if you want to get found, you have to understand the culture and language of Google!
Good seo starts with using a platform that is known for seo like self-hosted WordPress and it continues with being mindful of technical seo, on-page seo and off-page seo as you go about publishing content. Do it right from the start. If you don’t understand what that means, ask for help!

Content marketing including blogging and other content production

Once you have a platform that meets Google’s standards, start producing evergreen content that attracts people to your site and retains their attention. There are many media at your disposal, but the most effective one is still the written word. Video may be more compelling but Google is not able to ‘understand’ video so if you choose that route, you still have to provide a written transcript if you hope to get found based on your content.
The classic question in content marketing is do you write for your reader or for Google and the classic answer is YES. Writing content that appeals to both Google and your readers is easy if you use a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO. I talk you through it in the following screencast.

Finding and sharing great information

Finally, the last of my 3 most important activities is finding and sharing great information and using that information to engage with others on the internet. To do this, I use social networking tools like Facebook Pages, Google+ and Twitter to track the sites, searches, sources and someday maybe information I need to continue to maintain expert status in my world. My secret weapon if you will is a tool called Inoreader that does all this for me in one application that is available on desktop and mobile devices giving me everything in one application.

What now?

Read what the experts say and consider my perspective. If you agree that this approach makes sense, start by taking my Free SEO Audit to determine the ‘google health’ of your website. Whether you’re interested in further advice from me on how to write for Google search or not, knowing your site is error-free and clearly understood by Google is the first step in any search campaign.

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