Climbing the search ladder is not an easy undertaking. It involves a combination of search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that go beyond the traditional approaches of keyword insertion, internal linking, and metadata usage.
Today, there are various technical strategies that can help you land the most coveted spot on search engine pages. From enhancing your mobile-first experience to optimizing for voice-based technologies, this article will walk you through the latest search trends as well as practical SEO techniques that can lead to higher discoverability on the World Wide Web.
An Emphasis on Core Web Vitals
This year, Google is set to implement a new ranking factor, Page Experience, which provides a new set of performance metrics focused on user experience (UX). It includes a specific cluster of search signals called Core Web Vitals, which assesses the fundamental facets of UX, particularly Loading Speed, Interactivity, and Visual Stability. In ranking web pages, it’s not solely about the quality of content, but also about the quality of experience that’s delivered to users. As a result, high performing websites are most likely to claim the top spot in the search results or the proverbial Google Top Stories.
With a greater emphasis placed on on-page experience, it's imperative for businesses to home in on the technical performance of their websites, above all else. Meeting the Core Web Vitals not only guarantees increased visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs), but it also ensures a decrease in bounce rates by up to 24%. Of course, with a high performing platform, businesses are able to grow traffic, increase the chances of conversion, and avoid running the risk of losing valuable leads in the process.
Fine Tuning for Voice-Based Solutions
Another search trend taking shape in the international market is the emergence of voice-activated technologies. Due to artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platforms, such as Siri, Alexa, Cortona, and Google Assistant, voice-based queries have become all the rage. In fact, almost 40% of today’s internet users make use of voice-activated programs and this number is expected to balloon in the coming years.
Because of this, search engines are enhancing their linguistic capabilities to better recognize verbal queries. Google, for instance, is making use of an AI-driven algorithm called Natural Language Processing (NLP), which enables spoken input to be converted into computable data. Basically, it makes content understandable to programs, helping them better recognize, interpret, and generate textual information.
So in developing content, make sure to adopt the type of language that NLP best understands. The more natural it sounds, the easier it is for search engines to process. It’s also best to make use of filler words, such as on, of, in, and question terms, such as what, when, where, how, as this helps search engines provide context as well as determine user intent of queries more easily. Incorporating long-tail keywords can also increase searchability in voice-based platforms. Keep in mind that casual and long phrases are better processed by NLP since it captures users’ normal speaking patterns.
Delivering a Mobile-First Experience
Instead of the usual desktop-first approach, Google has made the bold move of shifting to mobile-first indexing. Since 63% of Google searches are made on handheld devices, the mobile version of a website’s content now becomes the main benchmark for indexing and ranking on SERPs. Thus, switching to mobile-first indexing can greatly improve your SEO performance.
Moreover, it’s equally important to deliver a consistent user experience across both mobile and desktop, from content to visual design. So refrain from scraping off content or elements from the mobile version as this can result in a dip in your search engine ranking.
Google Standard is the Gold Standard
Google follows stringent standards in assessing webpages. Its guidelines are anchored on three basic principles: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. This set of criteria will determine the rightful rankings of websites on search engines. Basically, it all boils down to the originality, accuracy, and credibility of the published information on your website. This can either be in the form of specialized content, demonstrated accolades, link building, research-backed writing, or any way that could establish expertise, reinforce authority, or prove the reliability of your business.
Unlike Google’s Page Experience, which is more performance-focused, its Search Quality Guidelines is more content-centered. Thus, developing a good content strategy that fulfills these standards is also key to ascending the SEO ladder.
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