SEO has come a long way from the early days of keyword stuffing and sentences that no human could comprehend. Search algorithms now favour webpages that enhance the user’s experience, and that means that cheap SEO tricks no longer cut it. It’s no wonder then that businesses spent an estimated $65 billion on SEO in 2016 – a figure that is expected to grow to $80 billion by 2020. But what does the future hold for SEO, and how can businesses stay on top of the trend wave?
Designing a good user experience (UX) is one of the ways that you can enhance your page’s SEO. As mentioned above, algorithms look for sites that are good for users. You need to understand who visits your site, as well as who you want to visit your site, and design accordingly. For instance, a good keyword grouping strategy will make your site easier to find by helping you to rank higher contextually. Similarly, if a user lands on your site and struggles to find the information they are looking for, or your content isn’t engaging, they will bounce.
Rise of the machine
Google’s Artificial Intelligence system, RankBrain, has been confirmed to be the third most important feature in their algorithm. RankBrain works by identifying patterns in searches to return results that are aligned to the user’s intent, rather than the user’s actual query. This means that quality content will become more important than optimised meta data going forward.
There are more mobile devices than people in the world, and most of them are connected to the internet. Recognising this trend, Google has started developing two indexes from which it pulls results on search queries. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source initiative that seeks to improve the performance of the mobile web, and is set to become a must-have in nearly all SEO strategies. However, AMP may not be a viable option for your mobile site at present. With the technology still in its infancy, there are some limitations. For instance – to enjoy the higher ranking and potentially increased traffic that AMP offers, mobile sites are stripped of most design elements. While this won’t not be a problem for some types of sites, it could be very detrimental to others. Your SEO expert will be able to advise you on what is best for your individual business needs.
In his SMX West 2016 Keynote speech, Behshad Behzadi, Principal Engineer at Google Zurich, noted that 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use voice search daily, and the numbers are growing. If you think about how differently you type a search versus how you would ask Siri to find something for you, it’s clear that this development has an immense impact on keyword optimisation. Focusing on longtail keyword phrases and creating FAQs about your products and services are good strategies to get geared for this trend.
These are only a few of the considerations for where SEO is heading. Interexcel Digital Marketing is ready to take your business into the future.
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