An SEO is not a One Trick Pony
I recently read a post on Search Engine Guide that talks about SEO not fitting in a box, that is fluid and has to morph to each unique website and it can’t just be bundled up as and sold “as is”. I’d agree with that. While there is a base to a soup (content, linking, on page optimization), a lot of different things go in it beyond the basics. There are no guaranteed results with SEO and it can’t be predetermined because of things like domain history, competitor’s link profiles and the search algorithm signals constantly changing. But what it can do is have a profound impact if worked together with other marketing disciplines.
Social Media for example could use SEO to help with keyword strategy and backlinks. Using social networks and bookmarking, news about companies can get out there while achieving brand recognition, link backs and social signals back to your site (which is an increasingly important metric to people like Google). An easy way to integrate this is to sit down with the social media team and make sure they are using keywords, and pushing good, unique content out there on the internet that people will ultimately talk about.
Public Relations can absolutely get boost from properly written copy utilizing SEO. Keyword rich copy with anchor links in a public release will bring referral visits, brand awareness and links back to your site as well. While there are many sites out there such as PRWire to distribute press releases, it’s important that these releases make it to proper domains, as Google recently has putting down the hammer to spammy content farm sites. As with most things, if it looks sketchy I’d stay clear. Search engines are always stepping up their game with Panda and Penguin updates to make sure they are giving users exactly the information they are looking for.
Site architecture is another important area where SEO plays a pivotal role. There are laundry lists of best practices to look out for when constructing a site including: Flash isn’t your friend, use short keyword rich urls, 301 redirect broken pages or irrelevant pages, use of alt attributes when dealing with images to appear in blended search, using robots.txt file to delegate pages you don’t want to be indexed, having .xml and .html sitemaps in the domain directory…the list goes on for another 5 hours.
The point being, an SEO is a person can influence many different facets of marketing with their knowledge, while trying not to ruin the user experience (the constant battle). In most marketing fields, knowledge of SEO can help and also can help with the final metric: quality natural search engine traffic. A well rounded SEO can help more than just editing Meta Descriptions and adding content, they can provide a touch on lots of different marketing areas to improve total search traffic.