The eternal question… Is SEO getting harder, shortly followed by “Is SEO even worth it in 2019?”
The short answer to both questions is a resounding yes – It is getting harder but it is still 100% worth it.
Just because SEO is getting far harder it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, that may be the mindset that your competitors take, yours should always be to capitalize where your competitors fall short.
And if your competitors are thinking that SEO is far too difficult, then understanding why and taking advantage of it will help you stand head and shoulders above your competitors when it comes to SEO & link building.
Firstly, as SEO demands grow so do budget requirements – If you don’t have the budget of your competitors then that could be a problem, but if you have free time then you can win where money may not be able to.
Spend time working on your technical SEO, ensure your site is watertight and not like a bucket with leaky holes, use a tool such as Screaming Frog to analyze your site, make sure there’s no duplicate content, your title tags are all unique and that any other issues found by Screaming Frog are resolved, this is the baseline t ranking above your competitors.
Secondly, Time and keeping up with Google updates is often where SEO efforts fall short. There are lots of micro Algorithm updates by Google each week and you may not have the time to keep up and research which of these could have affected your website – Whether that be a positive or negative way.
Don’t get distracted with other items like Facebook, social media marketing or any of the other bits, If SEO has generated you a proven return in the past then it’s certainly worth focusing on.
Thirdly, Google is actually making it harder for you to rank. Think back 10 years or so ago to the Google search results page.
There would be Paid ads down the right-hand side, the search field across the top and then the first result would be clearly insight 150px or so below the search query, you typed in.
Contrast that with today where there are 4-5 Google ads, maps, and a featured snippet pushing the first organic search result down below the fold and forcing users to have to scroll on occasion to see the first organic search result.
Whilst this makes it a little more difficult – Users are still conditioned to scroll down and click the first few search results, organic results today still get more clicks than the paid ads, etc so there are still a lot of opportunities there.
Another thing that could be holding your SEO efforts back is that you don’t have the right tools. This could tie back in with not having enough money as some of the tools can be upwards of £100 per month but they bring incredible insight that far outweighs the cost.
Tools like AHREFS, Majestic and Sistrix all enable you to get insights such as backlink quality profile, what links your competitors have to their sites that you don’t as well as visibility metrics…
This kind of insight is incredibly invaluable and even just one of these tools gives you a greater insight into SEO.
So, SEO is still 100% worth it.
Despite being pushed halfway down the page and at times reduced to just 9 search results instead of 10 when you are in the top 3 organic positions of Google you certainly get traffic that converts so it is still worth the time to study and learn SEO.
You can use resources such as Neil Patel & Eric Siu to help learn more about SEO as they are the leading authorities in the industry.
There’s no need to spend thousands of pounds a month on strategy when these guys give away their strategy for free – The issue is most people won’t follow it and want someone else to carry out the work for them, when for just an hour a day you can learn, action and get ranking yourself for very little cost except time.