How important is SEO to SEM today? Is SEO losing the edge? Are small businesses finally breaking free from the power of SEO and getting recognition still? Are we moving away from the obsession with SEO? Some intriguingly different questions indeed!
SEM rules still
The number of online customers making their purchases is continually on the rise. One click opens the virtual store and shows a range of products and services and all the information needed and another click clinches the deal most satisfying mutually. Today internet marketing is very much in; SEM rules the roost.
Importance of SEO
Until now, SEM blended the free SEO and the PPC to increase the exposure of any website. Search engine marketing campaigns all focussed on search engine optimization with keywords or increasing the pay per click – again on a key-word related ad. And SEO was the favourite all round. SERPs, Meta tags, keywords, keyword-rich contents, SEO keywords and keyword research – these words seem to be resonating in the web writing world. The first advice to any freelance writer is still ‘learn all about SEO.’
A Change is on the way?
Maybe it looks like things are changing, albeit slowly, but steadily. No, no, the SEM is here to stay and keywords and keyword-rich contents are all still the way to go. But maybe a day will come when search engine ranking or search engine optimization will not be the ruling factors to define the success of a website. Google has developed systems which are not SERP controlled and which are giving more attention to small businesses with far better analytics. Now the trend is moving beyond just the search engines and the search is on to find and nurture customers on social media – on networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Importance of Social Networks
Today, social media is gaining more importance and relevance in the search world. Search engines are incorporating media status updates into their search results – kind of a mixture of search and social media! So Digg, Delicious, Facebook and Twitter – where people like to belong to, are gaining importance and status updates on these sites influence the ratings. Already Google and Bing ratings are linked with social media site postings.
How to attract Social Users?
Quality content! Quality content is the only way to go. Make the content attractive enough and there will be enough flies to flock to the honey! Content that gives answers to their search, content that provides solutions, content that pen-pictures the product and content that will stir the consumer’s interest will make the visitor come away satisfied and eager to go back to and recommend to friends. Original and quality content will increase conversion.
Google’s definition of need for quality content is illuminating – “Delivering high quality, informative and well constructed content is what differentiates you from your competition and defines your web presence.”
Adding fresh content will keep the visitors come a visiting to the site. RSS feeds and even videos can be used to keep the content up-to-date. But unique and web-product relevant content should dominate the site. Quality and high-value content will be the major force to sell the products.
Will SEO be one day really obsolete?
Definitely not! Already the algorithms are changing. Blog-driven links and social-media tagging are taken due notice by the search engines. Google is also implementing personalization. Actually a highly efficient SEO never just is counting keywords or their placement. It recognizes the value of good and quality content. Compelling to read and easy-to-find content will truly be the king and SEO will revel in it.
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