SEO is like a baby.

It’s young. Changes a lot. Is messy.

Takes lots of time.

And as a result of its inability to communicate is vastly misunderstood.

What makes the State of SEO so interesting to me is how quickly it is changing.

We have voice search which has increased 3,500% from just 2008.

We have companies like Cisco and Facebook, proclaiming that 79% of internet traffic will be video-based by 2020.

And 75% of Internet use is already through mobile, according to Thomson Reuters.

Whether it be through Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, Nest, or Cortana personal assistants are creeping into every aspect of our lives.

Needless to say, SEO is just on the cusp of becoming a totally different baby.

Given the pace of change in SEO, I’m going to argue that it should be part of your job as an SEO to predict what might just happen next.

So, I interviewed 25 SEO and digital marketing experts to give you a peek inside their heads about the future of SEO.

Here’s the roundup:

 

jessica joyce

Feel free to connect with Jessica at:

twitter

dev basu

Feel free to connect with Dev here:

linkedin website twitter

brent chaters

Feel free to connect with Brent here:

linkedin

marjie richardson

Feel free to connect with Marji here:

linkedin

victoria berry

Feel free to connect with Victoria here:

linkedin

Feel free to connect with Brooklynn here:

linkedin website twitter

steve fanous

Feel free to connect with Steve here:

linkedin website

lynnie nguyen

Feel free to connect with Lynnie here:

linkedin  twitter

chance nguyen

Feel free to connect with Chance here:

linkedin  twitter

mack bhatia

Feel free to connect with Mack here:

linkedin website twitter

lisa soares

Feel free to connect with Lisa here:

linkedin website

lauren barber

Feel free to connect with Lauren at:

linkedin

devon bate

Feel free to connect with Devon here:

linkedin website twitter

bushra aafaqi

Feel free to connect with Bushra here:

linkedin

ameer rosic

Feel free to connect with Ameer here:

linkedin website

deepak shukla

Feel free to connect with Deepak here:

linkedin website twitter

sunny

Feel free to connect with Sunny here:

linkedinwebsite

harikrishna rao

Feel free to connect with Harikrishna here:

linkedin

monty

Feel free to connect with Monty here:

linkedin website

brendan

Feel free to connect with Brendan here:

linkedin website twitter

danita

Feel free to connect with Danita here:

linkedin

ryan glass

Feel free to connect with Ryan here:

linkedin website twitter

tom treanor

Feel free to connect with Tom here:

linkedin website twitter

 

Where SEOs clash

 

Video is going to be the content medium of choice

I found that there was a lot of controversy around video specifically. Some SEOs state that the written word will have a strong hold on SEO for the next 10 years, while others state that video-based SEO is going to overtake normal SEO.

One of the reasons there’s a lot of controversy around video, is because we all tend to bias what content medium works for others based on what we like.

Voice search isn’t going to affect my business

About 50% of the people I interviewed didn’t think about the way voice search was going to change their SEO strategy. This is partly because the majority of voice search is heavily dependent on local SEO.

The most interesting part I found was how SEOs are taking into account the activity people are doing when searching via voice. People are not doing research while on the go. They’re trying to do something specific. So, the way we look at a keyword’s intent for voice search has to revolve more around what activity people are doing vs what keyword they’re searching for. 

Organic SEO is going to die

If you look at Facebook when it started, your organic reach on your company’s Facebook posts was upwards of 90%. Then when lots of people started posting content, the organic reach dropped to around 10% and moved to a “pay to play” model. Although SEO has been around for longer than Facebook, some SEOs predict this trend will continue with search engines. Ads won’t necessarily kill organic SEO but will eat away at the organic real estate of SERPs.

Where SEOs agree

 

Wikipedias for all

I believe Jessica Joyce summed this up perfectly for everyone when she said “The bar is constantly being raised for content and the depth of knowledge required keeps getting deeper. Next year won’t be just 10x content – it may be 100x content, full Wikipedia’s for all.”

In short, listicles and content that doesn’t have substantial substance won’t cut it anymore.

Engagement is the north star of SEO

I love how Monty Elsabbagh said it “Although SEO changes more than any other marketing channel, my core strategy hasn’t changed in more than 10 years. Engagement is and will always be key. It’s the only long-term way to WIN in SEO.”

Regardless of what content medium you use, if you focus on engagement, you’re in good hands.

End-to-end experience

Just having someone do SEO for your team is not going to set you up for long-term success. SEO cannot be siloed or compartmentalized. You need to focus on the end-to-end experience. Reviews are soon going to be a huge ranking factor and if your business, as a whole, doesn’t focus on the experience, then it’s going to be a battle to get customers. Offering your customers an incredible experience will be the only way to “hack” SEO in the future.

Your turn, creep

 

If you’ve made it this far, I’d love to hear your thoughts on where you think the future of SEO is going and if you found anything insightful.
Just leave a comment below and I promise not to bombard you with retargeting ads, friend. 🙂