SEO is Dead

Key Takeaways

  • It’s no longer safe to rely solely on search traffic to grow your business
  • SEO can be a dangerous race to the bottom that can hurt your business
  • Content marketing builds a cult-like business following without engaging in harmful SEO tactics.
  • Content marketing earns you favor with Google without playing the tedious SEO game.

Online visibility is the key to building a successful business in today’s competitive environment. For the longest time, SEO has been the go-to strategy for building a formidable online presence and dominating search results. However, that’s no longer the case; all indicators show that SEO is dead or dying. But is SEO really dead?

The traditional way of doing SEO is dead because the landscape is too volatile, with Google rolling out a dizzying number of search ranking updates every so often. Website rankings can disappear overnight and wipe out your livelihood by making your business invisible to your customers.

Part of Google’s concerted effort to fight spam has tanked many businesses by wiping them out from the first page of the search results. You may have heard it said before—the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google. Many people relying on search traffic from Google found their livelihood wiped overnight after their website rankings tanked. Google is effectively killing SEO as we know it.

Thanks to Stuart Crawford from Out N’ Aboot Marketing Ltd. for his insights.

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What is SEO?

Short for Search Engine Optimization, SEO is a set of online marketing tactics that help business increase their online visibility. The ultimate goal of an SEO marketing campaign is to rank your website at the top of search engine results.

Most SEO focus on getting to the top of Google’s search results because the search engine controls more than 90% of the online traffic.

Getting your business to rank at the top of the search results is highly rewarding because it lets you tap into the lucrative organic traffic. The process entails targeting search phrases prospects use when searching for your products and services. Google and other search engines use bots to gather information about different topics scattered across the internet.

When someone searches for a certain product or service, they crawl millions of pages and create a list of businesses selling it. Google uses more than 200 ranking factors to determine which websites deserve a spot on the first search results.

Research shows that the top three spots on Google search results get over 90% of the organic search traffic. It triggers stiff competition as every web admin worldwide sets out to claim the top money spots.

Why is Traditional SEO Dead?

Previously, when Google was less sophisticated, anyone could game the system and rank at the top of the search results. Traditional SEO marketing entailed prioritizing search engine needs above all else.

As Google got smarter, it cracked down on these unhelpful sites, and they lost their rankings and disappeared from the search ranking. As a search engine, Google’s core mission is to match people with the best answers to their queries. Therefore, the search engine continually refines its ability to differentiate valuable content from spammy and unhelpful content.

Google achieves this feat by continuously rolling out regular search ranking updates. While this initially worked well and gave legitimate websites a fighting chance, it’s no longer the case. Google is launching an onslaught of updates and hurting site rankings.

The SEO game has become so unpredictable that it resembles the untamed wild west. Today’s SEO landscape resembles a scene from a Mad Max movie scene—it’s all about fighting for survival. One day your business is sitting pretty at the top of the search results; the next, you’re now rankings are gone, and your customers can’t find you.

When a Google update tanks your search rankings, it overnight wipes out your business income. You become invisible to your prospects and customers, effectively ruining your business. Sadly, many businesses reliant on SEO to generate and convert leads have learned this less the hard way.

Why is Content Marketing Better than SEO?

Despite the numerous similarities, content marketing blows SEO marketing out of the water. Unlike SEO, content marketing prioritizes the customer and their needs. Content marketers aren’t too concerned about ranking at the top of the search results. Instead, they focus on delivering the best and most helpful content to their customers and prospects.

SEO is the equivalent of a game of musical chairs—you’re left guessing when the music stops and if you’ll be left standing. With SEO, you’re placing your financial security at the mercy of Google. You don’t have adequate control over your ability to reach and connect with your customers.

Content marketing helps you break out of this devastating cycle. It thrives on having deep-rooted knowledge and insights into your target market. Instead of prioritizing search engine visibility, content marketer set out to educate and inform their readers.

They have deep knowledge of their target audience. Content markets understand their target market—their struggles, pain points, deepest desires, dreams, aspirations, fears, strengths, and shortcomings. With this information, you can create web articles that resonate with your target audience.

Once someone in your target market finds your content, they feel heard, understood, and find a sense of belonging. Instead of unhelpful hyperbole, they find factual information to help them solve a pressing pain point. With content marketing, you’re out to create value and improve your target audience’s lives.

Content marketing allows you to dazzle your market with your industry knowledge. You can offer rare insights and practical advice based on your experience, expertise, and knowledge. People reading your content, watching your videos, or listening to your podcast can immediately tell that you know your stuff.

Demonstrating that you’re an expert triggers a cascade of fortunate events. It positions you as an industry expert, building your business’s credibility. People have a reason to trust you and will gladly retain your services or buy your products. It’s a bulletproof way to grow your conversion rate and build a cult-like business following.

If you treat your customers right and provide top-notch products and services, they will rave about you. They will leave positive reviews for your business and become unpaid brand ambassadors promoting your services to friends and family.

But wait, it gets better. Providing in-depth, high-quality content that educates and entertains your readers improves your search rankings on Google. See, Google uses Expertise, Authority, Trust, and Experience as ranking factors. Websites that check all these boxes get a priority ranking at the top of the search results.

Content marketing allows you to give Google what it needs to rank your website at the top of the search rankings without playing the game of musical chairs. Once Google notices that people love your content, it starts showing your website to more people, and the cycle continues. A top ranking on the search results serves as a green light from Google to help you build a rich profile of natural links.

Don’t Play the SEO Game

Building a formidable online presence remains key to running a successful business. Most businesses assume that SEO marketing is the path to dominating search results. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Google is out to reward businesses that demonstrate EATE with top ranking in the search results. Providing your audience with helpful content brimming with expert insight and in-depth advice will help you build a formidable online presence.

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