You may have heard of an “organic” search, or the natural way your content should pop up on search engines when a keyword is entered in. This is SEO, and whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or influencer, your voice relies heavily on it. The higher Google ranks you, the more exposure you get.
But that was before when content consumption was strict to basic Google searches. Nowadays, the rules of optimization are different, changing the way your content reveals itself. Queries are being shaped by different keywords – what used to be “Restaurants in Yorba Linda” is now, “Where should I eat tonight?”
So, what’s changing the face of SEO? Let’s take a look.
The Evolution of Mobile
In 2015, Google announced that mobile search queries officially surpassed desktop queries. Today, that number is even higher, with 71 percent of internet-use now taking place on mobile.
If that’s not significant enough, here’s this: Flurry Analytics unveiled that 92 percent of mobile-use occurs in apps. Now, apps such as Google Maps, that were strictly used for GPS, provide an array of valuable information specific to a company. Look up Disneyland on Google Maps and you’ll find an overview of information about the park, along with reviews, FAQs, and nearby locations to sleep, wine, and dine.
A Streamlined Social Experience
Social media has long been considered a powerful channel through which visitors find content on your website. However, with less-than-subtle changes comes reshaping the face of content discovery.
Take Snapchat, for example. In October, Snapchat released its new feature, ‘Context Cards’, to provide users with an all-in-one experience.
You can now use geotagging to find information about businesses, make reservations and even summon an Uber. What used to be an app predominantly for photography, has now drummed up its business to provide a streamlined user experience.
With internet-use growing on mobile devices, and with mobile-use predominant to apps, there lies a strong influence on SEO. And as content becomes more decentralized away from the website, optimization of that content will likely continue to change, too.
Voice Commands and Personal Assistants
Let’s step away from the iPhones and desktop computers for a second. Retail giants such as Apple and Amazon have introduced us to voice-activated personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa – respectively. Everything from watches to home speakers are now connected to an infinite sea of the World Wide Web.
With a simple voice command (“Hey, Siri” or “Alexa”) you can search anything, anywhere, at any time. Want to learn how to ride a bike? Just ask. Or, maybe you have a job interview and have never tied a tie before. Just ask.
Since our access to the internet has changed, so has our search behavior, and in turn the structure of queries changes. Take the restaurant example from earlier: marketers are structuring the traditional search from “Best places to go bowling” to “What should I do tonight?”.
Hedge Your Risk Through Quality Content
In a world where social presence drives popularity, it can be hard to get noticed if you’re struggling with consistency.
Let’s look at Facebook, for example. There are over a billion active Facebook users per day, with 65 million of those being small businesses. When Facebook released their new algorithm, it changed the way organic searches show up on newsfeeds, making it more difficult for companies to get their content noticed. But as organic search declined, companies like BuzzFeed, who has 90 separate Facebook pages, hedged their risk by building a foundation of millions of opt-in email subscribers.
Now, that’s not to say that you must go out and create ridiculous amounts of Facebook profiles. Instead, focus on posting engaging content that your audience will like and share. As we’ve discovered, social media channels hold a great power over businesses, so it’s important to have a back-up generator in the event of a change. Building a strong audience with quality content as a cushion to fall back on is one way to do that.
Embrace the New Age
As we enter a new age in communication, we are witnessing new universes of search that are taking shape outside of the browser window. The goal is to create quality content around topics that help drive your message. Mobile, social media, voice commands – these are all potential outlets that your information can be discovered on. It’s time to embrace it.
Looking to expand your organic search presence? Red Mallard can help you create a content strategy. Migrate your message with us.