If you’ve been following the SEO industry lately, then you must have heard the experts stating with confidence that SEO is dying and will be dead in a few years. These kinds of statements are enough to send a shock wave through the business community.
This is especially true for small businesses who rely on local organic SEO traffic for their marketing. So how far the claim of SEO disappearing 5 years from now true? Let’s find out.
While the question of whether or not SEO is dead is open to debate, one thing most critics agree on old SEO strategies are dead. These used to work wonders 5-10 years back when there weren’t many websites. But now they are no longer in use. Even worse, they end up hurting your current website and SEO health.
Outdated tactics include the following:
None of these tactics work anymore, and Google has started penalizing websites that engage in these sorts of things.
To succeed in modern SEO, you'd need to use newer tactics. Instead of building links, you should earn links. Links from top authority websites. Instead of creating top pages, each targeting a different keyword, create 10 pages targeting 1-2 keywords. By doing these, you'll be on the safer side.
If you're laser-focused on the number one spot on Google, then yes, SEO is dead for you. That's because Google doesn't show a particular website or web page at the top of all users. It shows different pages to different users.
So you might be seeing a different result for "best book store near me" than your friend. Google is taking into account more number of factors that include location. So because of the difference in ZIP codes or cities or municipalities, the search results differ.
The difference in results is also because of machine learning and personalization. The algorithm is designed to learn and adapt to a user’s search. Therefore, it shows different results to different users.
So your SEO report should show more data than simply rankings. CTR or Click-through-rate is a better metric to track than keyword rankings.
Very few things remain constant in this world. They change and evolve. And so does the search. Slowly and steadily, SEO is evolving into content marketing, if it hasn’t already.
So what is content marketing? It is a marketing methodology for creating and distributing valuable content. Here, you focus on providing value rather than pitching the benefits of your products or service. Content marketing is about education and entertaining users rather than selling them something.
So how does that relates to SEO, you ask, by optimizing these valuable pieces of content for search engines.
By doing so, your content gets read by thousands of people when they search for the topic. If they find enough value in it, they give you their contact information by submitting a form or signing up for a newsletter. This user is then marked as a lead which you can market to using other methods.
Presently, there’s a dividing line between SEO and content marketing. But as SEO evolves in 2021 and beyond, this line will disappear eventually. When that happens, you’ll be asking for a content marketing report and not an SEO report.
You’ve heard people say, “The bigger the number of pages and content on your website, the higher you’ll rank.” But it isn’t the case anymore. You probably won’t rank for more than 3-4 focus keywords. The age of “more content equals higher SEO ranking” is over. Now that’s changed to “more quality content equals higher ranking’.
Instead of writing 10-15 different short articles, each focused on a specific topic, you should write one long-form content that covers everything. This is known as a "Content Pillar." The piece of content can be anywhere from 3,000 to over 10,000 words. Its objective is to provide every piece of information a user might be looking for on a specific topic.
By investing in a content pillar, you have brought down the number of blog posts on your website from 10-15 to 1. But you’ve increased the quality. And that’s the way to move forward with SEO.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t invest in short-form content. They’re essential and well suited for a quick read. But the foundation should be long-form, pillar content.
If you're relying solely on SEO for your marketing and asking the question of is SEO dead, then to most extent, "Yes."
Internet users aren’t restricted to a single platform. They do not only use Google to find information. They’re on Facebook, they’re on Twitter, and they’re on Instagram. So you need to have your presence felt across all these platforms to maximize your investment from SEO.
Here's a simple example. You rank for certain keywords on Google, and they bring in a considerable amount of organic traffic. Let's say you have a conversion rate of 5%. If that's the case, you're doing nothing for the other 95% of visitors. But by installing a Facebook pixel on your website, you can track and market them on Facebook too.
This gives you another chance to convert that visitor into a paying customer. Thus, you can reduce the cost of acquisition per customer while maximizing profits.
SEO is not dead. It never was or never will. People will never stop searching for information. If not on Google, then on some other search engine. Voice search is gaining traction, and it's here to stay.
So there will always be the requirement of optimizing your website for search. But to stay relevant, you have to adapt to the latest techniques while abandoning outdated ones.