Two Top Trends That SEO Experts See on the Horizon
SEO experts are seeing user intent and rich snippets emerging as two of the most important SEO trends that businesses should be taking advantage of as 2017 progresses.
The rate at which search engine optimization is evolving is phenomenal. As we go further into 2017, you need to take a fresh look at what’s happening in the digital marketing space. In the last several months, the SEO industry has witnessed many developments, with most of the top 2016 trends carrying over to this year.
As Google continues to make updates to its search algorithms, it is imperative that you stay on high alert and be on the lookout for SEO trends that are currently taking shape.
Here are two trends that many SEO experts recommend keeping an eye on in the coming months.
User intent optimization
All SEO experts will agree that keywords are certainly important. Still, you get simple results when you type in simple keywords. Most consumers are savvy enough to know exactly what they want, and current search engines are becoming increasingly adept at figuring our user intent. Nowadays, users type in full highly specific search queries that provide highly relevant results.Just think about how many times YOU search for something on Google, and how many of those times are asking a question? Click To Tweet
You can optimize content for your users once you understand that they are asking questions when they visit Google too.
Therefore, in 2017, you need to direct SEO efforts to optimizing your brand’s content with user intent, rather than mere keywords, in mind.
Your SEO strategy should include:
- Investigation to determine which searches direct users to your site and the questions for which users seek quick answers
- Optimization of your site after collecting research data and identifying areas that require improvement. Based on your research, alter your content to reflect user experience.
- Adjustments and updates to your SEO strategy based on analytics of effectiveness of various tactics
Snippets and rich answers
When we need answers, we turn to Google. Google typically responds to our questions by displaying the answers directly in the results, along useful websites, reviews, event or movie information or videos.
Structured data markup, also known as schema markup, is useful for assisting webmasters in getting enhanced listings on Google’s result pages. The markup makes it easy for search engines to find and understand relevant content and display it in a way that users find helpful.
Let’s say that you ask Google how to prepare a certain meal, for example. The search engine result page will display a rich answer (also referred to as ‘featured snippet’ or ‘direct answer’), followed by enhanced listings that feature rich snippets of relevant recipes, ratings, reviews, calorie counts and cooking time.
SEO experts such as Sherlocked Marketing have noted that the portion that rich answers occupy on search engine result pages has increased by nearly 100% in the period between 2014 and 2016. Rich answers are likely to feature more prominently in result pages in the coming years if this trend persists.
Less than 1 percent of websites have implemented Schema.org markup, according to recent findings by Searchmetrics. However, pages with Schema.org integration rank better by an average of four positions compared to pages without Schema.org markup, a study by Searchmetrics revealed.
Integrating structured data markup into your site will improve the likelihood of it being displayed as a rich answer, being included in an enhanced listing or having a knowledge panel displayed for branded searches. Users love quick relevant answers, so make implementation of structured data markup a part of your SEO to-dos for 2017.
When interviewing prospective SEO services to hire, find out if they offer schema markup service; or if they can outsource the task to qualified and experienced specialists.