SEO as it is perceived today is a lot different from how it was done to be a few years ago. To begin with, article marketing, once the messiah of all things marketing is a taboo subject today. And don’t even get me started on the murky business of link exchanges. The Google Panda update that first hit web owners in 2011 set the ball rolling for a series of updates that changed the way Google ranked websites. If you belong to the old school SEO thought, here’s why we think it’s time for you to move on:
Consumer Expectations Have Changed
The world has completely and truly embraced online shopping. In the US alone, 78% of people agree that online shopping is convenient and around 68% of them agree that it helps them save time. We’re a generation starved of time! Consumers want their job done as quickly as possible and with the least amount of fuss. This is why page speed is a much discussed topic in the SEO field today. A simple analysis by Relentless Technology points that 47% of consumers expect a site to load within 2 or 3 seconds; 40% of these users are more than likely to abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds. Amazon too found that all it takes is 1/10th of a second to experience a 1% drop in sales!
Consumers Today, Are an Empowered
LotAn average consumer’s journey has drastically changed. He doesn’t just rely on the advertiser’s glitz and glamour ridden content. He now chooses to read social reviews, check ratings, read discussions on forums, check Facebook posts and seek opinion from friends and peers in the real and virtual world, before zeroing on his choice. Users would rather prefer to read about a user’s experience on using a product/service than waste time reading meaningless articles. If you think article submissions still works, you probably belong to the stone age of SEO. It probably works for those looking for a quick and easy way to build links. But the plan is likely to backfire because Google’s stance of unnatural link building may only harm you if the backlinks are from shadowy sites.
User Experience (UX) Matters
User Experience or UX was once a ‘nice thing to have’, but today it is an absolute essential element to draw customers and drive profit. Simply put, user experience can be defined to include elements that tend to affect a consumer’s interaction with a company with respect to its services or products. Consumers today want a simple and user friendly experience regardless of the device or the platform they’re using. SEO and UX are closely connected; neither can function without the help of the other. For instance, take the example of page load time. As seen from the example above, page speed can drastically affect UX. You can’t just game the system with a few SEO tricks because websites that offer good UX will always outrank them.
The best thing about SEO is that it continues to evolve. You just can rest on your past laurels because what worked in the past cannot guarantee success in the future. Google now understands the intent behind a user’s search term; thus the old and staid technique of keyword based promotion isn’t going to work. It’s time we upgraded our techniques to match with the times.