Columbus Ohio SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO: Too little, too late? Or not.

How the fortunate digital “Haves” must prepare for the “Have Not” Awakening.

It seems the digital content marketing world is filled with two groups: the Haves and the Have Nots. Those who have a strong presence and have secured organic rankings and those that are new to the game and are climbing up a hill daily trying to gain ground.

The Have Nots are struggling, of course, and realizing a few years too late that they should have been investing in digital content marketing all along. This while the Haves, those who had the foresight years ago to begin investing in the steady production of content, are reaping the rewards of high search engine rankings. Cement Marketing is most certainly one of the “Haves.”

Need a little proof? Just check out all of the keywords we now rank #1 for in Central Ohio and beyond:

Best-Columbus-Ad-Agency-Rankings

These rankings didn’t happen over night and that fact is now widely understood by the CEOs, CMOs and Marketing Directors we work with on a daily basis. Now that many of us are all on the same page in understanding that search engine optimization, social and digital content marketing is about the long-game, it’s a very exciting time. Why? In short, because the Haves and the Have Nots both finally agree that digital content marketing needs to be a major focus of their overall marketing and advertising strategy.

And while the Haves currently hold a mighty and formidable advantage over the Have Nots (who will be forced to spend more on paid media to catch up organically), the Haves must prepare accordingly for the oncoming monsoon of competitors hoping to knock them from their #1 rankings.

So, what’s next in this new world where digital is now widely accepted? Here are my predictions for 2016 and beyond:

  1. Cutting through the bulls&*t. Now that most CEOs and CMOs have accepted that digital marketing is worthy of substantial budgets and employee resources, the new year will bring with it a slew of assessments of what is and isn’t working. Now that we’ve surpassed the “Why should we do it?” phase we can enter the “Who should do it?” phase. In other words, CEOs, CMOs and their marketing teams are now armed with more knowledge and can therefore make wiser choices on which consultants and agencies to hire.
  2. More Have Nots = More Competition.
    Like it or not, the Have Nots are about to give the Haves a run for their money. It’s one thing when only a handful of businesses within one local, state or national industry are aggressively pursuing eyeballs on their content, but it’s a different competitive landscape when every single competitor has finally entered the game. Google will see an influx of authentic content to sift through and prioritize, and will undoubtedly continue to adjust its ranking standards accordingly, so each contributor will have to bring their “A” game. If you’ve been squeaking by with mediocre content, it’s time to invest in a content-driven strategy and get some truly compelling content on your website and social channels. And compelling content is just the start. After that content is published, it needs to be shared with an audience, groomed, tweaked and accelerated, whether with digital and traditional advertising or planted authentically by influencers within networks, groups or forums.
  3. Investing in quality time on social is now imperative, no matter what your industry.
    Social used to be optional. In fact, I would tell service industry providers to not even bother if their budgets were tight. But now, it’s imperative. If you’re an insurance broker, LinkedIn and Twitter are musts. So goes for realtors and tax accountants. And, you can’t just post there – you need to break through the clutter and truly become a member of relevant communities and groups within those networks. Basic search marketing isn’t enough anymore. You have to do it all, because Google, Bing and Yahoo! are that much smarter – they’re reading social signals to determine how and where to rank your site. Oh, and updating your Facebook page and Google+ should be part of every content creators routine. Put your happy face on and learn how to make friends online.
  4. In-house teams will grow.
    Organizations will continue building their internal digital teams. This is a given, but in some cases it means that agencies will be directly competing with their clients for top talent. All in all, it will be a very good year for digital marketing professionals.Organizations, however, will soon wake up to the reality of digital salaries and adjust accordingly, or opt to hire an agency instead. In the case of keeping and building their marketing teams internally, wise organizations will continue to use ad agencies for strategy and consulting.
  5. A digital ad spend will be part of every planner’s budget.
    We now advise our clients not to waste their time on Facebook if they don’t have an ad budget. While Facebook remains an incredibly powerful marketing tool, a digital ad budget is the key to unlocking the full potential of your audience.  This should be no surprise to anyone on the forefront of digital marketing, but it is to many CEOs and CMOs. You – as the brand – can’t just organically plow your way to the top on social. You must pay your way to the top. The bright side? If your content is amazing your cost per impression, click or engagement will be fraction of the cost of pushing junk content.

Is your brand succeeding online? Find out by requesting a free digital audit from Cement Marketing. Our audits assess the following:

  • General health of your website
  • Search rankings (current)
  • Search performance
  • Social presence (or lack thereof)
  • Competitive analysis
  • Opportunities for improvement

We are giving away four audits per month until the end of the year, so don’t be shy — request yours here.