The Future of SEO: "The Era Of Voice Chat" & More...
This year has been a busy one for SEO Officers, with Google rolling out three confirmed algorithm changes in March alone. With this being said, it’s important that digital marketers stay ahead of the game and make critical predictions early to prepare themselves for what’s to come.
Just before we start, I have written a brief overview guide to SEO if you fancy a more in-depth read, but, without further ado, here are my predictions to look out for in the not-so-distant future…
1. Long-Tailed Keywords Will Become More Popular with Voice-Search
With voice technology, including Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, becoming more common inside the family home, it’s important to realise that people are beginning to search online with their voice, stringing together more realistic 'human' search queries. For example, look at this graph comparing search queries regarding cheap flights:
The term “Flights to Spain” is, as expected, trending more than “Cheap Flights to Spain”, or, “Low Cost Flights to Spain”: This could be due to “Flights to Spain” being the easiest to type, but with voice-search, this wouldn’t be a problem. With this in mind, I expect that more complex search terms will become more prevalent in search engines.
2. Aggressive Mobile-First Indexing
We all knew that mobile UX was going to be a huge ranking factor this year, but I predict it’s going to be more aggressive than what it currently is. March 26th 2018 was the day Google announced that its mobile-first indexing was finally being rolled out and webmasters should watch their Google Search Consoles to see if their sites are being migrated to mobile-first indexing.
I would say this is just the start to a bigger, harsher ranking system where if your site is not 100% responsive to every device-size on the market, you’ll be penalised via search ranking. To be fair, Google has been warning users of this for way over a year now.
One of our designers recently created a blog outlining how mobile first design for the web has become the new standard for web designers, check that out for some pointers!
3. Page Loading Speeds Will Have a Huge Impact on Voice Search
Users who leverage voice search are looking for fast results, this is because they’re probably on the go or busy cooking for example (and, if they weren’t busy, they would probably type). Due to this, when a voice query is sent through, it will look for the most accurate, fastest loading answer; if the result is taking too long it may be skipped in favour for a different one.
Google hosted a survey comparing teens and adults using voice search. Of the 1,400 Americans surveyed, here’s what they found:
- 57% of teens use voice search when with friends, compared to the 24% of adults;
- 22% of teens use voice search when in the bathroom, compared to the 15% of adults;
- 8% of teens use voice search when cooking, compared to the 23% of adults;
- 17% of teens use voice search while exercising, compared to the 15% of adults;
- 59% of teens use voice search while watching TV, compared to the 36% of adults.
Looking at the above statistics, it’s clear to see that voice search is used whilst the user is pre-occupied or busy. I would predict that, going into the future, the faster loading sites will have the higher ranks.