The basics of SEO remain remarkably simple.
In a nutshell, SEO is creating content that matches keyword intent, housing the content inside optimal information architecture complemented with smart technical SEO, then understanding why people would want to link to or cite you and your brand, and encouraging them to do so.
But the scale and relevance of this content is where the difference can be made. The question remains, Why aren’t more websites more optimized? And why don’t more websites have optimal content?
Brands who are winning their respective markets have one thing in common
They all understand their audiences, the journeys they are experiencing, and know how to generate demand all the way through that journey.
Those that fall short generally do so for a number of reasons, but often it has less to do with know-how and more to do with politics, resources, and effort.
Technology is set to have a much greater impact on refining this side of SEO. In particular, progressive technologies that will allow SEOs to spend more of their time doing more creative and team orientated marketing tasks.
Data, machine learning, and the software will combine to take more of the strain out of “best practice” SEO, freeing up resource to focus on the more human elements.
Machine learning systems, for example, will increasingly be able to identify patterns uniformities in customer journey data so time and investment can be made in areas where the most impact can be made.
This will allow more brands to overcome the bottlenecks and barriers they currently face, whether they be money, knowledge, or time, and help them create the comprehensive and refined consumer journeys necessary to win their respective markets.
Using technology to free up resources, and increasingly advanced SEO techniques will mean that becomes much more sophisticated altogether. There will be a greater focus on building brand reputation, traditionally a tricky thing to measure, and a very time consuming element of an overall SEO strategy.
Above all, the industry will move towards concepts (understanding the language of the market in the context of semantic groups) and moments (the behavioural and psychological states that consumers are in when engaging in a purchase), rather than just keywords.
Essentially, a much more mature approach to SEO.