But Chris, why do you say SEO isn’t dead?

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Look up the term “SEO” in Google and chances are, you will get all sorts of conflicting results. One article says SEO isn’t dead and the other, says SEO is old school. So what do we believe? How do we know who to trust? I set out to get the answer from the absolute experts and got some very interesting insights.

For those of you not familiar with Moz (https://moz.com/), I suggest you hang your head in shame. Then, forgive yourself and get down to work. The first task is to identify a credible source of information. The great thing about the internet is that it has given us access to copious amounts of information on virtually anything we want. Sadly, this also works against us due to the vast amounts of user generated content available – a lot, from people who may not be as well versed with a subject as they should be.

This isn’t an avenue to bash such contributors. We’re all learning. However, when dealing with a client’s needs, you cannot afford to be learning at the cost of their deliverables. After talking to the great folks at Moz and other experts, it’s clear that SEO isn’t dead. It’s possibly more important now than ever.

However, this leads us to the question “What can I expect from SEO?”. The honest answer to that is, a better chance. What SEO does, is improve your chances of ranking better on search engines by using tried and tested strategies that usually get the work done.

“If you’re so confident, why do you say usually?” you ask? Let me put that question right back to you – What current system guarantees a fantastic result with 100% certainty? There is nothing out there that can lay claim to that. It is, certainly, a goal we want to strive to. However, remember this: SEO has dependencies tied to a number of factors. What if your company name is something like “International shipping company” or something of the sort? All the words in that title are, without a doubt, popular search terms which you can bet have been used by a number of other companies as well. What if the person who writes your content, does not understand the concept of using keywords or uses them indiscriminately?  What if 10 companies that uses similar terms can afford to hire top-notch content writers who can write rings around your content person?

Remember that search engines are learning every day. The algorithms that power them are a closely guarded secret and what worked one year ago, may not work as well today. If your plan is to “Do SEO” and expect your website to rank at #1, you will really need to re-evaluate this goal as it will only lead to disappointment.

Sadly, there are a lot of SEO agencies that fool people by making incredulous claims and guaranteed results. I cannot overstate this enough. No one, not even Google, can guarantee how your website will rank. What they can guarantee is that if you follow tried and tested strategies, you will more often than not, do just fine. Also, try to game the system and your website will be penalized and affect your rankings .

Effective SEO requires a combination of things Eg. keywords, images that are SEO optimized, meta descriptions, relevant content, link building – Even how fast your site loads affects SEO!

So, the next time a vendor tells you that they will “Do SEO”, make sure you know what exactly they’re offering. This will help you make more informed decisions.