The following post is part of WTWH Media Marketing Lab’s ongoing blog series from MozCon 2017.
Dr. Pete Meyers ended day two of MozCon by talking about five changes in SEO. For each change, he gave a tactic that everyone could use to get ahead of the curve.
Five changes in SEO:
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. All communications between your browser and a website are encrypted. So, why is thisimportant? Dr. Meyers talked about how Google’s algorithm is leaning towards HTTPS over HTTP. Results showed that 55% of page one results are secured and Dr. Meyers predicts that trend will be at 2/3 by the end of the year.
Tactic: HTTPS is coming. Just do it!
2) SERP Features
According to Moz, SERP features are “any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page that is not a traditional organic result.” These include:
- Featured snippets
- Image pack
- Shopping results
These features are attention grabbing and they are drawing clicks away from organic results. What you need to do is pay attention to the SERP features results of keywords you are tracking. A tool that Dr. Meyers mentioned that could help with this process is Moz Pro’s SERP Feature tracking.
Tactic: Features are evolving and you should pick 1-2 and get going.
RankBrain is the third-most important signal out of hundreds of signals that goes into Google’s algorithm that contributes to the result of a search query.
Dr. Meyers explained Google is becoming so advanced that it is starting to deliver results based on concepts, rather than specific keywords. He suggested picking keyword groups and writing naturally. An example he gave was the keyword group of “wedding bands women white gold” and writing “White gold wedding bands for women”.
Tactic: Don’t fixate on RankBrain. Write for humans.
If you are a company that wants the top spot, visibility, traffic, and conversions, you are going to want to pay attention to this.
Featured snippets have been dominating mobile in 2017 and have tripled in the last two years. They occupy the #0 position and for now they come before traditional organic results. As a result of having a featured snippet, you could potentially have the #0 and #1 position.
Before you get excited about having two positions, driving traffic to your site, and conversions, you want to be aware how to land a featured snippet. First, you want to identify a common question that your customers have. Then, you want to create a piece of quality content that answers one of those questions. Dr. Meyers suggested experimenting with inverted pyramids: give the answer first and follow that with steps or information. If you are giving the people the answers they are looking for, you might see a featured snippet in your future.
Tactic: People ask questions. Answer them wisely.
Voice search is up and coming. If you have not heard of voice search just look up the Google Home and see what it is all about.
Dr. Meyers mentioned right now voice search responses are coming largely from featured snippets. He told a story about his daughter asking how much blood is in the human body. So, he proceeded to ask his Google Home, “Ok Google, how much blood do I have?” Google Home responded with an answer and the source it pulled it from. It turns out the answer was pulled from a featured snippet.
For now, voice search is pulling responses from featured snippets, especially text-featured snippet. That can change in the future as voice search starts to advance. If you want to start occupying voice search responses, you want to plan to land featured snippets.
Tactic: Voice search is here. Use what you know.
Dr. Pete Meyers is a Marketing Scientist at Moz.