SEO Strategy – Do You Have One?
Over the past few weeks, I've been talking more (and sharing more articles) about content marketing as a part of effective search engine optimization and social media marketing efforts. The discussion has gotten some great feedback going here and on various social networks!
But I wanted to take a second to explain something that's come up in questions. Some people are asking whether search engine optimization (SEO) is dead. They want to know if there's any place for SEO in marketing.
The answer is mixed – yes and no. And it depends on what you mean by SEO!
Before we get into that, though, I want to talk for a minute about the difference between two words: tactics and strategy. No, I haven't just gone all military on you! But understanding how these two words are different effects what I'm going to tell you about the SEO and content marketing.
Tactics are short-term activities that you generally repeat, day in and day out, week in and week out in your business. They're the building blocks of your business and of your marketing efforts. Tactics are something you tweak and then look for the immediate effect.
Tactics are easy to duplicate. Examples of marketing tactics might be blogging, social media updates, newsletter, etc. Maybe you look at what other companies are up to on their social media accounts or their blogs and you try to copy what they're doing. That's copying their tactics.
Tactics like quick little fixes, and they usually have short-term results.
But if you focus only on those tactics, I'm telling you, you'll miss the big picture!
I'm not saying they aren't important, not at all. I've built my businesses from these little steps repeated over and over.
It's like the old saying that you're missing the forest for the trees. Tactics are like the trees. Without trees, you haven't got a forest. But without an overview of what the forest looks like, you'd miss how the trees are laid out or what the path through the forest is.
Strategy is like seeing the forest. It's the big picture of your business. It's your overall plan, and it's an understanding of how your plan will affect your goals and objectives. If you have employees or investors, it includes an understanding of their role as stakeholders in your business; at a minimum, though, it includes knowing what you – and your customers – have at stake in your business.
The Way it Used to Be – SEO Tactics
So stepping back from the terms of tactics and strategy, let's look at how they matter with respect to SEO and content marketing.
Once upon a time, SEO was something you did "to" your content, trying to get it noticed by the major search engines. Keyword stuffing and link building are good examples of this. They are SEO tactics, not strategy. They're quick fixes designed for a short-term gain – getting your article moved up on Google and the rest.
The Present and Future of SEO – The Strategy of Great Content
Since Google has changed with the Panda and Penguin updates, a better understanding of SEO is that it is a long-term strategy. Rather than have the short term view of getting your article moved up on Google by using SEO tactics, it's about trying to provide the most valuable content over the long haul for your audience, which is a strategy.
So Are We Still Link Building
Yes we are! We're still link building as part of SEO strategy. And here's how. Link building should be a natural way of providing additional explanation, examples, or related information for your audience. All of your anchor links should be thoughtfully chosen, not random. Great content that provides great value for your audience is naturally going to be read, bookmarked, followed, and shared. And that is great SEO!
The Bottom Line – Why Are We Doing SEO Anyway?
The best takeaway about how to understand how SEO has changed is this. Why do we work on SEO in the first place? It's because we're trying to attract and keep readers who are engaged with our content. By using a strategy of SEO and not just tactics, your content will be seen as fresh, relevant and engaging, the kind that attracts engaged customers.
And that is the point of this whole thing called SEO anyway!
What's Your strategy for SEO and what tactics do you use? I have studied and used search engine placement to market my business for 10 years. It Works.. Simple as that! What are your biggest challenges with SEO? Share with me your favorite tactic!