A new year is just around the corner. As 2012 comes to a close, I’ve been keeping my eye on studies about corporate SEO to forecast what the next year will bring and how I will tailor my clients’ packages to get even better results. In the search engine marketing world, you learn not to become TOO comfortable with any one strategy. It is something that must always be evolving and morphing into something bigger and better. Here are some of the trends I am predicting…
Trend #1: Companies Invest In More Organic Search Marketing.
According to GroupM and Nielsen research, 94 percent of searchers click through on organic search results. In fact, the Top 3 positions in Google earn 61 percent of the clicks. That’s why a lot of my work aims to get you not only to the first page results, but the top spots. If you want organic results, you need to commit to regular, ongoing search marketing. You can’t half-ass it.
The surprising truth, according to Forrester’s U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast, is that marketers are planning to spend 88 percent of their search marketing budgets on PAID SEARCH CAMPAIGNS! That means only 12 percent of the money will be spent on organic search… which is… WHAT WORKS!
The reason is that PPC can give you immediate gratification. SEO can be scary for corporations because an uncertain amount of time and money must be invested indefinitely. However, the results are longer lasting. PPC results can get you into the top position right away, but your success can dissipate as quickly as it appeared. My guess is that companies will start to pick up on the message that long-term, enduring strategies are worth every penny.
Trend #2: Content Marketing Still Dominates.
The phrase “Content is King” has been a cliché for many years now… and it will continue to be for many more. The Internet was created to share information, so there will never be anything more important (and more significant for search engine ranking) than fresh, relevant content. It’s this content that keeps the SEO wagon wheel rolling. The best content will be optimized for SEO… although, our rule is to play it conservative. You can’t just dump your keyword onto a page in every paragraph anymore. According to the Custom Content Council, marketers spent $16.6 billion on electronic content marketing last year. We can expect just as much this year – and next.
Trend #3: Google+ Becomes More Popular. Pinterest Becomes Standard.
Google+ seemed like sort of a flop outside the starting gate. Initially, all these random people were adding me. None of my friends were interested. Yet, we know now that Google+ is picking up a lot of search traffic. It makes sense that Google would position its social network to be more searchable than the competition. I’m also seeing a lot more corporate activity on Pinterest as brands view the site as a great way to get exposure, create social imprints, and remain fresh in people’s minds. There are so many creative and visual avenues you can pursue here!
Trend #4: Video Optimization Leads To Domination.
Video is a great SEO secret weapon. Many corporations forget that YouTube is the second busiest search engine. Video content that is tagged and optimized properly can rank quite well in both YouTube and Google. Brands that understand how to create compelling video content will get a leg up in social networks, search and the minds of their prospects! I anticipate more and more brands will be asking about my video services this coming year.
Trend #5: Press Releases Build Credibility.
This trend has already started happening. About half-way through the year, brands began asking me about press releases. In fact, most of my clients view press release distribution as equally on-par with their blogging activity. The art of press release writing can convert targeted traffic and appeal to media channels to build credibility and create buzz beyond a company’s wildest dreams.
The Bottom Line:
Modern SEO is so much more than on-page optimization. It’s a giant conglomeration of all your online efforts –content production, video production, social media marketing, linking and paid search. I look forward to another fantastic year of providing clients with top-notch service at affordable prices. My hope is that CEOs will be open-minded to what the current results are telling us about the future: Organic Search is where it’s at!