SEO is king – it has always been. Marketers everywhere have been using it ever since search engines became the gateway to the internet. It is still the best way to drive more web traffic to your website through search.
But is it really?
The truth is, the market has become incredibly competitive. As more and more businesses try to establish themselves on search engines, it may get even more so.
Let me know if this sounds familiar: you spend countless hours optimizing your website using the best SEO practices. You target specific and LSI keywords, optimize page speed, improve readability, but your efforts are going nowhere.
So what gives? Is SEO dead?
No. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s more relevant than ever. While the tactics may have evolved over the years, it is still more relevant than ever. Search engines are here to stay.
Your Content Depends on It
“Create content for readers, not for spiders” – virtually all marketers who don’t care about SEO. And yes, they’re right. But they’re also wrong.
Back in the day, keywords ruled the landscape. You could get away with stuffing your content with as many keywords as you can so spiders will love you. But gone are those days. Today, quality content rules them all and has become the basic foundation of SEO. Today, your content needs to be relevant, useful, helpful, authentic, true, and above all, should match your user’s intent.
But that’s just half the story. After all, you still need all those spiders. Why? To make your content visible.
The end goal of a content marketing strategy is to gain more traffic through the content that you make. Your content strategy will never be successful if your content isn’t optimized for search. So after spending days, or even weeks, creating exception content, spend a little bit more time optimizing your content for the spiders. After all, high-quality content, no matter how good it is, won’t matter if no one can ever read about it.
Best of all, your content creation efforts will be rewarded once your audience stumbles upon your content through search. After all, if they’re actively looking for something and finds you, they’re more than likely to want to know more about you, your business, or your product.
The Rise of Mobile Search
Does “I have an app for that” sound familiar to you? Those were the buzzwords that we would always hear at the beginning of the smartphone era, which was also a time where everything started going mobile.
The writing has been on the wall ever since. Everything was going mobile, even the internet. And in May of 2015, it finally happened. Mobile finally overtook desktop as the primary channel for Google search, which became a signal of even bigger things for mobile.
With the continued rise of mobile usage came unprecedented changes to Google’s algorithm. It now gave more weight to mobile responsiveness, which also paved the way for Google’s launching of mobile-first indexing. This meant mobile versions of a website will be primarily used for Google’s ranking factors instead of the desktop version.
A part of SEO did die that day, which happened to be desktop-focused SEO.
SEO Matters More Than Ever
Even though the methods and strategies may be different from what they were a decade ago, SEO is still quite important. Actually, it’s more important than ever. In fact, it should be an indispensable arrow in the digital marketer’s quiver.
Just to give you an idea of how important search engines are, take a look at the numbers:
- 93% of all web traffic come from search engines.
- 90% of search queries made are made through Google.
- Every day, 5 billion Google searches are made worldwide.
- Roughly 35% of product searches are done using Google.
- 46% of all Google searches are tied to something local.
With mobile usage becoming even more widespread as we move to the next decade, the number of searches are sure to skyrocket. Just 5 years ago, all only 34% of all Google searches were made through mobile. Today, that number has shot up to 60%, which looks to go up even higher as mobile becomes even stronger.
Despite all the numbers, a majority of marketers are still questioning its importance today. Why? All the changes to search algorithms continue to reward quality of the content, which makes it seem that only the content matters, while SEO doesn’t. Some have even gone so far as to call SEO as overrated.
Don’t get me wrong, quality of the content does matter. It lets you build authority, improving your trust score with your audience. But quality content doesn’t mean a thing if it can’t be found – and SEO is one of the best ways to make that happen.
Google Demands It
As mentioned before, quality content and SEO goes hand-in-hand in order to solve your audience’s problems. Google and other search engines rank search results based on their relevance to the user’s request.
This speaks more to the user’s intent rather than the searched keywords themselves. Your ability to address the user’s intent or answer their question will affect how closely you rank at the top. But Google can’t do that when it doesn’t know what your site and its pages contain.
SEO provides your website with more information about what it’s about, what it contains, and how it can address your audience’s needs. Essentially, all you need is a website that contains different pages that are optimized to meet your audience’s intent. With SEO, you can do just that.
So again, is SEO dead? No, it’s not. It just evolved.