SEO is an ever-changing world, and it takes a lot of time and effort to stay on top of it (and on top of the search engine results page).
Within the online marketing space, attitudes towards SEO fluctuate drastically, which is why we sometimes hear the argument that SEO is dead and no longer worthy of time and investment. But is this true? Is SEO dead?
We spoke to Founder and CEO at SearchPilot Will Critchlow and SEO Specialist here at Underwaterpistol Peter Lee about why this argument persists, and asked them “is SEO dead?”. This is what they said.
Is SEO dead?
Will Critchlow, Founder & CEO at SearchPilot
Unfortunately for anyone hoping for fireworks, I think we are both in agreement that SEO is not, in fact, dead. Having said that, there are a couple of reasons why I think this argument persists.
Firstly, I think people are using the word “dead” to mean “no longer the hot new thing”, particularly when they’re looking at the growth of other channels.
If you look at the impressive growth of something like TikTok, the growth rate of organic search as a whole looks poor in comparison. However, I tend to think this is a weaker argument because organic search is still the largest source of new traffic for practically every large website I’ve seen the analytics for.
Secondly, people might argue that SEO is dead because Google is so advanced now that you don’t need to do anything special to rank. If you just build a good website, you’ll get the traffic you deserve, right?
To my mind, we can counter this argument by showcasing the areas where this just isn't true, and where dedicated SEO practices are essential to getting your site on Google.
Besides, aren’t many of the things involved in “building a good website” actually things you and I would call SEO?
Peter Lee, SEO Specialist at Underwaterpistol
I don’t think anyone will be shocked to hear that my answer to “Is SEO dead?” is: no. SEO is far from dead - but the landscape is changing.
As Will said, organic search is still the biggest source of new traffic for most websites, which is why SEO is so important to businesses (and probably always will be).
However, SEO takes time, and the people who want quicker results will probably turn to different marketing channels and platforms that offer opportunities for short-term growth.
SEO is more diverse than ever, and it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes. But, unlike other channels like PPC and social media ads, SEO sets your business up for long-term success without the long-term costs.
While businesses are achieving success via other platforms and prospering as a result, I would still say that SEO remains amongst the most valuable marketing strategies to any business for the long term.
Why is SEO so important to businesses?
We put the key question “Is SEO dead?” to two SEO professionals and discovered that SEO is still very much alive. But why is SEO so important to businesses, particularly when some people argue that it’s dead?
Well, there are a few really crucial reasons, including:
- Good SEO helps you stand out from the millions of websites out there, exposing your site and your business to those who are in the market for your products or services.
- SEO provides guidance for creating top-notch websites that are helpful, relevant and user friendly. No one can deny that these things are important.
- The data you can gather from SEO practices allows you to gain a tremendous amount of understanding of your market and audience, which you can use to inform your wider marketing strategy. For example, carrying out keyword research around your main product will show you exactly what users are searching for, allowing you to develop content that addresses the intent of your customers.
Many businesses still neglect SEO, largely due to a lack of knowledge around it and a desire to work towards quick wins and immediate results.
And it’s understandable - sort of. SEO won’t give you the instant gratification you might get from social media or paid ads.
But, for achieving long-term success, developing a consistent and authoritative presence and truly reaching your customers, SEO still reigns supreme. These key reasons are why SEO is so important to businesses, and why it will continue to be well into the future.
This blog post features insights from "Is SEO dead?", an episode from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast series featuring Founder & CEO at SearchPilot Will Critchlow and SEO Specialist at Underwaterpistol Peter Lee. You can watch the full episode here.
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