So everyone already knows how I feel about the (lack of) maturity in the language of the SEO industry, and how important I think relationship building is, but this is a little bit of both and a little bit of something else.
There is often client education that needs to happen when it comes to SEO and the transition to more of a consulting role (as well as a more integrated strategy). Unfortunately, a lot of people and a lot of companies started off, unknowingly, on the wrong foot in the industry. Now SEO is moving towards a more mature and broader understanding what the term “internet marketing” encompasses. Sometimes it’s hard for everyone, even Internet marketers, to catch up.
Now we’re asking with more regularity for vision statements and long term goals, shot term internal projects, advertising campaigns and editorial calendars, so that we are more informed and better representative of the brand. We’re working with industry leaders and making connections – in many ways SEO and PR are intersecting.
But SEO and the SEO industry still has a massive stigma to it, and for those who connect on their clients behalf as themselves working for such-and-such agency run the risk of being outed and dealing with a flame war and a massive reputation problem for both themselves, their agency and the client in the SERPs. But those who connect with prospective relationships as a persona run the opposite risk of not being taken seriously enough or being brushed off as a spammer. Rock and a hard place, indeed.
We are not at the point where the PR industry is, and a professional is weighed and measured by the number of business cards in his Rolodex – and honestly I don’t know if we want to get to that point.
But online and offline worlds are converging more and more, as are the marketing campaigns. Look at Coke, or Audi, integrating campaigns and message across all platforms and being able to be agile with it. It’s the future of marketing, and we need to get used to seeing the big picture and working SEO into campaigns that we may not directly be managing, but train the brand to be able to properly function with SEO in all facets.
image courtesy of flickr user allyaubry