The content below is from an article published on Mosaic.com in March 2016.
Below is the answer to a question asked more and more by both business owners and marketing executives all over the country. This answer is simply an explanation of how the use of the acronym SEO has changed, not the process of web page optimization. First a short video that helps explain the SEO, Internet marketing relationship:
The take away should be: SEO is still the process of configuring any web page to match the ranking criteria set forth by Google & the other primary search engines so that web page achieves the top ranking on the SERP (search engine results page) as it's related to a specific keyword or keyphrase. So, if the process hasn't changed, what has? As you will see in the answer below, the changes may be seen the most in the simple understanding that 10 years ago, the term SEO meant Internet marketing. This is no longer the case because this term doesn't include so many of the additional online marketing components like blog development, social media strategy, lead generation and lead nurturing strategies, not to mention the process of quality analytics.
Question: Demystifying SEO - "I understand the basics of SEO; finding long tail keywords with low competition that give you a chance to rank your content. But what comes next? I have found several resources on SEO but the concept is still a mystery to me."
Answer: Hi XXXXXXX - I wish I had more time to "demystify" SEO here in this forum today but let me at least leave you with this one important question I believe is important to ask yourself.
Is in fact "SEO" your objective or is successful marketing your objective? It's a question that must be asked simply because technology and website marketing strategies have changed so much. Many organizations like your sometimes use the acronym "SEO" but what they are really asking about is successful marketing. It's important for you to be able to answer this question because the advice, suggestions and recommendations you are searching for here on Mosaic will be very different depending on how you answer this base line question.
I personally hold certifications from UCLA in digital marketing and new media as well as inbound marketing credentials from HubSpot. If I knew you were specifically asking about SEO, I would provide one set of answers. If, on the flip side you came back to me and said, no, I really meant marketing online, I would offer another set of solutions.
For example: If I answered your question in the context of SEO, my initial suggestion would be this - Once you uncovered and were comfortable with the results of the keyword analysis strategy you used in your question, you would then need to continue to expand this "SEO" strategy by completing the "On-Page SEO" component next. Meaning, you would tie 1 to 2 keywords to each page (as well as your new content strategy) and inset those keywords to every web page property that is appropriate. This would include title tags, description tags, image tags, URLs, and so on.
If, on the other hand your question was really about successful marketing, I would change the conversation to include how your SEO, Blog, Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing & Analytics strategy fit together to build a solid & comprehensive online marketing plan.
So, part of demystifying SEO is understanding it's definition and then it's role. SEO (in my experience) now refers more to the actual, physical web page configurations that act as Google criteria and help you secure a better search engine ranking result in relation to a specific keyword or keyphrase. However, I want to stress that SEO (the way I am defining it here) is only a part of your online marketing strategy and maybe not the most important part.
With all of this said, I will leave you with this. Even if you successfully "SEO" every page on your web site, I would suggest that the blogging and social media elements might be more important to your long term success because these are the "living & breathing" components of your marketing plan. Yes, SEO is important but on it's own, it may not hold much value at all, ESPECIALLY if you operate in a very competitive arena. When you take a step back from your marketing plan and consider those areas that may be most important, I will tell you that the answer is a no brainer to me and that is "customer experience".
When all is said and done, your SEO plan, your blog plan, your social media plan and so on must all be developed with the end goal of producing a better customer experience. Google can now measure the customer experience and if you offer one that is better than your competition, you will see things happen that are no doubt, some of the thinking behind your question today.
I hope this helps and please excuse any typos as I try to get as much thinking as I could in with the limited time I had today. Good luck with everything!