Moving From SEO to SCO

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SEO to SCOSEO – Search Engine Optimization, the goal of every online marketer is to be found online.

Google helped write the rules on SEO and continues to make suggestions for marketers. It is a great framework for looking at, and evaluating websites for keyword functionability and how optimized your website is with respect to ranking on Google.

For me, in 2015 its time to think  “Bigger” and  move  from SEO and more toward SCO – Search Channel Optimization 

SCO is a better way of thinking.

The question I used to ask myself  was  “Where are people going to find our company name?”

You could spend a lot of time trying to figure our where your clients are finding your company name. I believe you need to keep asking the questions of how people are finding you, but doing actual research into this question could one, be a very long process and two, you may not get that far and you could be way off.

A much better question to ask,  “How can our company breakthrough the noise, and make it easier for people to find my site?”

This is the approach I am working on. The difference is that I am taking action and watching what is happeing. People are not spending all their time on one channel. They are looking to find your information in various ways. It is critical that we as marketers stay in tune and start to figure our more and more what is working and what is not working. Here are some general findings that I have found in 2015. Remember, you have to think differently.

  1. People connect with people  – – If you are writing content that is not written from someone’s expertise, how can you expect people to remember who is speaking and where this information is coming from. Stand out from the crowd.
  2. Make sure your content is being shared – – Shared content is essential. I am learning that good content is shared. Once your content gets shared, your name will get shared and people will want to learn more.
  3. Connect with people outside your industry – – Start looking at building an advocate network of people who know about your business and tell others. This area is growing each year. Many people have influence and if your name is brought up in conversations with other people, you will begin to see it.
  4. Typical search engine companies like Google, Microsoft-Bing and Yahoo are creating partnerships with other companes like Twitter and Linkedin. Information is getting shared across networks. Shared information is the new “marketing asset” and companies are noticing.
  5. Client service – When people find try to contact you over the web, email, phone or text.

You see, Search Channel Optimization requires more work and interaction with people because you are crossing channels and not relying mainly on programming code to obtain results. Seach Channel Optimization can be measured in the following ways:

  • New Accounts setup
  • Phone Call / Email Volume
  • New Client Projects Started/Completed  – Will need to meet client needs faster and better
  • Number of areas your message is able to penetrate
  • Number of connections your management staff is getting connected to, staying in contact with these connections

Rapid changes call for new approaches. It starts with recognizing the big picture and looking at ways to maximize the potential in these areas. There are all kinds of options, the question is training ourselves to think differently and look at things with a clear perspective. I am trying to get there and I  am reading more and more about what the future will look like. Not several years from now, but tomorrow!

Picture Source: Pixabay

 

 

 

Focus on Leadership before Marketing

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Leader MarketingI came across this article, To Be a Great Marketer, You Have to Be a Great Leader First by Jon Miller – August, 2013  This article really makes a number of great points and you will want to read it. It really serves as the basis for this article I am writing.

2015 has been a very unusual year for me. I have found myself really focusing on more than just marketing. In today’s chaotic business environment, I have found myself looking much more at a bigger picture and really looking at what its going to take to achive a much higher return.

Great companies are run by leaders who think big! It is important to learn from other leaders. Each person posesses some degree or ability to lead. Some are better than others. Do your homework and develop a set of attributes that you want to incorporate as part of your leadership traits.

  • Good listener
  • Results oriented
  • Focused on deadlines
  • Producing faster results
  • Identifying ways to become better with technology
  • Client service driven
  • Collaboration is critical

Challenge People 

Everyone needs to be challenged  and focused on a higher goal. Way too often, we get tied down to our own smaller projects and it feels like progress is very slow. When smaller projects are organized into a larger picture, it is here that people really see where the connections really are.

Respect is earned, not entitlement

Earn the respect of your management team and co-workers each day.

Always show value

Show value with a price tag. Many people have ideas on improvements, very few people can articulate the value and put a cost or savings figure along with their idea. This is where leadership comes in. Leaders truly think like business people and look for ways to maximize profits.

Continue to look for ways to improve processes

Every process can be improved to some extent. Be selective and think bigger. Take the time and really dig in and look at all steps in a process. Don’t focus on one section and put all efforts in that one area. If that is all you can do, is the change really worth it. Also, consider making a small change if you feel it can be replicated across departments.

Create content and connect more

There are some great people on Linkedin. Connect with people who share on a regular basis. Start sharing your own thoughts using the Linkedin Blogging Platform. Learn what others are thinking. (It is s a professional site) Those who use it to tell personal stories are quite obvious.

Finally, focus more on building yourself as a leader, it will help you connect with your co-workers and you will see how critical it is to build relationships. Your marketing focus will also change and you will focus more time on pursuing, building and nurturing those relationships. Leadership paired with relationship marketing is the best combination you can have.

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Networking Is More Critical in 2015

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Business PeopleHow do I connect with the right people?

I keep coming back to this crazy question. Everytime I think  I have the answer I am reminded of another area of customers I had no idea existed. In addition, I am learning that some of these customers are really connected to other companies I work with, but I had no idea how strong their connections were. Also, with the constant movement in the workplace, one customer could leave you based on the hiring of a new person, who brings his/her new connections.

I think networking is just the basics. There are multiple layers of networking and it is becoming apparent how little knowledge most of us have of the greater need to stay connected and learn more about other networking channels that are developing and forming right before our eyes.

The right people for me are those that offer the following value:

  • Strong presence in the local community
  • Executives who are willing to share their thoughts and approaches
  • Successful business people
  • Startups with great ideas, who are well connected
  • Online Professionals who perform similar work that I do.
  • Have strong industry presence
  • IT people who have the right business focus

Multi-Level Networking

The concept of “multi-level” networking is very common on Linkedin. Just perform a search of a company on Linkedin and look at all of the people who at one-time worked for that company. Now scan through the list and notice that a few of these former employees now work at another company. If you know of a company that has merged recently, this picture really comes to life.

In addition, start conducting more searches online for companies and see how their work is related to other companies outside of their own network. Typically, these alliances are very storng and have stood the test of time.

In addition, over the last few years, I have seen a big inlux of personal connections on Twitter and Linkedin. These connections are helping shape a new area of connections which I classify as advocates. These people may not directly do business with me directly, but by their association, I am earning respect in the indusrty for myself and my company.

In addition, there is another, more powerful undercurrent of consumers and clients which is helping to shape a new resurgence of “word-of-mouth” networking. A number of people have recognized strong brands in their industries and have helped spread the company message better than traditional paid advertising messages. I am not saying that paid advertising is dead, I am only saying that people usually mention referrals by people many more times than referrals by paid advertising.

Finally, don’t forget about those people who are coming to you and your website, but you really have no knowledge of who they are or what they want. There are tools for this. Hubspot works great.

How should you approach networking at your company?

DISCLAIMER: Obviousloy this is a very general statement and without knowing much about your company, I really have no business answering this question for you.  I can only tell you that I have gone back to the drawing board and I am really looking at networking a lot differently than I used to. I need to use the time allocated for networking in a more productive manner than I have in the past. Frankly, my time is too valuable. Below are some ideas to help get you started, but ultimately the answer really comes down to you making the investment in your own research and approach that works for you.

The most important step here is to get a networking plan together and decide who you want to connect with and identify the reasons for connecting.

  • Identify your audience. The more specific, the better.
    • Don’t limit yourself to a few platforms.
    • Start seeking out informaiton on the web and start a list of names and companies.
  • Look at your competition and see who they are connected to.
    • Look at company profiles on Linkedin or the Internet
    • Find people who have worked at your competitor sites and see where they work now.
    • Look at the shows and organizations they belong to.

The key is to really focus on “connections”. Networking is all about finding the right connections and making introductions.  Do your homework first by spending some time researching your “target market”. From here, develop a strategy on how you connect better in the industry with key people from key companies.

Networking is more than just handing out your business card at a community  event. It is about really finding key people to connect to and ultimately developing a strategy to build stronger relationships in your industry and your profession.

Picture Source: MorgueFile

 

 

 

How Productive Were You Today?

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Measuring ProductivityThink about this question for a second or more.

Everyday, if you listen closely to people, they try and answer this question, and the answers are very interesting. They really say a lot about a person. It is a great interview question if you really think about it.

Here are some answers:

  • I discovered five leads today.
  • I attended four appointments with clients.
  • I was able to secure one new account today.
  • I answered 10 phone calls.
  • I did a lot of strategic planning today.
  • I had my review.
  • I was able to check off 10 items on my to-do list

Look at this list of answers. Do you regularly produce this type of effort each day? What does productivity look like?

For me, I think this question is very important. We all need to and want to work for some greater purpose or vision. It is apparent that if all of our thoughts about productivity are consumed in maintaining a record of our effort, then we have really missed the boat and ultimately we fall into that trap where we become less productive and more susceptible to distrations.

To turn this thinking around, it is imperative to have a plan. Last year, I focused on company projects. I would invest time in areas that I knew would make a difference in the company. These projects had deadlines and required others to participate in them. Going through the process of identifying company-wide procjets was really eye-opening to me and really showed me the importance of getting focused in order to achieve results.

This year, it is all about incorporating more vision into these projects. Where as, projects defined what we needed to do. Having a vision was telling me where we want to go. There is a huge difference! Creating a vision helps keep projects on track for a higher goal.

If you want to look at the strength of a company, look at their list of projects and ask them where they see themselves in the next couple of years.

How do you measure productivity in your current position? Do you see yourself adding value at your company or are you trying to show people how busy you are?

Picture Source: Pixabay.com