SEO doesn’t work anymore. Not like it did in the good ‘ol days.
I define SEO as a hack to get your website to the top of the search results. It doesn’t work in a 1:1 ratio, and probably not a 1:100 in terms of effort:ranking.
Basically, it’s gotten a LOT harder to rank on search engines like Google IF you don’t already have some solid rankings. Sorry to be a major buzzkill, but as they say, the truth hurts.
It’s okay though, you didn’t really want SEO anyway. You wanted LEADS.
When I consult with businesses, they often tell me their business needs SEO or a website, but when it comes time to measure efforts, they’re really looking for are leads and sales.
Take a look at this quick video, I’ll show you what I mean by SEO is DEAD:
Below are the 5 reasons why SEO is Dead and some information where I think the “SEO” industry is going, pay “attention.” 😉
The 5 Main Reasons Why SEO is DEAD
#1: The Cost of SEO is rising sharply, meaning it costs more to get rankings for “free.” It costs massive amounts of time and in most cases, money to rank organically and your success is still highly dependent on external factors – mainly competition for the keywords you want that have traffic. Hourly rates are in the $100-300 range for SEO consulting services and the typical retainers start at $750 – $5,000 (or more).
We have a client that really wanted to rank for a couple of keyword phrases. After 5 months, we got them there.
#2: Google likes to change their Algorithm every 6.5 months (on average) since 2003. If you think about the example in point #1, we got them to rank in 5 months, so they enjoyed their rankings for 1.5 months before the algorithm changed again. That’s not much time to reap the rewards of your efforts.
#3: SEO clicks tend to land on pages built for Google bots, not humans. Thus, your chance for converting a human to a customer, or at least a lead, are pretty slim. Your chances for converting a Google bot are much higher, but… last time I checked they don’t have $$$.
Most pages you land on basically say “this is who we are” and “this is what we have to sell.”
Or is it…
“this is who we are insert-ackward-keyword-phrase” and “insert-awkward-keyword-phrase this is what we have to sell” plus another instance of a Header 1 tag with the awkward-keyword-phrase.”
There’s not a lot of value in the above statement, you better have a really good plan on how to grab someone’s attention on this page or they will bounce!
I’d rather have clicks that land on a conversion page. On a conversion page we can talk to the viewer about how we can solve their problem (which is probably what they searched for) or, at a minimum, we educate them in a way that makes them realize that we can help.
#4: **Gamechanger #1** Google makes 89.5% of their Revenue from Ads. Think about that. Let it set in…………….89.5% WOW.
So, if Google makes so much of their revenue off ads, why would you think you could outsmart Google and get your site to rank higher with SEO tricks?
Google something competitive, I guarantee you’ll see and read ads before you see organic listing.
Search engine companies like Google have to make profit every quarter to keep up with wall street.
It’s very simple. The CEO’s job is to make money or risk becoming irrelevant. According to an online statistics website, Statista, “In 2014, Google’s ad revenue amounted to almost 59.06 billion US dollars. That year, advertising accounted for 89.5 percent of the online company’s total revenues.” Over the years, you’ll notice that the ads have become more and more subtle. Heck, 45.5% of people who click on search ads don’t even realize they just clicked on an ad!! That’s nearly half of them!
#5: **Gamechanger #2** 2/3 of searchers click on Google search ads.
But, I thought “no one” clicks on ads.
Well, they do and see point #4 for why. It’s how the mouse trap is set up these days. Sure, Google still has to have near perfect organic rankings since that is their core business, and why they capture near 80% of all search engine searches, but when you are looking for something out of the ordinary, ads are catching the searcher’s attention 2:1!
So, gooooo with the flow, don’t fight search advertising, it’s the new, more predictable SEO.
Check out this handy Infographic:
The Era of “AO” Attention Optimization
Attention optimization is basically the understanding that it doesn’t matter where you rank anymore. What matters is how well you can craft your message, get it in front of your target audience, and convert those into leads – and ultimately customers.
That’s right, you can turn on your website today and compete for 60% of the clicks to any given Google search.
That is power.
You can also track your conversion rates (we use this ROI worksheet, download it free) and those rates will help you determine how much money you have to spend to gain a new customer. Once you know how much money you have to spend to get a ROI, then you can simply spend more money to get more customers (just keep an eye on those conversion rates).
Take a look at this screenshot.
Notice that organic Google listing #1 is below the fold.
IF I can craft a good enough message, I give myself a better chance of capturing the attention (and click) of the Google searcher and I win vs the guy who’s had a website for 15 years and has spent 20,000 hours optimizing for that #1 ranking. Read that again, let it sink in. Are you excited yet?
Also, think about the numbers…
99 total clicks to a search term “seo companies winston salem”
66 clicks on Ads / 33 clicks on organic listings
Top 7 ads are above the fold
All I have to do is grab your attention
Once I have your attention and you click on our ad, you’re sent to our landing page. The #1 goal of our landing page is to convert you into a customer or at least get you to opt-in and become a lead.
That is a big shift in digital marketing. You see, SEO pages are usually pages written for robots. Sure you can rank and fight for the 60% of clicks that go to the top 3 listings, BUUUUUUUT you will generally have a lower chance of converting those clicks into leads because your page has been stuffed with keywords and is really set up to pull in organic clicks, not necessarily generate leads.
I know I’ve kind of bashed SEO and that isn’t totally fair. You can still get leads from search engine optimization. In fact, when we implement our Inbound Machine in a business, the first thing we want to do is build a lead magnet and try to generate leads from their current traffic – which is, in most cases 100% coming from their current SEO efforts.
The Secret to Beating SEO (this is the “do this instead” part)
Spend money on Google search ads.
Once you know how much money you have to spend to generate X number of leads, X number of sales and X revenue, you can easily scale your business by spending more money and keeping track of your conversion rates.
That’s the real secret to why SEO is dead, you can’t trust it to scale your business. You can, however use SEO as a tool to generate traffic, but don’t just throw all or too much of your efforts in to SEO.
What do you think?