Recently, I witnessed a conversation about content promotion.
The person surmised that content that is published on your website really does not need to be promoted.
Now you’re probably thinking two things:
- I thought this post was about SEO and changing on-site/on-page factors for the next 5 years?
- Dude, that’s incorrect – content promotion has nothing to do with SEO!
Wait… let’s continue…
While I don’t totally agree with the person, the shift in thinking here is profound and begs you to look at this in a NEW (and better) way.
You begin with the end in mind. (I’m using content as the example because it applies to SEO / search engines…and as you’ll see).
Instead of creating content pages YOU find valuable and sharing them by narrow and flimsy keyword-only research…
…do this instead:
Flip your new content and product strategy on its head. Begin at the very end: What does your prospects and customers actually want & need?
This turns out to be a perfect model for your upcoming SEO projects.
Here is the implication and opportunity for future SEO on-site work (A current and forward thinking change in your SEO habits):
For SEO and search engines, that means focusing on the searcher outputs, not the ranking inputs.
Take a look at the left and right side of this SEO on-site infographic:
Left Brain, Right Brain – What Wins The SEO Game Of The Future?
The left side of the chart focuses on the (onsite) technical aspects and common SEO practices done today, like keyword research and search friendliness.
The right side depicts upcoming and additive changes to this approach. It targets user behavior, tracks click patterns and aims to connect search results directly with user experience, satisfaction and loyalty.
Share this Image On Your Site
(Note to self: promotion, marketing, advertising – it’s all about getting your message seen by more eyeballs in your targeted market. No matter the vehicle, do what you can to get your content out there, using email outreach, guest blogging, and paid advertising of your posts via Facebook, Twitter or Google. Test what works and build on that, delivering quality.)
The SEO On-Site Rules Are Changing
As you develop your content, sites, apps and products, focus on your perfect customers and prospects. Serve them with excellence in product, service and customer experience delivery.
The results of this quality work will be natural content and brand consumption with more automatic deliveries of a result to a task (what the searcher is looking for).
The content will be shared. It will spread…naturally.
No Content Promotion Needed?
Content marketing becomes a secondary focus, and your team is focused on “fully serving” the company customers and providing a total magnification of killer content.
This is truly illuminating, since we all want this: a perfect customer experience, from the first touch or connection, through the experience itself and for the future.
What Do Search Engines (Really) Want?
This model of “user life-cycle quality values” is EXACTLY what the search engines want, and in specific Google.
“Serve your visitor with quality answers to questions that they are looking for”.
(Read: It’s about “them”, not “you”.)
Your on-site work therefore becomes the simplest SEO rule of them all:
“Create and show your searchers that you can help them…by actually helping them.” (Surprise: This is the “create exceptional content” framework everybody talks about!)
The searcher will stay longer on your page(s), interact with your site / apps, click on well planned links, consume, save-and-print content, download essential information, fill out forms, call your office to set an appointment, share/refer content with others and bookmark your page for future visits.
If this is what Google wants, we can agree that this is the future of SEO.
Oh, and … keywords, themeing, links, mobile friendliness, speed of loading (pages), structure/navigation, layout, graphics will continue to be important.
As we look forward to the next 5 years (SEO in 2021), here are top level on-site SEO directions you should consider now:
Rankings will lower in importance (The SERPs are changing already, and screen real-estate is shrinking for organic search results, due to knowledge graph, answer box (featured snippets), local, news, videos, expanded paid ads and more):
- It’s about user experience and user intent – a user centered approach
- Customer avatars and segmentation of pages to consumer
- Search experience optimization
- Search engines for people and software (not the other way around)
- Voice based search, local search & mobile — front and center
and most of all…
SEO is not dead.
Thanks to Rand @moz for sharing factoids to the SEO future 2021 infographic.