Memoirs of an intern

2 Nov

By Sarah Armstrong

Digital marketing. That’s when you pay Google to come at the top of the list right? It’s just advertising, but with a computer surely? Or it’s something to do with those hashtags, isn’t it? Boy, was I wrong.

I came to Navajo Talk with the hope to write anything they needed me too and learn more about the digital marketing world. I will write any content, for anyone, at any time of the day (some people work with numbers and some with pixels; I work with words.) I was interested in the finer details of this digital marketing, but for me, Google was just somewhere I looked for things without thinking about it and I wasn’t really sure how this information was handed to me. Some sort of digital wizardry perhaps?

The last two weeks have shown me how incredibly technical and advanced the realm of advertising and marketing has become. For the sake of anchoring this article, I’m going to concentrate on the marvellous world of Google.

For your business to get to the top the search list (for non-paid search) your content has to be king. “Content is king” is probably the most important quote I have learnt during my time here. Google has now adapted its algorithms so that, all in one go, they can check that the content on your webpage matches the things you are hoping to get searched for, the amount of relevant interaction your webpage has had with other pertinent sites, whether your html has suitable keywords or themes, among other clever techniques.

digital marketing flowers

This new system has been to stop the older and more devious forms of digital marketing, in which a website would be plugged with completely extraneous keywords in order to be found in as many search categories as possible. In most cases where digital marketing worked like this, the content was completely neglected, and although the webpage might be getting more hits, most were completely irrelevant and would result in people leaving the website almost instantly (that’s called a bounce, in case you were wondering.) The same kind of sneaky marketing skills would set up hundreds of sites (link farms) that created fake interactions between your website in the hope of getting them higher up the search engine results.

Clever little Google started to catch on to this and is now penalising these kinds of digital marketing ruses. If Google’s algorithm finds out your are doing these ‘black hat’ techniques, which it will, your company could find itself suspended from the search all together. Nice work Google, well played. Even as I write this, the Google team are probably working at improving this algorithm to make it even more accurate for its users, which is bad news for bad marketing.

Navajo Talk as a company has always wanted to make sure their SEO (search engine optimisation) never used such sneaky methods. They make sure the content they write for clients is always interesting and relevant. Not only does this reflect better on the clients, but it also engages the user that comes across the website with information that they need, rather than pointless spam. In addition, this means that Google will never put a penalty on Navajo Talk or any of their clients websites, and the online presence they develop for each client will only grow. And I got to write interesting content, which is always a plus.

As digital marketing and SEO develops, more and more pressure will be put on this kind of honest marketing strategy. It is less because Google has such a great moral ethos and more to do with the fact that the same rules apply to the adverts they promote. They had to crack down on pointless traffic through the adverts they sold; quite simply, insignificant hits were costing their clients too much money so they backed out, which in turn meant Google wasn’t making as much money. Now the new algorithms are in place, the digital marketing playing field has started to level out a lot more, and it has definitely started to become a much fairer game.

I will leave out the finer details of keywords and adwords and analytics, all of which were equally overwhelming with their accuracy and intelligence, but I have definitely broadened my understanding of digital marketing and can’t help but see this as an invaluable tool in the promotion of your brand and company. For those people that opt out of digital marketing, you are completely missing the chance to develop your business to a much larger, relevant target market. It’s not just a case of getting Katie on reception to tweet about your business. You need to understand how to measure results, and what to do with this information. So thank you to the Navajo Talk team, you have taught me well, oh wise ones.

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

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