I think we'll continue to see growth. One of the big numbers I always watch is the quantity of folks who have "SEO" in their title or job description on LinkedIn. This year, it's grown 25%+, and I think next year, it's going to grow even faster. That said, I suspect fewer and fewer people who do SEO will call themselves "SEOs" in their title or when describing their role. The job is broadening, and many folks in the field have written about how "SEO" pigeonholes and restricts the parts of the marketing/technical world you can contribute to in your role.
I agree with you ! There are lots of SEO companies poping up here in India (I'm An Indian) almost all web design companies are getting converted to have SEO too...! As well with Google's continual spam filtering policies.. Black Hat is almost getting ruled out ! What does it mean ?? More Work Force :) But the bad part is that developing countries like India does things for lowest costs ! (Brokers + Franchises + Indian Outsource Managers enjoy the benefits while staff gets lowest) Considering the IT industry in India SEO is the lowest paying Jobs ever ! Average pay for SEO expert is (3Yer Exp) is just 300$
I think it's interesting to know what kind of growth you expect SEO tools to have among the mainstream. I believe you're right that it'll grow but less will put "SEO" in their title. But I do think that mainstream webmasters will fall back to SEO tools more and more.
Though I was a bit surprised to see wordpress.com not focus on better search rankings anywhere in their new restaurants product - http://en.wordpress.com/restaurants/
I do know companies like Attracta are very popular as an add-on with hosting companies (which is my bread and better)
I'm not an SEO or Marketer by trade, I'm a entrepreneur. But as a startup guy - you have to know SEO. Yesterday a friend called me, his dentist's website was paying $300/mo for SEO and didn't feel like he had seen any results in a year - he's a dentist and his name (which is rare - "Dr Reza Abedi") wasn't ranking on the first page...
My friend is a techie but knows nothing about SEO, his question was "How do I check if a SEO firm is doing their job?"
This told me that SEO really isn't mainstream, this techie knows nothing about SEO. Then reading this article on HuffPost got me thinking, maybe SEO in some form or fashion should move more mainstream in 2013. We should be able to explain to people as a community what an SEO firm should do for $300/mo and what they should do for $3000/mo.
After all - if you're paying an email marketer or a PPC marketer, you pretty much know what you're getting..
I'm curious about how we can best propel SEO into the mainstream. One of the things I've been thinking about is winning people over from other disciplines. Although it's great that there are SEOs who also focus on Content Strategy, Information Architecture, User Experience, Interaction Design, etc., it's rare that you find folks within those disciplines who also self-identify as being SEOs.
Why is that? And what can we do about it? I suspect that as we work to improve the branding of "SEO", we'll see more support from related disciplines.
I think the key (as to anything) is good PR. Making sure the public knows that online marketing is not only spending money with Google but also building your site and content.
Everytime one of these news sites mentions SEO it intrigues people.
As a host, I know we are the ones who have direct contact with clients more than anyone typically, companies like Attracta push SEO pretty well, though in a more automated (and up for debate) success rate. I truly believe Attracta has a place in the market, but it should be as an entry point to SEO consulting.
We need to embrace the concept of findability many people like web developers, usability experts, information architects, librarians already use. SEO is not self-explanatory and has an awful rep plus it's too limited from the meaning of the words SEarch ENgien Optimization.
I agree there will be growth, but I see SEO as just one of a number of skills a successful online marketer needs to have. Add to that the somewhat negative image the name has (can't believe how much SEO spam I get most days!), I can see why fewer people will call themselves an SEO.
Still important though and if your friend is paying someone for this work he is entitled to get feedback as to what his $$ is getting him.
If I think about your use of the word 'mainstream' in the context of broader adoption as a marketing and business strategy, absolutely yes, SEO will be more mainstream in 2013. The reason why is because I believe that SEO is yet to be fully prioritized at mid-sized and large corporations.
If we apply the diffusion of innovation theory to this question, I believe the Late Majority and Laggards across many major verticals are yet to prioritize SEO on a scale that the Innovators, Early Adopters, and Early Majority have. So if this is true, the late Majority and Laggards make up a full 50% of companies who haven't made SEO a marketing and business priority.One of my clients at the agency I work with has products in 1 of 3 homes in the US, but it's only been within the last year that SEO has become a priority for this mega-corp. Accordingly, what this company is spending on SEO, both internally and externally has grown dramatically the past year. This is a great question, thanks.
I believe SEO will be a more integral part of small and large business's marketing plan.
I have to agree with Rand about the influx in job titles with SEO in them. I'd like to think of SEO as more of a process or department and those who work on it would have more specialized job titles such as blogger, relationship builder, web development optimization expert, PR, systems admin, etc.
On a side note, did you catch the National rental car commercial earlier this year?
You are a business pro... Monarch of marking analysis… With the ability to improve ROI through SEO, all by COB. And you rent from National, because only national lets you take any car in the row…..
I'm not an SEO but I've always thought it was just part of building a successful website. My main blog ranks probably because it's in a small niche and I target a bunch of related keywords, but honestly I've never even THOUGHT about paying $xxx/month for optimization services.
But would you pay $xxx/month for an ad spot that could bring in a certain number of targeted visitors monthly?
No, I don't pay for advertising. I'm either behind the curve or frugal. Hmm...
Nick, As a consultant people come to me and ask me the same
question. If they are going to invest $XXX/month what exactly is the return on
investment... and what the SEO company is doing for their website...
Actually SEO investment is a difficult game it’s not like
shopping online where you read reviews, select a product, pay the price and
thats it! Its long term...and if you find the wrong person or agency you are
dead! But if you find the right person or agency for your business the ROI will
be great and this is the one major factor “Great ROI” that will continue to
take SEO to the mainstream in the coming months and years...
How to find the right agency or person is a completely
different debate...but honestly if clients work to find the right agency and
pay them accordingly the ROI from SEO will be higher in the longer run as
compare to any other marketing platforms available.
Brings up an interesting point, PPC guys almost always work on a variable rate based on ROI - maybe SEO should do similar? How could they charge based on ROI?
In my honest opinion we will continue to see an huge growth. SEO culture is broadening expecially outside the US. Here in Italy, for example, the number of SEO blogs&agencies increases quickly every day, more and more people attending seo courses and, luckily, a costantly increasing number of people looking for a SEO that manages their website.
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