The way we market, sell and deliver SEO services has undoubtedly changed. Google's algorithm updates have made content marketing and social media the core of a strong organic search strategy. So while the practice of SEO evolves, the definition of SEO ought to evolve as well.
Other digital marketing tactics such as email marketing, paid search and search retargeting have very clear, undisputed definitions. The definition of SEO, on the other hand, seems to be just as unclear as the practice itself.
Current Definitions of SEO
Even when you Google the phrase, "definition of SEO", nothing really concrete is returned.
Wikipedia's official definition is, "the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page."
Search engine optimization is about way more than this.
Webopedia's definition is, "a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) -- including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines."
SEO is more than this too.
Is Web Presence Optimization the Evolution of SEO?
So what is an accurate description of SEO given the changes to the industry?
Web presence optimization is an all-encompassing approach to optimizing an entire web presence for organic search including the website, social channels, blogs, articles and press releases. Where strategies, techniques, and tactics are still used, but content marketing and social media are strongly incorporated.
What's Your Definition of SEO?
Here are some new definitions of SEO to consider, and I invite you to comment below with your own.
- SEO is the ongoing process of uncovering and discovering non-branded keywords that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, then publishing content optimized for those keywords.
- SEO is the process of producing optimized content that is discoverable by the target audience as they progress through the buying cycle.
- SEO is about a prospect discovering a brand's content and web presence through search and social, and the owner of that content being able to understand who consumed the content and the impact of the content across the organization.
- SEO is the outcome of a content marketing strategy that makes use of highly converting keywords that your target audience is searching on.
- SEO is the process of enhancing the visibility of a brand's web presence in organic search.
SEO in the digital marketing mix is here to stay. Standardizing a definition of SEO will help buyers better understand the importance of it, the reason for committing to it, and the short- and long-term impact an SEO strategy has on a web presence.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts about the definition of SEO.
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!