Information is the new currency, which is ironically accessible to anyone with a handheld device. A life of convenience.
The barriers and costs of information dissemination have broken down, and everyone benefits equally. But if that’s the case, every company should have an equal chance of getting ranked in the SERPs. That doesn’t happen as some companies are ranked higher while many, are lower. The difference is that the former capitalizes on information which web users need, and not what the company can offer as the latter does.
Therefore, a company’s SEO will focus extensively on shaping information into meaningful, impactful, and relevant content to create maximum viewer engagement and customer value.
Increased focus on UX (User Experience)
If one were to go to YouTube, it wouldn’t take long to experience the onslaught of ads every time a video is clicked for viewing. But one would also notice that many unskippable ads are running for an average of 7-15 seconds. Why does YouTube even give the option to skip ads in the first place? Moreover, why does YouTube not feature unskippable ads running for over half a minute?
According to a report by The Treetop Therapy, the average human attention span is only 8.25 seconds and has declined over 25% from 2000 to 2015. That is why it is important for advertisers to drive maximum visibility in the precious 8-10 seconds.
Search engines are becoming more sophisticated in their ability to understand user intent and therefore, SEO will focus more on creating a positive user experience through faster page load times, lower FCP & TTIs and mobile optimization through AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
More personalized search results
In 2015, Google substituted its existing search engine tool PageRank with an AI tool called RankBrain. Earlier, the search engine did not understand the ambiguity in search results or queries which contained colloquial words. This led to the listing of web pages which had nothing to do with the search query.
RankBrain takes care of it as on a daily bases, a large chunk of data is processed and the Machine Learning Algorithm gets adept at displaying search results based on its ‘guess’ of what the query actually meant.
Based on location and the browsing history of the user, the search engine can further personalize one’s search results. For example, if an online fashion shopper searches the word ‘Mango’ on Google, he/she will be displayed with pages linking the Spanish fashion brand rather than the fruit, by guessing the intention of the query.
Voice search optimization
Virtual assistant tools like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant are getting more commonplace, and website optimizers will tend to focus more on creating content which is conversational in nature. When we speak, we tend to usually use simple and complete sentences. So, companies will look to add more long-tailed, simple and precise keywords, phrases like “What is the closest planet to the sun?” and “Top 10 trending songs on Spotify now”.
Visual search optimization
A report from ViSenze states that nearly 62% of millennial customers want visual search capabilities. All e-commerce stores have optimized their websites in such a way that visual searches are directed to their web pages.
Ever since Pinterest announced its AI-based visual search tool, Pinterest Lens, companies are putting up banners, videos, and images on the website so that the visual search redirects the user to their stores. With such inherent potential, websites will look to optimize their websites with visual search capabilities.
One of the most important prerequisites in SEO. They help to widen the reach of your brand and create more awareness. As you get more visibility and visitors in the digital space, your website authority is strengthened thereby ranking you higher in the search results. Now, it is important not to fall under the trap of using paid backlinks as it is illegal. Building a website with good quality content will in itself attract backlinks from established websites. In the process of creating and optimizing content, the usage of hyperlinks to other websites also helps in eliciting a similar response from others.
SEO will make or break websites. It is no more about just creating content but optimizing it in such a way that is easily accessible, credible and relevant. Companies will look to invest heavily in content optimized for sensory searches (visual and voice) using AI and ML tools, generating backlinks and a personalized User Experience (UX). For that, it is important for a company to have an SEO strategy which is clearly defined with uniform objectives and a course of action.