Believe it or not, we came across this question while browsing the Internet as per usual:
“Is SEO still relevant?”
We have the short answer to this question, which is:
The longer answer is, absolutely and we are going to tell you why.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s basically the process of tweaking and optimizing a website in order for it to receive high organic traffic (aka free traffic) by ranking high in Google’s search page results. This is ideal for anyone who owns a business website because by ranking organically, you’re allowing people to find your website when they search for keywords or phrases relating to the industry you serve, or the brand/products/services you offer.
Why Does SEO Matter So Much?
Having little to no SEO on your website is not ideal for several reasons:
- It means no search engines will realize your website even exists at all, so they won’t bother ranking it on page 1 of search results.
- It makes your company look sketchy and suspicious, as opposed to authoritative and trustworthy.
- It decreases the chance of visitors becoming paying customers. Though not guaranteed for everyone who visits, SEO certainly helps improve that likelihood.
- It won’t help you understand your customers better by being trackable. With SEO you can identify a customer’s behaviour and the why of said behaviour, and whether improvements in your site are needed or not.
- It creates an unpleasant user experience. Making a website responsive and interactive is a big part of optimization, so to not have SEO means losing this sense of usability.
Basically, you won’t see the desired growth you’re looking for if you decide against applying SEO to your website. And in an era where everyone is forced to stay inside time and again and rely on websites to help our daily needs, you can’t afford to not have SEO.
Search Engines Aren’t As Perfect As You Think They Are
One major note we have to make here is that as universally known as Google may be, it’s still a search engine made by people. Google and all of the other well-known search engines we’re aware of aren’t perfect, so unless you counter their failings, it’s your website that’s going to pay the price.
An example of this failing is a coding error. Let’s suppose you had your website built by one of your staff members who had time on their hands and knew basic terminology, but lacked the years of experience needed to properly code a website. What happens as a result of this is that their coding errors will block a search engine from crawling and indexing your website entirely, meaning your website will be invisible to the search engine no matter how much effort you put into ensuring its SEO.
Coding errors are not the only thing that will cause a search engine to fail at ranking your website and ensuring it’s visible online. Other failures include (but are not limited to):
- A lousy link structure
- Duplicated web pages
- Ignoring server failures and broken items, such as links
- Failing to use HTTPS
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how you can ruin your business’s chances of being found online.
Big Changes on the Horizon
We are already seeing massive changes in the way we approach SEO:
- Social media and search engines are merging. YouTube is already owned by Google, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and the merging will only increase over time. You can often find a website via social media, however this is also likely to change as the years pass.
- Search engines will be and continue to be competitive with one another. Appealing to the best built search engine will ensure successful traffic and visibility online. You’ll be able to do this by having a business website that loads fast and retains loyal visitors.
- Even more changes to the way Google’s algorithm senses and reads websites will be made. There is already a massive update that’s being set up called the Page Experience Update, which was announced by Google last year. While this update will not override the value of content (this is something else Google mentioned in their blog), nonetheless we can expect to see more overhauls in the way websites are discovered online such as this.
What Do I Do?
The answer to this question depends on how old or new your business’s website is. If you’re already being hosted by our agency, you don’t really have too much to worry about; we keep everything up to date and ensure that elements such as fast loading times, optimization for mobile devices, and excellent link structure are all established on your website. We also pay close attention to keyword usage and meta tag information, which while not nearly as relevant to a good page experience can still tell Google the basics: what your website is about, what it has to offer to your customers, and where your customers can access and use the information they need. All of this combined contributes to what our agency calls white hat SEO (for more info you can read our previous blog post, “The Unfiltered List of Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO Practices“.
TLDR (Too long, didn’t read); SEO is here to stay, and your business needs it for the website in order to stay relevant and successful both online and offline. If there are too many issues with your company’s website and its SEO, it’s probably for the best to get a new one built from the ground up. This may seem expensive at first, but in the long run it’s actually cheaper than applying repair after repair after repair with minimal ideal results as payoff. Give us a call today if you’d like us to get started.