Within a very short period, the internet has overtaken all other sources of information, especially for customers looking to buy products and services. With the internet becoming so popular, it has also become a challenge for businesses to establish top rankings on the search engine results page that is so essential for online visibility and generation of traffic for conversions.
Search engine optimization has emerged as a key marketing strategy for businesses in the hunt for online presence supremacy; however, the constantly changing algorithms of search engines, especially Google, have made it necessary that SEO techniques are constantly tweaked to achieve the desired results.
To get a head start on the competition, marketers need to be able to stay on top of the SEO trends. A glimpse of some to the hottest SEO trends for the next decade:
Optimization of User Intent
The intent of people looking for information on the web is perhaps the most critical aspect of SEO because optimization has moved far beyond arbitrarily stuffing common keywords into content of web pages to integrating the keywords into valuable content so that the users are able to extract useful information from your website that helps them to fulfill their intent.
Search engines today are focused on delivering results to users that they think are the most accurate and relevant to the query fired by the user.
For businesses, it means that their websites should be picked up in the search results and accorded premium ranks so that the chances of users clicking on the link are increased.
Perhaps the best way of aligning the contents of your website to the intent of the users is to put yourself in the shoes of the users searching the web and think about what he would search for and how to rank the best for such queries.
Intent optimization in the next decade will become even more critical and complex since voice search is fast becoming popular, and voice search has a completely different syntax compared to keyboard searches.
Optimizing for Mobile Devices
Desktops and laptops are getting left behind as far as the volume of online searches is concerned with mobile phone beginning to dominate web access.
According to a study reported by https://www.perficientdigital.com, mobile devices were responsible for originating 58% of the site visits.
The reason for this trend is not difficult to understand; mobile phones are portable and provide easy access to the web for people on the go.
In 2019, Google introduced the concept of mobile-first indexing, which prioritized the mobile version of the web content for deciding the SERP rank.
With mobile optimization coming into play, sites that have their mobile versions optimized for speed and display responsiveness will climb up the SERP rank compared to sites that are not optimized and are present only for desktop display.
SEO Philadelphia practitioners will need to be more sensitive to the way mobile users frame their search queries so that they can insert the proper search keywords and phrases.
Voice Search and Home Assistants
According to industry estimates, by 2020, voice searches will grow to a level of 50% of all searches conducted. Since typically, the length of a voice search tends to be longer than that of keyboard searches.
This makes it essential for SEO practitioners to focus on understanding the syntax of the queries and identifying long-tail search phrases that mimic the conversation-like search queries.
Typically, the search phrases are seven to nine words long and structured like questions. Generally, SEO experts should be prepared for “what” questions from customers at the very initial phase of the sales funnel who are looking for general information as well as “how’ questions from prospects who are looking for some specific details of the products and services.
The “when” questions are typically used by prospects who are closing on to their purchase decision and evaluating their options while the “where” questions are asked by people who are almost ready to buy and want to know if the product is in stock or not.
The surge in voice search is predominantly led by the booming sales of devices incorporating artificial intelligence like Google’s Home, Apple’s Homepod, and Amazon’s Alexa.
With more and more households becoming wired on these smart devices that reduce manual effort to a simple voice command, the day is not too far off when web searches will predominantly be conducted over these intelligent devices using voice search. The trend is already clearly established with an increasing number of people already using their smartphones to conduct searches for local businesses using voice search.
It is increasingly becoming clear that while websites can empower businesses to transact with customers from every part of the globe, most small businesses tend to benefit by attracting local customers to their stores.
Accordingly, local businesses are waking up to the need for local SEO that customers in the vicinity of their locations can use to search for them and walk in to make a purchase. While SEO-savvy local businesses are already adding in their contact details, address, location, business hours, etc. to encourage local customers, this is poised to grow far more in complexity in the coming decade.
It is expected that the targeting of the local search is going to become more precise, which means that the search results also will be more specific.
In actual terms, SEO will be able to indulge in hyperlocal targeting instead of just covering the suburbs. Hyperlocal targeting plays a vital role in conversions because it helps people to reach stores that are the nearest saving them precious commute time and effort.
The closer the business can get to prospects with a high level of interest, the better the chances of sales.
In the coming decade, it is evident that SEO trends will revolve around content experiences that are enriching to users. While the relevance of keywords and backlinks will remain fundamental to the process of web search, the way people will search for information will undergo a complete transformation.
Local SEO will become even more important and with consumers reaching out to local businesses in their proximity for virtually every need via voice search on portable AI-powered portable devices.