Most of us will remember when online advertising first started and how it was the hottest thing for any marketer and brand owner. We now live in an era where the Internet is not just an essential communication tool but a connecting bridge between worlds and cultures.
Online Advertising is valued at more than 400 billion $ a year and has far surpassed the TV ad industry in terms of popularity and a key strategy for any Digital Strategist.
With the Global pandemic, things have accelerated exponentially and the Digital Industry is in a mess with a level of disruption that has never been experienced before.
In all this SEO has been at the forefront of massive changes where it has evolved from just building site traffic to an invaluable Digital Key that has the potential to unlock your business growth.
As agency professionals we all know too well, any business that doesn’t want to end up on the wrong side of a new algorithm or major search engine change must keep up to date on the latest trends and changes to understand their impact.
Being Aware of these changes is not something that comes easily as it involves constant engagement with a perseverance that needs time and dedication and most importantly an expertise to be able decipher the changes and quickly adapt/alter those to the online business.
Businesses that have the ability and the Digital support to stay on top can prevent Google penalties or even a massive drop in site’s ranking that then has a domino effect on their entire revenue stream. As best practices for SEO in particular (Search Engine Optimization) continuously keep shifting, it is a key element to understand what trends and changes have the power to affect any online business. With Google already announcing two major algorithm updates in March (update to page speed score) and May 2021 (https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/release_notes)
SEO has now progressed to the point where if your online business does not evolve and adapt rapidly, the after effects of that can be pretty much an uphill battle to win over.
So let’s take a look at some key trends that your business consistently needs to look into..
MOBILE SEO -KEY TREND 1
Mobile searches have shot up exponentially as the above figure indicates. This means If you are doing SEO for desktops and not for mobile, then your mobile ranking can be so abysmal that no one can even connect with your brand let alone transact.
The below figure shows the potential earnings for any brand that has its mobile commerce strategy on point.
ZERO CLICK SEARCH- KEY TREND 2
My SEO team always tells me- never underestimate the power of local search listings. And It took me a while to actually get this as I was always more focussed on a global reach. But Local SEO is crucial thanks to the increase in zero-click searches, where the top results provide answers via SERP. Zero click searches do not send you to a third party website from your search engine results page (SERP) Many of these zero-click searches are local, which makes it quite important to build a strong backlink profile.
But what is Zero-click search you may ask? Google introduced “position zero” in 2019/2020. Search results are altered by adding a snippet of information at the top of the results page. The intention is to quickly solve the intent of a keyword query.
For every 100 mobile searches on Google, there are:
38.5 clicks on an organic result
3.4 clicks on a paid result
61.5 zero-click searches
For every 100 desktop searches on Google, there are:
65.6 clicks on an organic result
3.7 clicks on a paid result
34.3 zero-click searches. (source: Spyserp)
Zero-click Google searches rose to almost 65% in 2020. This is a significant threat to websites seeking traffic through traditional methods. Google introduced this experiment intending to satisfy user intent faster and reduce multiple results that searchers don’t need.
CONTENT WITH INTENT- KEY TREND 3
2021 is going to focus even more on Content that is intentionally curated with the user/target customer in mind. No unnecessary registration forms, no forced pop ups, no complex user experience to find what they are looking for. Whilst there will always be websites and digital players who use black hat SEO techniques they will lose traffic and rankings thanks to Google making it even tighter. Smart keyword research, studying your competitors’s content, eliminating the me-me-me- sales copy, focussing on content that the user/customer finds useful, addressing their specific needs and pain points through well written blogs, being there for them by giving them what they are looking to solve through content that says ‘You matter’, are the key factors that will get your site to not only perform better but also rank better. Content from the heart will always reach out to other people’s hearts.
CORE WEB VITALS- KEY TREND 4
SEO is all about focussing on the user and this year Core Web Vitals has gained prominence thanks to the Google Algorithm update in May. It’s all about the Quality of the Experience and with web vitals you can actually quantify the site experience and identify opportunities to improve. Superfast loading times, Mobile navigation that is agile and responsive will ensure that your website makes it to the top of the SERP list.
The below three aspects of user experience includes the following metrics and their respective thresholds.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less. (Detailed blog on this coming up shortly- keep an eye out)
So there we are- the top Trends that we feel will bring a whole different level of enhanced experiences to your target audiences, global communities that want your product or services, and a level of professionalism and dedication that’s needed to build even deeper and solid foundations for your online business.
Our brand founder and author of this blog Chetan Jha is leading not just change but also innovation across the board through best practises that echo compassion understanding and reflection. To know more, email us: [email protected]