Some people will always argue that SEO is dead and investing time in SEO is wastage of time because only the top 10-20 results deserve the attention of web users out of the thousands of results for any search query. Naysayers also point out that no SEO professional has a clear idea how search engines rank a website. These allegations are true because even today we mostly rely on keywords and backlinks to boost the rank of a website, but Google utilizes hundreds of unknown ranking factors to decide which websites should feature in the top 10 results and which should be pushed back.
Intelligent SEO Evolves with Changes
However, being defenseless in the face of stiff competition is not a wise move considering the fact that there are hundreds of companies targeting the customers and unless you optimize your website in every department (on page, off page, PPC), your site is never going to make profit.
Search engines are radically changing their algorithms and people are also modifying the ways they search on web. The fact is, SEO is not dead it is evolving. Being an SEO expert in Utah, I have witnessed the changes in keywords and devices used by consumers over the years. 5 years ago, you could not even imagine someone searching web from a wristwatch, but thanks to smartwatches now it is a reality. Earlier, people used to type “hotels in New York”, but now they can talk to the smartphone and ask “find me a hotel in New York below USD 100”. The search queries are long and more specific.
So, what are the new things in SEO? What are the factors that you should concentrate on to make your site ready for the changing landscape?
It’s time for video marketing: Suppose you need a cooking recipe. What would you prefer? An article of 500 words on how to prepare an apple tart or a 5 minute video that shows you every step of apple tart preparation process? People love to watch videos and YouTube is now world’s second’s biggest search engine. Therefore, if you want better visibility and engagement with consumers, don’t overlook video content marketing.
Optimize apps: Search engines are not just indexing websites anymore; they are indexing mobile apps as well. For example, if anyone searches for “buy books”, he will get a separate tab featuring apps results. Apps are gaining immense popularity among the smartphone and tablet friendly young generation. However, the apps industry is less crowded than websites and thus, optimizing them is a relatively easier task.
Be social to get noticed: Social media content is being indexed by search engines and if you are active on social media then you can expect a position among top 10 results. Even the relatively smaller companies can fight with big brands if they have a great social media presence. For example, if you search for “#fashion” in Google, you will be surprised to see that instead of Gucci and Prada, many small brands have occupied the top 10 search results.
Optimize for digital assistants: Most smartphones now have Siri, Cortana or Google Now, depending on the operating system of the cell phone. People now ask questions to their smartphones and get answers immediately. As an SEO executive, your main goal is to ensure that your website content is easily searchable by such digital assistants. In the coming years, more consumers will embrace voice search via digital assistants due to the convenience and functionality.
As an online marketer, you must always stay updated and find new ways to make sure that Google will notice your website/app whenever someone searches for a product/service you offer. Search engine optimization is very much alive, but its heart now beats in a different way. The sooner you catch this industry’s pulse, the better chances you have to earn success.
Bio: Kirk Sullivan is a freelance content writer. He has been working with several digital marketing companies and data management companies to decode the interdependent relationship of SEO and location-based services.