I recently read an article that grimly proclaimed "SEO is dead." While we have been hearing this kind of talk for years, this particular phrase made me think. What is the future of small business SEO? Is SEO really dead?
The simple answer is no, SEO is not dead, but its function is ever-changing and in flux. As keyword obsession fades and search engine algorithms continue to change, small businesses must face the realities of the current marketing climate. If your small business wants to create a long-term, successful marketing strategy, you have to focus less on cheap tricks and more on quality content.
Quality Versus Quantity
It is easy and cheap to create a large quantity of low quality content, but if it isn't something people will interact with it's virtually useless. Sure, your business will get a temporary boost in rankings, maybe, but that's about it. You are not impressing customers, improving brand awareness, or achieving any any lasting results. In fact, you are probably hurting your reputation and possibly driving customers away. Quality content serves a purpose for your customers. It is content that answers a question, speaks to a need, offers expert advice, or engages your audience in some other valuable way. Consider your customer's needs when putting a content strategy in place. Customers should want to read and share your content, your content must generate interest and have value.
Killer Content is King
Unbelievably, a recent poll revealed that 64% of marketers don't believe they are effectively using content. While many small business SEO campaigns focus on page rank, they often neglect content or use content ineffectively. Your goal should be to reach people with relevant and compelling content that also helps to reinforce your brand. What many businesses don't realize is that you can leverage quality, keyword-related content to increase your page rank and achieve longer-lasting results. By increasing the amount of content, you are connecting with a larger audience that is actually interested in your product and services. Google suggests high quality content is the "single most important thing to do" in order to increase page rank!
It's all in the Delivery
The most successful content marketing campaigns use current best practices in SEO as well as utilizing several different forms of content distribution such as: video, eBooks, social media, and email marketing. While quality content is key, distribution is almost equally as important. Successful marketing professionals have found that increasing their distribution channels actually helps to drive quality content as the feedback cycle is accelerated. Put your videos on YouTube, PowerPoint's on SlideShare, and link it all back to your blog!
Long Term over Short Term
The nature of search engine optimization is that it is ever-changing and therefore must be flexible. Don't be fooled into creating a short-sighted marketing strategy that will only work for a limited time. Using quality and relevant content is a strategy that takes time, but it will pay off in the long run. You can't expect immediate results, but you can expect lasting results that are far more beneficial to your business and search optimization strategy.
While small business SEO isn't dead, its landscape has changed since the days of thin keyword-rich content and cheap link building. You have to have a solid strategy that Google will love, and Google loves killer content!
Need help with your content creation or inbound marketing strategy? Take a look at the content creation services we offer and get in touch, we're looking forward to helping you boost your search engine visibility!