Is SEO Dead?

In some circles, people are saying that SEO is dead as a marketing strategy.  They are saying that Google has killed it.  Don’t bother with keywords, some in the industry insist, it’s a waste of time.  Are they right?  Or are they just doing it wrong?

Google has definitely tried and partially succeeded in killing off one type of SEO.  Keyword-stuffed, practically plagiarised gibberish churned out by content factories is indeed as dead as the proverbial doornail.  And we are rejoicing at that.  It can be tempting for small businesses to see mass-produced, keyword-stuffed content as a bargain, but it is truly a case of getting what you pay for.

Cheap, poor-quality content does not convert visitors.  It does not foster engagement or relationships with them.  Basically, it tells them that your brand skimps and cuts corners.  It announces that your brand is totally happy to offer one thing with a great headline and then serve up substandard fare they’ve already seen.  That doesn’t inspire much trust.  It doesn’t tell them that your brand is worth their attention, never mind their money.

The Key to Keywords

Keywords are useful.  They do help people find your business, especially if you have brick-and-mortar premises and can use localized SEO.  People do search for businesses near them.  But you don’t have to hit them over the head with your keywords.  Google has gotten very sophisticated.  The key is to use your keywords well, not to repeat them so much that your content is unreadable nonsense.

Keywords and SEO in general are just tactics to get people to your page.  That’s a critical first step, and it’s also often their first impression of your brand.  So don’t waste their time with disappointing content.  The goal is for them to be glad they found your page.  You want them to find your page and think ‘yes, this is what I need!’  You want them to read the content and respond to a call to action.

Yes, good content incorporates SEO.  Your content should serve two purposes.  First, it should draw people to your page, and SEO is a big part of how it does that.  People put keywords in the search engine, and that’s what gets those search results you want to be part of.  And second, it should foster engagement.  Once people arrive at your page, they should be rewarded with content that helps them solve whatever problem prompted them to search online, not just a bunch of nonsense with keywords sprinkled liberally throughout it.

If you provide SEO-optimized content that fits the criteria of Google and other search engines, the clicks you get will be more likely to convert.  SEO isn’t dead.  Bad SEO is dying, but quality SEO is a powerful and essential tool in your marketing strategy.

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