Content Marketing

The 4 P’s of Modern Search Engine Optimization

The SEO world is shaking a bit at the news that Moz is cutting its staff in half. They state that they’re doubling down with a renewed focus on search. They’ve been a pioneer and essential partner in the SEO industry for years now.

My outlook isn’t optimistic for the Organic Search industry, and I’m not sure it’s where Moz should double down. While Google continues to build accuracy and quality results through artificial intelligence and refined algorithms, the requirements of hiring search consultants and staff are going away. And SEO tools are popping up every week that compete with the likes of Moz.

Five years ago, a majority of our marketing consulting efforts were devoted to SEO. We had our own SEO analyst. Advance 5 years and we utilize fantastic toolsets from our sponsor at gShift that provide insight into our entire web presence, not just our organic search. Combined with analytics and webmasters, gShift’s solution helps us monitor our omnichannel marketing efforts, including organic performance, in addition to influencer research, content discovery, brand monitoring, and much more.

SEO isn’t an industry anymore; it’s part of an industry. It’s a feature in a platform. It’s a tactic within a digital marketing strategy. It’s required knowledge for each marketer, not its own position. Every marketer should understand how to leverage search engines within an overall strategy and understand where it fits in our omnichannel world. For too long, we’ve watched as SEO companies and platforms missed the boat on conversion optimization, writing great content, and nurturing leads through to a conversion. For too long, the SEO industry has been about backlinks, keywords, and rank while consumers and search engines advanced.

Experts will disagree with me, but we have hundreds of clients who are thriving with our updated focus. While we still ensure our clients’ sites are constructed per Google’s advice and we continue to monitor ranking, it’s not where we apply the majority of our efforts anymore. I’m not saying SEO is not important, it’s still a primary channel for acquisition. I’m saying an investment in SEO isn’t going to get the return of other strategies. Those strategies are social promotion, paid promotion, public relations and building a premier content library.

  • Social Promotion – Your prospects and clients aren’t visiting your site frequently. However, they are engaged socially. In order to connect where your prospects and clients are, you have to be promoting your content where they are. Those social media mentions often reach new audiences, who then discuss us online, building our organic search authority.
  • Paid Promotion – While we’d love WOM and viral sharing of content to expand the reach of our brands, the simple truth is that advertising is the bridge that we must invest in to expand that reach. Those paid opportunities often reach new audiences, who then discuss us online, building our organic search authority.
  • Public Relations – Having a team of professionals seeking opportunities to publicize your brand and internal talent is a must. The articles from relevant publications, interviews on podcasts, and speaking opportunities we get through our PR team has generated relevant, high authority mentions that gain us search authority.
  • Premier Content Library – Evergreen content isn’t helping any of our clients anymore. Comprehensive articles with research, design, in-depth content, infographics, and white papers are gaining much more traction. Rather than focusing on content production, we’re focused on building out a thorough, comprehensive content library for each of our clients.

Are there exceptions? Yes, of course. Enterprise content producers in highly competitive industries can still get quite an edge with Search Engine Optimization. Multiply the impact by millions of pages and there’s going to be a great return on investment. But those companies are the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of businesses would be better off increasing investment on the above four principles.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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