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10 Things That Work Better Than SEO In The Connection Economy

A decade ago if you owned the URL wineseller.com and stuffed your website full of keywords you’d won. You can’t earn loyalty in a category today simply by gaming Google because your customers are searching for relevance not just keywords.

Ten things to think about beyond SEO.

1. Build a brand not just a business.
Attach meaning to everything you do. Think beyond the utility of the products and services you sell. Apple did this with “1000 songs in your pocket,” when others were selling 32MGB music players.

2. Make things that people love.
Bahen & Co. chocolate, Chobani Yogurt and Airbnb.

3. Create valuable content that people want to share.
Educate, inform and entertain with blog posts, articles, digital magazines, images and video. Problogger, TED.com and 99u.

4. Connect people to each other.
When like minded people find you, create opportunities for them to belong and to come together.
Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit nails it.

5. Be generous.
Give something away.
The Holstee Manifesto has been shared and linked to tens of thousands of times. Mailchimp gives away a great library of free email marketing resources.

6. Get permission to have the next interaction.
Daily Candy, Philippa Stanton and your newsletter list.

7. Practice patience. Play the long game by building loyalty.
Logo Design Love, Etsy and Zappos.

8. Spend more time serving your audience and less time working out how to get search engine spiders to notice you.
By The Way Bakery, TED.com and The Good Life Project.

9. Earn trust, don’t just own keywords. Change how people feel not what they search for.
Wieden & Kennedy, Brain Pickings and IDEO.

10. Be the brand people seek out, not the one they stumble upon.
Tattly, Seth Godin, Evernote and Moleskine.

The brands that win now make their customer’s lives better first and worry about search rankings later. They work hard to get their message believed not just to be noticed.

Image by Zetalab.