Are you tired of hearing digital marketers say that SEO is dead? Well, good news! We’re here to tell you that SEO is still alive and will remain kicking in 2024 and beyond
If it’s alive and well, why are so many people asking if it’s dead?
Is SEO Dead?
There’s no other way to say it: SEO remains a crucial piece of digital marketing. For real. According to a recent Statista report, 31 percent of shoppers use search engines to choose their next purchase, which is higher than those who use either social media (28 percent) or retailers’ websites (18 percent).
In other words, people are still searching the internet for websites with information about things they want to buy. Because SEO still grabs these folks’ attention, it’s far from dead.
But it’s easy to understand why some would say SEO is dead — or at least in the ER.
Why Do Some Digital Marketers Say SEO is Dead?
Digital marketers often say SEO is dead because they feel the industry is changing too quickly. They’re unable to keep up with the new strategies and tactics. Others have been struggling to keep up with the competition.
Investing in public relations campaigns or social media has gained steam
Some marketers may feel that investing in public relations and social media marketing is more effective than SEO for several reasons:
- Brand Awareness: Public relations and social media marketing can effectively build brand awareness. They enable brands to engage with their target audience on a personal level.
- Relationship building: Brands can establish long-term relationships that translate into positive word-of-mouth referrals and increased customer loyalty.
- Cost-effectiveness: Some marketers think public relations and social media marketing are more cost-effective than SEO.
Some Google changes make it hard to adapt
Google has been trying to save searchers time by giving them the necessary information without forcing them to click on a link. For instance, Google has been providing information on its search results page. Often, what you get is enough to make a decision.
For example, if you were to search “how to fix a leaking pipe,” you may get a list of answers and related content. All of which you can access without going to a webpage. This is great for a consumer looking for a quick answer. Not so much for companies and the 2024 SEO teams they hire to generate traffic.
Paid search results
Paid results have had a significant impact on what searchers see on Google. For instance, paid results appear at the top of the search results page, often before the organic (non-paid) results. This means that searchers are more likely to see and click on paid results, especially if the ad is relevant to their search query.
Google has also introduced paid local results, which appear in a section of the SERP that shows local businesses related to the search query. Paid local results often feature a map and directions to the business, making it easier for searchers to find and engage with local companies. All those paid results take up digital real estate previously held by organic SEO results.
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) uses AI to provide complete answers to search questions at the top of the results.
For example, suppose you were to ask, “What kind of car should I buy if I’m moving to Vermont?” At the top of the results page, SGE would give you a complete answer to your question, including details about the kinds of vehicles you should consider and reasons why they would do well in Vermont.
For instance, you may see info about vehicles that do well in the snow, can handle Vermont’s mud season, or have enough storage space for skis and snowboards. It may also show you other considerations you should keep in mind as you kick tires and peek under hoods. For example, it may discuss the value of good highway gas mileage due to the distances between Vermont’s towns.
Make no mistake about it: Google’s SGE is an SEO game changer. But while it may seem like a nail in the coffin, it’s not. In fact, as we’ll discuss in the next section, it could breathe new life into SEO, especially for businesses.
Organic SEO’s outlook for 2023
Naysayers aside, organic SEO is still an important part of any digital marketing strategy and is expected to remain so through 2024 — and beyond. By leveraging the following, you can ensure a positive outlook for your SEO program in 2023:
- Google’s SGE: You can leverage keywords and long-chain keywords to have your site be one of the sources for SGE’s answers. On top of that, customers still get search results underneath the SGE answer. This means your site may be featured in either the SGE snippet or in traditional search results. This additional opportunity could give many businesses an SEO boost.
- User Experience (UX): Google has placed a significant emphasis on user experience in recent years, and it’s a key factor in SEO in 2023 and 2024. This includes factors such as mobile-friendliness, page speed, ease of navigation, and overall design. Businesses that prioritize UX are more likely to rank well in search results.
- Featured Snippets: These search results appear at the top of the SERP and provide a summary of the answer to a search query. Featured snippets are still alive and kicking, especially because SGE is still being rolled out. Optimizing content for featured snippets can increase visibility and drive traffic to a website.
- E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) is an important factor in SEO, particularly for businesses in the technical, health, and finance industries. Google is placing a greater emphasis on E-E-A-T to ensure that searchers are provided with accurate and trustworthy information.
SEO challenges digital marketers faced in 2023
SEO is an essential part of digital marketing, as it helps ensure a website is visible in search engine results. As such, digital marketers need to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and challenges.
Changes to Google’s algorithm
One of the biggest challenges for digital marketers in 2023 was Google algorithm changes. Google changes its search algorithm multiple times per year, which can drastically affect website traffic and rankings. As such, digital marketers need to stay on top of these changes and adjust their SEO strategies accordingly.
The key is to focus on what Google says it wants, which, as mentioned above, is E-E-A-T. Your site’s content has to demonstrate expertise and authority while also engendering trust from searchers and other sites. The longer searchers spend on your pages, the more trust Google may assign to it. Similarly, every time someone finds something on your site valuable enough to link to it, you get a bump in your search engine rankings.
As voice search becomes more popular, digital marketers must adapt their strategies to optimize their content for voice search queries. Traditional SEO techniques that focus on short, keyword-rich phrases may no longer be sufficient for voice search, as people tend to use longer, conversational phrases when speaking to voice assistants.
Content saturation arises out of the abundance of content on the internet, making it challenging to create material that will differentiate you from the pack. A key factor in creating standout content is to focus on quality over quantity. While it may be tempting to produce as much content as possible to increase your online presence, the reality is that high-quality content is what will truly capture your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more.
Prioritizing a mobile-first strategy
Finally, digital marketers needed to strategize for mobile-first, simply because users often favor searching on their personal devices instead of their computers. At the end of 2022, for example, 59 percent of all website traffic was generated by mobile devices.
As more and more people access the internet through their mobile devices, digital marketers need to ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile. This includes ensuring that their websites are responsive and have a mobile-friendly design.
The Future of SEO
The future of SEO in 2024 will involve:
- Optimizing your site for Google’s SGE and other AI-assisted search engines. This will involve providing clear answers to search queries written by experts and supported by high-quality sources. If you include detailed author bios and links to their other published work, the articles and blogs you publish may rank higher.
- Google Shopping emerging as an SEO opportunity. Google Shopping provides products to searchers, including information regarding where to buy items. By creating a Google Merchant Center account and optimizing your product feed, you can increase the chances of appearing as a purchasing option for shoppers.
- Less frequent crawls by Google, resulting in fresh content taking longer to appear in SERP. Google is trying to reduce its carbon footprint, and one way it can do this is by reducing the frequency with which it crawls the internet. Less frequent crawls may make it so it takes longer for changes you make to appear to searchers.
In short, the future of SEO is more customer-focused. It’ll be less about creating a site that reflects well on your brand and more about making content that caters to what users want or expect.
Defibrillate Your SEO with ClearVoice
It’s clear that the SEO industry is in a transformative phase. Just as a defibrillator can shock a heart back to life, the future of SEO requires a similar jolt to revive and reinvigorate it. The right strategy and approach can breathe new life into a stagnant SEO campaign, boosting its performance and driving better results.
To zap your SEO strategy back to life, you can rely on ClearVoice. You get your own team of SEO experts, ready to put to use their years of knowledge and experience to reinvigorate your marketing. For help with your content strategy, reach out to ClearVoice today!