SEO is marketing – Search Engine Land

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SEO often exists on an island of its own. 
In 2022.
Getting buy-in for an SEO investment is already difficult enough. But we also face the challenge that many companies still question where it fits in with their overall marketing budget.
You’d think we’d have this figured out by now.
While SEO has come a long way and developed legitimacy, I think until company leaders see SEO as “marketing,” we will not have earned the due respect that the field plays in a digital marketing effort.
Until SEO is solidly considered a “marketing” function, we won’t realize the requisite budgets to do this stuff right and have an appropriate amount of time/budget invested, considering the potential value/ROI of a solid SEO effort.
Do a Google search and you’ll find the following definition of marketing, or something similar:
I could stop the argument here. That’s exactly what SEO is here for: to promote a company and to assist in the sales of products and services, including market (keyword/competitive) research.
Everyone has their own approach to SEO. Some might say SEO involves meta data. Some might say “technical,” including things like addressing page speed. 
While those things are certainly true, they’re small pieces of an all-encompassing approach to SEO.
Put simply, SEO is the process of building your business’s web presence to connect with consumers.
This process may begin with keyword research, but even that small task/deliverable is an involved process. 
Do you notice what hasn’t been mentioned?
Anything technical.
Certainly, there have been many instances of stepping into a new SEO engagement and addressing a technical glitch and having this be “the thing” that has been preventing success. Those instances are few and far between. The commonly found “you have a disallow: / in your robots.txt” comes to mind.
The technical elements of a new SEO engagement will certainly involve a technical audit (or should). And this isn’t just using one tool to tell you everything that’s broken. 
But the technical elements that should exist in an SEO effort might include items such as:
Technical SEO is still important, but it’s certainly different than 20 years ago when there were many hand-coded websites.
Nowadays, many off-the-shelf content management systems do a decent job of delivering a “search engine friendly” platform. And, aside from that, there are many plug-ins that can help you to keep things in check.
You are working to align pages/content of your website to address known searches performed (and the intent of those searches) based upon a lot of marketing research.
Do we want our “money pages” to rank? Of course, 100% of the time, if we can manage it. 
But is that the content we often identify as being “what Google/searchers like/want”? Not always. 
Google often groups keywords with intent and groups them as follows:
A larger share of time is being spent on those things “non-technical” in an SEO engagement. 
More often, we are seeking ways to optimize:
Using Google Analytics, other tools and measurements, we then optimize our efforts toward specific goals that we’re trying to reach.
Ideally, at the start of an SEO engagement, we’re able to address many of the large technical roadblocks. Often, new “things” will pop up that will require a technical review.
But what will drive the SEO engagement more than anything is a strategic approach to content and helping clients better position their website (and other assets related to their organic presence) and “drive the action of promoting a business’s products or services, including performing market research.”
Which is…. marketing. 
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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