Real quick…the answer is NO.

But…SEO alone is losing its power and is becoming more dependent on a good content strategy.  What could be as valuable as being easily and consistently found on the internet?  The answer is being perceived as credible and trusted.  Good content strategy using marketing automation tools within your online CRM can help you accomplish this lofty goal.

According to this article by Carl Friesen, B2B companies can put less emphasis on SEO if they use the right content strategy.  No one is going to claim that a content strategy is more important than SEO.  After all, the best content ever created has little value if no one knows about it.  But more and more buyers are demanding that you offer educational and informative content before they will trust you enough to make a purchase.

Marketing Automation Offers Balance

Finding the perfect balance is not easy.  When a buyer is looking for someone with extensive expertise they aren’t likely to try to narrow down the search with key words that express an expert knowledge skill.  Even if they did, claims of expertise don’t mean much to a decision maker.

Instead, SEO and content marketing walk hand-in-hand into a trust level with the buyer.  With a powerful online CRM that is fully integrated with the ability to deliver and track emails, marketing automation can deliver the education that your buyer craves.

Email Marketing Allows Personalization

Buyers feel the need to get four things from you.  A carefully targeted email campaign allows you to get really personal in delivering them.  They want:

  1. …to be in control of the entire buying process.
  2. …to be marketed to as an individual decision maker.
  3. …to be educated with the highest quality information at no cost
  4. …to get all this without any need to talk to anyone in the sales department until they are ready for a buying conversation.

CRM Software Guides Personalization

With the internet empowered buyers in control, you need to analyze the data in your CRM softwareto determine what these picky buyers want.  There is no better source of guidance than your current satisfied customers.  Mine your CRM data like it is gold…because it is a rich source of information for you.  We talked about how to do this in an article about Marketing Automation here.

The best way to meet the needs of the new sales leads is to target them with your entire marketing strategy.  Start by identifying your current ideal client and define your SEO, email campaigns and other sales automation based on what you know about them.

While the company with the biggest bullhorn may get to the top of the online search, it is no longer enough to get the sale.  The mistake many content marketers make is forgetting the continued essential value of SEO.  Blogger Lee Odden says in an article on the Top Rank blog, “The only thing worse than no SEO at all is ALL SEO.”

Focus on SEO enough to be found and focus on delivering content through marketing automation to satisfy the information-hungry buyers.  It’s all about balance.