SEO competition is stiff, and it’s not showing any signs of relaxing. You can expect this trend to continue as long as the internet keeps making itself ever-more indispensable to people of all stripes. As we move forward, here are 5 tips for would-be SEO champs who want to show Google that their business is going all-out to act as a powerful resource to users.
#1 SEO is Changing – Diversify Your Content
Not too long ago, search engine results were different. Ad share percentage is up, and way more clicks are going to featured snippets and answer boxes. There’s now a video carousel above all the organic text results. Features like these have caused a significant drop in the share of organic clicks – down about 10%. It used to be 50%!
Zero-click searches are on the rise, so now you can expect to get an answer to your search on the actual results page, and you’ll never even click the link that content is taken from. All in all, SEO is getting to be trickier than ever. If you want to keep your traffic up, diversification is essential. Things like omnichannel marketing and long-tail keywords will be key here.
#2 Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
From a business angle, the web is seeing a lot of changes right now. Yet while the keywords-for-web-page-relevance paradigm has shifted, good SEO strategy is still very much wrapped up in effective keyword use. Ranking algorithms look very closely at keywords to determine relevance, so you’ll need to rely on platforms like SEMRush to prepare master lists of keywords that target your intended audience.
One simple way to do this for free is entering relevant topics into Google, one at a time, to see how autofill supplements what you typed. This can give a good impression of the kind of things people are searching for right now, and, therefore, what keywords you need to include.
Trend #3: Build Content with Engagement Metrics in Mind
One way to quantify your content’s efficacy is by measuring engagement. Google examines your website’s engagement metrics in order to determine content quality, which it uses to help rank you in its search results. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most important engagement metrics that Google checks:
- Time on Page: A per-page record of visitor time spent.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of single-page visitors who leave your site before hopping over to any of its other pages.
- Dwell Time: Total time spent on your site after clicking into it via search results.
- Comments: The total amount of comments about your business left by visitors.
- Social Shares: A simple count of how many times your content is shared over social media.
- Return Visits: The number of visitors who show up to your website again after an earlier visit – one count per revisitation.
#4 Voice Search is the Way of the Future
By 2022, voice-based shopping is anticipated to reach $40 billion. Just a couple years after that, in 2024, it’s estimated that the market for global voice-based smart speakers will hit a value of $30 billion. In the past 12 months, about 60% of smartphone users have conducted a voice search at least one time. On a daily basis, 55% of teens are already using voice search.
So how should a business respond to the growing trend of voice searching? Well, there is going to be less traffic overall—more voice searches with a single answer—and we can expect that a given customer’s search process will probably be more on the impulsive side, which means that the research stage of a customer’s search is going to be fairly reduced.
Most voice search answers are pulled from the featured snippet at the top of the search results, so if your marketing game is on point, you may end up nailing that “rank 0” snippet spot. Pretty tough to do though… Voice tech is making results more personalized than ever, which means that long-tail keywords are going to be important to hit – businesses need their websites to dig into that niche and really flesh it out.
#5 Video Will Be Crucial for Your SEO Strategy
Video marketing is here, and it’s not leaving anytime soon. Some sources predict that average online video viewing is going to steadily rise moving forward into the coming years. By 2021, we may be seeing about 100 minutes of video viewed per day per user.
Watching videos is one of the most helpful ways to learn about a subject, and it generally requires less focus and attention than acquiring the same info via reading. Including videos in your SEO process is, as you may have guessed by now, a very good idea for enhancing brand engagement. And as you upload video content, remember to follow a few guidelines – for one, you’ll want an engaging thumbnail image.
Accurate schema tags will help search engines understand your videos and properly rank them, and your video will perform best if uploaded to multiple platforms. As with any content, a catchy title will hook users, and don’t forget a clear, helpful video description so that viewers know what they’re in for!