I invited author Nick Rojas to write about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why SEO is important to us, even though you can find articles that declare SEO is dead.
It is not the first, and probably will not be the last time critics are declaring that SEO is dead. Google has put pressure on web developers to incorporate high quality content in order to succeed on the algorithm. But this does not mean SEO is dead, far from it. Just as traditional SEO can no longer mask bad content, it can still amplify good content.
The days of keyword stuffing, spamming, and too many links may indeed be over. But this is not a bad thing, because that’s never what SEO was supposed to be about! It’s all about creating value for the searcher, and Google has simply gotten smarter on how to provide that. Taking a look at the modern search engine experience shows us why you need SEO after all.
The Introduction of Voice Commands has shifted SEO
The world of “O.K Google” introduced a new aspect to searching. A shift occurred from Google understanding words to understanding concepts. This led to greater emphasis on the semantic search – a search that understands the relationships between words and the meaning meant by them.
Semantic search means that Google can provide their consumer with an article that is about what they were looking for, even if the words used are slightly different. For example, maybe a consumer searched “making a dessert” and the first result they see is “how to bake a cake.” This is a logical assumption for Google to make.
So here’s a perfect example of how SEO has shifted. Before, you might focus on having a title tag to reach people searching “how to make a cake.” But now, you want to focus on “entities” i.e. related terms that help Google understand what your article is specifically about.
Importance of User Experience
Google cares about the user experience. Therefore XML sitemaps are as critical as they ever were to a higher ranking. This sitemap serves as a line of direct communication with the search engine. It lets the algorithm know when your content is updated or altered, and what that means for the user experience.
Basically, you are proving to Google that you are the creator of the high-quality content. This goes back to the concept of value. By proving you can offer the consumer the origin of useful content, as well as additional content that could be related, you are proving that you are the most valuable resource.
Promoting Mobile Applications
Search engine optimization isn’t just about bringing users to websites anymore – we also want them to download our apps. This is another example of how SEO isn’t extinct, it’s just morphed. App store optimization, or tactics meant to increase the ranking of an app within the store, is key to the success of an app.
But you also need SEO. Relying on store discovery alone simply isn’t enough. If you have a carefully developed website, you have the opportunity to post a lot more content than in the description box of the app store. Users may not even realize an app could solve the query they searched for, which is why you have to show them.
Some marketers are tempted to abandon traditional marketing tactics for whatever the newest fad is. so they don't think SEO is necessary. But SEO is not a victim to the modern evolution of the search. Google still needs to quickly be able to understand where to send their consumer. SEO is still innately powerful- it just looks a little different than 10 years ago.
If you have questions about your keywords or how best to use SEO online, contact me for an hour's consultation. Together, we'll work on getting you up to speed. Have you made changes to your SEO strategy? If so, I'd love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below.