“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” - Mark Twain… and SEO, probably.

It seems that every year, people jump at the opportunity to proclaim that SEO—which has dominated digital marketing since the advent of the internet—has gone belly up.

HOW TO WIN AT SEO

A search for the phrase “SEO is dead” yields over 15 million results, so it’s clearly a hot topic. But that doesn’t make it true. In fact, SEO is alive and well, and you need it to remain relevant in today’s data-driven, consumer-focused world.

Search engine optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Or, when somebody searches for information about a subject, are they going to see your website?

Here are some crucial components to improving your brand’s positioning in search results:

○     Think in key phrases, not key terms.

50% of search queries are four words or longer, referred to as long-tail keywords. Don’t just throw terms into your content you think people will search for; incorporate natural phrasing you think consumers would use to find the information they’re looking for.

○     Think in the mindset of your consumer, not your brand.

You’re trying to appeal to consumers — put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what kind of content will provide value to them, not self-serving content you think will drive your brand’s goals. Search engines care about the user experience.

○     Use dynamic, relevant content over static or repetitive information.

72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic. Keep your content fresh and unique across the different pages of your brand’s website.

○     Link-building should happen from credible sources.

Don’t aim to get inbound links from anywhere and everywhere. Aim for high-quality sites, like PRSA, to link to your site. The more reputable the site, the better off you will be. It’s comparable to being “in with the cool crowd.”

○     Think mobile first.

Work with your web team to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and crawlable. Google announced that it will begin ranking pages by speed for mobile searches in July 2018 - meaning a website will only appear at the top of results if the website is mobile device friendly.

Let the others proclaim SEO is dead. You just keep these strategies in mind and your brand will continue to see improved ranking in search engines—and growth in your digital presence—across the internet.