SEO is more like a cold war between websites and search engines. Each time Google updates its algorithms, different companies do what they can to ensure they retain first page rankings. It is a continuous war, one that cannot be won overnight. To stay on top, you need to learn the secrets and play by the rules, like an insider.
Recently, there have been several changes, with Google basing its ranking factors on specific aspects. Marketers who are able to understand these changes together with their impacts have every reason to smile. According to Forbes Agency Council members, anyone who wants to win the war of SEO in 2017 must shift his focus to the following aspects.
- Conversational Tone
Over the years, there has been a significant rise in the number of mobile and voice searches. Because of this, websites that are able to capitalise on conversational content will be smiling all the way to the front pages. Incorporation of natural dialogue has changed the way content is developed, ads are set up and brands are marketed.
- Content Originality
Recent Google algorithm updates have seen it crack whips on spammy content and black hat SEO techniques. Unless you are willing to generate original and quality content, your site will be trapped in Google’s webs of updates. One easy way of ensuring quality, authentic content is promoting internal brand advocacy among employees. This way, they are able to develop personal brands, create blog content, and explore their passions in ways that add value to the company. Take advantage of the diversification of your staff to help your business engage with various groups of its audience base.
- Mobile Design
60% of searches come from mobile devices. That explains why, in the last few months, Google has been busy rolling out updates targeting mobile searches. Very soon, this search will be the primary index. Anyone who is developing an SEO strategy must prioritise responsive web design and other mobile-approach strategies.
- Caching of sites
Google not only aims at delivering relevant search results to its users but also focuses on enhancing the general user experience. Website caching has the ability to scale page load times. Websites such as Grant McArthur that have capitalised on this have registered lower bounce rates and improve site ranking. While it is true that basic browser caching still works, those who are able to incorporate AMP will have more reasons to smile.
- Topical Relevance
Long gone are the days when pages focused on particular keywords. Today, search engines are more concerned about relevance and satisfying search intent. This has changed the way in which topic development and keyword research are done. Today, it is more about putting together a group of words sharing the same intent rather than stand-alone keywords. Today, search engines go deeper into analysing every search query, making topical relevance an essential component of any SEO strategy.
- Image Optimisation
A recent trend is emerging where image searching is gaining popularity at the expense of content searches. The millennials, who are the major internet users, would rather go for infographics when looking for data. When conducting searches over their phones, they would rather opt for images as opposed to written contents. To be able to tap into this market, you must ensure that your website contains optimised images. If possible, your SEO strategy should incorporate a new, authentic image for every post.
- Answer Trends
Today, there is a tremendous shift in the use of Google. People aren’t just looking for general information from search engines. Instead, they want Google to provide them with real-time answers to specific questions. Sites having their contents structured with rich answers will grace the top spots of search engine result pages. What is search engine optimisation? How can one obtain American citizenship? What are white-hat SEO techniques? Sites, which are able to provide direct, simple answers to such questions, will have it easy dominating front pages of search engine results.
- Quest for multimedia experience
Long gone are the days when you simply had to focus on generating original, high-quality blog posts in order to win the SEO war. Today, users are demanding more. To be able to engage and sufficiently inform users, websites should contain varieties of contents. While still focussing on quality written posts, you should also extend your content generation prowess to videos and infographics. Simply prove that you are able to meet the demands of your site visitors, however diverse they prove to be.
Winning the SEO game requires flexibility and consistency. It is important to understand the various changes that search engines have affected in the recent past and make the necessary modifications to ensure your website adheres to them.