The fundamental tenet of organic search engine optimization (SEO) is that great content triumphs online. This ideology is user-centric in that it presumes the preponderance of search engine users know what content they seek when they see it … And stop searching when they find it.
By observing how, what, and when searchers hunt and gather around specific bits of content, search engines learn how to provide relevant search results for other searchers that repeat the pattern over time. Based on this principle, all an enterprise needs to do is generate content that serves searchers, not search engines, in order to produce successful search engine strategies over, and over again.
SEO actually used to be that easy. One simply put a frequently searched keyword phrase on a page and in a title tag, linked to it, and watched the search referral flow until the end of time.
Ten years ago SEO wasn’t just one tactic in an array of digital marketing schemes – it was the method that could produce online success nearly overnight. Fast forward to 2013 and SEO is clearly one of many online marketing tools in our digital repertoire.
Nowadays, SEO has to perform in balance and coordination with paid search, social media marketing, affiliated programs, mobile and local promotions, as well as complement offline marketing initiatives, in order to make any marked improvements in search results. Now more than ever before, organic search intersects with different online marketing disciplines that form part of the overall digital experience.
Producing successful strategies has never been more challenging for enterprise-level search, at least for those that are still trying to kick it old-school – creating content while muttering an outdated "build it and they will come" marketing mantra.
Today, search results are influenced not only by keyword cues and interlinking citations, but also social signals, geographical location, proximity intent, temporal shifts, concurrent data patterns, and visitor behavior.
It’s not enough to sculpt content into attaining highly ranked keyword-based search results anymore. Just driving search-referred traffic won't suffice when exemplifying enterprise search engines success stories in 2013.
It’s time to adjust our concept of search engine success and realign our online marketing priorities by engaging searchers with content created around client needs that are beholden to also greater business goals.
This is the primary challenge for enterprise search in 2013:
- Can your organization realign its search engine marketing goals to focus on resolving real business issues this year and beyond?
- Will your organization transcend conventional departmental barriers to produce tangible business results?
- How can you get your SEO team to stop tormenting themselves about perceived ranking shifts when more than 40 percent of search engines referrals can’t be attributed to a keyword or phrase?
These are types of questions the enterprise needs to ponder if search is to be successful in 2013.
When properly aligned, organic search can complement paid search results to optimize conversion rates. For enterprise level search, this means that all agencies and in-house program managers must be united around common online marketing goals.
When wholly integrated into public relations processes a well optimized press release can drive a sustainable burst of search referred traffic and to a new business line. Divergent communications departments must unite around nomenclature, legalities, and landing pages if a new business line is to get a toe-hold in search results too.
When working in harmony with social media projects a single picture can transform into the newest digital search sensation. Consider what type of content your organization can create by asking how it can improve what current customers think of it, not what message it wants to try and land with the masses.
Enterprise search in 2013 can help to remedy sales woes; instill greater brand loyalty; spark an ongoing conversation with key stakeholders; and work to transform people’s preconceived perceptions. But it can’t do much of anything at all if an organization can’t bridge the communication gap between people working in the same building, for the same company, on a broad range of digital projects.
Producing unique, compelling content remains a cornerstone of natural search optimization today’s digital environment. But building successful search engines strategies in 2013 doesn’t mean that the search team has to create the content, they just have to be part of the process that can help to optimize the search experience.
This year, focus on how to bring SEO into the conversation and then move on to discuss which tactics can be readily employed by the broader assemblage of digital marketers. Get started today by asking questions about your organizations digital marketing goals and figure out if SEO should to be a part of the conversation.
If you're prepared to explain why SEO is worth the effort for the enterprise, then you're ready to create new content opportunities that can work to engage your search-targeted audience all the 2013 … and beyond.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!