The definitive answer is a resounding “YES! Absolutely!” But search engine leaders like Google can at times seem to be helping both clear and muddy the waters simultaneously I circled up with MoFuse’s team of SEO experts for some Q&A.
Have additional questions? Just post them in the Comments section!
Q1: Is SEO still relevant? Is Search still relevant?
A1: This is a question we hear time and again, and the answer continues to be a firm “Yes!” and “Yes!” to both questions. Research shows that 67.2% of mobile consumers use search as their primary resource to find businesses. (Source: Mediative report, “Spotlight On Local Mobile Consumer Search Behavior”)
It’s so important to make sure your site is easily found in searches. Your site can’t work for you, if you’re not driving traffic to it. You won’t drive traffic to it, if people can’t find it.
So the net is that nothing has changed in terms of relevancy of SEO and search – it’s still the most powerful driver of your online presence – but what has changed are the core principles and fundamentals that go into the ranking process.
Q2: Google has recently changed their approach to search engine rankings, and how they are measuring website relevancy. Is this something a local business should be concerned about?
A2: First, Google revises and updates their algorithms frequently. A quick Google search online will showcase 3-5 significant ranking methods changes that have been implemented in the past few years alone. For a small business, this just means that the science behind driving business via their web presence is continuing to evolve. It doesn’t mean that what you do today will not matter tomorrow, it just means that search engines like Google evolve and over timeplace priority on different things. Even though certain actions that used to be weighted more may not have the significance that they used to (like keywords), there remain certain cornerstones that should never go out of style, like site content.
Q3: What are the most important things a business should focus on SEO-wise?
A3: Content, content, content. Oh! And content. Did I remember to mention content?
Search engines prioritize actual content (copy/text, links, blog comments, etc) above all else. We don’t recommend including everything and the kitchen sink, but you need to focus developing the Who, What and Whys of your business and offering, while targeting keywords and monitoring keyword density across the site.
Boosting website content with customer testimonials, service or product listings, and incorporating a blog also add great SEO value.
Next to content, effective page titles and page descriptions are key to supporting your SEO.
You can also read more about this in our article: “MoFuse FAQ: SEO Basics”
Q4: Is SEO an on-going commitment, or can businesses approach it as a ‘fire and forget’ solution?
A4: You can get a great boost with a one-time set-it approach, but there is also an on-going aspect that shouldn’t be ignored.
Businesses need to keep a constant eye on the keywords that you should be targeting. Another important task is to keep working to engage customers with fresh and up-to-date content. Promoting the website via social media is also an excellent way to do this, as is being an active (and relevant!) blog commenter.
Q5: Businesses have limited time, so which is more important? Search or Social Media?
A5: We don’t think of these as separate things! SEO strategies should include having a strong social presence. Remember, content is key, and social media makes it easy to keep a constant stream of fresh, relevant content.
Q6: Competitively speaking, how can a business most effectively approach SEO to create a competitive advantage?
A6: There are two key areas.
For those that haven’t invested the time yet, you need to understand what your core values are, and then identify the keywords that are important to your business. For a small business, these are typically determined by your product or service offering, location, and the number of people searching for those particular keywords on search engines (That is, the more people that are using a certain keyword or term to reach your website, that’s a keyword that you’ll want to prioritize. ). The key take away is to target your audience using SEO.
The second area is measurement. When we talk about analytics or metrics for SEO, we’re talking about using data to better understand what is working, and what isn’t. At minimum, businesses should be monitoring their search ranking, site traffic, referring web pages and links, and kewords.