What is SEO?

what-is-seo
The term SEO has gained momentum over the past few years due to the growth of internet usage and e-commerce worldwide. But what is SEO? SEO which is an abbreviation for search engine optimisation is a process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural search results. Now that we know what SEO is, what is a search engine? Search engine is a software code that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. Examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo and many more.

Many business owners know that for their websites to perform well in the search rankings they need some SEO done. To get to the bottom of what SEO is we first have to understand how search engines works.

How do Search Engines Operate?
Search Engines crawl the web looking for content, most in the form of text. They respond to a keyword query a user inputs in the search box and they look in their index for the relevant results that match the key-phrase the user used. The crawling task is performed by a piece of software called the crawler or spider. Search Engines rank websites by using many factors including the page rank, links pointing to the site/web page, social signals and many more. The ranking factors are a big kept secret by most of the search engines so as to avoid manipulation and spamming from SEO practitioners, but it is a combination of the factors mentioned above and many more.
NB Before a site can be ranked by search engines, the site has to be in their index first. The best way to get a site indexed is to submit the site to the major search engines.

Who needs SEO?
Every website needs SEO, irrespective of what it is used for. The logic behind this is that, the moment a website is created then it means there is a message to be conveyed and for it to be accessible it needs to be found online. SEO is needed for a website to reach a level of visibility that is bound to improve online branding. Even if people are coming directly or by referral to a website,it is still needed for the website to be known by the major search engines or otherwise it will be missing all the other potential traffic and customers that are using search engines for their needs.

Who is using SEO?
Most businesses (both small and big) are using SEO to complement their offline marketing efforts and the fact is your offline competitors are also using it. With the increase in people who use internet for their daily activities, it’s not too late to make sure that your business is prominent online.

Whichever way one might explain it, the importance of SEO is forever growing and the sooner brands adopt SEO as a digital marketing strategy the better for their business. There is no other way to being a major online player without adopting SEO, all the other online marketing strategies need SEO to be effective that’s how important SEO is.

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What is Big Data?

Big data is a collection of data so big and incredibly complex that it becomes extremely difficult for it to be processed by the available data base management software or traditional data processing tools that are available. We are talking about a lot of data, the data that is picked up by all the mobile devices and all the other gadgets that we use. Lots of data analysed properly will provide invaluable insights in marketing.Watch out for Big Data this year!The rise of BIG data is one the digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2013 as predicted by AVATAR in one of our articles. In the article “Digital marketing trends for 2013 we spoke about 5 trends to watch out for in 2013.

These trends were:

  • The Rise of Big Data
  • Content Marketing
  • Automated Marketing
  • Marketing campaigns starting with mobile.
  • Moving from Search Engine Optimisation to Targeted discovery.

How big is Big Data?
It is just too big. It can range from Gigabytes to Exabyte of data (one quintillion bytes, 10 to the power of 18 bytes.) Where you collect a lot of data you start to run into a lot of challenges. Firstly there is the actually process of capturing the Data from source. After the data is captured, there is need for the Data to be kept in a form that can later be retrieved and made sense of. It would be possible for the data to be searchable. The data will need to be shared as well and in a format that can be analysed and visualized that insights can be quickly derived from it.

Use all the Data
In the past the trend was to analyse samples but now the power of computers and software is so great that all the data can be analysed. To some extent it makes a lot sense. Why work with just a sample when you can use everything? However using all the data you have comes at a huge cost in terms of complexity.

How does the Data keep growing?
The amount of data on hand is increasing exponentially from one year to another. Data keeps growing because we sharing more Data about the things we are doing in our personal lives and in business and this is happening around the clock. There are more transactions and events and everything seems to be always on. The collecting of Data is happening around the clock whether we are aware of it or not.
Big data is now big business as seen by the considerable investment made in the field by various companies from IBM, Sap, Oracle and Google. But big data is now coming to a place near you in the world of Digital Marketing as smaller companies get access to the tools and technology needed to make the most of Big Data.

What is content?

Over the past few months we have been talking quite a bit about Content Marketing. Today we try to look at the one part of this term, content. What is Content? What makes up content? Who creates content? Answering these questions will help us to answer the question: What is content. Here are some of the articles we have shared in the past around content:

This article assumes that a brand already understands clearly who their target market is and what their business needs are.
Is content data or information or none of this? Let’s start with a simple definition. Content is information which adds value to the careers or businesses of your target market. This point is key. You might have some great information in your hands but unless it adds value, unless it is relevant, then as we see it, it’s not content. It might be content in someone else’s business. If you took product information and mailed it to your clients, would that be content? Someone could argue that it would be but does it add value? Is it relevant?

Below is the relationship between Content, Data and Information.

content-marketing

Who creates content?
While there should be someone overally responsible for content, various people in the company can help to create content. For example content in the form of opinion pieces can come from people suitably qualified in that area of work. Brands should also be open regarding external sources for content. For example customers can share their brand stories which can serve as valuable insights for existing and potential customers but also be recommendations. Coca Cola predicts that by 2020 their consumers will produce most of the content.

Does Content have to be articles?
Content comes in many types and forms. It does not have to be articles. Content can be in the form of video, podcasts, blog articles, white papers and newsletters. The brand must use a format which it finds most suitable for the target market. What format is used it is important that the content is as engaging as possible.

Why has content become so important?
Content has become very important because customers are now much more discerning about what they buy. They are more informed and empowered in terms of decision-making. Customers now have far more information before they make the final buying decision. What role can brands play in influencing this decision? Consumers now make sure they do their research before they make the decision. They seek out the experts. If a Brand has valuable and well-researched content consumers are likely to not just. Consumers now discriminate what they listen to. There so many channels that they are quite spoilt.

Do you have to produce original content?
Yes and no. You have to be original in one way or another. Perhaps we could say the end justifies the means. Consumers need to know you as a trusted source, one way or another. You could do research and share valuable insights. The traffic might not end up on your website but consumers will know you as the first port of call. If you copy content from another source Google will rightly deem you to be a copy and penalise you for this. However, there is nothing to stop you from being inspired by the article and putting your own speed.
You can do research to find out what kind of content is most topical in your industry. There are many kinds of tools that you can use for this. However, a lot of content is time sensitive so you will need to move reasonably fast.

Does your content have time bound?
Writing content that is time-bound or containing information that may expire has its pros and cons. Consumers get informed around current events. However, the relevance of the content decreases with time. Thus there should be a mix between time bound content and timeless content if you like.
In a nutshell there are quite a number of issues to look at regarding content but hopefully we have answered the simple question, what is content.

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