SEO trends are always changing and evolving, but something is happening now that may altogether change the way search works at a fundamental level. The rising market of voice command devices is creating a parallel world of search terms and phrases that are relatively unexplored and unexploited. In addition to the sound medium, SEO and keyword density is once again a subject of debate.
Future Searches Will Employ Speech More and More
On the topic of voice search, the rising popularity of devices like Alexa or Google Home means that businesses will have to be even savvier than ever before to ensure they are competing in their market at every possible level. It isn’t hard to fathom that someone asking for the directions to the nearest store from their voice activated device as they step out the door may very well be the norm one day. If that is the case, then businesses that were first to seek professional help and get out at the front of the pack early stand to benefit quite a bit.
If anyone is confused about why taking the lead in a new medium’s search terms then you need to simply look at the benefits of good SEO today. According to SEO specialists at https://www.720digital.co.uk/, “In the simplest sense, SEO puts people who are looking for what your business offers onto your website. This in turn creates more sales, phone calls or leads”. Good SEO can make or break businesses with low margins and is often the tactic that best helps independent operations grow.
Should We Still Worry About Keyword Density?
Keyword density – is it dead? The percentage of recommended keyword density seems to have continually dropped a point or so every year for a while, and it may now just be irrelevant. In some recent research, 18 percent of top-ranked pages didn’t appear to contain the search keyword featured in the body of the content even once. There are also other studies this year that make similar claims about the flagging relevancy of keywords – or at least their past use and strategies therein.
It is hard to tell whether or not these changes will make it easier or more difficult for newcomers and small business owners to navigate the best strategies and methods with which to promote their business. Will blogs be more or less efficient? Will supplemental pages detailing the services you provide gain you a ranking boost? These are all questions whose answers seem to be constantly shifting, and it has long been a full-time job to keep up with such trends.
One thing that seems to have remained consistent, even now, is the placement of keywords into areas of prominence. Titles, and early on in the body of your content are still going to be much more important than keywords that appear elsewhere. This is the best place to keep most of your focus if time is limited and you are generating content.
Focus Should Remain on the Long Term
PPC marketing is still a huge industry due to many businesses not looking to build up their organic search rankings and instead paying to get to the front of the line. While in the short term, and the foreseeable long term, this will remain a solid strategy for marginal gains, an organic and cultivated SEO strategy can pay dividends down the road without the need for continuous payments.
Businesses need to shift their mindset regarding the success of SEO away from a strict ROI transactional metric, and into something that takes brand equity and audience size and reach into account. These aspects of business are absolutely necessary for long term growth and security -but it can be difficult to prescribe them solid numbers.
Good SEO today can theoretically lead to an exponential number of sales somewhere down the road, not simply just today.
Mobile Will Continue to Grow
Magna predicts that by the year 2021, global mobile ad spending will expand to $215 billion – over 70% of the total digital market. The average American adult spends nearly three hours looking at their smartphone today, and in a much more engaged way than viewers ever looked at television.
The brands that continue to leverage mobile and expand their presence in that sector as its share of the market grows, stand to position themselves at a prime position for an exponential increase in market share.
There will be those who will sit still and watch their traditional methods slowly decrease in effectiveness every year, and those that seek out the greener pastures of tomorrow with mobile.
The Face of Content May be Changing
It has been known that Google has given preferential treatment to pages that load quickly and are optimized to keep the viewer on a page the longest. This means that the lines between pure SEO and User Experience Optimization (UEO) will continue to blur and disappear.
In that same vein (this is a tie in to mobile in a way), there has been an increase in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) being utilized by businesses, and subsequently ranking well on Google. Forbes predicted late last year that we would see a sharp rise in AMPs this year, and while the amount of AMPs has been a bit underwhelming so far, it is likely that we will continue to see their numbers steadily increase as time goes on.
Sticking with content, we could also touch on short form and pillar post content on pages. Long form content has been seeing an increase in popularity, as opposed to the short bite sized pieces that were pushed in large numbers in years previously. It is unlikely solely long form or short form will be the final outcome of these pendulum swings. Many estimate that “dense” content, that is content that may not be long but is able to fully and accurately cover a topic, may start to find itself floating to the top.