The digital marketing world is a bit SEO-obsessed, and for good reason. Search engine optimization (SEO), affects the ease of which people are able to access your content, whether it is via your website, blog, social media, search engine ads and more. Essentially, SEO done correctly gives you everything you want out of digital marketing efforts—traffic driven to your brand. As technology evolves, so do SEO trends. We’ll take a closer look at five of these SEO trends that are poised to affect digital marketing this year.
- Voice search. In 2017, it was estimated that 60 million Americans used virtual assistants like Google, Siri or Cortana at least once monthly to search for information or connect with a brand. This equates to about one in five Americans, or 27.5 percent of smart phone users. On top of that, more than 35 million Americans used voice-enabled virtual home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home at least once monthly in 2017. What does the growing popularity of voice search mean for SEO? It calls for optimizing conversational phrases as keywords. There is a distinction between the way people speak aloud and the way they type words into a search engine, so SEO must take this into account.
- Mobile-first. Google announced earlier this year that it would be moving to mobile-first indexing in crawling pages to determine search rankings. Typically in the past, Google has used the desktop version of a page’s content for indexing purposes. With mobile-first, it means that the search engine will use the mobile version of a page over the desktop version when crawling content. Google has made it a point to let developers know that content gathered via mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over desktop content; however, the move is toward gathering content increasingly via mobile sites. In terms of digital marketing, this means that developers should prioritize the mobile versions of their sites and pay attention to mobile ranking factors.
- Video prevalence. Video’s presence in the digital media realm has grown exponentially—and is poised to continue to do so. One-third of online activity is spent watching video, and by 2019, internet video traffic is expected to account for 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic. In addition, video on a landing page is said to increase conversions by 80 percent or more. As technology is making it easier for people to enjoy video content, search engines are rewarding brands that appeal to the trend. Video and image recognition by search engines could be key to the future of digital marketing.
- Social media search. With internet users spending the majority of their time on social media anyway, an increasing number of people are skipping the traditional search engines and typing their search terms directly into their social platforms. Think about searching Twitter to find news on a celebrity, searching Pinterest for your next DIY project or searching Yelp for the best Mexican restaurants in your area. Because each social network falls into its specific niche, sometimes searching within a network itself can get a user the results he or she is looking for faster. As an SEO trend, social media being used as search engines means that marketers need to optimize content for these social platforms just as they would for traditional search engines.
- Quality content. Producing and promoting quality content in one’s digital marketing efforts has been an SEO trend since day one, but it’s a critical one to continue to highlight. Yes, you should generate content on a consistent basis, but the quantity of your content means nothing if it is not substantial, relevant to your brand and interesting to your followers. Marketers should look to enrich their content with video, infographics, graphics and engaging topics that will make their brands appear both credible to their audiences and appealing to search engines.
Pay attention to these SEO trends when planning your digital strategy to keep yourself at the forefront of consumer wants and needs! If you need help strengthening your SEO efforts, the McNutt & Partners team can help. Call us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page!