It seems as though SEO (search engine optimization) and social media trends change in the blink of an eye. While they don’t actually change that fast, it’s always a good idea to check in one those trends every other month or so.
After all, you never know when Google will change their algorithm or people will begin doing different things on social media.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to determine which of these trends to focus on, starting with the information below. Many of these ideas will remain in place for some time to come.
When it comes to SEO, many of the trends depend on the algorithms put into place by the search engines. The most important of these search engines is Google, as it’s the one site that everyone seems to turn to when examining their SEO results.
However, as you’ll see below, Google may not be the only search engine that matters anymore. There are several other noteworthy trends and changes described here as well.
Don’t Just Focus on Google
Many people focus solely on Google when trying to improve their SEO rankings. There’s an issue with this. While Google remains the most popular search engine, it’s not the only option.
Sure, Google provides you with all of the tools that you need in order to track and improve that score, but you need to look beyond them. Why? Because other search engines are used just as widely, particularly by people located in countries other than the United States.
Plus, you also need to consider the future. What happens when (if?) Google fades in popularity. You’ll have to change your site’s SEO in order to catch up. Instead, you need to focus on making your website appear high in the search engine results for every possible option.
Technical SEO Matters
There’s more to SEO than what appears on the page. By this, we mean that there are technical factors at play here as well. These factors include things like load times and responsiveness.
If your website takes a long time to load, then people will go elsewhere. This leaves you with a high bounce rate (the people who “bounce” off of your site, rather than stick and read it) which hurts your SEO scores. You also need to ensure that people can access your site from a smartphone or other handheld device.
Over 40% of all internet users reach for their phones these days instead of their computers, and your site needs to be ready. Many search engines are using this responsiveness as a ranking factor as well.
Consider Your Audience
You might be tempted to stuff your website’s copy full of keywords and other things in order to get those coveted first-page results. This is no longer a relevant option. The newest search engine optimization trends have people focusing on the content instead of the keywords.
Your text needs to speak to your audience and relay the information that they want. The more you produce content for your audience, the higher your SEO ranking will be.
Backlinks Are Important
Next, there are backlinks. These are a bit trickier. They are links to your website from another. The more sites that link to yours the better, as long as they are sites that also have good SEO results.
There are plenty of companies out there that claim to get you the backlinks that you need in order to improve your SEO efforts. While this seems good in theory, if those backlinks are from less than reputable sources, they’ll actually harm your ranking. You need to be very careful when setting up these backlinks. They take quite a bit of time to get right.
(Related read: Ultimate Guide to Link Building for SEO)
Focus on Content
We discussed content briefly above, but this is so important that it needs to be emphasized again. You need to focus on the content that your audience wants to read or listen to. You also must produce relatable content that makes your website an expert in its field.
This is something that the search engines have been rewarding for years, and it certainly isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Utilize Amazon-Friendly Techniques
It sounds strange to be discussing Amazon when talking about SEO trends. However, Amazon is slowly becoming a search engine in its own right – for items that people are selling.
Most shoppers turn to Amazon because they trust it as a source for products. Even if you’re an independent seller and not offering Amazon Prime shipping on your products, you need to include relevant keywords in your product descriptions so that Amazon shoppers can find you.
In fact, if your Amazon listings appear in the “shopping” tab of the search results, so much the better. You’ll sell more of your goods that way.
Social Media Trends
Social media trends can be tough to gauge. After all, you never know what people will gravitate towards. They might start liking the use of videos over photographs and written text.
New forms of social media might appear. These trends tend to pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and then stick around for quite some time until the next one comes along. As we’ve noted in the past, these trends do tend to be cyclical.
Video is Incredibly Important
In case you didn’t notice, Instagram and Facebook have started allowing users to post videos to their profiles in the form of stories. These videos can either be done live or recorded earlier and posted when necessary.
Many of the metrics surrounding these videos point out that the stories get a large amount of traffic – more so than other posts. This makes it clear that these videos are now a permanent part of the future of social media. They aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
Private Groups Are Becoming Popular
Are you a member of a private group on Facebook?
In general, around eight out of ten people are. These private groups are becoming increasingly popular, and are one of the most current social media trends. They allow like-minded people a place to post about certain things. Some groups were created for local news, others for hobbies like planner decorating, quilting, and making jewelry.
Businesses on Facebook are creating private groups as a way to narrow their social media focus. It’s almost as if these groups are the former in-person clubs from the past. Not just anyone can join, even if they share a hobby with the other members.
Be as Transparent as Possible
Transparency on social media is incredibly important. Some of the past trends pointed out the rise of influencers and influencer culture. Now, these influencers are getting criticized for the fact that they only show a curated version of their lives.
In order to counteract this, others are being honest and transparent in their updates. They show their real lives, flaws and all, on their accounts. Others have caught on, and it’s becoming a trend to be transparent and honest on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Other users enjoy this honesty.
Pay Attention to Your Analytics
Another social media trend involves understanding changing customer needs through analytics.
In the past, most people (except for those aforementioned influencers) just didn’t care about things like the age or the average income of their followers. They just tracked how many followers they had and noted which ones interacted with them.
Now, there’s more of a focus on these demographics and metrics. There are numerous ways to track them and some forms of social media, such as Facebook, particular when it comes to groups or business pages, provide this information for you. It allows you to tailor your content to your followers.
Look for New Forms of Social Media
We’ve mentioned Facebook quite a bit here so far, but it’s important to point out that many people have moved away from this platform. The actions of the company’s higher-ups, especially in the wake of the 2016 election scandals, have led to the deactivation of a number of accounts. Where are these people going?
Well, some have turned to other platforms, like Twitter and Instagram to grow their influence. However, even more, are in limbo, waiting for the newest platform to appear. What will this platform be called? It’s impossible to know, but what matters the most is the fact that it will be popping up sooner rather than later. You need to be ready for it.
The Rise of Purchasing Within Social Media Posts
Finally, the ability to make a purchase from within a social media app (without having to click outside of it to a separate website) is the last of these important trends. This one is important for anyone who runs an online shop.
In the past, it was possible to link to your products in these posts, although many consumers stopped short of going outside of the app to make that purchase. Now, they don’t need to do this. They just need to click on the image in the post. You’ll have fewer abandoned shopping carts this way.
About the author
Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps digital marketers track rankings, monitor site stats, and research competitors. A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.