WebsiteStrategies SEO News Roundup – May 2017
Ashley Bryan |
May 16th 2017
This month, we attempt to predict the future of SEO for better strategy creation, and then we take a look at how excessive rank tracking could be bad for your SEO campaign; all in our in-depth monthly SEO news wrap-up.
The future of SEO: 3 predictions
The most difficult thing to do in the world of SEO is to predict what will come in the future. But as major search engines constantly roll out updates to their algorithms and update their SERP displays, we (in the field of SEO) can’t just wait around to react. We should instead be proactive and analyse past trends to help us predict what will come in the future.
In that spirit, here are 3 predictions about the future of SEO:
1. The role of UX will increase. A few years ago, SEO was regarded as a job for the IT team. The role was considered more technical than creative. While there are numerous technical elements, SEO remains an art form at its core. Today’s SEO professional not only needs to have the technical understanding of website and content optimisation for search engines, but they also need to know how people interact with the web.
Knowing this is still half the battle. How you apply this information is what separates the pros from the rest.
Google puts a lot of emphasis on user experience – and you will need to do so too to be in favour with the search giant. Invest some time in understanding your audience and tailor your content so that it is both engaging and useful to them.
2. The influence of AMPs will continue to grow. Earlier on, mobile and desktop searches shared a single index, but now Google is developing individual indexes for the two with mobile expected to become the primary index.
As we move to a mobile-first world, you will need to ensure that your site not only looks good on mobile but also loads fast. AMP may not be a ranking signal yet, but it could have some impact on your website and search performance. You can stay ahead of the curve by implementing AMP before it officially becomes a ranking signal – which is more likely to happen than not.
3. AI will take over search. The days of black-hat SEO are numbered. With Google’s RankBrain increasing influence as a rank factor, it is only a matter of time before the AI learns patterns and understands content better for the provision of more accurate results.
To stay ahead, use SEO tactics that are above board and start thinking about search on an individual level as AI will personalise search like never before. This will mean a re-evaluation of segment creation tactics for those in the marketing field.
Excessive rank tracking might be bad for your SEO
While improving search ranking is the primary goal for SEO, checking your ranking too frequently can not only mislead you about the success of your campaign but can also compromise its potential. You shouldn’t completely avoid checking your rankings, just make sure you do it judicially.
The reasons why you should refrain from excessive rank tracking are:
1. Rankings are volatile in nature. With search rankings, you never stay in one place for too long thanks to things such as algorithm updates, index refreshes, new competitors, authority changes as well as user behaviour and search volume changes. The small and frequent variations that result could give you a false understanding of your actual performance.
2. Rankings do not always translate to conversions. Rankings are good because they bring traffic, traffic brings conversions and conversions lead to sales. If your rankings do not improve conversions (the closest link in the chain to actual revenue), then they are of little use. Instead of obsessing over your ranking, focus on the context of the whole that includes ranking, traffic, and conversion rates.
3. SEO is long-term. With SEO, the effects of your actions will compound over time. As such, paying attention to your day-to-day changes will not help you determine your position year over year – which is more important.
4. You are wasting valuable time. Checking ranking changes every day can be wasteful. This time can be better used in improving other aspects of your campaign, researching content topics and fixing other issues on your website which will eventually boost your ranking in the long run.