Rich answers currently appear for 19.45 percent of the search results in Google, Stone Temple Consulting research suggests. Experts in the field predict that the number will keep on increasing as people get used to submitting more difficult queries and SEO professionals start optimizing website content for rich answers.
In order to achieve good ranking for rich answers, a website should address specific queries in the industry and it should also feature content that has sentences beginning with command words. Clear headings that relate to the question could also make it possible for a website to appear as the rich answer of preference.
Understanding SERP Changes
Rich answers aren’t the only big change that Google has introduced. In 2017, experts predict even bigger changes in the appearance of the search engine results page (SERP).
Google has already carried out some experiments with the manner in which results appear on the SERP. One of the most prominent novelties that SEO experts can make a good use of is the increased size of the page description.
This change hasn’t affected all of the search results and Google is yet to make an official announcement about its permanence. Still, being prepared when crafting content is definitely a good idea.
In order to benefit from the way in which content could potentially be appearing on the SERP, make sure that keywords of preference appear towards the top of each text. You should also make the description slightly longer and a bit more complex. Increasing new meta descriptions is also a good idea, even if the change doesn’t become 100 percent official.
Getting Prepared for the Rise of Voice Search
While mobile optimization was already really big in 2016 and 2017, it will take on a whole new persona in 2017.
The focus of mobile optimization in the past years was on the responsiveness of website design. Today, getting websites ready for use with voice search is the opportunity that search engine professionals are trying to seize.
So, how can a website be optimized to appeal to Siri? The most important element for success is using longer, more descriptive and voice-search friendly keywords. People who want to travel to Paris, for example, will not use a keyword like “cheap Paris deal.” They’ll be more likely to search for a term like “the best and cheapest Paris vacation package.”
Next, incorporate question phrases in the text and the descriptions. When using voice search, people are much more likely to ask a question than to make a statement. According to Search Engine Land, the use of question phrases in search has registered an increase of 61 percent on an annual basis in 2016.
Dense Content is Dead
Dense content is a term that refers to large chunks of text. While it can be highly informative, people are getting sick of its monotone appeal. Needless to say, finding relevant information in a block of dense content can be a particularly challenging task.
Today, content that features tons of infographics, diagrams and videos is becoming the norm.
Make sure that all of your pages feature multimedia and are properly diversified. The addition of multiple formats boosts engagement and keeps people exploring your content for a longer period of time.
If you have a large block of text, break it down in manageable chunks. Use subtitles, bulleted and numbered lists. Make the long sentences shorter and focused. Format paragraphs properly. These aren’t innovative SEO techniques but they’ll be even more important in the years to come.
Faster and Faster
With the prominence of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, website speed is another SEO factor that’s gaining prominence.
There are dozens of tools you can use for the purpose of testing website speed and identifying problem areas. The quicker you make pages load, the lower your bounce rate is going to get. Yes, slow load times are one of the main reasons why people are abandoning websites without even giving them a chance.
Needless to say, traditionally good SEO practices will continue shaping up the online landscape. Make sure that your content is good and that your audience is having its needs met. Work towards the establishment of the right online reputation and you’ll definitely be successful.