Is SEO dead? Have things changed so much that SEO is not the best digital marketing solution to grow a business? The answer to this question is multi-faceted and deserves your full attention.
Because as a business trying to garner as much consumer attention as possible, you need to make sure that you are placing your investments in the right avenues. And there is a lot of talks these days about whether SEO is still relevant.
Here at BrandREVU, we’re going to go ahead and give you the answer. We don’t want to string anyone along. Is SEO important anymore? The answer is yes. But it’s important to note that SEO is not the same thing it was in 2015.
Many people believe that SEO is dead, but the truth is that it has just evolved. The old way of doing SEO is dead. Old tactics don’t work anymore. Why? Because search engines frequently change their algorithm and indexing criteria.
So it’s only natural to consider SEO as an ever-changing tactic. If it were to stay the same – that is to say, if older tactics didn’t become obsolete to give way to new ones – it would indeed be a dead platform. In short, the old SEO is, in fact, dead. But SEO renews itself frequently to keep up with trends and algorithm changes.
Why do People Think SEO is Dead?
If you aren’t on the front lines of digital marketing and SEO, it’s easy to assume that SEO is dead. But those in the loop know better. In the following section, we will detail the specific aspects of SEO that make people think it’s an obsolete marketing method. But before we do, we wanted to note that all the following points stem from the same general one: people think SEO is dead because they are only looking at older, obsolete SEO practices.
1) Keyword Cramming
Have you been upon your keyword research as of late? You probably feel confident that you are targeting the best search phrases for your business. But if you are still keyword cramming, no amount of good research is going to save you. That’s because search engines are catching on to tactics like these that they regard as cheap. Instead, they make bots smarter and more capable of differentiating quality content from content that is just trying to manipulate the system.
2) Market Saturation
From the days of the first banner ads garnering massive click-through numbers to modern SEO, mediums get saturated. Now banner ads have a meager click through rates. Many people see a drop in click-through rates using dated SEO practices and assume that it’s dead. The reality is that more people are using the same methods, which is leading to market saturation and drops in CTR’s across the board. Each year, new digital marketing agencies launch their own business. However, a saturated market doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. After all, how many banner ads do you still see on an hourly basis?
3) Emphasis on Content
Gone are the days of sensationalized page titles and headlines. Well, at least almost gone. Some people think SEO is dead because search engines are getting more particular about what they consider quality content. Recently published core changes reveal that your headlines and your content must be relevant. It must be authoritative, and it must provide some value to the reader. Sales content won’t cut it anymore. But what people are failing to realize is that SEO isn’t all about sales content.
4) Google is Answering Questions
Remember when you used to go to Weather.com or a similar site to check the local weather? Your grandma may still do that, but most people type in a localized weather search on Google. And while the top result may include a rich snippet from a site like Weather.com, all the information you need is right there in the rich snippet on the first result page. No need to make another click onto a specific site. The zero-click search (people never leaving Google after searching) is another reason why some people assume SEO is dead.
5) People Don’t Trust Ads
A survey showed that modern digital consumers prefer to find out about a product, business, or service through engaging, interesting, entertaining, or informative content instead of ads. Inbound content represents a shift away from traditional advertising towards content marketing – an emerging and vastly effective arm of SEO. In the old days, SEO tactics were largely sales-oriented. And from multi-national conglomerates to the mom and pop store down the street, people are catching onto the fact that people resent aggressive, pressure-inducing sales tactics. But again, this speaks of a shift in SEO emphasis more than it does the irrelevance of SEO altogether.
6) The Emergence of Social Media Marketing
Social media has changed the face of SEO because it is becoming an indexing hotbed for the top search engines. Bing and Google pool from social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to present search results to users. Modern-day SEO isn’t just about optimizing your website; it’s also very much about off-site optimization. Marketers and businesses can apply many of the same methods of on-site SEO to social media marketing.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Is SEO dead? No, it’s still very much alive. Dead things don’t change and evolve, which means that SEO is not over. Instead, search optimization is adapting to keep up with the times. Believing that SEO is gone is equivalent to having a very narrow scope of what SEO is. Over the years, SEO has spawned branches of itself and now encompasses many digital marketing categories like reputation management. And that is something we know a lot about here at BrandREVU. If you have any questions about SEO or how reputation management can benefit your business, talk to us.