Why SEO is More Crucial Than Ever
There’s been a lot of conversation lately regarding the importance of SEO and its proper implementation in your business’s online marketing efforts.
Some commentators have even asserted that SEO is less effective than ever, irrelevant or even completely dead.
Many observers of online marketing tactics assert that it’s high-quality content, not SEO, that is the so-called “king” these days.
Of course, the topic at hand is far more complex than any black-or-white conversation or theory can reflect; the truth is, high-quality content and SEO have to exist together in a kind of harmonious marriage for your brand to really stand out in search results.
Here are a few important reasons why SEO is actually more important than ever.
The Face of SEO is Changing, For the Better
In the past, because of Google’s under-developed algorithm, a number of “black hat” SEO practices took rise. Think keyword stuffing, spamming, and low-quality, link-building strategies for improving a page’s search results ranking, often without providing any real information on the topic in the search bar.
This led to widespread frustration with dead-end searches on Google, and plenty of companies with undeserved success on page 1 of Google’s results.
Today, Google’s algorithm has been revolutionized, and keyword stuffing is no longer an efficient practice for getting your website to the front page; in fact, Google will slam a website that keyword stuffs with substantial penalties for offering no real value to its searchers.
With its Panda and Penguin updates, Google has been able to snuff out a lot of the keyword stuffing and artificial page rankings, and online searchers and consumers couldn’t be happier.
The Google updates have made high-quality content a necessity, with semantics and contextual relevance adding heft to great online content that deserves to be found by viewers. These changes create an even greater importance for SEO and ensuring that you’re using good SEO practices in your company’s content.
Keeping up with SEO trends in your industry and brainstorming ways to employ sound SEO practices in your content are worthy pursuits.
In the Wake of Mobilegeddon, SEO Can’t Be Overlooked
On May 5 of this year, Google announced that they get more search queries from mobile devices than they do from PCs. As such, they announced impending penalties for websites that didn’t translate seamlessly onto mobile devices, with great user experiences for mobile searchers.
This dramatic change in the way that consumers search for, and find, information means that websites must meet different standards if they want their sites and brands discovered on Google’s results pages. This can mean making major changes to your company’s website so that it translates in a user-friendly, accessible way for mobile users.
There are numerous aspects at play in the world of Google’s mobile search results; the load time of your page is among them. Optimizing pages to load more quickly can have a positive impact on your site’s ranking among mobile users, keeping your brand and company visible to the swath of the online population that surfs the web exclusively on their phones.
Google Wants to Process Real Speech Patterns
Incorporating real speech patterns into your long and short-tail keyword strategies is another avenue towards SEO success amidst the rise of mobile search.
Eric Enge at Copyblogger says: “Over time, people are going to increasingly gravitate towards voice search in environments where that is acceptable…Voice queries are much more likely to fall into the pattern of…natural language queries.”
Natural patterns of speech as important aspects of SEO will only increase as mobile search becomes more and more prevalent.
User Experience is Directly Related to SEO
User experience is at the zenith of importance when it comes to mobile searches; Google wants your pages to be quick to load, easy to navigate and valuable to searchers.
A great user experience, one that provides searchers with the information they want in a short amount of time, is vital to ranking well in the new landscape of mobile searches and changes to Google.
Another reason SEO is more important than ever is that it is crucial to user experience. Sound SEO practices make finding, accessing and absorbing higher-quality content easier than ever.
XML Sitemaps, which are incredibly important for SEO, are also important for user experience. Installing sitemaps means constant communication with search engines, letting them know that your site is the originator of your high-quality content and also when that content is updated or altered in any way. For your users, Sitemaps equal an easier website-crawling experience. Your content will be organized and easier to sift through, which contributes to a quicker, more effective search experience.
The importance of SEO and keywords isn’t going anywhere, but the way that Google processes them is constantly changing. Sound SEO practices are more important than ever in getting ranked by Google and getting found by your prospects. Organically earning backlinks and buzz amid your industry is still a substantial influencer of the way Google evaluates and ranks your site.
As you adjust to Google’s algorithm updates and the rise of mobile search, remember that creating high-quality, valuable content with sound SEO practices is the way to go.
For more info on SEO for business, check out “Learning SEO from the Experts.”
Photo Credit: Duncan Hull
The argument that SEO is dead not only ridiculous but can easily be proved wrong. After all, it was dead white are we even talking about Google updates such as mobileddon which, of course, requires that your website be optimized for mobile searches done using… search engines!
Years ago we made it decided effort to always keep one step ahead of our competitors by making changes to our website before everyone else makes them and, thankfully, our site is consistently up in the first five searches on Google’s first page for many of our top keywords precisely because we practice “white hat” SEO, not despite it.