Given the rapid pace of change and innovation, search engine marketing has become a very complicated profession. A web marketer has to deal with the new dynamics, fresh rules of business and innovative modes of engagement every day. However, the leading complexity to manage is ‘algorithm change’. Multiple studies have proven it to be the primary factor that does not allow ordinary people to change and modify search results. Therefore, it has become very difficult to achieve quality results with old and traditional SEO tactics. The simplest technique to remain competitive lies in ‘adaptability’ and changing techniques according to the requirements of search engines.

The following 7 suggestions are aimed at helping search marketers upgrade their skill set and improve their success rate.

  1. Be a Knowledge Worker

In the 21st century, knowledge is the key to rule the world. If you are able to transform yourself into a knowledge worker as proposed by Peter Drucker a few decades ago, your success rate automatically gets multiplied. In the search business, knowledge means the information and skills needed to perform these given tasks on the job as well as off the field in the industry. How search engines operate, the changes they announce, different technologies/tools that are invented for the e-world, industry trends and what is being published over the web must be your key concern as an SEO. Remember, a timely interface with the latest changes and fresh technologies can help you adopt a unique and better approach to the business. The results will help you gain a significant advantage over the ordinary market practitioners.

  1. Diversify and Change the Approach

As noted above, search engines keep on announcing changes like Google did in the shape of Panda & Penguin. You, as a professional, also need to modify your approach and diversify your thinking for better results. For example, new terms like online presence management, digital marketing and reputation management are being used as a replacement for SEO with some additional input. Therefore, an SEO no longer remains an optimizer; he is a ‘reputation manager’ who probably has to take care of hundreds of things to ensure that his client’s company is seen in a positive light. So the question is: Are you really a reputation manager or just another Jack?

Similarly, Google releases new updates to refine search results. A search marketer needs to be on his toes with regards to such changes and announcement. Do you know What Google is doing on April 21?? No? Just Google it :)

  1. Use Process Automation Tools

On the one hand, we find a shift in thinking and strategizing while, on the other hand, we have new productivity tools. Today people tend to automate their repetitive tasks using some process automation tool or software program.

For instance, TweetDeck is a Twitter management tool that allows users to automate and schedule their tweeting. Similarly, Hootsuite helps digital marketers manage multiple social networks from a single dashboard. In addition to this, we find a lot of SEO management dashboards like Britedge, SearchEnabler, and Matrix Search. They allow SEO professionals to manage multiple tasks and analytics at a single dashboard and improve their focus.

On the larger side of digital marketing, automation platforms like Makesbridge, HubSpot, Marketo and MailChimp allow users to automate and manage their emails, blogging, social sharing, selling, and customer relations. In my previous post, I’ve explained how to optimize marketing automation and shared some best practices for email marketing in 2015.

Your job as an SEO professional is to understand the implications of these new trends and tools. Learn about new concepts and employ the latest technologies in your area of service.

  1. Be a Tech Savvy Person

If you are in a search business, but do not have an interface with emerging and new technologies, you cannot be a successful professional in the long run. In this tech-driven business era, you cannot live and operate without smartphones, tablet PC’s, new operating systems and dedicated mobile apps. SwiftKey, DropBox, Elite SEM, iAdSense, WebTrends, mAnalytics, TweetDeck, EverNote, Google Drive, iCloud, etc., are some of the most vital apps for any modern day professional. You are encouraged to have those that are the most relevant for you.

The rule is: if you don’t know how to use the gadgets, it is impossible to maintain a professional status.

  1. Learn the Art of Communication

I have frequent interaction with many of the market’s leading professionals; however, they always disappoint me with their lack of effective communication skills. Though most of the SEO managers have dedicated content writers for various business needs, there is still the need to be a good communication professional. When you are making deals, exchanging emails with potential clients, giving presentations and making announcements, you still have to be the official communicator of the deal. Therefore, it is essential that you work on your communication skills, learn etiquette, and win the client with the power of communication.

  1. Content is Still the King

The last, but not least, important point is ‘content’ which still remains King. When Google released the Panda update, it lowered the rank of 12% of the entire search results only because of poor content. Even today, unique and quality content is the single biggest ranking factor in search algorithm. However, smart managers need to focus more on ‘content marketing/utilization’ than content production in 2015. As an SEO, you need to work on your content strategy and learn the art of creating and placing quality content in the right place. I strongly recommend that you follow search guidelines, join some online content courses, and don’t forget to check the latest releases by the Content Marketing Institute.

  1. Update Your Marketing Mix

As previously mentioned, good professionals are knowledge workers; they keep their skills set updated. One of the key things a digital marketing professional must keep in mind is ‘marketing mix’. Dividing the fair and right proportion of focus to different channels determines the overall success of marketing. Integrate the latest trends like mobile, marketing automation, and email marketing into your overall content and SEO strategies. Managers who effectively integrate their channels earn 46% more leads than those who don’t. This not only saves your time but also improves overall content utilization.

If you are about to plan your marketing strategy for the next quarter, have a look at the findings of Salesforce State of Marketing 2015. They will help you make the right mix of content, email, SEO, and social media marketing.