The first generation of search engine optimizers once enjoyed a biblical reputation: seldom seen, holier than thou, and busy working miracles.
But the glamour feels like it’s fading in B2B circles as the discipline makes its way into the mainstream.
Authors like Dave Chaffey and David Viney have poured light into the dark art and tools, such as SEO editing software, often wrapped into user-friendly CMS systems, are automating a lot of formerly arcane processes.
The wizardry has become solid marketing practice, but has it delivered a major change in search engine performance? Well, for many B2B marketing teams, no, not really.
The fact is that you can’t win the SEO war with good optimization; you can only lose it with bad optimization.
Optimize for show
An optimized website is rapidly becoming standard. As Viney tacitly acknowledged in his book “How to get to the top of Google” the optimizing opportunity is closing fast.
“The bottom line is that after you – and your competitors – have used every other piece of optimization available, your domain name selection is perhaps the only area where you can really differentiate yourself.”
B2B marketing teams need to think beyond core content optimization and weave SEO into the fabric of business communication. It’s an organizational, as well as an optimization, task.
Organize for dough
The challenge centres on dynamic content management created by legions of B2B communicators without a thought to keyphrases and backlinks. Here are just four typical examples that spring to mind.
The Heavyweight Blogger – Many organisations are signing up superstar bloggers. They are often technologists, leaders in their field, who enjoy large followings and love to lead debates. They like to decide what their public wants to hear.
The Star Copywriter – Not many superstar copywriters (ours included) like to be told what words to use. And they certainly don’t want to be told to repeat the same words. They like to decide how to enchant their audiences.
The Social Conversationalist – Anyone representing a company on social networks or forums wants to stay in the conversation. They need to speak like responsive humans and they don’t like being given any sort of script.
The PR Guru – PR has a broad definition but it’s fair to say that, even today, the bulk of professionals are media handlers. In other words they work with capricious people working to established conventions. The like to stick to it.
So how can we persuade communicators to optimize and pitch attractive, portable content that delivers Google juice from top quality backlinks laden with anchor-text?
Here are five tips to organize your business to deliver SEO value:
1. Share benefits – People embrace extra work like turkeys embrace Christmas, unless you prove its value.
2. Educate everyone – If you don’t take the time to go on tour and teach, why should they take the time to learn?
3. Offer support – Many content creators don’t have time for SEO discipline. But they might just let you do it for them.
4. Pick up slack – You need to fill gaps. If the PR team won’t go beyond traditional media then the door’s open.
5. Share results – People are inspired by their results (good and bad) so share for ongoing momentum.
Today the case for search engine organization is growing. As optimization reaches saturation you need to combine people management with content management to win SEO wars.