SEO is a fairly new development in the world of advertising & marketing, However, the advent of search engines and thereby search engine optimization as an acquired skill transformed the world of business and created a level playing field between deep pocketed brands and little mom & pop stores.
There is no question that cannot be answered by Google. With search engines at your fingertips ‘Seek and you will have it’ is the model to access any information whatsoever. So, in the fight to reach the top of listings – as anything else is of no use – the art and science of SEO is going to be more complicated than ever.
Our expert SEO insights for now and the future are:
Future Proof SEO Elements
Optimizing for the many elements that search engines present to their audiences ensures prominent positioning and preempts the necessity of having to keep up with each algorithmic change. Major elements of information are:
Google search engine competes with Bing and Yahoo and all search engines strive to present quality and comprehensive collection of answers to search queries.
Google is the clear winner with over 90% of all search activity. So, the solution to compete in Google search is to include comprehensive, up-to-date, quality information in web pages.
Highlights of SEO as a Marketing Tool
Search engine optimization or SEO is highly efficient, cost effective and tirelessly generates traffic and business day after day, 24x7. As long as you make continuous SEO effort search engines serve you for the long term.
Here are the fundamental requirements for attaining top positions and retaining it there at the top.
Page Loading Speed
Maintain optimal page loading speed. Visitors as well as search engines highly appreciate fast loading pages. Continuously monitor bounce rate in Google Analytics or any metric tracker and page load time through the Chrome extension “Page Load Time” or other tools. It is important to maintain speed efficiency in the long term for the delight of users and search engines.
A study conducted by Geoff Kenyon compares website speed against the rest of the web:
- If your site loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
- If your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- If your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- If your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
Pingdom has also shared their findings (using their own clients as the data source), where the average load time for web pages 3Mb was 5 seconds. While Google would contend to say that is not nearly fast enough.
An interesting study by the Financial Times Technology Department indicates how page speed affected their developing publishing site. The study involved specific goals for a publishing site and had a test group and a control, the test group would have a 5-second delay added to each page load time.
Notable facts were:
- The first-second delay resulted in a 4.9% drop in the number of articles a visitor read
- The three-second delay resulted in a 7.9% drop
- Visitors read less when delays occurred
This article Risk Mitigation and the True Cost of Website Downtime is recommended reading
Beyond Link Building
Link building alone does not serve to be in the top league anymore. That said, positioning at the top in itself does not mean success in the sense top position does not necessarily mean high traffic.
Most websites simply aim for the top position and go on to achieve it. However, the number one spot does not mean highest traffic anymore, that used to be the case, but, not anymore. Google results pages today are populated with ads, local results, image carousel, featured snippets and question boxes. Therefore, even number one position is buried under several elements. As a result, contemporary website visitors understand this and scroll further to reach results they pursue in the organic results. The opportunity to catch the eye of the searcher is here with metatags.
Good Design Remains Relevant
On-page optimization broadly covers both front-end design aspects as well back-end technical aspects. Let’s look into the front-end first. A well designed user interface is critical, for the user to choose your web page over others and recall and return for the ease of use and user friendliness the page offers.
Good content is important too or more important, but the content must be presented well and communicate intended meaning effectively through design. Great content presented well through good design is a winning combination in today’s SEO landscape.
The Importance of Mobile is all the More Now
For more than a year now all new web sites have been subjected to mobile-first indexing. This move is to help Google’s primarily mobile users to search the web better. This roll-out history probably had its origins in 2015 where most of Google Searches were made from mobile devices. The mobile first development is the future course of search as already more people access the search engines through mobile phones.
Mobile traffic is now more popular than computer traffic, and search engines are working to keep up with it. The future of SEO is definetely in the palm of your hand.
Voice Search Optimization
By 2020, some 30% of all searches will be done by voice
The future of search interaction is definitely voice. Voice assistants - Siri, the Amazon Echo and Google Home are commonplace already. Almost every home and office is expected interact with voice assistants.
40% of millennials use voice search to make a purchase online today. Voice interaction is easy, saves time and importantly no need to sieve through hundreds of listings on SERP a voice assistant simply relays the one most relevant results.
To figure in voice search results it is not necessary to place a page’s keyword towards the front of your title tag. Instead, rephrase the title tag as a question that your voice searcher might be looking for. For example: “What are the SEO statistics for 2019?” could be the title of this post.
The Way Forward for SEO
Speed, mobility, ease of use and convenience are the way forward in achieving SEO excellence. Algorithm improvements are being developed every-day to fulfil user intent in the best possible way.
Keeping pace with the onrush of new developments and staying relevant in the years to come is the way forward for SEO companies.
As we near 2020 here are a few pointers on what to expect in the future from a SEO perspective:
- About 50% searches will be voice-based. Correspondingly, typed searches will decrease and long tail keywords will take centre-stage.
- Reviews and reputation will be more important than ever to achieve prominence.
- Content excellence is imperative
- Video content will further gain importance.
- Rich Snippets, metadata and schema will help feed structured data to search engines and has a major role to play in the future.
To reiterate, performing SEO drives customer traffic inexpensively for the entire lifecycle of a business. Set-up an efficient SEO process and it means you’ll never have a sustainable, long-term way to generate customers.