What the future of search engine marketing holds nobody really knows but the signs are clear as to where things are going for anyone or any business looking to market almost anything on the web. The way people interact and communicate online is always changing and nothing stays the same for too long. We are obsessed with speed and things being quicker at all times and quality of life is about to change.
How are things changing the search engine marketing landscape?
1. Local Search Engine Marketing: Local search engine marketing was once not very important, now it is crucial for survival. Whether you are a car dealership or a lemonade stand marketing yourself online is vital to bringing in new customers. Local marketing utilizing location based GPS check-ins is still sort of in its infancy stage. Foursquare and Gowalla have been able to really change the way many people look at enticing local foot traffic to walk through any door. Is it perfect yet? No but it is getting there. Foursquare is in the process of introducing hardware into the mix where local store owners can leverage the social local giant even more. The number of people utilizing these mobile apps on the go is staggering and they are really picking up the pace. Foursquare is also introducing a “specials near you” tab where people can see who is having sales and discounts while they are mobile. This is the future of local search engine marketing.
2. Real Time Content: There is no doubt about it we might be on a content overload but that isn’t stopping many to keep creating it. We have become a glutton for new fresh content and if we can get it faster we probably would. Twitter has definitely started the real time phenomenon and now many are trying to figure out how they can introduce real time news and content to the mass market even faster than ever before. The days of waiting for content to appear online are over. The community wants news, information and data as it is happening and this type of approach is going to grow even stronger as we move into the future. Content is the fuel that feeds the search engines right now and the quicker anyone can get in front of people the chances of them generating one way links is even stronger.
3. Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is a beast right now and I think it is going to get even crazier. Customers are starting to really interact with companies online before they make any purchases and I think this is going to grow even stronger as time goes on. Social media has given companies that might have not been trusted before an opportunity to create trust in the eyes of their audience. With the way the world spins now trust is everything. Too many people getting burned left and right and trust has become such an important purchasing point for many shoppers. The social interaction plays on the whole real time phenomenon of being able to communicate with others and companies instantly.
4. Branding: The days of search engine rankings ruling your revenue stream will someday be over. Brands are the future of search engine marketing and websites that approach themselves like a brand right from the start will be the ones who prevail. Search traffic does not just purchase from a single web page sitting in the search results. Having lots of unique visitors is great and all but what good are all those visitors if none of them convert into new business? SEO and search engine marketing will shift towards a brand building effort rather than just a search ranking effort. That means heavy social media, daily customer interaction, and strategic link placement making sure you are always taking a quality approach to all your search engine marketing.
I think the future of SEO and search engine marketing in general is also the process of cleaning up the way search engines index information. Remember that the search engines are still very young and they are still cleaning themselves up. There will come a time where spam has no leverage in the search engine results and we are on our way there. When it will happen? Who knows but we are already seeing signs of it now. The future of search engine marketing is bright, vibrant and even more robust than it is now and the interaction between company and customer will be one rich in flavor.