I’m guessing that we are all feeling the changes in the SEOs job requirements. Google has made sure we develop this industry and set up rules to “through the garbage out”. The SEO is not what it used to be.
We all remember the good old times when SEO rules (breaking) were a common practice and link building was simply a home page URL submission to a list of directories and bookmarking sites. Then you just write an article or two submit is a gazillion article directoriesÂ – and it worked.
Well it does not work any more and the past several years have been filled with recovery projects, developing additional SEO services as requested by our target audience. The spamming time definitely hit us bad, or created additional work for all SEO professionals, developing SEO Consultancy and SEO Recovery services in this industry – depends if you see the glass half full or half empty.
The Future is Now
Working with IT companies most of the time, I see that SEOs juts have to force their influence in every department these days: front development, UI design, web design, marketing, support, sales….everywhere. At first everyone is surprised, but when you take the Google guidelines in consideration and you state all the ranking factors, you see that it’s all so much connected. For a while we believed (and Google’s officials confirmed) that social media signals do not affect SEO, but now even that has changed.
UI and Web Design, Frond End Development
Good SEOs know that keeping the user onsite is essential to improve the time on site and keep the bounce rate stable. So the website load speed, the website mobile friendliness, the proper layout and all that is getting us involved in this sector very deeply. Designers are not very happy about it usually and if you can get the top management support on your side, you can be of great influence.
The online sales process, especially for companies that sell worldwide, happens online mostly. The sales team does research, submits presentation with backlinks included to all sorts of presentation websites and they use social media channels to get connected to their prospects. Unwillingly, they do link building activities and social media engagement. They drive traffic to the website. They use anchor text for their backlinks. If you manage to teach them to use it properly they can be your most influential ambassadors for good SEO.
Software Development Team
You are wondering if these guys are actually affecting SEO. Well they are, especially for the company website and the company products and services sites. Their everyday work requires a lot of research and mingling at software development forums and community sites. They create profiles and they post link of their work (your sites). All of this affect the backlink structure of the SEO project and the rankings. The posting usually happens on very high domain authority sites that are well set up on search engines and they can drive authority back to your own domain and traffic.
On the other hand if they post finance services projects websites at software development forums – that’s a different story. The relevance is not exactly a match. So the SEO person has to intrude here again.
Now the developers are hard nuts to crack sometimes and SEO seams like a lot of mambo-jumbo to them. They are just not aware how much influence they do. For things to be even worse, their project managers will never allow you to approach them with a tutorial or “waste their time” as they would say with SEO guidelines. But sometimes it is worth a try even if you get rejected.
These guys are transferring more and more of their assets online and invest in online advertising, PPC, newsletter campaigns, content networks distribution services and so on…
SEO is an integrated part of the digital strategy of any project. One of today’s SEO pillars is that “content is king”. So working along side the content writers from the marketing team is essential. I usually provide guidelines how to write content that is SEO friendly and then edit the meta data they provide for this content, the interlinking with other useful content and external links. I can say that these guys understand us SEOs best.
There is a downside to their advertising efforts. here is what I mean: I’m sure that every now and then you jump into a discussion about Google’s affecting the SEO rankings of their top advertisers. There are even stories of top advertisers losing their SEO rankings after they stopped advertising on Google. This is a subject worth investigating, cause there is no direct confirmation. I have a theory of mine about this “paradox” but that’s a different post:).
The support guys are usually very friendly beasts and they comply to SEO guidelines easily. They are the guys that communicate with clients, presenting the company values and gathering feedback. They motivate the users to share the positive experience online mostly and generate natural backlinks indirectly. No one could see their influence on SEO by now. The support team is sometimes the content writing team for the support files submitted online, the FAQ page on the website, the support articles published. They are the content generators that use most semantic keywords and produce useful quality content. Proving them with guidelines, review and set up SEO elements on their posts is essential. You don’t need articles specially set for SEO these days, you need support articles that will be used, read and shared.
So as I read somewhere online “SEO’s will be the first professionals to kill their own jobs”. SEO’s professionals are turning into consultants, teaching everyone how their work can influence search engines and organic rankings, something similar to traditional marketing.
But change is for the best, you either embrace it or die.