SEO changes constantly. With every update to Google’s core algorithm comes the need to alter our approach to SEO. Fortunately, you can stay ahead of most of the changes simply by keeping in mind what might create the best UX. Google’s updates focus on providing the best possible user experience, so when it comes to SEO, the best possible strategy is to focus on users instead of on the search engines.
That being said, here are some trends to keep an eye out for and take advantage of in the new year. This year, SEO is all about visual content.
Become a Domain Authority
Google wants to focus its top results on reliable, authoritative content. In order to provide users with the best possible information, they want to feature pages that don’t just provide the right keywords but that actually offer expertise on the subject in question. While some of what Google will be using to measure a webpage’s authority is on your website (about page, contacts, external links to sources, author biographies, etc.), much will also be off-site. The more backlinks you have, the more reliable your webpage appears. However, these backlinks do need to be high-quality backlinks from other trusted sites.
Focus on Video Content
Video content has been a big deal in the SEO world for a while now. But, it keeps getting more and more important. By 2021, it’s been predicted that video content will make up 80% of all web traffic. That’s a huge amount. If you aren’t already doing video, you really need to be. Even with the already incredible amount of video content out there, there’s still demand for more.
Video Search Optimization
To optimize your videos for SEO, make sure that you include your keywords and a good description of what the video is about in its file name, the name on YouTube, the description, and tags. It’s also important to include a transcript of your video. Google crawls the transcript for text since it can’t actually watch the video.
YouTube provides automatic transcripts, but it’s not 100% correct. Once you’ve uploaded your video, watch it with the transcript active so you can see if it’s correct or not. If there are any mistakes, you’re best off uploading your own so you can be sure that the text Google is able to crawl accurately reflects your content.
The Newcomer, Visual Search
Visual search is a relative newcomer to SEO. It involves searching with an image rather than with words. Google Lens and Pinterest both offer image search features. Google Lens has been used 1 billion times already since its release. On Pinterest, more than 600 million image searches are made monthly. That looks like a lot of demand for visual searching.
Visual search is already used by up to 35% of Internet users and the technology is already very good. It’s also very popular with younger Internet users and is especially useful for online shopping, getting directions, landmark identification, language translation, and a lot more. But how do you optimize for visual search?
Visual Search Optimization
Optimizing for visual search is similar to optimizing images for your normal SEO strategy. Make sure to have your keywords included in the image’s file name and use descriptive alt text for every single image. For images that you want to be included in visual search, however, there are a few extra things to keep in mind.
First, Google wants to focus on images from websites that are both fresh and authoritative. This means that your site needs to be an expert in your field and also be regularly updated. If you haven’t changed your content in a while, that will decrease your chances of having an image included in visual search.
Secondly, the image needs to be highlighted on the page. It should be high up on the page and central to the page. The page should be about what is featured in the image rather than it merely being supplementary or to break up the text.