It’s that time of year!  Where is SEO headed?  Are keywords dead?  Can companies that have never done SEO before still compete?  We’ve got all the answers.

Where is SEO Headed?

This is a big question and it’s kind of crazy to be saying this, but SEO is fundamentally still the same as it was when we started doing it over 15 years ago.  Stay with me!

Fundamentally, SEO = making sure Google & other search engines can find the best, most relevant content to deliver it to searchers based on their queries.  The facts remain that if you create helpful, authoritative, trustworthy content and make your website easy for search engines to crawl AND ensure that you are speaking your audience’s language by aligning elements like urls, browser titles, headlines, internal links to a solid and well-built out keyword strategy based on keep keyword/query research, you have an excellent shot of performing well in search and driving business.

This is exciting because queries are ever-evolving.  15% of all queries are NEW!  This means that your audience and what they are searching for is a moving target, but there is data to help keep marketers way ahead of the curve.  The Google Ads keyword tool, for example, shows YoY change in search interest and volume and 3 month change.  IT’S SO AWESOME.  It’s so data-driven and provable, which is why we love SEO.  So, how do we use this data?

Are SEO Keywords Dead?

Nope.  Search for something on Google right now.  Notice what appears in your search engine result page (SERP).  See above for elements to look at (urls, browser titles, etc).  What is showing up in the VIP spots? Utilizing keywords in the right places and building your online marketing strategy around key themes with search demand relevant to your audience is critical.  That said, meta keywords ARE dead and Google hates spam so write for users first.

Can Companies Still Compete in SEO if They’re New to It?

1000%.  In fact, companies that have been around for some time don’t even realize the treasure trove of untapped SEO potential they are sitting on.  By looking in a tool like Google Search Console, we are actually able to see what queries any website has some presence for in Google – whether it’s on the first page or the 10th page (no woman’s land) of results.  Then, we use proven optimization tactics to move company websites to that coveted top spot.  Measurability is key, which is why reporting on website Google positions (we like SEMRush), organic traffic (usually from Google Analytics), and lead/purchases (usually from a CRM or ecommerce platform), makes SEO a slam dunk. It’s generally the top traffic driving AND conversion driving channel, but isn’t as glitzy as paid campaigns (which we LOVE and utilize to build authority in areas that are highly competitive or where we’re lacking in organic presence).

We have barely scratched the surface here in terms of keyword intent, featured snippets (and their future), video SEO, image SEO, social SEO, algorithm updates, Google Discover, and so much more, so stay tuned & don’t be shy.  If you have any questions or thoughts on where SEO is going, let us know!