Consumed by technology and oversaturated with data, the Digital Age can be a tough one to navigate. It’s easy to get lost in the flurry of emerging developments and trends, and their consequential impacts on technology, business, and culture. However, with over 3.5 billion Google searches made daily, keeping up with current SEO trends is critical to generating traffic on your website to garner exposure and sales. But you don’t have to understand all of the complex algorithmic technicalities to attract users and get your website at the top of search results. Fear not, we’ve compiled 5 SEO trends & tips that will help you understand the ever-changing SEO landscape.
1. The Move Towards Mobile
Mobile and tablet web browsing took the reins in 2016, surpassing desktop web browsing in terms of worldwide internet usage. In fact, there are 4.77 billion mobile phone users worldwide. Google adapted to these statistics accordingly, launching their mobile-first index, which prioritizes mobile version sites as their primary search engine index.
Tip: Optimize for Mobile-First
It is important to design your site, mobile-first. This allows visitors to easily access and navigate your website on the go. The optimal mobile website design may vary depending on your target audience, but when in doubt, err on the side of simplicity – mobile devices are often limited in size, so cluttered and over-animated sites can offput users seeking quick answers.
2. Voice Activated Assistants
Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have become household names as voice activated assistants permeate the global market. As speech recognition accuracy becomes more and more precise, voice search queries have become an increasingly significant method of web browsing. Google Assistant reports that one in every five searches made with the Google Android App in the United States is a voice search.
Tip: Optimize for Voice Search
Listen to the way people reference your business and industry in conversation, get to know the technology behind voice activated searches, and remember the importance of mobile-friendly sites. Loading your website with generalized terms will drive users of all pursuits to your site. These strategies will move your website to the top of voice search query results and increase traffic to your page.
3. Instant Gratification
Millennials have been conditioned to expect quick answers. Hell, wouldn’t you too if you grew up with an infinite database of information at the touch of your finger tips? But this information repository comes with some unforeseen repercussions. In 2000, researchers discovered that Canadians held an average of 12-second span of attention, yet recent research concludes that number has now dropped to 8 seconds. Search engines like Google pander to their users’ peremptory behavior by developing Rich Answers.
Tip: Optimize for Rich Answers
Google’s Rich Answers feature allows curious users to access their question’s answers with little to no further investigation, delivering snippets of relevant information right at the top of search engine results pages. Structured data markup, or better known as “schema markup”, assists search engines in identifying and displaying website content, and it can better help website owners achieve these enhanced listings. Software services such as Moz or SEOquake exist to simplify this process for search engine optimizers of varying degrees of experience. To better your chances of making the spotlight of a Rich Answer, provide information that is “relevant, appropriate, detailed, and most of all—concise”.
4. Visual Learners
Don’t underestimate the power of an image. As academic institutions diversify and embrace various styles of learning, visual learning is becoming a more widely accepted form of education. With images and infographics sufficing as vessels of information, it is important to stake your claim in the industry of visual.
Tip: Optimize for Image Search
To get your images to the top of Google Images search results, use vibrant and original images that beckon attention and intrigue your viewers to learn more. Avoid stock imagery, add descriptive captions to your images, use keyword-rich file names, and tag your photos abundantly.
5. Thinking Local
From craft breweries to organic farmers markets, today’s spenders are thinking local. American Millennials, who are anticipated to spend upwards of $200 billion annually, are moving towards more progressive trends in consumerism – and that includes shopping local in an effort to support small businesses and live health consciously.
Tip: Optimize for Local Searches
There is a careful balance to be found in SEO that teeters between generalized keywords that attract users of various motives, and specific keywords that attract the niche community of local thinkers. In order to optimize your website for local searches, claim your business on both major search engines and secondary search sites (ex. Yelp, Apple Maps), use precise location information and keywords, and collect reviews and testimonials. These location-based strategies will direct Millennials from near and far to your website.
In order to succeed in this strategic marketing tactic, you must be able to harness the energy driving your rankings: the users. Behind each link click and website visitor, is a person seeking answers. Taking into consideration the SEO trends that influence your users’ actions will prove itself to be beneficial in understanding and channeling the fuel driving SEO.
By: Kelsey Pickert