Where the Best SEO Firms are Headed in the Next Five Years?

Taking a look back to when I first started in the SEO game, a lot has changed. There are tactics that were extremely successful that are now guaranteed to get your site deindexed. So, what should the best SEO firms be looking at focussing on in the next five years?

Becoming more user-centric

This one is a no-brainer. Google is heavily focussed on making its search algorithms more focussed on what the user wants rather than what the user asks for. It is constantly improving the artificial intelligence aspect of its ranking algorithm, seeking to mimic the intent and patterns of a real human being.

The best SEO firms are all aware of this and should be training their content writers to write content that is engaging and actually answers the questions users are asking. Even things like including graphics and videos will help you out here.

Exploring mobile optimisation

Google has already indicated that is has developed two separate index systems – one for desktop and one for mobile. The mobile one is becoming the primary indexing system. Why? Because the world is far more mobile oriented now than it was five years ago, and that trend is on the upswing.

The best SEO firms will have to take a look at the mobile performance of any websites they take on and make changes or recommendations to improve the mobile speed of these websites. This may take the form of minimising jQuery or implementing AMP infrastructure instead of regular HTML5. They should definitely be taking a look at things like load time and mobile rendering. They should ensure that every button and image is optimised to provide the best possible experience on mobile first, then on desktop.

No automation anywhere

Automation is one thing that Google has always been against. They want their search results to show what everyone is actually talking about, not what bots out there are clicking on and posting.

Old practices like link building and article spinning are already dead in the water. Future SEO firms will not even think about driving automated traffic or building links. All of their efforts will be focussed on manually generating relevant and exciting content on the various platforms available to them.

Playing the social game

Social platforms are also search engines, believe it or not. In fact, Facebook is catching up to Google in terms of the number of searches triggered on a daily and monthly basis. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are just as important as Google, they also serve content on a as required basis and have their own ranking algorithms in place.

The best SEO firms are going to have to make sure that they are implementing effective social marketing strategies alongside their organic Google strategies. In the past, a Google based SEO strategy would catch you plenty of traffic from yahoo and Bing. Social media was not really a factor. This is fast becoming a thing of the past.

Of course, companies that offer products to the layman are going to get a far bigger benefit from social media than a business selling to other businesses. Just don’t forget that even the owners of businesses are likely to be on Facebook or Twitter and interacting with the platform in their day to day digital fidgeting.

Voice integration and AI PA’s

With the rise of mobile comes the likes of Alexa and Siri. These virtual assistants can read to us and perform searches for us. They can even make recommendations. It is becoming more important to cater to these programmes.

If your SEO firm is really paying attention to the trends, they will be optimising for natural language searches and general search terms, not just product specific terms. Ranking for phrases directly related to your industry is not the be all and end all. You should also take a look at the phrases that are more generic but still relate to your industry.

For example: a top Auckland restaurant would want to rank well for “Restaurants in Auckland” but they would also want to take a look at terms like “night life in Auckland” and “what to do in Auckland”.

Structured data implementation

When a person does a search, they want to be able to find the answer to their question in a minute or less. They don’t want to search through dozens of websites to dig out the information they want. This is where the best SEO firms will implement that all important structured data.

Structured data allows Google to give a more accurate impression of your website to the user. This means that users who click through to your website will have a much better idea of what they can expect to find. This means a lower bounce rate and better user experience for you – both of which will give your website plenty of kudos from Google.

SEO is not a science. There is no fixed strategy that will work each and every time, no matter what. There are the technical aspects that you need to understand and examine, but there is also the art of putting these technical aspects together in a way that best leverages the various ranking factors and user expectations to give a website the best possible chance of making the Google algorithm happy.

The best SEO firms will have to learn to integrate the creativity of long form content and social interaction with the technicalities of AMP and structured data.