If the numbers keep growing at the rate they are today, by the end of June there will be 1 billion websites online. If you rely on the Internet to connect with consumers, the competition to be found is fierce. The good news is that there are plenty of people out there searching. Google alone handles well over a trillion searches per year from Internet users around the globe. The bad news is that Google and other search engines can be tough gatekeepers.

For a long time now, search engine optimization (SEO) has been the primary weapon businesses have used to compete for higher rankings. In a nutshell, SEO is a collection of practices that improve your site structure and enrich your content. Optimization makes it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your site, which will boost your organic search rankings. The tricky part is that search engines have been evolving at a rapid pace. Google’s search algorithm has changed so many times there is an epidemic of whiplash in the SEO world. It would be impossible to summarize all of the changes that have occurred—but there are two areas that must be paid attention to when designing a successful SEO campaign in 2014: Context and Integration.

Keyword Context

Today’s SEO strategies must be sophisticated enough to take into account the context of a user’s search. Key considerations in designing a contextual strategy:

  1. Your company has multiple target audiences.
  2. Users will search for your products or services in various ways.
  3. Your content must explore topics relevant to search queries, in-depth.

SEO is no longer just about keywords—it’s about keywords within context. To design an effective SEO strategy you must take into account: who is searching, how they are searching, and what are the best answers to provide when you are found.

SEO Integration with Multiple Platforms

To make matters more complex, in order for SEO strategies be maximally effective—they need to be integrated with other marketing efforts across platforms. That means that businesses can no longer rely only on SEO to boost website rankings.

Integration is now widely recognized to be necessary to the success of any Internet marketing campaign. Duane Forester, the Senior Project Manager and Webmaster Outreach guru at Bing, recently published a blog with the provocative title, “Is SEO the Future? No, and Here’s Why.” Forester does not dismiss the necessity of SEO, in fact he calls it, “the foundational work sites need to engage in.” However, he does make the point that today’s SEO strategies are most successful when they are coordinated with social media messaging, blogging, public relations outreach, and advertising efforts. Audiences need to be able to find your site through multiple avenues. He predicts that, with the rise of mobile and wearable devices, this will become even more critical in the future.

At JB Media Group, our SEO strategies have always been content focused and integrated with the full range of online marketing tools and techniques. Though some of our tactics have shifted, our goals are essentially the same as they always have been: connect our clients with more of the people they want to reach. In 2014 we do that by crafting contextually targeted original content that is useful, usable, and sharable across platforms. If you want to learn more about how to implement SEO strategies in your own business, give us a shout!