Growing organic presence is still number one priority for sales and marketing teams the world over, but tech is developing in such a way that we have to ask whether bots and social media disrupt SEO.
Once again, The State Of Inbound 2016 survey by HubSpot has found that the top goal for marketers is to improve SEO and organic growth. The traditional techniques, although often sharpened and adapted, are pretty well established and a routine way of operating for the expert agencies.
As technology develops, user behaviour changes with it. Wearables and voice search bots are two major examples of technological developments throwing a spanner in the works of what we know as SEO.
Every business now knows they need to be on social media; even that family run DIY supply store in town has a Facebook page. But given the enormous growth of social media app use - which shows signs of speeding up further rather than slowing down - consumers are finding their content in alternative sources.
In short, the familiar practice of Have A Query > Head To Search Engine > Click Through To Website is more and more being done via social media as opposed to a regular search engine. This means that marketers need to be changing how they promote their content.
Users are becoming less likely to head to your website to view your content unless it is worth moving off social media. They prefer to consume content within the social platform, usually whilst scrolling through their feed or timeline whilst on a mobile device.
Google is still doing at least 3 billion searches per day, but Facebook has now climbed up to 2 billion searches per day and is gaining ground, according to data from Search Engine Land and Tech Crunch.
To continue ensuring your SEO practices are up to scratch, you will need to make sure that you are putting your content out onto the relevant social media channels and making sure that it is searchable and can be found by your target personas.
Just being on there isn't enough, you'll need your sharing to be targeted and optimised in order to stay ahead of your competition.
How users search is being shaped by advances in technology. The growth of wearables is making us even more mobile-device dependent and the development of voice tech and conversational UI are leading to increased voice searches.
HubSpot has found that, as of 2016, 60% of mobile users search via Siri or Cortana each month and one-in-five iOS users search via Siri everyday. And half of these users only started doing this at the start of the year.
The impact on SEO marketing is that people search different when using their voice rather than their keyboard.
Moz has found that voice search queries are more conversational and more precise. This is why Google is working hard to get their deep learning algorithms nailed, as they want to make sure results that they provide are in the right context.
The keywords we target in our SEO campaigns needs to be more long-tail to get an exact voice search hit, yet we also need to be aware of contextual factors to allow the ever-improving bots to understand what type of query our content can and cannot answer.
You're more likely to ask a "proper" question of your voice search tool - "How can I improve my inbound marketing with SEO, Siri?" - compared to targeting keywords on a computer search where you'd enter something like "inbound seo tips".
This means that, more than ever, producing content and targeting keywords which focus on natural language and being easy to interpret (by a human, not a spider crawling your page) and providing helpful information is what you need to be doing.
And doing this across all the different social platforms that your promote and host your content on, as mentioned earlier.
There's a lot to consider.
Making sure you stay on top of your SEO techniques is just one way to make sure your inbound marketing is as strong as it can be. You also need to consider your PPC, email marketing and wider inbound strategies too.
Check out our 50+ page eBook which is filled with helpful niche techniques to help you stay ahead of your competitors and take your inbound marketing to the next level.