To paraphrase the note to the newspaper Mark Twain wrote when an article said he had died, “The report of SEO’s death is exaggerated.”

Yes, quality content is ever more important today when it comes to marketing online. But it hasn’t replaced search engine optimization (SEO). What’s happened is that SEO won’t work without great content. Your website and its content still needs to include keywords that your target audience uses to search for your products or services, but filling your pages with keywords (stuffing) will see your page penalized by Google, and thus will rank low.

What this article’s title should say is: “Keyword Stuffing is Dead. Long Live King Content.”

Search engines (and when we talk search engines, everyone really now means Google) look for content based on the words the user enters and returns what it deems most relevant in the search results. These results are still based on algorithms and programming.

So to optimize your website’s pages, you still need the proper keywords as well as well-written, well-researched, engaging and informative content.

SEO isn’t dead; it has just evolved and now requires keywords as well as great content to help your online marketing succeed.

Need proof? Just look at how many SEO companies have changed and expanded their offerings to include bona fiInternetMarketingde (or what they hope is bona fide) content marketing services?

But, you can’t just write great and informative content, sprinkled with a few applicable keywords and call it a day.

Instead, you need to create content that converts your readers into actors. Not people who perform on stage or screen, but readers that do something. You may want them to sign up for your newsletter or download your free e-book (in exchange for giving you their e-mail address so that you may send them newsletters and marketing e-mails). You may want them to share your video on their social media feeds so that you can reach more people and possibly gain more followers. You may even – here’s a thought! – want them to buy from you.

Some ideas to get your readers to act:

  • Go back through old blog posts on your website and see if you can link them to newer posts. (It’s best to do this with your most popular older posts). Doing so can help readers of older posts read newer posts. Google loves it when inside links do this.
  • Look carefully at your calls to action. Check to see what links are getting clicked on (indicating that visitors are doing what you want them to). Tweak the calls to action of those pages where few people act.
  • Your page load should be no more than three seconds. People have exceptionally short attention spans. If you want people to click a link on a page or give you their e-mail, they have to stay on the page where you ask them to do so. “Long” loads mean people will just leave.
  • Use old content in new ways. Take your blog posts and make them into an e-book (the same goes for case studies). If you have a lengthy blog post on an interesting topic, re-write it into two or three blog posts.

As mentioned above, SEO isn’t dead. It’s changed. For the better. Google has forced marketers and SEOs to do what they should have been doing from the get-go: provide engaging, informative, and trustworthy content to their prospects

Image courtesy of Stuard Miles/