Franchise PPC, rankings, and organic ads are going to look quite different in 2018.
- Voice search is here to stay. Back in 2016, Google reported that 55% of teens and 40% of adults are using voice search every single day. And it’s not hard to see why this sci-fi-tinted technology is getting more popular: it’s fast, easy, hands-free, and surprisingly accurate, with a reported error rate of only 8%.
So how does speaking our searches affect franchise PPC, rankings, and organic ads?
Well first of all, it’s making searches longer and more “conversationally sound.” Rather than typing “franchise ppc tips,” a searcher would ask “What are tips for franchise ppc?” Things change a lot when we switch from written to oral communication. The searcher might even ask “What are tips for franchise pay-per-click,” feeling as though the acronym is a little clunky to say aloud.
In SEO terms, this conversational search style makes semantic context much more important. And it also makes over-optimizing pages to juice short-tail keywords is a thing of the past.
In 2018, your franchise PPC and SEO needs to focus on the long-tails, questions, and conversational queries that will be spoken aloud by searchers. If you’re researching keywords, search “how,” “what,” and “why” to find long-form questions people are asking.
- Mobile continues upward march. Coming in response to global usage trends, Google’s mobile-first search index, which privileges mobile sites in the SERP, is expected to rollout in 2018, which means it’s more important than ever to be fully responsive and mobile-savvy.
If you’re not already on top of this, you’re hemorrhaging potential sales and traffic. Google reports that over half of searches come from mobile devices, which means you’re potentially snubbing half your audience.
Simple, standard mobile-optimization will keep you from being penalized and help your conversation rates improve.
- User experience (UE) is all-important. In its fight against Blackhatters, Google made a fundamental change in how its algorithm values sites, prioritizing user experience above that of the crawl-bot. In other words, Google is now looking more closely at how real users behave on your website – bounce rate, on-site engagement, time on site, and so on – and valuing these metrics more than keyword density, alt text, and other backend stuff your website visitors never notice.
Since UE is more important than ever, 2018 is the perfect time to roll out the deluxe website experience for your guests. That means investing in dropping page load time, improving readability, and tweaking the navigational structure for a smooth and enjoyable ride from start-to-finish. Put more time into pleasing the human user than the crawlbot this year and it’ll pay off!
- The “Snippet” is now the most sought-after position. Google SERP now includes a Feature Snippet for most searchers, which often includes a concise answer and picture relating to the query. Since its the only bit of visually-stimulating content on a page full of relatively bland page titles and descriptions, the Snippet has become a very popular spot. Franchise PPC and SEO strategists have begun to refer to the Feature Snippet as “Position 0,” making it even more valuable than the #1 SERP spot.
Though the Feature Snippet algorithm is still fresh and relatively mysterious, we know content that strives to answer queries clearly and with highly relevant visual aids performs best.