SEO is a very important strategy for businesses today, irrespective of the industry they belong. Optimizing a website with keywords is just a part of it; it also deals with optimizing content for users. In the pursuit of becoming accurate, Google processes information based on how search users behave. And each year, new trends appear that change the way information is published and perceived on the internet.
As a website owner, you need to familiarize with these SEO trends to execute a robust SEO strategy. If you’re someone struggling with it, we have got a team of SEO experts to help you out. Or you can give it a try for yourself after reading this blog!
1. Optimize Website for Voice Search
Mobile phone internet users dominate desktop users. As mobile phone search grew strong, the voice-based search developed along with it. Earlier people used to plug in search words on the search engine box and find what they needed. Now, people have resorted to voice search through their smartphones and home voice assistants.
Both mobile and voice assistants users are most likely to be in search of answers in the middle of tasks. Thus, such users require clear & concise answers instantly. The website should be optimized to feed the user with what they’re searching for at that moment.
Optimizing your website for voice search can help in generating organic traffic if you carefully implement conversational searches in your SEO strategy. If you notice, most voice queries are long-tail and quite specific. So, use a natural language in the content, with concise answers, satisfying the users’ voice search query. Using more long-tail keywords is recommended since voice search queries are usually longer than the typed ones.
This also gives an insight into the position of your prospect in the sales funnel. The user who specifically goes for the long-tail search query falls under the consideration stage, and more likely to convert compared to the ones in the awareness stage.
2. Optimize for Featured Snippet
Featured snippets continue to dominate the search results since they deliver a better search experience for the users. It acts as a summary of the answer to the search query and Google displays it at the top of the SERP result, above paid and organic ads.
A lot of searches result in no clicks because users get the answers they need directly from SERPs. But a link with a featured snippet gets more traffic than the first organic search result. You can take advantage of this feature to drive more CTR to your website. All you need to do is to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions on your website in the schema markup. Search engines evaluate and boost it to the top based on their accuracy and quality. This feature will greatly help content creators to drive more traffic and improve their website rank organically.
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), is an update to Google’s core search algorithm that comprehends the context of individual words within searches. This algorithm is oriented to improve the quality of the content, the keywords, content relevancy, and user intent.
Quality content follows the E.A.T principle:
Expertise: When the (quality) content is written by an expert writer.
Authority: The site that talks about the subject need to have some form of authority on the subject.
Trustworthiness: The site that talks about the subject need to have other authoritative links pointing to it from trusted sites.
SEO marketers need to focus on applying BERT models to increase their chances of ranking on the first page for featured snippets in Google SERP. You can’t directly optimize for BERT since it is an algorithm used by Google to improve its understanding of natural language. But, you can still optimize for the intent behind the search query by creating quality content that fits the E.A.T principle.
4. Influencers & SEO
Influencers can improve your website’s engagement metrics. The level of engagement speaks a lot about the effectiveness of the website content. Public engagement with your website improves only when they feel that your content can be trusted and when authentic sources (reviews, testimonials) vouch for it. The Internet is packed with ads and people are in search of authentic information. This call for genuine information led to a rise in influencer marketing. People tend to engage more and follow the information provided by a well-known person than with/by an ad.
But you might feel confused with the connection influencers share with SEO. Well, collaborating with an influencer helps you generate traffic, increase your online visibility, build valuable backlinks, and amplify your content reach.
Some complain for not seeing any ROI in influencer marketing because they don’t plan or execute their sponsored content properly. But influencer marketing works well when it’s planned considering the audience you want to connect with. While collaborating with influencers, consider the type of content you want them to create and how it can link back to your website. Also, ensure that you partner with influencers related to your niche, industry, who already engage with your target audience.
5. People Demand Excellent Digital Experiences
The content on the website doesn’t solely determine SEO success, other factors like page load speed and user interface experience influence it. Internet users leave a website if they find it taking too long to load. Page speed is a very important factor in SEO, and each time a user bounces back from the website, it negatively impacts the SEO. So, constantly work to improve your website’s page speed.
A quality user interface is equally important in improving user experience just like boosting its page speed. The website’s user interface should be designed to help the user find the information they need. Clarity is a key aspect while effectively communicating a message. So, avoid using words or jargon that are unfamiliar to your audience. The purpose of creating your website was to make everything easily accessible for the website content consumers. So, do not forget the purpose while you intend to sound creative or clever.
6. Mobile Friendliness
We just now mentioned how important is the users’ digital experience. It is a crucial factor in determining your website’s SEO effectiveness. And we also mentioned in the beginning that mobile internet users dominate the ones who use desktop. Mobile UX greatly influences your website rankings. Google prioritizes the mobile version of a page for indexing and ranking over the desktop version. It means that if your page doesn’t look good on a mobile device, or if the mobile version has less content, then the chances are high that you’ll lose your rankings in both mobile and desktop search results.
Websites that are not yet responsive, need to be turned to one immediately. Those websites which already have a responsive interface need to constantly work towards keeping it easy to read, grab people’s attention, and should be able to answer their questions or at least keep them entertained throughout.
Structure your content with H2-H3 subheadings that address questions behind queries triggering featured snippets, and modify the content structure better. Almost all local searches on search engines come from mobile devices. Thus it’s important to have a mobile version for your website to reach the most amount of people interested in your product.
7. Video Marketing & SEO
Video content has boomed so much over the years that it has become a crucial part of your SEO strategy and digital marketing efforts. YouTube, the most popular video hosting platform from Google (itself) is the second-largest search engine after Google.
A larger section of internet users consumes informational content through videos, they use it to better understand products and services. This way, incorporating videos into your SEO strategy will improve brand engagement. Create YouTube videos that support the content in your website, it can also be content giving out information about the product/service your business offers. You may not rank in the first position in the SERP but could easily gain a lot of traffic to your website when Google indexes the video. So, embed videos on the website and optimize it for the page’s width.
Once the video is embedded, ensure that it is optimized for search users. For that, use appropriate keywords in the description and headline of your video. Now, this will ensure that your video reaches the largest number of people who are interested in that subject. And transcribe the video for Google and screen readers to understand the content of the video. This will help in ranking the content better. Other than these, you can create killer video content using these steps.
8. Content-Length Determines Search Rankings
Nothing can beat quality content, agreed. But, you need to have a check on the quantity as well while uploading them. Website containing long quality content gets more visibility, a better rank in the Google SERP. Although the ideal blog length is still a debate, the average length of blog articles of the top 10 results is at least 2000 words. But, this doesn’t mean any long content will rank easily. The content on the webpage must comprehensively answer the question the user asked as well as questions related to the main search query. Lengthy content has the advantage of high dwell time, thereby convincing Google that users enjoy your content. This way, you can build your domain authority and Google will increase your ranking for the search query.
9. Data & SEO
An efficient SEO strategy is a by-product of combining qualitative and quantitative data. Behavioral data of users along with the right tools for keyword research and website optimization can direct your SEO strategy in the right direction. This works well only when you select your data sources carefully and visualize your info by using data science. It can accurately tell you why your customers are buying a particular product/service or behaving in a particular way after landing on your website.
Data science makes it easier for you to understand the buyer’s preferences, pain points, and create marketing campaigns that align with the needs of their audience. It can help in identifying referral sources of converting traffic, pages that crawlers aren’t supposed to index, and the sources of unusual traffic. Not just that, it can verify loading time, indexing, bounce rate, response errors, and redirects with ease.
SEO is growing stronger every day, and you need to keep up with that. New algorithms will keep coming your way, and you will have to run your website considering them all. SEO is a long term digital marketing strategy and you’ll need to be patient to see the leads coming. All you need to do is to constantly analyze your SEO strategy, and stay on top of the latest SEO trends to avoid getting left behind.
Do you still have questions? We’ve got you covered! We have a team of SEO experts to assist you with this.