One of the biggest marketing myths floating around right now is that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to see any good return on investment (ROI) through search engine optimization (SEO). Some people even go as far as to claim that SEO marketing as a whole is “dead.” The truth is, SEO is very much alive and remains one of the best digital marketing strategies to pair with paid campaigns. However, in the modern digital landscape, the same old SEO strategies are not enough to capitalize on, let alone fully maximize profits. SEO is forever evolving, and what was bringing in the website traffic in the past, even as soon as a few months ago, will not be effective today. Companies must change their strategies to make SEO effectively work for them. When done properly, you can see overwhelming ROI.
SEO Is Not Dead (And Don’t Let People Tell You Differently)
The myth of SEO being dead and buried is repeated by so many because this misunderstanding is not one held only by laypeople. Prominent CEOs of tech companies and even some digital marketing companies make such claims. Perhaps the most common reason cited to explain how SEO is no longer worth the ROI is that it just isn’t working for the people who believe this. Therefore, they cite their own failures to rank as evidence to their claims. Others think that there is no rhyme or reason for webpage ranking and that big tech companies like Google rig the system or that SEO is too hit-or-miss to bother dealing with. They conclude that it is no longer is longer a worthy investment.
The truth is that these misconceptions stem from the fact that their understanding of how to use SEO is lacking, not that SEO is actually ineffective. Furthermore, some people know very well that SEO still works but want you to think it doesn’t to keep one step ahead of their competition. When done correctly, it is an endeavor well worth investing in. Below are a few ways you can leverage SEO in the pivoting digital sphere.
Understand That SEO is More Complicated Than Before
More than one company had lamented the loss of the “good old days” of digital marketing when SEO worked, and they could easily compose content with clear paths to high ranking. However, these good old days they reminisce about seemed so good because SEO was easy to do. Someone wishing to see a lot of web traffic simply needed to write content packed with keywords that would bring traffic to their site. The more keywords a company could stuff into their website, the more attention search engines like Google would give them. These companies would also shovel out cash to other websites to link back to their own. Back then, this practice lucrative for the companies; however, the problem with those practices is it was not helpful for the user. The consumer was getting, to put it bluntly, garbage content.
Google soon realized that bringing a user to garbage content was not serving the people using their service and began creating ways to give the user a better experience. These techniques have evolved over the years and have become very sophisticated in pinpointing companies trying to use outdated techniques. Not only can the Googlebots that index websites spot this, but they are not happy about it either. They will often penalize such websites for pulling these antics with lower search engine results page rankings. Since Google and similar search engines are good at spotting these failing SEO techniques, one may ask why SEO cannot be claimed to be deceased. The answer is that SEO has just become more complicated. More complexity does not mean that there are no proven ways to make it work for your business.
Understand That SEO Requires More Effort (But is Very Much Achievable)
Search engines like Google are looking for one thing in websites more than anything else: quality content. Websites that provide a user something worth reading are rewarded by Google and receive higher search engine result page rankings. This content must be contained within an easily navigated website and makes logical sense in responding to what a user is searching for. Using these techniques in conjunction with well-researched keywords works very well to optimize results. Making the overall user experience seamless requires more effort than before, but it is worth it for the user experience. If your site is deemed valuable to your user, it will be deemed valuable in the eyes of Googlebots and any other technology that decides where sites are ranked. Simply put, SEO now relies on quality content.
Understand What Quality Content Means
The opposite of garbage content is quality content. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately, if they are your competitors), many people, including CEOs, tech companies, social media influencers, and even other digital marking companies, do not understand what makes quality content.
Quality content means that it is something worth a user’s time to read. It will be something that engages them and gives them information pertinent to what they are searching for. They will find it helpful after they find it organically in their search, and they will end up reading it from the very beginning to the end of the content. This content is often presented in the form of blogs. However, every aspect of a webpage should include engaging content. It is important to note that even with engaging content, it is not enough SEO for your business’s web presence.
Quality content also means that it is updated regularly. Googlebots punish stale content, and if a website is not presenting the most up-to-date and regularly changing content, it most certainly won’t rank your website too high on the list of your competitors. A digital marketing strategy that invests in ever-changing content is the key to optimization and ROI.
Don’t Fall for the Myths
If someone tells you that SEO isn’t worth it, remember that this is a misguided and misleading statement. Remember that it comes from people who do not understand the process and others who (more nefariously) know that SEO is very much alive and are using the myth to their advantage. Capitalizing on this ever-changing landscape will benefit your company in the end and help you see a substantial rise in ROI.