Importance of SEO: Why is Search Engine Optimization Important?

The question “What do you do?” can become a little convoluted as an SEO professional. We have an ongoing duty to explain SEO to the world. You can see lights come on in the faces of folks who have never thought about how things end up where they do the search engine results pages (SERPs). Some people immediately see the prospective benefits and importance of SEO, while others assume what we do is creepy, like social listening ads. 

Beyond the clear implications that SEO helps you rank higher in search results and garner more visibility online, excellent search engine optimization gives the user what they need. As SEOs, we must evolve beyond digital marketing to live and breathe service. We must do our work to serve that person on the other side of the screen and trust that we will be rewarded for our efforts. 

As SEOs, we also have an ongoing duty to the public. It is integral that the info we produce is helpful to humans and optimized for search engines. No one likes it when they land on a keyword-stuffed, jumbled post that has just worked to tick the boxes for Google. Depending on your industry, you could be harming the user. As machine learning gets more complex, these will inevitably be phased out.

So, while the volatility in the SERPs that was par for the course in 2023 was painful, it keeps the search results fair. The Big G isn’t trying to harm our mental health and well-being, despite it feeling that way at times. Frankly, Google is trying to get people to use its product more, so the more you can help the person on the other side of that screen, the more you will be rewarded. 

Future Proofing Your SEO Career – Discoverability and Visibility

The digital landscape grows more dynamic by the day. If you have worked in SEO these past few years, you may have whiplash from the breakneck speed of all algorithm updates. Given the nature of search, we must all learn to evolve constantly.

New search engines and voice assistants emerge while existing platforms continuously update their algorithms and features. While the dynamic nature of this beast may make some question if SEO is sustainable, its growing presence in organic search builds trust.

Many people now say that the importance of SEO is waning. 

That search engines are becoming a thing of the past. It is being said that SEO efforts are a waste of marketing resources.

Organic traffic still results in greater trust. SEO helps build long-term equity for your brand. As the industry morphs into optimizing for mentions and links in generative AI results, it may be more about visibility and discoverability than website traffic. The keywords we target for Search Generative Experience (SGE) will likely be long tail. Now more than ever, we must do our homework and add content to the page with the user in mind.

The main benefit to SEO is that it helps you attain visibility for search queries organically, so whether we are doing that for Google, Bing, YouTube, TikTok, SGE, or whatever, there will be a demand for the skillset we have built as SEOs. We must learn to sell our skills as the ability to maximize discoverability and visibility will be vital in future-proofing our careers. 

We will certainly have to rethink KPIs and what we consider SEO success. Yes, it indeed supports content marketing. If you produce the best piece of content ever, it hardly matters if no one will see it. It all begins with making sure your site is discoverable by search engines. 

We can connect with the user right when they seek knowledge, which makes SEO important. Beyond generating more quality leads for your business or gaining conversions, SEO is important because, with enough knowledge and ingenuity, it is a game anyone could play. 

The unique thing about SEO is it has been close to free historically. You don’t need to be Forbes to get on the front page. With so many sites pumping out AI-optimized content, adding additional detail like excellent UX design or off-page optimization is essential. 

Search Engine Optimization Marketing Efforts Throughout the Ages

When we think about the history of search engines, this discipline is still relatively young. If you watched the Hulu series Pam and Tommy, you could see how rudimentary the discipline was in the mid-90s.

Fortunes were made by affiliate marketers gaming the system. SEOs have exploited every hack and crack, which will likely never change. This is evidenced by the recent spam attack and prevalence of parasite SEO as people exploit Google’s preference for sites like Reddit after a recent algorithm update. If we can hack it, it will be hacked. 

Fast forwarding to modern times, the space is rife with ever-increasing competition. 

If you have been an SEO professional in 2023, you know just how volatile the space can be. With the rise of Search Generative Experience (SGE), the rocky waves of the future are unlikely to calm down anytime soon. The SGE results are largely different from those in the regular SERP so that a different algorithm may govern these results. 

All that being said, for businesses trying to connect with their audience online, search engine optimization (SEO) sits at the crux of their success. 

For newer brands, when a customer sees your brand name on search engine results pages (SERPs) as they investigate and seek answers, it adds validity and trust that you are an expert.

SEO is what drives people to your website when they type in questions related to the goods or services you offer. It is your opportunity to meet them where they are, and at the precise moment, they seek an answer to their problem, for which you may be a perfect fit. It brings your brand visibility within the first pages of Google results.

For many companies today, being discoverable online through strategic SEO makes or breaks their growth. SEO is important, but it is certainly not getting easier.

Change Management in Search Engine Optimization

That’s why staying on top of the ever-evolving world of SEO is so critical. Building a more robust digital presence is beyond cultivating visibility online; it is crucial to building your brand. 

While the fundamental goals of SEO remain steady, to boost authority, improve relevance, and provide value to users, SEO tactics and best practices shift rapidly as technology advances.

In SEO, if you are not staying ahead of the game, you are falling behind. 

At one point, after a major update in 2022, I was forced to massively update my SEO strategy. We had taken a painful hit and lost ground on many important keywords. 

I shifted efforts to focus on creating meaningful content for the user while deemphasizing off-page SEO, which had been quite fruitful in 2022. We were reworking backlink strategies to strictly focus on digital PRā€”refining and being laser-focused on high-quality content.

At this point, one member of my staff was dumbfounded. She asked, “You mean that activities you do each day just all changed? Just like that?”

Yes, yes, they did. 

It can be painful, but as SEOs, we need to learn to pivot on a dime if the tactics and strategies employed stop working.

It is challenging because, as we see SEO marketing strategies being taught in the university, it imparts that vision that this might be a concrete discipline. 

All the while, change is the only constant if you practice SEO. As we learn to decode the black box that is this Google search algorithm, there are massive ups and downs that accompany this. We need to be in good management of ourselves if we plan to weather the storm. SEO is a long game, if we wanted quick wins we would have chosen PPC. 

Keeping up need not be an arduous task. Seek like-minded people who also keep up with trends, news, tactics, and strategies. 

Different things work on different sites and vary wildly, sometimes in the same niche. Decoding the algorithm is vastly different in a competitive landscape such as ecommerce vs some smaller local service sites. Focusing on local long tail keywords can provide easy wins depending on the niche. 

Understand the SEO services you can provide and how to subscribe to a school of thought on this subject. Talk to others who understand the purposes SEO can serve beyond traffic and revenue. Discuss trends, tactics, and strategies. 

Some things are undoubtedly constant. You will need relevant content that matches your user’s search intent and target keywords. You will need to keep up with tools like SEMrush and aHrefs and try out whatever new tools are available. 

You will need technical SEO chops to ensure your site. Is your site crawlable, indexable, and rendering correctly.? You will need to learn to communicate with developers to improve your core web vitals and negotiate your priorities being prioritized over other business initiatives in your organization. It may be prudent to get buy-in from people higher in the organization surrounding the importance of SEO.

The Changing Tides of Organic Traffic: Why is SEO Important

What works to boost rankings in search engines this month may falter next month if Google tweaks its algorithm. However, some clear guidelines have remained consistent throughout time. 

With the recent volatility in search engine rankings, some may feel despondent, “What is the point of SEO efforts in this ever-changing madness? Emerging trends like voice search and optimizing for results generated by artificial intelligence require fresh optimization strategies.

Ongoing upskilling is essential, even for seasoned SEO experts.

The coming book, “Surviving Algorithmic Evolution,” zeroes in on the challenges of managing change in the dynamic SEO sphere.

Practical tips and expert insights provide a roadmap for continually adapting and preparing for what’s ahead in SEO. Along the way, we must learn to care for ourselves as we navigate the changing tides. 

The aim is to equip SEO professionals at any stage of their journey with strategies to future-proof their skills and careers. 

Not just survive but truly thrive amidst the turbulence. This book sets the stage for that journey.

The Digital Age and the Need for SEO

The past two decades have marked the rise of an unprecedented digital age. High-speed internet, smartphones, and tech innovations now permeate every aspect of consumers’ lives. How people search, shop, and engage with brands has profoundly changed. As we see brands like Microsoft propel technological advancements in quantum computation, the shifts are likely to keep accelerating. 

This has meant a monumental shift away from traditional marketing channels like print, TV, and radio for businesses. 

Today, having an effective online presence is a make-or-break for reaching target audiences. If potential customers can’t easily find you through online search, you miss out on visibility at critical touchpoints.

This is where SEO enters the picture. Search engine optimization (SEO), by definition, is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of “organic” (unpaid) traffic to a website by improving its ranking in the indexes of search engines. 

As SEOs, we must shift our thinking to focus on brand discoverability across platformsā€”higher rankings are just one part, which equals greater visibility for relevant searches. Strategic SEO essentially helps you get discovered online.

If a consumer searches for a service you provide in your local geographic area, SEO helps drive traffic to your website by getting it onto page one of the search results. Without SEO, you may be buried pages deep where few will ever see you.

In today’s digital era, SEO is vital for any business competing in the online sphere. It provides discoverability and drives brand awareness when people are actively searching for solutions you can provide. For most modern businesses, SEO is mission-critical for reaching audiences amidst the digital noise.

Mastering SEO and online visibility in the digital age is essential to any brand’s success. This book explores strategies for future-proofing your business and career through strategic SEO.

Dominating Search Engines as the Cornerstone of Online Success

At its core, search engine optimization is about brand visibility and discoverability. It’s the process of improving your website’s ranking in search engine results so more people can find you.

Search engines have become audiences’ primary gateways to find information and solutions online. 

Over 3.5 billion searches are conducted globally every day. As the way we put language to what we are seeking shifts and changes, we can identify and target new search terms often as they are born.

Often, starting a search is the first step consumers take when researching a product or exploring options for a service.

 Subconsciously, the prospect believes that the search engine results are impartial. Search engines like Google impart such trust, so it would be foolish to underestimate the value of optimizing your site and content to maximize visibility. 

As SEOs, we have a responsibility to produce well-researched content that can serve the public interest. Google is making strides to ensure that the information it serves is less likely to be harmful. However, there is still a way to go, as well as political issues surrounding the algorithm’s ability to fact-check. 

Done right, organic search brings qualified traffic to your site, drives conversions and sales, and boosts brand awareness. While other marketing channels like social media or advertising have their place, SEO delivers results when consumers are in a ‘ready to buy’ mindset.

Without strategic SEO, potential customers won’t be able to find you easily amidst the digital noise. You’ll miss out on visibility when it matters mostā€”when someone searches for solutions your business provides.

That’s why SEO must form the foundation of your online marketing strategy in today’s highly digital world. Mastering search engine optimization is mission-critical for connecting your brand with your audience and achieving online success.

This book reveals insider strategies for optimizing SEO and sustaining top search rankings over time, even as algorithms and trends change. In addition to the nonstop work of staying educated on SEO trends, strategies, and tactics, we must ensure that we take care of ourselves along the way. 

Overcoming Challenges in the SEO Landscape

For all its importance, SEO is fraught with complexities. 

Unlike other forms of digital marketing, it lacks a fixed playbook. The digital landscape and algorithms shaping it evolve continuously. 

You can perform endless keyword research as new search terms are born daily. What is defined as “search engine friendly” evolves constantly, and you need to stay on top of it if you want more organic traffic.

This poses profound challenges for SEO professionals. Strategies that work wonderfully today may falter tomorrow if Google or other search engines update their algorithms. 

New search engines like Alexa, YouTube, or TikTok will continue to gain prominence, requiring innovative optimization approaches.

Keeping pace with changes can feel like a relentless treadmill. Just as you master voice search optimization, you need to double down on optimizing for visual search. There’s always some new platform or update to learn.

For SEO practitioners and professionals, adaptability and resilience are mandatory skills. The field demands constant learning and evolution to stay ahead. Burnout is all too common without the right mindset and career sustainability strategies.

This new book tackles these challenges head-on by providing a roadmap for thriving amidst the turbulence. You’ll learn pragmatic tactics for rolling with algorithm changes, identifying emerging opportunities, and continually expanding your skill set.

Whether you’re a seasoned SEO expert or just starting, you’ll gain insights for building an agile, future-proof approach to search optimization. 

The Intended Audience

This article and the forthcoming book are intended for several key audiences within the SEO and digital marketing spheres:

SEO Professionals – Whether at an agency or in-house at a company, seasoned SEO experts will gain actionable tips for future-proofing their skills and careers amidst the ever-shifting digital landscape. I also aim to impart tactics for maintaining physical and mental health, which will undoubtedly enhance your career performance. 

Digital Marketers & Business Owners –Those responsible for their company’s digital marketing and online presence will learn to integrate strategic SEO within their broader efforts to drive growth. Learning more about what your SEO team is against will help you support them.

Aspiring SEO Practitioners – For those looking to become SEO professionals, this content provides a roadmap for what skills to develop and how to thrive in this dynamic field at a time when continuous learning is more important than ever.

Anyone Fascinated by the Online World – Even casual readers will finish this book with a firm understanding of the digital landscape and SEO’s pivotal role in our online communications.

No matter your skill level, this book caters to anyone seeking to future-proof their SEO knowledge. While I may touch on some in-demand hard skills around optimizing for voice search and new platforms, this information is better suited for articles as it quickly becomes dated. The book will primarily focus on mindsets and skills that can help you gain resilience in the face of nonstop innovation.

Changing your thoughts about SEO is far better as you learn to think like an SEO. You’ll gain the soft skills needed to adapt and stay energized in constant change. By internalizing these strategies, you can build an SEO career that stands the test of time.

So whether you’re an agency pro or SEO-curious, I welcome you to join me in navigating the route ahead.

Preview of the Book

In the forthcoming book, ā€œSurviving Algorithmic Evolution: Navigating the Ever-Changing Landscapeā€, I’ll greatly expand upon the topics introduced in this article. 

Readers will gain in-depth knowledge and tactics around future-proofing fundamentalsā€”the core principles and mindsets required to adapt confidently as the SEO field evolves. 

You’ll learn bleeding-edge strategies for leveraging innovations like AI-powered SEO tools and automation. You will learn to understand SEO beyond hoe it supports content marketing. I’ll provide practical guidance on continually expanding your skillset and staying relevant through continuous improvement. 

For those managing SEO company-wide, you’ll learn best practices for gaining organizational buy-in and aligning initiatives across marketing teams. And because burnout is all too common amidst constant change, I’ll share sustainable workflows and self-care strategies to beat fatigue.

While the ever-changing nature of SEO can sometimes be frustrating, this book will frame it as an opportunity. You’ll gain the insider knowledge and skills to capitalize on changes rather than being blindsided by them. Whether experienced in SEO or new to the field, readers will finish this book with a future-proof mindset and an actionable blueprint for navigating the turbulent waters ahead.

Ready to thrive in the dynamic world of SEO? 

The rise of the digital landscape has made SEO a critical component of success for businesses and brands. With billions of daily searches, search engines like Google are the main pathways connecting companies with their target audience.

Optimizing for discoverability and visibility through strategic SEO provides the foundation for an effective online presence. Our thinking surrounding what success looks like will need to evolve with the coming waves of technological improvements. 

However, with constant algorithm changes, platforms, and innovations, SEO comes with challenges. Staying ahead requires resilience, agility, and a commitment to continual upskilling. This is especially true now with the intersection of AI and SEO.

Through this article and the forthcoming book, readers have gained a sense of SEO’s vital role in the digital era. While SEO may seem complex on the surface, with the proper roadmap, it can become an engine of growth for your brand or business.

If you found this glimpse into the world of SEO intriguing, please join me on the journey ahead. The book dives deep into pragmatic strategies for future-proofing your SEO career and leveraging changes rather than being overwhelmed by them.

I’ll also share more articles in this series that tackle specific SEO topics in greater detail. Watch for those and other educational content to enhance your SEO expertise further.

The digital landscape constantly shifts, but strategic SEO will remain at the heart of online discoverability. Buckle your seatbelt and join me in navigating this exciting terrain.

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