SEO agencies, at one point, were nonexistent. But with the introduction of search engine algorithms and search engine optimization, it was necessary for business owners to have a company with which to work to increase their online earning potential. SEO is a very intricate business, and it involves a lot of technical knowledge on the back end in order to be most effective to the website owner.
But SEO changes on what seems like a daily basis, and in order to predict the future of search engine optimization companies, it is essential to note the trends in SEO itself. After all, SEO companies are only going to evolve as much as SEO itself, since their job is to keep up with the changing trends and implement them effectively for their clients. Because of this, looking at some of the trends in SEO is the best way to predict how SEO companies might change in the next few years.
Mobile Will Rule
If SEO companies are going to compete in the coming years, it will be essential that they keep up with the mobile SEO trends. With more and more people turning to their mobile devices – smart phones, tablets, and the like – in order to conduct business, shop, and so on, SEO companies will have to help their clients create and promote mobile versions of their site, and keep those mobile sites current.
For example, one trend in mobile search is voice search, meaning that keywords are changing. With spoken search, people are less and less searching for things like “jewellery shop Dunedin”. Instead, they use more natural sentences, like “Jewellery shops near me”, including more natural language and demonstrating an understanding that the search engine knows where they are located.
The technical back end of mobile marketing and SEO will also be important to master, as there are slight algorithm differences (and some large ones) between standard search and mobile search engine optimization.
Content Marketing is King
Right up there with mobile marketing is the quickly growing awareness of how content marketing is the most natural way to encourage inbound links. On-site SEO is incredibly important, and has been for some time. But while content marketing was once an online marketing experiment of sorts, it is fast becoming an essential part of online marketing, and one of the most organic ways to encourage traffic.
In order to make content marketing effective, however, SEO companies will have to ensure that their clients’ sites are using keywords in a natural way, not stuffing keywords, and so forth. But in addition to these standard tactics, they’ll also have to make sure that websites have depth. In other words, just having one or two pages with basic “about us”, “contact”, and “services” information isn’t going to cut it. Search engines are now crawling for site depth, meaning that multiple sub-pages, each devoted to a specific subject, are essential for good SEO.
As SEO companies move forward, having reliable, valuable, useful, and user-friendly content that is optimized for keyword search and plentiful will be more important than ever.
Social Media is Crucial
Social media is fast becoming crucial to search engine optimization, and SEO companies will have to keep up with the rapidly changing trends in this area of marketing in order to provide the best service to their customers. And social media is becoming central to authority, as well, which is something that SEO companies will have to understand and translate to their customers.
For example, in the past, the only way to really gain authority was to have a site that had a lot of authority in and of itself link to your page. For example, if a major news publication or government site linked to your site, it was considered extremely valuable. This hasn’t exactly changed, but the pool of what makes an authoritative link has broadened a bit, particularly where social media is concerned. Nielsen Research recently stated found that a staggering 92 percent of people would trust a link suggested by their friends or family members, and would likely follow it. For this reason, a website that has a large, connected social media following is becoming crucial to good SEO.
Piggybacking off of this trend, then, is the natural conclusion that it will become essential for SEO companies to teach, train, and encourage their clients to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other sites to market their business and reach out to their followers and fans. Connecting on social media will become more important than ever, and SEO companies will have to make the shift along with it.
If you’ve been surfing the internet long enough, you probably remember the days where you could type in “long stem roses” and get results like “Long View, WA”, “stem cell research”, and “rose tea”. Yes, search engines have come a long way, and they now understand the intention behind a search better than they ever have before. But this will only increase in the coming years, and with that increase in the understanding of intent will come the need for search engine optimization companies to adjust how they advise their clients to include keywords and search terms within their site content.
With Google’s most recent algorithm update, Hummingbird, it’s become easier for search engines to search entire phrases rather than breaking down searches word by word. These types of algorithm shifts will only increase into the future, so it will be necessary for website to consider long-form search terms instead of word by word search terms. SEO companies, then, will have to understand and know how to implement this change when advising their clients.
The “Real Boy” Syndrome
In the past, search engines were kind of like a puppet on the shelf. You put in a search term, and a very literal search results listing would pop up. But more and more, the Geppetto of algorithms is creating a “real boy” out of search engines, making them more and more human, least in the sense that intent, natural phrasing, and words people might actually use in a conversation are becoming more ingrained into the way search engines find and deem sites relevant. SEO companies still have a very bright future, and it’s unlikely the need for them will ever disappear. But they will have to make shifts where focus, intent, priority, and tactics are concerned in order to humanize the web and keep up with the more intelligent searches coming to light.