We have been providing internet marketing services since 1996, also known as the “dawn of time.” In the fifteen, plus years since then, someone in the industry regularly proclaims that “SEO is dead.” Every time there is a twist or a turn in the Google road, pundits tell us it’s the beginning of the end.
SEO is a funny term to begin with. But it has stuck as the acronym of the search engine optimization industry since way back when. So, I’m jumping in now and stating that SEO is in fact, dead. It actually died several years ago, when the practice of “optimizing” web sites required that other web sites call your web site an important resource. When the search algorithm calculates somewhere around 50/50 what you said on your page and what others said about you on their pages, the game changed entirely. This change happened several years ago. As soon as the herd figured out how to game it, the hammer came down hard in the form of a cute, foreign-named bear called Panda.
But the landscape of SEO was already changing before the so called Panda Update and we saw it early on. We coined a phrase back then. We call what we do, “Holistic Internet Marketing.” That’s because SEO is only part of a good internet marketing plan. After all, if you only work to be found on the search engines and they change the game, you are in a world of hurt. We’ve likened the effort for small business to “spinning plates.” You’ve got to keep all the various marketing components moving forward to find online success.
Just the other day, some guru, somewhere, claimed that what the SEO practitioners were now doing should be called “Integrated Digital Marketing.” That sounds very important and techy compared to our granola munching version. But they really mean the same thing. An online marketer cannot rest on their laurels. Web sites will always need to be optimized for many things, including being found by search mechanisms employed by people looking for what it is you offer. But that is just the beginning of the journey. The user experience needs to be constantly updated and optimized, Various paid advertising efforts must be analyzed and optimized. New sources of traffic and sales must be found. The social world must be notified and cute kittens sacrificed when they get cranky or ambivalent.
What’s most important is that there is not enough time in the day for a small business owner to cover all the potential ways to market their business on the web. A consultant must be found and a portion of the workload must be outsourced to keep up with the pace. Sure, SEO is now officially dead… long live SEO!