Is SEO dying?
Year after year, SEO managers are asked the same question. 'Is there a future for SEO?' Is it a dying profession?'
As a specialist marketing recruiter, I speak almost daily with SEO managers, and it astounds me when this rhetoric rears its ugly head at the end of the year. I'm curious as to why SEO is getting so much attention. The answer is unequivocally no. The SEO industry is far from dead. In fact, I believe SEO will become increasingly important over the next 5-10 years. SEO will become more valuable as more businesses transition to an online model and as more governments encourage SMEs to learn more about digital tactics. Digital marketing is a jumble of various channels, and I believe SEO has been and continues to be overlooked. The common issue is that due to a lack of expertise or otherwise, the SEO sector has been tarnished with a brush that should have been left in the early 2000s.
Why are people claiming that SEO is obsolete?
The simple answer is a lack of understanding. SEO, which was quickly followed by SEO specialists, has evolved into a highly sophisticated technology. And I can see why. Some aspects of SEO are extremely difficult to grasp. The average site or business owner's eyes will glaze over when you mention faceted navigations or PWAs.
These are the issues that make the general public believe SEO is a dying industry. Another consideration is that people want to rank at the top of Google without having to pay for SEO. SEO, in my opinion, is underappreciated by the general public! It's simply too complex for people to grasp in a short period of time. The simplest solution is to use PPC, social advertising, or email marketing. All of these factors are important in any SEO campaign.
Similarly, vice versa. SEO is a black art that, in my opinion, should be abandoned. Only a select few will be able to make use of it. It is not just for the wealthy; it is for everyone. However, as with anything, not everyone has the time or is interested in studying it, which is why SEO Managers are so highly in demand, albeit those that deal in strictly best practice SEO methodology!
Is SEO still important?
When COVID and lockdown 2.0 were officially announced, digital marketing (and marketing spending) came under intense scrutiny. However, when physical store visits were prohibited, SEO demonstrated how valuable it could be to an organisation.
The benefits of SEO can be sustained by allocating a monthly budget to it. As a result, if you reduce your on-page SEO or link-building efforts, you should expect a drop in organic traffic and rankings. Obviously! So, yes, SEO is especially important. Google will continue to be the most popular search engine even during pandemics.
Do major search media outlets make errors?
Every journalist has the same goal: to have as many people look at their work as possible. Is this to say that the SEO industry makes mistakes from time to time? Absolutely. It's the same as any other industry around the world.
Trends will emerge if one popular search outlet publishes an article proclaiming, 'Is SEO Dead?' It's completely natural. I recommend paying attention to the search engine result pages during these times (SERPs). You'll notice any changes in your competition's SEO strategy if you've been watching them all year.
Forbes is not my first port of call for determining whether SEO is dead. I'd rather test the waters with companies like Search Engine Journal. You can also rely on popular Twitter feeds to get the most up-to-date information.
It's just keywords and rankings.
Believe me, it isn't. This statement is strongly opposed by at least 20 SEO managers who are experts in highly specialised areas of search engines and their signals.
SEO is the process of creating a website for a business that meets all of the needs of their target audience. It all comes down to the experience, whether it's with a product or service or with useful content. Conversions, traffic growth, increased rankings (yes, that's a factor), brand exposure, PR, online authority, and income are all outcomes of that experience.
If you look at SEO in isolation, you will never realise its benefits. You could, but it isn't the entire picture. SEO has enabled millions of businesses all over the world to thrive online.
Paid marketing vs. organic search
When the topic of PPC vs. SEO comes up, I find it fascinating. I won't go into too much detail about the differences between PPC and SEO because a quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know. But here's my two cents...
SEO and PPC (or any other type of paid marketing) should be used in tandem, not separately. PPC can help if you need short-term traffic to a page that you've just spent a week creating and optimising for SEO. SEO can help you gradually reduce your reliance on paid ads and replace them with organic visitors.
That leads me to my next point....
KPIs connect paid search and SEO.
What is your main goal as an SEO manager? Do you work for a client or are you agency-side? Your overall goal is to get as many people to visit a website or specific pages as possible. What you do should be guided by the best path for development. Whether you used PPC and paid social in addition to SEO, or if you use e-mail marketing. It doesn't make a difference.
SEO continues to be an important driver of revenue and growth. No marketing channel, however, should be considered in isolation. Everything should work together. You'll get much better results if you concentrate on your company's key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than specific rankings or budgets.
Is Google choking off the SEO industry?
This is something in which I have faith.
There has always been a constant battle between Google and SEOs. SEOs have long been on the defensive due to the power struggle and mystery surrounding Google's algorithms. Google has worked hard to improve its algorithms in order to increase the credibility of organic search for users. Google wants customers to search for a question and get the best possible answer. On the surface, it appears to be quite simple.
You will win if you create outstanding content that answers your customers' questions. You will comply with Google's request. If it were that simple, you wouldn't have a job. SEO is fascinating because of the nuances of search engines. It is, however, far from dead, and Google is simply attempting to improve the user experience, whether at the expense of an online business or not. They don't seem to mind.
Why is SEO not a dying industry?
Considering COVID, keeping your business online can mean the difference between profit and failure. With an increase in online commerce, it revealed which companies invested in SEO and which did not. This proves that SEO is not extinct. It's just not as well-known as Google Ads. Maybe Facebook advertisements. What you should understand is that SEO is a critical component of any digital marketing strategy. Sometimes you don't realise how/why, which is why education about SEO and Google's algorithms is critical.
To dismiss headlines proclaiming "SEO is a dying industry," my advice is to simply ignore them.
Don't listen to what journalists or other SEOs say. Focus on what works best for you and your business. There is always room for expansion whether you own a small, medium, or large business. Is SEO always the best (or first) choice? No. No, not all the time. But do I think it's always there? Absolutely.
The Future of SEO
At best, the industry's future will be stable, but I expect massive growth in the next 5-10 years. SEO will become a more well-known marketing technique. I anticipate an influx of businesses that want to incorporate SEO into their operations as well as individuals who want to learn the art of website ranking, and as a result your skills as an experienced SEO manager will always be in demand.
Click to find out more about our SEO manager jobs, or call a member of our marketing recruitment team today who will be happy to have an initial conversation with you.