Lately, all that I have been hearing on the web is that SEO is dead. SEO isn’t dead, it’s growing up.
People are using search engines more than ever and establishing the core SEO fundamentals such as having a crawlable site, providing engaging content and receiving quality links from reputable sites still hold true. The practice and framework for optimizing is “growing up” and resembling traditional marketing.
Our friend SEO is in his college years trying to find his place in the marketing ecosystem. As with most college kids, SEO is expanding his mind and experimenting with sophisticated ways of content classification in the form of structured data which gives you the ability to provide more signals to search engines and enabling them to better classify your content. This is all still new and too early to know how it will affect search rankings. Since platforms like Pinterest have picked up structured data with rich pins, I feel it’s just a matter of time before search engines start utilizing them more to define query results.
Your SEO department should no longer be working in a silo. Instead, SEO should be canoodling with the social media and public relations teams in what we call the digital marketing three way. Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithm updates makes it harder to gain results when working in a vacuum.
To be successful, you need to work smarter and have a coordinated approach with your social media and public relations team. These departments are known for creating engaging content and making news which influences search rankings. It’s important to befriend your social and public relations teams by providing insights on keyword research to guide their content strategy. When you start seeing positive results, share the glory with them to help keep them engaged and willing to help.
As the SEO world evolves I see the job of an SEO practitioner becoming more of a cross team diplomat. To be successful, SEO practitioners will need to influence multiple departments like IT, Social, Public Relations, and Creative. This will require more of a strategist mindset to understand business objectives and translate it to an actionable digital content strategy.
Check back for my post next month where I will give you tips to help you make friends with your social media and public relations counterparts.
Along that same vein, with so many factors influencing search rankings we may move away from saying search engine optimization (SEO), to saying something like digital media optimization (DMO). I’ll save that topic for another blog post.
What are your thoughts, am I on base, or should I get my head out of the clouds? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments.