Looking at new trends in SEO optimisation
A few years ago to get to the top of Google it was merely a matter of ensuring your site had a clear structure, doing some keyword research, and making sure you had high authority backlinks. And although these are all still very relevant SEO practices, we also now have some brand new factors to contend with.
Optimise your site for RankBrain
RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning AI system, which has been revealed by Google to one of the top three ranking signals in its vast array of contributing factors. Google uses RankBrain to handle ambiguous questions that have never been asked before, indeed brand new queries make up to 15% of all searches a day – and as Google processes 3bn searches daily – this means that 450m searches a day are truly unique.
So, try to think about creating content that answers unique queries that are particularly relevant to your audience. This will of course take time and research, but with trial and error you may start to see more visibility for relevant queries.
‘Near me’ search queries
According to Google, ’micro-moments’ are the “critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.” This points to mobile as being the key driver for local search – there’s a huge opportunity here, especially as many businesses are lagging behind due to poor mobile user experiences.
“These I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, and I-want-to-do moments are loaded with intent, context, and immediacy.”
Ensure you optimise on your local presence – make sure your My Business Google page is up to date with things like a long and unique description of your business, key information on opening times, imagery, regular updates, a local phone number and business address and customer reviews.
Remember natural language and voice search
In Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report, it states that Google Voice Search queries have risen 35x since 2008. Voice input is 4 x faster than typing, you will therefore have access to faster results. But there are obvious accessibility issues such as typing issues on certain devices. No matter how mobile-optimised your site, searching on a mobile is still fiddly. The key to voice search is to provide content for more direct questions – remember keywords are more dominate in typing than in spoken natural language.
Answer a question
Make sure you answer questions with your content. Google are now recognising that more quality expert content comes from other publishers, rather than the dominant Wikipedia. They now scan third party websites to give searchers a clear SERP answer to a more knowledge-based query (e.g. when is Stormzy’s birthday?). So find out what questions your site can answer, phrase the question in your header and answer the question as soon in the article.