Howdy ho, my SEO comrades! Search Engine Academy has to answer the question “Does SEO matter?” constantly. The short answer is yes: SEO does matter. The longer answer is that there’s more than just SEO nowadays for getting a visible in a SERP position. (SERP stands for search engine results page.)

The next question I hear is “Well, just exactly how much does SEO matter in the grand scheme of things?” I can’t give you a number or percentage; smarter people than me probably have that knowledge on the tip of their tongue, but let’s just say it matters a helluva lot.

Let’s take a look at some fundamental SEO stuff and things that aren’t likely to change anytime soon.

The Basics of SERPs SEO Haven’t Changed

First, doing keyword research–the foundation, the bedrock, the number one step in your SEO journey–is more critical than ever. She who ranks high for multiple keyword phrases shows up on a higher for SERPs ranks. Besides, if you don’t know the keywords and phrases your target market is plugging into Google, how the hell are you going to show up in their search results?

Creating and Optimizing Useful, Unique Meta Data I hope it’s not a news flash to you that taking the time and effort to make butt kicking meta titles and descriptions that match the page content they’re married to is still extremely important. Use your chosen keyword phrase in the title and description tag, try to fit in a call to action, and if local SEO is critical for your business, be sure to include specific geographic information such as a city, state, county, zip code, etc.

Writing High Quality, Useful, Unique, Educational Content – Google maintains your job is to write for your human reader, not the search engine crawlers. By creating content that stands out and using natural language processing, and taking personalization of search into account, you should stand a good chance of getting good visibility in the SERPs.

Providing a Helpful Site Navigation Experience with a User-Friendly Linking Strategy – Be sure you sit down and map out your site’s Information Architecture (IA). Make it easy for your target audience to find your most important content quickly. Yes, this is part of SEO.

Provide a Site Map – I don’t care if your site is only five pages. Make sure the site map is linked on every page. It’s for the human reader and the search engine crawlers.

Even if You’re Doing Social Media, Does SERP SEO Matter Still?

Sure, SERP SEO augments your social media efforts. Can you use a keyword phrase in your social media streams, titles, descriptions, or alt tags? Do so!

In particular, if you’re playing around in Google Plus with a personal profile, Google Authorship, Google Community pages, and hangouts, it’s to your advantage to use your SEO skills and knowledge to make sure you show up higher in the G+ landscape.

I hope this short diatribe answers the question. I realize there are fads, that strategies come and go, or are turned upside down by algorithm and ranking changes like Google Penguin and Panda, but through all the changes, SEO still comes out on the other side as being necessary.

Until next time, keep it between the ditches. If you’ve got some basic SEO to do your site, why not go ahead and knock it out, then measure the results?

All the best to you,