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2017 Prediction: SEO and Content Become Customer-First Marketing

Seth Besmertnik, our CEO, talks the future of marketing. Where does SEO and Content fit in? Here are 3 marketing trends in 2017 that will change the way you do marketing.

Focus on creating value for the customer in 2017 and good things will happen.

The future of great marketing isn’t just SEO or content. It’s putting your customer’s needs first. And you have direct access to your customers’ intent through search engines, like Google, where your customers express their problems and desires every day.

1. Your Customer is the Algorithm

For a long time, the SEO industry has been focused on technical optimizations—in other words, it has been focused on the search engine crawler rather than the person viewing the content.

Instead of trying to play to win at search marketing, we should play to win our customers. It’s a goal Google shares: Google is trying to make its algorithms a mirror image of the heart, mind, soul, and needs of a customer.

Seth Besmertnik, CEO and Co-Founder, Conductor

The big trend in 2017 will be a shift in mentality at top organizations, where the entire digital strategy (not just SEO/Content) will be focused on understanding who their customer is, what they want, and using the data from search engines to better understand customer intent.

By making content your customer needs—content that solves their problems—you will win the algorithm of the future.

2. Content & SEO Teams Become One

Companies will create a unified team focused on a customer-first strategy.

We are starting to see this happen at progressive companies (like Intuit & Uber), and it’s the org structure of the future.

Great content without consideration for search demand won’t be found—so it just isn’t great content. On the flip side, the ROI is minimal when you’re creating content that ranks but is off-message or off-brand.

If you’re still creating content just for SEO, you’re doing it wrong. You need content that is artistic, creative, brand-driven, and optimized for long-term returns.

Seth Besmertnik, CEO and Co-Founder, Conductor

Unifying your teams will help your company create content that inspires and meets the needs of your customers.

3. Customers over Content. Content Over Keywords.

Don’t optimize for keywords. Optimize your content for your customers.

Keywords are a way to understand your customer’s intent, however, focus on giving them what they want vs. jamming the keywords on the pages. Your keyword strategy is an element for how your content is performing vs. the main focus of your strategy.

If you create customer value in your marketing, you will win in the long term.

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