Each year, Google changes its algorithm around 100 times. Each has the potential to change your website ranking and the traffic that comes with it. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (like Panda and Penguin) that affects search results in a significant way. As an SEO, it’s your job to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and updates to make sure your clients’ (or your own) website is visible on Google. Here are eight game-changing tips to know about SEO.
1. Voice Search Is On The Rise
With the popularity of digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, it’s no surprise that voice search is on the rise. Comscore predicts that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2023. And since Baidu owns 61% of the Chinese market, this number might already be reached in China. Working with an SEO in China is the best way to navigate these waters. SEO experts will help you improve your website’s ranking so that when people search for something using voice commands, your site is more likely to come up.
To optimize your website for voice search, you need to focus on long-tail keywords since these are the phrases people are likely to use when speaking to a digital assistant. You should also make sure your website is mobile-friendly since most voice searches are done on mobile devices. Finally, structured data can help Google understand your content better and make it more likely to appear in voice search results.
2. Quality Content Dominates Search Results
In recent years, Google has placed a greater emphasis on quality content. This means that the days of keyword stuffing and other black hat SEO techniques are long gone. Now, it’s all about creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that will appeal to your target audience.
Algorithms use the words on your website to determine how to rank you in search results, so make sure to use relevant and popular keywords throughout your site. But don’t go overboard – too many keywords will hurt your ranking. There are a few ways algorithms can tell if something you write is interesting and helpful to their searches:
- Time on site: How long are people spending on your website? If they’re bouncing off quickly, that’s a sign that your content wasn’t relevant to what they were looking for.
- The number of pages visited: If people only visit one page on your website before leaving, it’s likely because they didn’t find what they were looking for.
- Social Shares: Google takes social interactions into account when determining rankings.
3. Mobile-Friendly Websites Rank Higher
More and more people are using their phones and tablets to search the internet, so it’s no surprise that Google has placed a greater emphasis on mobile-friendly websites. In fact, in 2015, they rolled out an update called “Mobilegeddon,” which boosted the rankings of mobile-friendly pages and penalized those that weren’t.
If you want your website to rank well, it needs to be optimized for mobile devices. This means having a responsive design automatically adjusting to different screen sizes or creating a separate mobile site. Whichever route you choose, make sure your website loads quickly and is easy to use on a small screen.
4. Backlinks Are Still Important
A lot has changed in SEO over the years, but one thing that remains true is the importance of backlinks. Backlinks are incoming links to your website from another site. Google sees these as votes of confidence – the more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank.
To get high-quality backlinks, create content worthy of being linked to. This can be anything from infographics to blog posts to video content. Once you have something worth linking to, reach out to other websites and ask them to link to it. You can also guest post on other blogs and include a link back to your website.
5. Local SEO Is More Important Than Ever
With the rise of mobile devices, local SEO has become more critical than ever before. People are using their phones to search for things like “restaurants near me” or “auto repair shop” more and more often. And if your business doesn’t show up in these searches, you’re missing out on many potential customers.
To optimize your website for local SEO, include your location (on the contact page, for example) and add relevant keywords like your city or state. You can also claim your business listing on Google My Business, which will help you show up in local search results.
6. Google Is Getting Better at Understanding Intent
In the early days of SEO, keywords were everything. But as Google has gotten better at understanding the intent behind searches, they’ve placed a greater emphasis on those keywords’ context. This means that it’s not enough to stuff your content with keywords – you need to make sure those keywords are placed in the context of a sentence or paragraphs that make sense. This will help Google understand your content and rank it accordingly.
7. Page Speed Matters
Google has stated explicitly that page speed is a ranking factor. So if your website takes too long to load, you’re likely to see a drop in your rankings. You can do a few things to improve your page speed, like optimizing your images and using a content delivery network (CDN). You can also use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see where your website needs improvement and get specific tips on how to fix it.
8. You Need to Be Active on Social Media
Social media is no longer optional – if you want to rank well, you need to be active on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This doesn’t mean simply creating accounts and posting occasionally. You need to be actively engaged with your audience, sharing relevant content and engaging in conversations.
You also need to make sure your website is set up to share your content on social media. Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts and web pages so that visitors can easily share your content with their followers.
SEO is constantly evolving, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to keep up with the latest changes. These eight tips will help you do just that – so make sure to implement them into your marketing strategy. And if you need help getting started, reach out to an SEO team of experts. They can help you create a solid foundation for your website that will help you rank higher and drive more traffic.