In recent years we have witnessed a rapid digital transformation of marketing and advertising functions. This has led modern enterprises and their CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) to use digital channels and digital tools for marketing their products, communicating their value and promoting their offerings. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful tools in this direction. SEO refers to interventions in the content of websites towards improving their search ranking in popular search engines like Google. Ten years ago, SEO was a top priority for CMOs, as other digital marketing channels (e.g., Facebook, Instagram) were in their infancy. Nevertheless, SEO remains relevant given that it is still one of the few digital tools that empower organic marketing. Specifically, a good SEO strategy can help a brand grow its marketing outreach without spending very large amounts of money on paid campaigns. Hence, SEO complements nicely paid advertisements like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn marketing campaigns.
In its early days, SEO was mostly about optimizing the quality and quantity of certain types of content within websites. For instance, SEO experts suggested metadata keywords, URL links to other websites, and specific domain names that increased the ranking of a website in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for certain types of queries. Over the years, SEO techniques have evolved in different directions as the page rank algorithms in Google and other search engines changed their search criteria. Hence, there are additional criteria and best practices that matter, which add up to older criteria and guidelines.
Here are some of the most important trends for SEO in 2021:
SEO leaders must go beyond general best practices and traffic optimization guidelines. In this direction, there is a need for a structured and detailed analysis of SERP outcomes for a variety of keywords. Such analysis can lead to the identification of significant changes in search results for specific keywords, which can be later exploited to increase traffic and revenues. Likewise, gaps that are not covered by competing websites must be identified and filled based on improvements to the content of the website.
Another key success factor for modern SEO is the proper collaboration between all relevant stakeholders, including sales teams, product teams and the senior management of the enterprise. Key trends and the outcomes of SEO analysis must be regularly presented to these stakeholders in order to help them understand the limits of SEO and its impact on their roles. Likewise, collaboration is important for defining actionable recommendations as a result of the SEO analysis. The latter recommendations may include suggestions for new content development, as well as advice about the keywords and topics that must be addressed as a matter of priority.
Even though SEO is no new discipline, it remains a relevant and powerful tool for increasing marketing outreach, generating revenues and improving business results. CMOs must keep up with latest trends in SEO in order to make the most out of it. The above-listed guidelines provide a good starting point for CMOs that want to shape a modern SEO strategy.
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