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How has SEO changed in 2015

Search engine optimization in 2015 was just one of the topics in a fast-moving SEMrush Twitter chat that I was invited to recently on how to integrate SEO into the marketing mix. This was my first time as the guest on the SEMrush chat and it was a dizzying experience–hundreds of participants and thousands of tweets.

I hustled to try to keep up with the pace, at one point missing one of the questions (which I figured out when other people started answering it), and I did my best to answer other participants and retweet their best answers, but I felt like I was playing tennis with three balls coming over the net at the same time. (There are times that I really do feel old with this technology, and this was one of them.)

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 16.10.32But even though I was out of breath when I finished, I was also exhilarated. There was a boatload of information flying through the Twittersphere in that short hour and it was great to see so many participants.

I think that the part I liked the best was on co-optimizing paid and organic search landing pages. My opinion, shared with my co-author Bill Hunt in our latest edition of Search Engine Marketing, Inc., is that large companies that have siloed their search landing pages have a new way to juice some more value–by combining the paid and organic landing pages into a single page that tries to be the best of both.

Organic landing pages typically are high in quality but not always focused on conversion–that helps them rank and attract traffic, which is what SEO folks are paid to do. Paid search landing pages are always focused on conversion, but they might have been neglected in the quality department. By combining the pages into one, you have a chance to get the best of both worlds–organic pages that convert and paid pages that have a high Quality Score (and probably lower per-click costs).

But this was the most controversial opinion that I expressed in the chat, with some taking issue on whether this was needed and how possible it is. I agree that it is harder to do than to have separate teams managing separate landing pages, but if you’ve been optimizing separate pages for a long time, this might be your way to a new level. Yes, it is more difficult, but it is usually true that improving your marketing is harder than leaving it on autopilot.

Anyway, it was a great experience for me, and thanks to the folks at SEMrush and all the participants.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, a leading digital media marketing consultancy based in New York City. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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Discussion

  1. Andrew Dennis Andrew Dennis

    Thanks for being a part of the chat and sharing your insights Mike! I really enjoyed reading your answers and the discussions they sparked.

    I hope to see you on SEMrushchat again soon!

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