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.

Why getting people talking is great for business

So many companies focus on sexy marketing strategies like paid advertising (PPC), social media likes, tweets & follows, and organic search traff

Take an innovative approach to marketing

If you're in the business of making and selling unique stuff then the marketing strategies you use should reflect the creativity of your products in order to reach out to the right people.

Fortunately the Internet is full of the "right people" just waiting to place an order. But your message has to find them in the right place in the right way.

That's why it pays to think creatively about marketing instead of following the pack and doing the same old "tried and tested" things.

The Best Digital Marketing Strategy, 2017. Pic by Matt Gibson

Competition in the world of online marketing is fierce - I mean really fierce.

How to breakthrough with marketing

Businesses can take off overnight. Social networks, global media, the Internet, marketing and word-of-mouth that spans the globe can drive your message to millions of people instantly. But it rarely "just happens".

If you've been marketing your startup, product or business online then you'll have seen product launches that seemed to come out of nowhere to become the hottest thing around, or videos and content that have gone viral driving millions of potential customers through to the originators - the "Charlie bit my finger" YouTube video sensation netted that family several hundred thousand dollars in revenue:

While some people luck out and ride a wave of viral/social popularity, basing your livelihood on success through blind luck is not a particularly fruitful strategy. Most people have to work hard for quite some time before they achieve a breakthrough marketing success. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to give yourself every chance of success.

Secret to online advertising

Online advertising can help businesses capture new leads and generate sales and revenue almost instantly - but only if they know the secret to effective online ads.

While online ads (in particular, PPC ads) have great potential, it is very difficult to know exactly how to create the perfect ad that reaches the right audience, at the right time.

Internet users are very good at tuning out marketing and advertisements, rendering them all but useless. So getting your online ads wrong, can end up sucking the marketing budget dry with very little ROI (Return On Investment).

Great marketing ideas that don't involve press releases

If you have been tempted into using an online press release distribution service (free, or otherwise) then I'm here to warn you about the risks.

Search marketers used pr distribution services to quickly spread "news" and articles of dubious quality around the Web. This lead to a huge increase in targeted backlinks that improved organic traffic listings and PageRank in Google.

Essentially, press release distribution services became a great black-hat SEO strategy that worked well - until Google caught on.

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

Sample press release template. Pic by Matthew Guay

The other day I decided to get some coverage in the news - actually, I wanted to get some exposure for a particularly nice bit of research we'd done - and st

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.

7 ways to network effectively

When I started my first company some years ago I placed all my focus on creating a great offering, but almost no effort went into sales and networking. Needless to say that it took an incredibly long time to get off the ground - 6 years in fact.

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.

Introduction to AdWords PPC advertising

PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising on a platform like Google AdWords can be challenging to ge

Big brands, especially ones in trendy, fashionable industries should be killing it when it comes to social media marketing, right?

Actually, there's fairly obvious evidence that they are wasting a lot of money on social marketing campaigns that are not generating returns.

This is good news for smaller businesses that are prepared to use social media correctly, because it levels the playing field for those without endless budgets.