My favourite short article of the month, of the year to date, is Ian Lurie's WTF is SEO?, Portent blog, 22-March-2013. Why? Because he has come around to my way of looking at SEO
Note: I disagree with one main point, as does Ammon Johns (Black_Knight) in the comments, but the gist of his epiphany is what I, and some few others (primarily here at Cre8!) such as Ammon, have been saying for years.
You can’t have an SEO strategy, any more than you can have a dental hygiene strategy. You execute on details, one detail at a time: You brush. You floss. You don’t gargle maple syrup.
For SEO, you target. You streamline. You make sure stuff is visible. You use the words your audience uses. You don’t build slow, lousy web sites.
Getting those details right isn’t “a strategy,” unless you want to call “Don’t be a dolt” a strategy. It’s just the stuff you gotta do right.
Strategy is an approach that includes all roles in an organization. All of the components of SEO should be part of an organization’s growth strategy.
Here is where I differ: SEO is a strategy in the sense that one sets a goal of more quality and/or quantity of search engine traffic and what SEO encompasses are methods/tactics to accomplish that. Where I certainly do agree is that SEO is not a company position/person/department but rather part of an overall holistic company marketing process/policy/mindset.
We tried to turn SEO into a discipline, with specific, unique tactics for manipulating rankings.
...By doing that, we pulled SEO off into its own distinct job description.
...We also made SEO something that had to be justified as an end in itself. We unwittingly pitted it against other corporate goals, like branding, architecture and infrastructure development.
...That’s how we fix all of this: Don’t treat SEO as a department, or even a goal. Treat it as one benefit of a truly smart marketing strategy.
Bloody well about time that a main stream 'Internet Marketing Company' saw the light.
Five things we have to change:
1. Treat SEO as a multi-team goal, like loss reduction, risk management or communications policy.
2. Stop pushing companies and clients to create an ‘SEO department’ or team. Start pushing companies to apply the tactics that lead to good SEO across all departments and teams.
3. Stop talking about specific tactics strictly in terms of rankings or traffic.
4. Constantly remind yourself and your clients/bosses where SEO fits into the paid/earned/owned media world. You’re a marketer who knows a lot about SEO. You’re not “an SEO” ...
5. Always discuss SEO in context. ...include all areas impacted by, and impacting, SEO.
Sounds a lot like conversations here at Cre8 doesn't it?
Go back a decade or more and read the topics... SEO was often being put into the wider marketing, conversion, et at context even back then.
And that is why I felt comfortable joining Cre8 after lurking for so long and why I still feel that way: an holistic approach not some paint by number fad emporium.