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Is SEO Dead? Part IV: The Tax Man Cometh

In a metaphor we’ve abused pretty much to death, over the last three weeks, we’ve taken the “Content is King” concept and turned it into an entire Royal Court, comparing the kingdom back when the vizier ruled all, the role of the King and the vizier today, and then looking at the King’s Court. Today, we’re taking one last leap down rabbit hole — talking in detail about the third and final ‘phase’ of the content marketing process. You’ve got your setup (Planning, Design, and Building), your ‘outgoing’ work (SEO, content marketing, and outreach), and the ‘incoming’ work — represented in this metaphor by the King’s tax collectors.


The Tax Collectors: Conversions

The end result of all content marketing is conversions — the moment when a visitor turns into a customer/subscriber/whatever. There are a few different roles within the tax collector team, a few of whom we have seen before.

  • The Architect: The same web designer that put together the platforms where the King puts all that content is also responsible for the platform where the conversions take place — a job of equal importance to the other, let there be no doubt.
  • The Tactician: Again, the same data and analytics that inform the King as to which kinds of content are doing the best job of connecting with the common folks is also responsible for analyzing how those folks act when they reach the point-of-conversion. Using a variety of tools, they attempt to discern why some people convert, others don’t, and what the difference might be.

Then, we have the actual Tax Men…

  • The Face: Inbound Marketing. The Face is the guy who makes people want to pay taxes. Or, in the Internet Marketing world, the guy who makes it easy for people to slide down your sales funnel, turning from people to tire-kickers, tire-kickers to visitors, visitors to subscribers, subscribers to customers, and ultimately, from mere ‘customers’ to evangelists so enamored of your business that they’ll go market for you — for free.
  • The Collector: E-Commerce. The E-Commerce expert is the person who builds the actual structures that your website uses to sell things to people. Not every website will need an E-Commerce person; if you only have one “convert here” button (i.e. Buy Now! or Sign Up Here!) because you only have one kind of conversion (i.e. one product to sell, one list to sign up for, etc.), you might not need a Collector.
  • The Enforcer: Conversion Rate Optimization. This is the guy who makes sure that all the taxes make it into the King’s coffers. CRO experts take the analytics and metrics, and they put together tests — oftentimes “simple” A/B tests, but occasionally long-lasting, high-yield multivariate tests — that try to determine what elements of the landing page can be altered to result in a higher total conversion percentage.


With these experts working together to form the ‘back end’ of your marketing strategy, we’ve finally seen the entire team that has to exist in order for the King — the Content — to do his job. Without the entire Royal Court and the Tax Men to back them up, SEO would, in fact, be dead — but then, so would Content, and in fact Internet Marketing in its entirety.

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