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The question arises from time to time and probably in 2023 is coming up because of the advent of Ai.
Artificial intelligence – in the high-profile form of chat GPT from Open.ai – is seen as a threat to the dominance of Google.
This idea somehow transforms into the idea that SEO is dead.
Ok, let’s start with some hard numbers: There are 4.99 billion pages on the internet. In the UK nearly the entire population has access to the internet and this number is only going to get bigger according to Statista. 62.86 million people access the internet in the UK and 50 million of them use Google sites for an average of 47 minutes per day.
According to Oberlo, Google processes 8.5 billion searches every day.
So we can therefore say with confidence that SEO is alive and well in the sense that being found correctly by the right people at the right time is still vital if you want to feature in the incredible figures above.
What matters in answering this question isn’t what technology is around but what the result is for the people doing the searching.
You will want to find the right endpoint for your search – the page that helps the most.
Do you care who gives you that information? Do you care what technology is involved?
For the foreseeable future, you will ask Google. To be found on Google you’ll need to be optimised for SEO.
Ai will have an impact on some areas – notably the content production side but it will be part of SEO, not a killer.
In this case, you’ll still need to do precisely the same things, follow the same rules and have the same ethos.
Any new company that comes in (I’m looking at you, Bing – with your ChatGPT connection) will follow broadly the same ideas because they are rules which help people find what they want.
So not only is SEO in rude good health, but it will also certainly continue to be so.
Now I’m going to be clear here that I am not addressing the lovely SEO experts who have to stay alert to changes which happen at an unbelievable rate. The Google algorithm changes almost daily and major updates happen regularly across each year. Good luck, folks!
For business owners and content managers, it is about being aware of the big picture and the major trends rather than the minute detail which your SEO experts in-house or in an agency will keep abreast of.
There is far more content on most subjects on the Internet than people need. This example for greyhounds shows the issue: there are over 26 million pieces of content on the topic of greyhound food but only 110 searches every month in the USA.
How do you stand out?
The concepts that follow in this article will help you stand out from the crowd. The key here is simply to understand that SEO techniques are how you will stand out and therefore the idea that SEO is dead is completely wrong!
It is quite likely that you have recently done a search on Google and being presented with the answer on the Google page rather than having to visit a website page.
You may see a snippet from another site will be presented with key information such as the weather right on the Google page.
How can you find yourself on Google’s pages?
Make sure your content includes questions and answers which are clearly marked up for Google to encourage it to feature a snippet from your page on their results page.
Previously people would tend to use social media to discover solutions and new things and Google to go ahead and buy them. To a great degree, this has swapped around as this interesting case study from Olay shows.
The team at Olay realised how people were using Google to find solutions to problems not to be interrupted by ads for products they did not yet have the desire to buy.
They flipped their strategy from pure ads to sharing solutions that genuinely helped people.
The results speak for themselves with an 87% increase in clicks and 100% increase in sales on the website.
As a business owner or a marketing lead your main task is to keep the whole organisation focused on the essentials for SEO success.
Most organisations do not get the basics right instead jump immediately to paying for search clicks or some new technology that’s going to do all the work.
They waste money and make only Google rich.
Above all else, your content should be aimed at building your trustworthiness. We buy from people we trust. (We should also know and like them, but those two things follow trust).
Google ranks content on the basis of expertise experience authority and trust and these are covered in more detail in this article on content.[link]
Google is looking at the following points when it judges your content:
A good question to ask here: Can you tick off all four points if you’re relying on Ai writers?
It is worth noting that any article you publish should be published by a named individual with a link from their name to a page with their details and links to their other work and any bio or social profiles.
Equally, if you have a website built around fishing content then your authority to discuss the best shares to buy is non-existent and so you’ll never rank for it.
The most powerful framework you can use to create your content is explained by Marcus Sheridan in his book: ‘They Ask You Answer.’
Too many companies engage in ostrich marketing in which they hide from the real questions people are asking. These companies hope that people will get in touch to give them a chance to explain face to face all the difficult questions but of course, they never get the call because unless you are answering them in your content then Google will not send people to see your site.
Discover how a remarkable couple changed everything I thought I knew about inbound marketing
No matter how great your content, how trustworthy, how authoritative and how it hits the right keywords there is simply no success to be had without creating new content regularly.
Your target should be 3 new items every week forever.
This is based on solid empirical evidence from the likes of HubSpot. It is clearly hard to achieve unless you have a dedicated content manager and indeed that is one of the central components of our content coaching programmes here at the Ambitions Agency.
We support you in the hiring and training of a content manager because without one it is hard to hit three articles a week and hard to see the explosive growth that you deserve.
SEO is far from dead in 2023. Companies around the world – including your competition – are investing time and money in making sure they rise to the top of the content pile.
Websites with a great SEO profile are bought and sold for large amounts of money every day because knowledgeable investors see solid future revenue streams these sites provide.
Should I outsource my SEO?
A marketing leader or business owner should take it upon themselves to gain as much knowledge of SEO as they can, but it is important to note that they will find it impossible to spend enough time and to learn as much detail as is required to truly master it. Therefore at least part of the work should be outsourced to a specialist who can keep up with the latest techniques required in SEO.
See this video for the three big questions to ask when considering insourcing versus outsourcing.
Is SEO changing in 2023?
The fundamentals of SEO will never change because they revolve around the idea of producing useful trustworthy informative content.
The old days of deceiving Google with articles stuffed with keywords on a website without any real authority are long gone.
Google is far too clever to be fooled and this is due to the fact that it relies on watching how people respond to your content.
SEO is changing, however, and will always change as new techniques become available and the Google algorithm changes. A good SEO expert isn’t just great at understanding Google but is great at explaining to you the website owner how to maximise your impact in this changing environment.
At The Ambitions Agency our ethos revolves around growing your knowledge and helping you be as self-reliant as possible while our digital experts use their skills and experience to drive all your website pages towards page one of Google.
A free digital audit is a great way to get started.