Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been a key channel for driving traffic to websites for many years now, and it’s changed many times during that period. However, we are moving into a new era of SEO and this is where is gets exciting for businesses, in particular smaller businesses who have failed to compete against larger organisations in the search engines. Let me introduce you to 4 new SEO trends…
1. Out with typing queries, in with asking questions.
When most people think of search they think of users typing queries into search engines, but that’s all changing with the introduction of voice search and in particular Alexa and Google Home. Over 20% of all Google searches are now voice-activated searches and that’s only going to increase!
When a user searches using their voice, they ask a question as if they were speaking to a person. They no longer type just a few keywords and this leads to different search results.
2. Snippets just got rich!
With more people asking Google questions, the more focus goes on the context of the search term and providing an answer to a question rather than just a list of web pages for users to browse. As you’ve probably already seen, when you search questions such as ‘how to bake a cake’, Google is giving you step by step instructions at the top of the search results. How do you optimise your content to appear, well, it all starts with rich snippets?! Avoiding rich snippets any longer will only result in lower and lower rankings so get investing in these now!
3. The only way is content marketing.
Content has been king for many years but, in 2017, regular quality content is the only way to build an SEO strategy that will see your rankings climb in the search engines. When we say quality content that could be a web page, a blog, an image, a video, an infographic; whatever the best format is for the content you are creating. People often think of content as only a web page but that is not and has not been the case for many years. The only way you will be driving new organic traffic to your site is by investing in new content that is focused and targeting your core audience.
4. The SEO game just got longer!
Short terms wins no longer exist in SEO, it’s all about the long game. You should not expect ‘quick wins’ in effective SEO. Having said that, you should be able to see progress and see you rankings climbing slowly as your strategy gets underway.
A long approach to SEO will be more effective in the long-term as it’ll be content and user-focused rather than search engine-focused. The search engines are getting smarter and smarter and ultimately will reward those who have taken the customer-centric approach and this will result in higher rankings and more traffic to websites. Another big benefit to this is it’s the less competitive strategy as so many websites focus on short-term strategies that are becoming redundant. Starting a long-term customer-focused strategy will get businesses ahead of the game and secure high rankings for those websites.
It’s worth mentioning that even a strategy created with the above trends in mind, will not guarantee you the rankings you want, but it will guarantee your growth in the rankings. And if you continue to stay ahead of the trends and invest in SEO on a regularly basis, you will see more traffic come to your website that you can convert to more sales – that’s the ultimate goal after all!