For those in the industry, we have seen SEO change and evolve a lot over the past few years. Some of the newest updates include the Multitask United Model, Page Experience Update, and Helpful Content updates. All of these updates changed how we interact with and view search results.
Google Reigns Supreme
According to Oberlo, Google is not only the most visited website in the world with an average of 89.3 billion visits per month, but it processes an average of 8.5 billion searches per day (visits in this case are unique visitors). Not only that, but when compared to other search engines, Google receives just about 92% of all total search queries worldwide. The second most popular search engine, Bing, receives about 3% of all total searches – an astoundingly big difference. The numbers do not lie; people still rely on Google Search, and as long as Google continues to reign, SEO will never die. But, just like Google Search, SEO needs to constantly change to keep up with the times and how user behavior itself changes. Not only that, but SEO is so much more than just search engine results, which we’ll get into momentarily.
You may have noticed, but search results can often depend on our physical location at the time of the search. The best example of this are searches that include ‘near me’, such as ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘pharmacies near me’. However, other searches are also location dependent, including searches for informative articles and blogs. And speaking of blogs, there are around 600 million blogs on the internet. That number of course includes all the blog topics possible (food, travel, home improvement, lawn care, etc.), but the point is that, just like with nearly everything else, blogs are never unique. There are almost always multiple blogs written on the same subject. So how do you stand out from the crowd?
Your Audience Matters
One way to stand out is by tailoring your content to your audience. If you know that your audience doesn’t care about the history of the lawn mower, then don’t include that information in your article about spring lawn mowing tips. The more you can speak directly to your target base and provide them the exact information they are seeking out, then the more likely they will continue to return to your site while even growing your audience. And, for those that don’t think that people read blogs anymore, according to WP Dev Shed, around 80% of all internet users read blogs on a regular basis. So having a consistent blog schedule that posts out relative and useful information is still incredibly important for any business.
What does this have to do with SEO? A lot, actually. SEO is so much more than making your website rank in the search results. It is about providing useful content that people want to consume. Not only that, but the more often you update your website with new content, the more likely Google will rank your website higher in the results. This of course includes posting blogs. Also, please keep in mind that the quality of the writing truly does matter. AI is nearly everywhere these days, and while you can use AI to help you garner ideas for writing your blogs, you should never rely on AI to actually write your content for you. Not only can Google recognize AI content, but human readers can as well. If people come to realize that your content is written by AI, they will lose trust in your business and you will lose your authoritative power.
The Influence of Social Media
As we discussed in our previous article, the younger generations use social media very differently than the rest of us. They are using social media as a search engine, which means that they are finding their information strictly through social media without using Google or another traditional search engine. While the stats we provided above about Google’s usage is impressive, we can expect the number of searches per month from Google to steadily decrease as more and more people turn to social media. This means that social media is one of the most powerful tools you can use to attract and maintain clients. Your SEO strategies absolutely need to extend into social media. This means posting videos, images, and content that you know your audience will engage with that will lead them back to your website or online store.
The Rise of Zero-Click Content
One of the new trends in SEO is called zero-click content.There are lots of examples of different types of zero-click content, such as answers that appear in Google and various social media strategies. An example of social media content being zero-click includes an Instagram carousel where each slide provides a story or information about a product. Users are reading and consuming content without actually clicking on anything. Another example is seen in the screenshot below where we searched for ‘zero click content’ on Google:
In the screenshot, you can see that one of the toggles has been opened to display more information. While we technically needed to click on the toggle to expand it, this still counts as zero-click content as we can read those blurbs from those websites without ever clicking into the website itself.
The obvious issue with zero-click content is that it is largely untrackable. For social media, people can read carousels or content on the post without ever liking or commenting, so the account that posted that info likely gets far more engagement than they know about. While video can be considered zero-click content, views can still be tracked, which makes it better for analytics than text. As for zero-click content in the search engines, this can take away clicks and visits into websites if people are able to learn all the information they need by just reading the blurbs.
While some may see this as a bad thing, this new trend is something that should be embraced. Even if someone reads a blurb that you provided to Google, that person is still engaging with your content. While they may not show up in your analytics, by providing that content, you are still communicating that you are an expert on the topic. So when it comes time for the person to read up even more on the subject, they may remember that you provided them with their initial information, which may take them to your website to learn more.
SEO will Always Matter
While SEO really has changed a lot over the past few years, and is subject to even more changes in 2024, saying that SEO is dead is a misconception. And those that do think that SEO is dead and stop doing any sort of SEO work will be missing out on engaging with new customers and clients. Just by performing simple and organic SEO tactics, you will stand above those who don’t do anything at all.
So, between targeting your ideal audience to creating engaging and meaningful social media posts and zero-click content, SEO is morphing into many different forms. Even if the term ‘Search Engine Optimization’ eventually gets phased out for other terms, it will all boil down to the same basic concept of findability.
If you want to learn more about the various SEO strategies Blue Zenith can implement for your business, schedule a free consultation today.