As the world of technology and the internet continues to evolve at pace, there is no question that the challenges faced by search marketers as they try to reach the biggest possible audience will increase massively.
There are a number of reasons for this, however they will predominantly be driven by changes to the way we search as consumers, while businesses will be tasked with keeping up with forever changing search algorithms and guidelines.
We put together a number of search predictions for the year ahead, and looked at how these could influence the way in which marketing teams across the world have to work.
The influence of mobile devices is growing in terms of both consumers and businesses on a daily basis. In 2013, this will continue, and stretch across so that search becomes more optimised for mobile.
How is this possible?
Many businesses are already optimising their websites for viewing on mobile devices, rather than having a separate mobile site. Search spiders will therefore be able to identify which websites give a better user experience on a smartphone or tablet, and tailor their results accordingly when you use mobile search.
In turn, especially as more mobile devices become synched with laptop and desktop PC’s, this will begin to reshape the way we see search results that are tailored based on our previous queries and behaviour.
In short, if a website doesn’t look good on a mobile, search engines won’t do them any favours on any device or platform.
Tailor Made Gets Better
Search engines are already great at picking up on our behaviour trends. As the availability of information relating to what we do online grows, be that how long we spend on a website, where we browse before making a purchase, or another factor, marketers will have more data than ever before to give us specifically what we are looking for.
Of course, the same is true for Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and everyone else in the industry. 2013 is likely to be the year search engines move towards knowing what we’re thinking before even we do ourselves. A scary thought, but an exciting one all the same.
Social Stays Second
There are many companies influential in the field of SEO that believe social media will overtake traditional search for consumers. While we agree that social searches will indeed become more popular, we also think that traditional search will remain the first place people go when they are looking for information or to buy a product.
If anything, social media and search will become more intertwined rather than being in constant competition with each other, especially as Google and the rest give much more weight to user generated content and links shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, among others.
The Big Picture
2013 will see search become more consumer centred than at any point in history. Consumers will benefit regardless, but it is down to search marketers how they produce content consumers want, rather than what they want them to look for, which will be key to their own success in the coming months.
Karl is an online content writer across a number of industries, with a specific interest in local SEO and how it can help small businesses compete with larger companies in their area.