If you’ve been a business owner for long, chances are you remember when the buzz about search engine optimization began. When internet databases like Google and Ask Jeeves first gained popularity in the late ‘90s, these search engines ranked pages by keywords, page titles, and inbounding links. Pages often gained high rankings by “keyword stuffing” and other simple on-site tricks. But by the time the mid-2000s rolled around, search engines began ranking pages based on the quality of content provided. And that’s when the topic of SEO took off. Major search engines like Google implemented huge changes to weed out websites that prioritized advertisement-based revenue over user satisfaction. And similar changes to Google’s algorithms are still happening today.

With all that said, we’re naming 2017 the year that traditional SEO is dead. So here are four reasons you should be thinking more about how your website performs and less about how it ranks on search engines.

1. The Internet is More Than Just Words

The intention of every major search engine is to create an easier way for website users to find the content they’re looking for. And in the early days of search engine optimization, the only tangible way to analyze content for its relevance was through words. But a website is more than just words, right? It’s made up of graphics and videos and links and structural elements. The limitation of traditional SEO is that it focuses on only one piece of an entire website: the words. While search engines may only analyze a percentage of the big picture, internet users don’t interact with websites the same way. Visitors see and experience every element of a website at the same time, and while the words are a huge part of that experience, they’re not the only element that matters.

Focus this year on establishing a holistic approach to the way you build or maintain your website. SEO is important—there’s no doubt about that—but at its best, SEO is only responsible for getting people to your site. It’s up to you what they do when they get there.

2. User Experience is Everything

While the latest Google algorithms consider more than 200 factors for ranking on its search engine, there are only a handful of factors that correlate with significant results. Many of these significant factors are used to determine the quality of a site, which directly affects page rankings. Factors such a dwell-time (how long a user stays on your site), bounce rates (when a user lands on your site and then immediately navigates away), and page views per unique visitor have major influences on page rankings. Now more than ever, user experience (or how users interact with a website) is critical.

Creating a website that is both easy to use and engaging will boost repeat traffic, increase conversions, and grow your word-of-mouth referrals. And doing so establishes the quality of your website with Google and other search engines by increasing dwell-time and page views and by decreasing bounce rates. At the end of the day, both your page rankings and your website conversions will increase, which means growth on both sides without any sacrifice to either.

3. Organic Traffic from Social Media Increases Every Day

Very few business owners doubt the power of social media anymore. In an age where the average person spends more time in a day on social media than they do eating or drinking, there’s no denying that social media matters. Social media is responsible for a massive amount of website traffic every day, and the percentage of website traffic from social media is constantly increasing. Many industries experience a large percentage of revenue coming from traffic that originated with social media, meaning that users are becoming more and more likely to find your business on social media than they are on major search engines. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses, who report an average of 26% of website traffic coming from social media.

A strong social media strategy creates an opportunity for a business to tell its story to people who would normally never get to hear it. Being active on social media is a proactive approach to raising awareness about your business because you’re meeting people where they are rather than waiting for them to look for you. It’s always important to have a great website, but getting people to your website is a major undertaking. Often times, a strong social media strategy is far more effective for driving website traffic than SEO.

4. Google Has Trust Issues

Remember what we said about “keyword stuffing” and other outdated methods for ranking pages on Google that became popular years ago? Turns out Google has developed some major trust issues since then. Now, Google uses an extremely complex system called PageRank to determine the trustworthiness of a website and its domain. This calculation analyzes factors such as backlinks, domain age, and domain reputation to establish how trustworthy your site is. SEO expert R.L. Adams says gaining Google’s trust can take years, especially if your website is relatively new, and gives some great tips of building that trust over time.

The bottom line is, boosting your page rankings (especially in a competitive industry) can be an overwhelming undertaking. Think of establishing strong domain authority as a 5-year long play. There are things you should be doing to increase it, but it’s not the only way (or even the best way) to grow your business.


It’s easy to get roped into SEO schemes that guarantee first-page placement for relevant keywords, but be cautious about placing too much value on paid methods for boosted page rankings. Many SEO companies charge more than $1,000 per month for their services, and while they often deliver on their promises, first-page rankings don’t always translate to increased revenue. If your website is not user-friendly and your content is not high-quality, chances are that all that extra traffic your website is getting is wasted effort. Prioritize creating a site that engages users and delivers an unforgettable experience, and you’ll quickly see your website traffic resulting in increased conversions and growth for your business.

If you’ve got questions about your digital strategy and how to best grow your business, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve announced two summer internship opportunities beginning in May of 2017. Get the details below of the programs available, and if you’d be a great fit for either of the internships, send your resumé and cover letter to hello@tangiblestrategies.com.

Creative Content Internship

This summer, we at Tangible Strategies are offering an internship position like no other. We’re calling all interdisciplinarians (you know who you are)—photography students with a passion for sculpting, graphic designers majoring in world history, creative writers who macramé on the side—get the idea? Our Creative Content Internship Program is best suited for individuals with a knack for communicating brand messages in new, innovative ways, whether that’s through engaging illustrations, interactive social media campaigns, or gripping photography. If you’ve got that interdisciplinary itch and a love for growing local businesses, this is the internship for you.

Ideal candidates are located in the Greenville, SC area, are seeking an agency-setting summer internship, and have both aptitude and experience in design, copywriting, and/or photography.

Preferred Qualifications


Business & Marketing Internship

This summer, we at Tangible Strategies are offering our first ever Business & Marketing Internship. We’re seeking strong candidates with a natural instinct for business growth and marketing strategy. Our Business & Marketing Internship Program is best suited for individuals desiring in-depth agency exposure and authentic business management experience. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with plans of operating a business post-graduation, this internship is a perfect fit.

Ideal candidates are located in the Greenville, SC area, are seeking an agency-setting summer internship, and are currently studying business administration, marketing, entrepreneurship, and/or related fields.

Preferred Qualifications:


In order to be considered for an internship position, students should submit their resumés and cover letters to Anthony Reese at hello@tangiblestrategies.com.

Website or no website: the millennial question. When you are constantly creating content and trying to advertise for yourself and/or your business, there are so many ways to do it. Do you want people to follow and interact with your brand or do you want people to buy and share information about your brand? Both can be incorporated into websites, even if you already have a strong social media presence. Why not incorporate the information that you already share into a comprehensive web presence with a website? Here are some ways to use your creative content to fashion a website that makes you and your business proud.

1. Easy as 1, 2, 3

One thing to keep in mind is that in the world of social media, engagement is key. You can have hundreds of thousands of followers, but still only a small percentage of people interacting with your posts. If you have a website link in your bio, people can learn about your brand and purchase products or services that they might not normally see on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

There are many website platforms that are easy to use, even if you don’t have more advanced web design skills. If you can hire a web designer, that’s great too! Some reliable website platforms include Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress (but the more comprehensive versions do have expenses associated with them).

2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Everyone is online. And nearly every successful business has some sort of presence, so you want to use this to its fullest potential. Whether you are an amateur artisan with a small business on Etsy, a small business that occupies a niche in the system, or a larger business that tries to attract corporate clientele, your audience is clicking and scrolling and communicating through websites and social media.

One of the greatest parts about having a website is the fact that you can use your website as your building block for your business. Think of your website as your online business card. You can design it the way you want and show people what you and your business bring to the table.

3. Money Matters

From the cheapest website platform to the most expensive logo designs, there are options for everyone in branding and website usage. With that in mind, you need to decide what will be most effective for your business. Are you going for a simplistic and natural look like Squarespace or are you trying to link and archive a bulk information like on WordPress? Websites provide avenues for all of these, so it’s up to you where you want to spend your money.

For businesses who are trying to attract a larger clientele, consider hiring a web or graphic designer to show off your brand in a more unique way. For businesses that rely on statistics and products, consider how you can portray those in an eye-catching way. If your website looks impressive, people will remember you. We say not to judge a book by its cover, but with websites and social media, we are absolutely evaluating the friendliness and aesthetics of the pages that we follow and use every day. And the same is true for websites. Consider evaluating your website occasionally with guiding questions to help you determine its efficiency.

4. Catch Your Customer

In an age driven by digital interactions, it can be difficult for users to find your website in the first place. But when they do, it’s your job to make sure they never forget it. Think about how to create content in a way that gets people talking. If a user sees value in your company, they will share that value with other people. Whether it’s a tag on social media, an email sent to a friend, or the topic of office conversation, any buzz your website creates is going to increase your brand awareness. And that’s an invaluable thing.

Think about it this way: if your website delivers a beautiful user experience, where information is easy to find and content is engaging, people are much more likely to want to keep browsing around. Your customers want to see you, your business, and your products/services in a way that encourages others to brag about you to their friends.

5. The Right Place at the Right Time

We know that website creation and management is a time-consuming and tiring job. Guess what we say to that? It’s worth it! Whether you’re coming up with a strategy for the immediate future or the long haul, the way you present yourself online is absolutely important. If you’d like to come in for a consultation (and you can be at any stage in the process), let us know because we’re happy to help!