Why Digital Marketing Is So Much More Than SEO

The internet has changed significantly since it first went public in the 1990s. Way back then, there was no such thing as digital marketing. Those were the days of bulletin boards and online services like AOL. Then came the 2000s and our obsession with SEO. But thanks to 20 years of internet evolution, digital marketing in the 21st century is way more sophisticated than most people understand.

Digital Marketing

Things are so different now that focusing exclusively on SEO is a fool’s errand. It will not get the job done. Today’s digital marketing agency must go beyond SEO to achieve the results their clients deserve—the best of the best to rise to the top in a highly competitive industry.

The Early Days of SEO

The digital marketers of 10 and 15 years ago could get away with focusing exclusively on SEO due to the immaturity of most search engines. In addition, there were far fewer web pages back then. Exponentially fewer. Limited search capabilities and less competition made driving traffic by creating content around certain keywords fairly easy.

It eventually became clear that SEO experts could drive search engine results with a practice known as ‘keyword stuffing.’ Additional black hat practices were developed to get around increasingly more sophisticated search engine algorithms. Eventually, Google’s much-advertised Panda update laid down the gauntlet. The search engines were no longer going to tolerate black hat SEO.

That brings us to where we are today. In the modern SEO environment, keywords alone are not enough. They certainly are important, but they are not the be-all and end-all. Salt Lake City-based Webtek Digital Marketing explains why.

According to the Webtek team, search engine algorithms are advanced enough to use artificial intelligence and deep learning. Search engines are adept at separating relevant content from junk. They can artificially understand the relationship between content and outbound links. In short, the modern range has to be high quality and relevant. If you produce junk, your site will be left by the wayside.

Hundreds of Ranking Factors

Another thing to note is that today’s search engines rely on hundreds of ranking factors to determine search engine results. Two of the big ones right now are speed and mobility. For instance, Google has been rather open about the fact that it wants websites to load quickly. They announced a few years back that they would start ranking for page speed.

The same goes for mobility. With an increasing number of people exclusively using mobile devices to access the internet, search engines now want to see mobile-friendly websites in every respect. They rank sites accordingly.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

One last thing to consider is the competitive nature of the internet. All of the mechanics and technologies aside, there are now billions of pages across the global internet. That is a lot of competition. The whole point of digital marketing is to go beyond mere SEO to stay ahead of the competition.

A digital marketing agency with any history of success doesn’t focus all its attention on keywords. It implements the latest white hat SEO practices and offers web development, social media marketing, brand and reputation management, and more.

Regardless of the industry – healthcare, legal, or any other – modern digital marketing goes beyond SEO. If your digital marketing agency is not up to speed with the state of the industry, you could be losing out on valuable opportunities. Perhaps it’s time to find another agency.

Timothy Washington
Hardcore internetaholic. Social media nerd. General writer. Freelance travel junkie. Music practitioner. Twitter guru. Alcohol maven. In 2008 I was writing about wooden trains for fun and profit. Earned praised for my work researching fatback in Los Angeles, CA. Spent 2001-2006 lecturing about walnuts in Cuba. Earned praise for analyzing tattoos on Wall Street. Uniquely-equipped for deploying wooden horses in Jacksonville, FL. Spent a year lecturing about tar in Salisbury, MD.