Making Sense of High-Quality Content
SEO can be a frustrating practice since Google is constantly updating and refining its algorithms. For this reason, traditional SEO practices are losing traction. This may sound like SEO is useless, which is a question people have been asking pretty much since SEO first became a thing. But, is it finally true? Is SEO really done? Not exactly.
Background of SEO
The purpose of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is to determine high-quality content. Search engines look for these markers to weed out the junk and zero in on the quality sites that ultimately answer the question or request made by a user.
When most people hear the term SEO they think about keywords. Keywords are certainly a big part of SEO, but there is a whole lot more to the practice. There are a variety of components of SEO. Independently, these different components pretty much do nothing, but when used together they can have a serious impact on how a site ranks.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to create content that brings in and converts leads. SEO has always been about creating content that appeals to both humans and algorithms. There was a shift more towards algorithms for a while there, but new developments are starting to swing things back around to writing for actual people. When done properly, writing for people will ultimately appeal to algorithms, too.
The Evolution of SEO
Search engines are wise to the not-so-ethical techniques used to land sites on the results pages. But this isn’t anything new. Search engines have been implementing updates and changes in order to improve the quality of the returns on their results page for decades. SEO experts have been adjusting and adapting right along with them this entire time. For instance, once keyword stuffing became a liability instead of an advantage, SEO strategies changed and the frequency keywords were used, or the keyword density, became a valuable metric.
Strategies that worked ten years ago, five years ago, even one year ago may no longer deliver the same results, but that’s just the nature of the business. Ultimately, these regular changes are great for anyone at the helm of a legit business. If algorithms were not routinely updated then once people figured out how to take advantage of them, they would and the results pages would be littered with junk returns.
Adapt Your Strategy
Search engines want to give their users what they need or want. The success of all search engines depends on finding quality results and presenting their users with those results. An effective SEO strategy proves to a search engine that a particular site has value and provides information relevant to that search engine’s users.
You cannot become complacent with your site and content and you have to continue to improve your communication in order to ensure that message reaches your customers. A serious SEO practitioner knows this and adjusts, so they are continually delivering quality content that in turn delivers results.
Keep It Casual
The most recent search engine updates tend to favor conversational content. This means content should be easy to understand and engaging in order to pull readers in. Good content will encourage visitors to hang around and come back for more.
Strive to Inform
People respond well to information and education. Instead of telling people to buy your product, you need to explain to them why they need your product. Outline how it will save time, improve the quality of their life or whatever else it will do. This technique will help convert sales, but it will also show search engines that your site is useful and features useful content.
Make It Happen
Search engines aren’t going away anytime soon. As long as there are search engines there will be a need for SEO. However, the SEO methods and techniques employed will change right along with the search engine algorithms. Change is a constant.
Getting back to the initial question of is SEO dead and does the content matter? SEO is alive and well and the content most definitely matters. If you want your site to rank well on search engine results pages then you need to stay current with the latest developments and utilize effective tactics and proven methods. Or, you need to work with someone who does all of these things. I’m one of those people. Reach out if you want to learn more.