SEO is the holy grail of marketing. It sits at the apex of all that is known within the digital system and is ultimately the end goal for all the brands and companies out there. It creates ripples within your audience, not just because of a higher ranking on search engines but the overall authority it represents.
You see, there are a plethora of variables that need to be taken care of to have any kind of organic growth. Whether it be link building, site structure, UX and UI or the content, each poses a different challenge, resulting in polishing the brand image and reach.
In a world where 63% of online experience begin with a search engine, SEO is the tool that makes your needle shine through the haystack. As you may know, it is rather unusual for anyone to actually go all the way to the second page of any search. In fact, only 0.78% of Google searchers actually take the effort to do so.
This places organic marketing as the most valuable asset in your arsenal. By creating relevance, it essentially fosters prominence in the market. However, it is a technique that requires an unprecedented level of finesse. And not everyone can master it.
So to make your work a little stress-free, here are five trends that shall help you surf the SEO wave and stay on top.
1. Google BERT
The BERT algorithm from Google or known as Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers is a machine learning and natural language processing code that, instead of looking at searches objectively, now understands the context they are put into. It supports over 70 languages and is completely proficient in English.
This essentially translates to the bots being able to work in a conversational manner. They shall now look for intent along with the content on a website before deciding its overall relevance and ranking.
The algorithm has been created to favour the best results, without any penalty to the others. While this is good news in some form, it also places the onus of understanding what your audience is looking for directly on the marketing team or the SEO agency London that you chose.
A proven way to approach this is by pre-searching the keywords that you plan to inculcate in your strategy before starting any work on it.
2. Voice Search
Here is something for you to consider – nearly 50% of people now actively use voice search to know more about products and services. Gone are the days of typing everything out. There is an active machine learning assistant on every phone and every room these days.
While Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri fight for the throne, it is your job to be around when any of them calls for you. Again, a conversational tone works to your advantage.
Instead of putting in short key phrases, think of adding complete sentences that can be picked up during a search. It is important to note that local listings shall also take precedence, so local SEO may just be your new best friend in town.
Apart from this, including FAQs, optimizing for structured data and answers along with natural-sounding expressions can be your step into the future.
3. Long-Form Content
Keyword stuffing and short blogs are now a one-way ticket to anonymity. To achieve any level of triumph in the SEO sector, the content not only needs to be highly relevant but also excruciatingly comprehensive.
In line with Google’s search quality guidelines, your content stands a chance to make it big only if it offers the right and complete information to a searcher’s queries. That means every blog, article or web page that is long and detailed shall rank better than the small snippets.
Furthermore, the website and author’s expertise, trustworthiness and authority are also brought into question. Subject matter experts on whom direct reliance can be placed in an industry shall garner more redirects and views over a casual creator.
This shall involve putting in the effort to build a content library that is well-researched and well-articulated. If you put in the time today, it shall reap organic benefits tomorrow.
To give you a starting point, long-form content produces eight times higher page views, three times greater social media shares, and nine times more leads than its short-form counterpart.
4. Artificial Intelligence
I know you are tired of hearing that AI is the future and the key to everything we know, but the thing about facts is that they always stay true. It shall play an active role in devising your keyword strategy, maximizing your link building efforts, optimizing the digital channels and giving you a robust platform to stand upon.
Additionally, there are content creation opportunities that can be tapped upon using the power of AI. It makes the content gaps explicitly visible, helping you with trending topics and the right number of sections to include. Going one step further, AI tools like Grammarly shall also optimize this content for an error-free read.
Other areas like user experience, voice search and web audits are starting to leverage AI to streamline the manual work for exponential results.
5. Core Web Vitals
As announced by Google in November 2020, Page Experience Signals shall become a ranking factor starting from May 2021. The tech mammoth describes it like this, “These signals measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page and contribute to our ongoing work to ensure people get the most helpful and enjoyable experiences from the web.”
In a nutshell, all indicators have moved towards User Experience (UX). These core web vitals shall be used as a scale of measurement – Loading, Interactivity and Visual Stability.
Making the process a little simpler, Google’s tools, like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse, are built to help you root out any impending issues within your website and optimize your performance for a better ranking.
To recap, Google BERT, voice search, long-form content, AI and core web vitals are the up and coming trends for 2021. Simply tapping on them efficiently and monitoring the overall traffic consequentially can help you in gaining the best SERP for your website.