I was first introduced to SEO about 5 years ago while working at a large network TV dot com.

The SEO team was separated from the content team and the SEO specialists passed around convoluted keyword reports at the end of every department meeting that wasn’t really digested but anyone who was actually developing the content.

Fast track to 2013, where now I spend most of my days within roundtable brainstorming sessions with an SEO rock star on my right and a PR superwoman on my left, with myself representing Social Media. It’s integrated marketing, and its not just where SEO is headed in 2014, it’s already here.

SEO Then: Link Robots

  • Keywords, keywords, keywords. Get that keyword everywhere, take a step back, then sprinkle some more on.
  • Anchor text science. Where to link your landing pages in the best way to trick Google from footer text to blog posts, anchor text was an SEO science.
  • Can’t stop, won’t stop, getting all those links. We all know that link juice is part of a healthy SEO strategy, but a few years ago it was more like link cocktails and everyone had their spot at the bar.

SEO in 2014: Integrated Marketing Strategists

  •  Content creation. Often we think of content in terms of chugging out blog posts. But really, it’s about relevant, unique, and targeted content that should be attached to a Google+ authorship tag to promote the writer, not the company. When we say content that includes whitepapers, PDFs, emails, videos, presentations – all visually pleasing to the eye for reader consumption.

Basic SEO tips in terms of understanding how your brand gets found online and what your readers are looking for gives you the tools to properly leverage your content. Don’t get stuck in the dessert, build the roads and they will come.

  • Join the digital cocktail party. Social media isn’t just for the SEO backlinks, or to generate generic posts about your brand so you can feel OK about still “covering” social media channels. It’s about joining this 24/7 digital cocktail party. The best conversations aren’t unfolding only on Facebook at the 9 o’clock hour.

Be where your market is, when your market is there. Food for thought – have you thought about utilizing Snapchat for your brand?

  • Relationships. Content and social media allows you to connect with your market and engage them with relevant content, but it can be a slow and tedious process. PR amplifies your brand by building relationships with key influencers in your industry and gaining extremely valuable coverage in front of your readers. After all, we’re still people – offline relationships are the legs your brand will always stand on.

So now that all of your SEO professionals are now social media, PR, and content experts after this blog post…you’re welcome!

But really, that isn’t going to happen. Integrated marketing strategies are about leveraging the best of the best in the branding world and coming together to create something bigger and better for your readers (notice I keep referring them as readers, not consumers).

Once you discover the synergy that is created through these integrated marketing strategies, your brand will rise above the noise.

If all else fails, leave the robots and take the cannolis. Or something to that effect.

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