I’m going to start this off by saying that, SEO is NOT dead. It was never dead and it doesn’t look like it’s going to die anytime soon. With many of the social networks; Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, improving their search engines, this shows that search engine optimization still matters, it’s just evolving.
Yes, there are parts of an SEO strategy that are dead, like:
- keyword stuffing
- buying links
- duplicating websites on different domains
- optimizing content purely for ranking
- and many more black-hat-type tricks
But, there are many parts of an SEO strategy that are still the same but have just evolved for how people are using search engines today.
What is SEO?
Before I start talking about why SEO matters, let’s go back to the basics and break down what SEO means. SEO stands for, Search Engine Optimization, it is a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase website traffic that is obtained through high ranking in the search results page of a search engine (SERP).
These strategies and techniques include:
- Keyword research
- On page optimization: keywords in headers, copy, image alt tags
- Meta description
- Content marketing strategy
- Link building (internally and externally)
The objectives of SEO is to make sure that your company’s website shows up on the front page of the SERPs so you can benefit from organic search traffic. This kind of traffic benefits your business because you’re acquiring visitors to your site for free. These visitors are also higher quality because if your site answers their search query there is a higher chance they will convert and make a purchase on your site.
Why does SEO still matter?
An online marketer’s strategy is always evolving, but something that is always present is SEO. Although many have claimed SEO is dead, like I said earlier, it is not dead, it has just gone through changes and has evolved to provide people with a better user experience. To show you that SEO still matters, below are some reasons why your marketing strategy still needs SEO.
Content marketing isn’t going anywhere
People are constantly hungry for content, which puts pressure on marketers to make sure that they are serving valuable content to their audience. But, with the content landscape being overly cluttered, the only way to make sure your content gets in front of the right people is to make sure that your content has an SEO strategy.
Unlike any other form of marketing, content marketing continues to pay dividends in the long run. If your content marketing strategy includes SEO you’ll see that creating search engine optimized content will have no expiration date. The search engines will generate traffic on a regular basis if you are able to get your website or webpage ranking in the top 5. For example, if you purchase a radio ad space, that ad has an expiration date. Where search engine optimized content will keep serving you new and old visitors for as long as that webpage is alive.
Twitter recently launched its new search engine
In late 2014, Twitter launched its new and more advanced search engine. This new powerful search engine allows Twitter users to search for tweets sent on the service since 2006. But, why does this matter to your SEO strategy?
With millions of tweets being sent out each day, you need to make sure that your tweets are optimized for Twitter’s search engine. This means, using relevant hashtags and including relevant keywords or phrases in your tweets, so your tweet shows up in people’s search queries.
Pinterest guided search provides pinners new opportunities
Pinterest guided search has improved the way businesses use Pinterest. Gone are the days where you hoped that your pins would get repinned and you waited for people to make a purchase off your site because they found your Pinterest board. Guided Search is a delight to the eyes because it’s image-based and is an entertaining way to help you discover inspiration.
With over 500,000 business pages and more than 70 million users and 30% of North American online consumers purchasing a product after seeing it on Pinterest, there is an important need to make sure your pins are optimized for Guided Search. Using your SEO strategies for your pins, like: optimizing for keywords, using proper tags, and optimizing your descriptions, you’ll benefit from being found in Pinterest’s Guided Search.
YouTube’s search engine is the second most used search engine
YouTube processes more than 3 billions searches a month and is a bigger search engine than; Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL combined. Which means that if you’re using YouTube for marketing your business, your SEO strategy should include YouTube too. The opportunities are endless with YouTube and simple SEO techniques, like: keyword research, keywords in the title, description, tagging, and proper video promotion, can help your video be found in YouTube’s search engine.
People are searching more on their mobile phones
Mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage this year, which means marketers need to make sure that their website is not only optimized for mobile but that their websites are searchable on mobile. With more and more mobile users using their mobile phone’s to search answers to need-to-know-now questions, its no surprise that mobile search usage is on the rise.
This doesn’t only include search on mobile web browsers, it also includes app store searches. Which means that your apps should be optimized for app store searches, this includes using keywords in your description as well your title.
Paid search marketing is becoming too costly for small businesses
Search engine marketing includes SEO and Paid search marketing, which is spending money on search engine ads to ensure you are placed at the top of the search engine’s page. For many small businesses, paid search marketing isn’t even an option due to the amount of money it costs to show up for competitive keywords. Which is why SEO is important for small businesses because it allows their website to show up in the search engines with very little cost (you still have to pay someone to do your SEO).
61% of consumers use search engines during their buying decision
A report by Econsultancy shows that 61% of consumers are using search engines when making a purchase decision. Think about your own buying habits, when you’re online about to make an online purchase, do you make a phone call to the store if you have a question?
Or do you go on Google and search up reviews or videos to learn more about the product you’re about to buy? If you want to increase purchases on your site, make sure you can be found, you have good online reviews, and you’re helping your customers make their purchase decision easier.
SEO still brings more traffic to your blog than social media
Have you checked your Google Analytics lately? If you break down the different marketing channels that drives traffic to your blog, you’ll probably be surprised to see that organic search traffic surpasses owned and organic social media traffic.
As you can see in the graph below, according to data collected by Conductor, organic search brings in more visitors and these visitors are 2x more likely to be extremely engaged and visit 5+ more pages than other channels. Where social media has the highest bounce rate of any marketing channel.
Ultimately the internet is about providing people the opportunity to connect, to learn, and to be found. As the internet matures, so do search engines, which means your SEO strategy will continue to evolve and SEO will still matter. As long as you’re depending on people to be able to find you in search queries, you will still need SEO strategies to market your business on the internet.
Do you know of any more reasons why SEO still matters? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community