The Reports of my Death are Greatly Exaggerated.
As Mark Twain so eloquently put it, just because people have said “SEO is dead” it doesn’t mean that it’s true.
We heard this term many years ago and we are hearing it again. And for many reasons too.
1. AI Can Do SEO
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been touted as the “next big thing” including threats that it will “take our jobs away”.
Well, bots and AI might well be answering initial customer enquiries, as they have for many years now. You call your insurance company, you are met with an automated service. Eventually, after hopefully not going round in circles, you end up talking to a real human being in a UK call centre who answers your query in an efficient and friendly manner.
In the web business AI has also been touted as being able to “do your PPC” for you. Well, we’ve tested that out and we still don’t believe Google’s PPC bots can do a better job of managing an AdWords account than a real human does.
The same goes for SEO. How can a bot log in to your website, scan all your text & code and then, most importantly, make the right changes in the right places that make sense, read well and get you results? They can’t.
A person with 20 years experience of designing and building websites, writing eloquent text, editing it and marketing it through every digital channel can do a much better job than a bot. And that’s just one member of our talented team here at Clever Marketing.
2. Google Steals Using Featured Snippets
Years ago you used to ask Google “convert litres to gallons” and you’d get a list of the top ten websites that provided you with that answer.
Now Google will just present that answer themselves. Try it. Look up “convert litres to gallons”.
That is Google’s own engine delivering the result. You don’t need to go to anyone’s website for that result, not like you used to. This is all part of their “knowledge graph” and what amounts to “zero click searches” where a result will have appeared in the search but there was no click through to a website and no organic traffic (Because Google took the answer and displayed it for itself).
It’s the same for “what is SEO?”: Big G pulls it’s own dictionary reference.
If Google aren’t displaying a result from their own fold then they’re stealing yours. Ask it “what are featured snippets?” and the result is pulled from Sistrix’ website. But at least the search giant gives the credit for the source and a link too.
So just because Google pulls results into featured snippets doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. Far from it. In fact optimising your website for search is more important than ever.
SEO is Evolving
All that has happened is that search has evolved, especially with the world’s biggest search engine.
Of course it can be frustrating when Google crawls the web, picks the best answer for a question and displays the full solution in their own results.
Ultimately this serves the client, the user, the searcher and, if they’re not satisfied with the answer, they can at least keep searching or click a link that Google has been kind enough to provide.
But within this threat lies that golden opportunity. Keep doing SEO.
Because if you do all the hard work and your site gets chosen to be the featured snippet then that is kudos in itself. You didn’t get to the “number one slot” you went above that – you ranked in the “position zero”.
And besides, if other website owners believe that “SEO is dead”, then what exactly are they going to do? Give up SEO? Great, that’s an advantage you can leverage. Use PPC instead? That’s fine. Keep doing your PPC *and* do your SEO. You can then set about to get your site in the coveted CPC slots *and* ranked high in the organic SERPs too.
A Final Word About SEO
SEO will never die. You will always need to optimise your web content.
Every time you publish a web page you will need to ensure your title tag is correct and that the meta description accurately and enticingly sets you apart from the surrounding results.
Does your document have correct structure? Is there just one h1 tag supplemented by hierarchical h2s and h3s etc?
Have you written enough about your subject matter? When I hear the words “That’s too long, nobody reads that” I always say that the anecdote needs to be backed up by the data.
We saw a recent horror story where a designer said this very same thing and had a website owner poised to jettison 60 pages of authoritative content. It was only when our digital agency stepped in and raised an objection that the website’s rankings would plummet and so would the traffic that 16,000 page views and 20% of their organic traffic was saved.
Besides, a very experienced SEO team had spent two years optimising that website and a design team were going to bin all that hard work (and many thousands of pounds worth of financial investment).
So, where would that website have gone with a slick design and no content? Down the pan most probably and no amount of SEO work would have saved the meagre thin content left behind.
Get Us to Do Your SEO for You
So keep doing SEO. It still works. And if you don’t have the time then call us and ask us to do it for you. We always get positive results and we generate leads from your traffic too.
We’re one of the best SEO agencies in Hampshire so your business will benefit massively from tapping into our wealth of expertise (Our Digital Marketing Manager has been doing SEO since 1998)