Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an ever changing landscape. It is not dissimilar in the other realms of the growing digital marketplace.
The digital marketplace encapsulates everything involved in the purchasing process. This means that your first search for a product or service is valuable to a business, your sign up to their email blog or special offers – everything has a value to marketers in the digital landscape.
The final purchase merely gives them more licence to track and engage with you above anything else. That is why the introduction of voice search and the rising prominence of mobile and social media search have become so important. Every step in the purchase stage adds valuable rapport to the customer-business relationship.
Businesses are constantly trying to increase the traffic to their websites and improving their search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways to do this. Mobile, voice and social search all hold to key to improve rankings and metrics on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
So what exactly does each of these search methods mean for the SEO landscape? Mobile and voice search is predicted to be one of the biggest trends in search engine optimization for the coming year making it pivotal to a businesses success.
The rise in mobile search is no surprise given the obvious rise in mobile phone usage and its capabilities. It has been described as the current ‘zombie wave’ by some as people wonder the streets unable to take their eyes off their phones.
The development and progression of smartphones has meant that they are now a hand-held computer capable of executing almost every digital task you could want. They are the way people not only communicate, but access information, share information and purchase goods and services.
Because of this craze, companies must adapt and thus they need to have a website that is compatible across desktop, tablet and mobile. Google has updated it algorithm in the last year or so top begin ranking websites that are compatible with mobile much higher than those with a desktop site only.
This is because the rankings are now driven by user experience. And because users demand greater visuals and are regularly accessing them via mobile, Google are filtering out the sites that won’t deliver an easy to navigate and utilise website.
One third of people are now using mobiles as their primary search device meaning that 33% of consumers can be lost with a desktop only site. Additionally, it also means that notifications are playing a more significant role in the acquisition and retention of users.
Experts predict ‘mobile friendliness’ to have the biggest impact on Google search rankings in the next 12 months. This comes despite Google already having updated their search ranking algorithm to better evaluate sites based on their mobile and tablet compatibility.
Social Media Search
As mobile usage increases so does social media. Facebook is now at over 1 billion users having been below 200 million prior to 2009. This huge increase in users, not dissimilar in Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, has meant that people are now using social media as a source of information.
Business must now change their marketing channels to best capture these markets that are using social media on a regular basis. whilst it may not be a big rank-determinant yet, social media still plays an important role in the search landscape.
Facebook and Google receive approximately 2 billion and 3 billion searches every day, respectively. This shows immense competition in the social landscape for businesses.
This is the new realm of search that has many businesses unsure how to tackle it. It is predominantly driven by the use of Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. However, the recent release of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod has encouraged an increase in the number of daily voice searches.
As of 2016, 19% of using Siri utilise this voice function at least once a day. Because convenience is becoming such a dominant trend in not only the digital world but also society, voice search is likely to become more prominent.
Because this technology responds through speech in the way a normal human would, it is normalising the idea of voice search. This is likely to have a significant impact on the types of searches that people are conducting and how businesses value them.
It will also mean that businesses will need to take into account the different types of searches people are conducting and adjust their SEO accordingly. It won’t be long before Google and other search engine providers begin placing a significant weight on voice search and the convenience of it.