You see lots of articles and click bait around ‘SEO is dead’ or ‘Why I would never do SEO’ bla bla bla. The reality is like any service in any industry, it continues to be an important service when the circumstance is right. For those that don’t already know, SEO is a long journey and when done right it has proven to be very rewarding whether you’re a business, a blog, an affiliate marketer even a professional trying to build an impressive portfolio.
SEO Isn’t Dead, It’s just getting more real!
Gone were the days where simply having a keyword on a webpage mentioned a few times, or a few keywords mentioned stuffed onto a page a few times the way to get a website ranking. Gone were the days when people would simply buy bucketloads of links or build links from other websites for the sake of a link the way to rank a site well. With some great shakeups over the past couple of years and especially more recently, we see how clever SERPs are getting in trying to bring the best result to the searcher.
Mobile Phones & Tablets and Rankings
Our world is now full of smartphones and tablets so it’s only obvious that there’s going to be more focus in this area from search engines. Google has made it very clear to those in the industry with updates which have thrown mobile results around and keeps everyone guessing what’s going to happen next. It’s clear that results are getting more granular. Once upon a time a website that ranked well in desktop would rank well on mobile search results but that’s no longer the case. Once upon a time ranking well also generally meant ranking well in googles local snack pack but again that’s had a shake up. We’re seeing results where an unknown Joe Bloggs might rank well over a giant in an industry simply because they are down the street and convenient to your location.
In the old days (it really wasn’t that long ago) we would have a desktop site and a separate mobile site. While this still works, lets be honest, most old mobile sites just look dated or plain old clunky. Mobile friendly doesn’t mean mobile responsive and with such a range of devices and screen sizes around, we still want the site to look good when browsing on our devices.
User Experience (UX)
You may think ‘duh’ of course user experience is important but with some testing it’s getting more apparently how quickly google is checking for user experience. Apart form that fact that it has plenty of algorithms in the background, sees website traffic and knows how well people are interacting with websites and pages within a website, we’ve also done some testing and it was quite obvious how quickly rankings were affected by user experience.
No matter how big or how small your website is, put yourself in your customers shoes. Don’t forget, just because you like it, doesn’t mean that the end user is going to like it too. The best way is to ask some friends, colleagues or acquaintances to skim over your website or the page you are trying to promote and get their feedback. Look for honest feedback, don’t get caught up over compliments, but look for the constructive criticisms which will ultimately take you to converting someone from simply being website traffic to an actual business inquiry.
Quality Quality Quality
SEO so isn’t dead, it’s all about the quality of what you’re doing. Picture this, if you’re a big company or if you’re doing something well in the real world, you would naturally get lots of attention. Ranking well in search results these days is not only what we have traditionally described as ‘white hat SEO’ practices, but also doing them well. Links, look for good quality links which make sense why they would be linking to you. Make your content great! You might have the best content, the most informative, the funniest, the most useful piece of information shared on your site or you might even be the best in your field or offer the best service but if you’re not giving the information in a way that people understand or engage well with, why would anyone let alone Google want to send people your way?
2018 is going to be an interesting year ahead. The challenges ahead for businesses, SEOs and other online marketers will increase as search engines get smarter. We’ll continue to see trends in how important keeping a website up to date is with design and content and how this online real estate will continue to evolve with big e-commerce giants also continuing to change how our industries operate along with the number of businesses not just putting their eggs in one basket with a focus on cross channel marketing to optimize their reach to their target audience.