Modern business, whether it be online or offline, has long ago become dominated by SEO. These three letters have become the Holy Grail of internet marketing, partly because they are so illusive that it’s hard to pin what exactly they mean in terms of strategy. There is no such thing as a bulletproof SEO strategy but there are pretty tangible ranking goals that can be achieved if you are trendy enough. The thing is that Google ranking factors alternate from year to year.
If you desire your enterprise to dominate search this years, here are the top 10 trending factors that you need to be aware of.
1. Google is not the only one
After Yahoo lost popularity a decade ago, Google became the most popular search engine in the world. This is the reason why users have set Google as their homepage and they never stop to think is there an alternative to it. Well, there is, as many websites, online store, and social media platforms of their own that get searched every day in the millions. YouTube, Amazon, and Facebook are just the tip of the online search engines that aren’t ranked that much behind the almighty Google, so you need to be visible here as well. Just take businesses who are switching their operation to Facebook and Instagram and often do not have a proper website but just a page at social media.
2. Social Media
Although social media pages have not made their way into the immediate hits by Google, these pages too are ranked, so the more platforms you are present at, the higher the chances that you get a higher ranking factor. You probably have accounts on the most popular social media networks like the aforementioned Facebook and Instagram, and you have recently opened a Twitter account. However, the number of platforms is not that important (it depends on your customers’ preferences), as the quality of content you post regularly. The last work is essential because consistency in posting is the thing that will get you a high rank on Google search.
3. It’s getting personal
Generic searches were cute and all back in 1998 but people today expect to type as fewer characters as possible and receive the most accurate answer possible. That is why the good folks in Google have invested a lot of energy to make each search s personal as possible. They have been able to achieve this by aligning the searched items with previous searches and perhaps realize that there is a pattern. Furthermore, the searches have become more geo-specific, so if you search type in “coffee shop” the hits you get will list coffee houses in your immediate vicinity first. This is why it is important to provide as much data as possible about your business, from the year of founding to the exact address, so Google will have more information to go by.
4. Robots take over
Google search engine is trying to create a pattern in billions of searches worldwide but this is not something that human employees are responsible for. This task is carried out by machine, i.e. Artificial Intelligence (AI) software that is memorising what people search for and tries to find common interests. By analysing several million pages, robots can single out the most important information that people are actually searching for and display them. Besides posting as much info possible about your enterprise, try to sort this data in a manner that will make it easy for bots and human visitors alike to interpret. This means that people shouldn’t have to click ten times on your web presentation just to find out what your open hours are!
5. Speed matters
The time necessary for a page to open, with special regard to access through smartphones, was among the most important ranking factors in the previous years and it will remain to be so. You probably already know the importance of fast loading but did you know that images are the ones that are slowing down the process the most? They need to be compressed, especially if they are part of longer explanatory posts that contain multitude images. Hardly anyone is going to read WordPress blog if the images take forever to load. Especially vulnerable are portfolio websites like the ones professional photographers have, so they need not only need to compress the images but know how to choose the right platform for their business as well.
6. A novelty: voice search
Did you notice that cabmen annoyingly repeat the address you give them when they ask where you are going? Don’t be alarmed, they are using voice search on their app like millions of other users. This way if searching leaves your hands free and the voice recognition software has advanced immensely so it can recognize even the awkwardest of accents and dialects. In terms of SEO, the main difference is that sentences are going to be longer and more natural sounding. Instead of “best wedding photographer,” people will ask “who’s the best wedding photographer?” This means that you are going to have to start using long-tail keywords to accommodate for this colloquial style of voice searching.
7. Another novelty: blockchain technology
If you too have heard about blockchain technology that Bitcoin is based on but have utterly failed to grasp its essence, worry not, as many others haven’t as well. What you do need to know in terms of search engine optimisation is that blockchain ushered I a new sensed of trust and it did away with artificial traffic created by bots. This means that is easier to determine how many organic visits you get, so your competitions can no longer use automate clicks to improve their rankings.
8. Words and videos
There are almost 5 billion videos watched on Youtube every single day. This translates into a huge number of people who want to find new information in the video, not the textual, format. Your SEO strategy needs to take this fact into consideration and offer visitors a chance to watch a video to learn about the things they want. Many companies opt for a short video presentation of their goods and services posted at their homepage. This way, users don’t have to browse the entire website as the information is readily available at a click of a mouse. You needn’t open a YouTube account, but your online presentation should feature a strip with various videos that inform potential clients about the services you offer. Make sure the titles of these videos are clear and that he contain all the keywords.
9. The technical bit
Essentially, business analysts, content managers, and marketing strategists are the ones who are responsible for SEO strategies in your company. However, there is another side to SEO, the technical side that often gets shun behind. This is what makes your SEO possible, so developers also need to follow the latest trends. Some of the tasks developers are trusted with are the aforementioned page speed and mobile-friendliness, which are both essential segments of a successful SEO strategy. With the help of graphical designers, technical SEO department is also responsible for the site architecture which can make or break your online presence.
10. Influencing the influencer
Back in the day, big businesses paid hefty sums to celebrities to advertise their products. The basic principle has not changed much apart from the profile of a typical celebrity. Now they are bloggers or YouTube influencers whom you can pay to promote you. Since their promotion will be carried online, it will automatically increase the number of hits, incorporating their fan base.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Stella Green Thompson for her story.