Change is a natural part of life, whether we like it or not. In spite of our opinion on it, I feel that we should always adapt with the changes that life brings since not keeping up with the times can equate to less success in life.

Change is especially prominent in the digital marketing industry since so many things change in such a short period of time, whether it’s search engine algorithms, new sites giving people information in a different way or different social media networks booming.

This is where an evolving digital marketing strategy comes in.

Using one of my old clients as an example, I implemented tactics including the use of microsites with exact-keyword-match domains that had links pointing back to their site. As a result, their site was at the top of Google Page One for the keywords that we were targeting. As you can tell, this really focused on the keywords for the sake of the search engines.

As search patterns changed, so did Google’s algorithms. After the Penguin update in April 2012, it was concluded that more of the focus of any content marketing campaign should be on the user and not the search engine. The result: our digital marketing strategy no longer was working and brought my client’s site down in organic search.

That’s when we had to revise their content marketing strategy. With the addition of a blog on their site (rather than using ones on the microsites), the taking down and disavowing of said microsites, onsite content optimization and an update to the metadata, the site returned to Google Page One.

Keeping your site up to date is also a great idea even if it is thriving in search rankings. According to a recent Matt Cutts video, he wouldn’t recommend a brand to just coast on their site’s laurels if they run an older, well-established site because newer sites with a better user experience can grow and eclipse it in search rankings if it doesn’t continue to adapt and move with the times.

I took “a better user experience” to mean quality content that is insightful and captivating to the reader. Look at the most recent Google Hummingbird update: it talks about Google moving towards a more conversational search approach rather than non-natural-sounding keywords. I feel as though that’s because a new type of content marketing is on the rise: social media.

Social media is becoming more and more of an influence. More and more traffic is finding its way to sites from networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Just look at the screenshots from a client’s Analytics below and see the traffic trend.

The biggest takeaway is that more and more referral traffic has been going to this site over the past three years and less is coming from organic search. Another note is that paid search traffic has also been growing, which has also taken away from organic search traffic.

Social media marketing barely even existed up until the last couple of years and now it’s so important that businesses without it are losing out on a big opportunity for traffic. If you also do PR, then there are many different media hits that can equate to added traffic for your site.

The bottom line is that you can’t rely on one source to get your traffic, especially in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager of Bing, said it best in a recent blog: “hinging your future on a single tactic, whether it’s social, SEO, paid search, email, etc. is a recipe for disaster.”

What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to your site? Let us know in the comments below!

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