Aliff Mazli: Is SEO Relevant for Future Digital Marketing?

Aliff Mazli on the Challenges of SEO and Future of Digital Marketing

There has been a lot of debates recently on whether SEO should still be considered by companies as part of their digital marketing strategy. With the rise of social media and engineering of viral content for marketing purposes, SEO seemed to be losing its fame. But what is the real situation nowadays? We speak to Aliff Mazli, a digital marketing expert based in Malaysia whose career started as an SEO expert to get his opinion on this focus shift.

The Problem: Digital Marketers Don’t Know How to Sell SEO

According to Aliff, the main issue with SEO is that most people don’t even understand what SEO is all about. To them, it’s an alien and in contrast, social media is something that could easily be understood. Not only that, social media works in a way that it’s easy for people to see the piece of work, like a boosted post; so it’s easier for them to understand – or more like, they think they understand it.

SEO, on the other hand, works more on the hidden side. It deals with technical aspects of a website in order to fulfill Google algorithm requirement. Sometimes, you will even be required to deal with codes on the back end. That is difficult to be understood by normal people, and therefore they choose not to go for SEO simply for this reason.

The funny thing is, he explains further, that we cannot really put the blame on the people. Most of the time, it’s the SEO experts who failed to explain well to clients and customers on what SEO is really all about, and what kind of benefits do they bring to the business. They tend to use technical terms to explains stuff and make it more complex than it really is. While that’s a sign they these folks don’t really understand SEO themselves; the confusion would even chase the potential clients away. At the end of the day, it’s lose-lose for both the SEO expert and the client.

Is SEO still Relevant for Digital Marketing?

To put it simply, Aliff predicts that SEO will no longer become as powerful as marketing tools when:

  1. Internal factor: Google goes full A.I. (no more playing around with the ranking factors); and
  2. External factor: People abandons Google (no more demand there).

Since the Google search engine keeps on evolving, it is clear that SEO as a mode of digital marketing is not going to last forever. We don’t even have to go far, as even today, Knowledge Graph had been reported to reduce traffic to the site. It’s only logical for Google because it enhances the customer experience- their main focus, and not the web owner.

Looking at the pace we’re moving, and the technology advancement that Google has, it is fair to say that SEO will be good for another 5 to 8 years. Till then, companies should be reaping out the most out of SEO. The reason to say so is that different from social media which function is to create demand; SEO fulfills it. Customers convert almost twice as higher through SEO!

As for marketers who limit their own skills to SEO, it is now the right time to move forward. Within these few years, Aliff advises them to look for other means and equip themselves with new kind of abilities in order to stay relevant and responsive to market demand.

The Future of Advertising

According to Aliff, social media is today’s main platform for digital marketing, and it will be the prime channel for the next few years to come. Of course, as the technology advancement moves faster and faster, social media will become extinct too. It’s just a matter of time someone figures out a way to create something new that shapes the entire future of advertising. We can see virtual reality and augmented reality leading the way right now, but who knows. That new invention could come any day, and we’d be lucky to be there to experience it.

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