For a long time, there has been all the comments about the demise of SEO, but I have still not seen that. Like many “Old School” SEOs who have been doing it for over 15 years, SEO is not going anywhere. The way I would put it, is that SEO is morphing and not necessarily going away. I will explain in a minute.
I remember the days of keyword stuffing ala Alta Vista and those early search engines, but then came Google and all that shenanigans stopped because Google came out with a better algorithm. That meant that the not-so knowledgeable SEOs started to back pedal and did not know what to do.
Over the years, other tactics like keyword density (I never liked this) and other ways to force keywords into the content or meta tags, went on for years, till Google caught on to that too.
After the Penguin and Panda updates, and the need for quality content and better links, SEOs realized that spamming sites with their links with overly-descriptive anchor texts won’t cut it any more since Google has now figured how to catch unnatural links. With that, the hunt was for new link building tactics.
Remember the hype over guest posts and infographics? Not saying they are not still good link building tactics, but these tactics were over played till people started to disregard them altogether. Also, do you remember the “500-word articles” that was so popular not too long ago? That is now considered not in-depth enough for any meaningful content, except your piece is truly relevant. That is what happens when you try to post “SEO content” and not content that your readers want and love to share. I won’t lie, I was guilty of it myself when that was the popular thing to do.
So, you are probably saying, so what’s next with SEO, since its demise is not necessarily near? According to SEMRush Ranking Factors 2.0, direct traffic had the most influence on the page rankings, which means you should be promoting your brand and not just worried about keywords and anchor texts. Plus, you should be creating in-depth content that answer key questions your users want answers for, and not for the search engines. Good content will elicit sharing and more direct visits, and most of all build your brand.
What this means is that today’s SEOs have to be better marketers and not just practice the narrow art of SEO. In other words, you have to be well versed in inbound marketing and find ways to get your brand in the forefront of your audience and not only worry about which keywords you should rank for. The need of the pure SEOs may be declining, but SEO is still alive and well. The only thing is that it is wrapped up more with digital marketing and not just SEO. Nowadays, PPC, social media, other biddable media and traditional advertising are now more interlinked with SEO, since they get your brand and business in front of more eyeballs and help your branded organic search.
To go from good to great in the SEO world, you must be a skilled digital marketer and that will broaden your skill set and you be indispensable in your workplace or to your clients. So, stop worrying about how long your content should be and where you can force a link to your site and think like a skilled digital marketer and see why SEO is here to stay and your SEO skillset is still extremely valuable to many businesses, because at the end of the day, it is still all about “what have you done for me lately.”
SEO Statistics in 2019
- Google holds 92.54% global search market share.
- Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day
- 50% of search queries are 4 words of longer.
- More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan
- Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text. (MarTech, 2018)
- Organic SEO is 5.66 times better than paid ads.
- Including a video in a post increases organic traffic from search results.
- The number of voice queries increased 3400% between 2008 & 2017. (HubSpot, 2017)
- 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, which means their organic search traffic increases with time.
- Websites with an active blog generate 67% more leads and 434% more indexed pages than those who don’t.
- According to Ahrefs, 90.88% of all pages (from an index of 1 billion pages in their content explorer tool) receive no traffic at all and only 4.5% of them get less than 10 visits per month.
- According to Ahref’s data, 12. 29% of search queries have featured snippets (quite a lot, it means!)
- The average firm is expected to allocate 41% of their marketing budget to online, and this rate is expected to grow to 45% by 2020
- 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority
- Google “near me” searches have increased by two times over the past year
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles
- 30% of mobile searches are related to a location
- Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 111%
- High-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search
- The average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words
- Long-form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content
- 82% report the effectiveness of SEO is on the rise and 42% state effectiveness is increasing significantly
- According to Borrell Associates, SEO-related spending is expected to grow to nearly $80 billion by 2020.
- The core metrics for determining SEO success are improving organic sessions by x percent, increasing conversions by y per month, and increasing revenues by z percent.
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