SEO is in a constant state of change. The basic idea remains the same: Create valuable content over time, become an authority, and your rank will increase. But there are lots of techniques involved, and these keep changing.
So what should you know if you want to improve your SEO this year? Here are some of the biggest trends to look out for right now.
Mobile and AMPs
Mobile has become the main focus for SEO these days. More people than ever are visiting sites on mobile devices rather than desktops, and that means you need to take your mobile SEO seriously.
First of all, you need a mobile-optimized website. But in addition, consider Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
You might have seen these when searching on your mobile device. A little lightning bolt symbol identifies the AMP links, and when you visit one, you will enjoy a noticeably faster browsing experience.
This provides a better user experience, and that means you can bet that AMP sites will soon be a ranking factor, even if they are not right now. One thing’s for sure: It’s time to prioritize mobile.
This is also related to mobiles. More people are searching online by asking Siri or Google Now, and so it therefore makes sense that you now also need to optimize for voice search.
These searches are different because they often consist of questions. Google is also displaying results based more on user intent rather than the actual words used to search, and this is only going to get smarter.
Focus more on long-tail keywords, which are the sorts of phrases people use when they use voice search. You could also create an FAQ section that answers important questions. Talk to a specialist to find out more about keyword optimization (learn more here).
Google is also starting to display more Rich Snippets in its results, so when you search for a recipe, you may find one displayed right at the top and the link to the site might be further down the search page.
People want quicker answers rather than a selection of links, and you can take advantage of this by using Structured Data markup. This gives you more chance of showing up in search and getting more clicks.
Trust is an important element of SEO, and there is now a good reason to use TLS encryption for your site. Google now prioritizes these sites, so it is worth considering.
It is even more important if you utilize passwords or process payments. Without HTTPS, you will be highlighted in Google Chrome as not being secure. HTTPS is only going to become more important, so it’s time to start looking into it.
Improve Your Search Rankings
These are some of the latest SEO trends to look out for. Speak to a professional SEO if you cannot implement them yourself, and don’t forget to focus on all of the strategies that have long been important and will remain so, such as creating valuable content and promoting it.
Sue Robinson writes about search engine optimization, websites, and other small business matters. She works for a SEO Marketing company and shares her tips and views with small business owners who need a little help.