Does SEO Really Deliver?

The truth is that SEO still matter in 2021, even though much of the newest practices and techniques have shifted. For instance, Google’s upcoming 2021 BERT update will reignite the flame of SEO pros to work more on optimizing website content based on clear search intent instead of keywords. This means that SEO marketers will need to learn how to target their niche audience rather than trying to appeal to everyone in every possible way. Many SEO professionals will be left scratching their heads as they try to understand what the new Google strategy will do for them. The truth is that most experts are expecting it to mean less work, but with higher returns on investment (ROI). Below are some of the bigger trends we’ve seen in SEO over the past few years:

Content – Google has always been one of the first companies to realize that the key to success was providing users with unique and fresh content that would help guide them along their preferred search path. Now, Google is making this a priority. In fact, according to a recent article at Search Engine Land, the new updates will require business owners to “divert” much more than ever before. This means using SEO to help customers decide what they want, rather than forcing them to choose a product or service based on advertising hype. This is an excellent opportunity for SEO pros to step back and reassess their business owners’ strategies.

Focus on one-page searches – Over the past few years, Google has increasingly demonstrated that it does not want to provide its users with too many pages. In fact, Google has recently shown that it does not want to provide users with any more links on the web. This has long been the SEO conundrum – if you want to rank highly on Google, you cannot just build links to your website on other sites and hope for the best. In addition to the need to remain relevant within the ever-changing search engine optimization landscape, long-term success requires SEO companies to take this into consideration.

Measure results regularly – Google has always placed a premium on relevancy. Google’s AdWords has long been known for placing a premium on certain key phrases that are closely related to the content on the site. While this is not a bad thing per se, many companies ignore it and expect for great rankings with little effort. Google has made it clear that it does not like websites that only rely on keywords as their way of driving traffic, so measuring keyword rankings is a critical element to any SEO campaign. Google has also stated that it will continue to implement tools that will measure results more regularly.

Focus on organic searches – The mantra of SEO has been to focus on organic traffic, or traffic that arrives at a site without any additional advertising. While it is true that SEO can drive direct traffic to a site, it is also true that organic rankings are becoming harder to obtain as Google continues to enforce stricter measures for what its algorithms will consider relevant. Google has stated that in addition to ad impressions, it will look at the link quality and other factors to determine relevancy. While this may sound complicated, the goal is to create quality backlinks and to keep them organically relevant.

Avoid long-term site errors – Search engines have been known to drop a site from their index if a marketer makes numerous site errors over a period of time. While most people only think of the obvious site errors such as broken links or duplicate content, there are also more subtle problems. For instance, Google introduced penalty algorithms to combat spamming, yet very few marketers have taken this step to avoid penalties that may result from incorrect linking practices. In fact, some companies have made their marketing efforts aggressive enough to fall into Google’s penalty zone. As a result, many search engines no longer value short-term SEO and value long-term optimization.

Work on one keyword at a time – Long-term success within Google requires marketers to focus on one key phrase or key phrases and master it. Marketers must also be consistent with this focus in order to benefit long term from their SEO efforts. Many marketers choose to focus on only one keyword or phrase and then despair when their site does not rank well in the organic search results. Mastering one keyphrase or phrase early on allows you to focus on that topic with consistency and to create great content around that theme. By learning more about search engine optimization and applying it to your business objectives, a business owner can greatly increase their chances of success when they optimize for one specific keyphrase.

SEO is only part of the total picture when it comes to making your online business successful. A good internet marketing campaign will include SEO, but will not be the only aspect of business success. Having an online presence is just the first step and it should never be used as an excuse for not being profitable. When a business owner does decide to use SEO as a part of their overall internet marketing strategy, they should also incorporate long term goals that are specific to their business. Doing so will allow them to continue to achieve their business goals for the future, and will greatly reduce the possibility of future disappointment with their online business efforts.