Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimisation a website’s visibility on Search Engines. Or as a Google search will tell you:
“Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine – including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.”
Essentially, effective SEO drives traffic to your webpage or website through organic online searches.
Search engines want users to have the best possible experience – and that means the most relevant results that deliver links to the best online resources. So if your website provides your audience with a positive user experience (and that includes relevant content), you have a good chance of ranking higher in the search results. SEO tactics tend to adapt subtly in response to changes in search algorithms (that is the evaluation criteria search engines use to rank a website’s relevancy) so what are the trends you should consider this year? Here’s what we think…
Local SEO gets even more competitive
Local SEO is, as the names suggests, the process of optimising results for your local audience, geographically speaking. Google gives local listings a high priority, so if your audience / customers are typically located nearby, it’s important to optimise your website content so it reflects your local setting. A user’s geographical location and search history are taken into account when a search is made. The theory being; it provides the most relevant results for an individual user. So targeting prospects in a specific area where a business is located (or multiple areas if you’re a multi-store business), will be more-and-more common practice for marketers.
Google my Business
Google my Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google – Find out more about Google my Business
Tip: If your business is listed properly and kept up-to-date on Google Business, smartphone users should be able to find your business quickly and get the address, directions, opening hours and phone number.
Google my Business displays a limited amount of results, which has been reduced recently. Google is not only showing fewer business listings but they have announced that ads are coming to the local pack, meaning results will show 1 ad and 2 local listings. Read more about Ads coming to Google Local Pack
Competition for the top 2 listings is going to increase.
The continued rise of mobile searches has increased the importance of a Mobile friendly website, and Google recently released an update making responsive design a prominent factor in ranking websites. It’s becoming more-and-more vital for your SEO, and of course it delivers a more positive experience for your users. Read more about mobile responsiveness in our Top 7 trends for 2016. Is your website mobile friendly? You can check here at Google.
Page Load Times
The page loading time is another factor that contributes to a website’s SEO because it affects the user experience. The page loading time is calculated on the time that it takes to fully display the content on a web page. We’ve become accustomed to faster internet connections and devices so users expect pages to load instantly. And they tend to abandon a website that’s slow to load – typically within a few seconds – which could cost you conversions / sales. This will drive site owners to optimise their website performance.
A good Social Media profile can help your SEO as popular Social Media content is indexed by search engines. Search engines consider your ‘social influence’, which is determined on your relevance, reach and the quality of your content. When you search a company, their social media links (Facebook, Twitter, etc) should appear along with their website.
Rich answers are the helpful, direct snippets of information you see for certain queries, including articles and videos.
Rich answers are on the rise giving users immediate answers for questions that previously might have led them to a website. If you provide the best answer, Google will put your answer in the snippet box giving your site the most visibility.
Example of a rich answer
Other SEO trends
- Animated content such as ‘gifs’
- Voice Search
- Readable Urls
- 301 Redirects