Think SEO is Dead? Think Again.

SEO is more relevant than ever.

SEO is more relevant than ever

When it comes to talking about SEO, every so often, and it’s getting quicker all of the time due to our fast news cyclic lives, some guru says SEO is dead. Is SEO relevant? Yes, now more so than ever.

If you are a small business owner, this can be confusing. Having a small business marketing firm that deals with web presence, I can say that I spend a lot of time educating small business owners that SEO is relevant to their business.

Did you Know?

According to Smart Insights , 3.5 billion searches are done each day on Google. There are 7.4 billion people on earth. This averages out to almost half of the world’s population doing one search each day. The total Google searches for this year should be around 1.2 trillion. This is taking into account all of the desktop, tablet, and mobile phone searches cumulatively.
Why are some people saying that SEO is dead?

In my opinion, this goes back to a click bait mentality of using a sensational headline to get clicks without having substance to back it up. Unfortunately, we are seeing this trend increasing with click bait. And with the wide ranging platforms of digital media, this makes it even easier to put false information out there to get clicks or traffic to your page.

Another reason some are saying that SEO is dead is the boom of social media. Just because social media is the popular medium of digital information right now doesn’t mean that SEO is anywhere near dead.

When I talk about SEO, I am only talking about Google. Google searches account for over 75% of searches. Some statistics I have seen have rated them much higher. But, either way, Google with its 3.5 billion searches a day wants to provide a great user experience.

Here is why SEO is more important than ever:

Google is focusing on two things in 2018. The first is user intent. An example of user intent is, let’s say someone is searching for a new cell phone. They want to see Apple products. If a site comes up in Google that is about apples- the fruit, this is bad user intent on the website owner for not setting up their site to maximize the user intent. I realize this is a ridiculous example, but sometimes Google pulls up results that are poorly related to the user intent of the searcher. Most of the time this occurs because the people that set up the website or social media profile did not optimize it for user intent. Google’s algorithm changes are working to deliver a smooth user intent on search results.

The second thing Google is focusing on is user experience. User experience relates to how easy a web page is for a user to get the information they are looking for. Whether the user is looking for information, or something to purchase. No matter which platform you are using (website or social media) you must focus on user experience. Google determines user experience by the time a person spends on a web page. If a user clicks on a page in the search results and immediately clicks the back button, Google will rate this as a poor user experience. If this happens to your website or social media page too often, Google will put your page further back in the search engine results. There is no hard fast number on how many times your sites can have user bounces before search engine results are affected.

Google uses the algorithms to match terms to user intent and user experience.

How does this relate to your business’s web presence:

  1. User intent is best utilized by having quality content. Your web pages need to have quality, original content on the relevant pages you want your prospective clients to land on.

 

Quick note: The sweet spot for content right now on Google is 1,800 words a page. Don’t have less than 1,000 words per page on landing pages.

 

  1. Once your content is produced, make sure it is optimized before publishing. There are several WordPress plugins, and other tools that can help you determine if your page is properly optimized for your chosen keywords.

 

  1. Make sure your site is easy to use. Use a current website theme. Make sure your content is easy to read. Don’t have long blocks of text. People don’t like to read, but if your content is in an easy to read format, visitors will stay on your page longer.

 

These may seem like really simple steps, but after building 120 business websites, I can say that the 3 steps above are the most common problems businesses have with their web presence today.

What if I only focus on social media?

This is another thing that is being asked more as the advent of social media has popped. Google not only ranks websites in the search engines, but they also rank social media sites, profiles, and pages.

The purpose of any website or social media page for a business is to get customers and clients in the door or on the website. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.

Being a small business marketing consultant, I strongly recommend having both a website and a vibrant social media presence. You want a diverse web presence to reach as many prospective clients as possible.

Critical Things to Remember:
  1. It is not what you like or don’t like, it is what your clients like. Someone said to me today,”I don’t use Google, so I don’t see the importance of SEO.”

 

My first thought was “What are your clients using?”

 

Remember the statistic above? 3.5 billion searches a day on Google. Somebody is using Google. In fact, lots of people are still using Google.

 

You cannot ignore SEO or Google for that matter.

 

  1. Find out how your clients are finding your business. Keep diligent records of this. Look for trends, and then use that information to increase your client base.

 

Never fall into the trap of thinking that you know what will get clients spending money with you. You must test and monitor the results.

 

  1. Use a wide base for your web presence. You must have a website. Even though many businesses aren’t using them, you must have a website along with social media profiles that are branded for your business.

 

How many social media networks does your business need to be in? Again, no hard and fast answer here. Look for which social media networks are relevant to the niche your business serves.

 

To recap, SEO is more relevant than ever. You must have a website as well as a social media presence. And, most importantly, make sure your content is optimized for Google.

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