The Human Side of Digital

Is SEO Still Relevant in 2015/16?

Posted on 02 Oct 2015 in NXT\ Connects | 0 comments Twitter icon Facebook icon

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In the ever-evolving world of Digital, differentiating yourself from the competition and ranking first is becoming a near impossible task. One of the few ways in which standing out from the competition is achieved in the online space is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as has been the case for quite some time already.

Over the last 2-3 years the relevancy of SEO as we know it has been heavily debated between members in the industry. Arguments from both ends have been compelling, and some predictions from both sides of the fence have become a reality. This debate is still ongoing and with the rate at which search engines are updating their algorithms it’s becoming more relevant than ever.

SEO Then and Now

SEO has been around since Search Engines became popular. It is done in order to help a website’s organic traffic increase by getting it to rank highly within Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). In theory, the higher the website ranks, the more organic traffic there will be. A very good SEO strategy has the potential to lessen the need for paid media strategies, ultimately decreasing costs and increasing profits for that entity.

While it’s not necessary to rank above every single website on the world wide web, it is necessary for a website to rank above the other websites who compete within the same category. A high organic reach is becoming difficult to attain though, with older and even current SEO techniques becoming obsolete. However, the way SEO is done today is vastly different to ways in which it was done just a few years ago. Whereas SEO used to be it’s own self-standing marketing discipline, it has now transformed into something which is inextricably intertwined with other marketing activities.

The Importance of Attractive Content

SEO is now more refined, more focused, and is essential to anyone wanting to stand out on the world wide web. It has become more focused on ROI (Return On Investment) and more emphasis has been put on how people engage with the world wide web. A huge focus has also been placed on content which provides value to people who are browsing the web, and on the people the content will attract. Although quality content is becoming increasingly important in the quest to attract users to a website, it won’t be found unless at least some form of SEO is being employed.

SEO helps the right audiences find the right content which is of the highest quality through search engines, which helps websites boost their web traffic and conversions. These new focused techniques within SEO have already helped significantly increase organic traffic for various entities on the web.

Mobile is a Must

Things like social signals and mobile friendliness are becoming more and more important in search rankings. Websites who are not mobile friendly or responsive are penalised by Google and do not rank as highly as websites who pass the mobile friendliness test. With mobile internet usage overtaking desktop usage and accounting for over half of the world’s internet access, it makes sense that this is being done. Social Signals and Mobile updates are just two of the more recent influences on search results brought by changes to Google’s algorithm. Whilst there are more examples from the past, Social Signals and Mobile-Friendliness are the most relevant of today, and are the ones which are starting to really influence the way the web is utilised.

The Future of SEO

It isn’t easy to predict what changes will be implemented and what they will affect in future. Whilst Search Engines do tend to give enough notice when they are updating their algorithms, in order for website owners to make the relevant changes, it’s still difficult to gauge the exact effects the changes will have until they go live.

Although Search Engines are rapidly advancing, the basic principle of “Quality content is king” doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. Content isn’t everything, however, and you will still need to practice at least some form of SEO in order to make sure the content you’re producing is seen. This means that SEO is indeed still relevant and looks as though it will continue to be relevant for a long time to come. However, as it evolves so will the methods and principles.  So as long as there are still search engines catering to the queries of the web user, SEO is here to stay.

Written by Xavier de Carvalho

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