If SEO is dead like the plethora of articles tout, then why do I see it walking around the streets of the information superhighway? It’s like a zombie movie starring Matt Cutts. You know, where he issues videos saying SEO techniques that digital marketing strategists use no longer work.
Yes, when Google announces an update to their search algorithm many of the techniques have been left for dead, but SEO is not a going away.
Importance of Search
As long as people use search engines to find products, services and information, there will continue to be a need to improve the organic rankings for a company’s website, blog, or online store.
Doc Sheldon, co-founder of Top Shelf Copy, wrote a recent article titled, There is No ‘New SEO’ in which he states, “Channels come and go or rise and fall in popularity, but that doesn’t change what SEO is any more than adding a row of tomatoes to your garden redefines agriculture.” I couldn’t agree more.
Over the years, the signals that Google has used to determine the importance of a particular website have changed, and so has the game plan search engine marketers have used to help increase visibility in search results.
Think Like a Person, but Remember Google Isn’t…. Yet
Google wants their search results to provide the best experience for its users. Therefore, always think first about delivering a quality product – that is, providing a website with compelling copy, unique content, and engaging resources. Does your website provide value? If you have a few pages thrown together so you have a “web presence”, that’s not enough.
SEO is about having great content and an enjoyable user experience, but there are still other signals Google continues to rely on. That’s when a small business owner frustrated with the lack of results online might consider bringing in an agency.
Google still looks at metadata like title tags and H1, H2, still looks at incoming links to determines trust and authority, still looks at url strings, page speed and site architecture. Yes, some of these areas have been weighted less important over the years, but there are still critical things that can be done to a website to help optimize it for search engines.
Social Media is Not an SEO Alternative
While there is no debating that having a good social presence can also impact your SEO results and improve your search engine rankings, I also want to be clear that SEO is about optimizing for search engines, not getting more ‘followers’ or ‘likes’.
I bring this up because many people think that the new alternative to SEO is having a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn account. Having social media accounts are not the new SEO, they are part of the formula. Having social accounts provides links, impressions and traffic to your site. They help you grab precious shelf space in the SERP results for your brand.
They also help increase your authorship, that is, how much Google trusts you as an authority in your space. Bill Slawski, whom I’m a big fan of, wrote a great article titled Hummingbird and Author Rank Authority about this.
Dawn of the Dead
No, SEO isn’t dead. Maybe search engine marketers are no longer devouring links like zombies devour brains, but small businesses looking to increase visibility in search engine results would gain by paying attention to the SEO best practices that Google continues to use.