Search engine optimization and digital marketing have become -- and will continue to be -- key parts of any successful business. Vanessa Fox, former Googler and founder of Nine By Blue, is one of the individuals who pioneered these techniques. She spoke with CMSWire about her work and how she sees these fields advancing in the coming years.

From the Ground Up

After starting out in traditional print marketing, in the mid-1990’s, Fox gradually moved onto digital marketing when she was hired by Google. Around this time, the internet was just starting to develop as a way of connecting people with websites. Fox spent time building these sites and working on its marketing appeal.

With the web and search engines, you not only have to think about what the product looks like in terms of marketing, but what the infrastructure of the site is,” says Fox. “When I was working for Google it really became clear that these two pieces had an intersection.”

Fox realizes that although there was a niche for marketing within the online world, traditional marketing practices had to be to be adapted for a web-based setting. She says that with other forms of marketing, the promotional materials -- such as a press release -- were often very isolated and separate from the actual product itself. With online marketing, she wanted to make sure that people were more interconnected.

Fox says when she started at Google, they had a lot of tools to help advertisers, but the information and products available were still very limited. “There was nothing for content owners on the unpaid side of search, it was really a black box."

Fox realized this was a key area that needed improvement and that in order to provide marketers and advertisers with a more complete tool set there needed to be a way to combine data, analytics, search engines and optimization. With this thought, Google Webmaster Central was born. The collection of tools, now referred to as Webmasters, provides services and products, including blogs, analytics tools and a help center that can that can aid businesses who are trying to improve both their Google search presence and overall user experience.