Search engine optimization used to be fairly easy: there was far less competition, and techniques, like submitting to article repositories or engaging in link exchanges, were the norm. They were effective – and today, they’re not only going to be ineffective, but they are also going to get you in trouble with Google. SEO is evolving into a more integrated approach, called “search marketing integration.” No, it’s not an “SEO killer”; it’s a natural progression given changes in algorithms and search habits.
What is search marketing integration? Essentially, it is an integrated approach that encompasses search, PR, multiple channels and campaigns, branding, sales, and virtually every aspect of a business. A siloed approach to these elements won’t cut it; to get top billing in the SERPs, you need to take a more holistic approach. What should SEOs, or SMIs, be concerned with:
- Public relations. Press releases, interviews, and other aspects that have transferred from print media to online media are going to be important. These mediums lend credibility to your news, can be a great way to gain visibility, and are heavily read by journalists and others within your industry. Work on crafting high quality releases – and make sure you have news worth reporting!
- Branding. Faceless companies dominate no more. We want to know our companies better, and we want to know the people behind them. SEO best practices, like keywords, optimised anchor text, and metadata can help you build your brand’s visibility, and social media and other tools can help you engage with your audience more effectively. You want to establish yourself as an individual as well. You are an authority – now how are you going to get others to recognize this?
- Social media. Speaking of social media, you need to get involved. While Facebook may not be for everyone or every business, there are a host of forums of which you can take advantage, including LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and more. These will help you with everything from generating leads to retaining customers. Social is also a great way to disseminate high quality content, which, as it turns out, is the king of SMI as well!
- Search engine marketing. You want to integrate your organic and paid ad campaigns. It appears that there is a relationship between ad click-through-rates and the presence of an organic listing on the first page. This definitely helps boost your CTR.
- Video marketing. Video does exceedingly well in search results. A website with a video is 53 times more likely to land on page one, and video viewers are 64 percent more likely to purchase after watching a product video. With abundant technology, from webcams to your smartphone, there is no reason not to do video.
SMI is the next frontier for websites and businesses. Get on the bus now and secure yourself a competitive advantage.