Happy New Year Everyone!
It’s 2012 and since I don’t expect the world to end like so many dooms day sayers I am looking into the future. At the beginning of every year experts and analyzers look at previous trends and make predictions on what’s suppose to happen in their industry. SEO and Internet Marketing is no different. I’m no Rand Fishkin but I’d like to give you my two cents anyway.
One of the things that I’ve been hearing for that last couple of years is that mobile SEO will be the new, hot thing that everyone needs to look out for. I heard that in 2010 and in 2011 and you know what we all found out? That the importance of mobile SEO services is very overrrated and not as useful as we thought it would be.
The reason that’s true is because the major difference between mobile search and regular search (desktops and laptops) is that mobile searchers make shorter queries; all that means is that you need to work on broad keywords. Other than that we learned that mobile searchers are often local searchers, so if you have a local business you need a website and you need to think about SEO. Aside from, it’s pretty much the same. It’s like a new ingredient has been added to a recipe. It’s nice and it does influence the flavor of things but it’s not the big game changer everyone and their blogger was saying it would be.
I don’t expect more out of mobile SEO than that. No doubt smart phone usage will go up but that fact won’t change the way SEOs work.
I haven’t heard of any predictions this year on mobile search but I can make a few of my own based on my experience with it. As search engines get better at interpreting images, they will become a more important part of on page SEO. Will it be a game changer for the industry? No, it’s game changing days are over but image reading has become incredibly sophisticated and image optimization shouldn’t be overlooked. I’ve seen an incredible amount of traffic come in from optimizing images. Google Image search does a great job of providing traffic to the websites that I work with so it’s a good idea to make sure that you have this basic element covered. As Google gets better at reading images it’ll be important to not misrepresent your images with bad alt tags but make sure you have them!
Social and Search
I’ve heard a lot of things about how Social Media Marketing and SEO are becoming two of the same thing. I’m finding this to be true, It’s harder and harder for websites to rank with out social marketing. This is great for big creative businesses but not as much for small ones who don’t want to put the time into maintaining a twitter profile. Google Plus is a minor ranking factor, shares and retweets count in building profile [and therefore website] authority and good customer service always helps your business thrive. If you have a boring businesses and don’t want to dive into social media you may not be able to survive against companies that do. Industries like industrial plumbing won’t have to embrace social media as quickly as Tech does but if they want to rank they are going to have to keep up with the times.
This is kind of becoming a thing of the past. Unless you’re a mega, multinational, multi-industry corporation it’ll get harder and harder for you to rank in search engines globally. Why do I say that? Because having a website isn’t a novelty anymore; having an optimized website is standard practice now. The web is growing at an unbelievable pace, according to Mashable’s web growth. In the infancy of the internet a website probably had several thousand real competitors in it’s industry, now I’d guess a site has several million. I’m guessing because I don’t know, no one truly knows the numbers because the web is growing so fast.
If you want to rank internationally you can’t just say “we are an international company” and have an 1-800 number, you need to prove it! And you prove your worth on the international market by having different location listings, phone numbers, domains with corresponding languages and make sure it’s SEO friendly. The bigger the web gets the harder it will be to have a wide reach, this is another reason why Social Media Marketing is so important (hint, hint).
There are a few other predictions that I can make but I’m sure this is a enough for now. We’ll just have to see how things play out.