SEO, we’ve got a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) to address.
It’s clear the SEO industry is changing in new and different ways. It’s not as much about the latest new tactic as it is about the latest shift in paradigm. We’re not just asking questions like “how do I address this code issue?” but much more often we’re also asking “how do we address this visibility issue?” or “how do I get a piece of that marketing or PR action?”. We’re clearly defining the divide between a site’s technical site health and it’s inbound marketing, while having the unique ability to be able to create a valuable synergy between the two. Who else does that? No one. It’s us.
Expensive Marketing Campaigns are Missing Opportunities
Here’s the thing. Fantastic online marketing efforts repeatedly miss the mark when big online campaigns like AskMen’s Top 99 Women Special oversees that they have duplicate URLs, or marketing campaigns like Hyundai’s SuperBowl ads or Dove’s Real Beauty campaigns have long been notorious for forgetting people will search for this stuff and they need to own those SERPS.
Search is a Black Sheep Marketing Channel
Integrated, multi-channel marketing has
- A defined audience
- With specific needs
- And a message to get out to that audience.
The audience is hanging out in different places online and offline, so marketers send their message out via several channels (print, tv, online, etc). Search is a marketing channel, but still seen by traditional marketers (and truthfully, a lot of us) as something you just optimize your code and links for, forgetting that that same audience is using search to fulfill those same needs. So audiences are researched and defined, personas are carefully drawn up with pictures and stories, value propositions are crafted, marketing budgets are allocated to magazines and Facebook ads and sending people to space, and then they call SEOs to say hey, what do I do with this search optimization stuff?
For sure these guys typically don’t think of SEO as “How can the search channel attract and convert our core audience and help us meet our campaign goals” when they launch a campaign. Not just launch a website – launch a campaign.
This is Your Opportunity
As technical marketers crawling up the marketing food chain we have a great opportunity right smack in front of us. That gap between traditional marketing and technical marketing needs to be filled. Traditional marketers don’t see it yet, but we do. Some of you might say it’s not possible. People aren’t calling us for this kind of stuff. Of course they’re not – they can’t ask you for what they don’t know. AskMen surely has no idea they have duplicate URLs. Dove likely is blind to the fact they weren’t ranking for their own campaign slogan. Some of our clients at SEOgadget are missing that same mark right now, and you can be sure as hell I’m going to let them know. Who’s going to open traditional marketers eyes to this stuff if it’s not you and me?
It’s Time to Think Bigger
I’m not saying this is easy. I often have a hard time trying to explain why we want to make cool interactive experiences for clients, let alone try to collaborate with their’ PR and marketing teams to integrate search into the ongoing marketing mix. But it’s not impossible. Our industry has always been one that needs to educate it’s audience, and this is no different. The smart ones will get it, and we’ll climb our way up the marketing chain and hopefully add a touch of respect back to our industry. It’ll take a while, but if we all start to think a little bit bigger, we *can* make this happen.
Side note: On the technical side, I expect Google to be able to find your keys soon, especially with the addition of the man of The Singularity fame himself, Ray Kurzweil. Get ready to optimize for that. #ThinkBigger