The concept of SEO was rooted in this simple thought: “What good is a website if it cannot be found?”
If you have a website, blog or online store, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still an important and critical element in building quality traffic to your site. It has, however, significantly morphed and evolved over the lifespan of SteerPoint.
What is SEO?
SEO makes your site more visible and communicates the relevancy and popularity of your website. To both the human consumer and the automated “bots” that are continually searching, sorting, indexing and ranking. A good website communicates what each page is about and how that information is relevant to a particular search.
The ultimate goal is earning more “free” traffic to your website. And, more traffic can lead to more conversions and sales.
How has SEO changed?
Now more than ever, Google controls the game. While there is not necessarily any prima facie evidence, it is commonly believed that the more a company spends with Google, the better they rank on SERPS (search engine results pages).
On a local level, competition varies widely by business product categories. Fifteen years ago, it was actually simpler to build strong pages of content, tag and title them correctly, test and adjust SEO strategies and watch the page ranking grow!
The simple fact in 2020 is – SEO results are pushed farther and farther down the SERP page.
• PAID ADS. In most every search category, the top 3 positions are bought (or, perhaps actually just rented) with PPC text ads.
• PRODUCT ADS. Especially when searching for a thing, Google serves a product image photo ad that allows you to actually buy with a minimal number of clicks.
• LOCAL MAPS. Think food, services and retailers: users want to know what is close by geographically. Mobile devices have been the catalyst to this innovation – and, it is of high utility to consumers.
These “pay to play” innovations and “local” prioritizations are not necessarily “more important” than organic results. However, they have effectively pushed organic rankings down the page as Google makes accommodations for these paying customers and for listing local businesses first.
SEO still works. Unfortunately, reading the top SEO results now requires some scrolling down the SERP page.
Three Quick Things.
Here are 3 things you can do ASAP to improve the organic rankings for your site:
1. Make sure your website has an SSL Certificate. This lets consumers know your site is verified and secure. Sites without security certificates may flag consumers with warnings that will damage the relevancy and credibility of your business.
2. Verify your Google My Business listings. It is a free service from Google. This is how businesses gain position in the local mapping section of the SERP page.
3. Have your website validated as being Mobile Friendly. It may look passable on a desktop, but if the user experience is substandard when viewed on a tablet or mobile device, Google will penalize your website and your rankings.
Is SEO still Worth it?
Yes. All things equal, the site with the best SEO will still win.
However, in the “old days” our clients could prosper without ever spending any money in Google PPC, display or product ads. Those days might just be a happy memory now.