Is SEO dead?
Well, given its approximate value of $70 billion, I believe that SEO is not about to say goodbye anytime soon. Whether you have invested in SEO for a long time or are new to the industry, SEO can drive incredible traffic and leads to your website.
However, we cannot refute that the SEO business is not the same as it was years ago.
Some of its elements have completely died out or transformed into something entirely new—thanks to how Google keeps changing its algorithm. SEO is evolving, just like the users keep changing the way they search for information and interact with the internet.
Make a mistake of sticking with outdated SEO tactics and strategies, and all you will get in return are pathetic rankings. You might also face some potential penalties in the future.
As such, we have narrowed down some of the most common outdated SEO tactics to prevent you from making this grave mistake.
Here are some of the old strategies and practices which can actively destroy your rankings:
- Going all on in link building just for the sake of it
- Keyword stuffing
- Paying more attention to the search engine than the actual user
- Not focusing on your site’s overall experience
The aforementioned traditional SEO strategies are becoming more obsolete by the day.
All the same, SEO is not dead.
You still disagree?
Here are our topmost reasons:
Google Keeps Updating Its Ranking Algorithm
If SEO was dead and no longer in use, then why does Google continually update its search algorithms?
As a matter of fact, search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing would not even be in existence today.
Some of the major Google Algorithms updates include Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, RankBrain, Medic, Mobile, Bert, and Core.
When search engines keep Updating the search algo, it is inarguable proof that SEO is not dead, just a shapeshifter.
Search Engines Still Compete for AD Dollars
Why do search engines update their algorithm? Two reasons:
- To ensure that the user gets the best results and an incredible experience
- To provide a product (search engine) that outshines their counterparts (peer search engines)
Creating a better search engine means more people will use it, which translates to increased advertising returns from other businesses. Please note that the Ad revenue does not come as banner Ads but inform of paid Ads commonly known as PPC. For instance, Google earns its Ad revenue from Google AdWords, while for Bing, it is Bing Ads. Here are the search engine market shakes as far as paid Ads are concerned.
- Google- 75.5%
- Bing and Yahoo- 24.5%
Simply put, the better the search engine, the more the users, and of course, the higher the revenue.
SEO is, and Will Always Be Evolving
People’s needs are evolving; so is the way they search for information. Google has also adjusted and updated its ranking algorithm severally since its inception, which also includes some of the most recent changes. There are about 5.6 billon Google searches on a single day and all the user needs are incredible answers, and Google recognizes and awards the top-ranking web pages that best answer people’s search queries. For instance, a user might be searching for a lead to the most reliable home remodeling contractors in Charlotte, NC. Your ability to provide the most significant answer to this query will, without a doubt, earns you the # rankings on Google, which also means incredible leads to your website. The idea is to adapt your SEO strategy to accommodate the user and ensure that they actively consume whatever you have published-e-books, texts, photos, or white papers.
SEO Keeps Getting More Technical
In the previous years, keyword stuffing might have been enough to guarantee your #1 ranking on Google. Well, not anymore. Today, SEO has taken a more technical approach, and success requires so much more than on-page content-the three SEO pillars are also equally important. They include Content and Keywords, Code and Structure and Authority –Links and Social Engagement. We would greatly recommend that you pay attention to the following factors for a successful campaign:
Link Building– In this day, the focus is not only on the number of links on a website but also on their quality. Do you get your links from quality, highly authoritative, and trustworthy websites? We sure hope so!
Social Engagement– Digital marketing and strategies goes a long way in providing a quality experience and enhancing customer experience. Therefore, it would be better if you strive to engage your clients and prospects in other platforms besides your business website. Take advantage of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other great digital platforms.
Site and Code Structure– Is your website accurately and cleanly coded? Does it employ Schema markup language? It is important that you organize your site in a thoughtful yet smart and tactful design. Do not forget to link both internally and externally.
Content and Keywords– Ensure that your site is well optimized for your users and search engine.
SEO is Now More Analytical than Ever
In this era, SEO majorly depends on data to paint a picture of their client’s campaigns, including success and failure stories. The data collected and gathered in an SEO campaign tells a story of:
- How is the campaign running? Is it succeeding or failing?
- What is succeeding or failing-how and why?
- What are the possible solutions? (which, of course, depends on the problem)
For instance, if your website is getting limited or no traffic at all, optimize. On the other hand, if you want to re-evaluate your website’s KPI, you can choose to add to an SEO tool for a thorough analysis.
What is Search Intent Optimization? (SIO)
Search Intent is basically the ‘why’ of conducting a specific search. What are you searching and what do you aim to achieve eventually? Generally, SIO narrows down to providing the users with the best answers, exactly how they need it. It is all about understanding their immediate needs, meeting them, and, resultantly, winning their hearts and trust. As a digital marketing company, we believe that matching our users’ search intent is the gateway to building our business, products and the industry as a whole. The more the relevant our information is to our users, the more the confidence they have in us- and who doesn’t want to be the authority in their fields’? Definitely not us!
How to Do SIO?
Also known as searcher intent, user intent blatantly fights against the 90s primitive pre- Penguin and Panda strategies which purely focus on keyword optimization. So, how do we best optimize for user intent? Well, here is how we align our SEO tactics to fit user intent alongside some brilliant ideas on how you can optimize yours. Who knows, you might also gain some useful tools to enhance your efforts, heighten your results and top the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). But first, let us take you through the 4 types of search intents we apply to optimize our content accordingly.
Did you know that the majority of online queries contain informational content? There are numerous users searching for educational and informational content. Such content includes how-to guidelines, ideas, tips, and videos, and tutorials for particular queries. People might also be searching for the latest movie recommendations, weather updates, or even general information, including CEOs of certain companies, tending news, and so much more.
In this case, the user clearly knows the exact site or product they are searching for- All they want is to reach it more quickly. However, they might not be sure of the particular URL of the site they are trying to get to. For instance, when you type Samsung, Google understands that you are precisely looking for the gadget and nothing else.
They relate to search intent when the user’s main intention is to buy a product. By now, the user understands the exact product and the brand they want to purchase from. When it comes to transactional intent, keywords are mainly specific product or brand names, Techno CAMON 15, Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker, Ford-150, etc. You might also want to focus on including keyword modifiers such as purchase, buy, prices deal, avail, order, or discount for more precise results.
When it comes to commercial investigation, the user has little knowledge of the product but requires more insight to make the ultimate decision. In order to make informed decision and gain confidence on a certain product, the searchers tend to go deeper by going through customer reviews and testimonials, compare deals, product and price comparisons, among other things. It also encompasses local searches on particular products or services such as ‘pool removal companies near me, best restaurants near me, and so on.
Search Intent Checklist-Which SERP Features Should You Focus On?
Search engines, including Google, uses algorithms to recover quality data then provide the most credible results for a query. Google employs a combination of algorithms and other ranking factors to deliver webpages based on their significance on their Search Engine Results Pages. Having said that, Google has brought together numerous SERP features that pop up before the organic results providing some quick answers to a user’s search without the need to click on any link. Some of these SERP features include reviews, videos, image carousels, featured snippets as well as knowledge panels.
Think of the countless benefits and amazing traffic boost you can gain if your website appears in SERP features. But for that to happen, there is a great need to optimize your content to meet the user intent. Undoubtedly, SERP features are the most precise way of evaluating and judging the search intent of a particular query. If you want to match your content to the search intent, it is important that you pay a deeper look at the search intent behind your targeted keywords. But how can you do that?
Analyze the Top-ranking URL
We recommend that you critically analyze the top URLs to identify the exact keywords the pages are ranking for. Also, pay attention to the general content type, page layout, and word count. Are they blog posts, image posts, listicles, or product pages? Only then can you get a better idea of the kind of content you must create to rank for similar keywords. What is the Domain Authority (DA) of the SERP Winners?
Are There Numerous Videos
Anytime you search for a keyword, take time to observe if the top results have numerous videos. Is the featured snippet a video or even a video carousel? Even when the top results are blog posts, it will help to note how many videos are embedded on it. If a SERP has tons of videos, you have very low chances of ranking for that search if you have non-video content. For example, if the query is about video editing, you will get several ads coupled with a video carousel with YouTube Tutorials.
Do not Forget About Carousels
Google will provide carousels for videos, images, personalities, books, movies, and everything in between. They might also include refinement bubbles which will continually expand until the searcher finds the most significant results. Naturally, product carousels are mostly location-based. As such, it would be wise to optimize the page to fit your specific location.
What about PPA (People Also Ask)?
In case you don’t know, People Also Ask represents approximately 85 percent of total related searches and receives more clicks than SERP features and paid ads. It can take various positions depending on the query and focus keywords. If you type a query on ‘Amazing sunglasses below 10000’, videos will most likely take the top positions followed by image carousel then PPA. On the other hand, if your query is ‘error 404’, which is a typical window error, you will notice that PPA will rank on top. This is because people might require more information and clarity when the issue is technical.
Check if there is an Answer Box
An answer box appears just above the SERP on top of the organic results and usually provides quick answers to users’ queries. As far as Google is concerned, a quick answer box provides a quick, brief description and much more details when you open the actual page. Analyze specific websites that make it to Google’s answer box for the keywords you target. Check out the following characters:
- The answers are highly relevant
- High-authority domain
- They are capable of answering multiple queries to precision
- They are able to match the keywords of their searcher intent
So, How Do You Fulfill Search Intent?
Be Sure to You Pick a Catchy Title
Sure, you might eventually top the SERP, but what happens when it does not help to boost your CTR? Frustrating, right? Well, it would be best if you include a catchy heading that also includes a focus keyword. However, your title must also prove that you clearly understand the keyword’s search intent. Note the titles used in top-ranking URLs to help you create catchy and creative titles. You can then choose one that is best tailored to the topic and brand tone.
Go Direct to the Answers.
When you answer your questions directly, you are almost sure of topping the SERPs. Answering your questions right away arouses the users’ interests and guarantees them that they are on the right page. When you analyze Google’s PAA section, you will note that sites directly answer queries, gain more leads, clicks, and of course, more engagement.
Go Direct to the Point
You promised to strive to fulfill your reader’s user intent, right? Well, do not give them a chance to divert from your content. Note that countless blogs are covering a similar topic to yours. You would, therefore, greatly benefit from utilizing an inverted pyramid scheme to help you stay focused on your topic, keep readers engage and attentive. This will prove to Google that your content is quality and fulfills its search intent and perfectly suits the search query’s keywords. We strongly advise against fluff, complex jargon, and repetition.
Enhance with Multimedia
Naturally, a human mind takes approximately 1/10 of a second to view and fully comprehend an image and 60 seconds for a paragraph. That being said, including relevant images increases the CTR rate up to 47%. Besides, adding videos can snag at least three times more traffic to your site. As such, it is important that you sprinkle informative and attractive tables, images, graphs, and charts throughout your content.
What About an Actionable CTA?
Your Call to Action (CTA) should enhance your business goal or that of your specific blog post. It should be actionable and aim to convert prospects into clients. Encourage them to buy your products, seek your services subscribe to your business newsletter, download stuff from your website, and even share your content. Also, ensure your CTA is catchy, strong, and specific to your page and purpose.
Google’s algorithm will keep on changing, growing, and evolving. Today, Google no longer appreciates keyword stuffing or too many links. It demands, recognizes, and awards quality content that best answers user’s queries and meets their search intent. Optimize your content while paying attention to the search intent checklist we have provided and when it works, remember to thank us.