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SEO Technology Overview

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SEO is no longer just about search.
In fact, SEO, which in its early days focused primarily on keywords
(finding, optimizing, ranking), is now a baseline factor of a broader Internet
Marketing strategy across the Enterprise.
This new SEO-driven market segment that has been called Web
Presence Management (WPM) is based on the reality that keywords no
longer drive search results, but rather optimized content does.
As the SEO market matures, quality measures, such as reputation, trust,
content relevance and author authority, are replacing the old quantity
metrics, such as keyword rankings and link volume.
Advanced SEO solutions now weigh campaign performance metrics
(based on brand building, site traffic and conversion) more heavily than
keyword rankings.
This reality is based on changes in the way customers search, the
increasingly integrated omni-channel marketing environment and,
most notably, changes to Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
algorithms that favor page content freshness, density and content-rich
media over standard keyword search.
All of this means that Modern Marketing Organizations (MMOs) must
re-evaluate their SEO strategies, processes and campaigns.
In this report we will examine the state of the market, share results from the
SEO Benchmark Study, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of 15 top
SEO solutions in our vendor landscape to help organizations choose the
best solution for them, highlight the current trends in SEO that will have an
impact on Enterprise SEO initiatives and provide some recommendations
for the way forward as SEO is redefined right before our eyes.
Demand Metric defines Search Engine Optimization Platforms
as those frameworks, tools and technologies that use searchrelated
functionally to secure high visibility and web presence
for brands, products, services and companies through the use
and management of elements, such as keywords, links, content
relevance and social signals tracking.

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SEO Technology Overview

  1. 1. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1 3 2 6 3 8 4 10 Executive Summary SEO Market Overview SEO Vendor Landscape Evolution of the Landscape SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION Technology Overview 14 13Analyst Bottom Line Technology Overview Methodology About Demand Metric 15
  3. 3. Executive Summary SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  4. 4. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 4EXECUTIVE SUMMARY SEO is no longer just about search. In fact, SEO, which in its early days focused primarily on keywords (finding, optimizing, ranking), is now a baseline factor of a broader Internet Marketing strategy across the Enterprise. This new SEO-driven market segment that has been called Web Presence Management (WPM) is based on the reality that keywords no longer drive search results, but rather optimized content does. As the SEO market matures, quality measures, such as reputation, trust, content relevance and author authority, are replacing the old quantity metrics, such as keyword rankings and link volume. Advanced SEO solutions now weigh campaign performance metrics (based on brand building, site traffic and conversion) more heavily than keyword rankings. This reality is based on changes in the way customers search, the increasingly integrated omni-channel marketing environment and, most notably, changes to Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithms that favor page content freshness, density and content-rich media over standard keyword search. All of this means that Modern Marketing Organizations (MMOs) must re-evaluate their SEO strategies, processes and campaigns. In this report we will examine the state of the market, share results from the SEO Benchmark Study, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of 15 top SEO solutions in our vendor landscape to help organizations choose the best solution for them, highlight the current trends in SEO that will have an impact on Enterprise SEO initiatives and provide some recommendations for the way forward as SEO is redefined right before our eyes. Executive Summary Demand Metric defines Search Engine Optimization Platforms as those frameworks, tools and technologies that use search- related functionally to secure high visibility and web presence for brands, products, services and companies through the use and management of elements, such as keywords, links, content relevance and social signals tracking.
  5. 5. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 5EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Benefits of Enterprise SEO Be seen – Everywhere! That is the fundamental mantra that drives SEO and has since the web began 20-plus years ago. Today, as noted previously, our omni-channel, revenue-driven modern marketing environment demands that SEO investments provide so much more than placement on the first page of Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, Baidu, etc. searches. That makes the choice of an SEO platform that much more important. For those who don’t know the inner workings of the latest Google algorithm, an SEO platform can demystify the process of managing SEO. For advanced SEO professionals, modern SEO platforms can help showcase the value of SEO data to senior management, marketing, sales and operations. The benefits of Enterprise SEO, which encompasses search, content marketing, social tracking and third-party channel integration, enable organizations to Increase sales through visitor call-to-action conversions. Acquire new customers and new markets through better web presence. Reduce advertising expenditures. Increase brand reputation and trust. Measure revenue increases from digital channels. Expand global markets. Increase competitive position. Deepen local presence (online and offline). Forecast and prove ROI from SEO and all Digital Marketing. Increase value of content creation and management. Maximize company/brand social presence on the web. Market to customers earlier in the buyer’s journey. Increasingly, the quantifiable benefits to search are sales, revenue and profit, not visitor populations or eyeballs.
  6. 6. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW SEO Market Overview SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  7. 7. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 7 Demand Metric’s SEO Marketing: Benchmarks by Revenue Attainment highlights the impact effective SEO strategies are having on organizations, especially on revenue generation. Three key conclusions emerged from this report: SEO Market Overview SEO MARKET OVERVIEW SEO objectives remain constant with increasing website traffic, increasing lead generation and improving natural search rankings rated as the top objectives for the this year. Ultimately, the top choices are interrelated since increases in website traffic and leads generated are often the result of an improvement in natural search rankings. SEO drives successful outcomes. Overall, 89% of companies attaining or exceeding revenue goals and 64% of companies not achieving revenue goals report some level of success with SEO, whether significantly or only slightly. Companies that achieve or exceed their revenue goals are seven times more likely to have a “Very Successful” SEO program than are those not achieving their revenue goals. Outsourced SEO is more effective for revenue generation. Companies that are achieving or exceeding revenue goals are almost two times more likely to outsource all or part of their SEO programs. By outsourcing, these companies are gaining access to the specialized expertise required to execute difficult tactics effectively leading to performance improvements. Download Demand Metric’s SEO Benchmark Report for a complete, detailed analysis of the current state of the SEO market. SEO MARKETING Benchmark Report V I E W R E S O U R C E
  8. 8. 8GAMIFICATION SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW Search Engine Optimization Vendor Landscape SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  9. 9. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 9 SEO Vendor Landscape SEO VENDOR LANDSCAPE We evaluated the vendor solutions in this landscape by first examining the functions of the current standard SEO solution, listed below, and then looking at the extended SEO solutions, which include content management, social signal tracking, Enterprise system integration, third-party channel integrations and various niche features provided by some vendors. Standard SEO solutions incorporate the following features: Site Monitoring Keyword Research Link & Backlink Analysis (Acquisition/Removal) Page Optimization & Management Globalization and Localization (Languages, Local Geos) SERP (Search Engine Results Page) Rank Tracking Search Engine Advertising Monitoring Web Analytics Integration Reporting As noted, the more sophisticated solutions also include content management, social signal tracking and Enterprise integration capabilities. Content management focuses on content optimization for organic search. Social signal tracking involves ranking content by evaluating social activity such as likes, tweets and shares. Enterprise integrations include connections to CRM, MA and ERP systems as well as workflow management functions. Demand Metric’s SEO Vendors Matrix covers the main offerings, key featuresanduniquestrengthsof15vendorsolutions,rangingfromsolidbasic solutions for small business and mid-market companies to sophisticated, broad platforms for large, mid-market companies and Enterprises. This matrix also identifies the target industries and current customers of each vendor to inform readers of the vendor’s target audience. Use this matrix to save time during the initial vendor researching process, learn about the key solutions in the SEO space and choose the one that is the right fit for your organization. In order to obtain more information from vendors about their products/ services, complete Demand Metric’s SEO System RFP Template. This template will provide you with a framework to build a customized proposal request to send to 3-4 potential SEO system providers for more details. Once you complete your vendor research and proposal period, use Demand Metric’s SEO Vendor Evaluation to select the right platform and vendor for your business. This vendor landscape focuses on the broader SEO market, which, as noted previously, is rapidly transitioning into Web Presence Management (WPM) with an integrated, multi- channel optimization approach.
  10. 10. 10GAMIFICATION SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW Evolution of the Landscape SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  11. 11. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 11EVOLUTION OF THE LANDSCAPE The changing SEO vendor landscape, like most of Digital Marketing, is characterized by vendor consolidation, application integration and Enterprise-level functionality. Demand Metric sees six key trends impacting the growth and capabilities of the SEO market segment: Evolution of the Landscape The Web Presence Management (WPM) Wave All-in-One Search – SEO, Content, Social, Mobile, Digital Channels WPM, as we define it, refers to the ability of an SEO-based solution to collect, analyze and report on data from all digital data channels used across the web, including social, mobile and advertising (paid media). The solution integrates and optimizes rich media content and structured and unstructured data for search. WPM also has the capability to integrate third-party data feeds from external as well as internal sources. First employed by SEO companies such as Conductor and digital agency Optima, the use of the term Web Presence Management and the functionality it represents is becoming increasingly widespread across the SEO market segment. Demand Metric believes the term effectively captures the maturing of the market. WPM could not occur without the expansion of search into new arenas such as content, social and mobile. For content management, vendors offer features for content creation and publishing, unstructured data search and content marketing campaign analytics tied to content-level rank data. For social networks, vendors track social interactions, rate social activity and use that data to optimize page rankings. Most SEO vendors offer mobile search results and discoverability. For example, gShift’s gMobile offers insight into the differences in content discoverability and performance from a mobile device compared to a desktop and across all devices.
  12. 12. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 12EVOLUTION OF THE LANDSCAPE Search Advances – From Keywords to Semantic (Behavior and Sentiment Analysis) Concepts Enterprise SEO Changes to Google’s algorithms and Internet Marketing have made keyword-based search less effective. Today, the trend is toward analysis of unstructured data that provides insights into digital behavior, activity and interests. This change has been accelerated as Google continues its process of hiding key word data in organic searches. According to some estimates, this hidden (Not Provided) dataisasmuchas84%.ManySEOvendorshavedeveloped methods to provide this data to Webmasters. SEO is moving across the organization as companies expect more measureable performance improvement from digital channels. Vendors now offer Enterprise-wide integration support for System and Third-Party Data Integration (API) Depending on the SEO vendor, integration is offered for CRM, MA, ERP, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics (Omniture), IBM Digital Analytics (Coremetrics), Webtrends, CMS and eCommerce systems. The goal here is to expand the capability of All-in-One Search and provide a 360-degree view of the customer’s digital behavior through all digital campaigns, advertising and even offline purchasing behavior. Deep Dive Analysis – ROI and Predictive Analytics SEO vendors on the front lines of web visitor behavior are far from immune to the trend of connecting marketing spend to sales and revenue growth. As such, SEO vendors now offer stronger analytics, better dashboards and more detailed reporting. seoClarity is a leader of this trend by offering automated alerts for detected issues and KPIs in real-time. The company claims to have extensive reporting on 55+ data integrations and customizable dashboards with 100+ visualizations. Daily Alerts, Actionable Insights Custom Reporting Workflow Management A key trend here is toward the integration of workflow processes with alert functions so that changes in visitor behaviorcanbeinstantlyrecognized,addressedoroptimized. The Cloud Visualization Dashboards Competitive Intelligence
  13. 13. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 13ANALYST BOTTOM LINE Analyst Bottom Line As this report clearly shows, SEO has changed radically in the last few years. If your organization has not evaluated its SEO strategy and practices in the last 12-18 months, now is the time. Here are five key recommendations to enhancing your SEO strategy: The SEO market has matured and will continue to change, driven by forces only partially under its control. Google, which drives most SEO implementations, will continue to innovate and change its approach to SEO as search requirements and web content evolves. MMOs should view SEO as a strategic enterprise resource that must be continually upgraded to stay ahead of the fast-moving SEO market landscape. Evaluate your objectives. Are the objectives you have for SEO in line with your broader sales and marketing strategies and initiatives? If not, it’s time to align them. Evaluate the results of your SEO strategy and identify any gaps between your results and objectives that need to be addressed. Use this report, especially the SEO Vendor LandscapeandtheEvolutionoftheLandscapesections,tolook beyond standard SEO toward Web Presence Management. Determine how and where SEO fits into your marketing plan for the upcoming year to create attainable goals. Develop strategies, initiatives and metrics for meeting these goals. Use the SEO Vendor Matrix in this report to choose the best vendor solution for your ongoing Enterprise SEO needs.
  14. 14. 14SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWTECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW METHODOLOGY Technology Overview Methodology The Modern Marketing landscape is an ever-changing, ever-evolving environment in which new strategies, technologies, vendors and products appear continually. Demand Metric Technology Overviews provide marketers with a focus on a specific technology solution set or focus area so that they are armed with the knowledge, information and tools they need to develop effective strategies for their organizations. Each Technology Overview involves hours of analyst research (mainly publicly available information), is for a specific technology solution, and is usually accompanied by several practical tools. Our Customer Engagement series includes Technology Overviews on Online Event Marketing Online Communities Gamification Our practical tools are designed to provide marketers with the tools and templates they need to plan for an initiative in a given focus area, analyze the vendor landscape and select the best vendor for their organization. We provide a comprehensive overview of Customer Engagement in the companion report – Customer Engagement Best Practices Report. V I E W R E S O U R C E
  15. 15. 15SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWABOUT DEMAND METRIC About Demand Metric Demand Metric is a marketing research and advisory firm serving a membership community of over 120,000 marketing profes- sionals and consultants in 75 countries. Offering consulting methodologies, advisory services, and 500+ premium marketing tools and templates, Demand Metric resources and expertise help the marketing community plan more efficiently and effectively, answer the difficult questions about their work with authority and conviction, and complete marketing projects more quickly and with greater confidence, boosting the respect of the marketing team and making it easier to justify resources the team needs to succeed. To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit www.demandmetric.com
  16. 16. 16GAMIFICATION SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW © Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. www.demandmetric.com Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Join Linkedin Group

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