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A Closer Look at Holistic SEO

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 19, 2014 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Search engine optimization has changed drastically in the last few years. Companies that were able to keep up with constant updates are stronger than ever; while agencies that had been using deceitful methods (also known as “black hat”) are penalized. Now, a better, more comprehensive SEO approach – called Holistic Seo – is slowly taking the spotlight.

This is NOT just link-building or keywords, folks.

What Is a Holistic SEO Strategy?

If you take a look at any dictionary, “holistic” means “relating to a whole or an entire system and not just individual parts”. Synonyms include: integrated, universal, full…the list goes on. So when we talk about a holistic SEO approach, it should take note of all important aspects: from links, social media, and content marketing, as well as PR, design and UX, email, localization, and mobile.

Gone are the days when agencies would specialize in only a single aspect of search optimization. These days, it’s about combining proven techniques to deliver maximum outcome.

Holistic SEO serves BOTH search engines and users – but with MORE emphasis on users.

This makes it more difficult because these two have totally different standards for what they deem to be “useful” or “important”. Search engines for example, value technical details (structured data, URLs, design and UX, etc.) as their bots can’t exactly read human language. Users on the other hand, are more into quality content (images, text, videos). Good thing Google figured this out and has been updating its algorithm to be more “human”.

In fact, to help it deliver more relevant and valuable results to online users, search engine giant Google has introduced RankBrain in 2015. It’s basically an AI system that helps Google analyze long, complex, queries in encounters every day. Today, it’s the third-highest signal leading to a search-query result.


This means that if digital marketing companies rely solely on SEO or content or social media, they may not get the desired results OR their outcome may not be sustainable enough. This is because Google ranks websites based on more than 200 factors, RankBrain included. The solution then, is to apply a holistic approach that seamlessly integrates different online strategies – with SEO at its base – to present lasting, quality results.

DISCLAIMER: Digital marketing strategies to be used and its results shall depend on numerous factors, including but are not limited to: industry competitiveness, client goals, relevancy to users, and sudden algorithm changes. Please speak with a qualified expert who will assess your business for the right digital marketing techniques.

Holistic SEO In Action

A complete approach is easier said than done, but exactly how do you do it? Let’s take this example from Senior SEO Manager, Tony Edward of Elite SEM.

In a blog post, he explains how their digital marketing teams worked together in order to promote an event for their company. The groups that participated included those from SEO, PR, Marketing, Social Media, Email, PPC and Display. They began with keyword research as a base for other optimization tactics, which would be used for and during the campaign. Here’s a look at what they came up with using this holistic strategy:

  • Targeted and relevant keywords
  • Appropriate blog content
  • On-page optimization
  • Video content
  • Google map integration (local)
  • Social and email marketing
  • PR for the event
  • PPC targeted to local businesses
  • Influencer outreach


To assess if their strategies are working as intended, the teams would meet once a week for evaluation and reporting.

But as you can see, a single campaign involving a holistic approach is more complex and needs the cooperation of several people with specialized skills. The con is that it can be time-consuming. SEO agencies employing only a limited number of employees may find themselves lacking in talent should they decide to implement this technique as well.

However, the great thing is that you’re investing time and effort into various marketing channels, thereby boosting your chances of success. If you went with SEO or content alone, you’d still invest more or less the same amount of energy – only to receive minimal to satisfactory results. Applying an integrated technique allows digital marketers to maximize each strategy and get more from their hard work.

Holistic SEO in the Future: Give It Your All!

The modern objective of SEO is no longer just to increase a website’s ranking; but rather, to also improve a user’s online experience and deliver results that really matter. Imagine a future where you can instantly get the most applicable answer to your searches in just a few seconds. No more spam, no more duplicate content, and no more unrelated results.

That, would be Web-tastic!


What about you? Are you implementing holistic SEO into your campaign? If so, how are your results? Let’s talk more on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+!

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This post first appeared on SEO Blog - Guide And Tips For SEarch Engine Optimi, please read the originial post: here

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A Closer Look at Holistic SEO


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