Whatever happened to SEO?

I used to write a lot more about search marketing on this blog and my former employer’s blog. But it hasn’t been a long time since social media became what everyone was talking about, reading about , and proselytizing about. People built entire careers out of their ability to become superstars of this new medium.

Now mobile marketing is starting to realize it’s place, as smart phones slowly take over the cell phone market.

But what ever happened to people’s interest in search marketing? It seems as marketers’ attention shifted to these sexier subjects, the tried-and-true search market has been ignored. I’m basing this both on the reading material I find, and the analytics for my own blog: There is more hard information out there on social media than there is on improved findings and tactics for search marketing.

This wasn’t the case three or four years ago. Back then there were plenty of mainstream articles on the value of a good Google position. Today everything feels like it has stagnated. “Google’s still number 1, Yahoo is gone, Microsoft is still not Google. Film at 11.”

I think this is because the work of natural search is complex, where social media can be about as simply put as, “making friends.” Also, social media lets people blast messages at others, where search marketing is more passive.

I’m really not sure why this shift in attention, but search marketing still offers a far greater opportunity for traffic, leads and sales than social media does. If you are retooling your time and energy into social media at the expense of your SEO campaigns, you are leaving money on the table. Search is a known commodity. It does take more work to gain a superior Google ranking than it does to get 1000 Twitter friends, but anything that is difficult to achieve is usually worth it.

Mobile marketing may well become the king of Interactive sales in the next few years. But when it does, people will still need a way to find things. iPhone and Android may then find themselves the new top search engines. Who knows? But however you slice it, SEO is still incredibly important to your marketing goals, and shouldn’t be ignored because the “latest things” in marketing get so much more ink.

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2 comments

  1. Well said, and as the content manager of my company, I say “Bravo!” to more passive attempts at being found on the web. Social Media has it’s place, but good ol’ fashioned copy writing and well placed keywords are timeless. Each time you need a “dry cleaner in Mempis” or the “best salad in Mesa” (it’s at Pita Jungle) you will use that holy Google search bar.

    1. Thanks, Nicole! You bring up a great point – social media, while great, is driven by quick messages. How much compelling copy can you write in 140 characters or less? It can be done, but it gets swept away too quickly. SEO is there for the person not out to converse, but looking for something specific, and NOW.

      And I love Pita Jungle too. But when you’re in Tempe, go to Nello’s for a great Tortellini Salad.

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