Things get heated from time to time in the SEO world, and the question, “Is SEO dead?” has been asked since almost the inception of its techniques. There is always an “SEO killer” on the loose, and there are always businesses questioning the efficacy of SEO methods. Websites should question whether SEO will help their business, but the answers aren’t always clear. Chris Dixon recently wrote a post for Business Insider entitled, “SEO Is No Longer a Viable Marketing Strategy for Startups.” Should websites shift their focus away from search engine optimization?
Will SEO alone turn your start-up into the next Wikipedia? No. It won’t, and no reputable SEO will tell you otherwise. SEO is a tool, one of many, that can be used to improve your site’s visibility and bottom line. SEO expert Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land writes, “I gather in the start-up world, perhaps SEO was seen as some type of super-juice that could jump-start a new business. It should have never been seen that way, any more than ANY NEW business or ANY business at all should have relied on it so much. It should have been part of an overall marketing mix — not the primary marketing means.”
Relying solely on SEO would be like relying solely on word of mouth for a non-internet based business. Word of mouth is an excellent tool, and can draw customers your way. But it is not the only way you can, or should, promote your business and build its profile. Similarly, many businesses today are relying heavily on social media to draw traffic, reporting they get more visitors via social media sites, like Facebook or Twitter, than through search. But again, depending on one aspect of a marketing campaign is not effective in the long-run.
The use of social media, well designed sites, and developing quality content are components that work in conjunction with SEO to build visibility.