I have been covering sales and marketing software for a long time, and to this day I can not adequately explain to a layman the concept of search engine optimization (SEO). Maybe, it is because this is an area that for the most part involves human interacting with technology (search engines and the net in general) as really isn’t a packaged automation software genre.
Until now. This week marks the official launch of Yield Software, a firm looking to basically turn what SEO executives do as an art into an automated science. Basically, Yield looks to increase web site traffic, increase conversions, etc.
OK, so here’s why I like this concept. It basically simplifies operations for those looking to do business on the web. This model demystifies a concept that many hold to be an art, and makes it more manageable – and makes the cost more streamlined. I liken it to the way CRM and marketing automation software finally brought accountability to marketing departments.
And here is why I’m not so jazzed about Yield: I don’t really see the need for SEO tools in this day and age. I mean, in an era where you can create huge audiences via blogs, Twitter, facebook etc. – is the old notion of web traffic still relevant? Maybe I’m just naive, but I think online marketing from a demand generation standpoint has grown beyond Google ad words.
As an example, SugarCRM has an amazing amount of web traffic at all of its web properties, and has an amazingly high search relevance on Google. But, SugarCRM has never purchased a SINGLE ad word. The traffic and customer momentum has occurred – gasp – because people checked out Sugar’s free software and told their friends.
In this day and age, old concepts like word of mouth take on a new meaning, and a rapidity that some traditional demand generation models have yet to mimic.