Why SEO Still Matters

A quick search of the phrase “SEO is dead” will turn up years’ worth of arguments on both sides, and every year it seems like there are more arguments that SEO is dying with the rise of smart machines that are able to search the web for us. The truth is that SEO is even more important than ever; the practices have just changed.

While the classic practices of link building and good keyword choices are still important, they aren’t enough on their own anymore. Strong brand recognition, attention grabbing content, and an eye-catching, easy-to-navigate website are all absolute musts in today’s climate. Internet users have a near infinite pool of content to sift through, and the majority will never scroll past the first page in a search engine, so those high rankings are vital.

If your current efforts aren’t getting your site the results you want, you’ll need to adopt a new approach. Here are a few ways to get started.

Streamlined user experience

One of the best ways your site can stand out is by offering an improved user experience compared to your direct competitors. While having a high DA score is always advantageous, you only actually need to have a better score than competing sites in your industry to appear high in the rankings.

For example, if you run a business that offers appliance repair services, it doesn’t matter if The New York Times has a higher DA score than you; what matters is that you have a higher score than other local appliance repair companies.

Optimizing your site so that users can sift through content at a quick pace and find relevant links in convenient locations will go a long way toward ensuring they return. A simple visual design with stylish imagery and embedded video content is generally the best way to go. In fact, it’s estimated that around 80 percent of online traffic will soon be video content, so taking appropriate action now is the best course of action.

Adapt to all devices

Once your site’s design is streamlined, it’s absolutely crucial to make it convenient for users on all devices. Mobile browsing accounts for the majority of web activity now, so you need the best mobile support you can provide. Making users constantly zoom in or out to see text or using designs that are unpleasant on the eyes on mobile devices are among the best ways to guarantee users never return to your site.

It’s often worthwhile to design two different sites: one for desktops and one for mobile devices. This way, each user has the optimal experience. It’s a good idea to keep track of how users are visiting your site, so you know where best to concentrate your efforts.

The internet of things

The “internet of things” (IoT) is rapidly changing the landscape of the internet and how people navigate it with billions of devices connected to each other and scouring the web with no need for human-to-computer interaction. These machines are changing how the internet works, but they’re essentially just adding to it rather than taking anything away.

The biggest change these devices are making is in the prevalence of voice search vs. traditional web searches. SEO practices need to be altered to cater to a more conversational tone when it comes to keywords. This means key words/phrases need to become longer to match how people speak, and considering voice searches typically only alert users of the top result, SEO will become significantly more competitive.

Catering to the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft is even more important than before, considering the efforts they’ll be making to encourage use of their smart products. SEO still matters, and it will continue to thrive in the foreseeable future. It just changes, and the best web designers will change their practices along with it.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.