What Is the New SEO?

The term “SEO” is often associated with spammy link building and the (often unsubstantiated) promise of appearing on the front page of Google. Because of this, I am constantly asked whether or not I believe that SEO is dead – my short answer is that SEO is not dead, it has just evolved. So what is this “new SEO”?

If you are unfamiliar with SEO (search engine optimization), it is a term used to explain the process of organically updating and evolving the online presence of a company or brand to increase its visibility in search engines. This main foundation of SEO still exists, but it is no longer just about manipulating a website in order to be the top search result. You must think strategically about how your SEO supports your website, social media, public relations and marketing initiatives to ultimately reach your target audience and build your brand.

The Internet as a platform for interacting with your current and potential customers is constantly shifting and evolving. SEO is about evolving your presence online and giving your customers a good experience. At its core, it is considered organic; it is based on the natural flow of users interacting with your brand online without paid advertising efforts (search engine marketing or SEM). Our goal is to get your company to be the top result of the most relevant searches but only by offering the best solution to potential customers. In order to ensure your place in organic searches, there is work that must be done every month.

Here are a few things a company can do every month in order to ensure their site is visible:

  • Use Google Analytics to track visitors and their engagement with the site and make sure your site has not been affected by a Google Algorithm update. If you see a large fluctuation in traffic, look up Google Algorithm updates and you may find the culprit.
  • Be intentional about how you talk about your company and services. Choose specific keywords or phrases you hope to be found for and use them throughout the website, blog and social media posts without over doing it. The more targeted these keywords are, the higher chance you have of reaching the right audience.
  • Make sure you have a page on your site that caters to specific audience needs. Optimizing individual pages and organically offering information surrounding a keyword will give your site more visibility. Plus, search engines like to see new, fresh content added on a regular basis.
  • Monitor all social media accounts (Yelp, Facebook, Google+, etc.), post regularly to show your expertise, and make sure you respond to any reviews, interactions or posts about your company.
  • Make sure your local listings are up to date and showing up in all relevant markets (Google Local, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Yelp).
  • Research competitors and see if there are any new opportunities, like an online community, that you should be involved in or an audience that you may be missing.
  • Align any public relations or marketing efforts with your online branding.
  • Have you sent out a direct mail piece recently? Create an HTML of it and post it online. Have you issued a news release or had an article published about your company? Make sure it links back to the most relevant page on your website to encourage visitor engagement.

SEO is transitioning into a larger, more in-depth approach, building your brand beyond the search page to develop visibility of your company in all aspects of the Internet. As online marketing evolves, we are changing with it by optimizing content both on and off your site. Everything about expanding your brand and managing your brand’s reputation still applies in an online platform.

You must take initial steps to define the goals and conversions of your website to make sure customers are finding and engaging with your site and the content answers their questions. This is beyond the limited term of search engine optimization and is a greater digital marketing strategy for your company. The content you generate on any online platform will showcase your expertise about a service or industry so that you can slowly build online relationships and a trustworthy brand.

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