Here’s the thing, I spend a lot of my time doing SEO freelance work. While I tackle SEO at my day job setting up proper internal site structure (silos i.e. architecture), using tools like SEO ultimate to add meta description/keyword descriptions and the deeplink juggernaut to install proper contextual linking throughout my companies’ websites, I spend a lot of my nights digging into the thoughts of SEO experts. From Rand at SEOMoz to everything published by Search Engine Watch (@SEWatch) and Search Engine Journal (@SEJournal), SEO thinking is somewhat all over the place.
On a daily basis, if you do a quick search for #SEO or #ContentStrategy on Twitter, you can find a myriad of search engine optimization articles which more often than not, fully contradict one another. From articles proclaiming keyword stuffing is horrible (and the opposite), to articles stating website sitemaps don’t matter (and the opposite) to tweet’s exposing the benefits of buying backlinks (and the opposite), it is clear the SEO market is constantly in a state of contradicting ideas. What works? What doesn’t work? It is safe to say there is a lot of confusion out there. Amid all this search confusion the one truth of SEO I have learned is: SEO, like social media, is a conversation starter, a way to get someone to the door. What happens beyond that door is a whole other game.
Walking Through the Door
One of the gentlemen I do some freelance work for always says, “All the SEO in the world isn’t going to make a direct conversion.” He constantly stresses the need for SEO minds to implore their employer to know what to do with the search traffic quality SEO and Social Media creates. In this vein, great copy and a sales battling plan comes into play. In most cases I find my employers, be they freelance or otherwise, believe that the job of an SEO is to generate search traffic. They believe the job of an SEO optimizer is to create a great backlink portofolio, optimize entire websites for search engine rankings, create excellent keyword and calendar based content (articles, video, infographics etc.) and leverage emerging trends by cross referencing social media with search engine trending results to bring traffic to the cusp. In all honesty, when I first got interested in SEO work, I was fine with this. I was fine with weighting words as numbers to create content people search for. I was fine with bringing someone to the door and handing them off to the sales team behind the door. I was fine with this. I am not anymore.
As I get deeper and deeper into SEO and marketing, I have come to believe the job of an SEO doesn’t end at the door. Someone who works in search is charged with generating traffic through answering questions and producing great content through following the rules of copy writing. The chief job of a search expert is to understand how to answer “What is”, “How to”, “How can I” questions. Due to this, if the SEO is creating the content and leveraging the trends to bring that question traffic to the door, the SEO should have input into the sales process for the sole reason that they have already answered the question. By answering the question, the SEO knows what the potential client (potential conversion) is looking for and needs. It is folly to believe the SEO has no part in the sales process. By getting the traffic to the door, the SEO already has an insight into what the client wants. If sales is filling that need, satisfying what the client wants, it would be stupid for any sales team or exec to block to SEO from the sales process.
My point being: The SEO brings the client to the door and the SEO needs to help the client step through.
With that being said, I need to get back to my day job. To learn more about this, check out SEO Internal Link Structure and Internal Page Rankings.
End SEO rant.