Why SEOs are Finding Themselves Reporting to Content Marketing

Why SEOs are Finding Themselves Reporting to Content Marketing

By Chad PollittJan 16 /2012

Some SEO practitioners are having a hard time adjusting to the many new changes in Google’s ranking algorithm, indexing system, and Google’s plunge into social media. On the other hand, content marketers are thriving in the SERPs. These changes have benefited the prolific content producers while hurting the traditional mathematician-type SEO’s ability to maximize organic web visibility. The old days of massive SEO audits, building lots of grey backlinks and page sculpting have been replaced with highly valuable problem solving content that is evangelized and shared throughout social media.

Google’s Sweet Spot

Two years ago Google’s sweet spot was easy to identify – Sculpt on-page factors, build lots of backlinks, have clean search-friendly code and make sure website architecture is flat. Content played a roll, but with enough backlinks it didn’t matter. Those days were dominated by the traditional introverted SEO practitioner who was considered a hero when they landed number one on Google. They told the writers what keyword phrases needed to be in their content, where and how many while doing the appropriate programming work, link building and tracking.

SEO vs Content Marketing

With Google’s recent updates this has changed. In fact, at Eloqua SEOs actually report to content marketing now. This is obviously in response to Google Panda, the Caffeine update “Freshness” and the elimination of 10 – 30% of the keyword reporting capability of Google. These changes have pushed content to the forefront while shrinking the importance of the technical SEO tactics mentioned above. Without lots of good quality content it’s much harder to maximize organic search visibility. With Google’s new SSL rules it’s impossible to calculate the ROI for traditional SEO tactics too.

Redefining Maximum Organic Search Visibility

In order to achieve maximum organic search visibility it requires ranking well for the greatest number of relevant and highly searched keywords or phrases right? Not necessarily. . .

Actually, it requires traffic from the greatest number of relevant keywords regardless of where they rank. SERP results are not what they used to be. Just because you get certain results doesn’t mean your neighbor will.

If someone is using Chrome, logged into a Google app or they’re located in a different location it is very likely that their search results will be very different than yours.

The point is that by ignoring where you rank on a keyword phrase and focusing on how many keyword phrases drive traffic you can see large growth in organic search visibility. This is accomplished with an aggressive content marketing deployment.

Kuno has seen a 556% increase in organic traffic by taking this approach and almost a half-point increase in the organic visit to lead ratio. The MarketingTechBlog.com credits 72% of their organic traffic from phrases which appear on the second page or beyond. Since we can’t track up to 30% of our keywords isn’t it about time to stop worrying about where they rank and focus on how many there are and how much traffic they drive?

Search engine optimization has drastically changed. If companies refuse to commit to content marketing and social media they will eventually see their search visibility suffer. This makes now the best time to start. Especially if no one else in your industry is doing it. If that’s the case, it represents an opportunity to create a competitive advantage. Don't forget, when your campaign is off the ground make sure SEO reports to content marketing and you'll be well on your way to maximum organic search visibility.

Image: @DanielUlichney