Search Engine Optimization is a concept that is anything but static. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms to produce the most relevant content to consumers. There are always new methods and media being introduced for entering search criteria. Businesses must adapt with the trends in order to rise to the top of search rankings and stay there.
With Google continuing to update their SEO algorithms, business owners need to be on their digital toes. Some of the big trends in our industry that have been developing in recent months are:
This type of search has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Some voice tools that have popped up in the last several years are:
According to a study performed by Google in 2014, about 41% of adults and 55% of teenagers were using Voice Search and the numbers have only risen since then. The same study revealed why people used voice search:
What the voice search capability means for SEO is that there is more of a need to focus on conversational tone and not so much on keywords, per se. Long-tail keywords, however, which are longer and more specific keyword phrases, will become more prevalent. Web content will need to provide answers because voice searches are often in the form of a question.
The term “hyperlocal” refers to a very specific area in proximity to the searcher’s home, business or their current location. As mobile searches continue to grow, consumers are conducting more searches with hyperlocal intent — and Google is refining its results in response to this trend.
In the olden days, hyperlocal marketing may have been accomplished by a corner bakery opening up and putting up their sign to attract customers who walked or drove by regularly. They got referrals from word of mouth. Maybe they passed out flyers advertising specials.
Today, consumers search for products or services nearby, often as they’re out and about, through their smart phones. They usually check online reviews to see what others think of the business. If they decide the business is worth their while, they will either go to the online site to purchase, or find their way to the physical location with their map app.
The days of using simple keywords to gain SEO have come and gone. Consumers today know exactly what they’re looking for, and search engines are getting much better at identifying user intent. Therefore, users are now entering full questions or phrases in search engines, which gather data to provide results more effectively.
In order to be optimized for the best SEO results, online content must be able to answer the search phrases that are entered. To do that you will need to do some investigative research on what phrases people use to look for your product and what eventually leads them to your site. Once you determine that, you’ll need to make some adjustments to optimize what works and responds to the user’s experience. But you can’t stop there—running regular analytics will produce additional data to help in implementing further growth optimization tweaks.
Google is moving steadily toward a mobile-only shift. Their efforts in 2016 were dedicated mostly in the area of increasing mobile search capabilities over desktop searches.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project (AMP for short) is a new standard for building websites that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms. Web pages created according the AMP standard will load quickly on mobile devices.
The following statistics pulled from the October 2016 think with Google newsletter show how much mobile search grew from the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2016. And this trend is only increasing.
What does this mean for you? If you haven’t done so already, you need to take immediate steps to get your site mobile-friendly if you want to stay above water with the search engines. Some steps to take in doing so:
When we enter a search query in Google, we are looking for answers. Google’s response often includes other helpful information, like reviews, hours of operation, videos and a myriad of other data.
Using schema.org, or structured data, in your site’s HTML code improves your site’s rich snippets, which can help your site appear more prominently in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It makes it easier for search engines to scan and interpret the information on your web pages more effectively so they can serve relevant results to users.
Clear, concise rich snippets can result in higher click-through rates, as users can quickly and easily determine whether the content on your site is what they’re looking for. If they click on your site, and it gives them what they need, the likelihood of them going back to the search results is negligible.
Users are becoming increasingly connected and engaged with the content they consume. It is very important for SEO marketers to factor these current and upcoming trends into the bigger picture in order to be prepared to take on future internet marketing challenges.
User experience has always been important to SEO—at least to some degree. Google favors sites that are properly optimized for mobile devices, ones that load quickly, and ones where it’s clear that users are enjoying their experience (with prolonged time spent on page, etc.).
The experienced professionals at Springs SEO for Growth have the knowledge, tools and resources to help you keep up with the constant shifts in requirements for optimizing your site for the best rankings. It’s our specialty.
Let us assist you in creating or updating your SEO strategy that will return the best results ahead of your competitors. If you want to know how your website currently ranks for SEO, contact us today for a complimentary website audit.
Sonia Dumas is a marketing strategist living in Colorado. Sonia is a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant and an SEO for Growth Certified Consultant in Colorado Springs. After over a decade of collaborating with boutique hotel brands such as the Faena Group, Viceroy Hotel Group, Dorchester Collection, Belmond, SLS Hotels, and Ace Hotels, she founded Curio Haus, a inbound-sales marketing agency specializing in helping businesses increase their online visibility, nurture their prospect pipeline, and develop a more profitable relationship with their clientele. The Curio Haus team is made up of seasoned marketers who advance both client ventures and her own. Her focus areas include digital visibility, lead conversion, and customer experience optimization.