5 SEO Trends Every Business Owner Must Use - Google Search Engine Results have changed dramatically. Is your business taking advantage? Fall 2018
5 SEO Trends Every Business Owner Must Use
As search engines strive to improve the quality of search their results, some ranking factors shift, others fall into obscurity, and completely new ones come out of nowhere.
In fact, it's not out of line to say that compared to the plain list of blue links from a few short years ago, Google has become a carnival midway for some searches. And while having a #1 organic listing in the SERP (Search Engine Return Pages) is still a great spot to be, in many searches you are now competing with local 3 packs, knowledge panels, featured snippets, rich snippets and more.
In late 2018, it's more important than ever for small business owners to take advantage of these 5 game-changing SEO trends.
5 SEO Trends Every Business Owner Must Use
Mobile is Huge
Your Business Website Must be Mobile-Friendly
With the rise of voice search, the arrival of mobile first indexing, and the importance of mobile-friendliness as a search factor, it's unimaginably important to be more mobile minded than ever.
First, you need to do 2 things. Bring up your website on your phone. Do you need to pinch and zoom? Or does it seem to work well for you? To be sure, your second task is to head to the Google Mobile Friendly Test and check what Google thinks. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT'S IMPORTANT.
Pass with flying colors? Read on. Not so good results? Call us.
If you are not actively marketing your business on Google, you need to. It increases your authority, gets you in more searches, and brings you leads that turn to sales.
The beating heart of any marketing campaign is Content Marketing. Provided you have a truly mobile-responsive site as defined by Google (or even better an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) website, Content Marketing is the very best method to increase your Digital Footprint on Goggle and Bing who collectively have over 97% of the search market. More importantly, on mobile devices (both Android and Apple) Google has 94% of the search market.
The Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as;
A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Lastly, proper content marketing has two important channels - Social Media and Google Search Return Pages (SERP) - and they both drive traffic to your website.
Let's take the granddaddy, Facebook. When you see a "post" in your news feed on Facebook, and you click on a picture, there are just two possible outcomes to that click.
It can either open up the picture in a new screen, or send you to a website. Which do you think is more valuable?
And the same is true on other social media channels; LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter... Done right, any click leads to your website.
Google Search Return Pages (SERP)
Then, additionally, if you have followed all the Goggle Best Practices SEO, your content marketing should appear when you search that keyword phrase on Google.
And that real estate on a keyword Google search is invaluable.
Speaking of Google searches...
The Rise Of SERP Features
With the evolution of SERP features, it’s critical that you track your rankings within these features, and monitor the features that show up for your associated keywords and and see if they are potentially stealing traffic from you.
Basic Featured Rich Snippet Listings like this are achieved through structured data. Structured data is a way of formatting HTML code (Called Schema Markup) on your website that uses a specific vocabulary, telling search engines exactly how to interpret content — and how to display it in the SERP.
Google recommends and supports Schema.org Microdata to send structured information for Google Rich Snippets to Google. Additionally, Bing and Yahoo support this Microdata and recommend it for sending structured data to display in their SERPs.
Survival of The Fastest
Speed is big. Not only is it an important ranking signal; it’s a major user experience (UX) factor. And UX, in turn, impacts rankings.
Google expects pages to load in under three seconds on 3G (not 4).
You can check by counting...one ten thousand, two ten.... or you can have Google test your website loading speed.
Google started using site speed as a ranking signal in their algorithm way back in 2010, and it continues to serve as one of the many important factors that determine where your website shows up in the search results.
As a matter of fact, many believe speed has become more important to Google since right now, just a hair under three quarters of searches are now on a mobile device.
But even without the ranking factor, it makes sense from a user perspective. How long do you stay on a frustrating site while cruising the web on a phone before hitting the back button?
Voice Search Has Arrived in Full
Still skeptical about voice search?
Consider this: Google reports that 55 percent of teens and 40 percent of adults use voice search daily; and, according to Google’s Behshad Behzadi, the ratio of voice search is growing faster than typed searches. And it's not just phones. There is also Google Home Devices.
Voice search calls for a whole new keyword research routine because voice searchers use normal, conversational sentences instead of the odd-sounding query lingo.
They also use "...near me" about a third of the time which means you must amp up your locality content marketing using Schema Structured Data there as well.
Additionally, devices without a screen read the results, including the 160 characters underneath the link in the SERP. Structured Data allows you to have control of what shows there (as well as what is read).
Lastly, a word about "Personalization" Google estimates that about 50% of the searches are personalized for the searcher. When you use Chrome and head to Google for a search, Google knows your search history, likes, clicks, interests and more. To get the "pure" results, you should always clear your cookies, google your business keywords in incognito mode, through a VPN. (this is what we do to accurately track keyword position for our clients).
But don’t panic: The good news is personalization doesn’t have to work against you. When someone searches for your target keyword for the first time, you’ve got to do your very best to appear among the top results in the unbiased "pure" SERP. If the searcher clicks on your listing, you’re becoming their preferred entity, and their subsequent searches will most likely include your site as a top result.