Strategies used for Search Engine Optimization are evolving, and to keep up with the competition it is always important to know what works and what doesn’t – as well as what is trending and what to expect!
While some SEO techniques have been used for several years and still remain prominent, there are many new ones you have to pay attention to. Here we summarize four of the most important trends in SEO today.
1. Think Mobile First SEO Strategies
Last year, Google announced that they would begin a “mobile-first indexing of the Web,” meaning that they would be indexing the mobile version of websites, as opposed to the desktop version. The implication of this change is that Google now analyzes mobile pages against the ranking signals to determine how a site should rank in both mobile and desktop search results.
This means that the information on your mobile site (content, page speed, structured data, etc.) will determine both your mobile and desktop rankings in Google.
2016 was also the year Google decided to remove the label “mobile friendly” from its search results. This was because, according to Google’s search team, “85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet the appropriate criteria and show the mobile-friendly label.”
In 2017, it’s now crucial to adopt mobile-first strategies. It’s definitely worth the effort to make your site attractive to mobile users.
2. As Voice Search Continues To Grow, Concentrate On Long-Tail Keywords
As it becomes more accessible, people are increasingly beginning to use voice search, with 20 percent of mobile queries now coming from voice search. It’s more convenient, can be a real time saver and, in many cases, safer (in particular when driving or multitasking).
More devices are starting to incorporate voice search features, and due to the majority of these searches being questions, you need to make sure that your content is easily searchable by using long-tail keywords, which are more often to be spoken than conventional keywords. Long-tail keywords are search phrases that are highly relevant to your product, service, or topic and typically contain 3+ words.
By regularly updating your blog with articles focused on long tail keywords, and ensuring you have a FAQ section setup, you will go a long way in being prepared with the rise in voice search. The popularity of voice searches has been spurred by Google, Microsoft and Apple launching their own advanced voice-responsive assistants – Google Now, Cortona and Siri — which will only continue to become more efficient.
3. Focus On Local SEO As It Continues To Rise In Importance
Local SEO is extremely important, and the trend is only going to become stronger over the coming years. Undertaking local SEO is a foundational step to building a solid local online presence. According to Google, 75% of people are more likely to visit your store if your business appears in their local search.
A study from Think with Google in 2016 stated that 30% of mobile searches are location related and 76% of people that undertake a local search on a mobile device visit that store or business within 1 day. Additionally, 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
Local search results are an amazing opportunity for businesses to generate traffic and prospective clients in the geographic area they serve, which is why effective Local SEO is such an important part of any digital marketing strategy, especially for small businesses.
4. Concentrate On The User Experience And Provide The Best User Interface!
Thanks to machine learning, search engines are advancing at the fastest rate we’ve ever seen. These advances have allowed the search engines to focus on providing the most relevant results, not only in terms of content, but also in terms of the website experience for the user.
Your SEO strategy will start having to look beyond just the technical aspect of optimization efforts if you want your online marketing strategy to be successful.
Understanding the needs of your customers is vital – if your content doesn’t meet the expectations of your audience, then they will leave in seconds.
Not only does this hurt metrics like the time spent on site and bounce rate, but more importantly, it can hurt your search engine rankings as Google sees your website as not as relevant to users. An effective SEO strategy is a comprehensive one, which is centrally focused on the needs of your audience.
Some ways you can improve your user experience:
- Improve your load speed time – you can do this by reducing resource requirements – check out your own load speed with Google’s page speed tool.
- Your content must be easy to understand, use, and navigate.
- Since more content will be consumed on mobile, your content must be clear and actionable, as well as relevant to the search query.
- Use shorter paragraphs with 2-3 sentences. Content which is easier to read and scan through is always more beneficial to the user than huge blocks of text.
- Understand the importance of color psychology in your design, but don’t go overboard.
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