If you are following us this month on our blog and on social media, you already know that Cucumber turned 9 this month! Time flies when you are having fun! So this month, we are having a major “Throwback Thursday” and contemplate on how the digital marketing landscape changed in the last 9 years. As if we know where we came from and can make a better plan as to where we want to be… Or something like that…
The good news
When Cucumber was founded in 2008, SEO was our main service offering. Simply because your options as far as digital marketing were quite limited. Google AdWords was a new, still-developing tool and social media didn’t really exist for marketing purposes. SEO was legitimately the main thing you could do to get noticed by your customers online.
The biggest difference in how SEO is done today versus how it was done back then, is that it’s actually organic now. You don’t have to cheat the system anymore – not that we did – but unfortunately, there was a lot of meaningless work involved in getting your website listed on page one of Google 9 years ago. From sending numerous emails to people you never met, asking them to link to your website (backlink building) to hours spent in forums, commenting and, again, hoping to get a link back to your site.
Thank goodness, you don’t have to do that today. These days, you truly need to create content that is useful for your target audience and is well-optimized for search engines (no need to add too many keywords – just write naturally).
What about social media?
With the growth in the social media sector, SEO landscape changed once again – simplifying your job in back-linking pursuit. Each social media profile gives you a backlink (and even if it’s a non-follow, Google is still counting how social your brand is), as well as every time you share your blog posts on social media and when other people share your blog posts – it’s like backlink heaven. The thing is, the way backlinks are counted now is different. Naturally, if you had a follow backlink from CNN to your website, you’d be laughing – today or in 2008. But because Google is getting smarter over the years, their algorithm is getting smarter too – counting brands’ online (social media) reputation as one of the ranking factors that is a huge bonus for those hard-working marketers, who pay attention to how their brand looks on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (and Google + ;).
The bad news
Because there are more websites on the web now, and more businesses have an amazing online presence, naturally, there’s more competition for online marketers to compete with now. And that means you have to constantly work on your SEO by creating new, engaging content for your website. Post often and be consistent. If you track your sales calls and compare the times when your phone is ringing vs how much content you post, you will see that generally speaking, if you keep refreshing your website, your ranking (and your phone calls) will be increasing. The moment you decide to relax – your competition will beat you to the punch!
So, did SEO really change in the last 9 years? Not really. It didn’t change, it just matured. And just like good wine – it got better!
Got any SEO or marketing questions on your mind? Give us a shout or stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver – we always have chocolate!