Video Series Content / Vlog

Is SEO Still Important?

January 7, 2021

I get this question a lot – “Is SEO dead?” So, here’s my stance on it –

SEO is not dead, but it’s also not thriving.

There are a couple of things that have happened over the last five years that have greatly affected the importance of SEO:

  1. The rise of social media. Social media has been adopted by all age levels at this point and it is where I see the most discovery happening for new products and services.
  2. Google’s strategy and layout. For almost every singles search done on Google, you now have 3-4 ads at the very top that take up most of the real estate. These ads get 56% of all the clicks on the results page. So, you have the ads at the top followed by the map listings, which are powered by Google My Business and other optimization factors, and then the organic search results. Those organic results are no longer getting the lion’s share of real estate or clicks.

So, depending on the type of business you are, SEO has varying degrees of importance.

If you are a local business – medical practice, home services, etc. – then SEO is important only to a certain degree. You should no longer be paying a high monthly fee for SEO. Instead, I recommend moving SEO to project-based initiatives that are done 2-4 times per year depending on how active you are with content production.

Your focus should be on optimizing your website and getting your local business listings on Google, Bing, and places like Apple maps. You need to fully build those out and properly optimize them.

Content production is also extremely important. Content production used to be about SEO and to gain rankings, but now content production should be more about engagement and share-ability on social media.

When looking at your budget, I would take your content development line item and shift it from an SEO initiative to a social media initiative. The traffic just isn’t there for organic search results to justify a lot of money spent on SEO, and I don’t see this changing any time soon. We just aggregated across all of our clients how much improvement in traffic SEO has brought in year-over-year and that number has been declining or holding steady since 2017 while all of their social media numbers have been climbing. That was true across a multitude of businesses in varying industries.

So, if you are a business owner or marketing director, know that SEO isn’t dead, but it doesn’t have the power it once did. Shift your funds and your budget accordingly and move it to places that need more attention, like your website and social media strategy.

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