What’s Driving the SEO Bus?

by Susan Mullin

TorchLight’s marketing and communications experts offer tips for today’s “smart SEO”

Because of TorchLight’s position as one of the premier marketing and communications search and staffing firms serving the Washington, D.C., area, we’re frequently asked for our perspectives on various industry trends.

Chief among the questions we’re often asked: Is the industry moving into a post-SEO era?

Well, we can assure you that search engine optimization still matters. After all, you still need an online presence for your company, one in which your core audiences—consumers, buyers, businesses—will easily find you. And, you still want your company’s message to stand out from the competition and distinguish itself from the increasing “noise” of the marketplace.

What is different today, however, is a fundamental shift away from the mechanics of SEO as the goal to SEO as one tactic in a larger content marketing strategy. No longer is SEO dominating in the same way it did only a few years ago. No longer is SEO alone the be-all, end-all.

Like most things, SEO is an evolving practice. One of the biggest changes happening now is that the quality of content matters again. It always mattered, of course—but once again, “content is king” after making us suffer through previous years of “junk writing” simply to drive SEO.

Remember when the secret to SEO involved stringing keywords together in a way that might drive search results but literally smash to pieces the marketing message? Those days are behind us now. (And the world’s digital copywriters breathe a collective sigh of relief!) Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, released earlier this year, is a significant driver for this renewed focus on quality content—and not solely quantity of content—as a means for generating SEO results. So, today, there’s greater emphasis on good, quality, creative content, period.

So what’s our best advice to companies looking to capitalize on the shift from SEO to content marketing?

A few tips:

  • Write your content well: Write quality content first, and THEN weave in the keywords and terms you are accustomed to incorporating.
  • Publish regularly: More regular content leads to more frequent exposure. Create a schedule for creating and publishing content on a regular basis.
  • Run your digital content like a newspaper or magazine: Develop an editorial calendar for each quarter that takes into account every facet of your online presence, with your central marketing messages running throughout them like a ribbon.
  • Measure results overall, not just SEO: It’s not enough to just measure SEO successes; look at the overall quality of your content and the results they’re driving through engagement.

After all, your company can still capitalize on the SEO strategies you’ve cultivated thus far, but don’t let SEO hijack your digital marketing strategy. These days, it’s the quality of content that engages readers and drives the bus!

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Posted in , Copywriting, Digital Marketing