Don’t buy into the hype of “SEO is dead” or “SEO is a fading growth tactic.” These are far-reaching misconceptions that will only burn you on the back end if you choose to take them seriously.
SEO isn’t going anywhere; if anything, it’s like a child that's transitioning into its teen phase and getting smarter. And like a growing child, the tricks we all used to use to get it to comply with our requests aren’t working anymore.
Google has pulled back the proverbial curtain and found us pulling the strings to get SEO to improve our rankings and boost our revenue, all without much work involved. But today, with algorithm updates and requirements in place, you will have to put in the work to reap the reward.
So then the question stands: What is the future of SEO and its growth?
What Is the Future of SEO?
The future of SEO is broken down into what we believe to be five key growth predictions:
- Content meeting users' mindset and intent
- Increasing overall content and webpages
- Prioritization of mobile-friendly sites
- Branding replacing backlinks
- AI integrations
While not all of these are “new” concepts, their importance has definitely shifted in the eyes of search engine optimization. For example, AI used to be more of an idea than an actual SEO integration. Today it’s shaping how search engines are personalizing search experiences. And that’s one example; let’s look at how these other concepts will come into play.
Top 5 SEO Future Growth Predictions
1. Message Must Meet Users' Mindset and Intent
It has never been more frustrating to be on the hunt for information only to click on a webpage and leave seconds later having your needs completely unmet. Google is wise on this and is now penalizing those that don’t satisfy user intent and rewarding ones that do.
What you can do:
- Get to the point: Sites can easily get bogged down with telling a story that they accidentally skirt around the point or leave the audience with a vague interpretation.
- Present the question and answer it immediately: If you pose a question in an H2 or H3, lead with the answer and backfill with credible info in the coming text.
- Think about what’s next: Put yourself in the mind of the reader: What are they likely to ask/need next? Use this information to structure your content or at least link them to a supporting article you have elsewhere on your site.
2. Increasing Content and Webpages = Higher SEO Rankings
The more, the merrier! (This doesn’t just ring true for happy hours.) Google has a known track record of increasing its total earnings via ad revenue. But these ads need real estate to live and thrive. The answer to this is found on your website.
What you can do:
- Produce a quantity of quality content: Re-read that. You need both quality and quantity. With more content, you have more places to place ads, and with more quality content, you bring in more visitors to engage with those ads. A win for you and the ads you sponsor.
- Create more web pages: It’s highly probable that your niche has some related topics, ones that you haven’t incorporated into your website (e.g., a golf website with a page for t-shots but not putting or iron shots). This is a missed opportunity to increase your online real estate. Branch out slowly and work to expand your reach.
3. Mobile-Friendly Sites = Better Indexing and Rankings
When was the last time you were away from your laptop and didn’t use your mobile device to surf the internet? At most, you use your phone for browsing and your computer for more work-related or studious inquiries. Mobile is the prime gateway to the internet, and Google is prioritizing those that cater to be accessible across all devices.
What you can do:
- Have a responsive design: “Responsive” is another way of saying adaptable, meaning your site will adapt to whatever size screen the reader is using. This is a minimum requirement with Google, so you’ll find that almost every major website builder (WordPress, Wix, Squarespace) offers this for all its templates.
- Break down your text: Long groups of text don’t bode well on mobile. Instead, be concise with your text, don’t go over 4-5 lines without a break, and utilize bullet points plus H3s/H4s to eliminate large chunks of text.
- Compress images: Pictures, charts, and videos are perfect for adding imagery to your text. Sometimes they can tell the story better than words. But they also can slow down site speed considerably. To avoid this, compress your images, host your videos through a third party (like YouTube) and embed them on your site.
4. Branding Over Backlinks
Backlinks have been a longstanding way to improve your site's authority in the eyes of Google, but it’s slowly transitioning to take a backseat to branding. Building your brand gives you growth potential, instills trust with your audience, and ultimately qualifies you as a source of authority.
Basically, build your brand, and the backlinks will follow naturally.
What you can do:
- Invest in design and marketing: Cater to your target audience through everything from your logo to your colors and fonts. Brands that are uniform across all their mediums (social media, ads, website) stand out as professional.
- Provide quality: Whether you provide a service or supply a product, you want to be known as a quality brand. One that can back up its cost with output that solves a customer's problem or makes life easier.
5. AI Integrations
Bringing it back around to what we discussed earlier, SEO and AI is now a progressive tool being used to cater to user personalization, as well as other facets of SEO. These will include:
- Competitive analysis: AI has the ability to track your competition’s SEO tactics and how it’s affecting their site rankings.
- Algorithm analysis: Whenever Google drops a new algorithm update, AI will be able to fast-track finding potential site penalties that can hurt your rankings.
- Ranking predictions: AI will be capable of predicting ranking based on variables such as backlink usage and optimization.
- Keyword and text usage: AI tools will have the ability to analyze keyword usage, keyword variations, and anchor text.
What you can do:
Familiarize yourself with up-and-coming AI programs and tools: Learning about artificial intelligence for content marketing can unlock multiple doors for your brand. Plus, it can help you plan your content in advance, personalize the user experience, and let you focus more on content and less on processes that can be automated.
The Bottom Line
The future of SEO and its growth with continue to spiral in various directions. The goal is to stay abreast with the trends but avoid being easily redirected. Too many changes to your SEO strategy will only leave you frustrated with an exhausted marketing budget and little to show for it. Pick a trend that works for you, create a plan of action, and give it the time it needs to see its true outcome.
We understand that getting past the ideation phase isn't for everyone. Brands that require additional assistance can contact FPS. Our marketing experts can build you an SEO plan that is flexible for your business while delivering the results you need. Think of us as skipping the "trial-and-error" phase and going straight to the finish line.