At the start of the Millennium, the Internet was in its infancy, which meant that most of us barely used it for any substantial benefit other than for entertainment or information purposes. It was also the time when few of us, who had access to adequate resources, were able to accumulate massive profits by building potentially lucrative businesses based on the Internet. For the early online entreprenuers, it was easy to take advantage of the SEO trends enabling them to market their websites to millions around the world. Just after the Millennium, opportunities started to erode at a faster rate. Eventually, the early starters had enough advantage to formulate effective business strategies by taking advantage of SEO trends. .
Looking back at the evolution of the Internet, many of us who had access to the Internet, rue the lost business opportunity. Perhaps, the director of Engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, has the answer why most of us did not participate in the lucrative opportunity at the time when the opportunity was ripe. According to him, the human brain massively downplays the evolution of technology in the future. If the theory is correct, it means that we were just not aware that some companies or online business strategies will become so popular. As a result, we did not spent much energy on understanding SEO trends in the early years to gain advantage from the search engine.
However, there is also a bright side that tells us that there may be more opportunities in the future thatn we think because SEO trends are changing very quickly catching up with the computing growth. For instance, looking at the exponential growth rate in computing in the last 40 years, it is likely that computers will have the processing power of a human brain by 2025. If true, it also means that a single computer will be able to reach the capacity of all humans on earth by 2050. If you think this is exaggeration, it should be mentioned that scientists think that modern computers are only as smart as an insect.
For website owners, it means that we can use these changes to our advantage. Perhaps, it is time to ride the wave, once again. Accordingly, here are the top SEO trends to look for.
The Rise of Social Media
Just five years earlier, there was little significance given to social media in the search engine algorithm. At the time, experts rarely talked about the social media. The tide has turned since Google is putting more emphasis on social networks because social media pages are more trustworthy than website pages and they are comparatively difficult to forge. As a result, SEO experts are increasingly using social media to boost search engine rankings.
The importance of social media is also evident in the search results where social profiles of many top brands are more visible than the home page of their traditional websites. In fact, there are also a large number of companies that exclusively rely on their social media profile to generate buzz and product marketing. Experts predict that nearly 76% of marketers actively use social media to boost their rankings.
Similarly, boundaries between web site content and social media content is likely to blur in the future. As for search engines, social media also offers a lot of content and media that is easily integrated into the modern algorithm allowing search queries to provide better results by integrating content from both the traditional website and social media.
Just like social media, video content is also becoming extremely popular. Just a few years earlier, Google actively started integrating videos and search results to provide better results. In fact, the growth of tablets and other mobile applications has directly affected the significance of videos. Due to the small screen size, users of smart phones and tablets are more inclined to watch videos instead of reading pages full of small texts.
To understand why search engines will likely put more emphasis on video, it is interesting to note that 62% of search queries in Google are attributed to video. This does not seem unusual considering that video has 41% higher click through rates than traditional search. According to a recent study by Quicksprut.com, videos are already getting 50 times better organic page ranks than traditional search pages.
Google is also experimenting by integrating videos in the search engine results page. Mostly, videos appear somewhere at the top of the search results, which signifies the importance of videos compared to traditional web pages. As the use of smartphones and tablets is likely to increase, chances of increased video visibility on the search engine results page is likely to increase, as well.
We have already suggested a link between search engine visibility and increase in smart phone usage. Therefore, it is becoming important to optimize the website for mobile phones because traditional websites look different on tablets and smartphones. Without mobile optimization, users are likely to see a very small image of the actual web page, which is a possible disaster for the webmaster.
If you are still not convinced of the importance of mobile optimized website, it is important to realize that mobile search accounts for nearly 15% of the entire search traffic. Accordingly, nearly 70% of consumers searching for a product on their mobile phones take action within an hour. Even more importantly, four out of five potential customers are using their smart phones to shop. Therefore, if your website is not optimized for mobile, you are missing on a big chunk of revenue.
Even Google is putting more emphasis on a mobile-friendly website design by increasing the relevant search engine ranking of the website that is optimized for mobile. Perhaps, it is time to reflect on the color, design, logo and placement of content to see if your website is optimized for mobile.
Voice search is also becoming increasingly important as more users are likely to use their voice when doing multitasking. By now, you must have already seen a “speaker” next to the Google search bar. By activating the speaker, anyone can give voice commands instead of writing search queries. This is not a new phenomenon as different companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google have built their own voice command functions in the form of Cornata, Siri and Google Now.
With the evolution of voice technology, it is also becoming easier for non-native to easily give voice commands, which means that voice technology is getting better at understanding various dialects. In fact, there are many companies, particularly in the transcription field, that have done a tremendous job of improving voice technology. In the near future, it is likely to be very easy for everyone to interact effectively with the search engine using voice activation commands.
Until then, website owners should ensure that the content is easily searchable using long-tail keywords that are more natural to the listener. For instance, the keyword “Russian volume eyelash extensions” can also be used in a conversational context e.g. “where to shop for Russian volume keyword extension.” The later example is a long-tail keyword that is more conversational in tone because potential customers using voice commands will most likely use long-tail keywords that are more conversational.
As information flow increases, news sources reporting such information will also diversify. Instead of looking at a variety of sources on social networks, websites, videos and blogs, search engine users are increasingly looking towards content aggregation channels that can offer detailed information at one place. However, content aggegation does not mean that website owners can start compiling information without organizing it.
Instead, content aggregation also involves compiling, aggregating, sharing and displaying informational in such a way that is easy for users to understand. An example of such information is infographics, which offer visually appealing information in a condense form that is also easy to digest. In the future, search engines will prefer information that is not only aggregated from different source, but also presented in a meaningful manner for the user and search engine to understand. For web owners, it means that they need to put videos, informatics, and social media content on their websites, and organize it in a manner suitable for everyone to understand.
Local Search Engine Optimization
Local listings are increasingly gaining importance in the search results. The integration of IP address, geo tagging and GPS to enable the search engine understand the location of the user is playing a critical role in the development of search. Therefore, it is becoming important for businesses to optimize their websites using local SEO tactics indicating the location of the business. As a marketer, the chances of appearing in front of the search page increases significantly if a website is optimized for local search.
Regarding the importance of local search, it is estimated that 50% of mobile visitors will visit a local store within a day because approximately half of the users conduct search result in hopes of finding local results. For a locally optimized business, it pays to show up in the local map on search engine results page because visitors have already made up their minds to shop in the vicinity of their location.
Mobile Applications To Grow
The growing use of smart phones and tablets have also impacted the growth of mobile application. Mobile apps are so popular that some of the prominent surveys indicate that more than half of the users spend considerable time using mobile apps. Even more interestingly, nearly three-fourth of users using a mobile phone spend more time on mobile apps than on the search engine.
For marketers, the trend is both a wake up call and an opportunity. It is a wake up call because businesses that offer products or services should aggressively build mobile apps for their businesses. For opportunists, few businesses have ventured into the mobile apps space, which means that it is relatively easier for businesses to rank for mobile apps on the android and apple marketplace rather than ranking on the search engine.
Even if you don’t intend to actively market the mobile app, it is relatively important to build a functional web application, which will ensure that website owners can get a high ranking on the search page as search engines are increasingly giving importance to websites that have a functional mobile app. As such, it should also be noticed that mobile apps are increasingly showing at the top of the search page for many brands and local businesses. Simply, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to market themselves using the mobile app.
Natural Language Selection
Search engines are only just starting to get better at interpreting the meaning of keywords. In the beginning, it was difficult for search engines to differentiate between jargons, abbreviations and complicated text. As the technology grew, search engines began to adapt natural language selection, which helps search engines understand how to interpret natural language easily by understanding the true context of the search query.
In the future, a term such as “Russian volume eyelash extensions” will not look awkward to the search engine because it will be able to understand that it has to do something with the eyelash. In the old days, such a query could be taken for anything because search engines looked at separate words instead of combining them into a meaningful sentence.
For the purpose of improving natural language selection, Google and other companies are training their computers on huge volumes of data to allow these computers to understand the language and deliver better results. As the search engine gets more intelligent at picking up the meaning of asearch query, website owners will not need to stuff their websites with a lot of keywords to become relevant. Instead, they can easily concentrate on developing their website and increasing its importance by natural means. It will also mean an end to black-hat methods that look to exploit the weakness in search engines.
For an average website owner, traditional SEO tactics relied on specific measures that focused on technical aspects such as keyword density, HTML tags and links to other websites. However, future trends will include user interaction signals as one of the most important ranking factors. These user interaction metrics includes such data as the click through rates and visitor retention levels. For instance, if a website attracts a lot of clicks on a search result, it means that users consider that particular website more important compared to other websites on the search page. It also makes sense because users generally do not click on the search engine results that make little sense.
Similarly, retention rates are other useful metrics. In this regard, a low retention rate means that users are generally not satisfied with the website as they quickly bounce back to seek other results. Overall, the low retention is perceived negatively by search engines because users do not find the information useful, which forces them to leave the webpage, quickly.
As user interaction continues to play an important role in the SEO trends, Google is already experimenting with facial expressions and other biometric indicator such as heart beat. A camera on the mobile phone will record the facial expressions of a user on visiting a particular page, which means that a frown will indicate a negative experience, and vice versa. For website owners, there is no getting away from the fact that they will need to make their websites as user-friendly and informative as possible to increase their search rankings.
In the long-run, search engines companies such as Google will try to formulate better strategies for ranking websites according to relevant content. In the last four year, Google has strived to change its criteria of ranking websites by introducing multiple updates such as Panda, Penguin and Pigeon. All these updates were an effort to provide better results when ranking websites, and to encourage website owners to design their web pages according to the desire of visitors.
As a result of constant changes to algorithm and new SEO trends, it is becoming increasingly difficult for website owners to incorporate all the necessary changes as quickly as possible. Therefore, they must adapt latest SEO trends, described above, to keep there rankings intact. Secondly, they should try to provide relevant information by making their web pages as informative and user friendly as possible to avoid a ranking decrease due to consistent algorithm changes. It is a fact that SEO is becoming a complex affair, which demands that website owners keep themselves aware of the latest SEO trends if they want to succeed in a competitive environment.
In light of the SEO trends, a practical approach for website owners is to use competitive research to gain better rankings. By using tools that provide easy-to-understand explanation of what tactics competitors are using to gain better rankings, it will be much easier to rank. Another important step that website owners can take is to look at the data visualization enabling them to understand where their website needs improvement. While these two strategies may not