Every year, new guidance as to what marketing tactics will continue to produce great results appears. SEO has been a key component of practically all digital marketing strategies for several years in a row – and whilst it might be tempting to declare that it’s time to move away from SEO and into content-led strategies alongside the growth of content marketing, this suggests that content and search engine optimisation aren’t connected. In fact, they’re more connected than ever before.

Search Engines Reward Great Content

Despite a number of thought-pieces stressing a decline in the need for SEO, it remains a very important part of any well-rounded online marketing strategy. That said, the way in which companies should be approaching SEO is certainly shifting. Continual adjustments to Google’s algorithm have allowed companies to transition away from keyword-stuffed articles and towards content which audiences want to engage with.

SEO success can no longer be assured by packing articles, blogs and related content with a list of chosen keywords and hoping for the best; while this may require some adjustment for SEO practitioners, in the long-run, it is actually great news for those in the SEO-know. Great content leads to more engagement, which means longer-term relationship building with relevant audiences. In short, content cannot achieve optimum success without SEO, and SEO cannot gain the momentum it needs without superior content.

Keywords Still Matter

Understanding that clumsily handled keywords aren’t as successful as they once were, does not suggest that keywords have become irrelevant in 2017. Far from it; they must simply be used appropriately and cleverly, as well as being well-researched prior to implementation in a piece of content. While poorly-written, keyword-stuffed content will yield negative results and penalties from Google, these algorithm changes are intended to help make the user experience a positive one – and that’s great not just for web users, but for companies and marketers, too.

Building SEO Success in 2017

So how can you ensure SEO success in the shifting online landscape?

  • Carefully research chosen keywords, and use them in well-written, well-researched content.
  • Focus on what will appeal to the audience, rather than simply optimising from a purely SEO-focused perspective.
  • Fewer, higher-quality keywords will lead to greater success with your target audience. Whilst it might mean you garner fewer visitors, those you do secure will be more likely to engage in valuable activities with your company.