Digital Asset Optimization: The future for keyword optimization of content and media for search.
At the past two conferences I’ve spoken at, Search Insider Summit and Media Relations Summit, one of the popular topics that has been floating around the after session meet-ups and dinner conversations concerns the changing nature of search optimization. Some speculate SEO is on the way out. Others say social media is the new SEO.
Whatever the speculation, companies need to figure out how to best adjust their search marketing strategies to maintain a competitive advantage. One way to do that is to focus the right proportion of effort on standard text optimization as well as the optimization and promotion of all other digital assets.
Both Google’s Universal Search and the new Ask3D interface that show users more information from more sources (news, images, products, video, etc) in the first page of results illustrates the need to consider more media types than standard text documents. There are already quite a few opinions on what effect such a combination of data sources presented within first page search results will have on the future of SEO. Google offers some advice here.
Universal search and personalized search means the kinds of search results SEO consultants have become accustomed to and optimizing for are either on the way out or on the decline. The task of optimizing any electronic files that can be crawled, indexed, categorized and sorted is where the opportunity lies. This is more than just optimizing social media, it’s a more holistic perspective on helping content become easier to find via search than simply relying on text documents. Most organizations produce an array of different content types and search engines are doing their best to index that content so they can run ads next to it.
Optimizing holistically starts with an inventory of a company’s digital assets. Text, images, audio and video are all considered along with the incorporation of keyword messaging across company communications. Matching digital assets with channels of distribution provides marketers with even more opportunity to reach customers since each channel can drive traffic independently as well as improve standard search visibility.
This all sounds fine a good but the reality is that it can be very difficult and complex to implement with a mid to large sized organization. Substantial changes may be necessary with content creation, approval and publishing processes along with the need for ongoing education. However, the upside is that a substantial increase in media types indexed and linking to a company web site will provide the kind of advantage standard SEO no longer offers.
As long as there are search engines, there will be some kind of optimization for improving search engine visibility. What companies need to consider are all the digital assets they have to work with to give both search engines and customers the information they’re looking for in the formats they’ll respond to.