Last week, we talked about how the 2011-and-prior world of SEO as the dominant force in Internet Marketing has rightfully been replaced by a world in which “content is king” is actually a true statement. Today, we’re going to show you how SEO is still an absolutely vital part of the King’s Court.
SEO: The Not-That-Evil Vizier
If you’re a business just getting your Internet marketing campaign off the ground, you’ve definitely been told by now that the thing you need most of all is compelling, creative content. You’ve been told that you need a blog, some social media properties, etc. You know that having someone — outsourced or in-house — that can write ingenious, outrageous, or hysterical things about your business is a necessity. You need a King.
What you may not be aware of is that no matter how strong your King is, without a wise, preferably white-bearded (and -hatted) advisor at his side, all your King’s hard work will be squandered. That’s because there’s still an awful lot of digital sorcery going on behind the scenes — not to obtain rankings, but to enable the King to obtain rankings.
The Tech-Know Man, Sir
What kind of work does a good vizier do for his King?
- He builds your blog in a way that maximizes the impact of each post, using a variety of techniques like information siloing, properly-constructed tag and category sets, and of couse setting up a decent SEO plugin like the Yoast one.
- He sets up your website using tools that Google and other search algorithms understand, like URL canonicalization, information siloing, and complete bot-scannable site maps.
- He creates your social media platforms such that they maximize the exposure, sharability, and likability without the King having to put much (or any!) extra thought into each post they make.
Essentially, if you don’t have a vizier standing in the background, quietly giving the King’s actions the support they need, the King can trumpet and pronounce all he wants, but no one is going to give him any credit. So it’s very safe to say that the old-school SEO ‘black magic’ still exists — it’s just been placed in the role that it was always supposed to be in: support. The all-star, your content, the guy everyone is supposed to look up to — he’s the one in the spotlight, doing his thing like he’s supposed to.
When King and Vizier Disagree
In the olden days when SEO came first, there were often disagreements between the demands of SEO and the demands of content — and they were almost always resolved in a way that made the end-user suffer. Keyword density requirements made sentences that were incredibly awkward to read. Backlinks showed up in the strangest places, and their anchor text often had nothing to do with the content they linked to.
Today, all that is 180 degrees opposite. The King rules, and when his subjects — the end users in this increasingly-complex metaphor — want something, they get it. The vizier’s role has been relegated almost entirely to “those things that can make content better at achieving its goals,” and we’re all better off for it.