March 9th, 2015   /   Posted by Natalie Nathanson   /   Category: All, Marketing Strategy, Tech Marketing

The Future of SEO: Marketing to People, Not Pages

Ben Franklin once said, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” While this idea can be applied to many parts of life, it is certainly applicable to marketing. As a professional at a B2B tech firm, you are likely faced with the task of deciding which integrated marketing programs to put in place that will provide more sales opportunities, increase brand awareness, and ultimately maximize revenue growth for your company.

Not only is search engine use the number one way both consumers and business users leverage the Internet, but a recent study found that SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have shown to convert on average 1.7%. Now more than ever having an SEO strategy in place is crucial to maximizing demand generation for your business. While implementing a new marketing program may seem like an expensive undertaking, there are many cost-effective ways to get started. In this blog post, we’ll address

The New Wave of SEO: Applying User Experience

In the beginning, SEO and UX were thought of as separate strategies for website optimization. While SEO focused on attracting visitors to your website in the first place, UX stepped in after a visitor was already on your site with the main goal of driving conversions. While on a very high level these roles still apply, today a successful inbound marketing program doesn’t exist without the integration of SEO and UX.

With the evolution of the Internet comes the progression of how we engage with it. Think of the Internet as an ever-changing landscape, as search engines will continuously adapt to the needs of users and their behaviors. These days, the quality of your website’s user experience is now a significant determining factor to your overall search ranking, with Google taking into account metrics such as bounce rate, time spent on page, and click through rate when deciding where to place your site in search results.

With Google’s algorithms constantly changing and becoming more in tune with user experience over time, SEO has become much more than tactical keyword placements, cross-links and meta tags. SEO today must start from a strategic place, aligning with your business model, business goals and a solid understanding of the value you bring to your customers and prospects—and then telling that story through your online presence.

SEO Myth-Busting

In spite of these monumental shifts in the Internet, a large amount of misinformation about SEO still exists today. SEO has changed so much in the past few years that many digital marketers don’t know what is now outdated, what is still important, and what will actually move the needle. Here are a few SEO myths to consider for 2015:

  • Myth #1: Link placement is more important than creating content on a regular basis
    Often inbound marketers choose between investing in link building or content creation. While links are an important attribute to your website’s authority, having quality content with relevant information will increase your website’s value to users, thus bringing more engagement with your site and repeat visitors.
  • Myth #2: Your only goal for SEO is ranking
    While there is a strong correlation between search result placement and click through rates, ranking is by no means the be-all-end-all. A recent study of click through rates and user behavior found that searchers favor the top 3 listings both on the first page of Google, as well as subsequent pages. Additionally, ranking won’t make much of a difference to the overall success of your inbound marketing program if once someone gets to your website, they leave without having a valuable interaction. Having a website that’s tailored both in design and messaging to your target audience is equally (if not more) important.
  • Myth #3: Keyword volume is key for SEO
    Today, Google is no longer trying to match the keywords a searcher types to the keywords of a webpage. Rather, Google’s algorithms are trying to understand the intention behind keywords in order to connect the searcher to valuable, high-quality content. In the future, SEO won’t punish marketers for under-using keywords on their website. They will, however, have consequences for over-using them.

These are just a few ways SEO has shifted in the last few years with the biggest underlying theme focusing now on creating valuable content and user experiences.

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