A colleague recently sent a Forbes blog post around for comment, The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content. My reply turned into almost a blog post so I thought I’d post my thoughts here.
This headline may attract attention (great job!), but it’s similar to the headlines over the past few years proclaiming email is dead. Such headlines attract discussion, but email is not dead and SEO is not on its deathbed. Technologies and information processes are just refined over time. It happens. We, in turn, evolve our business practices.
The sub-title: “The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content” is the real message where brands should focus. It calls for brands to uplevel social, sharing and PR in order to help make the “real, valuable, relevant content” more visible to audiences. How might that be accomplished, in addition to great SEO?
1. Get more inbound traffic with social sharing and content syndication. Not only can the brand’s main social channels reach people, but employees are largely an untapped market to increase social sharing. It’s easy for employees to get ‘heads down’ and think it’s not their job if they don’t have “social” in their job title. But, employees can do more to increase their own social visibility and sharing content that relates to the content their employers create and publish.
2. Uplevel sharing opportunities on domain. Did you notice on the Forbes article at how prominent the sharing buttons are in the article? They are stationary in the left margin no matter how much you’ve scrolled. Plus, there is a small horizontal row of sharing options under the post. Making sharing opportunities more visible instead of just an afterthought would help build visibility and traffic for good content.
3. Build more internal PR for content. How many brands have active internal programs to increase external social sharing by employees? Training interested employees and turning them into brand ambassadors, would also help create more visibility and traffic for good content.
In addition to the SEO work that we do when we publish blog posts or web content, we have to realize that our work is not done. Content marketing or content activation is the second half of the solution. Each of the above suggestions are other areas that can help brands grow traffic for great content that aligns with Google’s changing search algorithm.