During the early days of SEO, marketers essentially worried more about how the numbers are crunched as opposed to anything more substantial (reactions/response to content, quality of messaging, validity of sources etc). There was a complete divide between this particular style of online marketing and what was still the obscure area that is content marketing.
Today, content marketing on the internet is practically synonymous with SEO. Does this mean that content marketing has become a number crunching game or the complete opposite?
It’s true that manipulating numbers and content quality don’t make the most ideal combination (nor the most ethical). That’s why it’s safe to say that the new marriage between SEO and Content Marketing is one where there is less complex use of numbers and more focus on what’s being put out to your audience. Simply put, it’s the numbers that are now being kept simple while complex processes are in the realm of content. Here’s how:
Reasons behind the numbers are simpler.
Before, people worried about not having enough keywords stuffed in the text or enough backlinks in the right places. The algorithms designed to crawl for these made for really obscure reasons as opposed to more believable reasons for lack/increase in content viewership.
Now, content marketers can make guesses that are more down-to-earth when analyzing the metrics of their content. (“Did I leave something out?” “Are we being googled after every email?” “Maybe this blog should’ve said more about our last trade show.”)
Content is now tied to the rest of the campaign.
The impact of your other marketing strategies is more realistically felt by content marketers. Your website is no longer in some enclosed space that its own perks are only as far as getting views and not directly contributing to sales.
Granted, this also brings about the need for content creators and other areas of marketing to really share the responsibility. No longer is the department allowed to divide itself into finger pointing mini-silos.
B2B customers want real, transparent buying experiences.
For the most part, the tactics of old-school, black hat SEO are more deceptive. A few keywords here or enough blog posts there and you can fool Google into thinking you were a big-name brand.
Meanwhile customers are left frustrated upon realizing the deception (such as when they finally make a call or meet your sales rep). It’s common knowledge that it’s the users who ultimately decide how Google is going to work, not SEO marketing veterans. They’re the ones demanding a smoother, more honest experience with their search for vendors.
And since Google has complied, it’s only logical to see that businesses are scrambling to follow the lead.
With the meaning behind all these numbers getting simpler and simpler each day, there’s more brainspace to start thinking about what you really want to say to customers.