Understanding the growth and evolution of the SEO industry is beneficial for everyone, and is crucial for company marketing campaigns. It is estimated that at least 20 percent of new business can be attributed to online inquiries.  The other 80 percent is derived from word of mouth, client referrals and other residual contacts. At the beginning of the millennium, SEO techniques such as linking networks, paid links and content generation lead the field for best ranking methods. As time progressed, Google began to put more resources into stopping spam, and this continues today.  Most people are now using mobile technology to read articles, searching for products and services and even for their major entertainment.  They are engaged and totally connected to their devices.

How the SEO Industry is coming of age:

As web search has now become more mobile and thus more mainstream, so has the SEO industry.  They are continuing to improve their methods.  Out of this came large conferences that SEO professionals could attend around the country.  SEO organizations were born and now boast thousands of members.  Most CEOs of larger companies send their staff occasionally to these conferences to stay current with new SEO technology. SEO conventions are now available on five continents and draw thousands of attendees.

Money spent on SEO Services by independent companies:

It is estimated today, that over 3 billion dollars a year are spent by businesses globally for SEO promotion and advertising.  To stay competitive, online companies must compete.  Dominating the Google search results is a slippery slope as reported by R.L. Adams in “Forbes.” Many of the top companies are planning on spending big bucks this year on SEO services. Most of the Fortune 500 companies are hiring full-time SEO teams to work in-house. Some are hiring an individual  marketing consultant and at the very least, an expert blogging professional to keep the website updated with current copy (trending news). Advertising campaigns and sending out periodic newsletters offering cost saving benefits to consumers are now the norm. Any and all of these marketing efforts will pay off, attracting new revenue. Without any effort at all, companies may be disappointed with search results and may notice a significant decline in business.

Google has recently introduced a new algorithm:

The new Google Algorithm has recently changed the rules for gaining rank. In the past websites consistently adding new material and doing so for a long period of time lead the charge.  But today, even a brand new website, if it is promoted properly and full of interesting and content worth reading can get noticed.  New site owners can hire a professional SEO individual to bring the new site up to speed.  The main goal is to create content which is high quality and full of interesting news worth reading.  The word count for each internet article and/or blog entry should be increased to around 1,000 words or more for best results.  The quality or quantity is what the new search engine algorithm is looking for. This along with trending news articles relating to the company expertise will bring the best search results.

The internet marketing code of conduct:

Just like all other industries, Internet Marketing has its very own code of conduct. This is normally referred to as either “black hat’ or “white hat” SEO guidelines.

  • Black hat methods:  This refers to shady characters who use search engine guidelines which are clearly not authorized by top search engines. (the bad guys)
  • White hat methods:  This refers to SEO professionals who follow the correct suggested guidelines word for word (the good guys).

Some competitive websites related to porn, prescription drugs and gambling tend to use “black hat guidelines.”  These unsavory individuals use tricks like link farms, content cloaking and other sneaky strategies. Due to the competitive nature of their industry niche, they are some of the most profitable marketing people.  They are constantly attempting to game, spam and trick the search engines.  This type of SEO is not what we suggest for your company SEO strategy.
Unfortunately, we have found that many clients that are coming to us, after having a bad experience with these black hat individuals. They have been scammed by them and have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to SEO help.  We work hard to counteract the damage done by these folks.  We are extremely careful when we refer anyone for SEO to our clients.
White hat IT and marketing professionals work with the search engines. They follow the guidelines and implement long term successful strategies for their clients. These professionals are normally found working in large corporations consulting to provide online SEO  marketing strategies. They work to increase company traffic and improve revenue.

Locating SEO professionals and internet marketing consultants:

The best way for any company to grow and succeed is to expand their network of internet professionals. As SEO has evolved over the years, more and more businesses are realizing this.  We are finding that both small and large businesses are now searching for top SEO people.  Company budgets are expanding to allow money for this all important job position within the company. Special care must be taken when searching for SEO professionals.
Asking your website developer for referrals for marketing professionals they are familiar with and have worked with in the past is a great way to find good talent.  There are many individuals out there who are out of work and have experience in SEO working for large companies. These are the people to target as you are looking for SEO help. Some bloggers are independent contractors. They check in periodically with web developers to ask if they know of any companies looking for writers. However, before we refer them to our clients, we ask them to provide a “guest blog post or two.”  This lets us know the strength of their writing style.

SEO Professionals must know the software:

Keep in mind, when you hire an outside professional to blog on your website, they must also be familiar with the software used to develop your site. For an example, our website was built on a WordPress platform.  Our blogger understand this software and follows the “Yoast” SEO plug-in criteria as she adds new blog entries.

Conclusion on the evolution of the SEO industry:

We wish you all good luck in finding the perfect SEO writing partner for your company.  By doing this you can expect to increase your ROI (Return On Investment) this year. Continue to stay current with new SEO changes that affect your business. SEO technology is always evolving and changing for the better… stay connected to reach new heights!
Contact our “winning team” of designers and programmers for your next project.

 
 
Jean Holland-Rose, Chief Creative Officer & SEO Professional
Inside Design Orlando