Is PPC Burying SEO?

Today’s search results are crowded with ads, question boxes, featured snippets, and business directories. Moreover, it takes a longer time to generate organic search traffic through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), whereas, a successful PPC (Pay-per-Click) ad campaign can easily show your website on the top of the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). This makes website owners consider PPC is burying SEO. Undoubtedly, PPC can help to instantly enhance the brand visibility and secure a high rank, but keyword optimization is equally important to maintain the top rank and drive organic traffic to the website. There are so many ads management companies which can get you results without wasting your time.

With 63,000 searches per second in Google (source: Junto), every website is competing to secure greater online visibility and reach the target audience. Amidst such a scenario, the relevance of SEO can never be entirely lost. In fact, if that were the case, would Google, or any other search engine for that matter, be called “search engines” anymore? What would be their difference from the random paid business directories?

Having said that, we must acknowledge that some traditional and black hat SEO tactics have become outdated, making people think that SEO is dead.

In this blog, we will discuss the outdated SEO strategies that you should do away with and also mention the necessary way forward.

  1. Creating Numerous Pages and Posts

Gone are the good old days of creating a vast number of pages and posts to increase the size and relevance of your website. Now, the search engines rank individual web pages based on the merit of the page with respect to the search query or keyword.

Therefore, the focus should be to generate high-quality content that can adequately answer the user queries. It’s noteworthy that a relevant, informative, and well-articulated content with multiple keywords can rank for each of those keywords. Hence, there’s no point in making distinct pages targeting similar keywords.

Further, quality content has the potential to reduce the bounce rate and increase the reader’s time spent on the site. Thus, it plays a crucial role in improving on-page metrics.

At a glance: Targeting to enhance the user experience and not only optimize the keywords is the latest SEO tactic. Generating valuable content can improve the popularity of your website and drive more traffic.

  1. Not Modifying Anchor Text

At one point in time, anchor text was a major ranking factor. For example, if you sought to rank for the keyword “web developer”, you had to acquire as many links as possible using “web developer” as the anchor text. With time, marketers started to abuse this strategy and search engines, like Google and others, constantly updated their algorithms to stop such malpractices. Consequently, several websites with excessively keyword-rich anchor text links got penalized for deviating from Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Therefore, it’s better to refrain from this manipulative practice and rather maintain a free flow of writing. The anchor text distribution for a natural link profile should display variety. Each link needs to be used in a different context that helps the readers to find relevant information. For example, descriptive, natural, and long-tail keywords can seamlessly merge with the content. Therefore, if your content discusses competitive rates of website design services offered by the company, then instead of simply using “Website price”, you may rephrase the anchor text as “how to develop a website at low price”.

At a glance: Search engines want the links to appear “organically” or “naturally” in the content. Using keyword-stuffed anchor text repeatedly may penalize your website. The anchor text should maintain contextuality and not look contrived in the context. According to the experts of any top SEO agency, the longer anchor text flows freely into the content.

  1. Over Optimizing a Post for Keyword

Another traditional SEO strategy was to fully optimize a post for certain keywords. It used to affect the readability and user experience. To stop such practice of keyword stuffing, Google has released algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin. In fact, the latest updates enable the search engine to determine the value of the content on a web page.

Now, the aim of the search engines is not simply to match the exact keywords but to realize the intent behind them. Posts will be ranked on the basis of providing quality answers and top-notch user experience.

Therefore, increasing the Click Through Rate (CTR) should be your primary concern. CTR is generally used to measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign but has a considerable impact on influencing the organic search rankings as well. You can adopt multiple strategies to meet this goal. For example, a catchy and descriptive headline, along with an informative and compelling meta-description can draw the attention of the viewers. You can also modify the structure of your content to enhance its chances of being chosen for a featured snippet box.

At a glance: Enriching user experience and readability and striving to answer the users’ queries are more important than merely stuffing the content with keywords. The keywords should flow naturally, and not look forced.

  1. Creating Exact Match Domains

For a while, Exact Match Domains (EMDs) were a silver bullet for SEO. With an EMD, the domain matches the exact target keyword. For example, personalizedcake, cheapcloth, etc. This tactic was preferable to many marketers as it could elevate the ranking of their sites in the search results.

As Google algorithm got smarter, such sites are often targeted as potentially spammy EMD websites. Further, EMD also affects brand identity. For example, if Flipkart used this technique and named their domain as “buyaproduct”, it might hamper brand awareness.

At a glance: Exact-match domains can be viewed as spam and less trustworthy by the Google algorithm. This can reduce brand visibility and conversion.

So far, we have mentioned the traditional or black hat SEO strategies that you should do away with. Now, we will discuss the present and upcoming technological scenarios so that you may adapt the SEO tactics accordingly.

# SEO in the age of AI and Voice Search

Over the years, SEO has significantly changed and the rapid advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice search is sure to produce a bigger impact on the SEO landscape.

AI can sort through massive amounts of information and strives to show the most relevant data. Search engines are taking this concept into account and developing algorithms on the basis of AI and machine learning.

Now, machines need to find contextual clues to determine the relevance of a content. Therefore, the content needs to be optimized in a way that it may follow a proper method and satisfy the parameters of AI-based search algorithms. For example, the title and the description should be to-the-point and the content needs to deliver useful information. Basically, enhancing the user experience is the primary objective of the search engines and they are seeking to rank the websites that cater to this goal.

Voice search is another crucial element impacting search engine optimization. In a text search, you may type “logo design price”, but in a voice search, you are more likely to ask “How much does a branding package cost?” Thus, from our manner of thinking to the words we select – voice and text searches are quite different. That’s why long-tail keywords work better in voice search.

According to a survey by CampaignLive, 50% of all the searches will be voice-based by 2020. Therefore, the content needs to be more conversational and user-friendly in order to occupy the top ranks.

At a Glance: It’s important to modify your SEO strategies, long-tail keyword selections, and content development in order to cater to the AI-based technology and smart devices operating with voice search.

# PPC vs  And SEO

We started the blog with the note of comparing SEO and PPC. But learn the truth that there’s no competition between the duo. Rather, they are complementary to each other.

PPC can instantly grow brand awareness and rank your website on top of the first SERP. But it costs you a high amount. On the other hand, SEO is useful in order to maintain the brand reputation and drag organic traffic to the site in a slow but steady manner. Therefore, you can expect a similar or even better results at a much lower cost.

By constantly upgrading their algorithms, search engines strive to enhance user experience. With that objective, search engines show proximity-based search results that are more likely to satisfy the users’ needs. Further, they also keep a track of the search patterns of the users in order to offer relevant results.

Therefore, it’s better to avoid keyword stuffing and rather incorporate relevant information in the content so as to enhance user experience and generate organic leads. Further, Bluelist reveals that nearly 80% of the viewers tend to ignore PPC ads and scroll down a little to find useful information from organically ranked websites.

Hence, a perfect marketing strategy would be to start SEO and PPC together during the initial phase. With time, as organic leads start to get generated, you may reduce the PPC budget and focus more on the SEO strategies.

Quick Note: We mentioned in the introduction that today’s search results contain featured snippets and question boxes. Actually, these are not any obstacles that inhibit a website to rank higher. Rather, you should leverage the advantage of these potential platforms to enhance the visibility of your site. Modify and enrich your content in such a way so as to be selected as a featured snippet. Instead of writing lengthy and clumsy content, directly answer the user queries with relevant information so that your content gets a space in the question box.

Conclusion

When they say “SEO is dead”, they really mean the above-mentioned shady or old-school strategies. The landscape of SEO is rapidly evolving and being proactive to adapt to the latest trends will help your business survive. However, it’s easier said than done. Especially, if you don’t have much experience in SEO, you can always avail all-encompassing digital marketing services from the professionals at a reputed agency. With their experience and expertise, they can offer you the desired results.

What’s your take on this matter? Comment below and let us know.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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