Reverse the Decline in Your Organic SEO Impact

by Jenna Sindle

Digital Series, Part Three of Three.

Welcome to the third installment of  Modern Marketing Today’s digital series. This three article collection focuses on the latest statistics, trends and tactics with popular digital marketing tools and tech. In today’s article we’re talking organic SEO impact.

Previous articles observed marketing automation trends and challenges and common mistakes marketers are marking with WordPress.
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In today’s digital world search engine optimization is not optional. If you want your business and content to be visible you must dedicate time and effort to mastering evolving SEO tactics.

A whopping seventy percent of links clicked are organic, meaning that you can generate a million social posts but the majority of people will still find your content through a search engine. You want to make sure that your website or content dominates the front page search results among your target audience.

Sixty-six percent of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top 2016 inbound marketing priority. However, there has also been a lot of talk this year, particularly among B2B marketers, of a noticeable decline in organic SEO impact. There are many reasons marketers may be seeing a decline, from content irrelevance to slow site speed.

Below, Eldon Marr, Director of Digital Media, and TJ Deaver, Digital Associate, both with Strategic Communications Group, discuss organic SEO impact and steps you can take to boost SEO effectiveness in the current climate.

Why is effective SEO so crucial?

Eldon Marr, Director of Digital Media, Strategic Communications Group

Eldon Marr, Director of Digital Media, Strategic Communications Group

Eldon:

Keep up with competitors

Most people use search engines first and foremost when looking for solutions and if you are not included in the results with your competitors you won’t stand a chance.

Make an impression

I think of it like a car dealership; a car salesman who waits for a buyer to walk through the door is likely to make considerably less sales than the one who is waiting in the parking lot ready to help customers find what they are looking for.

Build trust

Effective SEO can also help to build trust over time. If your site shows up in similar searchers over and over again you begin to build a rapport with whoever is executing the search and they are more likely to become regular visitors who eventually bypass search all together.

Low cost

SEO is an extremely low cost way to market your content to your target audience.

It’s always on

People are online searching all the time. Whether they’re in bed ready to go to sleep or sipping a cup of coffee getting ready to start the day.

Longevity

Top search results for most queries don’t normally change quickly. If you are a top search result it’s likely to stay that way for some time. Most results are able to maintain their ranks for months and in some cases even years.

 

Is the impact of organic SEO actually declining?

Eldon: I wouldn’t say that the impact of SEO is declining; It’s the effectiveness of the traditional tactics that are losing their impact on search results. There is less focus on the use of keywords and much more value placed on the overall usefulness of the actual content.

This means that search engines are not only looking to find a match for the search string, but also looking at factors such as how long users stay on a site and how many additional pages are clicked. Search results also calculate usefulness based on the amount of backlinks there are to a site from other sites with a recent emphasis on social media presence.

TJ:  Marketers may see a decline in organic search with the rapid rise of mobile. Mobile search is growing at an incredible pace while desktop search remains stagnant, as evidenced by this Comscore graph.comscore-seo

In fact, mobile now counts for the majority of all searches on Google. So what does that mean? It means that if your site is not properly optimized for mobile you will see a dramatic decline in organic search and visitors.

seo-southpark

 

What can marketers do to make sure their SEO is effective in the current climate?

Eldon: The most effective way to increase site traffic is also the most difficult: Get the right people to link to your content. Since Panda 4.0, Google has placed emphasis on ranking pages higher based on the amount of credible backlinks your site has from other trusted, high-ranking sites. This can be difficult to achieve without spamming comment sections and appearing self promotional. It’s best to approach this as mutually beneficial relationship by reaching out to similar sites and developing real relationships where content is shared and links are exchanged appropriately.

tj

TJ Deaver, Digital Associate, Strategic Communications Group

TJ: Effective SEO is crucial to the success of a website and it’s difficult to predict what the next big SEO trend will be. However, there are a few SEO trends marketers can utilize to stay ahead of the curve as we head into 2017 .

Think social.

Content from social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) continues to gain importance on SERPs (search engine results page) and it’s no doubt search engines will begin to index even more social media content. Doing so will really begin to blur the lines between “web” and “social media” when it comes to SEO strategies. To take advantage of the rise of social media, marketers should be using their valuable social content to optimize websites for maximum visibility.

Videos rule.

We all know that videos are a great way to engage and entertain viewers. But many fail to see how using enough videos can improve your SERP rankings. Next to social media pages, videos are often at the top of your search results. Note that the only way to appear on SERPs is by uploading your videos to YouTube, it’s important that Google is able to find your video content.

Don’t Let Load Times Drag You Down.

Google has indicated site speed is one of the criteria for page rankings. Page speed is vital to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times often result in fewer conversions and fewer visitors.

google-seo

Google’s ongoing work on PageSpeed tools shows their commitment to speed.

 

Here are some of the many ways to increase your page speed:

  • Leverage browser caching: Browsers cache a lot of information (stylesheets, images, JavaScript files, and more) so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page. There are many services and plugins available to help marketers leverage browser caching. Google has more information about leveraging caching here.
  • Improve server response time: Your server response time is affected by the amount of traffic your site brings in, the hosting solution you utilize, the software your server uses, and the resources pages use. To improve your server response time, look for performance bottlenecks such as slow database queries, slow routing, or a lack of adequate memory; all these can cause slow server response times. The optimal server response time is under 200ms.
  • Optimize images: Make sure that your images are no larger than they need to be and that they are compressed for the web. It’s also important to remember to use the correct file types: PNGs are generally better for graphics, vectors, and simple drawings with less than 16 colors while JPEGs are best suited for photographs.

To sum up, you must prepare yourself to expand your social media presence, embrace the rise of mobile search, utilize video in your content and decrease site load time. Every marketer knows that a good ranking ultimately leads to strong influence and adds to your brand name. Don’t miss out on a good ranking because you refuse to employ these tactics.