SEO is become more and more important as now more businesses are aware that they will be found online. Keeping up with future trends is crucial as now more website owners are becoming SEO savvy, so you need to stay competitive.
SEO is looking pretty futuristic now that search engines are getting smarter. Google is answering more queries directly on results pages and voice activated search, some people are worried their optimization strategy is might need to change drastically, but not all of these upcoming trends will harm your websites SEO. Google and Bing are learning to understand content better and to satisfy your customers’ needs the best way they can.
More Websites on Page 1 of Google are HTTPS
HTTPS is the protocol that make sure that your website is being viewed over a safe connection. To add an S to a HTTP web address you will need to acquire a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This will mean your customers data is encrypted and secured. Google has made it very clear that having HTTPS is a big deal and the search engine results page shows it. In June 2017 55% of sites on page one of google were secure. Now the chrome browser has started to implement warning on sites that are not HTTPS. This can affect your customers experience in a bad way and dissuade them from using your website in the future.
More SERP Features are being Displayed
A SERP feature is anything on a results page that includes more than an SEO title, URL and description. 87% of SERPs have some kind of rich answer displayed and these types of results tend to get more clicks than regular organic results because how they look.
A featured snippet is when you get a box with some of the information you published at the top of the page with an image. Getting one of these is easier than ranking organically on the number one position. A featured snippet is extracted from any result on the first page and is usually the top 5 results, google will decide whether they want to show a snippet based on the query someone searches.
One of the best ways to get on the first page is to think of what questions your customers will ask about your business and how you can answer them directly. A FAQ page is the best way to achieve this and it will give you a clear structure to your answer, if you find that one of the answers is longer than a short paragraph you might want to write a blog around this question and give the answer in the first paragraph then expand. Doing this the search engine bot will catch the juicy stuff first.
More People are Using Voice Search
Now a days most people will ask their phone a question instead of typing it. Voice activated search is increasing quicker thanks to voice recognition software used in mobile devices and home speakers. 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search on a daily basis and apparently by 2020 half of searches that are made will be voice activated. The fact that you don’t need to type in your questions anymore makes voice search fast and convenient for busier people, it also means people are able to multi task.
Even though voice capabilities are better at fetching more complicated results the same basis will apply, you will still need highly structured, text-heavy content that is easily understood by site visitors as well as search engines. If you rank well then you will have a higher chance of a featured snipped and of being read out as a voice result.
More Focus is put on Searcher Intent
Searchers come to google to ask many things, so it is important to understand what the users intention is and what answer you should give. For example, when searching for a ‘Make-Up tutorial’ it is more likely for videos to come up instead of the definition of what a tutorial is.
A lot of people think Rank Brain is involved to help choose the better results so if more people click one option over the other it will understand that this is the content people want to see. Rank Brain was made by Google to understand SERP behaviour and to understand the relationship between topics and queries. It is still important to have keywords in your content but seeing as search engines are getting smarter it means you don’t need to fixate on ranking but rather on the searchers needs.
Google is trying to give use hints on what searchers want to see, for example when searching for a make-up tutorial you know that videos are more likely to show up.
More Importance is Given to Mobile.
More than 50% of searches are done via mobile devices and this will continue to grow. There has been a lot of talk about starting to rank websites by their mobile version instead of the desktop version, but this change will happen very gradually, but you should still know that your mobile site has an impact on your SEO.
Google is also on the lookout for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) pages. This format is dedicated to blog posts, articles and fast loading when clicked on from search results.