It is estimated that Google will receive an approximate 6 billion searches per day by the end of 2019 as the number of internet users sour above 4.33 billion people. This search traffic offers a great opportunity for businesses who would like to reach out to potential customers are they search the internet. However, Search engines are not what they used to be any more. In the past getting your page to rank on the first page of Google search results was pretty simple, you just had to have the right keywords in your content and the search engine would find you.
This has changed significantly in the past 5 years and this because of two main reasons:
- Our search behaviour has shifted.
Back in 2006, search behaviour was relatively simplistic. We typed at search engines with queries like, “Restaurants Boston,” rather than talking to them conversationally. Today, the average search query goes something like, “Where is the best place to eat near me right now?”. In a study conducted by Ahrefs of search volume by keyword length, they found 64% of searches are four words or more. And the rise of conversational search is only making this search pattern more prevalent.
- The technology search engines use to interpret and serve results has improved.
Since 2012 Google has made numerous updates to their system to improve the relevance of results. Three major ones include the Penguin Algorithm Update (Rolled out April 24, 2012), the Hummingbird Algorithm Update (announced on August 20, 2013) and the RankBrain Algorithm Update (announced on October 26, 2015).
These and many updates plus changes in human behaviour have significantly changed the game Search engine marketing game. Here are some of the changes and how you can keep up with them in order to ensure your business’ success.
Mobile optimization is a big thing
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, you’re being seriously penalized. In a push to have more websites optimized for mobile visitors, Google has begun failing to show websites that are deemed unfit for mobile viewing. With 52% of all internet traffic being generated from mobile devices you must optimize your website for mobile if you don’t want to lose out.
Search by topic has become a reality- Pillar content
Today, Google has adapted and begun understanding the context of groups of words, allowing you to focus content on an entire topic and not just a single keyword. Not only does this widen the ability for consumers to more accurately find what they’re looking for, but it allows you to broaden the topics of your content. This allows content creators to create numerous pieces of content that all relate back to the main page on a specific topic. It’s essentially one piece of content that can be turned into dozens of other smaller pieces of content, such as blog posts, infographics, social media updates, and more.
Long-Tail Keywords have taken over
Today, approximately 64 percent of keywords are four words in length or longer. This mean people are more aware of what they’re looking for and expect a more specific response. And you’re more likely to find an audience that wants what you specifically have to offer. For this reason, it’s time for the keywords we use to change as well. For the most part, this simply means adding more words that make your keyword more specific.
Readers Like to Skim, So Keep Content Tight
Because a shift has been made from taking in information on desktops to mobile, people are more often skimming through content as opposed to reading the entire thing. Structuring of content has become more important. Use clear headlines and subtitles. Add the most important information at the top. Support statistics and other vital information with bolding or italics. This helps the reader quickly navigate through your content and take away the most important pieces of information that you want them to learn.
Writing has become conversational
With most smartphones being equipped with voice search technology, more people are completing their mobile searches using voice recognition software. In fact, 20 per cent of questions asked on mobile devices are asked through voice search. Essentially, this means your content should be written the way people talk, as people are literally speaking to their mobile devices and not typing. Where we normally would have used short keywords, we now can use phrases and complete sentences that sound human, not robotic. It’s important to build content with the knowledge in mind that people are using a conversational tone to ask questions and not typing simple one-word searches.
Search has become a very important aspect of inbound marketing and with Solution Space, you can rest assured knowing that you have a team of experts making sure your brand performs well online.