If you are a business or website owner, you may have heard of SEO. SEO is otherwise known and referred to as search engine optimisation. Search engine optimisation is a form of marketing in which organic search results are targeted to generate web traffic. This form of marketing pulls in search traffic, which is natural and does not require paying for ads. (PPC)
SEO is a hot topic of conversation, which leads us to the question – Is SEO dead?
This is a question that is often asked by business owners and aspiring digital marketers. The question itself faces much controversy, as the internet is full of skeptics who believe the days of SEO are over. Furthermore, some businesses are put off by the negative posts they read about SEO.
Is SEO Dead? – Bird Digital don’t believe so and this is why.
THE FOREVER CHANGING WORLD OF SEO
SEO has evolved over the years and has been become smarter and content quality orientated. Search engines such as Google will rank results in which they see value. If a website does not provide value, it cannot expect to rank well.
A lot of business owners outsource or attempt their own SEO marketing. The problem is, many people do not move with the times, which is why they are getting left behind. People are quick to judge the form of marketing rather than the tactics used. Search engines such as Google will penalise people who use black hat SEO methods. Black hat SEO is a form of SEO that is designed to maliciously manipulate the search rankings. In recent years, rogue marketers continue to enforce black hat methods, which is no longer (and never really was) a viable option. The lack of results tends to lead to a lack of trust in SEO, which is why many people claim that SEO is dead.
THE GREAT MOBILE ARMAGEDDON
In 2015, Google changed their algorithm to improve the quality of their search results. This search update meant that any website that was not device friendly would lose search power. In addition to this, the changes led to a great number websites dropping search positions. This caused mass outrage by those who did not have device friendly websites and cut profits for many people.
Those who kept up to date with their search marketing were fully aware of the upcoming changes. Furthermore, many people benefited from the update, which was dubbed the great mobile armageddon.
People negatively affected by the great mobile armageddon would falsely claim that SEO was dead, however damages could have been avoided if they kept up to date.
THE FUTURE OF VOICE SEARCH
SEO is not dead, but it is changing. The future of SEO regards high importance for voice search. The number of people using voice search is growing rapidly due to smart devices and software such as Siri or Alexa. Furthermore, voice search is something that should not be overlooked in the future.
SEO IS A LONG TERM STRATEGY
One major thing to consider when conducting any form of SEO is that results will not be instant. Many people expect quick results from SEO, however SEO should be considered an ongoing long term strategy. Search engines such as Google will not gain trust overnight, and why should they? Ongoing SEO gives the search engines a reason to trust you. This is as long as content is consistently high quality and relevant to the user. Furthermore, the internet is filled with “marketers” who promise fast results. Generally these marketers will use black hat methods, which could lead to a website being penalised and potentially deranked. Moreover, websites hit with penalisations tend to be very skeptical about SEO, which is another reason why we are seeing people claim that SEO is dead.
ORGANIC SEARCH COMPETITION
SEO is not dead, however it is a LOT more competitive than it once was. Search engine optimisation is now harder, which is good for your average search user. This is because the quality of search results tend to be higher than they ever were. Furthermore, the new changes mean that website owners and marketers have to work that little bit harder to ensure they are producing top quality content.
As mentioned previously, many marketers and website owners are stuck in their ways and therefore being left behind in the search rankings.
PAGE ONE SEO RESULTS
Many people aim for page one of Google, however for best results you should aim for position one of page one. This is because voice search is geared towards displaying the first result and reading back schema data. This has meant that SEO has become extremely competitive.
Organic search still performs much better than paid adverts. Research suggests that around 70-80% of web users will ignore paid ads on search engines such as Google. This means click through rates are considerably higher for the first organic page results. Schema data can also help optimise the way that Google displays web results. This gives a clear advantage when compared to PPC.
Another benefit to SEO is that the cost per acquisition tends to be much lower than paid ads. Organic search results do not instantly disappear like paid results do after the advertiser has stopped paying for them.
In conclusion, we do not believe that SEO is dead at all. SEO is a great way of generating traffic that is relevant and also high converting. Furthermore, SEO has become more competitive, which has led people to believe that SEO is dead. Over 75% of people do not scroll past page one, which shows the importance of optimising pages correctly to appear on page one.
Internet use is as high as it has ever been, which means that position one organic results can be very profitable. Search engines are becoming even smarter, which means that users are presented with the information they are seeking. Create content, optimise pages and bring value to a audience and search efforts will thrive.
Some even argue that SEO is more important than it has ever been. SEO is certainly not dead, but it has truly has evolved. If you do not move with the times, do not be surprised if you get left behind.