For many years now, SEO has been the cornerstone of how both local and global businesses have approached their online strategy. Using SEO, businesses have attempted to rank on Google and other search engines (although Google has remained the priority), aiming to get themselves known through organic keyword research and online marketing savvy.
As social media usage ramps up and younger users turn to platforms like TikTok, though, companies are asking themselves one question: is SEO worth it in 2023? Is there any point in building an SEO strategy when social media and viral marketing can essentially result in free publicity? We’re here to argue that yes, there is a point to SEO in 2023, and that a strong SEO strategy can and should exist alongside a social media plan for boosting your business’ visibility.
What do we mean by SEO?
First, it might be important to define exactly what we mean when we say “SEO”. If you’re not already aware, SEO stands for “search engine optimisation”, and it refers to all the little (and sometimes big!) things you can do with your website and its content to ensure that it ranks as highly on Google as possible. Some of the ways you can build your SEO are:
- Making sure content contains keywords and phrases relevant to your area
- Optimising your site to make sure it loads pages quickly and efficiently
- Keeping your content relevant to your business
- Maintaining meta descriptions, image descriptions, and metadata
- Link building
There are lots of other good SEO practices, but we’d be here all day if we explained all of them. Basically, SEO refers to how you approach your online presence and what you’re doing to make sure you’re as visible as possible on search engines.
Why is SEO still worth it in 2023?
To put it simply, we believe that although other forces are rising up and may well become just as important as SEO in the future (if they haven’t already done so), SEO is still crucial to a good website in 2023. There are a number of reasons for this, but first among them is this: a strong social media presence will help you to build a reputation, but there are things SEO can do that social media just can’t.
When it comes to authority, having your very own website is extremely important. Many people won’t give the time of day to businesses that don’t have bespoke websites, and users will only find those websites if you optimise them for SEO. A viral TikTok campaign is only going to get you so far; when users are ready to engage with your services or buy your product, they’ll be looking for a website on which they can do so, and that’s where SEO comes in.
Google is still the first port of call for many people who are looking for products and services. If they find your site before anyone else’s, then the potential conversions you could receive from that are invaluable. In the end, there may be many people who don’t engage with social media or other areas of the internet; they just want to find a product or a service, and they Google a relevant term. If you haven’t optimised your site for SEO, then they probably won’t find you when they Google that term.
Any business can create a TikTok video, and that video might even get a few thousand views. However, maintaining a website with good SEO is a good way to build trustworthiness, especially as Google cracks down on websites with poor-quality or excessively duplicated content. Google wants to show people content it thinks they will like or find useful, and if you’ve optimised your content for SEO (as well as your site in general), then you’ll likely find that more people will visit your site.
Building a local business
It goes without saying that building a local business is very difficult without SEO. Local citations (that’s any platform using your business’ name, address, or phone number) are one of the ways you can build visibility online, and gaining good reviews will also contribute to your SEO. Maintaining a strong social media presence might help you to gain respect for the quality of your content, but it won’t help you to bring customers in when you think about the long run.
How to implement good SEO practices in 2023
Right now, in 2023, good SEO practices are fairly simple to implement. Here are some of the ways that you can make sure your site is optimised for SEO.
- E-E-A-T. If you haven’t heard of this acronym before, it stands for “Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust”. These are the four values that Google uses to assess the quality and worthiness of content and sites, so make sure you’re hitting all four of these.
- Helpful content written by authoritative figures. More and more, Google is pushing for content that is deemed to be helpful or useful, and it also wants to emphasise writers that have some degree of authority or expertise in their field. Ensuring you have good-quality content written by established writers is key.
- Bulking out product pages. Are you an ecommerce outfit looking to build a profile for yourself? If so, then you may wish to add some copy to your product page. Rather than just displaying the product in a bare-bones way, make sure that you’re directing users to helpful information about the product, such as your returns policy, your shipping method, or user testimonials.
- Images. As many of your pages as possible should contain images, and those images should be optimised with good metadata. They should be relatively large in terms of size (think bigger than 1280×720), and they should contain clear descriptions and alt text.
- Page load. One of the biggest holy grails when it comes to SEO is page load time. If your page loads in less than a second, you will get many, many more visitors than if your page takes longer than two or three seconds to load, and the difference is actually pretty stark.