SEO Strategies, Trends, and What to Expect in the Future

Whether you’re an aspiring online entrepreneur or a veteran internet business, you probably know that one of the primary strategies that help eCommerce retailers to develop a successful business is SEO or search engine optimization.  SEO is the process by which an eCommerce site can be tailored to the search engine’s algorithms in order to rank in the search engine results pages or SERP’s.  Unfortunately, those algorithms are in a state of flux and continue changing on a fairly regular basis.

6 Essential Components of SEO Strategies

As an online retailer, you need to adapt to these changes in order to evolve with them.  Therefore, it’s extremely important that you stay current and up-to-date if you want to achieve a higher position in the SERP’s.  If you want your website to rank well and continue to do so, there are 6 essential components that your SEO strategy must contain including:

  • Backlinks – time and again, we have heard the expression “Content is King.” If that’s the case, then backlinks are the Queen.  However, it’s not about your website has the most backlinks, it’s about developing high-quality backlinks that redirect people to your website.
  • Content – the search engines recognize quality content and the creation of it is the best way to create a positive experience for the user while ranking for specific keywords. In addition to this, you’ll be educating the consumer and establishing yourself as the industry expert.
  • Meta Tags – just as they have been important up until now, Meta tags will continue to play a very significant role in your SEO efforts. This is why the keyword that you use when conducting a search will usually be found in the page title.
  • Product images – if you’ve been thinking that product images are not important, you best think again. Consumers don’t just search for web results.  They want to see images of the products they’re interested in.  Besides that, images help you rank better in the SERP’s.
  • Relevant keywords – the first step towards developing a good SEO strategy is keyword research and the use of relevant keywords so you show up in the SERP’s and drive more visitor traffic to your eCommerce website.
  • Social media – since the emergence of social media platforms, we’ve seen some dramatic changes in search engine algorithms. Today’s web page content is community-oriented.  So you need to establish a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

Granted, you want to optimize these six key website components.  But don’t stop there.  You need to analyze the competition to determine what they’ve been doing with off-site and on-site optimization as well as social media platforms.  While you and your competitors may be doing similar things, thinking outside the box with SEO will separate you from them.

5 Recent SEO Trends to be Aware of

Although 2016 is rapidly coming to a close, it can certainly be said that the past 12 months have been nothing less than exciting.  Additionally, it’s safe to say that things won’t be slowing down anytime soon as we progress into the coming year.  This past year, we’ve witnessed a dramatic increase in social sharing, numerous advancements in mobile websites, and the release of some outstanding geo-specific Google tools.  As a result, the following SEO trends have played a key role in shaping the search environment and will continue to do so in the ensuing year.

Boost ranking positions with social media signals – Facebook, Twitter, and other social media have increased the indexation of hashtags, posts, profiles and tweets to use specific signals to influence the search engine’s algorithms.  The line between social media platforms and the web is becoming increasingly vaguer each day.  So it’s easy to see how social posts are carrying values similar to those of web pages where a site’s ranking position is concerned.

Implement faster loading times to achieve higher search rankings – slow-loading websites are not only annoying for the user, they will adversely affect your search rankings on Bing, Google, and Yahoo!.  If your website takes longer than 3 or 4 seconds to load, potential visitors will just move on to another site that loads faster.  You can improve your loading times by:

  • improving your server’s response time,
  • optimizing image files by selecting the proper format and size
  • reducing the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files by compressing them
  • use browser caching

Keywords help search engines determine intention – due diligence and research will enable you to find the right keywords for matching your audience’s search queries.  Consequently, you can still drive traffic to your site without overloading your headlines or titles with keywords.  It’s obvious that the search engines have gotten more intuitive of late, especially when it comes to providing relevant results based on browser habits and interactions with your website.

Mobile optimization and responsive website design is a must – in the middle of 2015, we saw mobile searches finally surpass those queries conducted on desktops and laptops.  As a result, Google changed their algorithm to prioritize mobile searches in the ranking pages.  Today’s businesses must design mobile-optimized websites in order to accommodate a smartphone, smart watch, and tablet users.

The emphasis will stay on local SEO – ever since the Pigeon Update was implemented by Google in 2014, local SEO is has become an essential tool for small to medium-sized businesses if they want to rank well in the SERP’s.  Local intent has become a key factor in searches conducted on desktops as well as mobile devices.  But it’s more than just finding directions and understanding certain guidelines.  The use of local SEO enables websites to become more user-friendly and thereby improve their SERP position.

Ironically, a number of pundits proclaimed that SEO was dead at the beginning of 2016.  They were obviously proved wrong.  The use of a black hat or unethical practices and outdated SEO tricks are punished by giving them a lower ranking in the SERP’s.  The best approach is to create an SEO strategy that combines multiple approaches that have a singular goal of providing the user with additional value.

What the Future holds for SEO

For many online marketers, the breakneck pace that SEO and social media platforms continue to develop at is extremely exciting.  We see the advent of new opportunities every day for businesses who want to get a leg up on their competitors and improve their audience appeal.  Where SEO is concerned, we could witness the following changes over the next 10 years or so:

  • As mobile traffic continues to grow along with the number of users who have a preference for app-based experiences to those based on online browser use, the death of traditional websites appears to be inevitable.
  • Facebook and other social media platforms are gradually decreasing the amount of organic reach of companies, content publishers, and other organizations in favor of the user, a change that publishers have been dreading for several years now. Eventually, this will lead to a decline in your return on investment.
  • Google will become an intelligent, self-updating monster, thereby making it necessary to stay away from gimmicks and focus on improving the user’s experience qualitatively. An example of this is RankBrain, Google’s machine-learning algorithm that is better equipped to handle a user’s complex, semantical queries.
  • Growing competition and reduced user tolerance will see fluff content gradually being phased out because the major search engines (Bing, Google, and Yahoo!) and social media platforms will be pressuring article marketers and writers to produce higher-quality content. While the gap between flat and good widens, the real winners will be those companies that can provide the most adaptive, individual, and variable experiences, i.e. the most interactive.
  • The predictive search will take a giant leap forward and could possibly finish your search queries for you with an “auto-complete” function. The question we must answer is: “will keyword searches become more funneled and streamlined or an additional frustrating variable that will make it targeting them more difficult?”

Trying to determine exactly when these trends will take place is too difficult at this juncture.  You can blame factors such as how online marketing progression has become too variable over the past few years or how it has defied expectation.  While the above trends may not trigger warm, fuzzy feelings for some of you, the future for SEO is looking a bit brighter.  Despite the changes in SEO or the lack thereof, it will have a great future in store provided you can learn and understand these changes as well as how to adapt to them.  The key is to be prepared well enough in advance so you don’t have to continually play catch-up.



Hitesh Kothari

Has played some key Digital Marketing roles when at IBM-Australia and New Zealand, Infosys, Sonata Software. Also worked with the world's best Digital marketer, Neil Patel as Internet marketing consultant helping startups to billion $ companies with their Digital Marketing. Has worked on 100+ marketing campaigns and a few of them are IBM Australian Open, SAPPHIRE, Oracle Open World, etc. He's currently leading Marketo Labz and giving digital marketing strategies to various companies and individuals alike.

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