Ever since around 2010, Forbes, Springboard, Inbound Now and the Marketing Tech Blog, as well as an endless parade of other websites that write about marketing, all have had an interest in announcing the death of SEO. So when considering marketing for a product launch, how much weight should you give to SEO and how essential is it really. We will look at the reasons SEO is still relevant and how it is still key to product launches.
Saying SEO is dead is good SEO.
Before taking those SEO is Dead statements seriously, you need to understand why those articles are there in the first place – they are good SEO. Searches to do with the death of SEO are somewhat popular on Google, and websites like to publish articles to get on top of those searches.
They benefit from SEO in other ways, too. They get social media exposure for their provocative statements, and get search engine rankings. Public relations gurus like repeating the statement, as well, for the PR value it gives them.
SEO is not dead, just different.
Articles about the death of SEO don’t actually mean to claim that it is completely done. What they mean that the way we traditionally performed SEO in the past no longer applies. At one point, for instance, it was popular for SEO websites to declare that SEO was dead, and that content marketing was taking its place. The aim with content marketing has always been to make a website or blog rise up in Google search rankings. Content marketing is a different SEO technique, not an SEO replacement.
SEO is not a sub-zero game.
A 2013 article in The Guardian, named SEO Is Dead. Long Live Social Media Optimization, tried to prove the death of SEO with hard facts. It asserted that while 75 percent of all searches used to be on search engines, it only had 50 percent now. Instead, searches on social media were eating into the share of the search pie that used to belong to search engines.
The problem with this assertion is that it assumes that Internet searching is a zero-sum game, meaning there are only so many searches possible, and either search engines or social media can get a share. This isn’t true because people perform search engine searches and social searches for distinctly different reasons. They go to social media to discover things, and choose search engines when they are close to actually buying.
Like content marketing, social media SEO with search in mind is simply a different SEO technique. People are searching on search engines as much as they always have, and performing new searches on social media, in addition. This is why search marketing will always be relevant.
SEO still matters, especially with new product launches.
One area where SEO continues to be a powerful influence is with new product launches. What many marketers are realizing is that the success or failure of a new product depends on applying SEO techniques at each crucial phase of the product launching process. Instead of using it as an add-on to traditional advertising methods, SEO should be in the forefront of the marketing equation.
The time to consider all the facets of successful SEO is during the planning phase. Here’s how to integrate SEO from the beginning, so you will be able to make an impression at the most favorable time:
- Start with Your Server and Website Speed – Google now uses website loading speed as one of its metrics when ranking websites, make sure your website loads fast to help your SEO. Hosting also plays a significant role in your website SEO, because hosting server uptime and server stability are also key to your website’s SEO.
- Don’t Just Look at Your Landing Page – Use your website design to turn visitors into new product buyers by considering that much search engine traffic will drop them on your sub-pages, instead. Leverage design, text and graphics to lure visitors to your new product.
- SEO for URL – Search engines analyze the keywords in your website URLs, but they also have a high technical impact if you have to change them later. Give optimized names to all website products or services, as well as subfolders and subdomains. This means you will need to pre-plan your URL related specs in the early stages of development. URL rewrites can cause a host of Google problems, and coding problems and duplicate content will damage your SEO.
- Structure Internal Links – Search engines crawl your site by following the links on it. Google also looks at how many links point to a specific site, and also looks at the number of links which point to specific pages within your site. A product launch that takes this into account by using a strong internal linking strategy that leads to your new product page gives you valuable SEO points. You will gain rank on search engine pages and take advantage of traffic for your product launch.
- SEO Test Often – If you add new products, content, programming or cross-links to your website on a regular basis, you will want to do regular SEO testing and analysis to remove junk, like old pages and dead links, as well as test and duplicate content, which can slow down your site and drop your SEO rankings like a rock.
Is SEO dead? Not at all. It has evolved and picked up some new tools along the way, like content marketing and social media search. What smart marketers need to do is evolve right along with it, so they can get the best ROI that SEO has to offer them today.
For the past several years, Alex has been on the top of all things SEO. His clients have included some of the most successful brands in the health and fitness industry. He has worked side by side with the “who’s who” of the business world since 2007.