If you want to grow your online publication brand and reach more customers in today’s crammed digital marketplace, then you can’t take the easy road by automating your processes, says Jason Acidre, co-founder and CEO of Xight Interactive.
“It requires hard work, intelligence and a lot of common sense to be really able to compete in online marketing these days,” says the founder of Kaiserthesage, one of the most popular content marketing blogs.
Jason, who has built a reputation as an SEO specialist, recently checked in with us to offer his sage advice on the importance of SEO, link building and knowing your audience to building your business. Read on to learn more:
What’s your professional background?
I’ve been an online marketing consultant for the past four years. We launched our online marketing agency (Xight Interactive Asia Inc.) after a year of practicing digital marketing. I’m mostly known for my blog, Kaiserthesage.
Before getting involved with SEO, I was a writer and editor for a small business consultancy that’s based here in Manila back in 2006-2009. That experience allowed me to have a good headstart in the marketing industry.
Also, I spent eight years in the professional Counterstrike gaming scene.
Tell us about Kaiserthesage…when and why did you start your blog?
I launched Kaiserthesage over four years ago (June 28, 2010). I didn’t really intend or expect for this blog to become that successful/popular, as my original plan for the blog was just to serve as my personal journal of the things I’m continuously learning about online marketing (so that I can also review them if I needed them for future work).
I was just too fortunate that people really liked the ideas I was putting out on the blog for the past several years.
What online marketing strategies are offering today’s businesses the biggest results?
Taking your branding efforts online and optimizing for humans; these are the proven effective approaches to online marketing.
These are the strategies that can really generate the most results (in terms of achieving business objectives and campaign goals):
- Continuous content asset development. Particularly in publishing content assets that will really resonate and can be very actionable for the brand’s target audience. Making this the core of your overall campaign can easily improve the other aspects of your digital marketing campaign (as content can positively affect SEO, link development, social media, branding, lead generation, email marketing and conversions).
- Strategic content partnerships. Tying up and collaborating with other authoritative publishers to absorb more readers and potential customers (this is not just about launching a massive guest blogging campaign, but rather finding the right site partners where your brand can be consistently visible).
- Getting better at Technical SEO. Search is still definitely one of the best traffic/business drivers on the web.
What can businesses do to learn what types of content their audience values the most?
There are so many ways to do this:
- Rely on their existing data. If they are tracking their sites’ internal site search data as well as their visitors’ interests (through Affinity Categories), this visitor information can definitely provide so many insights, especially on the things that their audience really like.
- Learning from what really works on the web. There are so many tools that they can use to identify the types of content that are really effective in their space.
How important is it for business owners to be aware of what their competitors are doing on the web – what should they be doing with that information?
Yes, as they can use them to their advantage. Determine where their competitors are lacking, and they can choose to excel on those areas. And they can also learn from what’s working for their competitors and become better at doing those things.
More often than not in online marketing, outdoing your competitors and doing the things that they are missing is the best ways to win on the web.
When it comes to a brand’s online marketing strategies, how important is link building? How much time should businesses invest it in?
I honestly believe that link building is still very crucial – if you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Many are just doing it to mainly improve their site’s search rankings. But what many people are missing is that links have more purpose on the web than just rankings.
When you look at this particular practice from a different perspective, such as:
- Wanting more links from reputable websites to build brand awareness.
- Building links that will consistently bring in more traffic to the site.
- Building links that will make the site look more credible and authoritative (getting links from news sites and trusted industry-specific sites).
Then you’re doing it the right way – the way search engines would want it and the way real brands would want it.
What are some best practices for link building?
I listed most of my top tips for link building on this slide deck:
What are some basic rules of SEO that haven’t seemed to change despite all the algorithm updates Google’s done over the years?
Branding! It has always been about trust. And brands become trusted by people (and that’s what search engines are after).
Focus on building a solid brand presence on the web, because that’s how you’ll survive – with or without Google.
How is SEO evolving? What should brands be focusing on and how can they stay up to date with changes?
SEO is getting more and more dependent to other channels of online marketing – since the evolution of search has been more reliant on metrics based on human behavior toward web consumption (usage data, conversions, social, etc.).
To be really good at it, you’ll need to know how to integrate other practices such as content marketing, social media, conversion optimization, UX and technical SEO.