We have witnessed several developments in SEO over the past couple of years. As we enter into 2017, many of the prominent trends of the last few years are discontinued and a new SEO landscape has come into action. Some of the SEO trends that have been updated or discontinued are as follows:
- No more Right Column Ads: Google has removed right column ads from SERPs. This means that search results now span over a wider space.
- Longer Descriptions and Titles: Last year in May, something important was observed. Google has redefined the character limits for page titles. For mobile SERPs, the length is 78 characters and for desktop pages, 68 to 70 characters. Moreover, the SERPs displayed longer Meta descriptions extending up to almost 3 lines instead of two.
- No Mobile-Friendly Label: The Mobile-Friendly label has been deleted from the SERPs. Google implicated this in an attempt to de-clutter its pages as almost 85% of the websites had already become search friendly by August 2016, when the update was announced.
- Negative Points for Pop Ups: Google has started penalizing websites that use pop ups.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages: AMP is a Google-backed technology for speeding up the loading time for mobile pages to an incredible average of 0.7 seconds. Google announced in September last year that an AMP icon would be displayed on its mobile SERPs. AMP is not a ranking signal; however, this would result in getting more clicks.
How to Keep Up
Google's algorithm updates keep business owners and marketers on their toes. Here are a few ways businesses today can keep pace with the changing SEO landscape.
As modern consumers become more sophisticated, businesses and SEO professionals must come close to each other for creating spot-on digital marketing content. It is evident that businesses that want to compete with their rivals in today's digital age must break down all barriers that separate their project managers and their SEO teams.
To reach customers by adopting changing SEO trends, a business must collaborate with digital marketers for running hybrid campaigns. This means your offline (conventional marketing) must be in-synch with your digital marketing.
To make sure all teams are working hand-in-hand with each other:
- Host meetings and sessions to devise marketing campaigns that can run on different channels
- Keep up with the most current SEO trends that are deriving more results for collaborating on different projects
- Develop common grounds for conventional and digital marketing by defining the interest, vocabulary and lifestyle of your audience. Some brands receive a large percentage of traffic through mobile only while others may need to develop a more sophisticated SEO strategy to encompass both mobile and desktop consumer-base.
Mobile and Speed
When it comes to mobile, Google itself claims mobile to be an effective tool for making quick decisions today. Therefore, adopting a mobile-first approach for creating an effective SEO strategy has become crucial. This means all user experiences and customer interaction methods must be devised by keeping mobile devices in our mind. Since Google first launched the AMP project at the end of 2015, the role of speed, especially on mobile devices, has greatly contributed in driving more traffic.
Google had predicted that slow load times would ultimately hurt the user experience and that is why a one-second delay results in a 7% reduction in conversions. Mobile has also witnessed an increasing emphasis on the development of micro moments, which are people's reflexes when they turn to a device to get an answer for an immediate need.
Keywords are still important. But the changing SEO landscape has made it all the more important for businesses to employ dedicated SEO professionals to attract more users; hence, more business. Users are prone to type in full queries or phrases rather than mere keywords and your SEO efforts should be focused on providing the exact answers to their queries. i