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In the past, innovations in technology used to progress at a slower pace. But with the advent of today's digital world and the internet becoming ubiquitous, times are changing and marketing is changing also. Although the internet has only been around for the last two decades, it has made huge strides in development, with the technologies changing almost beyond recogniton of what they were at the beginning. SEO, one cornerstone of web marketing, only started in 1996.

The Big SEO Shift

Up until early 2011, the search results were full of badly written articles that would come up high in the the results. Also paid links were still effective in helping sites to gain a high ranking. But this all changed in February 2011 when Google made some major adjustments to the way in which they judge what will appear in search. Now the SEO landscape has changed beyond recognition, with Google becoming smarter at sniffing out paid links and duplicate content and other SEO bad practices.

SEO is not dead or dying, but new tools such as local and personalised search, and the rise of social media, present a whole different set of challenges for digital marketers. Branding and investing in social channels is vital, and the role of good content is more critical than ever before.

Use of Multiple Channels is Vital

According to Distilled, an important piece of advice for marketers is to consider investing in multiple channels, to avoid being dominated by Google alone. This stops your business being affected when Google introduces new changes that may affect organic search. Organic search may be powerful, but there are other channels to bear in mind that can bring excellent traffic to your site.

These channels include: social media in general, email marketing, social media marketing campaigns, community engagement,  forums, interviews, conferences, and guest content.

The latter four channels are especially interesting because they do not come under the typical online marketing banner, but instead can be classed as 'thought leadership.' Building a reputation for expertise in your field is extremely powerful and should not be underestimated.

With all your channels, monitor what works and invest more time, effort and budget in that, while cutting back on others. But always continue to evaluate the situation as channels may shift over time. Also, some channels are better for short-term success while others are more suitable for long-term results.

Effective ROI Measurement is Key

Lastly, but definitely not least, ROI matters most. Links, social media and emails are all tools that can be used to measure ROI. Marketers should be able to effectively measure multiple types of ROI. This is also essential for defending and supporting our work as online marketers in front of a sceptical boss or clients. Demonstrating clear ROI figures proves that investing in online marketing is truly worth it.

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