If you ask people about the future of SEO Marketing, you will most likely get a variety of answers. Some see a bright future, while others see writing on the wall. There is certainly evidence to support both takes. I think that in order to understand where SEO is going, you have to look at where it has been and where it is currently.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the practice of structuring a website to appear higher in search results. The main focus, of course, is Google, but there are many other search engines out there. The basic way that this is done is to make sure the site is structured correctly and utilizing all components such as correct title and heading architecture, metadata, schema markup, proper interlinking structure, and lots of content to target different keywords.
The Pandemic Impact
No matter where you live or what you believe, the pandemic has affected us all greatly in one way or another. It was an event that will certainly be remembered not only for the infection, but as a major cultural shift. Every industry is feeling the ripple effects of that shift, and SEO is no different. Because of the shutdowns, many people were left without work and small businesses were forced to close leaving many with no place to work, and no place to shop. That created a perfect storm of motivated entrepreneurs and demand for their business that resulted in a huge spike in web stores and online shopping. SEO agencies saw a huge spike as well, because each store’s race to the top of search results had begun.
The Current State of SEO
Because of the industry boom, a relatively recent Google algorithm update, and increased competition, many see SEO as a practice that will be phased out. While that is partially true, only certain practices and aspects of SEO die out. The industry as a whole just transforms. In the last several years SEO agencies went from stuffing keywords any place they would fit, to developing a much more sophisticated and calculated approach. A large part of this is because of an algorithm update that put much more emphasis on user experience and domain authority metrics. Meaning that there are now many more ranking factors to consider that are far beyond what was once considered to be SEO. This has forced many SEO agencies to integrate brand building, marketing, and management as a major part of their service.
Are SEO Services Worth the Money?
Of course. If you make money with your website, the added monthly traffic that is afforded to you through SEO is invaluable. Though, there is one caveat. With the advancement of SEO and the significant rise in competition, it is extremely important to contract a company that is knowledgeable and dedicated to staying up-to-date on all of the best strategies and changes to the algorithm. These changes occur frequently and it is a quick dropoff if you fall behind.
Why Normal Bear’s Services are Future Proof
Most SEO Agencies Offer Limited Marketing Services
As stated above, SEO agencies have had to adopt marketing practices out of necessity. At Normal Bear, marketing is a large part of what we do. Over the years, we have done everything from building brands from the ground up, to running social media and PR campaigns, to developing targeted strategies to suit the needs and goals of our clients. We are more than qualified to provide the marketing needed to boost your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings.
We follow E-A-T and Y-M-Y-L Principals
Ranking is no longer a guarantee. You need a way to separate yourself from the competition. The best way to do that is to put all of your content through the E-A-T and Y-M-Y-L filter before posting. These are acronyms for the parameters that Google uses when determining the quality and value of content. They provide the roadmap that should be followed closely whenever adding anything to your website. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Google values accurate and well-researched content that benefits the user. More importantly, it values the sources that are qualified to provide it. Meaning that if you have a website for your construction business and you write a blog post about the latest trends in cooking, Google will ignore the content for the majority of cases. This is very important to understand when building a content plan.
Google assigns value to domains and pages based on a variety of authority metrics. The more value that your domain has, the easier it will be for you to rank on any keyword. We not only understand what Google is looking for, but authority building is something we do for all of our SEO clients.
Google evaluates domains and pages based on trust metrics. A lot of these are based on age of the domain and the age of the URL. This is frustrating for many, but we have developed strategies to leverage these metrics in your favor.
Unveiled in 2020, the Your Money, Your Life update added further restrictions to content that can potentially affect the finances and/or health of the person reading. When it comes to these topics, Google won’t rank low authority pages that share uneducated advice, opinions, or potentially fraudulent websites. They want to be as certain as possible that they are recommending sites that display a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness!
See for Yourself
Our hope is that, after reading this, you have a better understanding of what SEO is, the direction that it is headed, and why it’s important to do it well. It’s not nearly as easy as it used to be, but certainly achievable with the right team in your corner. If you think your site could benefit from an SEO makeover and want to hire a knowledgeable company to get it done for you, email one of our experts and we’ll get you started right away!