SEO Is Anything But…Dead
It seems there’s never a shortage of people saying that “SEO has died/is dying/will die”. We group these people one of two ways…people who don’t understand search engine optimization, and people who USED to understand search engine optimization when all it required was creating junk links and stuffing keywords in each of them. Those practices (thankfully) fall into the dead/dying/will die category, but the practice of optimizing a website for search engines will live as long as search engines live. Interestingly, some of the people that cry the loudest about SEO dying are actually competing for search dollars themselves. This infographic from SEO WORLD helps clarify:
SEO as a whole has morphed, indeed. But that’s a far cry from dying off. More than anything, more professionals are focusing on a subset of search. Local SEO. E-Commerce SEO. International SEO. Not to mention professional Content Marketing – that backbone of any good off-page SEO strategy – is certainly alive and well. So much so that it stands alone as its own practice regardless if an outreach strategy for link acquisition is filled in behind it.
What’s really happened is that semi-professionals and hacks are being forced out, as they don’t have the skills or professionalism to gain links, generate traffic, acquire leads and drive sales like true professionals do. Search engine marketing has evolved over time, but the organic traffic from a strong web presence will always be at the core. It’s a key component of any lead generation that an outsourced digital marketing firm will put in place.
SEO’s now require a more diverse skill set and understanding of what drives search…one such area is the importance that web design has on search rankings. It’s getting harder and harder to rank a sub-par site (and with good reason). Search engines want to reward a great experience that leaves the searcher satisfied. Hence the push for many businesses to develop responsive web designs with a true UX focus. I call this a caveat because it’s technically outside of the realm of most SEO’s to develop websites. Another big driver is video. Many business owners are surprised to learn that YouTube is the second largest search engine out there – and it certainly isn’t dying any time soon. Video can be optimized just like a website.
Before you let a Public Relations firm or Social Media “expert” sway you from considering Search Engine Optimization as part of your digital marketing mix, make sure you understand their perspective…and which of the buckets above they fall in to!