SEO Dead As We Know It?
Word has it that SEO is dead:
The acronym ‘SEO’ has been under fire for a while now, with many sceptics holding fast to the belief that Search Engine Optimisation is dead. Why? Some have attributed this theory to the fact that consumer demands have shifted (that the keywords that used to attract visitors to your website are simply not being used anymore), and that competition for these keywords has created a competitive scenario, creating a supply-demand cycle that has driven prices sky-high.
While this may be true, it is not so much SEO that is dead, but a specific form of SEO – the type that has become synonymous with paid content. Here it’s important to note the value of your website’s organic reach, which will no doubt help to bring a constant flow of consumer traffic, more intent on first-hand experience than generic spit-shine.
So is SEO dead – or is it just alternative?
As serial internet entrepreneur Tim Burd points out, “the days are fading of people typing their searches into Google and trusting anything it spits back at them. This has people searching in new ways. Facebook’s move to step up its search options poses the largest threat to Google’s market share. When users search for something like a new restaurant or movie, they want to see the opinions and behaviours of people they actually know and respect.” Ultimately, people no longer want or trust content that looks and smells like an ad.
As a result, search engines have shifted their model for SEO, allowing for more flexibility by supplementing the standard keyword searches – which relied heavily on direct keywords such as ‘Cinema,’ and ‘Cape Town’, to include terms that are more applicable to day-to-day functions and daily dialogue – such as ‘Where can I…’ and ‘The best place to…’.
Perhaps the most important component to take into account here is ‘organic’ traffic. If you were to take a moment to google the definition of SEO, what you’ll see is a long list of websites that emphasise this word. In an article entitled ‘8 SEO stats that are hard to ignore,’ Vinny La Barbera points out that –
• ’70% of the links search users click on are organic’, and that
• ‘70-80% of users ignore the paid ads’, focusing on the organic results.
This is massive, if you consider that
• ‘93% of online experiences begin with a search engine’.
The next question then is how to attract organic traffic.
The solution? Blog.
Blog regularly, and blog relevantly. Regularly, because as creative consultant Katrina Pfannkuch points out, “Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1 200 new leads per month.” Relevantly, because “of consumers who said they have a relationship with a brand, 64% cited shared values as the primary reason,” while “only 13% cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason.”
What do you know – there’s more to SEO than meets the eye.