IS SEO DEAD?
IS SEO DEAD?
As the digital industry continues to evolve at a breakneck pace (with the inception of more intelligent algorithms, apps, and digital assistants) some may assume that SEO is less important. On the contrary, traditional search is still used billions of times daily and is the dominant way to find information online. Google itself has faith that conventional online searching will be around for a long time; they continue to update their algorithms to give their users the best possible experience. However, savvy marketers should keep their eyes open to the pitfalls, current trends, and future of SEO in this ever-changing industry.
WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS?
Some companies have made a mistake using short-term SEO efforts. They add hundreds of content keywords resulting in short-term wins but ultimately flooding the market with similar content making it hard to rank. With the MUM update from Google, it is imperative to offer unique content that is knowledgeable and industry-specific. MUM has made it possible to search content from videos, social media, and images alike, making it more critical to use multiple digital marketing content channels.
Ignoring SEO opportunities in apps and direct services is another pitfall. These apps and direct services allow users to search for specific products or needs, but if there’s a search algorithm in play, there’s a way to take advantage of it. Apps have captured some of the search traffic; now, customers can go directly to the recommendations within a specific app instead of googling for the answers.
A common error many brands make is not aligning social media to SEO. Social media does not directly impact SEO. However, social signals (likes, shares, and comments) generated from people sharing your content on social media channels increase trust and customer loyalty, driving brand awareness and indirectly boosting online visibility. A social media strategy that compliments your SEO plan allows you to capitalize on both fronts.
HOW ARE MARKETERS USING IT NOW?
In response to the innovative algorithms that have been created to provide users with better results and consistency, brands are investing in their content by using more experienced writers to navigate the search enhancements and ensure the best placement. Marketing departments are adding training and resources for SEO writing teams to create factual content with industry-appropriate keywords.
Images have become more important in search. Sites using unique images are getting the best placement. Google is making images more browsable by launching a feature that allows you to search text and imagery at the same time. Users can now input an image of a chair but include the words “with stripes” and the search results will bring up chairs that look like the image only with striped upholstery.
Last year Google introduced a new tool that optimizes the mobile page experience. Based on this tool, the mobile experience has become even more critical, from discovery to how easily users can interact, engage, and utilize the content on the mobile page. SEO pros understand that this will affect mobile results and core web indexing.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE FUTURE?
Google is expected to focus on content localization over the next few years. We are currently seeing country-specific content outranking those that were less specific. The top ranking is going to those online businesses that are locally focused even without a brick-and-mortar offering in the marketplace.
Marketers are also starting to think more about their search ranking when using virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri. The key is to remember that when people voice text they use a more conversational tone. When we type, we keep the message short and sweet, “record store near me” compared to a voice search: “Where can I find a record store that sells 80’s music in Newburyport?” To improve ranking, copy writers are using long tail keywords and writing in a conversational tone. By allowing people to get their questions answered while using conversational language, you’ll be able to maximize SEO results from virtual assistants.
Internet use continues to grow every year. Although industry transformations and new technologies will change user behaviors, search marketers will inevitably find tactics to position their brands and make them easily searchable by users.