Google has changed a lot in the last few years. It’s not just about the 10 links that come up on the search results page anymore. Now there are Google Ads, Maps results, Google My Business listings, knowledge panels, and rich snippets all taking up real estate on a search result page.
With so many different ways to get your business on Google, people have started to wonder if SEO as we know it is dying. But the truth is that SEO is alive and well and is a key component of a healthy marketing strategy. Why? Let’s explore.
1. Search Overall Is on the Rise
As long as people are using search engines to find businesses, information, and entertainment, SEO will continue to be important. And, more searches are happening now than ever. With the ease of searching on desktop, mobile, and through voice search (which we’ll talk about more later), we can assume that searches will continue to rise. So, it’s important to make sure that your business has a presence on search engines, and SEO is one of the most important ways to do that.
2. SEO Is Bigger Than Organic Search
Like I mentioned above, Google has added a lot of features that seem to be crowding out organic search results. In reality, though, the businesses that Google decides to feature in things like Maps results or rich snippets are those that have taken SEO into account.
Google is a business, too. Their customers want answers to their queries, and the way for Google to provide the best search results is to ensure they’re featuring the companies that are most relevant to the search terms. And how do they do that? By analysing what a business has done to up their SEO game.
If you’ve put in the legwork to create an SEO-friendly site with strong internal linking, solid content, and a high trust, Google feels confident that your site is likely to provide the answers their customers are looking for, so they’ll be more likely to feature your business in one of their many formats.
3. Appearing in Map Search Results Is Key
Because of the increase in mobile search, performance in Maps results is becoming increasingly important. Searches with the phrase “near me” have grown astronomically over the past few years. In 2018, Google found that searches about making a purchase that included “near me” increased over 500%.
If proximity is important to consumers, you can bet they’re using Maps to see which business is the closest. And because so many searches are happening on mobile devices, people who aren’t familiar with your neighbourhood might be finding your business as they drive through by searching with the “near me” phrase from their phone or tablet. I know I personally conduct most searches for businesses directly in my Google Maps app – I don’t even go to my internet app because I want to get all the information about the business right there, so I can call, get directions, and read reviews in one easy place.
How your business appears in map results is influenced by your SEO approach and listings management. Be sure you’re giving yourself the best shot at appearing in these types of searches.
4. Alexa & Siri Rely on SEO
Voice search has also been on the rise in recent years. Thanks to Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Siri across Apple products, we’re seeing people turn to voice assistants more frequently.
When you ask Siri, “What’s the best coffee shop nearby?” she’s providing you with one answer. Of course, if you’re a coffee shop owner in the neighbourhood, you want to be sure that your business is the one Siri responds with!
The best way to ensure that is to adhere to SEO best practices. Ask customers to leave positive reviews. Manage your Google My Business profile, and make sure all of the contact and location information listed is correct.
Even though the Google landscape is changing, SEO remains as important as ever. Thinking about SEO when designing your site and managing your online assets will give your business the best shot at being found by consumers. We know a lot goes into SEO, which is where we come in! Our SEO experts can help you get your business seen on search engines. Contact us today to learn more.