We’ve heard the chatter for years. “Social media will replace SEO,” the experts have said. “Is SEO even a thing?” the pundits have asked. Then, the ever-famous proclamation that “SEO is dead!!” that makes its way into the titles of so many blog posts year after year after year. In fact, if you type “is SEO” into Google right now you’ll find yourself provided with a whole slew of autocomplete phrases that cast doubt on whether SEO is even relevant at all. My name is Chris Berton, and I am the Director of SEO at Megaphone Pro Solutions and here’s my take.
First of all, I know what you’re thinking… “dude, you work in the SEO industry, of course you’re going to say it matters.” You might view me as Steve Jobs contemplating buying an iPhone, but if you’ll read this blog until the end, you’ll see how my career, and my overall take on SEO has evolved over time.
My digital journey began when I found myself drawn to web design in the early 2000’s. The thought of helping people take their ideas and creating something from scratch for others to benefit from seemed very fulfilling to me. Over time, that “fulfillment” began to fade as I watched client after client be underwhelmed by the amount of traffic that would visit their website.
I’ve always been a big fan of design and functionality, but time after time I’ve experienced that although important, those 2 features alone aren’t enough to ensure a successful website. It was the feeling of “letting my clients down” that led me to dig deeper into the next step into my journey of marketing/SEO.
You see, I learned over time that when clients would hire me saying “I want a website” what they were actually saying was “I want a website, and I want lots of people to see it!!”. This realization led me to seek ways to help my clients after the launch of their site. I’ll never forget my very first day of going back to school to dive deeper into digital marketing and SEO in particular, I heard my professor say:
“Building a website, is like building a beautiful structure in the middle of the woods. As awesome as it may be, would you realistically expect people to just stumble upon it? Absolutely not!! You would need to get the word out. That is where Marketing and SEO come into play. Marketing and SEO are what builds the roads, draws the maps and puts up road signs along the way, allowing people to discover you.”
Fast forward from those days to now and I can honestly say without a doubt that expanding my knowledge of marketing, especially SEO, has helped me provide better service for my clients and I’ve helped them achieve measurable success with their projects. Beyond the typical KPIs such as sessions, bounce rate, conversions, etc., I think of some of the more unique situations that I have ran into over the years where I have been able to help a client.
Situations such as:
- A client found true love and wanted to move his established service business hundreds of miles away so he could be with his spouse. We were able to help him navigate the full transition from his web presence to his 5 star reviews to his Google My Business listing and we even helped his business rank on Page 1 on quite a few competitive keywords within just a few weeks of his business moving to the new city.
- One client had his home phone and home physical address listed on his business’s Google My Business profile as his business address. His profile also noted that his business was “open 24 hours”. This made for some very interesting late-night phone calls to his home phone! Helping this client resolve that issue helped bring peace to his home. Happy wife, happy life!!
- Another client primarily sold 2 lines of products. The first product line was spelled out in his website’s domain name, as the product itself was part of his company’s name. So, in terms of this client’s digital presence, it was almost as if the second product line didn’t even exist. Helping them find ways to be found and tap into a whole new customer base has helped them grow the second product line. As an SEO specialist, helping a client effectively market new product lines is a rewarding feeling.
- Helping a client who was known locally for an established product line scale their business to include an additional product line that now reaches a broader, international customer base was my first attempt at international SEO. Seeing the incoming orders flowing in from across the globe was super fun to watch, not only for our client but also for me.
The stories go on and on but in summary, allow me to break it down like this: Google is here to stay, PERIOD!! Even if by some stretch of the imagination another search engine were to come along and dethrone the “Sultans of Search” there will always be a need for effective methods to being found on whichever site is serving up the latest, piping-hot SERPs. So, in my humble opinion, the following rings true and will remain to ring true for a long, long, loooooooooong time:
- As long as… technology is here, people will want content to consume.
- As long as… there is content to consume, users will need to find their desired content.
- As long as… users are looking for content, there will need to be a way to categorize the content.
- As long as… there’s a need for categorization, there will need to be a way to access the results.
- As long as… people need a way to access the results, there will need to be a platform to search.
- And finally, as long as… there’s a platform that provides results, content creators will need a way to get their content listed and seen.
To summarize all that into one sentence it’s this…. as long as there’s an “SE” (search engine) there’ll need to be someone to provide the “O” (optimization).
So, the answer to the original question posed in the title is unequivocally YES, SEO IS RELEVANT IN 2021, 2022, 2023 and on and on and on!
Director of SEO
Megaphone Pro Solutions