Is SEO Dead?
Search engine optimisation or SEO has been one of the most potent marketing techniques used by businesses to rank high and gain better conversion rates. Even today, many SMEs put their faith in SEO to achieve higher visibility and attract steady traffic to their pages.
The rise of paid marketing methods and the comparatively faster results they produce has brought up an important question. Many marketers and business owners today are asking ‘Is SEO dead’? The question is not new and has been asked since the early days of search engine optimisation.
SEO is Evolving and Still Relevant
SEO is not dead as many tend to proclaim. It has changed considerably through the years and some conventional methods have become redundant. Every digital marketing specialist who is in-the-know of current marketing trends acknowledges this fact. Performing search engine optimisation for any given website is different from what marketers would do a few years ago.
Every year and every major search engine algorithm change brings about significant evolution to SEO’s fundamental methods. What worked great last year might be ineffective currently. That is just the way things are in the ever-changing domain of SEO.
Why are so many people convinced that SEO is dead?
Most people who genuinely believe that SEO is a thing of the past are still trying things that are not practical anymore. The disappointments start rising when the use of outdated SEO tactics results in poor rankings. In some cases, spammy SEO content writing and other redundant methods may even lead to websites getting penalised. Disgruntled business owners and their helpless marketing service providers then give up on the method and claim that the SEO is ‘dead’.
SEO approaches that can be considered redundant include -
1. Focusing too much on focus keywords - Utilising the right keyword or keywords is important to improve the overall quality of any given web page. But search optimisation professionals often make the mistake of over-optimising the focus keywords. The days of forcefully cramming-in keywords are over, as highly-sophisticated search algorithms have adopted a different perspective.
The focus is now on delivering readable, engaging and informative content that users can benefit from. Keywords should be used naturally and not look out of place. This also holds true for the blogger outreach strategy of a business, as external blogs and articles must also carry the same qualities. Keywords are to be used for helping out visitors and answering their questions, and not be focused on just obtaining higher ranks.
2. Focusing only on link building - Google still considers link building as one of the most important ranking factors. But how it is utilised can either produce positive or negative results for the ranking of a website. Earlier, SEO professionals put in all their efforts into link building and it worked. Sites or pages with the highest number of links had higher chances of ranking high.
Now, you will get nowhere by spamming links all across the Internet. Google and several major search engines have wised up considerably, and are averse to spammy tactics. Any link building you do now has to be on highly relevant sites and directories.
3. Trying to win over search engines and not people - This is another outdated SEO approach that tends to do more harm and less good now. If you are optimising web pages to appease the search algorithms only, it is time to stop. The evolution of search engine optimisation has brought the spotlight on generating great user experiences.
The overall experience you can offer to users (or site visitors) is the yardstick for ranking success. A web page has to be highly relevant and instantly accessible to be deemed as user-friendly. Marketers must focus on factors like how many pages are visited by users, how much time is spent on the website, and the section of the site they can scroll down to. Responsive web design also plays a role in ascertaining peak usability. A website should be equally accessible and readable across all platforms.
4. Laying too much stress on content volume - Many business owners and even marketers still believe that simply having more pages and more posts can yield better SERP ranks. It would ideally work if Google ranked websites as a whole, but it does not. Google’s focus is on the value and level of user experience provided by each web page. Therefore, the focus has to be on enhancing the quality of web pages, instead of adding unnecessary ones.
High-quality long-form content on your web-pages can help them obtain healthy rankings for a great number of keywords. This type of optimised content also has a greater chance of keeping visitors on your page and raising their interest levels. Implement this as part of your blogger outreach and witness better results. Well-structured individual posts and pages can prove quite more potent than a great number of pages.
These are some of the approaches that fail today, and often give the entirety of search engine optimisation a bad reputation. Following them can result in web pages losing their credibility and falling way beyond key competitors. SEO is now about healthy competition, centred around the value provided by businesses to their potential customers.
As many digital marketing companies are realising, mobile optimisation also has to be prioritised as an important aspect of SEO. Search engines are constantly trying to woo users with faster and more relevant results. If a web page is spammy or beats around the bush too much, visitors are likely to bounce off easily.
Regardless of the outdated strategies, SEO is not at all useless. Its set of organic promotion methods form the essential backbone of any web page/site. Even if a business intends to go all-out on paid promotion in the future, performing high-quality content writing and SEO beforehand is vital. After all, there is no purpose of optimising a low-quality page, regardless of a business reputation.
To sum it up, SEO is not dead and is unlikely to be so anytime soon.