Search Engine Optimization has proven time after time that it is one of if not the most important online marketing strategy. A big part of this stems from the fact that the strategy is always updating to improve its efficiency and effectiveness online. In turn, this requires optimizers to be on top of these updates to get the fullest extent of its benefits. Overall, it needs you as the optimizer to think about your SEO strategy in advance. More specifically, getting to know the upcoming trends in SEO will go a long way in helping you work out a plan for each of them.

As for what direction the newest SEO trends are heading towards, Google has prioritized mobile and speed-related SEO efforts. While it will be important to keep those trends in mind, don’t forget that other “non-Google” trends will also need to be addressed. With this in mind, let’s take a look at five SEO trends that matter for your optimization success.

1. Website & Page Speed

Above many other things, Google is strict on delivering the best user experience and delivering it with speed. For some time now, desktop page loading time has been a huge ranking factor that either positively impacted or crushed website standings. Website design plays a huge factor in determining page speed and marketing companies that understand this have a big competitive edge. As Google moves towards prioritizing mobile-optimization, mobile website and page speed will become more and more important for your optimization success. As far as how to do that exactly, it will help to understand which metrics matter in Google’s eyes in terms of page speed evaluation. Once you know those metrics, increasing page speeds will be as easy as aiming for those metrics within your optimization efforts.

2. Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-First Indexing is in regards to Google using the mobile version of your page for indexing and ranking. As mentioned before, the move towards mobile optimization is so strong that Google started the process of migrating sites to a mobile-first index as early as 2018. That being said, don’t make the mistake of confusing “mobile-first” with “mobile-only”. There’s still a single index with both mobile and desktop versions that need their separate attention. Simply put, there is no excuse to procrastinate with mobile-friendliness if you haven’t done so already.

3. General Data Protection Regulation

In a nutshell, the General Data Protection Regulations dictate who owns the data created by online user interaction. The regulation is somewhat of a nagging issue that takes away from the overall user experience that a website can provide. Also known as the GDPR, the reason it is so important is that it affects both the companies and customers. Also, because international companies also need to comply with it, Google has decided to introduce changes to its analytics to meet these requirements. This is where GDPR can directly impact your SEO. As an action plan, if you have European customers, make sure to switch to the “do not automatically expire” option in your Google Analytics.

4. Branding As A Ranking Signal

Google trend analyst Gary Illyes has pointed out how Google uses online brand mentions in its search algorithm. He breaks down the fact that there are two ways you can use a brand as a ranking signal. The first way is through an unlinked brand mentioned in which the search engine learns that your brand is an entity. The second way is through traditional context factors such as reputation, trust, and advertising.With organic SEO services and Google brand trust across the web, a business can gain competitive advantage online.

5. Optimizing For Amazon Search

Although Amazon is not a universal search engine, it is still large and powerful enough to run under an algorithm similar to Google. The reason optimizing for Amazon search is a trend that matters is because more people are going straight to Amazon to do their shopping. With studies showing that over 55% of online shoppers do so through Amazon, not optimizing for Amazon searches means that you are missing out on over half of online purchase-ready clients.

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