Is SEO dead?
It’s one of the most asked questions today in the online marketing space.
People have been predicting the end of SEO almost since it began.
And guess what?
SEO is still as strong today as it was 20 years ago. But the game has changed. What worked before doesn’t work anymore.
Don’t get left in the past and certainly don’t let people tell you SEO is dead.
So in this post, I will show you why SEO isn’t dead and what you need to do to succeed with SEO today.
What Will I Learn?
Don’t believe everything you read.
SEO will exist for as long as search engines do. But SEO is an ever-changing industry. It continues to evolve.
Because something works right now doesn’t mean it will work next month. To be successful with SEO you need to adapt and embrace the change.
With the reliance on AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, search engine algorithms are changing at a faster rate than ever before.
Each change requires you to adapt so you can overcome each update. Most people can’t be bothered to keep up with each algorithm update and make the appropriate changes to their website.
They get lazy.
Here’s why that’s good news for you:
If you stay up to date with the latest Google changes and adapt, you have the chance to continually improve your SEO while your competitors drop away.
Over time your rankings improve and your organic traffic grows.
SEO offers businesses the chance to appear in front of their ideal customers. Who doesn’t want that, right?
But SEO offers more than that.
These are the three reasons why SEO is here to stay.
Good SEO is ROI focused.
SEO provides one of the highest ROI’s of any online marketing strategy available. And the results are long-lasting.
Check out this Ecommerce SEO case study to see exactly how my team tripled our client’s revenue with SEO alone.
Think about it:
When someone searches in Google they are actively looking for:
If your website is at the top of the search results, they are likely to click on your site and purchase from you.
Compare that to paid advertising where the traffic stops as soon as you stop paying. SEO is a compounding marketing strategy. When done well you get more traction and better results over time.
This provides a much higher ROI for a more extended period.
Let’s face it:
Online business is only getting more competitive. There is a lot of noise out there and getting enough visibility online is getting harder.
That’s where SEO shines.
SEO puts you in front of your target audience right at the moment they are searching for your products or services. And it’s consistent.
You are visible in the SERPs 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Whenever your target audience searches, your website shows up. This results in consistent quality traffic that increases leads and sales.
SEO provides a competitive advantage that can’t easily be taken away.
If your competitor spends more than you with paid ads, they get all of the visibility and you miss out. That’s not the case with SEO.
SEO evens the playing field.
Ranking in the top positions is hard. But once you’re there it is equally hard for your competitors to rank higher than you.
This means that you will continue to get:
… As a result of ranking.
Here is a list of popular strategies that no longer work in SEO today.
If you search for SEO strategies online, you will undoubtedly find fake gurus promoting these exact strategies.
Don’t get caught up in the hype and avoid them at all costs.
Link building is far from dead.
But building tons of low-quality links is dead.
Here’s what I mean:
Google has been after websites that build low-quality links in order to manipulate their algorithm for ages. They have done a number of updates to counteract this in the past.
In August 2021 Google implemented a new link spam update. This update was a new method for detecting dodgy links built by low-quality link building services.
Tons of websites using low-quality link building strategies took a huge hit.
You are at risk if you’re still building tons of low-quality links to increase search rankings. The link spam update means Google is actively hunting down sites that use this strategy.
Does that mean link building is completely dead?
No. Link building is still one of the best SEO strategies you can use to dramatically improve your search results.
It just means that the link building game has changed to quality over quantity.
I mean you can’t build an SEO campaign without keywords, right?
But gone are the days when you can shove your target keywords into your content as much as possible and watch your rankings skyrocket. This infamous black hat strategy will land you in hot water.
Over optimisation or “keyword stuffing” is a huge deal to Google.
And their algorithm is very good at detecting when people are purposefully stuffing their content full of keywords.
I have seen tons of websites receive Google penalties because they over optimise their content. That is not a position you want to be in.
Been hit by a penalty? Check out my Google penalty recovery guide!
Google loves unique content.
But what they really love is quality content that serves their users in the best way possible. If you create low-value content, don’t expect it to rank.
Low-value content is:
Years ago you could hire a bunch of writers for $5 per article and just pump out tons of low-value content.
This strategy used to get you a lot of visibility and organic traffic. But now there is a lot of content online.
That means Google has tons of information to feed off. What they are looking for is quality content that will help their users.
Creating lots of low-quality content with very little value is a complete waste of time and money. You might even end up getting penalised long-term.
I have met so many SEO’s and website owners who make this mistake.
They think that SEO is like a competition between Google and them. It’s a constant struggle to try and outsmart Google and manipulate the algorithm rank higher.
Don’t make this mistake.
Remember that Google’s search engine is a complex algorithm.
That means that it uses advanced mathematical equations to index and rank content. If you feed those mathematical equations what it wants to see your rankings will improve.
It’s as simple as that.
Think of your relationship with Google more like a partnership. You provide what Google wants to see and in return, you get more search traffic and visibility.
That’s what I call a win-win.
The core goal of Google’s algorithm is to help people find what they are searching for.
Their written mission statement is:
“organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.
What does that mean for you?
Google is focusing on helping its users and you should be too. They want their users to have the best experience possible.
In September 2021 Google rolled out a new page experience update.
The whole goal of this update was to prioritise websites that provide a good user experience for their visitors.
The truth is page experience is here to stay.
Focus on providing a good user experience to your audience and this will naturally make the algorithm happy as well.
What about SEO strategies that work today?
I’ve got you covered. Use any (or all) of these 6 SEO strategies to improve your SEO.
The number 1 way to improve your SEO is to write high-quality website content.
Google loves unique content that is in-depth and up to date. More importantly, your audience does too.
This means that killer content creation is less about writing and more about providing tons of value to your audience.
So how do you create killer website content?
Good content starts with research. You need to understand what issues your audience is facing and what they want to read about.
Once you know that, you can start to put together topics to write about.
When you write your content follow these SEO writing tips:
Ensure that you only add your target keywords within content where they naturally fit. Avoid keyword stuffing and over optimising.
I have said it before, I’ll say it again…
“Spend less time on content creation and more time on content promotion.“
This is the biggest crime most content creators make. They spend all of their time constantly writing new pieces of content and not enough time putting their content in front of their audience.
Your goal is to get eyes on your website. You need to spend time actively promoting each piece that you write.
How do you do that?
Create a content promotion strategy.
A content promotion strategy doesn’t mean buying tons of ads on Facebook and Google. A powerful promotion strategy doesn’t even involve spending any money on ads.
Make sure that you are active on social media channels where your audience hangs out. Engage with other influencers in your space and see how you can collaborate with each other.
You can even join niche forums and get involved in the conversations.
This is the secret of getting more website traffic without burning yourself out by creating new content all the time.
Word of caution: Don’t spam your content at every opportunity you get.
This will only annoy people. Instead focus on helping others and reference your content when it’s appropriate.
Keyword research is an essential part of any SEO strategy.
It has the power to generate thousands of website visitors to your website when done correctly. But get it wrong and you might as well not bother.
One of the biggest keyword research mistakes I see is people targeting a wide variety of keywords. They do this because they are totally fixated on individual keyword search volumes.
This leads to sporadically creating content across lots of different topics.
Google only ranks content that satisfies the E-A-T metrics:
How do you best satisfy these metrics?
Create content around whole topics and cover those topics completely.
This has heaps of benefits:
Whenever you are doing keyword research start with topic research first. Once you have zeroed in on a couple of relevant topics, you can find the keywords within that topic.
This will make you the trusted expert for each topic your cover and ultimately lead to more traffic.
Most people write a piece of content, post it, and never touch it again.
What happens is your content ranks for a while, but as it becomes Google starts to rank your competitors’ more recent content and slowly relegate yours to the bottom of the SERPs.
The next thing you know your traffic has dropped off completely.
Creating fresh content is good, but it’s also time-consuming. Your goal should be to create evergreen content and then continue to update it as needed.
This is how you create a scalable content strategy that improves SEO and drives more traffic to your website over time.
How do you keep content updated?
Set up a reminder every 6-12 months that reminds you to go back and update your older posts. This does two really good things:
I have a piece of content that I published 4 years ago. Because I update it regularly it has remained at the top of the SERPs for 4 years.
Pretty good, right?
I use Surfer SEO to keep my posts up to date. It analyses the top search results for my target keyword and highlights areas where I can improve my content.
Check out my complete Surfer SEO review to see how to use it.
Seen a drop in traffic?
You need to run SEO audits consistently – about every 3 months.
As your website grows and you publish more content, SEO issues will occur. These issues usually fly under the radar until one day – your traffic suddenly drops off.
The only way to protect against these issues is to regularly run SEO audits on your website. This ensures that you get on top of any issues before they affect your rankings.
Running audits doesn’t have to be complicated.
Just follow my 5 step SEO audit to quickly get an overview of your SEO health and diagnose any immediate issues.
Your website should always be user-focused first.
This means it’s critical to ensure that your website-
40% of people won’t wait more than 3 seconds for your website to load.
That means that if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you automatically lose 40% of your traffic.
That’s a massive chunk of traffic to lose.
You also need to make sure that your website has excellent on-page SEO. Lots of people underestimate the power of on-page SEO.
Don’t get caught in this trap.
Spend the time to get your on-page SEO right. If you’re struggling, feel free to use:
You will be surprised how much of a difference it will make to your rankings.
Here’s the big takeaway:
Strategies will continue to change as algorithm updates are rolled out, but SEO will always exist in some form.
Don’t get swayed by people saying ‘SEO is dead’. Now is the time to focus on your SEO.
Get ahead of the algorithms by using the 6 SEO strategies above that still work well today. The ROI that SEO can bring your business will be the basis of consistent growth for years to come!