SEO is a very complex science. There are more than 200 factors that make up the algorithms created by Google. Most experts in SEO will tell you that knowing the rules is not what is challenging, it is the fact that these rules are always changing. It is therefore important that you know the trends that are most prominent right now because they can really help you get ahead in this area:
- Speed – Speed is very important where ranking is concerned and yes, it impacts your rankings on Google. The expectation from Google is that your pages should load in less than 3 minutes. The expert you engage should be able to take you through the speed test which can be found on website auditor. Your SEO specialist should know how to go about testing your pages for speed and also help you ensure that they load faster as needed.
- SERP features – Even though ranking is very important, SERP features are actually grabbing the attention of searchers and leading them to other websites. These include knowledge panels, local packs and featured snippets among others. In order to know how you are doing in this regard, you will need to actually track how you rank in these features. Additionally, you should monitor which features come up when you search using your primary keywords. These features are most likely taking the traffic that you need. Again, your SEO specialist will have the tools to check these out and carry out an analysis of the opportunities that are provided by these SERP features.
- Voice search – There is a marked rise in the use of voice search. In fact, Google states that voice search is growing quite rapidly and this calls for a change in keyword strategies. Most people will use conversational sentences when using voice search and not language that sounds odd. Using rank tracker, the SEO specialist you engage will be able to carry out research on the types of questions that people using voice search ask. You can then key in your primary keywords and see if they are used as often as you hope they are.
- Structured data – This is a formatting method for HTML. It uses very specific vocabulary and tells the various search engines how they should interpret content, as well as how they should display the said content in SERPs. Even though structured data is not officially one of Google’s ranking signals, it does help you enhance search listings in different ways. Rich snippets is one of those ways and this can actually increase your click-through rate by up to 30%. A good SEO expert will know several different data formats that he or she can use and will be able to implement this for you.
- Stay relevant – In the past, you could convince search engines that your content was good even when it wasn’t, but today, this is not possible. Google can assess your content for quality in several ways. One of these is latent semantic indexing. Google looks at pages in their billions and considers the various terms used. By so doing, they learn related terms that can appear in a page based on the context and with this information, Google is able to know if the content on a page is comprehensive. Your SEO specialist will need to review the pages on your niche that rank high and review the features shared. Using SEO tools, he or she will be able to come up with a list of phrases and terms that are relevant that you can also use.
- Backlinks without links – Even though links are important, mentions without links are also becoming a signal that carries equal weight where search engine ranking is concerned. Since the engines are able to associate the brand with the mention, they can still determine the site’s authority. A good SEO specialist should be able to use one or more backlink checkers to find places where your products or brands have been mentioned.
- Mobile is big – Mobile friendliness is a major ranking factor. Additionally, mobile searches are on the rise along with voice search. This means that if you have been ignoring mobile SEO, you can’t do that anymore. An SEO specialist will make sure that your website pages are friendly to mobile users. They should also be able to find any problematic factors and fix them quickly.