In the world of SEO, new trends and new features are constantly appearing. Even the most informed SEO experts are bound to miss out on the hundreds of updates that Google makes every year.
Basically, there is no rest for SEO experts who want to stay up-to-date. With impactful changes that will affect your rankings it’s important to know about all the of trends in your industry.
We want to make it easy for you to have the best search out there so here are our 5 trends that will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Mobile is big, perhaps the largest trend of this year. This is why we put it front and center as number 1! In fact, more and more of searches are coming from mobile, to be precise it’s 60%. However, this is no surprise now that 80% of internet users have smartphones.
On top of that, Google found that more than half of smartphone users actively research their purchases on their phone. Basically, it comes in handy to have a pocket sized computer so much so that it’s changing how people go about their purchasing decision process.
So knowing that mobile is big, how does that impact your SEO? Well for one Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project (also know as AMP) is a big thing to pay attention to. This is an effort to create a standard for creating mobile web content as well as work to provide a better experience for mobile web users.
The goal of this project is to make mobile pages ultimately load faster on mobile as well as format properly to the size of your smaller screen. If you ever wondered why having a responsive website was important, this is one of the many reasons.
Here are a few reasons why you want to jump on board with this trend:
- Better rankings
- More accessibility
- Improved back-linking
Building off of the rise of mobile search, has naturally increased the need for Local SEO. More and more people are making local searches like where is a store located and when is it open.
The better your Local SEO is optimized the more you can get customers to your business. If someone searches restaurants near me and your business comes up first you have a better chance of converting that visit into a customer.
In fact, 1 in 3 people who made a local search visit that store within a day. This is why bolstering your Local SEO is important. Make sure that you offer information that makes it easier on the user. For example, make it easy for people to call your business or even visit by offering maps and directions.
Local SEO also can shift your paid advertising strategy. With 4 in 5 consumers saying they prefer to see ads relevant to their city, this tells us the more customized targeting the better. So go ahead and put some time behind bolstering your Local SEO.
User Experience Optimization
Whether it was obvious or not user experience has always had an impact on SEO. Just like how Google rewards sites that are mobile friendly, they also promote websites that offer a better user experience. Google wants to promote the best sites to its users.
Things you can do to better your user experience are:
- Make your load time fast
- Have clear navigation
- Avoid using pop-up ads
- Strong website design
Your website largely impacts your SEO but now it isn’t just about the backlinks and keywords you’re using. With better user experience your website will see lower bounce rates, higher CTRs, and more conversions. All of this is important for a business it’s also important for your SEO. If you’re looking to keep a high search engine ranking in today’s world you need to keep up a quality user experience.
Content is king and it shows up everywhere. The content on your site and the keywords you use highly impact your SEO. Your content offerings are another way to bring in traffic to your site.
In fact, now Google penalizes sites that offer low quality information and that have spammy links. On the bright side Google rewards you for providing awesome high quality content. If you are looking to create content that performs well make sure to do keyword research to find out what words or phrase will help your blog have a higher ranking. Your content should include these keywords in the title, meta description and within your text.
If your company is blogging make sure to try long-form content. Long-form content is when articles range from 700 to 1800 words. Google loves long-form content as well because their belief is the longer your content is the more in-depth your information is thus providing a greater value to the viewer.
You can better optimize your content by adding:
- Meta titles and descriptions
- Using reputable links
- Optimize your images and add alt text
Content has alway been a huge part of SEO but now it’s more than you created it. Content now has to go beyond and provide quality or else this can actually affect your rankings.
For 2017 especially, voice search is becoming a more prominent trend. In fact, Google’s CEO announced the 20% of all searches were voice searches, so it looks like people are actually using Siri. Basically, although voice search has been around for awhile it’s growing even more. In fact, it’s projected that voice searches will grow to be 50% of mobile queries by 2020.
With voice search becoming more prominent it’s important to also change your strategy to fit current search methods. So what does this mean for you as an SEO expert?
Well the biggest change is that your keyword strategy will need to become more conversational. People speak and write very differently, so how people are running voice searches are different than how people are typing in their searches.
Here are more fun statistics about voice search:
- 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day
- People are using voice search the most at home (followed by the car)
- 40% of voice assistant users started using it 6 months ago
Ultimately, the world of SEO is changing and it’s changing quickly. All of these trends are a great way to stay up-to-date on what is happening in your field. However, there are so many more updates to come in just this year! Our pro-tip for you is to create some Google alerts so you get direct notifications on the important SEO updates.