“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It is about partnering with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” –Phil Frost
Success in search engine optimization (SEO for brevity) is not always guaranteed and the methods of ensuring it are not always straightforward either.
Back in the day, it seemed like all it took were strategic keyword placement and backlinks. However, with Google and other search engines constantly update their algorithms, SEO service providers and experts would need to routinely refine and update their techniques as well. Search engines constantly gather data from users every single day. Resultantly, search results are now more personalized, accurate and timely than ever. Accurate and personalized results are just some of the things that make searchers rely on a particular search engine and for this reason, search engines strive to give their searchers only the best results possible.
In this regard, websites that can give searchers what they need tend to be favored better by search engines and would consequently rank higher. There have been quite a lot of changes made to SEO this year alone. However, as a digital marketing agency in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world, it is best not to get sidetracked and encumbered by complicated technicalities. Instead, let us try and look at the general picture and see where SEO might be headed. These trends would then give you an idea of where you would take your strategy for the remainder of the year:
The rise of voice search
You might be surprised to find that 1 out of 5 searches come from voice queries—at least, according to Google. However, this should come as no surprise considered that voice-activated smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are on the rise and caused quite a storm with consumers. Furthermore, most smartphones are equipped with voice assistants– a key aspect considering that majority of search engine users access websites through their mobile phones, and not home speakers. With constant improvisation of voice assistants, we can expect to see more and more individuals utilizing voice search. For this reason, it is imperative that you start including voice search in your strategy today.
One of the groundbreaking things searchers have noticed when making queries through search engines is probably featured snippets. Today, search engines no longer rely on directing you to a particular website for a single query. In lieu of that, it would give searchers quick answers to their queries in the form of featured snippets which incidentally can be displayed in search results across all devices—which is just as convenient because it would mean instant answers for the searcher. In SEO terms however, this would mean the topmost position. Featured snippets have 10% of traffic from top positions on the first page and would consequently deprive other positions of traffic. With this trend, we can expect to see a rise in the new forms of content such as Q&A ones. In this regard, you should endeavor to optimize your content to provide shorts answers in response to long-tail search queries. Format your content to make it easier for Google to identify which information is relevant for featured snippets.
In the recent years and ever since the advent of smartphones, the term mobilegeddon has been thrown around. In a sense, it would mean that most searchers are accessing search engines and websites through their phone. Consequently, if you wish to give searchers a seamless experience, you would need to adapt and ensure that your website is compatible with mobile access. Failing to do so would cause you to lose potential visitors that could have been prospective customers. Remember, mobile searches today account for more than sixty percent of total searches. Make what you will of that, but one thing is for sure, there is a massive shift to mobile and if you wish to stay relevant, you ought to make the necessary changes as well.
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