SEO as You Know It is Dead
Aug 21, 2020 8:00:00 AM
Nope, the title of this blog isn’t clickbait. The way you do SEO right now is toast.
Why the bold claim?
To begin with, let’s take it back to 2010. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry is #1 on the Billboard charts. Apple has just released this crazy little computer called an iPad - and it doesn’t even have a keyboard! And COVID-19? We don’t know her.
In the marketing world, the buzzword of 2010 is “blogging.” Google’s 2009 algorithm change turned the SEO game upside down. Now it’s not just webmasters who have to wrangle keywords—journalists, web copywriters, and anyone else looking to harness Google search results will need to optimize their content.
Throughout the 2010s, Google will continue to adjust its algorithm to ensure that search results provide users with high-quality written content (rather than spammy, keyword-stuffed pages with high ad-to-content ratios). For marketers, this meant that substantive, engaging, optimized blogs were the best bet for good rankings.
Blogging remained at the forefront of SEO for a decade. Even as Google adjusted to index social media sites, prioritize responsive pages, and feature localized results, keywords and relevant written content were still the best way to climb to the top of the search results.
Now let’s fast-forward to 2020. We’re wearing masks. We’re watching out for murder hornets. We’re all a little traumatized by this Netflix series called Tiger King.
Oh, and video is about to become the emperor of SEO.
Why is this happening now?
There are a few reasons. First of all, technology and internet bandwidth have advanced to the point that most videos can be viewed instantly, without the need for downloading or buffering. Users can watch videos on the go, a feat that wasn’t possible even five years ago.
Secondly, rich media content has become the standard. If given the choice between watching a video to learn about a topic, or reading some long blog post like this one, users prefer the video content because it’s easier to consume.
Most importantly, YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine. In turn, Google has shifted to prioritize video content. Companies with video content get a slice of the YouTube pie AND they have a shot at ranking well in Google video results, including rich snippets and text + video answer boxes.
Companies without video content are already falling behind. And there’s no quick way to play catch-up...just ask the marketers who were slow to begin indexing blog content or adapt to the rise of social media over the last 10 years.
The bottom line is this: if you’re not regularly publishing and indexing optimized video content (just like you publish written content), you’re missing out on A LOT of organic traffic from YouTube and Google video results.
The gap between marketers with video content and those without will continue to grow as Google increases its focus on video results. One major bellwether is Facebook’s recent algorithm update, which heavily prioritizes video content on users’ news feeds. You can expect Google and other channels to follow suit.
In fact, within the next 3-5 years, it’s likely that the BULK of high-ranking search results will be video content. Is your strategy built to handle this curve smoothly? Or will you be scrambling to keep your wheels on the ground?
The time for a video content strategy is NOW. Aside from production, it’s not a whole lot different from your written content strategy. You’ll still use keywords, you’ll still need to deliver value to your audience, and you’ll still need to use formats and channels that suit your marketing goals.
As you build your SEO strategy around video, you’ll bring in organic traffic from YouTube and, increasingly, from Google video results.
Think of this like an insider trading tip—you know that demand for video is about to skyrocket, and you can get a huge advantage by ramping up production as soon as possible.
Here’s the great news. Pivoting to video-based content strategy doesn’t have to take up all your time, energy, or money. Reach out to the experts at Tobe for a video content audit. We’ll figure out where you are, where you need to be, and how to get you there efficiently.