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“Is SEO dead?”
*Takes a deep breath*
That’s a question we get a lot here at Blue Corona. And that’s typically our reaction.
“Is SEO dead?”
It’s a question we hate, and with good reason.
No, we don’t just hate the question because we’re an online marketing company. That’s definitely part of it, but it’s only the first layer of the onion.
With so many digital marketing companies selling SEO services (granted, some are a sham while the rest of us work our a**es off to convince clients we’re one of the good guys…) and businesses of all sizes investing in search engine optimization, SEO is very much alive.
In fact, it’s thriving.
Only bad SEO is dead.
Here’s our seven reasons – and some statistics – that prove SEO is not dead.
1.) SEO Is Evolving, Just Like It Always Has & Always Will
We can’t deny that the SEO industry isn’t the same as it was five years ago. Or one year ago, for that matter.
As this infographic shows (thanks, HubSpot), Google has updated its core ranking algorithm dozens of times since its conception – and it doesn’t even include some of the more recent algo updates.
As users change the way they search and interact on the web, SEO changes.
People want answers, and Google awards web pages with a #1 ranking if it believes that web page answers the user’s question – their search query – the best.
No matter if it’s Under Armour trying to sell more pairs of Steph Curry’s latest basketball shoe or an electrician in Charlotte, NC hoping to book a lead to repair a homeowners circuit breaker – if you can answer the question the best you’ll earn the #1 ranking.
But not without adapting your SEO strategy to accommodate the user.
Even the best, most complete content won’t be found on the web without search engine optimization. Likewise, crappy content won’t be awarded a #1 ranking if it has a high bounce rate, low click-through rate, or people aren’t taking the time to consume whatever it is you published – text, photos, white papers, eBooks, etc.
2.) SEO Still Works for Businesses
If SEO was still dead, then how would you explain the following?
This client of ours saw 138% year-over-year growth from December 2013 to December 2014. The following year the same client saw an increase of 76%.
Comparing December 2013 to December 2015, the same client saw a 319% increase in organic visits.
But what about leads?
The same client saw a web form submissions from organic traffic increase 700% from December 2013 to 2015:
Still think SEO is dead?
3.) Google Updates Its Search Algorithm
This one’s pretty easy. If SEO were dead, Google wouldn’t continually update its search algorithm. In fact, Google, Bing, and Yahoo wouldn’t even exist.
Algorithm updates are an indicator that SEO is very much alive.
SEO is not dead, it’s growing up.
4.) SEO Marketing Budgets Increased In 2015 & 2016 – Will Continue to Grow
According to a survey conducted MarketingCharts, 38% of businesses planned to increase their spend on search engine optimization in 2015.
42% of businesses planned to increase their spend on SEO in 2016:
Another study conducted by Borrell Associates predicts SEO-related spending will be worth $80 billion by 2020.
5.) Search Engines Compete for Ad Dollars
Two of the main reasons why search engines constantly tweak their algorithms are:
- To provide searchers with the best results and user experience possible
- To create a better product (a search engine) than their competitors (other search engines)
When search engines create a better product, more people will use their search engine, which results in more advertising revenue from other businesses.
Ad revenue doesn’t come in the form of banner ads, but in the form of paid ads – or PPC.
For Google, it’s Google AdWords. For Bing, it’s Bing Ads.
According to comScore, the search engine market share breaks down as follows (as recent as August 2015, desktop search only):
- Google – 63.8%
- Bing – 20.6%
- Yahoo – 12.7%
- Ask – 1.8%
- AOL – 1.2%
So how does market share shake out in terms of paid search (advertising)?
- Google – 75.5%
- Yahoo & Bing – 24.5%
To recap, the better the search engine, the more people who conduct their searches there. More searches equals more advertising dollars, and more advertising dollars equals higher revenue.
6.) SEO Is More Technical Than Ever
In the good ole days, keyword stuffing and forum commenting may have been enough to get the job done and earn a #1 ranking.
Now SEO is more technical, and a successful campaign relies on much more than on-page content.
Garth O’Brien, a digital marketing and SEO consultant with experience working with big brands such as Microsoft, Fox Sports, Career Builder, Chevron, IKEA, and Hallmark, advises SEOs to, “Pay attention to all three pillars of SEO because they are all equally important. Code and Structure, Content and Keywords, and finally, Authority (Links and Social Engagement).”
It’s important to consider:
- Social engagement – Engaging with customers and prospects in other places besides your website. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great platforms to do this.
- Site code and structure – Was your website coded cleanly? Does it contain Schema markup language? Is your site organized in a thoughtful, yet tactful layout? Do you link internally and externally?
- Link building – It’s no longer about the quantity of links your site has, but quantity and quality. We like to compare link building to sitting at the cafeteria lunch table in high school. Is your website sitting with the rare group of cool kids who are athletic, good looking, and smart (getting links from highly authoritative, trustworthy websites)? We hope so.
- Content and keywords – Is your site optimized for both user and search engine?
7.) SEO Is More Analytical than Ever
Now more than ever, SEOs rely on data to tell the story of their clients’ campaigns – both successes and failures.
Data gathered in any SEO campaign paints a picture of:
- How the campaign is succeeding or failing
- What is succeeding or failing, and possibly
- How to fix your campaign (depending on the problem, of course)
Web pages aren’t getting any traffic, according to Google Analytics? Optimize!
Haven’t run a technical crawl of your website lately, run a Screaming Frog report!
Want a second glance at your website’s KPI’s? Add it to Moz Pro Campaigns to track and analyze more data.
SEO Is Not Dead – vivat crescat floreat
When it comes to SEO, the Latin phrase “vivat crescat floreat” couldn’t be truer.
“May it live, grow, and flourish!”
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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