Future Trends in SEO and Digital Marketing

Posted on March 05, 2020

We’ve already gone over the fundamentals and technical trends of SEO to make your website successful.  As SEO is an ever changing field, adaptation and continued learning are vital to keeping your brand at the top of search results.

Over the last decade, the average user has shifted from using a home computer to a smartphone for their internet needs.  As most searches are now conducted through a phone, the location of the user impacts relevant results. This creates a new problem for established brick-and-mortar businesses: how can you ensure potential customers find your business while on the go?

SEO is about being visible and accessible whenever and wherever people are searching. It is not enough to just drive traffic and engagement for a website anymore.  Optimizing SEO now extends to YouTube videos, podcast descriptions, user location and home assistants.

Leveraging the latest trends in search engine optimization can help your business stand out.  Utilizing everything from Alexa to algorithms is the best way to make sure your customers know where you are and why you’re the best  

Optimizing SEO for Amazon & Apple 

In the near future, SEO will be as much about optimizing for Amazon and Apple as it is for Google.  Getting your content on each entity’s premium spaces is vital to getting your listing the most attention.  Your company must ensure its most valuable content is visible on your audience’s preferred platforms.

While there is much to discuss with Amazon SEO [link to Amazon post], the key thing to remember is that Amazon’s algorithm is different from Google’s. There are two factors heavily considered in Amazon rankings: Relevance and Performance.  Customer reviews weigh heavily in rankings, so be sure to ask satisfied customers to leave feedback on your page.

Voice Search And Home Assistants 

In the near future, half of all searches may be done by voice rather than typing. People use voice-enabled devices, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, to search hands-free. Though their convenience is inarguable, virtual assistants’ current design is so pervasive that many are concerned about privacy, and whether to allow large companies so intimate a view into their home. As these devices are constantly listening for commands, they are able to absorb more information than a typed search query. This raises one of the big questions of modern society: what is more important, convenience or privacy? Frankly, consumers should have both.  Apple’s blog, Patently, talks about consumer demand for privacy in greater detail.   

Privacy concerns notwithstanding, home assistants are not going anywhere, so savvy businesses will capitalize on this newer technology. When typing a search, a user will generally use a few keywords, such as “Coffee shops Philadelphia.”  With voice search, a consumer will typically ask the device a question such as, “Where is the closest coffee shop?” This distinction often leads to a drastic difference in search results, with the user’s exact location being taken into consideration in the latter example.  To optimize for voice search, think less about keywords and more about key-phrases. Focus on four-to-seven word phrases that people would use in conversation to generate more traffic for your page through voice-search.

Mobile Optimization

Cell phones are indispensable when it comes to online searches. They are smaller, easier to carry, and most users will reach for the device in their pocket before booting up a computer.  As a result, most websites are now mobile responsive [link to article on mobile responsiveness].  This means that the website is adaptable, giving the user just as pleasant a browsing experience on a desktop as they would a phone or tablet.  This is accomplished by using a flexible design that allows the page to intuitively fill whatever screen size is needed.

Google utilizes mobile-first indexing, meaning that they first crawl through the mobile version of a website when ranking results, making it easier to eliminate pages that will give a mobile user a sub-par experience.  As Google’s ranking system places a higher priority on mobility, businesses with non-responsive sites will fall in rankings.

Fortunately, web developers are adapting to increased mobile usage by developing more cell-phone-friendly websites. Many WordPress themes are coming standard with responsive versions for mobile viewing. 

Local Search Geo-Targeting

In the coming years, local search targeting is going to become more exact and highly specific. This added accuracy, particularly delivering results based on a user’s location, means that your business will need to know more about where your customers are. Local searches are especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses. The goal of  precise local targeting is to create a reliable source of pre-screened consumers.

With so many consumers having access to GPS, many are searching for businesses “Near Me.” The closer a person is to a business, the more likely they will patronize that business. To capitalize on this, figure out what locals are interested in and set your keywords accordingly. Update your Google My Business account with your location, hours, website, and any available data to ensure that you are being properly indexed. By combining a mobile-responsive website, carefully curated keywords, and complete data, your business will attract more of your neighbors.

Increasing Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness

Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness — known as the “E-A-T algorithm” in Google’s search quality rating guidelines — is another key trend. The goal for a high ranking E-A-T score is to be the main source for an area of information. 

Expertise is a priority for Google. Google factors in expertise when a company hires experts to write content, gets more employees to contribute to the company blog, or provides quality information for that company’s audience.  The level of expertise shown in your content directly affects your site’s authoritativeness.  Ranking highly in both of those factors will lead to a higher level of trustworthiness, which, while important for any website, is particularly important for ecommerce. Most users will not supply personal information to an untrustworthy site, so take care to curate quality content and design to help your site rank higher.

Next Steps

While there are many steps a business can take to improve search rankings, SEO’S ever changing nature makes it difficult to properly optimize your website.  Working with tech-savvy SEO experts is the best way to ensure your site is doing all it can to stay on top of the competition. If you’re looking to rank for a particular topic on search engines or improve your website’s existing SEO,  call A + L Development at (201) 455-7587.   With over a decade of experience in SEO trends, A + L can help you strategize to boost your rankings.