Changes in SEO are coming so thick and fast to how search engines view and rank your content; it’s challenging to keep up the pace. And for many businesses swimming against this wave, you’ve got to adapt to the shifting tides or watch your business go under.
I know that sounds a bit dramatic, and maybe it is. The simple truth is, to maintain visibility and improve your ranking on search engines, you’ve got to be on your toes ready to take advantage of the changes as they come even if you’re not an SEO expert or SEO consultant.
With that in mind, we will explore some of the most significant changes in SEO moving forward and tips on how you can adapt them for your business.
Future of SEO
1. Voice Search
Voice search has exploded into the scene, and it’s going to get bigger moving forward. It’s growing so fast that ComScore suggests over 50% of all searches are going to be voice searches by the year 2020.
What does it mean for you and your business?
If as much as half of all users searching the internet are going to be doing so using voice search, it’s safe to assume a sizeable portion of your potential customers is going to be doing the same.
You can give your business a head-start by optimizing your content for voice search, especially now that most small and medium-sized businesses are yet to catch this train.
And how exactly do you do that?
First of all, understanding how voice search works are crucial. Due to the interactive nature of personal assistants on our devices, search engines favor conversational content.
So, it’s vital that you structure your content in simple, easily digestible format and base such content around common questions your target users are likely to ask. Understanding user intent is key. Also, the average voice search user tends to use hyper-long-tail keywords when asking questions, so it’s important you’re ready to answer them with your content.
2. Mobile-First Indexing
It has been a few years since Google revealed that the aggregate search traffic from mobile phones and tablets had surpassed desktop devices. Now a recent view of the StatCounter report on desktop and mobile search trends seems to support this claim.
Mobile search is on the up and continues to rise. All you need to verify this report is to stroll to any public space of your choice, and the first thing you’ll notice is the ridiculous amount of time users spend going through their devices.
Most of the time, they’re searching for products or services relating to a problem they’re experiencing. And according to a 2017 BrightEdge report, search queries using desktop and mobile devices produce different ranking results in 80% of the time.
So how do you use this fact to your advantage?
First, you want to make sure your business site is mobile-responsive. When building your webpages, design for mobile before you optimize for desktop. Next, you want a clean and easy-to-use design for your mobile pages, e.g., a single-column test with legible fonts, and properly-sized buttons for easy clicking.
Finally, you can include a mobile feature like direct dialing so customers can reach you with a few clicks of a button. If you’re a local business, this strategy can be an absolute goldmine. The idea is to make doing business with mobile customers as seamless as possible.
3. Structured Data in SEO
With only about a third of searches bringing at least one rich snippet, using microdata is one of the most underutilized strategies for improving SEO. This stat is even more damning when you get to know that only 1 in 330 domains are responsible for such results.
These numbers seem to tell us one simple fact; users aren’t just interested in this aspect of SEO. In truth, you can’t fault them for ignoring this strategy as it takes time and a lot of technical knowledge to implement.
If you’ve ever seen a rich snippet with images, reviews, breadcrumbs, and other details while doing a Google search then you’ve seen the power of Schema markup. Schema markup is a standardized microdata library created by the major search engines to help them understand your content better.
To use schema markup effectively, you’ve got to get acquainted with microdata code or language for marking up content.
So how do you use this knowledge to get ahead of the business game?
If you use a content management system like WordPress, there is Schema Creator Plugin by Raven you can install and use without writing a single line of code. For other users, there is a free and simple tool created by Google for webmasters called the Structured Data Markup Helper If you need more help, consider hiring the services of an SEO expert.
The internet has become a cesspool of information, both good and dangerous. And there is little anyone can do to verify the authenticity of data from search. To combat the myriad of false information, search engines like google have prioritized ranking of content from top brands and authority sites.
SEO is not just about the strategies you implement on your site anymore but also about how other internet users perceive your business. Google monitors social mentions of your business and exactly how users are discussing their experiences to prioritize your rank in SERPs.
To get on the good side of search engines, you’ve got to make sure you’re taking good care of your customers. Ensure you’re meeting consumer satisfaction 100% of the time, so when you get mentioned, it’ll be in a positive light.
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So how exactly do you grow your brand?
First, you need to put out useful, informative, and engaging content regularly. Then turn some of your content into other media like videos, podcasts, etc. Next, attend and speak regularly at conferences by sharing your expertise and wealth of experience. Finally, build a fantastic product or service and ensure you’re taking good care of your customers.
Many businesses have salvaged their reputation from being destroyed just by caring to know what people talk about when they mention their brand and responding promptly to salvage the situation.
In a nutshell,
The future of SEO for your business shows a lot of promise. Most important of all, you don’t have to be an SEO consultant to be able to implement a few of these strategies. With a lot of online businesses lacking on almost all of these points, implementing lust one will help you rise above the competition and bring in much-needed customers. Your bottom line is also sure to improve.
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