While Search Engine Optimization has been a huge focus for businesses over the past few years, one of the biggest indicators to us that SEO is dying in 2013 is the dreaded "unknown Keywords (SSL)"
A Great Blog Post "Is 2013 the year Marketers Lose Keyword Research" written by Hartley Brodey on the Hubspot Blog talks about the results that Hubspot has seen recently seen with the Unknown Keywords was insightfull with what we've been seeing as a trend in SEO. And then, today I read this post from SERoundTable.com "Not Provided To Increase With Chrome 25 Going SSL".
When the "unknown keywords SSL" started popping up in our analytics last year we could guest the average keywords were being used (we split up the same percentages of other organic traffic and used those percentages to determine the split) and typically that's what worked for us. But as the Unkown Keywords numbers start to increase, our focus is going to have to be on converting visitors that do come to the site.
Google and other sites are making their platforms more secure (just like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+) and this limits how sites can see the statistical data that shows what keywords are working and what's not. We Find that many Businesses get caught up in "rankings" and while they're important, they optimize their websites for Search Engines, but as Google's very own Matt Cutts says (and has been saying for a long time) "Optimize your website for your customers, not just for search engines like google."
As Matt Cutts explains, You want to make sure that the Focus on SEO is the Same as the focus on the customer. How do you do that? Focus on Buyer Personas...
How do you know what your customer is asking? You need to define Buyer Personas (or target markets). A Great book I read outlined this perfectly "New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott @dmscott
David's blog goes in deep about buyer personas
From our experience, marketers have become "lazy" with simply focusing on SEO statistics and not thinking about the "why" someone is at your site. If you focus on Buyer Personas, those same people who are searching for you will be finding you because you're communicating to a need that they have, or you are being active where they hang out (social media, Q&A forums, and even networking events etc). It is more important than ever for marketers to begin focusing on what happens when a consumer gets to their site, and optimizing that process.
For this reason, we think SEO is Dead. Think Optimization.
Hartly from Hubspot, explained this perfectly with changing the name of his SEO team to an "Optimization" team at Hubspot, While they still focus on SEO, they're worried about the whole picture, Optimizing the entire experience, not just for Search Engines alone.
After all, most of us have websites that we would like to generate results, wether its sales, leads, or thought leadership. We need to begin to focus on those Buyer Personas and the "SEO" of it all should come naturally. Once your site communicates effectively to a certain buyer persona or target market you will be able to see the benefits in higher conversion rates, increase in leads, and ultimately more sales!
Remington is the CEO and Inbound Marketing Strategist for Impulse Creative, An Internet Marketing Agency in Fort Myers, Florida. You can connect with him using the following social networks: Google+, Twitter, Linked In & Facebookphoto credit: SEOPlanter via photopin cc