CEO is the new SEO: Interview With HubSpot's Mark Kilens

SPROUT Content Contributor

Written by SPROUT Content Contributor on Fri, Nov 16, 2012

SPROUT Content is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in performance content for businesses in "unglamorous industries."

ContentGoogleWith the roll-out of the Panda and Penguin updates to Google's algorithms, the world of SEO has been radically changed. Google has turned the tides on websites that focus mainly on achieving high page rankings and shifted the focus to rewarding those sites with relevant, real content. Inbound Marketing recently held a webinar series about these changes and how to keep up with the direction Google is taking.

I recently chatted with Hubspot’s Manager of Customer Training Mark Kilens, who co-hosted the webinar series, and discussed the notion of SEO becoming what he has dubbed CEO: Customer Experience Optimization.

How did you come up with CEO?

Google is moving the focus to the user/customer. Businesses must optimize content for the customer’s experience, not the search engine.

Why do you think CEO is more beneficial than SEO?

CEO is more beneficial for people looking for information online. SEO has been a game of sorts for companies to focus on pleasing search engines. CEO is focused more one what is right for the users of the internet. Google wants to please customers by providing content to suit needs, not providing a page that played ‘the game’ better than others.

What trends do you see emerging in the future of SEO/CEO?

More personalized sites/content and the “segment of one”. For example, look at Amazon's website. They know you, they know their audiences and can provide more focus. Companies need to hire writers that are knowledgeable and interested in the topic to provide up to date and useful information. Information is in high supply but to distinguish your content, you must create niche content and use imagery to bolster your content.

Mobile is also incredibly important. How much time do you spend on your computer versus your phone? The future will most likely see more people using their phones or iPads with content delivery systems. Content delivery systems include web objects, downloadable objects, applications, streaming media, and social networks.

What is the one thing you would stress the most for companies trying to “SEO” their website?

FOCUS ON THE USER. Remember Google's emphasis on the content of your website and not search engine rankings. Create high quality content to educate and keep people on your site. Websites with a lower bounce rate will come out on top. However, there are still fundamental SEO strategies that can be found on Google’s Webmaster Academy. Buyer personas are incredibly important to add focus to content. Companies need to develop buyer personas to create an atmosphere for a cohesive target audience.

A big thanks to Mark for sharing more insight about the interesting topic of CEO!  If you want to see how well your website is ranking and if your content can be improved, sign up for our free website content evaluation


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