Does SEO still work?
You have the question somewhere in the back of your mind, right?
Most people think it’s dead. It doesn’t work. Google doesn’t want to send traffic to other websites. They are tweaking their algorithm to keep traffic inside their business sites.
Is it worth to invest in SEO when Google is changing its algorithm so much and the zero-click results are on the rise?
It’s not just you.
Many SEO practitioners and businesses have the same question.
SEO is worth as much as ever, if not more than ever before and you should take it seriously.
That’s what I’m gonna explain in this post.
But before that, I’ll agree with you.
SEO is becoming challenging. Google has changed its algorithm so much recently and made a lot of the SEO tactics to become obsolete and powerless.
SEO doesn’t work like before.
You cannot optimize your pages, build a link here and there and hope to see your rankings improve.
Most link building tactics aren’t working. Some of them even produce negative effects on the rankings.
It’s not good enough to write an 800-word blog post to rank. You need to work harder than that. You have to produce the best content out there on the topic to reach the coveted top position in the search results.
But regardless of all the challenges, SEO is still the most powerful channel that drives the most valuable traffic to your website.
I’ll tell you why.
1: The Ad Costs are Increasing
Facebook ad costs have literally doubled in the last 3 years. The cost to acquire leads through Facebook and Google ads has increased a lot.
2: The Quality of Leads is Decreasing
With the increase in lead acquisition cost, you would expect to get quality leads who will convert into customers, turning your campaign profitable. But that’s not the case.
Honestly, I’m seeing a decrease in the quality of leads I get from my Facebook campaigns.
This could be because your target audience has saturated. They are seeing tons and tons of ads and are filling up the forms from your competitors too.
Or you have exhausted your target audience and your expanded audiences aren’t performing as good as your original target audience.
3: Audiences are Getting Smart
They aren’t clicking ads or filling the lead forms like before. They are using adblockers and other tools to block the ads. They are also worried about their privacy.
Moreover, lots of ads have tall claims that are hard to believe which is changing their perception towards the ads, making it hard to trust the ads.
4: You are Doing it Wrong
The biggest of all the ad problems is, you are doing it wrong. You are approaching your PPC campaigns as your sales/conversions driver.
How many times have you run ad campaigns focusing on converting your cold or first-time audience into leads or customers? I’m sure a lot of times.
And what happened with those campaigns? You got low response and results because you cannot convert someone who knows almost nothing or a bit about you or your product or service into your customer or prospect by one single ad.
Conversions don’t happen like that. It happens in stages.
First, they should know their problem, then people need to know you, your solution, how your solution can solve their problem, how it benefits them and why should they buy it from you instead of all other competitors out there.
There’s a lot happens between the moment, one realizes that they have a problem and decide to purchase your solution to fix their problem. That’s why we call it a buyer’s journey.
You cannot transform the audience with just one ad, can you?
Let’s assume you are running a paid ads campaign.
If your ad and landing page is good, you might get 1% or 2% of such direct conversions.
It means 98% of those who clicked your ads are left without taking any action.
Of course, you can retarget them with more ads and bump your conversions by another 3%. It eaves 95% of your visitors.
If you are having the best ad copy and a highly persuasive sales copy, you could get 10% of your audiences to convert.
And that still means 90% of your audience are leaking through the funnel.
That’s where most of your ad campaigns end.
Because you cannot use regular ad campaigns to reach your leaked audience continuously until they convert.
To do so, you need to set up a complex multistage campaign and spend a lot to make your audience through the awareness, consideration, and purchase stages of the funnel.
Because first, you need to create relevant content for different stages of the funnel and create a sequence of ads that pushes the content to a particular set of audience in the right sequence so that it pushes your audience through different stages of their buyer journey and to make the purchase decision.
You need to create tens of campaigns with tens of ads promoting tens of content to different audiences in different stages of his purchase journey.
But do you know how else we can solve this puzzle?
Yes, SEO can solve this problem.
Well, you got to work and create great content. But that’s more or less one-time effort.
After that, you just need to pass more juice to the content so that it retains its position on the top of the search results.
When you have content for all the stages of the buyer’s journey, people who are at the particular stage can find the content through the search engines, visit the content, consume it, probably become your lead.
And they can come back anytime for more content or check out your product or service offerings, and eventually become your customers.
All without you doing anything. No sequential ads or no segmentation or no retargeting campaigns needed.
Since the audience finds the content via search engines, he trusts it more because he understands it takes a lot of work to rank on the top of the search results compared to those ads where you pay the platform to interrupt people.
This makes him a better lead to convert than the one you are interrupting with the ads and can lead to the purchase quicker than the ad route because all the actions here are taken by the audience without any external push, all by himself.
And the best part is you’ll keep getting visitors almost forever unless someone else outranks you and you can rank for “n” number of keywords spanning across different stages of your customer journey.
That’s why SEO is very much alive, powerful and valuable than ever in these times when the ad costs are increasing while the ad trust is decreasing.
So, can you tell me what was your question?
Is SEO alive?
Can you ask again?