What the Future Holds for SEO?
Search engine optimization has become the keystone of web development. A study conducted by Borrell Associates projected that businesses in the US will spend approximately $72.02 billion on SEO services by the end of 2018, and by 2020 that number will increase to $79.27 billion.
Considering this it’s apparent that SEO has come a long way. However, with the major search engines continuously refining their algorithms and the great technological advancements, we are yet to witness some dramatic changes.
That being said, we’ve compiled a list of the leading predictions about the future of SEO:
- The Focus on User Experience Will Grow
- AI & Machine Learning Are Taking the Central Stage
- Mobile Optimization & AMP Will Get Bigger
- The Future Is Voice-Activated
The Focus on User Experience Will Grow
In the past few years, keywords were the core of SEO but with each passing year Google underlined the importance of prioritizing relevant content over keywords.
After RankBrain was introduced, webmasters became aware that Google really is favorizing websites that are more functional and answer what people are asking without stuffing keywords or filling up every page with unnecessary words and fillers.
It’s simple, Google loves websites that love users. UX is expected to play an even larger role in search, so understanding how people interact with your website is crucial. You should focus on creating content that is engaging and attractive to your target audience because if it’s not, you will lose out, no matter how great your information it is.
AI & Machine Learning Are Taking the Central Stage
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the past few years, you’re very much aware of the impact AI has on SEO. When you search something, the results take into consideration your location, search history, favorite websites and even what other users have clicked on most for similar query.
In the years to come, AI will completely overtake the central stage. In fact, it is expected AI to have a crucial role in processing huge amounts of data. It will become a primary instrument that content companies, web developers, and app developers will use to analyze SEO across different devices to learn patterns and understand how content works.
Future improvements in AI will make search engines smarter and more human-friendly. Over time results will get more and more accurate – search engines may predict our needs before we even conduct a search, using data from a variety of sources.
Mobile Optimization & AMP Will Get Bigger
Mobile SEO is not a new thing but it’s about to get bigger. By 2019, mobile advertising is expected to represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. Recognizing this explosive trend, Google rolled out the mobile-first indexing, which prioritizes websites that are mobile friendly.
But, users don’t just get satisfied with a website looking good on mobile devices – they also want speed. Based on recent SEO statistics, 53% of people would leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. That’s why Google likes the Accelerated Mobile Pages project which enables the creation of fast, beautiful and high-performing websites and ads across devices and distribution platforms.
Although Google has stated that AMP is not a ranking factor, it might as well be considered one. Don’t wait around until AMP is officially made a ranking factor. Start building AMP for your content ASAP to stay a step ahead.
The Future Is Voice-Activated
We have discussed the fascinating stats and facts about voice search and its importance in an SEO strategy. If you still haven’t optimized your site for voice search, you should do it now because voice search really is the future of SEO – by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-activated.
The accelerated adoption of voice search will change the keyword patterns on search engines and also create a shift in content marketing to solve the needs of modern users.
Voice search assistants have significantly improved over the years, but there’s still a lot more to be done in the future. A former chief scientist at Baidu, Andrew Ng, has said that voice search will really take off when accuracy gets to 99% or better. Although none of the major virtual assistants has reached that level of accuracy yet, they are sure getting close.
SEO is an ever-changing field. We can’t exactly predict what will happen in the years to come but we believe these predictions are as accurate as it gets. It’s important to note that many of the SEO changes that will come in near future focus on the user.
Our recommendation is to aim your attention at creating quality content with an integrated customer-centric approach to digital marketing which goes beyond tactical SEO.