Is SEO Dead? Of course not, but the SEO landscape in 2017 is very different to old school SEO we once knew.
I started working in SEO ten years ago, a fresh-faced SEO account manager for a very well established SEO company. SEO was relatively simple back then, I learnt the basic codes and way algorithms worked and depending on the client was confident I could always get them to rank using traditional techniques.
Times changed, Google got smarter, algorithms got more complex and certain practices that once worked now could get you a Google penalty.
That was the end of old school SEO and most importantly spam!
The role of the SEO evolved, no longer a bolt on service, SEO became the lynchpin between all other marketing and digital marketing.
The SEO Landscape in 2017
Whilst spam is dead, SEO and more importantly search marketing is just as relevant as ever. When statista asked the top Global brands what their top marketing techniques were 48% of them put Search engine marketing in their top 5, this is against things like direct mail and events. Also mobile and other marketing techniques like content distribution and guerilla marketing that could be considered search marketing were included separately.
Search engines still account for a large amount of traffic.
- 51% of clicks are organic or non Google results
- 49% of clicks go to Google products such as maps, youtube, ads etc)
- 1.19% of Google searches result in a sponsored ad click
- Lots of no click searches happen too (Weather queries are around 75% no click activity)
- 25% of desktop queries come through chrome instant
However, there are some websites that dominate the search engines for various queries.
With these sites dominating the search engines, smaller brands have to be creative in search marketing and in some cases use these sites as referring sites to gain that exposure.
Search engines are all around us and limiting yourself to just Google search is no longer the best strategy, we need to diversify brand exposure to get the most from search marketing.
Can you utilise any of these websites? You should be looking at sites such as Facebook, Amazon and YouTube which have their own search facilities to expand reach.
Measuring average positions for specific keywords is limiting your search engine traffic; diversify your keywords to match user behaviour and search engine technology. Users are used to asking more questions in search engines, utilise this by looking at how you can answer these questions.
Keywords should be relevant and useful. For example look at your main generic keywords, expand to key phrases, synonyms, syntax, ask and answer questions, move on to subjects ‘other people searched for’ this way you are not limiting yourself to one keyword strategy.
Mobile is here to stay, Google is mobile first with its design and mobile is leading the way with mobile traffic surpassing desktop traffic in 2016. Mobile technologies mean that search engine marketing expands to app marketing and voice search as we use voice services like Siri and Amazon Echo.
If mobile isn’t key to your SEO strategy in 2017 you are doing something wrong.