The subject of SEO is often clouded by mystery and a lot of clients feel a little uneasy about discussing it with their SEO agency. The traditional job of the agency is to increase organic website traffic by improving Google rankings and proving their worth at the end of every month. Typically, to prove their worth, monthly SEO reports will be created using various software such as MOZ and will include KPI’s such as:
- Organic Traffic
- Domain Authority
However, even Moz, who are industry thought leaders on SEO, don’t seem to acknowledge the significant industry change since Google Adwords were removed from the right-hand side of search results. Not only did Google remove the ads from the right-hand side, but they also added more adverts at the top of the page. What does this mean for organic results? They are moved further down the page, often below google maps. The further down your website is listed, the less traffic you will receive. Wayfair carried out some research and they claim that their organic search traffic had dropped by as much as 25% on desktop and 55% on Mobile, since the change in Adword placement.
As a result of Googe’s greedy AdWord change, the value of first page Google rankings has decreased. Very few SEO agencies are talking about this, if they are even aware of it. I don’t hear of any agencies reducing their costs, changing their ways or even reporting differently to account for the change.
Has SEO been devalued or just first-page rankings?
If you perceive the purpose of SEO is to purely increase rankings then yes, SEO has been devalued. However, if you understand how SEO should be performed, you will know about the increasing importance of specific aspects of SEO.
Without explaining the purpose of link building in detail, I’m sure everyone is bored of hearing about it, the importance has now been magnified. Previously many SEO agencies would be looking to get quality, relevant, inbound links from other websites to increase your domain authority and as a result, increase your rankings. Now, because of the drop in organic traffic, our link building efforts should concentrate on generating traffic and not just ‘link juice’.
The 3 step process of increasing Referral Traffic
- Research and record websites that attract high numbers of visitors that are similar to yours
- Build a relationship with that website and provide content or a reason why they would link to your site
- Create content or a reason why their website users would click on your link
- Analyse and adapt once you have measured the referral traffic in analytics and see what’s working
More ways to skin a cat
There are thousands of ways your website can attract traffic, Google is an obvious source, but not the only one. Amazon, for example, is now the most popular place for people to start their online shopping. We have to constantly think of ways to stay ahead of the competition, for instance, you can use Social Media to get in front of your potential customers before they even start searching.
Therefore if your goal is to increase website traffic you need to ensure your agency is looking at more than the traditional SEO KPI’s. Make sure all aspects of your online marketing are working together in a holistic manner.