Drive traffic without SEO

3 powerful alternatives to SEO

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I am an ardent supporter of creating great quality content that ranks well in Google search for marketing purposes.

Recently, however, I have been forced to concede that organic traffic from Google is no longer reliable enough.

Since 2012 Google's search results have been in upheaval, and while the general thrust of the changes are to improve search results and cut out spam, there has been significant collateral damage along the way.

This article will look at some of the best alternatives to content, SEO and organic search traffic to help ensure that your business enjoys reliable, high quality traffic that brings in sustained profits.

1. Email marketing

While organic traffic may disappear overnight as Google tweaks its algorithms:

Google Webmaster Tools showing traffic drop from algorithm penalty

The profile for email traffic is much more dependable.

Building a mailing list does take time and effort, and also relies, to some extent, on organic search traffic - i.e. people need to find your site in order to subscribe in the first place.

But, by making newsletter sign-ups a priority on your site, you should be able to build up a reasonable size opt-in list that is already predisposed to your products, content, and services.

Managing a newsletter is really quick and easy using modern, online services, so if you aren't already using one of the leading services, check out our comparison of GetResponse vs. Constant Contact that includes a step-by-step GetResponse startup guide.

What's nice about email is that it relies on the same great quality content that you need to generate for SEO and organic search traffic in the first place.

In essence, you are killing to birds with one stone. And, while Google is sending you plenty of organic search traffic, it shouldn't be too hard to convince people to sign-up.

Then, if your page rankings take a tumble, you have a built-in insurance policy in the form of a nice list full of qualified leads that you can reach out to on a weekly/monthly basis.

2. Social media

In the same way that email is based on content, so social media marketing relies on the generation and delivery of creative, insightful, engaging, and buzzworthy content.

What makes social such a great alternative to SEO is that it is possible to leverage all sorts of different media and different channels to reach out to people that you might otherwise not find traction with.

You can make video clips and post them on YouTube. Grow a following of people interested in your videos, and use that to link back to your own Web properties to boost conversions:

YouTube can be an excellent marketing channel

Share original images on Pinterest to spark interest in what you are doing.

The more media you generate, the more options are available to you to grow the number of fans and followers you can reach via the major social networks.

While social media can potentially deliver huge numbers of connections, be aware that many of those connections are not necessarily in the right space to convert (make a purchase, sign up to a service, etc).

Social media can be better viewed as a platform to build trust, brand, and authority. It's not always the best place to drive sales from because the user intent to purchase is rarely there.

3. Local

As frustrating as it might seem to have access to the entire world online, yet be forced to focus on your local market, don't be put off.

Local brand identity, with a solid local footprint, and local trust and authority, go a long way in helping to improve your chances of ranking in Google.

Not only that, but many people are in fact searching for local products and services whenever they are online.

Ensure that your company is properly listed in all local directories - especially ones that count, like Google places for business:

Google Places for Business

The nice thing about going local is that it tends to be a once-off effort that has long lasting effects - i.e. once you are listed, that listing will continue to drive traffic for a long time to come.

Having said that, there is nothing worse, from the perspective of a customer, than encountering an out of date or incorrect listing. Make sure that whatever local listings you setup are maintained properly.

In addition, you should also find that local advertising is also far cheaper and more effective than more generic or large-scale advertising - both online and offline.

Dollars invested locally are far more likely to bring higher returns (all other things being equal).

What other alternatives are there to SEO and content? Have you been affected by Google and forced to rely on other methods of promotion?

Share your tips and experiences in the comments.

Online marketing 101. Pic by See-ming Lee

The first time I started an online business I spent the vast majority of my time actually creating the service.

Check out this list of ten great hyperlocal marketing strategies, by Carlo Pandian, that can help to drive local consumers to your site.

Tips on how to do B2B networking

Having a great product or service is simply not enough to enjoy strong sales (especially online), which is why it is crucial to build strong relationships with other organizations.

But recognizing that your enterprise can succeed or fail depending on the quality and quantity of the business relationships around you is one thing - finding and nurturing those partnerships is another thing entirely.

This article highlights three techniques that have proven themselves to be invaluable when it comes to ensuring that your company is constantly growing a powerful network of allies.

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One of its primary purposes is to help establish authority so that your content enjoys high page rankings and gets plenty of organic search traffic from Google.

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During that time I learned a lot about how business works, and my focus has shifted almost completely onto sales, marketing and networking.

Nowadays, a good idea with a quality product backed by excellent service is the bare minimum required to succeed. Because there is so much competition (especially online), what sets companies apart these days is how effectively they can network and promote themselves.

Be your own free marketing service using the top digital marketing tools.

Take charge of your business' growth. Drive more traffic & engaged visitors. Make better strategic decisions. Convert more. Save money.

How to work with social media effectively

Social media marketing is one of those things that most entrepreneurs and small business owners wonder if they really need.

In general, my answer is yes, but I need to qualify that by saying that the amount of time, effort and cash you invest must be proportional to the returns you want (and can realistically achieve).

I serve on the board of a wonderful not-for-profit, registered charity, and we have utilized the tools and technologies provided by the Web, and in particular, social media, to drive visibility, engagement, and awareness that would simply be out of reach otherwise.

Customer service is a great marketing opportunity

Any company that outsources their customer service is being silly, and are inviting competitors to swoop in and pilfer their client base.

Customer service is one of the few real opportunities you have to forge a solid relationship with people. Why on earth would you want to hand it over to someone else (who hides you from the people that sustain your business)?

And while handling customer complaints and queries can seem like a chore, it can be converted into one of the most powerful marketing strategies available to you.

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Free email marketing setup guide. Pic by Wayne Stadler

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