SEO is dead

What have I learned from The Digital Elite Conference 2019

How are SEO and CRO evolving?

This question, the question where we – our industry – are going, is not a question you ask yourself when you start out in our business. So if you are new to SEO (or CRO), it’s all about discovering. And I hope it’s also about testing. Testing and learning by doing is something the SEO and CRO communities have in common. And this testing mindset is why I love my job. We, the SEO’s, are always testing because the algorithms tend to change rather quickly. After all these years of testing, learning and keeping up to speed with Google one question remains unanswered:

“how is our industry evolving”

Maybe you will find some answers in this article. I wrote this article after visiting Digital Elite Day in London june 5th 2019. You better keep your eyes open, because the future is now and Google will change more rapidly and people will remain the same!

Master Enablers for the win

Most of the SEO professionals (and as I learned also the CRO professionals) who are trying to keep up with the rapidly evolving online landscape agree on one thing: you must enable your clients to optimize their organizations. This idea of enabling is (in my opinion) the main takeaway from the Digital Elite Conference. Why and how I came to this conclusion you ask? Well let me tell you how and on top of that I will tell you how this will benefit you and yours.

First hand experience

I spoke with Arnout Hellemans, a Dutch online marketing consultant, who works for a big International Financial corporation. He told me he works directly with C-level and all of the different divisions where he is just that enabler we all need to be. This enables him to have a direct impact on the bottom-line of the client by impacting the culture and mindset of the people.

Karl Gillis, the 3rd most influential CRO professional in the world (says PPC Hero), spoke about how he went into a callcenter for two days in a row just to listen to his customer customers. The information he retrieved is then used in optimizing his clients’ bottom-line. Maybe you will tell me this is nothing new and you are right. Listening to your customer is basic knowledge. Karl said it in his keynote; nothing ever changes, humans will be humans and it is only the tools and technologies we use that are changing.

Center of Excellence

During the presentation of Ton Wesseling (Online Dialogue) Ton managed to undergo a metamorphosis by getting rid of his flashy golden jacket that made him look like a popstar. “Kill CRO” said Ton Wesseling in his presentation, Why? Because it is more about enabling teams and companies to optimize themselves. CRO is more like a mindset every employee should have. And thus Ton says: every team should run their own experiments and the CRO team must disappear to become a “center of excellence” where they can enable other teams to run their own experiments.

SEO is death (yes again)

In the SEO track there was the same sentiment that we need to ‘enable’. Offcourse SEO came a long way, and nothing moves faster then SEO, so Linkbuilding is dead and Digital PR rose from its ashes. This we learned from Stacey Mc Naught and Kevin Gibbons who proved this with number$$$ (and awards). And now Aleyda is here to tell us PWA’s are the new native apps. And then you have the ’no-click’ results in SERPS (which also got into Karl’s keynote)…

Welcome to the new SEO!

At the end of the day the SEO track culminated in the Q&A session with Jono Alderson and Nick Wilsdon. Besides the talk about no-click SERP’s everybody agreed SEO’s don’t live in a silo and we are enhancing the client’s bottom-line. Yes, we are enablers at work. So (what Karl says about CRO), also in SEO, nothing ever changes (only Google’s algorithm) and we keep bringing the best possible solutions for the best possible outcome.

Presentations can be fun too!

And most of all, when you go to a conference, it must be fun too. I keep in mind I must try to enable more good times to my team and clients. Just because sometimes business got me into boring mode it should not kill who I am (a little crazy). So if you can find Karl Gillis or Izzi Smith and Nils Kattau (and their amazing t-shirts) you are off for an awesome presentation and learn some stuff as well.

Photo credits: Nils Kattau

Now only one question remains: are you an enabler?

If so, and you like to enable your organization from within have a look at SEOPOLY® and hire me to help you enable your organization.