A new year is upon us, and as an internet marketing company, the landscape is constantly evolving and it’s imperative to move at the speed of technology or fall behind. 2010 was an interesting year with Google and Bing undergoing some tweaks, but nothing Earth-shattering took place to change the search engine optimization (SEO) landscape.
As we move into a 2011 the internet marketing specialists at TheeDigital have compiled our SEO expectations for the new year. Bear in mind, we could be wrong, but we will shoot these ideas against the wall and see what sticks.
The Evolution of Personalized Search
In 2010 Google unveiled their personalized search feature to help the end user easily find what they are looking for. Moving forward with this technology, unless users opt out, it will be the default method based on the searcher’s web viewing history. This provides an even greater challenge for SEO specialists to position websites as valuable resources that entice the visitor to return on a regular basis.
Late last year, Bing and Facebook joined forces to offer a more personalized search environment based on the “Likes” of you and your friends. If you are logged into your Facebook account while searching on Bing – depending on your search request – you may see your friends liking the same. That said, the jury is still out on this and nobody really uses Bing anyways. Well, at least according to my Google Analytics reports.
The Increased Impact of Social Media
That leads us into social media, which is quickly becoming just as important as SEO for generating web traffic. Many die-hard, old school SEO experts have been slow to embrace social media, but it’s simply getting bigger and offering more opportunities to improve web leads. By “optimizing” social media accounts you can create back links to your website, and while they may not be “Do Follow” sites, we feel there is still some Google Juice there. At a minimum, if the surfer likes what they see on your social media profile, they just might want to learn more about your products and services, which could lead to more sales.
Video, Video, Video
Let’s face it, internet video is just getting bigger. Nobody wants to read a bunch of paragraphs about your services, when they can watch a video in few seconds. But did you know that people are now using YouTube as a search engine and that it has passed Yahoo in terms of searchers? Your company needs to have a presence on that site, or you are going to miss out on valuable opportunities. In addition, while the links are no follow, YouTube videos are often indexed by Google and offer a chance to earn prominent rankings on search engine results pages for your particular keywords.
Balancing Local Search with Geo-Search
Local search really exploded onto the scene last year, and it is only going to expand in the upcoming year. As an internet
marketing specialist you need to tweak your SEO strategy to take this into account as many savvy users are no longer entering a city name, and just typing in what they are looking for. That said, after spending plenty of time testing local search, there is a lot to be desired. For example, as a Raleigh internet marketing company, I type “restaurants” into Google and I see some very relevant choices as the fourth listing. However, if I type in “Raleigh restaurants” they come up first with more robust choices on the first page. It’s important to optimize your site so it shows up for both… and with major search engines tweaking the rules, it can be very tricky.
These are just a few expectations the internet marketing team at TheeDigital has complied. Since the industry is always fluid, new technologies and trends could emerge at any time and your business must be ready to adapt or be left behind.