Trends in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry is ever changing. One strategy may help you today but may not be as effective tomorrow. You may have spent a lot of time getting the hang of a certain approach, but it may no longer be useful after a search engine update. You may have been focusing on a certain strategy, but your stats are not cooperative and are staying stagnant and not budging. One way to be ahead of your competitors is to remain updated with all the changes in search engines and adjust your SEO strategies accordingly, ahead of your competitors. If you are not aware of all these modifications, then you may just end up exhausting your resources using a strategy that may be outdated and non-productive.
Search engine algorithm changes happen, sometimes with due notice, sometimes without. One has to stay on a constant lookout and be keen on such matters if you want to stay on top of things. Knowing ahead of time will help you make preparations for the change. However, when caught unaware, the confidence that website rankings won’t plunge will only be due to implementation of organic and white hat SEO practices. And if ever there is a shift of rankings, it will probably be a minor one.
Anyone who does search engine optimization would surely agree that being aware of the evolutions in the vast world of SEO pays off. Here is a quick list of what is still relevant this 2017:
Long Form Content
Contrary to early marketing efforts, people are now tired of seeing short and bite-sized content that does not actually provide much information. There is a surge in what most call “epic” content over the past few years. It turns out that people prefer long form content — long pieces that provide extensive and relevant information about a certain topic — and Google favors it over short ones. In fact, articles in the first page of Google search results have an average of 1,890 words according to a 2016 study by Brian Dean and his team. Moreover, long form content also gets more online shares based on BuzzSumo’s research. Do not try to run around the bush, however, just to make your content longer if there is really nothing important left to say.
Pictures and Videos
In searching online, people are not only looking for text posts but also accompanying pictures and videos. These are important visual aids that keep your audience engaged and allow a better grasp of information.As an added benefit, you also enjoy a lower bounce rate.
Websites containing high quality pictures with relevant keywords on titles and captions contribute a lot for better search engine rankings. Adding more pictures that are sized appropriately will help attract more traffic to your website. Also, pictures are worth a thousand words, providing further support to the page’s written content.
Videos are also on the rise, comprising 62% of Google searches, according to Searchmetrics. Eight out of 10 video search results are from YouTube, the second biggest search engine there is. If you do not have any video in your website and you are not publishing videos on your own YouTube channel, then you are missing a big opportunity to improve your search engine rankings. Video links receive higher click rates and rankings than just regular text posts. Great videos can even out-perform ranking blog posts for the same keyword! Fewer people produce their own videos which is the very factor that will help you stand out if you make relevant videos for your website.
Use of Headers
Since people now prefer long, informative posts, keep in mind that you also have to keep all your written content neat and organized. You can categorize your content with headers, allowing your viewers to easily spot the topics and giving them the option to select which parts they want to read. The use of headers is not only an efficient organizational technique but is also great for SEO. Effectively use your H1, H2, H3 and subsequent tabs in your content when you see appropriate. A good-looking article that is carefully hierarchized will help bring a lot of readers to your website and retain them down to the last word.
User Experience Optimization
A user-friendly website is always an important factor for SEO. Google favors websites that load fast, easy to navigate, and have sufficient content that makes users stay on specific pages longer. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are also on the rise, allowing mobile pages to load up to four times faster and use eight times less data in the process. Google now gives better rankings to websites that are well optimized, most especially in mobile, as well as the AMPs. However, it is not all limited to mobile sites. As long as your desktop version is good and has proper SEO, it will eventually have better rankings, too.
Quality Link Building
Some say that link building is no longer important, but Google Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lippattsev says otherwise. According to him, quality content and links pointing to your website is what Google values the most. Keep in mind that the volume and anchor texts of your external links, as well as the quality of your external link sources, contribute a lot to getting your website in the first page of search results. Building relevant links is still important and will remain a valuable aspect of any SEO strategy.
Multiple websites is one of the strategies implemented way back to build more links, boost online presence, and have control of certain keywords online. However, doing this tactic at present will only drag all the websites down, due to the spreading of links among them and Google being more keen on duplicate content. Consolidating all your content and SEO strategies to only one site is the wisest decision, making your ranking efforts more productive as well.
SEO truly is the best way to make your content rank higher in search results, making it more visible and accessible to your target audience. In this digital age, utilizing the latest and most effective SEO strategies are fundamental marketing tactics that will help your business thrive and remain one step ahead of your competitors. Always stay updated with changes. We are all playing under the rules of search engines, so if you want to stay in their good graces, follow their guidelines.