Is SEO dead in 2018?
This question has been in the minds of marketers since a while back, and the recent Clutch survey has just made SEO seem more obsolete.
According to the survey, only 44% of businesses invest time and money on SEO, making it the least popular digital marketing channel. In the survey, Clutch asked 501 marketers from companies with at least 100 employees and with revenues from $50 million to more than $500 million, this question:
“What digital marketing channels does your company participate in?”
The results showed that social media is the most popular with 81%, followed by websites with 78%, email with 69%, display/banner ads with 55%, mobile apps and content marketing, both with 53%.
Why is SEO less attractive than other marketing channels? According to Clutch, there are two reasons:
- Businesses lack awareness about how SEO functions.
- SEO results aren’t immediately obvious.
However, despite all this:
SEO is definitely not dead.
As SEO expert Stephan Spencer said, Search Engine Optimisation is “still very much alive — just vastly different from the way it once was.”
Traditional SEO – the one where you follow a cookie-cutter approach or a formula complete with step-by-step processes, is dead.
However, SEO has evolved much over the years, incorporating all the various technologies that have popped up ever since and shaping it into the modern-day SEO that we know now.
There are reasons why SEO is still relevant – and will remain relevant over the years.
Let’s look at them one by one:
- As long as search engine exists, so will SEO. As long as Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines continue to dominate the internet, optimising your business for these constantly evolving algorithms will always be important.
- The rise of IoT will make SEO more relevant. We have seen the rise of smartwatches, automated cars, and smart appliances with what we call Internet of Things. These machines are all connected to the internet and uses contextual clues to determine the user’s intent. That’s why keyword optimisation plays an important role in IoT.
- SEO goes local. As more and more brick-and-mortar businesses are realising the benefits of the internet, local search engine optimisation becomes a crucial part of every business’ marketing strategy. The need to establish an online presence, attract local customers and facilitate engagement on a local level and increase foot traffic has become a fundamental part of small and medium-sized businesses’ growth. And the only way to reach the local market, aside from traditional advertising, is through Local SEO.
- SEO has a huge impact on the buying cycle. What do customers do before they buy something? They research. Being able to appear in front of customers right when they are searching for the type of products or services you offer, is a game changer. SEO helps businesses provide the answer to the questions or queries the customers are looking for.
So, is SEO dead? Probably not in the near future.
Although SEO may no longer be as popular as it once was, the fact that there are benefits to it ensures its survival. Addressing the problems identified by Clutch would also help businesses have a better understanding of how it works and how SEO will benefit them.