If I had a penny for every time I saw a blog post article about why SEO is dying, I’d be filthy rich by now.
From Forbes, to Entrepreneur.com and my personal hero Neil Patel, everyone seems to be in on the notion that SEO will one day become irrelevant.
Personally, I still strongly believe in SEO because not only is it about ranking for keywords and driving traffic; it’s also about user experience and reputation management, amongst other things.
But you know what?
As digital marketers, we always have to be on our toes.
Even if you’re an SEO specialist, you need to be open to the reality that SEO may be dying a long-drawn-out death.
Two of the main reasons why SEO is dying are:
- Doing research is much easier with the advent of Quora and niche forums such as Reddit, Disqus, and Facebook Groups.
- Voice search will be dominating the market soon enough and paid promotions will be the ones to get served first. I don’t think people have to attention span to listen to the “top 10 places where you can find Nike shoes” if they’re already lazy to type it out on a Google Search bar.
Here’s how to deal with what seems like impending doom if your strategy all this while banked on SEO.
1. Find out where your audiences are
Why are we doing SEO in the first place? It’s to reach out to audiences who are already making a particular query or searching for a relevant search term.
So that only logical thing to do is to find out where people are hanging out and having conversations.
Consider other forms of pull marketing, whether it’s through community marketing on forums or social media groups, or even influencer marketing.
2. Never Stop Experimenting
Be in the know of industry news and plan your experiments carefully. Give them a timeline of say, two weeks, and assess them each time.
The key to this is to always be flexible and fluid in the event that you’ve got to steer the entire team to change course.
One major example of how the worlds of some guileless digital marketers fell apart is that time when our dear friend Mark (Zuckerberg) decided to pull the plug on free content exposure.
Digital marketers now scrambling to piece together a Plan B and set it emotion before he one day decides to fancy himself a mow down. No offense, M.
The moral of that story is: have many channels in case any of them dies a slow death like Facebook is. SEO especially.
Which brings me to my next point:
3. SEO shouldn’t be your main strategy in the first place
Don’t bet everything on SEO from the beginning.
SEO alone will not achieve the results your business needs to grow.
Granted, it’s an extremely powerful tactic to get visible, manage your company’s reputation, gain audiences’ trust, gain website traffic… (all the pros of SEO in itself makes for a whole other blog post) but like I said, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Have a wider spectrum of the marketing mix in the first place.
There are many ways of reaching out to audiences through your website’s content or landing page like e-mail marketing, social media marketing and content delivery networks.
4. Content is Still King
Let’s face it. SEO is getting increasingly more difficult because of how search engines are constantly evolving their ranking factors. It’s simply harder to get to the top and stay there.
However, one constant that I’m 100% sure of is the focus on high-quality content. Traditional SEO will go hand-in-hand with useful, informative and engaging content.
And logically speaking, even if we do rely on AI to give us the answers to everything, sometimes reading an in-depth article or review about something beats having a robot droning into our ears. Don’t you think so?