SEO has become the holy grail of digital marketing. Which, when you think about it, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. SEO is a tool. (Or an employee, if you have a Search Engine Optimizer on staff.) It should be the means to an end, rather than the end itself.
Thanks to Google, and the “Panda” update, we can stop stuffing a gazillion keywords into our online content. Panda, with its mission of de-ranking “low quality websites” that use word duplication and other verbal nuisances, will push us to use effective SEO that works in service of messaging integration. Not just within digital silos, but across all your marketing and sales channels.
It’s time for responsive programming in the most literal sense: getting the desired response from a qualified b2b or b2c consumer. In today’s fractured marketplace, it’s not enough that they land on your url or m-dot site. You have to reward them for finding you, give them a reason to engage, confirm their decision to be there, and offer them something for taking action.
To do this, you have to write sentences. Not words lists. Search engines — including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask — are becoming much more sophisticated. They will get better and better at pre-sorting results based on what the viewer is looking for — not for the blind predominance of a certain key word or phrase.
In the end, it comes down to consumer experience in whatever space they connect with you. Make sure your brand look and voice are the same in your print ads as on your website, in your bricks-and-mortar store, and in your mobile apps. If you are offering a coupon a free white paper to a particular audience, support and cross-sell one channel with another. Full marketing integration gives you both the power of consistency and the drill-down precision of one-to-one marketing.