13th May 2016
According to Shareaholic report 2014, social media was more popular than research as a means for website referral traffic.The fact that social media is picking the traffic is true since 2011. Well, does that mean SEO is dead? Are search engines still relevant enough?
Consumers even now search for products on Google if they want to buy something. Search traffic is repeatable, sustainable and long term. SEO is still very much alive. There is no way it is going to lose steam.In fact, the landscape is getting even more competitive. This is the reason you have to be updated with what’s going on with SEO. On the basis of statistics and facts, here are 5 SEO predictions that become prominent in the coming years.
SEO predictions for next 5 years
1. Content search beyond the Web browsers
Mobile phones are becoming a major source of Internet browsing. According to a recent report, the mobile has also become the main source of commerce. As we see the number of smartphone owners are increasing. Going by the reports of Statista, the mobile Internet penetration is growing at 61.2 percent worldwide in 2018. This is the reason we are getting habitual and familiar with using the petite screen for everyday tasks. Google reports that the number of mobile search more than desktop computers.
There are mobile apps too which makes it user experience even better. You will be baffled to know that 84% of mobile time is spent in applications. Although social networking apps have a huge share, but the Business Insider report shows that messaging applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are taking over. The fact that 70% of online references come from dark i.e user to a “social can not be avoided.
Well, that does not mean mobile apps will become the new way to content discover. We can discover new apps via iTunes and Google Play Store. From now on, you can not search for content within the mobile application. The search engine giant, Google has been indexing content of mobile applications for over 2 years now. In addition, Google reported an experience for streaming app content from the cloud. This means that users will be able to see the app-only content now. Oh, without installing the application via Google.
This experiment by Google might work. But let’s face it … Downloading a cool mobile application involves a high user interaction cost. You can not simply wait for a new user to delete other applications that are entertaining and useful to them in order to make space for your application. If we go by the statistics, an average smartphone user downloads an average of almost zero new applications in a month. Well, we understand that it is disappointing.
This means App Fatigue is actually happening.
What you can do
You can create a bot ecosystem within in messaging applications. This means that larger applications will integrate with the little ones. This will prove friendly that customers spend most of their time on larger applications.
For example, WeChat already uses robots in its application. This why its millions of users can play games, manage the bank, book a taxi, buy movie tickets and do much more without the need of leaving the app. Seeing the success of the robotic system, Kik and Facebook also announced their own robots store.
This means in 5 years, messaging applications might go hand in hand with search engines for content search.
2. Links will always be important
This is one of the most important SEO predictions. We know how important backlinks are important right now. They are the most powerful factor for pushing up your organic rankings. Does that mean they are the best way for Google to find answers to all kinds of questions? Well no. It was not long ago that the search engines were trapped by spammy links and black hat techniques. Because of this, search engines showed websites with irrelevant information at the top of their results. But with the introduction of Penguin and Panda algorithms, Google robots are much more reliable.
Speaking the next 5 years, the trend of manipulative link building will probably disappear.
Speaking of link building authority and relevant, Matt Cutts of Google says Links may become less important as Google begins to understand the real language.
This means links that drive traffic to your website will be important. A user might not want to follow each outgoing link they see in a blog. It is important to note that getting a link to popular blogger page, then you will have traffic .. a lot of traffic!
Similarly, mention about your marketing campaigns with traditional media platforms will always be important for companies. Before the advent of search engines, companies exchanged advertising to increase exposure. Even if the links do not hold the same value in the future, websites with more popularity will continue to remain relevant and drive traffic.
3. High-End User Experience
Websites whose priority is to offer superlative user experience will win this race. To build a business that remains in the long term, you must rely on regular users. According to the Harvard Business Review, with a 5% customer retention, you can increase your overall profit by as much as 25%.
For this you have to fulfill user expectations. Expect a customer to return to your website after having a bad taste is vague. You should try to provide a better user experience. Things like slow loading, not compatible for mobile, difficult to navigate or has a poor appearance, as will be an obstacle in your rankings.
You can depend on the following steps to check if you are on the right track of making your website user-friendly or not.
3 Factors To Evaluate Website users
1. On-Page Time
Visitors will stay on your website for a longer time period if they find your content worthy enough to consume. They could even stay in order to read the related pages on your website.
2. Bounce Rate
Suppose if a user clicks on the result of your website, but does not feel satisfied with your content then it will press the back button. If they click on another result that is quite relevant and provides so appreciate your bounce rate will be high. This kind of behavior displayed by users is called pogo sticking. This gives a bad signal to Google.
3. Click Through Rate (CTR)
Well, this is something we mostly avoid. If your meta descriptions and titles are not compelling enough, then you should forget about the users coming to your website.
How you can do this: On WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO plugin to edit your titles and meta descriptions from the dashboard.
To access these 3 metrics,you can log in to your Google Webmaster Tools and use the navigation bar at the top in search traffic and research analysis. This way, you can survey your audience to know if you have lived up to their expectations or not.
4. Personalization: Digital Assistance and voice SEO
Never used Siri or Google Now? Well, they are virtual personal assistants that give answers on commute time, general knowledge questions, weather and alike. Google has provided personalized search results since 2009. But as smartphones have become popular now, there is a change of desktop and connected devices. This is the reason why voice-activated personal assistants have become more relevant.
On the basis of your search history and context, users speak, these assistants directly serve the most relevant results for its users. For example, if you ordered a top Zara before then Alexa will collect information and ask you if you want to re-order. Is not it awesome?
Seeing these trends, it is safe to assume that the structure of the search and search using keywords could disappear. Personal assistants will be able to have having a natural human language convo with you.