Are you curious about where digital marketing is going in 2016?
We are too, so we dug a little deeper into one of the cornerstones of online media for top content marketing companies.
We approached a few experts in search engine optimization (SEO) and saw what they had to say about the subject for 2016.
We started by asking our experts to finish this sentence:
“SEO is not dead, however…”
They had some profound insights on SEO (especially as it relates to your inbound marketing strategy).
If you want to up your SEO game for 2016, read on.
SEO is not dead, however… bad SEO is. Adapt from a strict-SEO skillset to a broader marketing skillset. Be a Swiss-army knife of marketing with knowledge and experience in all facets, but be an expert in one area still.
SEO is not dead, however ... if you believe the opposite get ready to watch your competitors take all your organic traffic.
Pay attention to all three pillars of SEO because they are all equally important: Code and Structure, Content and Keywords, and finally Authority (Links and Social engagement).
SEO is not dead, however ... how we think about SEO has changed.
It used to be that we focus solely on a specific keyword and on-page SEO. But now, optimizing for search is far more about content marketing than a specific keyword.
It's not just about using a phrase, but owning that phrase by building topical authority. Our team picks the subjects that are tied closely to our audience and product, and then tackle those topics by building a campaign centered around that topic. You can learn more about this “topics over keyword” strategy here: http://www.anumhussain.com/presentations/topics-over-keywords
SEO is not dead, however ... if you think SEO is only about gaining links, you will have a harder time than if you looked at it as a way to market your site.
Email, partnerships, sponsorships, targeted advertising, smart content and smarter promotion are what webmasters need to be thinking about going forward.
SEO is not dead, however ... it does sometimes stink like a fish. Google is claiming more and more real estate on the SERPs. We are advising all clients in 2016 to do the following:
- Double down on mastering Google controlled entities that dominate the SERPs such as Google My Business, Knowledge Graph results and Android App Indexing.
2. Diversify your SEO by taking advantage of the Wild West opportunities provided by growing search ecosystems such as iOS Spotlight Search and Facebook Search.
SEO is not dead, however … expect a zombie pulse CTR if you're not optimizing organic search/social snippets like a paid ad.
SEO is not dead, however … it's getting more complex and more fun.
Focus on how you can leverage first party data and deeper audience understanding to create richer digital experiences.
SEO is not dead, however … your business might be if you don't rank for searches that solve customers’ problems.
Write for humans first, Googlebots second. If you consistently publish great content that solves your potential customers’ problems, then optimise it for search, you have the potential to generate ridiculous amounts of traffic and leads.
SEO's need to be realistic when it comes to aligning the rankings they are going after and the assets they are proposing to rank. If you are targeting an information keyword with 50,000 searches per month, you're not going to rank a page on your commercial website without SIGNIFICANT promotion and amplification. And I mean significant, like negative ROI significant (seriously), in order to go after that term with a strategy that makes financial sense you need to consider building or leveraging other assets to get onto that SERP: is there a YouTube result? Is there a Wikipedia result? Is there a Quora result? (could there be!?) You need to come back to return on your SEO investment, and use sound financial reasoning to figure out how you're going to attack the keywords that make the most sense for your website.
The face of SEO is changing.
But the intent of the top content marketing companies is still the same: get the right content to the people who are looking for it.
Whether this means optimizing for the technical stats under the hood, or just making the content better for human readers, major search engines are figuring out what makes searchers happier, so you should too!
The new tools, tactics, and tweaks all fit snugly into any good inbound marketing strategy. There’s no reason not to use them! Adopt these practices and you will soon be an inbound marketing expert too.