Why SEO is Not Dead, or Dying
I am sure you have seen many SEO bloggers claim that SEO is dead, or that SEO is dying, but that is not the case at all. As long as search engines exist then SEO will be needed and valuable to any website, especially those that create revenue and sell services or products.
SEO is called search engine optimization for a reason, it is because you are ensuring that the site can be properly crawled and indexed by search engines, among many other things. With search engine algorithms constantly changing and evolving there are always going to be things that need to be done to ensure that the site is being crawled and indexed properly and efficiently. If Google cannot crawl your site properly there may be important pages that are not being seen or indexed, which could hurt your bottom line, especially if they are service or product pages.
Search engines find websites and your web pages because they crawl the web from link to link, and this is how it all began when Google was a startup called Backrub at Stanford University. So links are another part of SEO that will not die anytime soon. The web is built on links and they are the driving force behind how everything works hand in hand. This is why backlinks from relevant, authority websites coming into your site can help build your sites authority.
On another note, if you ever get emails from companies that claim to submit your site to the search engines just ignore them because they are spam. The search engines will find your site.
In addition to that it is important that both search engines and users know exactly what the site is about, so this includes having good descriptive content, well written and unique meta tags to improve click throughs from users and making sure the site is easy to navigate for users. These are important for users of course, but they are also things that search engines look at.
The Future of SEO
As search engines become smarter and more advanced SEO will change, which is part of the beauty of SEO, it never becomes boring or stagnant. There is always work to be done and constant tweaks that can be made to improve upon the site.
A big part of the future is optimizing for voice search, and this will be extremely important over the next couple of years since it has been predicted that 50% of all search queries will be voice by 2020. This means optimizing the site for longtail keywords, phrases, and questions that people are asking. This prediction is based off the growth of voice that has been seen in recent years. A big reason for this is the advancement of mobile devices like phones and smart watches, as well as devices like Google home and Alexa which are becoming much more commonly seen in peoples homes.
Here are some of the SEO factors that are important now, and will continue to be important in the future:
Proper website structure – This ensures that the search engine crawlers can find all the important parts of your website. When creating your website structure try to limit the depth of your pages to only 3 clicks from the homepage, and try to limit your navigation to no more than seven tabs. If you do have pages that take more than 3 clicks to get to from the homepage then you should be sure to send internal links to these lower down pages so they can be found in other places within content and you ensure the search engine crawlers can find them all.
Key Phrases and Context – Notice I did not say keywords, but instead I said key phrases, which ties in with voice search and is what SEO’s should be focusing on. You do still want to focus on short tail keywords, but in most cases these short tail keywords will be part of the long tail “key phrases”. Users that are searching with voice are not just using one or two word phrases, they are asking questions and optimizing your site for these questions will help you get found. Voice is the future and you should be optimizing for it NOW!
Usability – There has been some debate about this over the years, but usability is something the search engines look at. If your site is confusing to users then it will also be confusing to search engine crawlers in terms of context. A user should be able to find what they want on your site without having to be a detective, basically they shouldn’t have to think to hard about finding what they are searching for. If they cannot find what they want quickly they will bounce quickly.
Content – The content on your site is also an important aspect of SEO, and it is something that helps search engines understand what the page is about and allows you to give users the most detailed information as possible. The more info you give users and search engines about the site and each page the better the site will perform in search results.
Errors – having errors throughout your site can also hurt your site from an SEO perspective because it can affect usability and can cause issues with the search engines properly crawling your site. A few examples of this issue are 404 errors, broken links, pages being no indexed that should be indexed and that is only the beginning since there are many more errors that can cause SEO issues.
There are many great tools out there that can help ensure that you site is able to be crawled properly, as well as show you your site structure, as well as many different errors that your site may have. One of my favorite tools that I recommend to many people is Screaming Frog because it has so much to offer when you are doing any type of website and SEO work.
There are many other issues that can cause problems with search engines properly crawling, indexing, and assessing your site, so there are always things that can be done to improve upon this. Because of the factors mentioned here and other advanced factors SEO will ALWAYS be relevant. So don’t believe everything you see on the internet, and when someone says SEO is dead or it is dying you should pay no attention.
As long as search engines exist then SEO will exist!