Staying on the top of the Search Engine Results page matters but are you doing the needful to stay on the top?
This is the question that haunts every digital marketer on the planet. Search Engine Optimization is an ever-evolving technique. You must agree that what you did 10 years before to rank a website on the search engine won't work now.
As the SEO pundits suggest, optimizing a website for search engines has always been a combination of science and art. Although art basically remains the same, science keeps evolving. A large section of internet users has moved from typing their search query to making a voice search. Websites have started implementing artificial intelligence to converse with customers.
In the last ten years, the internet has seen a huge upheaval. With the advent of smartphones and faster broadband connections, people are spending more time surfing the internet. Over 80% of smartphone users in the US choose to shop online.
If you are a marketer, you must understand that you need to keep learning, adapting, and changing with the course of time.
Six Important SEO Trends
Here are six top SEO trends that took place in 2020 and are likely to continue.
Voice search is the ultimate future of Search. Although it has existed since 2012, it failed to gain traction until recently. Thanks to the likes of Siri and OkGoogle, smartphone users are mostly moving towards voice search.
In 2016, Gartner predicted a rise of 30% in searches done without a screen by 2020, and this prediction may be about right. A survey concluded that nearly 60% of U.S. adults say they have used voice search and 47% expect to increase usage this year
When the world is moving towards voice search, you should start leading them towards their destination.
Here is how you can make your website or content more voice-search-friendly.
Focus on long-tail keywords - Voice search uses use long phrases to search instead of a single keyword like "Siri, where can I find the cheapest DVD rentals in uptown New York?" Also, long-tail keywords are almost always more specific to the query.
Be mobile-friendly - Over 90% of voice searches are made from the smartphone hence you should consider building a website that is mobile-friendly. A bad mobile website experience can turn customers away and this can cost you a lot of customers. If you don't have a UI centric responsive website, you should start building one right now.
The world is slowly moving into the realm of smartphones. People spend an average of 5 hours on mobile every day. If it's hard for you to grasp, that amounts to trillion Mbps of bandwidth.
With the use of mobile, people are moving into searches through mobile. With people mostly spending time on social media and smartphone apps, businesses have started catering their services specifically to mobile users. A responsive website, smartphone app, and social media presence play an important role in every mobile SEO.
It's easy for people to find you through mobile hence optimizing for mobile should be your primary concern. Consider looking into a responsive website, UI focused website, smartphone app, and social media channels.
If you're wondering, Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google's organic results below the ads in a box. Featured snippets aim at answering the user's question right away.
One big advantage of using Featured Snippets is that it takes away clicks from even the top ranking search engine result. But how do you master featured snippets for your ranking? Here are a few methods you should look into.
Ask questions -Choose and add keywords or key phrases in question form as opposed to just plain keywords. For example, "What are the impacts of global warming?"
Consult Q&A portal for the idea - Look into Q&A portals like Quora to get an idea of what people are searching for.
Structure your content - After you've done your research, it's time to tweak your content to fit the criteria for being selected as a featured snippet.
Image optimization has always been a core part of SEO but it's time to make it more prevalent. People are gradually moving from a mere text search to an image search. Google search algorithm is getting smarter in filtering out a relevant image from a group of random images; hence you should start being careful too. And, you should start taking advantage of this feature
Image optimization doesn't only include adding alternative text to the image, an image itself should represent the keywords.
- Use high-resolution images
- Optimize image titles and descriptions
- Add alternative text or alt-text to all images
- Optimize image size for all browsers and devices
- Add image captions where necessary
- Use different images for each keyword.
Focus on Search Intent
It's time you move from optimizing for keywords to optimizing for search intent. Google algorithm is moving towards catering to the search intent of a user over specific keywords. This is mainly because people don't ask for something with a keyword like "Bread," instead they use natural language like "Where can I find fresh-baked bread at 2 am?"
Google rolled out its BERT update in 2019 and since then it has started moving towards natural language processing models. The search engine has become more "conversational" in oppose to "technical." Now the search engines look for intent in the search query over the specific keyword. Voice search is the best example of a search engine algorithm that focuses on search intent.
You should move into using long-form keywords and answering questions through your content. This will help to optimize your content for voice search and search intent.
Google My Business
Although Google My Business has always been a core part of SEO from the beginning, it's time that you reassess your strategy to better incorporate Google My Business.
Studies show that 88% of consumers who make local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
Over 80% of users search for a product, service, brand, business on Google, and when you're on Google My Business you're more likely to show up in their search results. This will definitely help to increase your visibility.
Google My Business optimization factors heavily into local search experiences, so the more complete and optimized your listing, the more likely your business is to show up in local searches.
In conclusion, marketers should start trying new ways to get that extra leverage. As SEO keeps evolving, you should keep assessing and comparing different SEO methods. Don’t forget to start focusing on ‘Search Intent’ and ‘Mobile SEO’ before it's too late.
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Searchable Design is the best digital marketing agency in the US. We specialize in creating SEO strategies and conducting both on-page and off-page optimization for small and medium businesses throughout the country.