The SEO industry is fast-paced as a result of frequent changes made by Google to its search algorithm; the way the algorithm works today may not be how it works a few weeks from now. Because of the ever-changing algorithm, SEO specialists need to always be alert of developments and update their strategies accordingly.
Now that we are well into the second half of 2017, it is even more essential that you keep an eye out for emerging trends in SEO that affect the rankings of your business site based on your keywords.
Optimize Your Site for Rich Answers
While targeting higher rankings in Google search continues to be an important SEO goal for your business, you also need to optimize your business site for it to be featured in rich answers. This is the content that is displayed near the top of organic search results.
Stone Temple Consulting, a leading digital marketing agency, found that out of 850,000 keyword searches, close to 20 percent of the results displayed rich answers. Granted, this figure is still low, however, it is likely that in years to come, this percentage will increase. Among Google's objectives is to give increased value to its users and, based on search queries, rich answers display the most relevant information.
The first and most important step to optimizing for rich answers is optimizing for your keyword(s). Your content is more likely to appear in the rich answers section if it has made it to the first page of Google results for your keyword(s).
Additionally, you need to pay attention to other types of content featured on Google search engine results pages (SERPs). These include images, videos, and “related questions,” all of which are effective ways of being displayed prominently on SERPs.
Improve User Engagement
For years, search marketers have been of the opinion that user engagement is among the most important factors affecting ranking. User engagement includes pogo sticking, bounce rate, and the average time visitors spend on the site.
When it comes to conversion, user engagement is a critical factor affecting the page elements’ effectiveness, which in turn plays a role in the likelihood of visitors responding favorably to your call to action.
Lack of supporting data, however, makes it hard to measure user engagement in search engines as its effect on search rankings is too indirect. That notwithstanding, leading specialists such as Sherman Square Marketing make it a point to optimize user engagement to make the most of efforts toward SEO.
Currently, user engagement is as critical as other important elements on your site. When visitors have a good experience on your site, they spend more time on it, visit more pages, reduce the overall bounce rate on your site, and are likely to visit your site again in the future. Together, all these favorable elements work to make your business site one that Google ranks highly.
For you to harness user engagement for the purpose of improving the performance of your site, you need to utilize tools for determining the level of interaction between your site and its visitors. In this regard, heatmapping is highly effective. The basic sense here is that the number of clicks that a page gets from its links is indicative of the level of interaction between the page and its visitors.
Optimize for Mobile Apps
There is huge potential in the mobile market. The market is so huge that Google is still trying to find ways of providing a better experience to mobile users. The mobile-friendly update by Google is aimed at achieving this, with owners of websites advised to develop designs that load faster on smartphones and tablets; the idea is that faster loading speeds encourage return visits.
Even though there is also interest in making budgetary allocations for mobile ads, Google will, in the near future, play a bigger role in offering mobile users more content, beginning with optimization of the app store.
Optimization of the app store is the next stage of SEO. A review of the rise of use of mobile and the budget allocations for mobile ads reveals a huge demand and efforts to reach audiences on their smartphones and tablets. Even more critical, the indexing of apps is the most recent development in search results. It can certainly affect the search rankings of your site pages based on your keywords.
At first, apps were indexed on Google Play, the App Store, and on the search results for Google. As a result, it was difficult for Google to streamline the functions. To be on the safe side, you should optimize not only on Google organic, but also on both stores.
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Without a doubt, 2017 has brought with it a few new opportunities for growing your audience and boosting SEO by following and adopting the most current trends. However, it is also important that you remember the basics and solidifies time-tested tactics. By optimizing for rich answers, improving user engagement, and optimizing for apps, you are certain to achieve favorable results.