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31 Jan 2015

Storytelling, SEO & SEM

By Scott Smith

Ah, SEO. The topic comes up all the time with our clients. “Do you do SEO?” We always say, “Yes, but hold on a sec, let’s talk.” Then we take a moment to define our terms and think about what’s behind the question.

Clients are naturally interested in search engine marketing, which includes search engine optimization and social marketing, because they are putting all of this effort into developing their message and building new websites. They want to know for sure that people are going to find them.

It's About the Story!

The thing is, there are many approaches to SEO and social marketing, but the dirty little secret is that the most effective way to get people to engage with you and your brand is to create great content that your audience wants to read (or watch, and share, and save). Like with anything else, the quick fix isn’t usually the most effective. True, longterm engagement is born from the deep, hard work of telling a good, authentic story.

So, we always start our clients out with getting their story right first. From there, it’s much easier to figure out how to use the technical aspects of SEO to their fullest potential.

Getting Technical

Of course, the technical aspects of SEO are quite important, such as understanding mobile search and how Google is changing their algorithms. Also, the ever-changing landscape of social platforms and devices – and who’s using which – keeps us all on our toes. And so on, and so on. Like any good digital firm, we must keep up with everything that’s going on in the industry, so our clients don’t have to.


That’s why Talie and I are really excited to be attending SearchFest, on February 27. SearchFest is a conference put on by SEMpdx here in Portland.

Perusing the agenda and speaker list, it’s clear that the organizers understand that creating quality content that people want to consume is the core idea that needs to be balanced with the technical stuff.

We're just now starting to plan out which talks we’re going to attend, but for now I’m particularly interested in a session on Big Data and SEO with Marshall Simmonds, as well as one with Kristy Bollinger and Mat Siltala about tracking and measuring social analytics.

After the conference, we’ll report back in this space with what we learned.


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