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SEO is dead, or more like the undead

It just keeps coming back…

SEO isn’t going anywhere and if it’s one thing that’s for sure is that this industry is showing no signs of slowing down. This morning’s keynote with Scott Brinker highlighted the growth of the marketing technology landscape. When you live in this world, it’s easy to forget that it’s growing as fast as it is, even though we’re all growing with it.

In 2011, Brinker did a study that showed that only 150 companies existed in this landscape, today it’s more than 5,000, most of which are some type of cloud service. Technology is not only growing and evolving, but it is changing how we do business. It’s integrated into our HR, management systems, and definitely marketing. For fun, I’d thought I’d add up the technology we’re using currently at SS Digital Media: The number was close to 50.

See the 2011 landscape

See the 2017 landscape here

Accepting Change: Google’s New UI

So for us Google AdWords nerds out there, we are starting to accept that the interface we’ve known and loved is being replaced. That means cool new features and some changes. In the cool new features section, Google has announced shopping showcase ads, allowing you to cluster your products and introduce your brand. Audience targeting is getting better and we can now roll it out on search campaigns and optimize it more efficiently. Split testing is no longer relevant, but instead we need multiple ads to match user intent. Google is recommending 3 to 5 per adgroup.

62% people prefer ads that are relevant to what they are doing at that moment.

Speaks of ads, Google is saying ditch the generic call to actions, the user is not engaging with it. That means call to actions like call today, free estimates, signup for my newsletter. It’s not of value to the user, try to bring value, and it will bring better CTRs.

AI & Machine Learning: Humans Still Have Job Security

AI and machine learning has been a common topic among search marketers this week. They are using AI to compile data, create content, build campaigns and limitless other actions. Some of the fear is that the AI optimization and marketing automation will remove the need for humans, however, that is the farthest thing from the truth.

AI needs the base information in order to do its job. Meaning, it needs human creative input. Creativity that influences change or action is where the time can be put in. One could argue the amount of tactical and technology driven tasks in today’s marketing world have removed some of the time needed for creativity. The proper use of AI will allow for marketers to put the time back where we need to most, the piece that machines can’t do… creative strategy and insight.

“Only .5-1% of the data generated has been analyzed”  – Beija Ma

The second most important thing we can focus on as marketers is analyzing data. To date we are still spending more time compiling than we are analyzing it, and taking action on it. There is so much opportunity for us make an impact using the data we have.

Take Aways:

The marketing industry is growing, changing and ever-evolving. The amount of technology available is just astounding. I think if it’s one thing as marketers we need to dedicate ourselves to is continuous learning, testing and growing; because that is what this industry demands in order to survive.

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