If you have ever Googled the phrase “SEO is dead,” you probably stumbled upon multiple sites vehemently arguing one side or the other. The naysayers insist that the practice is dead, or at least ineffective, while advocates continue to swear by it. So what’s the truth and is it still worth implementing? And if so, how can you properly implement SEO to be effective now and in the future?
For those who believe that SEO doesn’t work anymore, here is some food for thought. SEO has changed a lot, and that’s an understatement. But that doesn’t mean the practice is dead or doesn’t work. Digital marketing, and SEO especially, encompasses much more than just links and keywords. You need to consistently provide value in everything you do. Building a strong brand, providing valuable, attention-grabbing content, optimizing website layout and usability and creating a strong link profile to be successful. Having only one of these elements won’t get you the results you want.
That’s good advice for anyone whose SEO attempts have failed and who have since joined the naysayers. If you want to do well online, you need to consistently be doing a better job than your competitors by providing searchers with a better user experience. That user experience should be optimized depending on the device your customers are using to access the internet.
While you need to consider different needs for different devices, some things will hold true across multiple devices. Online users usually head to the internet to solve their problems, and they want it done fast. And I’m not just referring to website load time. On a mobile device or desktop, create a clear layout and appealing design that clearly points users to what they are searching for. For example, if someone wants to know at what temperature water boils, don’t make them scroll through 3,000 words of small text to find it. Try highlighting it in your design, or include a jump to a relevant link at the beginning of the article.
When it comes to digital devices, there is a deluge of internet-connected mediums – such as voice search, smartphones, smart watches, iPads, laptops, Alexa, Google Home and more — that have changed the way people use the internet. This increase in devices is what is being referred to as the Internet of Things. With the rise of smart devices in homes, mobile and desktop are no longer the only two SEO realms that marketers must focus on – residential is the third.
This third realm might be here sooner than you think. In the past, most devices provided an isolated experience that didn’t truly feel connected. With the development of artificial intelligence, we are beginning to experience a more integrated and connected experience as AI is used to better understand how we interact and ideally improve that process. The ever-evolving practice of SEO may require marketers to optimize digital assets across devices to stay relevant and competitive in all three realms (mobile, desktop and voice search).
So, where does this leave us? For those looking to the future, keep in mind that content marketing and user experience efforts will become more important than ever, so it may be time to update your digital marketing strategy.