Is SEO Worth The Cost & Still Relevant in 2018? Absolutely!

WHY? Because people search for information, products, directions and more in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, and Pinterest. If your business does not show up in the results for the products you sell or the service you offer, you will miss out on lots of potential customers.

So how do you show up in the search results? You need to invest in optimizing your website for those searches, the best way to get found online is with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It can  be the difference between attracting lots of traffic to your website or being invisible among the billions of other sites on the Internet.

Just because you have a website it does not mean people can find it, you need to have a strategy in place, preferably before the site was built. That strategy is SEO.

Internet search on Google from a laptop

Is SEO worth the investment of time and money?

When you run paid Google ads, Facebook ads and Instagram ads it can become costly but you’ll see results of your investment immediately – whether it is visits to your website, products purchased, impressions or reach. However, once you stop paying for the ads those results stop too.

SEO is a long term strategy that is basically free. It requires time and energy to implement and may take 4 to 6 months to deliver results, but those results are long lasting.

If I post lots of quality content on my website do I still need SEO?

Spending time and money on creating content is wasted if no one ever sees it. Some marketers believe that as long as you post good content on your website, SEO doesn’t matter. While quality content is still king and great for building customer trust and getting users to want to visit your site, it won’t be found on its own. You still need an SEO strategy in place so users can find it.

Website content, online marketing, SEO, flow chart on a Tablet

Are keywords still relevant in SEO?

In 2018, keywords are still relevant to ranking well in the search engines. Successful SEO campaigns begin with keyword research using Google Keyword Planner, Keyword ToolUbersuggest, and SEMrush, to pinpoint keywords and phrases that people search online to discover your business.

Keyword research information helps you to create great content pages on your website that attract traffic so you get more customers.  The more relevant your keywords, the more qualified your traffic will be, meaning their intent to buy something or hire your services will be stronger.

Unnatural use of keywords will harm your website

Gone are the days of keyword stuffing, you need a good SEO person (like me!) who knows how to discover relevant keywords and knows how to properly use them in a natural way.

Google and other search engines cannot read and understand content like human beings, but they can tell when you are using certain words and phrases solely to improve your ranking. The best way to avoid being penalized for this is by integrating your keywords naturally.

Focus on conversational keywords

Focus on longer, more specific phrases that are highly relevant to your business. Think not only of phrases that people might type into Google but also phrases they might speak into voice-activated speakers, such as  Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Home. Read this article from Google Trends; 5 Ways Voice Assistance is Shaping Consumer Behavior. The graph below shows what users of voice assistants want from brands, so make sure you address all of these wants on your website.   Google Trends image 5 ways voice assistance is changing search behavior

Google graph showing voice assistance trends and what consumers want from brands

These long-tail keywords and phrases will require some time to discover but can attract visitors who want exactly what you offer.

keyword-long-tail-competition

How many keywords are people typing or saying when searching?

Ahrefs discovered that one-word keywords account for only 2.8% of all the keywords people search for (in the United States) and 96.54% of all search queries in the US have less than 50 searches per month. Look at this cool pie chart from ahrefs

Keyword length distribution pie chart from AHrefs

User Intent and SEO vs Facebook Ads

Its important to consider the users intent when they’re online. Someone who is searching for a product will have completely different intentions to someone who discovers a product.

When someone searches for a product or service on Google, they’re much more likely to buy or hire.

Whereas, when you target your ideal customer with an ad on their Facebook timeline or Instagram feed, you are crossing your fingers hoping the person who discovers/sees your ad will impulse buy your product.

What if I don’t use SEO in 2018?

SEO is an ongoing effort that you need to stay on top of. Don’t run the risk of losing your top-ranking search results because that will only send business to your competitors.

If you have budget to spend and your product or service is a good fit, then using Facebook and/or Instagram Ads certainly worthwhile. In fact, test as many strategies as your budget allows to discover which ones work best for you.

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