It’s hard to believe that SEO (search engine optimization) is more than 25 years old, but the idea of increasing one’s ranking in the search engines planted its first seeds right after the world’s first website launched. Now, the SEO landscape hardly resembles its crude beginnings, so what should marketers expect from the industry over the next year? Here we humbly present our thoughts on the future of SEO:
Before you panic, it’s important to note that keywords still matter. If you can increase your ranking for a high-value keyword (especially one of the long-tail variety), you’re poised for success. However, SEO expert Jayson DeMers asserts that relevant and proof terms matter just as much.
For instance, let’s say you’re writing an article about washing machines. You might mention the keyword “washing machine,” but if all of your other words deal with broader terms like “home improvement” and “housekeeping,” you might not get great results.
You need to find proof terms, which are generally considered inextricable from the main keyword. In the case of “washing machine,” search engines might also expect you to use words like “dryer” and “laundry.”
Similarly, relevant terms help expand upon your keyword and help demonstrate your authority. In the example above, you might use relevant terms like “spin cycle” and “laundry soap.”
The most important rule you can follow for SEO is to make sure every piece of content on your site is contextually relevant. In other words, it’s all interrelated.
If you want to discuss an unrelated topic or start a new branch of your business, consider developing a separate web property. Even if you have unrelated content on the same site, don’t put it all on the same page.
Google and other search engines want to deliver content that meets the end user’s expectations. If your content is all over the place, Google won’t want to run the risk of disappointing users who click on your links.
Rand Fishkin of Moz fame predicts that content marketing software solutions for non-enterprise users will continue their rise. What does this mean for smaller businesses? It suggested an opportunity to automate your content marketing efforts and to gather more detailed data about users, activity, traffic, and performance.
This could represent an exciting turn of events for the small corporate fish in the Internet’s enormous pond. Affordable content marketing software aimed at smaller firms could change how businesses compete with one another in the SEO and content space.
Forbes predicts that video content will hit a tipping point for content marketing and SEO ROI. In other words, companies and brands that stick with text-only content might start experiencing some SEO losses.
People are consuming content in different ways, which means that businesses have to adapt. If you’re not exploring non-text content opportunities, now’s the time to start.
It’s always difficult to tell exactly how the SEO landscape will change in a given year, but it’s important to look ahead.