There was a time when you could achieve Search Engine Optimization success just by including some keywords in the meta data for your website. Then there was a time where you could achieve SEO success just by having decent, keyword rich copy on your website. More recently, you could achieve SEO success with short but regular, on-topic blog posts. Then it really helped to add additional kinds of media, like Youtube videos or podcasts.
Over time, the gatekeepers of SEO, the search engines (mainly Google) have updated the what they’re looking for when it comes to SEO so that they have a better chance of giving searchers what they’re actually looking for. 15 years ago, they had crude tools, so they used crude metrics, and the result was that search engine rankings could be gamed by people who knew the rules. That has been true for most of the history of search engines, but it is becoming much less true.
Today, search engines want to make sure that if someone is searching for something related to a certain industry, that they are presented with real businesses from that industry. The best way to figure out if something is a real business is to look at their entire presence on the internet. Once again, the options for an internet presence have changed a lot over the past 15 years. It used to be that it was very technologically progressive to have a simple static home page and nothing more.
Now, though, a business presence on the web can include a website with a half-dozen pages that explain everything there is to know about the business, with a great looking design and abundant stock photography. It can include a blog with regular 500 – 1,000 word posts, an Instagram account with beautiful stock photos, a Facebook page, and a Pinterest account with lots of on brand content.
And search engines expect you to have a fairly expansive web presence, at least if you want to rank near the top.