What has happened with the world when one needs an industry expertise to perform search engine optimisation (SEO)? I always tend to perceive an SEO manager’s role as one that doesn’t require having specific knowledge about an industry, and that its principles and processes are transferable to any business and also any vertical. One search engine optimiser, in my opinion, can easily provide SEO services for both a consumer electronic retailer and a non for profit institution without being deeply involved in the operations of those organisations. It should not make any difference because the principle of how you optimise content for search engines remains the same regardless of whether you are in the electronics, health care, not for profit, entertainment or any other industry. There are several key tactics that are in use, but with constant changes and updates in Google search algorithms, those tactics quite often lose relevance. It is difficult to know the exact number of parameters that Google uses in its algorithms, and even harder to know how they affect a website’s PageRank.
I came to a realisation that the role of search engine optimisers (SEOs) has drastically changed over the years. Once a technical person working behind the curtain, SEOs are increasingly becoming public facing individuals, managing your social media accounts and speaking on behalf of your organisation. Moreover, they actively work on your company’s thought leadership. It’s not therefore wrong to conclude that Social Media Managers are actually in the same business as SEOs. The differences between search engine optimisation and social media optimisation (SMO) are in the goals and outcomes of the two. The ultimate goal of SEO is to get the “link juice” transferred from high authority domains to your company’s website. In the case of SMO, it’s the interaction with prospects and building a company’s reputation, getting customer referrals and recommendations. The reality is that you need all of this social media management and relationship building to get people to acknowledge and share your content and voluntarily provide links to your website. Turns out your SEO people have become managers of your brand image and reputation.
Link building, as one of the most important aspects of SEO, requires strong industry expertise and knowledge in order to be successful. If the content is what’s driving people to recognise your company and provide natural links to your website, then the content must be meaningful, well thought out and written by the people that walk the talk. It should be written by industry experts because only they possess the required knowledge. Does that sound like your regular SEO ninja? This also begs the question – is link juice a goal or an outcome of good marketing?