SEO is an industry that is continually evolving through time. As people change their online behavior or pattern, so would Google’s algorithm. Therefore, SEO trends start to emerge.
Professionals who dabble on SEO should always be on the lookout for what’s new in this industry. They should stay up to date for whatever changes Google will make.
Even though it’s already half of the year, these trends are still relevant and must be implemented on your website’s SEO strategy. Check out below the latest news or changes on Google’s Search Engine Optimization.
What are the SEO trends to know?
Voice search has changed over time, and now it is becoming a vital tool in many people’s searching activities. Surveys and researches show that 30% or nearly third of all web browsing on all search engines will become screenless this 2020. With 48% of consumers utilizing voice search for their general search queries, it is not surprising why Google considers this to be a crucial feature when ranking a website.
Keywords for voice searches are different from text keywords. Search queries for voice searches use long-tail keywords and are often specific.
Google’s Featured Snippet is a short text on top of Google’s search engine result page (SERP). It contains quick answers to search queries. The results are from web pages pulled from Google’s Index. It appears in a table, list, video, and other formats.
Users often choose to click on the first thing that appears on Google’s SERP, especially when it has provided the answers they are looking for. Therefore, optimizing your website to be on Google’s Featured Snippet is vital.
A study conducted by Ahref shows that 2 million Featured Snippets get more traffic than the first organic result on Google.
If you desire to optimize your website for Google’s Featured Snippet, you should aim to use question-based keywords. Featured Snippets are often queries of people with in-depth answers.
How to Optimize Your Website for Featured Snippet:
- Do a keyword search or aim for question-based queries.
- Look at results on the “People also ask” section or box
- Write in an Inverted Pyramid style. This means giving the most important information by answering the question at the beginning of the article.
- Use words that have high featured snippet occurrences.
- Use formats like tables or lists.
- Follow the optimal word count of 40-50.
Leverage Influencers for SEO
How can influencers affect SEO? Marketing experts will hire influencers because their presence has an enormous impact on traffic and conversion rate. With influencers’ help, they could bring more visits with their social shares and high engagement through comments and time-on-page.
Having high social shares, comments, and retention time on a page will alert Google that your website is trustworthy. Therefore, it would rank higher on the Google result page.
It has been predicted that 65% of marketing professionals would increase their spending on influencer marketing. This means that it’s about time to get your business an influencer that is right within your niche for you to compete with SEO ranking and with other companies. In addition, 90% of marketing professionals find that the ROI of influencer marketing is better or comparable to other marketing strategies.
Mobile Search will Dominate
Similar to voice searches, mobile searchers will dominate in 2020 SEO. Last year, half of the internet traffic was influenced by mobile devices. It shows that optimizing your website to a mobile-friendly design is as crucial as voice search.
In July 2019, Google included the mobile-first indexing to rank a website. Mobile-first indexing means a website must first make sure that it has a mobile version. But you shouldn’t disregard the desktop version.
If you run a website for your business, make sure to make it mobile and desktop-friendly.
All About the Content
As always, Content is King! It is one of the most essential parts if you want to rank on Google’s search engine result page. But, not everything you post on your website can help you with your website’s ranking.
Google often move a web page on its first page if the content is valuable. So what is considered to be valuable content for Google?
- Original content: Creating your content is a plus for Google and other search engines. Furthermore, you can get more traffic as people prefer content that is original than what they have already seen before.
- Headlines: It’s the first thing that will catch people’s attention.
- Provide answers: Create content that will answer most people’s questions. And, it’s important to remember to answer the question directly at the beginning of the content.
- Add images and videos: Adding interactive and informative content, like a video, is more likely to increase traffic to your website. 78% of people watch videos in a week, and 55% of them watch every day. This shows that people are more likely to engage in video content.
- Consider the length: There’s still an argument as to the ideal length of a post. Most top content comprises of at least 2000 words. It has shown that a long-form of valuable content makes people stay longer on your website.
- Update blog regularly: If you want to increase traffic to your website and gain new customers, you must make it a habit to often post on your blog.
Loading Page Speed
Page speed is the length of time to display content on the page. The loading time of a page affects the ranking factor of a website. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on managing your page’s loading time so it won’t affect the SERP position.
The faster your loading page is, the more you could satisfy your users.
How to Improve the Page Speed:
- Reduce redirects
- Reduce server time
- Get the best hosting
- Compress files and images
- Use browser cache
- Minimize HTML coding
Local searches are becoming popular. It has shown that 46% of Google searches are often local intent and that 28% of local searches will result in a purchase. That’s why no matter what size your business is, it’s crucial to optimize it for local SEO.
How to Optimize for Local SEO:
- Remember mobile-first indexing
- Add a business address
- Register your business on Google My Business
- Create business citations
- Optimize meta tags and meta title for location and category
- Use local keywords
- Build site authority and relevance with on-page and off-page SEO
- Generate reviews for your business
Visual search changed the industry of e-commerce or online shopping. You can snap and shop whatever you like with this feature. With the arrival of Google Lens and Pinterest Lens, visual search has changed its game.
With 600 million visual searches conducted on Pinterest monthly and 62% of Millennials prefer visual search, it’s no doubt why Google has made it one of the features for a website to be on the SERP’s first page.
How to Make Your Website Visual Search Ready:
- Use multiple images
- High-resolution or high-quality images should be utilized
- Search for keywords, preferably, long-tail keywords
- Add title and description
- Compress files
- Add alt text and caption
Most of these trends are being practiced by professionals before, but only being given the spotlight this 2020. Google’s algorithm constantly changes, and to make your marketing strategy effective and relevant, keeping up with all these trends should be a part of it. SEO is a long term strategy to increase your lead, promote your brand, and grow your business.
James is an SEO consultant based in London. Working with clients around the world to get more traffic from search.