Step Aside SEO, Content Marketing Optimization Is Here

Steven Hughes President, GeeklessTech

Posted on February 2nd 2013

Step Aside SEO, Content Marketing Optimization Is Here

ImageSEO isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, SEO was this hallowed religion. Agencies and specialists knew the SEO bible inside out. Many used dodgy techniques – keyword stuffing, using invisible text and buying spammy links.

But the landscape is changing and you need to care about content nowadays. 90% of marketers think content will become more important in 2013, according to a report by Outbrain and Econsultancy. Content Marketing Optimization (CMO) is going to become a key part of our online marketing strategies.  You need to think about CMO now.

The Great Flood

We all bow down to Google’s almighty power. He is the internet God of the 21st Century. He can bring us millions of pilgrims and many, many customers.

When he saw all these underhand techniques, he wasn’t pleased with what he saw. Many people were abusing these tactics to cheat searchers. So Google unleashed a flood of updates (Panda and Penguin) to wash these baddies away.

Those who were good had already built their content rafts

When the flood waters receded, many businesses had survived, and arrived at the top of Google. They’d made rafts of content to keep them afloat. Others quickly capitalized and they found it remarkably easy to climb the rankings, especially for long tail keywords.

Just In Time, a financial PR agency, wrote a few articles about ‘financial pr agencies’ and climbed up the rankings very quickly.

Google wants content angels, not SEO devils

Google, like any benevolent father wants to please its worshippers. His searchers, and they are crazed devotees at the altar of content. If searchers want rich, meaty content, then Google will do his best to deliver it.

Google is ranking people by who has the best content. They’re trying to put the best content at the top. Now you’re in a battle with your competitors to create the best content! There are no more underhanded tricks (and if there were Google will soon eliminate them). So you now need to create more content, and optimize that content. Be a content angel, not a SEO devil.

So what do you need to know about CMO, then?

I suspect Content Marketing Optimization will be the next big thing and ultimately step in the place of SEO. CMO is adding that extra bit of sparkle to your content, framing it in a tasty way. Adding dazzle will make both your readers and Google love you.

Longer form content and rich media

There’s a great resource here of 11 content optimization tips from Jason Acidre. If you don’t have the time to read them – here’s the most important tip.

Jason talks about longer form content. Why? And why does Google value this so highly?

It’s because, the longer an article – generally the richer it is. If it’s bursting at the seams with analysis, examples, case studies and other thoughts – it is likely to be much more useful than a simple 400 word article.

Rich media is also becoming more and more important as well. Big brands are saying that visitors want more rich media content like videos and images.

It’s a bit old-fashioned now to just have an article. We don’t always have the opportunity to add multimedia to every article because we’re not big enough. However, people expect their content to be a bit more interactive these days,” says Sharon Flaherty, Head of Content and PR at price comparison site

Google has become more sensible, and has wised up to the black magic that SEO agencies were practicing. In its place, you need to create fantastic rich content. So, as the years go on, I reckon we’re going to talk much more about CMO than SEO.

By Alex Clifford


Steven Hughes

President, GeeklessTech

GeeklessTech brings you ideas and best practices in social media, blogging, and online marketing. Director of Marketing at Dashburst.

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Posted on February 2nd 2013 at 6:44PM

This is a good thing. As someone who stumbelled upon full time online presence, like most now a days...has had to learn the hard way about SEO. Go CMO!

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 1:00AM

Thanks Jarvis.  This is very good thing...Go CMO

Kent Ong
Posted on February 3rd 2013 at 5:02AM

Hi Steve, content is always the most important element in SEO. It is part of SEO rather than standalone. SEO works only with quality content. I agree with you, it will getting important.

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 12:58AM

Hi Kent,

As I mentioned above, if someone knew their SEO and wanted to go the blackhat route with keyword stuffing, link farms, etc. you could rank high with fluff content.  Google has finally taken some steps with Penquin, Panda, and EDM to stiffle these methods.

Carl Hartman
Posted on February 3rd 2013 at 10:14AM

We produce network TV and also a lot of quality videos and other content (video, text, pics, etc.) that goes to web; many hundreds of videos per month. - The lie people were told is that just about anybody could make ( or purchase cheaply through crowdsourcing ) a quality video or other media/content.

We spend many hours crafting all the content, meshing it with keywords along with neural programming techniques that get people to buy. Regardless of what other well meaning blogs and articles tell you, it is brain surgery.

Quality media (text, video, pix and interactivity) is an art. We have produced huge, media rich sites that are immersive and truly interactive. Hiring a videographer off Craig's List for $250 doesn't cut it. 

As to the confusing CMO name (mixing that up with Cheif Marketing Officer, not good in the advertising business) we have been using the term CAE – Customer Attraction Engineering for awhile. That is what it is. People need to stop thinking about search engines or technology and focus on what your ideal customer wants. Its more than just creating content, its engineering a complete quality experience for your ideal customer around their needs. Rarely do most sites do that.

Good article.

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 12:47AM

Thanks Carl for the comment.  You definitely need the acronym for Customer Attraction Engineering because that is a mouthful. :)

I agree about giving the reader/prospect/customer a quality experience, but that comes at a cost.  Unless you have a juicy budget, a site with all the bells and whistles is out of the reach for many.  So most live and die with content.

Posted on February 3rd 2013 at 10:39AM

Firstly, thanks for the mention, Alex. All I can say, as an SEO/CMO noob, is that Google is easy to crack. What a fuss about nothing. Deliver it content that is very well-written, optimised, and above all DIFFERENT and you can rapidly make it to the upper echelons of its organic results. Google clearly wants to give people diversity in its results and so if you're writing in a tone and way that is completely different to the (undifferentiated) competition, you will kick their ass. Be different or be damned, simple as that.

Posted on February 3rd 2013 at 6:09PM

In my mind, SEO has always been CMO. You don't optimize the search engine. You optimize the content to be discovered via a search engine. I do appreciate you introducing the big idea and pointing out it's time serious marketers stopped trying to game Google.

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 12:37AM

Well there was a time not too long ago if you backlinked enough to just about any site, the content didn't matter at all, and you would rank high. 

Google is cleaning that up, and content is getting rewarded like never before...

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 12:37AM

Well there was a time not too long ago if you backlinked enough to just about any site, the content didn't matter at all, and you would rank high. 

Google is cleaning that up, and content is getting rewarded like never before...

Posted on February 4th 2013 at 1:13PM

I believe this article will help a lot of individuals realize more about the importance of content as a whole than "strategically" placed keywords and call it SEO. We also need to remeber that ever since people are generally attracted to beautiful things; that it's our nature to be curious. So we must use this to our advantage and be more creative in providing people with the information they need. Thanks for the insights about CMO, Steven.

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 12:32AM

Content is has alway been important, but as some of the SEO tricks fade content will strenghten its hold...

Posted on February 9th 2013 at 2:42PM

I feel it's unfair to quash an entire industry with sweeping statements like this. As someone who's spent the last year + learning SEO, I can tell you SEO as an industry has changed immensly since the shady past of link farms, keyword stuffing, and the black hat methods to fool the search engines to reach the top ranks. Those methods won't get you anywhere nowadays!, and good SEO's are not using any of these methods, and are fully aware of the importance of content marketing optimization, amoung many other things - it's already part of our job! SEO's for the most part are hugely skilled not only in Content optimization and marketing a website, but the technical considerations to ensure a website is properly configured, from servers to sitemaps. 

If SEO needs to rebrand itself to customer as CMO, Inbound Marketing, or whichever term disaccoaciates itself with the shady past then so be it, but inside the SEO community we all know the the huge value our work can deliver. And yes Content Marketing is already part of that!

Posted on February 12th 2013 at 5:38AM

Yes, CMO is the way forward. Does it mean SEO agencies should now have a more comprehensive offering in terms of heir services??? 

Posted on March 8th 2013 at 5:00PM

Hi Steven

I agree with you that content is ultra important and without good quality content you will find it very difficult to get page 1 rankings on Google. However I still believe that link building is the number 1 factor to rank high on Google.