For those that know me, although I have been considered a leader in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) field for quite some time, I’ve never thought of myself as an SEO. In fact I don’t really like the term SEO. I never looked at this as trying to optimize websites to try and manipulate the search engines. Quite honestly my approach has always been to work with clients and help them produce the best web content that they can to engage with their audience. It has always been about the content.
If you speak with veterans in the industry they will talk about link building and the importance of links. Other than when I first started in the industry way back in 2002, I have never really done traditional link building. It was a tactic that I just felt was so time consuming and often produced minimal results. I mean I get that the Search engines use link authority as part of the core search and ranking algorithms, but for me I just saw people attempt to manipulate search results by link building or buying links or by simply trying to artificially inflate their link inventories. Quick news flash for you. Prepare great content, promote it socially and the links will come. I guess the point of this little rant is that SEO has always had some negativity around it. Uneducated people would throw their thoughts out about it. Business owners who worked with questionable marketers or agencies would complain that SEO does not work and that it is a waste of time and money. The fact is organic website optimization can provide a great return if done correctly.
Hence the topic of this post. So long as people use search and search engines or whatever means of search they choose, organic optimization will always be required. Here are three reasons for this:
- Website, Apps or any other Digital Will Always Need Content– you have to provide answers to questions or dilemmas that your audience may have. Regardless of how they search for information, keywords, spoken word and content will always be required. Content will always be required because at the end of the day, no matter what the format, it is information that people are looking for. Search options people use today:
- via traditional web search/search engines
- via voice search
- via calls to support or call centers
- via artificial intelligence
- via Siri or other voice controlled environments
- via mobile
- Websites, Apps, Virtual Machines are all built around content – this content needs to be relevant to what users are looking for. Regardless if it is types of voice conversations, your content needs to have a chance at intercepting the audience by being semantically relevant and easily accessible to them.
Google has spent years acquiring all of the trillions of documents in their Web index. I just cannot see this going away anytime soon.
- People thirst for knowledge – knowledge is power right? People will always continue to search for information. Google became a verb because of this. While traditional search may have changed and evolved, people will always need a platform or mechanism to find information. Will the day come when we won’t have websites? Well maybe, but regardless of the platform people will need a search mechanism or “search engine” to find their information. Will it be from bots or artificial intelligence? Most likely but there may be other forms and platforms that simply do not exist today. People seek knowledge and they need to be able to find it.
And finding knowledge via a digital device is where organic optimization comes in. If you are producing any digital content of any type you still need to optimize it so that people can find it. You need to be using terms and phrases that your audience will be using. You need to make your content make an impact with what I call F.I.S.T. That is your content must be “findable, indexable, storable and transparent”. You need to create and optimize content for people to consume. They need to be able to consume it on various device types such as:
- traditional desktops, laptops and computers
- mobile devices and tables
- wearables (watched, headbands etc)
However for your content to be consumed it must be found and that in itself is why you need to optimize your content, your websites, your apps and your offline material.
Search may not always be in the form search engines, but there will always be a need from some mechanism or way for people to access information. Technology is changing, search is changing, Google is changing, the World is changing. As a result the need to optimize for your business needs to change. You can spend all of your marketing budget on paid campaigns, TV spots, radio ads, print, banner ads etc… and they might work for you, but if you are simply present in those spaces and are part of the consideration set you should be there anyway. You can get their with organic optimization so that when people search for semantically relevant terms or topics regardless of the device, their location or nature of their search that you show up. The need for search will never go away. People are a curious bunch, they will continue to search for answers and efficiencies. Why not make it easier for them to find the information that they are looking for?