The Future Of SEO..Where Has It Been, Where Is It Headed
What the heck is SEO? If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for several years, you’ll know that SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, the process of becoming visible on the internet and taking a coveted top placement position on search engine rank pages. Depending on who you might ask, SEO is either “overrated” or “the most important thing you can do for the health and growth of your business.” Whatever your persuasion, you cannot deny that search engines and search engine culture have had a dramatic impact on the internet and the evolution of business as we know it.
In order to understand where SEO is going, we need a basic understanding of its origins and history. Here is some background information you should know as you decide what kind of role SEO is going to play in the growth and future of your business.
Search engine optimization began as a complement to a basic IT setup. It made web developers feel better about using this as part of their best practices when manipulating code. People built multiple websites, monitored them, then mirrored these sites. In the beginning, SEO was thought of as a luxury, not a necessity. A great deal of the heavy lifting was left to IT professionals, and it was not given a second thought when it came to marketing and business growth.
Moving Along The Timeline
In 2004, Google got wise to the concept of SEO, and it became an “unofficial tool” for marketing, branding, and sales. Anyone who was a business owner knew about the power of Google and search engines, but they didn’t yet understand the mechanics of optimization, nor how fundamental it was about to become to the very fabric of their marketing structure.
Once the power of Search Engine Optimization became evident to business owners, they started to care a lot more about integrating it into their marketing plans. This is where things got interesting-- all of a sudden, there was an industry explosion of SEO experts, marketing companies, and “do it yourself” enthusiasts all claiming that they knew more about the process than their competition. Companies like Moz, SEMRush, and KWFinder were popping up everywhere, giving business owners the wrong impression that SEO could be done easily and inexpensively, which was not necessarily the case.
What these pioneers failed to realize was there was a bit of a delayed return on investment. Imagine that..in a place so vast as the internet, that it would take some time to move from a modest position to the top of the visibility list! Many business owners began searching for a more economical option that would take less time to implement and less time to wait before results were evident. The searches continued.
These days, business owners who have robust marketing strategies value the role that SEO plays in their own business success. There is more of a shift in focus with optimization now from specific keywords to topics. The market is saturated with people claiming to know its inside secrets, offering low upfront cost in exchange for astronomical business growth, and the like. How do we go about sifting through this mess to find out more about SEO and, more importantly, who can assist us in getting the best bang for our hard earned buck?
Sidenote: How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?
Basically, the goal of any search engine like Bing, Google or Yahoo is to take words and phrases that are typed into a search bar and find web pages that are relevant, matching the word list. The search query, or sequence of words that are typed into the search bar, is what drives the sophisticated process of hunt and peck, search and find. Just imagine how long it might take for a manual search to be done of the billions of web pages that exist on the internet today. Thank heaven for search engines; they have streamlined the information acquisition process like no other innovation has. Once the query is sent out, the search engine matching process goes to work, finding relevant results and returning a SERP, or Search Engine Results Page, listing all web pages found that have results closely matching the original request.
Searching via search engines is done using algorithms. Algorithms take into account backlinks to pages, domain credibility, quality of page content and a number of other factors when deciding what to return to you, the searcher. Algorithms are not intelligent organisms that know how to analyze all of this information, however. There must be an automated system that allows the algorithms to compile all of this jumble.
Say hello to the spiders.
Spiders, or web crawlers, are a search and find program that is continually crawling along webpages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, categorizing web data and then delivering it to a massive web index that compartmentalizes the information into specific formats. Search engine algorithms go straight to this index to find relevant data that they then deliver back to you.
Why is SEO so important?
SEO has one function when it comes to business, and that function is visibility. The more visible you are to web surfers, the more likely they are going to click on your page. The more they click on your page, the more they are likely to get enticed by your products and services. The more exposure they have to your products and services, the more likely they are to purchase from you.
Simply put, SEO visibility will increase your business. Statistics show that 80 percent of all web business begins with a product search via a search engine. Of that 80 percent strolling through Google’s SERP pages, most of them end their search within the top ten list findings on Google. If you are on page two, too bad for you. SEO’s goal is to get you to a higher ranking for more visibility and more business.
Where Are We Headed? What’s Next For The Future Of SEO?
With the evolution of social media, the process of search and find has changed dramatically. As early as 2011, social media was beginning to dominate the search and referral process for products and services, and as recently as 2014, social media marketing and search were running in tandem, competing for the top spot as a premier marketing tool for business.
Mobile marketing and messaging apps have been picking up steam since their inception--you’d be hard pressed to find anybody these days who doesn’t have some sort of mobile device regularly at their disposal. With this access to technology comes an incredible opportunity to reach consumers anytime, anywhere. While search traffic is still a widely used, sustainable method of marketing to consumers, we cannot deny any longer that mobile marketing is becoming as vital to the success of your business as SEO is. To stay competitive, you must stay current with market trends and relevant to consumer demand.
Here are some things to know about the future of SEO and what it means for you:
Content discovery is going beyond traditional search methods. Recent reports claim that mobile discovery has surpassed online search, and its percentage of use continues to climb as we become increasingly more mobile. Mobile marketing has gone beyond web browser experience, however.
It’s all about app experience. Over 80 percent of time on mobile devices is spent using applications, not web browsers. Social media apps are the lions in this jungle, with ads on Facebook and Whatsapp killing it with respect to referrals and sales.
Within this new culture of app marketing and app use on mobile devices, there comes the unique need to offer new content and updates within that app. The creation of intelligent “bot” software, which analyzes use data and then creates a user experience around preferences and purchasing history has already taken hold in some of the larger apps, so that searching no longer becomes necessary; your preferences and suggestions literally come to you. This is dangerous territory for those of us that have issues with impulse purchasing, as it places your preferred products and wish lists at your fingertips.
SEO, no matter what format it takes in the future, will be all about user experience. Being able to anticipate your customers’ needs, designing your web presence to be geared toward their preferences, and using language that resonates with them will all be instrumental in creating an optimal user experience that demands their attention. Building a long-term, sustainable business isn’t necessarily all about attracting new business, it’s about building loyal customers who return to you time and time again for the wonderful services you’ve been able to provide them. Even a 5 percent customer retention statistic can return a 25 percent gain in profits to you at the end of the fiscal year. Retention centered around quality customer service and an optimal experience is worth spending some time on.
Exciting Times Ahead...Are You Ready?
The world of internet marketing is evolving very rapidly. In fact, marketing strategies are different today than they were even yesterday! To stay relevant and desirable, you must be willing to change systems of operation and increase your own knowledge about what effective marketing is in today’s world. SEO and mobile marketing will continue to evolve and grow, perhaps intertwining themselves in an effort to provide a premier customer experience that creates loyal, repeat business for you as you continue to grow and evolve right alongside it.
In these exciting evolutionary times, are you prepared to not only weather the changes, but anticipate them, developing cutting edge marketing tools and techniques of your own that get you noticed? Are you sitting in Google’s #1 spot in your particular niche right now, or is there some room left to be desired? Do you find yourself wondering what you need to do to take the next evolutionary leap in your own business growth and success?
Don’t worry...we’re here to help!
At MaxGroup, your success is our passion. Your growth is our pride and joy. What is your web presence saying about you right now? Do you like the footprint you are leaving in cyberspace? Let’s talk about your mobile influence right now--are you optimized for success, or is your technology insufficient to reach our discriminating public? We are experts in marketing, web technology, and optimizing for business success. We will get you noticed! Partnering with MaxGroup Business Solutions is taking the next evolutionary leap to your success. Contact www.maxgroupbusiness.com today to bring you, and your business, to the next level.