Has SEO become too complicated?

Feb 7, 2020 by
Has SEO become too complicated?

As marketers, we’re constantly being told that “SEO is changing” – but is it really? Yes, Google’s algorithm is always shifting the goalposts and yes, it’s now commonplace for many SEOs to spend as much time running tests and experiments as actual content creating. But are we overcomplicating it?

Chasing trends

One of the worst things we can do is to overreact to new trends or a ranking fluctuation. SEO is often something that has to take its time to work and if we’re perpetually second-guessing ourselves and changing the foundations in hopes of not being left behind then we’re never going to be able to give it the time it needs.

We’re not saying to just sit back and rest on your laurels, of course, but there is surely something to be said for sticking with what works and what has always worked is great content.

Content rules

That right there is perhaps the most overused phrase in all of online marketing. But that doesn’t make it any less true. What is a site without content but a pretty husk? The better the content, the more visitors it will attract, and the more leads you’ll gain.

Keyword research certainly plays an important part here, of course, but it needs to align with content that is genuine, interesting and relevant to your intended audience. Everything else is just window dressing.

As far as keywords go, try to get as niche and specific as possible and you’ll end up attracting the consumers who are genuinely in you and your offering. This will have an exponential effect in building your site’s reputation and, conversely, it’s ranking.

Link’s awakening

Nerdy reference notwithstanding, links are the other half of the equation here and they are perhaps a little trickier for those of us who came to the marketing world from the ‘creative’ end of the spectrum. 

Link building, however, is not rocket science.  You don’t need to learn much programming and you don’t really need to understand much in the way of how algorithms work. You just need to put in the groundwork.

The best way to build links is still to identify the pages you feel are worthy of being linked to and manually message site owners to acquire backlinks. Many different tools can be used to make the process more efficient but the essence is all about reaching out and making connections the old fashioned way (so to speak).

When it comes to selecting pages, meanwhile, don’t just focus on the things you’re trying to sell as Google will see through this. Focus on pages that are useful, unique and (above all else) entertaining. And never forget the size of the potential audience.

SEO is not dead and it’s not as complicated as many people perhaps think it is. It’s just evolved into something more flexible and more durable. Social media is an incredibly important part of any modern SEO campaign, for example, but this should just be seen as another avenue for outreach. Mobile too has changed the way SEO functions, with Google now ranking mobile sites first.

The fundamentals, however,  have not changed and if anyone tells you otherwise (or that “SEO is too difficult these days.”) then just remember that no matter how hard it might seem, there’s always something new to try. As such, it’s great to make sure you do a little light reading on the subject every once in a while. Ignore the scaremongers and always remember that traffic is more important than rankings.