Why is SEO Important?
Did you know that up to 80% of search traffic won’t even get past the first page of Google? You’ve probably heard similar stats before – and it certainly gives you an idea of why climbing up the Google rankings for relevant searches is the dream for many businesses. Just think of all the new customers and reach, and you won’t have to pay a penny for Pay Per Click methods such as Google Ads, as you’re already at the top!
But, in reality it’s not quite that simple. Building organic reach – whether locally or globally – takes time and no small amount of patience, especially since Google’s way of judging your website against others can change at a moment’s notice – or even no notice at all. Old SEO techniques, such as spammy backlinks and keyword stuffing, can now do more harm than good – when in the past, it used to be one of the quickest ways to push your website to the top.
You might even say it was a darn sight easier back then. Now, Google is focused on providing the best user experience possible, and that comes with a whole swaithe of new requirements when it comes to your website. Not only does your content and website need to be relevant, but it should be quick to load, easy to navigate and read, whilst being trustworthy and reliable. Gone are the days of hiding keywords at the bottom of the page.
Realistically though, the new changes to how SEO has to operate is certainly a positive. Now, instead of thinking solely about how the Search Engine will rank your website, you have to consider how a user will experience your website too. Naturally then, it leads to a much better experience for your customers, improving conversion rates and customer retention. After all, your website should be the cornerstone of your digital marketing presence, and ensuring it’s fully optimised for these users can only ever be a positive.
How has SEO changed?
Really, there’s one major conceptual change that has influenced all others, and that’s the heavier shift towards user experience. That’s not to say that user experience wasn’t important before, but advances in Google’s algorithm has led to some pretty groundbreaking changes and improvements when it comes to searching online. Let’s take a look at some of the major named updates that have influenced how SEOs have to operate in more recent years. Let’s not forget, it’s reported that Google changes it’s algorithm around 500 – 600 times per year.
The BERT Update
First rearing its head around October 2019, the BERT update was a huge leap in language technology that helped Google and it’s hardware understand more ‘natural’ wording in search queries – meaning it could look at a whole sentence in context, rather than simply the words themselves.
This meant that for SEO companies, you could be even more specific with targeted keywords, whereas certain sites may have seen themselves drop significantly. In short, content became king, meaning simply stuffing your keywords as many times into your text as possible will no longer cut it. In fact, you should be writing for users, not for search engines.
The 'Medic' Update
The core update dubbed ‘Medic’ saw a huge spike in ranking changes across the board. Aimed at targeting ‘health and wellbeing’ websites, the Medic update was introduced in order to ensure only trustworthy, ‘factual’ information could be found in search queries relating to physical health, wellbeing and mental health. But, it also meant that ‘trust’ and ‘reliability became key factors across all website rankings.
For SEOs, this meant that Site Authority, and Domain Rankings became key factors in attempting to rank in Google’s search. This means a heavier focus on quality backlinks (not just grabbing as many as you can find) and well written, correctly sourced content – especially in regards to health.
How can you keep on top of SEO?
With all the constant changes to SEO on a near month-by-month basis, it can be a near impossible task to keep on top of, alongside the daily running of your website and business. That’s why most companies either hire a dedicated SEO manager in-house, or opt for the often more cost-effective option of hiring an agency. That way, you have staff that are dedicated to ensuring you don’t miss an update, through constant monitoring, research and hard work. Don’t forget – there’s only one constant in the world of SEO – and that’s that it always changes!
Our SEO services are aimed at helping your business get the online visibility it needs, whilst you can keep working on what’s important to you! Our cost-effective, custom plans are designed with your business specifically in mind, so feel free to get in touch with one of our consultants today to find out how we can help.