Times have changed. As a result, many business owners and marketers are wondering whether search engine optimization (SEO) is still relevant. In what seems like a fit of desperation, some people even wonder if SEO is dead.
Actually, SEO is still hugely relevant in business today – it’s just changed. For starters, the increase in social media activity and social media marketing has lessened the need for SEO skills for those with big advertising budgets. But what about those who can’t afford to pay for advertising? Like start-ups or small businesses?
People need SEO more than ever.
The statistics indicate that consumers are searching online more than ever. Google alone processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That adds up to 3.5 billion searches every day and 1.2 trillion searches each year.
And besides, it’s just a question of logic. Some 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. When you consider how many people there are in the World and how often we use our gadgets and go online, that’s a staggering statistic.
Basically, somewhere in the world, someone is searching for a keyword that has some sort of commercial slant right now. So, when we consider whether SEO is still relevant, we’d argue that it’s actually never been more important.
Consider the business implications of ranking on page one for a commercially valuable keyword. Think about the value of attracting guaranteed website traffic 24/7. If you can successfully convert engaged traffic into leads, then leads into customers, that’s going to stand any business in good stead.
Plus, if your business is ranking on page one for a particular word or phrase that means someone else isn’t. So, having a competitive edge and topping the search results ahead of a rival will literally result in your business taking potential profit and growth opportunities away from competing companies.
But as effective as search engine optimization is, it’s always been an area of confusion for a lot of people. It sometimes seems that it would be easier to split an atom than get something ranked on page one. However, there are a lot of SEO agencies and so-called SEO experts who are continually muddying the waters in terms of strategy advice.
That’s the real problem here. SEO is still very relevant and will continue to be so, but it’s our understanding of SEO that is the issue. SEO wannabes should ignore most of the so-called experts out there and simply listen to Google, because it is Google that is running the show and they’ve published plenty of content on the subject of ranking websites over the years. The trouble is, people don’t generally listen.
Google is a business – and a very successful business at that. Its sole job is to return the most relevant search results for any given query. If it fails to do that often enough, people wouldn’t use it. They’d fire up another search engine like Yahoo! or Bing.
So when Google says that we should concentrate on creating useful and engaging content, then that’s what we should do.
In summary, SEO is still relevant, but the way the SEO game is played now is just different. Google is focusing on delivering a great user experience, so the more efficient and valuable your website is, the better your chance of succeeding.