There are many trends today that are fueling the debate on the sustainability of SEO in 2020.
One of those is the ever-increasing ability of social media to drive traffic to websites. Backlinks seem to be facing serious competition from Twitter and Facebook and the thought leaders are already shouting out that SEO is on its death bed.
Google too is making many updates and upgrades to it search results and this seems to fuel more affirmation that the SEO industry is not sustainable in 2020.
So, are the alarms worth paying attention to?
The truth is these alarms have been going off for a long time now.
Any change in Google algorithms has triggered a fair share of people calling out that SEO is no longer sustainable, but it is still thriving and will continue to do so in 2020 and here are the reasons why.
It Still Delivers Results
When you engage in an SEO campaign, you usually have goals and benchmarks. You are looking for traffic to your website and you want conversions. If you are doing things right, you will see the results. There is really no reason for a result-oriented strategy to be declared unsustainable. If anything, there will be more people employing this strategy to get results.
Measurable Returns on Investment
Anyone hoping to create a case for any strategy needs to be able to show the figures that support the strategy. SEO is a strategy that can be measured. You can easily show how much money has gone into implementing the strategy and over some time, the traffic to the website and the number of conversions will be visible. E-commerce websites particularly are always interested in tracking the results of the spending on particular strategies and SEO can show pleasing returns.
It is Getting Better
This is an important aspect to consider — SEO is actually getting better.
The very changes in algorithms that cause many to question its sustainability are actually what makes it sustainable. Search engines like Google are spending a lot of time to ensure they provide the best results to internet users whenever they search for content. More websites are already striving to provide useful content and those that are irrelevant are slowly being phased out. These changes are geared at making people feel more confident searching for content since they find content that they actually want.
There are some changes that we will discuss later like providing content on devices that people use more often.
Demand is on the Rise
Statistics from 2016 to 2018 indicate an increasing demand for SEO. In 2016, companies spent over 65 billion dollars on SEO and by 2018 the figure had gone up to over 70 billion dollars. With this trend, it can best be predicted that by the end of 2020 that figure will be slightly under 80 billion dollars spent on SEO.
Surely these figures cannot be a sign of an industry that is unsustainable but instead one that is steadily increasing in demand.
Search Engines are Investing in SEO
Big search engines like Google are investing relentlessly into SEO, this is a reassuring sign that SEO is not about to die any time soon. Google, in particular, is getting more involved in ensuring content is quality and that can only mean that they intend to promote this industry. This investment is also a sign that they have something to gain by sustaining the ability to provide organic traffic to different websites.
These 5 reasons should be convincing enough that SEO is still a sustainable industry in 2020. But to add to that, here are some trends we can see in 2020 that are proof of the sustainability of organic traffic.
There is increased use of mobile phones to access the internet and search engines are very aware of this. To move with the changing tides, Google introduced the mobile-first indexing which gives preference to content designed for mobile phones. Websites that have mobile-friendly content get ranked better than those that don’t.
2020 is seeing a rise in voice searches especially with the introduction of smart assistants like Alexa. SEO is not to be caught off guard on this and there is also a lot of emphasis for websites to adopt SEO best practices which will ensure that they will benefit from voice search traffic.
Search engines are concerned about the quality of content on websites. Some websites have already suffered the consequences of providing misleading content or irrelevant content.
There is an increased emphasis on loading speeds for websites. This is a sign that search engines are determined to improve the user experience. Sites get better ranking if their pages load faster.
SEO is obviously not dead or dying in 2020, if anything, it will get stronger. Organic traffic actually accounts for about 40 percent of eCommerce website revenue. The challenge though is for website owners to ensure that they follow the best SEO practices to benefit from this industry.